Floored By A Barndominium Elevator

Recently I have penned a couple of articles about elevators (yes plural, we have two) in our Northeast South Dakota post frame shop/house. Certainly not every barndominium needs an elevator, but if you have more than one level, there is a better than fair chance someone with mobility challenges will be unable to access portions of your home.

Our full sized elevator came with an unfinished 48” x 54” particle board floor. I decided to test my skills of being overly anal, by covering this surface with coins, mostly pennies!

Here you see a most crucial tool – four foot level used as a prop to hold the elevator door open!


While most coins in this will be pennies, dead center are nine U.S. dollar coins – from Ecuador!

When our youngest daughter Allison was a high school sophomore, she was an exchange student in Ecuador for a year. My lovely bride and I went to visit her and found most money there looked very familiar, as they use American currency. All of those dollar coins rarely seen here? They ended up in Ecuador, where my bride was totally fascinated by them! Hence, their key location.

 In creating this work of art, I realized I had become my Father. I sorted through thousands and thousands of pennies – discarding ones where they were overly worn or patinaed. Coins were organized by me by color and date. I grouped placement so as to feature the birth years of our children, grand children and anniversary dates, while maintaining a pattern.

Camera angle creates some distortion, in reality everything is straight! Area in the upper right is to mimic the pattern in corners of our hardwood floors.

All coins in place in this shot and black grout was used to fill spaces. I used a bench grinder and pliers to shape pennies to fit where the center portion and edges met.

Several coats of clear polyurethane finished up this project. The picture doesn’t do it justice. It’s truly a work of art!
And no, I have no idea how many coins it took to put this together. I had roughly a hundred hours of my time in sorting, shaping and gluing. It was worth every penny!

3 thoughts on “Floored By A Barndominium Elevator

      1. admin Post author

        You would need to reach out to the manufacturers for pricing. Ours ran roughly $75k just for the elevator installed – this did not include building the elevator shaft, or the electrical, drywall and insulation.


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