Manitoba man converts grain bin into livable home

After four years of planning, building and improvising, one Manitoba man has finally seen his dream of converting a grain silo into a livable home become a reality.

Suruj Persault moved to Manitoba from Guyana more than 20 years ago, and in 2009 was inspired by his friends to build the unique home.

“I thought it would be crazy, but once those guys kind of say it out to me, you know, I kind of said, ‘Yeah.’ It woke me up,” said Persault.

But converting a grain bin into a home was easier said than done. One of the challenges was finding the contractors with the skills to convert the iconic Prairie structure into a livable home.

Dan Landry of Charpenterie Sans Souci signed on to help with the carpentry and said the task pushed his skills to the limit.

“Nothing is your standard square, 90-degree angle,” said Landry.

Complicating matters were the materials Landry and Persault wanted to use.

“Everything in the house, except for maybe 10 to 15 per cent of the material is all recycled,” said Landry.

Old hydro poles were used for support beans, and many of the materials were sourced from Persault's work, Westeel, a company that manufactures grain bins.

Persault purchased discounted salvaged materials to create his home’s roof.

“Suruj is a legend around here,” said Don Ozero, who works with Persault.

“Very happy-go-lucky guy — always a smile on his face and a very hard worker.”

Now, Persault’s unique home sits just outside of Dugald, Man.

“Even though it's a little more expensive than a regular house, the benefit pays off in the end,” Persault said.

Persault explained the structure is so air tight that last winter, he barely had to use his heating system.

It’s also virtually soundproof, which is a good thing, because Persault’s property sits adjacent to a rail line.

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