Saturday, March 15, 2008

Our Barn

One of the reasons we moved here was to have some acreage, way out in the boonies, raise a few animals and have a Huge veggie garden.....

Since there wasn't a barn here, we had to build one. We tossed around a few ideas...we wanted it to be inexpensive but solid, custom built for what we would use it for (pigs, laying hens and some meat birds, livestock feed storage).

So we thought and thought and thought some more. One night after a few drinks (funny how ideas flow better when the wine is flowing), we had a bit of a "Eureka" about a barn built in two stages? This would spread out the cost over a couple of years, it would enable us to move our laying hens down there and get them settled in, plus we could get a couple of feeder pigs.

Putting pen to paper, we came up with a "half barn".....since we also would need a place to store either extra vehicles (da G man has a bit of an addiction that way) or our future tractor, we would end up with two sections with a breezeway in between. Sounded perfect. And so we began.

G excavated and poured footings. Then he stuck those saddle thingies in the concrete. We got some logs from when the barn next door was taken down, so he used those for the posts. He hewed out the bottoms and put them in place. This is what the first "half barn" looked like with the rafters up.

He cut all the wood (except for those logs from barn next door) to size with his sawmill....see back a few posts for more info on the mill). Then came the he is trimming the strapping.

Oh and look how green everything looks down the valley behind him....oh I can't wait for all the snow to melt, and things will start to green up.....aaaaaaah, almost there!

Next came the metal roof, I think it took us four hours to put it on, it is not that hard to do....until you get to that last sheet, that one is a bugger!

Here's a pic from the other can see the chicken coop starting to take shape.

Ah, now things are starting to come the way, those fence posts you see will eventually be two separate runs for my layers. Two so that they can run around in one, while a bit of rye grass or alfalfa is growing in the other. Ultimate goal is to have greens growing in either run, and rotate the hens between them. This will allow them to nibble a bit, and when it's eaten down, they get moved to the other run.

See the 2 little tiny doors? One on the side and one on the front (with black tar paper). We can just close off whatever door we like, and choose the run we want them in. Upper hole is for the window, one on side and one on front.

OK, so here it the "half barn" early last August. This pic was taken from our porch. This is pretty much the way we thought the barn would stay until the following year, except we wanted to finish off the siding.

Chickens on one side, and our 2 piggies on the other.

But then in September, the parental units all came along for a holiday....which to them means, we take a holiday we lay around, go for lunch, sightsee...not these 4 (we had both sets of parents here at the same time). These people like to work...keep busy is their motto, none of this hanging out on the porch for them.

So my Dad got busy doing firewood (he LOVES to split and stack firewood, he's kinda crazy that way)...Dad likes two things, working and coffee, and not neccessarily in that order. Anyway, the G man and his Dad figured well why not put up the other "half barn"? Well, why not indeed! Hop to it, fellas....and so they did.

Check out the posts and bracing....

There goes the strapping, then comes the metal roofing...
TA DAH!!! And the outer shell is completed before the snow flies....even storage for this winter for G's old beauty!
Here you can really see the breezeway between the two "half barns"....we are loving the way it is turning out. There will be a couple of rooms for meat birds (where the truck is parked now), plus we will design those rooms so if we eventually want a cow or horse in there, we can easily accomodate them. Plus we will have a feed room. We will close in the upper portion and use it for hay storage, etc....Cool, no?
Total cost was just over $1000.00. $500 for metal roofing for each 50 lb. box of spikes, and some concrete for the footings. The windows we found at our local "mall" (read dump), man door and insulation for the coop was given to us by friends who were doing a clean up at their property....ya gotta love it when u can do it cheap!!
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