Monday, August 7, 2017

Bones of the Barn are Up!


We've had decent weather lately, not horribly hot, which gave us great conditions to get barn work done. We borrowed a post hole digger, industrial type, from some friends and when attached to our tractors PTO, it did a fine job. Our soil is heavy in clay here which proved difficult for digging at times, but good for packing around the posts. That soil type will likely harden around the posts as well as it we used concrete.



Our granddaughter Allana was here one day when we put in the very first post, thus you get the rare photograph of this blog's author. Unlikely you'll see another for awhile, I prefer to be behind the camera.

The work was slow at first as Keith would hook a post to our tractor with a chain, then guided me verbally to the correct spot where I'd lower the post in the hole, then hop off the tractor (hop? Not hardly) then help him with leveling, securing with 2 x 4's, and so on.








As I got better with my tractor skills the process picked up speed. When our son Jason came out to help the last two weekends, things went even faster.



It took ten days but we got all the posts in for the four external walls and the one interior wall. In the midst of it, the county dropped by to check progress. (He actually dropped by to take pictures of our proposed family cemetery site, but seeing our barn work he decided to kill two birds with one pack of regulatory paperwork.)
Yesterday we made the Menards trip to order the new trusses and pro-rib steel for the roof, thus completely emptying out the last of the money in our "Barn Fund" envelope. Those items will arrive in a couple weeks and be directly delivered to the farm. Inside walls and loft floor, shelving for Keith's workshop, as well as livestock stall walls, will all be built with repurposed material we have on hand, or will remove from the old decrepit house as we dismantle it.

If you look closely you'll see the barn posts are an eclectic collection of posts from the 60 year old machine shed we had torn down, brand new posts we bought at Menards (we only had to buy two) and several shorter round posts given to us by my sister Teresa after they sold their house and dismantled that pasture fence.

Next up, we'll apply the skirt boards and purloins from post to post, plus angle braces at end posts. This will give us the structure needed to attach the outside walls using all the recycled steel from the building we purchased for this project.

Keith and Fanny below take a well deserved break.


In other news: we're making great progress on our plans for a family cemetery, we're crazy busy putting up garden produce, the broilers for next years chicken suppers are growing fast and we're making adjustments to the Looney Bins foundation insulation in preparation for the upcoming winter.

 I'll blog about it soon. Promise.


22 comments:

  1. Well done on the barn progress, it takes a lot of hard work, when I helped sink the poles for our fences, I had no idea....
    Great to have the grandchildren visit, they all seem to be good at picture-taking :)
    You've had a busy season stocking your winter supplies.
    ~Jo

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  2. Well it looks like you are off to a grand start, it takes lots of hard work and determination, I can see that !
    I helped dig all the fence posts around our little property, using an auger, I was so glad to be through.
    Always good to have the grandchildren around, if only to delegate the picture-taking :)
    Well done on the win

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    1. Yes, it feels good to be making real progress especially since only about 10 weeks to hard frost time!

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    2. Sorry about the double comment, I thought the first went to Never-Never Land :)
      ~Jo

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  3. Great to see an update on the barn! It must be very exciting after everything it took to get here.

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  4. Awesome job! Was good to see I'm not the only one who does some of the heavier farm work in sandals. I am sure we both know better, but hey, at least we're cool- and cute, right :).

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    1. I hate hot feet. If I'm moving cattle or working my horse I wear boots but from April to Oct it is flip flops. My feet are filthy dirty at the end of the day! Oh well.

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  5. Yay! The barn looks great. Will you have a 'topping-out' ceremony?

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    1. What a great idea. Instead of swinging a bottle of champagne against it we'll crash a gallon of milk against the post. Maybe not. I for one do cry over spilt milk.

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  6. After 2 weeks of being away with limited internet access for blog reading, I see that there's lots to catch up on here, Donna. Keith (and you) deserved a rest after that job. And I also am behind the camera more than in front, but getting better about including myself. Thanks for the good wishes that we will hopefully and eventually sell the VA house, which we no longer regard as "home." We're hoping the tree removal and realtor change brings results.

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    1. Yes, always something going on here. You would think we'd learn to pace ourselves but I don't even know for sure what that means. We need a stormy rainy day so we can catch up on bookwork or at least read a book or two.

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  7. Hi Donna! Your barn is looking great! Wonderful work you all do, I wouldn't have it in me. Your dog is so beautiful. I'm a sucker for big dogs!

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    1. Rain, I was a city girl (Chicago) then a small town girl until I married Keith at age 34. So my farm life came later. It's amazing what we have in us, when we want something badly enough.

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  8. Great job! Can't wait to see it all come together!

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    1. Me too. Do you have any idea of when it will be done?

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  9. It looks GREAT! I love it when something gets out of the planning stages and starts to make an appearance. Since we're working on our own barn, I can actually get what's going on and how it feels! Here's hoping for good weather and diligent progress.

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    1. Planning is fun, doing is great, finishing is FABULOUS!

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  10. I have barn envy now, but I know how much hard work you're both putting in. Ha, you look just like I do in summer when I get called suddenly to hold something and I'm not properly attired in my safety boots. Is it very hot there now? I dread our Australian summers more each year, so energy draining. Give me 12 months of winter and spring please. ;)

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    1. We've had a good summer. A couple hot weeks but nothing too awful. I enjoy all the seasons, Keith hates snow.

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  11. We're hoping the tree removal and realtor change brings results.


    หีฟิต

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  12. Keith and fanny make a beautiful pair... <3

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