Sunday, March 9, 2014

Old Barn Rehab Update

I wanted to fill you in on the progress that has happened on the old hay barn. We can't take any great amount of credit for this particular project except that we put it in the lap of our good friend Hank and put our two cents in when needed.
Our friend has, over his life of many projects, reclaimed barns for historical sites and has saved more than a few of our structures here at the Homestead.

He is a true master of this sort of "thinking outside the box" carpentry.

In a throwaway world, where anything that is not deemed extraordinary falls into the "Teardown" category, we have found that we save 30 to 40 percent of the cost of a new building by repairing an old building. And we end up with a structure that is full of character, history and usefulness.
This is a framing style referred to as "balloon" framing. It has no posts to get in the way of hay storage.
It is worth saving these buildings. These old buildings are built from a quality of lumber that we will never see the likes of again. It's true that most of them are not perfect, because they were built by the very same man or woman who used them. And despite the fact that their carpentry skills were not the best in the world, they did not let it stop them from building a hay barn from scratch! Now that is the kind of "can do" homesteader spirit we can all strive to attain.
By the way, I found out recently that this hay barn was built at the turn of the century from recycled lumber out of a Grange Hall that had been torn down! If these old boards could tell their story...

A few inches a month, for nine months pulled the "Board and Batten" East wall up out of the dirt.

Then the sill plate and footings were replaced and the rotten wall edge was trimmed off and tin put in to keep the water and mud out and away from it all.

 The above picture is NOT distorted. The hay loft was really that curved because of the sinking East wall.
By jacking the East wall up slowly and soaking the boards with a hose over the span of 9 months, the hay loft was slowly bent back to a more normal shape.
Here is an old photo of the underside of the barn. I took this when I was trying to figure out exactly what was going on under there, without crawling through the old rusty nailed lumber and the vintage Hamm's cans. It was no surprise to me that the entire East wall support system had crumbled to dust.

This is what Hank found when he moved a lot of junk and pulled up some boards to see what was going on. Look at the dirt right up to the floor. The log that was the support for the East wall had completely disintegrated.

Repaired and flattened flooring.

This was the South East corner of the barn. This is the results of decades of dripping rain from the roof line. There were no gutters on this side of the barn until we put some on it. It was also the uphill side, which means it received more than it's share of rainy Oregon runoff from the hill above it.

If you ever build a barn, don't build it at the bottom of a hill.

Now we just need to give it a coat of paint. 

There is talk about inclosing the addition to the barn to put in a proper wood shop. We'll see about that. Until then,

the Barn Swallows have free rent to raise their families.

1 comment:

  1. Boy, that is quite the project! I can understand why many would find it to be such a difficult project and tear them down. But I do so love old barns!


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