Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Restoring The Old Barn

It looked neat from the back porch. Kinda picturesque. But it really wasn't functional at all. Roughly one hundred and fifty years ago the center section of the barn was an old wooden corn crib. Then at some later date they added on to it. Then even later, the original owners of the current house on the property added on with the metal siding and it seems it then served as run-in shed for livestock.

We really don't have enough of the original farm acreage left for cattle. But it wouldn't be a bad little shack for a few sheep and maybe a goat or two. We also need a place for storage so something with doors to keep the bats and raccoons out would be nice.

So the engineer has been plugging away at making it functional again.


It's an interesting project. Most farms now days just knock down any old structures and throw up the new fancy metal pole barns. It's certainly more cost effective to do it that way. But there's something about this old barn that speaks to us. It's been through several reincarnations already. We would like to give it the respect it deserves. But the budget says it also needs to be within reason. So we're doing what we can in the spirit of the recyclers who came before us and we're even doing it without power tools. Okay, HE is doing it without power tools. I just take the pictures.

If you have sill plates that look like this you have a problem. The south-east corner of the barn had a few issues and was literally disintegrating.

So the engineer fancied a new sill plate and is replacing the old bowed and rotten barn siding that was no longer really attached to it.

Below you can see the new barn siding on the left and the old on the right. Once the new boards cure a little he's going back and adding battens in between. Did you know that's why there is such a thing as a batten, to hide the gaps?

We're saving as much of the old barn siding as we can. I'm sure we'll come up for a use for it someday.

Inside, the old corn cribs are coming down and short walls are going up to make stalls. There will be a subfloor put in over the doorway so we can store hay above the stalls along both sides of the barn.
This small section is ready to be a sick bay. Since we have a sick bay on the back porch for chickens we figured it would just be a matter of time before we needed one for one of the four legged animals. There will be a small door leading out to a separate outdoor pen.


It's a lot slower than putting up a fancy metal pole barn, but I think ours will have more character.

19 comments:

Karen said...

One of my favorite series of "This Old House" was the one where they took old farm buildings and turned them into condos but kept the flavor the the old.

Renee said...

Sometimes I think you look for ways to make me feel inferior. I got tired just looking at that project.

It is looking nice though.

thecrazysheeplady said...

WAY more character! Looks great!

Dolly said...

I applaude you two for not tearing it down....we must save pieces of history for future generations to appreciate!

Everyone told us to just knock down our old barn and put up a pole barn.....yuck gag.....
I wanted our big old barn no matter what it took so we restored it and she will stand proud for another hundred years!

I love your new old barn...it looks great!

xo
Dolly

bennie and patsy said...

That is just going to be a wonderful barn.
Patsy

Michelle said...

You warm my heart. My childhood family farm back in KS (a "Century Farm"), both the grand old farmhouse and the barn, are going to ruin because my uncle and aunt don't feel as you do. They moved into a newer house with a fancy metal barn/shop on a piece of land they bought. If I could afford to support my family and fix up the beloved old farm I would in a heartbeat, even though I love it here in Oregon.

Kara said...

That is a awesome project! I love old barns and that one looks like it will give a lot of space. Tell your engineer his is doing good!

Karen Anne said...

Michelle,

Isn't it awful to see old structures fall into ruin. That's the one thing that makes me wish I had a gazillion dollars, so I could save them.

Country Lass said...

I so love that you are doing that. We don't own the 100 year old barn that goes with our 100 year old farmhouse (we're hoping to change that soon). David and I have long conversations about what we would do (will do?) if we owned it - in fact, yesterday he drew up a quick restoration plan.....

Julie-Ann said...

I love what you are doing, too. That old barn will be so beautiful you could use it as a guest house! LOL

LDWatkins said...

So glad you are keeping as much as possible of the old barn. Out with the old, in with the new.....not! So much more character!

Moneik said...

It has great character! I love old barns and one year made everyone in my family a barn related wall hanging for Christmas.

Tammy said...

Just beautiful. Thank you both for not taking the 'easy' route. The old wooden structures have 'character' that the pole barns never will.
Tammy

Milah said...

You guys are doing a good job. When you get done, we have two you can work on.;D

tonya fedders said...

Love the barn! It is coming along really nice! Ours is in much need of repair. (my husband wanted to tear it down and start over, but we compromised, and he has a new barn now, and I have the old one!) I really enjoy seeing old barns being repaired. Glad you're keeping the old siding too.. you'll come up with a good use for it.

Jayne said...

I'm so glad you're saving the old barn. So much more character than a brand-new pole barn. Wish I still had the stable that was at the back of my property.

Lori said...

It looks like a lot of work, but worth it!

Nancy K. said...

What a wonderful job your engineer is doing of restoring that old barn! It is going to be priceless!

As much as I love being single (and I REALLY do!), I have to admit that there are certainly times when I wish I had a man around who could help me with building and maintaining things around here. I get so angry with myself that I can't figure out how to do these things myself...

metalbarn said...

It is fabulous idea to renovate the older barn and use it if you have little money and taste for it.
My friend did the same thing,now he is enjoying his barn even more!