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Yankee Barn Homes Builds on 50-Year History

Published Tuesday Nov 12, 2019

Author Judi Currie

 The Yankee Barn mode home. Photo by Judi Currie.

Yankee Barn Homes in Grantham has survived a volatile housing market, changes in design trends and at least two recessions. Now they are celebrating 50 years in business. Founded in 1969 by Emil Hanslin, the company moved from Massachusetts to NH in 1972.

Hanslin’s desire to bring the outdoors inside with a “barn home” exploded and put the company on a national stage. The exposed post-and-beam styling, reminiscent of a large New England barn, and plentiful windows helped to fuel the popularity of open-concept homes.

Paul Marinelli, chairman and CEO, says even as open-concept is waning,  barn style remains popular, particularly in the Hamptons of New York. When Hanslin died in 1998, his son took over and grew the business to a peak of $10 million in annual sales (building about 40 houses a year) in 2006. “But when the economy turned bad in 2008, Yankee Barn’s business fell way off,” he says.

By 2011, the company was losing money and creditors were closing in. “I went directly to the bank, struck a deal to buy it and kept it running without interruption. Today we are twice what we were in 2012, our first full year [of] owning the business.”

Paul Marinelli, chairman and CEO. Photo by Judi Currie.

The company has 20 employees and builds 16 to 18 homes per year. The in-house design team, led by creative director and co-owner Jeffrey Rosen, stays up on all the current building standards and run their designs through an engineering firm to ensure that everything is compliant with standards and codes, which can vary by community.

Beyond the aesthetics, Marinelli says consistent quality is another hallmark. Their homes are manufactured in climate-controlled environments rather than stick-frame built in the elements.  

While it competes in a limited market, Yankee Barn Homes is doing well, he says. “We don’t own the niche but we are a significant player in the northeast.”

At an open house in July, the company invited Yankee Barn home owners to view the current model developed for the Eastman Community development that straddles Grantham and Springfield. The event drew Yankee Barn homeowners representing each decade of the company’s history. “The loyalty to the brand from all these people was just incredible,” says Marinelli.

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