This summer has been a lot of work for Buck and I. We have been so busy going back and forth this summer that not a lot has been done on the Homestead besides maintenance and winter readiness.
Because of the work we have done this summer, our other house where my dad, son and new daughter-in-law live, has an improved septic system and we have saved the garage from collapsing on a crumbling foundation. It is now a fully functioning art studio where no mice are allowed! This makes my new daughter in law a very happy painter.
We have also started work on the old barn on the property which has some sagging issues and a hole in the side where a hay door used to be. The door had been missing long before we bought it.
I drive by at least 15 barns on my way to the Homestead (a 15 mile drive) and every one but 2 of them are falling down. They are far too costly to repair when their original use is extinct. Sentimentality is a luxury few farms can afford these days. I know at least one farmer who found it was much cheaper and faster to replace the old wood barn with a steel building. The cost to fix the roof on the old barn would have cost the same as his whole new building. In my opinion, the very best hope for the survival of these old barns is to convert them to modern activities, not restore them as relics.
|The underside of the barn is supported by peeled fir logs and 12 by 12's. There is something definitely wrong with the 12 by 12 in this picture. That's next on the list.|
It won't really look original, but the fact is that barns like this, built to house plow horses and the hay they ate in the winter, have no relevance in our modern lives. Keeping a barn interior dark was an important feature- the sun destroys the quality of hay, but more natural light would be a better feature for it's future.
We have had these turn of the century french doors out of an old factory for several years. We had planned on using them to enclose a porch, but changed our minds.
I did a lot of image searches for old barn windows and found that most old barn windows were just salvaged windows put in in no particular way. Perfect, we can do that!
Next summer the barn will get a full coat of paint, red and white stripes and all.
Then we will have our carpenter help us jack up the sagging East wall and let it sit over the winter to flex back into position before we put in new posts and piers to hopefully hold this sweet barn up for another 100 years.