Jeff and Jane, Morton Buildings owners from Rockford, Mich., had two dreams in mind when contacting Morton Buildings for two new projects in 2012: raising and training draft horses and building an industrial-style loft in the city.
Knowing the likelihood of raising horses in a crowded urban environment was slim, Jeff and Jane did the opposite: they brought their industrial-style loft idea to a rural setting. Morton and its clear-span, timber-frame construction model allowed for the creativity to make it happen, building a 1,728-square-foot horse barn and the shell of a 2,952-square-foot home.
The couple purchased 10 acres of land in 2011 just 15 miles northeast of Grand Rapids. The land initially included only a single-wide trailer, an aging hay barn and overgrown pastures. It was on that spot where their vision ultimately became a Morton reality. “We began mending fences (on the property) and preparing more significant enclosures and gates for our Clydesdales in the summer of 2011,” the couple explained. “We met with (a sales consultant) from Morton Buildings in the single-wide trailer to discuss options for the future. After … months of sketches, permits and dreaming, we began moving dirt in the summer of 2013.”
Built on columns in the ground, the 36’W x 11’H x 48’L horse barn features Morton’s classic red Hi-Rib steel on the exterior and black Hi-Rib steel on the roof. The barn has a handful of sliding doors, including two 12’ x 11’ diamond “M” sliding doors and a 12’ x 11’ double Alumasteel sliding door. A 6-foot wide porch with 4/12 pitch on one side includes 48 lineal feet of coverage.
“(Morton) erected the barn shell with such amazing speed, quality and sturdy materials … we know it will last a lifetime.”
The shell of the barn was completed over eight weeks. Much of the interior was done by the family, including a 24’ x 12’ tack room composed of cedar, ash and galvanized sheeting.
Just a few months later, a Morton construction crew from Rockford went to work on the couple’s industrial-style loft during record-breaking cold temperatures in the winter of 2013-14.
In the end, three separate structures were merged together to make up a 2,952-square-foot space.
After Morton provided an insulated house shell that featured black Hi-Rib steel on side and end walls and a vintage metallic Hi-Rib steel roof, Jeff and Jane continued work on the interior. A handful of subcontractors joined forces with Morton to finish the structure. Some of the interior features include exposed beams, galvanized ceilings, exposed industrial spiral ducting for air-conditioning, in-floor hot-water heating and LED lighting.
The partnership provided the couple the home of their dreams.
“We love the unique nature and isolated lifestyle afforded by this build and can now imagine no other place we would rather live the rest of our lives,” the couple boasted. “It is certainly unique and very personally designed … I think both our family and our horses have the best home in the country.”