Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Saving the Old Barn

The weekend before last a flat bed trailer loaded with rough cut lumber showed up at our door. The ground was too wet for the trailer to drive back to the barn where the lumber needs to go. So the guys decided to unload it onto the pick up for now and then once the ground was dry the Engineer could just drive the pickup back to the barn.

It seemed like a brilliant idea. Right up until they tried moving the pickup and the lumber stayed with the trailer. Oops. Then they jacked up the rear end of the pickup and moved the trailer away instead. It worked, but then the inside rear tire on the pickup went flat. Oops again.

Things aren't always a bowl of cherries around here.

All of that extremely heavy, fresh cut lumber had to be hauled to the barn by hand. Unfortunately it's so stinkin' heavy I can't even lift a single board, so the engineer has had to do it himself. Some of it is still sitting in front of the garage. And it might just stay there until it is needed. It doesn't seem like the distance from the garage to the barn is very far until you travel it a hundred times. Then it seems like it's about six miles.

That's not the only heavy lifting that's been going on. This dumpster showed up Friday. When they dropped it off I thought "Good grief, we don't need one that big". Then we spent the weekend cleaning out the barn. Hours and hours of walking back and forth to that dumpster. And you know what? It's pretty much full. One hundred years of junk really adds up. (Don't worry, we didn't throw out any of the good stuff.)

In fact we saved a ton of stuff. Notice the framing to the left of this doorway. That wasn't there a couple days ago. Looks like it's always been there, huh?

The new lumber is going up to replace these, uh somewhat challenged boards on the south end. And yes, that tree's going to have to come down along with a few others. The center section where the small ladder is below will have double dutch doors and windows on either side. The left section will be winter housing for the sheep. The right side we don't know what we'll do with yet. It has giant holes in the roof. So far all the estimates for replacing the whole roof have come back to be more expensive than a new roof for the house.

Everyone who sees this barn says it's worth saving. We agree, but that roofing price tag explains why most people just let the old barns fall down. It would be cheaper to build a whole new metal pole barn than to put a roof on this old barn. So I guess for now we're going to try to make it a little more functional by closing in the South side and hope for a roofing miracle.


Unknown said...

Now that's where a $10,000 mower would come in handy!

The barn looks good, have you thought about turning the right side into a greenhouse?

StitchinByTheLake said...

I love old barns and I'm so glad you're trying to save this one! blessings, marlene

Lori said...

I love old barns; we have a 100+ year old barn that used to belong to this house (along with the 39.5 acres that surround us on three sides) that is in horrible shape. It sits RIGHT on our property line and although we have talked to the farmer about it, he wants his kids to inherit it (!). Meanwhile, portions of it have been shored up for his workshop/tractor, while the rest of it is rapidly deteriorating. I'd love to go through it - I already found a McCoy Made in the USA vase worth several hundred dollars in the mule stall he allows us to use for storage.

I'm glad you get to save your old barn.