Gardner Leaver, owner of Barnhouse Custom Homes, designs and creates out-of-this-world living spaces that sometimes resemble the historic barn many of us grew up with. Barnhouse is a family-owned design + build company focused on new construction—from traditional stick-built or modified timber frame homes to pre-engineered steel or pole barn structures. Specializing in modern farm homes, Barnhouse harvests old barns to utilize reclaimed timbers and barn board to provide an enriching contemporary country feel. Modern amenities, luxury and charm are built into every board.
Gardner wasn’t born in a barn per se, yet he has found his passion building them. So how did this transplanted New Yorker grow up to be the talented aficionado he is today? His story is truly heartwarming and a genuine slice of down-to-earth Americana.
Originally from Montauk, New York, he was raised on a ranch.
“I’m a sixth-generation rancher,” he says. “Montauk is on the tip end of Long Island. It is a little beach town known for surfing and fishing, and a popular getaway for tourists. I ended up going to University of Rhode Island on a baseball scholarship where I studied entrepreneurial business and met my wife, Amy. She is from Overland Park and was going to school there on a volleyball scholarship.”
Growing up, he was always fixing fences and building sheds, and he and his father, Rusty, built their modified timber frame home in Montauk in 2006. This is when he began his love of building.
“My family sold our ranch in 2010, and we relocated our ranch to Weatherford, Texas.” While in Texas, he cut his teeth on various modes of construction, everything from stick-built homes on slab, to pre-engineered riding arenas and barns. He spent three years there, managing the ranch, training horses and running 700-plus cattle at a time on 350 acres.
“When it came time for my wife and I to have kids, we moved to Overland Park,” he says with a smile. “We now have 5-year-old Blakely, 4-year-old Jackson, and baby girl, Ryan, who is 7 months old.”
When they moved to Johnson County, he spent the first two years doing research and putting together his team. He decided to start the company, Barnhouse Custom Homes, and their first project was a spec house built in northern Miami County which is truly a hybrid in every sense of the word.
“My father and I have partnered with a friend in the Amish community in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. He is our boots on the ground,” he says. “He hunts for old barns to reclaim timbers and barn wood.”
Barnhouse is family-owned and operated. Gardner’s wife, Amy, has partnered with him to assist with day-to-day operations. They are moving into the original spec home on 20 acres in Miami County.
“We have built most of our homes in rural areas, but that’s not to say we don’t build in higher density neighborhoods,” he says. “We are committed to honesty and open communication. I love bringing our clients’ visions to life.”
Barnhouse Custom Homes serves the Kansas City area. Call them at 913.777.8766.