Bank Barn: a two-story barn, typical of northern and central parts of North America, built into a slope of earth that provides an outside entrance into the second story on one side, the lower story being enterable from the other side (Merriam Webster)
Yep, that’s exactly what we have.
Our bank barn is very old to begin with, but it had also sat un-used for about a year before we bought it. And that was after cows and pigs had called it home for a few years before that. The lower area was pretty messy. The initial cleaning and preparation for horses was done within a few months. We started by scraping a layer off of the ground with a skidsteer. The gravel and dirt were really wet, which led my husband to believe that drainage was not occurring properly. He dug a trench around the perimeter and put in tile. He connected it to the tile that leads outside of the barn, and created a French drain. Again, Merriam Webster: a drain consisting of an underground passage made by filling a trench with loose stones and covering with earth.
We got a load of screenings to cover the newly cleaned and properly-draining barn floor, and I put up panels to create a run-in for the horses. The stalls came later, right before winter hit. My husband took a lot of time building them, and my dad built us two stall doors to finish them off.
I feel like our barn is a perfect example of making the best of what you have. We took the barn we had and transformed it to meet our needs. When it comes down to it, we’re just grateful our animals have a shelter to call home.
What have you transformed on your property to fit your needs?