Add to My MSN

The Barn Gets a Whole New Front

4/29/2014 8:40:00 AM

Tags: Steel Roof, Barn Beams, Nebraska Through The Lens, Thistles, Rafters, Hay Carrier, Mary Conley

Mary ConleyDear readers,

The men were determined to save the barn the fall of 2011, so soon after finishing the north side, Larry made three more trips out to the farm to work on the front.

 

old

Oh, how those “Nebraska Through The Lens” people would have loved the above photo! The other three sides of the barn were in fair shape, so it was hard to believe the deterioration of the front. A few months after we purchased the property, the scene was even worse. Coming down the slope on the left and all around the front and past was a large swatch of blooming thistles higher than our heads. A refrigerator was laying there on its side, right in front, and we used it to sit on while taking our breaks from chopping out the thistles. You can read about those “fun” times in my previous blogs called The “Weed Commissioner” and “The Farmyard and More Junk.”

crumbled

On this side of the barn, not only did the roof need replacing, but also the rafters and the whole front wall. While Larry did the dismantling, Nancy and granddaughters Allison and Erin tried to haul the shingles, boards, and siding to the burn tank as fast as he tore it down. Notice the color of the sky!

complete rafters

2x6 rafters have replaced the rotted 2x4s, and the front wall is newly framed. Be careful where you step!

osb

The first sheet of heavy plywood is down. I was just told it is actually called OSB board. When trying to correct the mistake and call it that, my spellcheck changed the lettering around! Giggle! I’m sticking to plywood!

finished project

Here is the finished project after the men rebuilt the front of the barn. The whole barn has a new, white, steel roof for protection. A corral has been built, and it is quite a different scene than the first photo I showed you.

patchwork

Now there was time to patch and caulk two of the other sides.

end of building

And prime and paint them. In the above photo, the end is still needing another coat.

me on ladder

This past summer, after we finished painting the shop, Larry and I set out to patch, caulk, prime and paint the front end of the barn that we see from the house yard. This coming summer, we plan to repair the huge sliding doors to the loft and add the metal under the roofing. I can’t wait to show you the before and after photos when we finish.

There are still two photos and a short story that I want to include to end our account of the barn renovation, because writing this blog reminds us of how much we realize and appreciate all the work that our son, Todd, did on this building. In the beginning, Larry and I had no plans, and I’m quite certain we would have just let it finish deteriorating. That would have been sad because it is so unique.

inside ladder

Todd still needed to construct beams for the barn, but in order to do this he first had to erect scaffolding, which was a project in itself. He used lumber left over from previous shipments, and screwed it together so it could be taken apart and saved when the job was finished.

Each of the support beams you see in the photo above contains 50 pieces, and everything about it was a challenge for him. The rafters were uneven, the rear wall was sagging, and there were the heights to deal with and having to handle 2x10s. He said that it was one of the hardest jobs he had ever done. Just looking at it, one cannot realize what it took to figure out how to do this and then implement it. Todd thought the hardest part, though, was just seeing it through to completion. It was quite an accomplishment.

carrier

Notice the hay trolley/carrier still in place.

Even though the restoring of the barn is coming to an end, there is still plywood waiting for a new loft floor, and steps to be built up to it. Oh, and split doors, sometimes called dutch or saloon doors, on the front. I guess we don’t need to worry about sitting around without anything to do when we really get old. Ha! Want to come out and help?! 



Content Tools




Post a comment below.

 

NebraskaDave
5/3/2014 9:24:29 AM
Mary, your barn looks terrific. All that work has really restored the old barn back to a great asset to the property. What will it be used for when it's finished? I'd love to come see it some time but alas as for helping, I am immersed in my own garden projects. I'm in process to purchase another foreclosed city property which will become more of a corner beautification garden than a straight up vegetable garden. It will be landscaped with perennials and maybe a few vegetables scattered around but it will not be a main stay garden like Terra Nova Gardens. I'll be looking forward to hearing about the continuing progress on the restoration of the Iowa homestead. Have a great barn saving day.

Mary
4/30/2014 4:28:11 PM
Thanks, ladies, I'm so thankful we have the photos as even we find the before and after quite amazing as time has caused us to forget.

ASantarelli
4/30/2014 10:55:00 AM
Quite amazing.

Gail
4/29/2014 6:12:03 PM
What a great photo report, Mary! I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the "barn blogs." Gail



Subscribe today

Capper's FarmerWant to rediscover what made grandma’s house the fun place we all remember? Capper’s Farmer — the newly restored publication from the rural know-how experts at Grit.com — updates the tried-and-true methods your grandparents used for cooking, crafting, gardening and so much more. Subscribe today and discover the joys of homemade living and homesteading insight — with a dash of modern living — that makes up the new Capper’s Farmer.

Save Even More Money with our automatic renewal savings plan!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our automatic renewal savings plan. You save an additional $5 and get 4 issues of Capper's Farmer for only $19.95 (USA only).

Or, Bill Me Later and I'll pay just $19.95 for a one year subscription!

(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here