Dan Sauro’s home
House of the Week: A barn called home
Have you ever been asked, “Were you brought up in a barn?” if you neglected to close a door? There’s a home for sale at 6201 Dyke Road in Sullivan for $269,000 where you could answer that question with a resounding, “Yes!”.
Dan Sauro bought the property — a barn on 50 acres with woods, wildlife and waterfalls — in 1971. Sauro said his wife, Marie, who died in 1981, didn’t share his affection for the spot. Although she found it pretty, she told him she wasn’t interested in spending time there. But his six sons “went nuts with the place,” he said.
For years, Sauro was busy building his photography business, and left the barn as it was. He and his boys used the property for hunting.
About a month before Marie died, she asked him to take her out to see the property. “She looked at the barn, and said, ‘I want you to build that house,’ Sauro said. “She knew I was in love with it.”
Sauro hired contractors and spent most of 1990 converting the barn into a house, doing much of the finish work himself.
A 300-foot crushed stone driveway stretches between mature trees to the timber and stucco structure. The front entrance has recycled, wooden church doors, but Sauro prefers to use the side entrance with its glass door and wide, clear sidelight.
The nearly 900-square-foot lower level has potential as a separate apartment, with its roomy kitchen and full bath adjacent to a workshop and the garage.
Oak stairs ascend to the 2,100-square-foot main level, which has an open floor plan, subtly divided by timber frames into kitchen, dining, office and living room areas. Sliding glass doors line both long walls, providing lots of natural light and views of the property. A 24-foot-long balcony on the back of the home overlooks a wooded hillside, although the property’s stream and waterfalls are not visible from the house.
The home has a 2-year-old architectural-shingled roof and a 20-year-old gas forced-air furnace. There’s no central air, but Sauro says he hasn’t needed it.
“Beautiful breezes blow through when you open sliders on both sides,” Sauro said. “The sun comes up on the front and sets on the back side.”
The main level has narrow plank oak floors throughout, except in the full bath adjacent to the living space and in the master bath, which have marble floors. The master bedroom, also on the main floor, has wall-to-wall carpet.
A spiral staircase of wrought iron and oak leads to a 1,000-square-foot carpeted second-floor loft, also edged with wrought iron and slatted oak railings. The loft, which gets lots of natural light from windows, skylights and a large central cupola in the roof, has not been divided into rooms, but could be. The space could be a home gym, a studio and sleeping space with lots of extra beds, or all three, as it is now.
“I have family reunions here all the time. My grandchildren go nuts here, especially on the spiral staircase,” Sauro said. “They fight up and down the stairs, and throw balls off the loft.”
The property is home to deer and wild turkeys, making it ideal as a hunting lodge or just a place to get away and enjoy nature.
“To me, it’s absolutely paradise,” Sauro said. “People have told me that the home is so unusual, we’ll have to find just the right person to buy it, and I agree with that.”
And for the buyer of the house that used to be a barn, closing the door will be optional.