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  1. #11
    Bronze Member
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    Feb 2012
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    85
    Location
    brunswick, me
    Tractor
    don't

    Default

    Weldershrek,

    I've done lots of this kind of work and saved many barns in much worse shape than this one. Don't let the size of it discourage you. First things first, but that might be said bottom things first. The procedure I follow is just like felling trees: start by inspecting the area for any obvious hazards, i.e. large sections of open/crumbling roof that could fall on you as you work beneath it. All of that will have to be dealt with in some way, but it doesn't seem like you have much of that with this barn. Then plan your escape route, i.e. keep your alleys open just in case and don't clutter your feet. Then make calculated cuts and go slow.

    I would start in one spot and work my way around recreating a foundation, usually pile-ons of some sort, adequate drainage, and sills. Around here we have access to tamarac, which is rot resistent, but you'll have to use what you can get. Temporarily support what's above as much as you can and jack a bit if necessary - but go slow and listen closely. I've had deadmen slip and they make all kinds of trouble in a hurry when they're under that much pressure and let go. Even if you have to cut the bottom of some posts away to bring your sill to level, the bottom of the post can be resupported with another section of post scarf jointed into place afterward.

    Work your way up to the roof with sure footing underneath of you. A lot of the lean will come out of the building as you jack it. It is possible that some beams have been bent out of shape by gravity for so long that they won't straighten, so be practical and don't put things under too much pressure. If your jacking and nothing is moving, stop. Your just storing that potential energy somewhere and it will release at some point. A 12 ton hydraulic bottle jack will lift plenty of barn, so if it's not lifting it's because something is binding.

    I prefer to not gut anything that I can't reach from sure footing with a small step ladder. I've stood on a perlin that looked sound as a nut only to find out that the center is completely rotten - mice jumped out, the lap seat failed, the perlin slipped, and I clung for dear life for about a half a second. It sure wasn't a lot of time, but it sure felt like it was! Go slow and don't trust what you see until you have verified that what you think you see is.

    Enjoy the process. There's a lot of craftsmanship in these old barns that is well worth saving. Besides, it's way cheaper to fix than to build. Feel free to private message me with any questions, or reply here, or call, or whatever.

  2. #12
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    837
    Location
    sioux city, ia
    Tractor
    Oliver 1855, Case 1840, Cub 1550

    Default Re: rebuilding 1800's barn

    Im glad to see your saving this barn, good luck!

    Dave

  3. #13
    Epic Contributor jinman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Posts
    21,013
    Location
    Texas - Wise County - Sunset
    Tractor
    NHTC45D, NH LB75B, Ford Jubilee

    Default Re: rebuilding 1800's barn

    Since the sides of the barn are clear, it seems maybe pouring a brick ledge around the foundation and putting rock veneer up 30" or more would eliminate future exposure/splashing problems around the foundation of the barn. After pouring the ledge, you could fill the gap with sealant to keep out water and add additional flashing behind and under the rock veneer to keep moisture out and reduce freeze damage. The rock should not detract from the barn's style if you decide to stay with the weathered board exterior.
    Jim


  4. #14
    Silver Member Waldershrek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    109
    Location
    Upstate NY

    Default Re: rebuilding 1800's barn

    Well it's been awhile but I thought I would update the thread. This week we got all the beams that were bad replaced. It was a bit of a project since the main beams weighed 600lbs each. The Amish sent over their lead barn guy who is in charge of all their repairs on old barns they buy and the boss man on all their barn raising jobs. they brought a couple other guys for labor and then me and my dad helped too.


    Some of the beams on the floor in the barn. Amish guy is cutting a mortice in the one of the main beams.

    To get the main beams up we used a pulley attached to roof beam above. We got lucky in that there was already a hook there. I assume it was there from when they built the barn, they must have done it the same way. We kind of cheated and used the four wheeler with the winch to do the actual lifting but it worked pretty good.


    One main beam set






    The hardest part was actually getting the mortice and tendon holes to line up so the pins could be put through but we finally got it.


    Both main beams in place as well as two new vertical beams. We had to run a cable around the main vertical beams on either side of the barn and pull it together to make sure the new horizontals were where they were supposed to be. The one side was leaning away pretty bad previously.

    We did replaced more beams but I gotta get pictures taken. All the beams that we replaced were either broke or rotted. Most of the old beams literally turned to dust once we cut them out and threw them down to the barn floor. As the Amish guy said once we were all done, "I think this barn just breathed a sigh of relief!"

    So now that we have all the beams replaced, a new roof is coming this spring or summer. We didn't think the barn could have taken the weight of a metal roof the way it was and after seeing how bad those beams really were we were right. After the roof is complete, we'll be jacking the barn up along the one side and replacing sill plate as well as knocking out the old creek gravel cement foundation that is all broken and replacing it with a block wall.

  5. #15
    Platinum Member deezler's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    560
    Location
    Southeast MI
    Tractor
    Cub Cadet 7305

    Default Re: rebuilding 1800's barn

    Awesome! Keep that old beauty standing proud.

  6. #16
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    329
    Location
    Southern Oregon
    Tractor
    Kioti DK45SE Hst

    Default Re: rebuilding 1800's barn

    Beautiful! Love the pics.
    Kioti DK45SE HST w/ backhoe, forks, PHD, box blade, chipper. Living off-grid, Listeroid 6/1 backup, masonry stove, thermal mass H2O storage
    "Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temp Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." Ben Franklin, 1775
    "The 2nd Amendment is the RESET button of the US Constitution"

  7. #17
    Elite Member MotorSeven's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    3,850
    Location
    NE TENN (Hancock Co)
    Tractor
    Kioti DK40SE Hydro

    Default Re: rebuilding 1800's barn

    Great job and nice save!
    2008 KIOTI DK40Se Hydro
    1978 Sling Blade/wood handle

  8. #18
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    154
    Location
    Kansas
    Tractor
    MF 1652 FEL

    Default Re: rebuilding 1800's barn

    Don't want to divert the thread, maybe I should start another thread, but my wife and I are considering saving a barn and turning it into a living space/home. Any ideas or leads would be appreciated.

  9. #19
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    37
    Location
    Vermont
    Tractor
    Kubota L4330

    Default Re: rebuilding 1800's barn

    Quote Originally Posted by LazySusanFarms View Post
    Don't want to divert the thread, maybe I should start another thread, but my wife and I are considering saving a barn and turning it into a living space/home. Any ideas or leads would be appreciated.
    Look up books by Endersby, Larkin, and Greenwood for lots of ideas for repurposing old barns into living space. Gorgeous stuff

  10. #20
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    37
    Location
    Vermont
    Tractor
    Kubota L4330

    Default Re: rebuilding 1800's barn

    Quote Originally Posted by LazySusanFarms View Post
    Don't want to divert the thread, maybe I should start another thread, but my wife and I are considering saving a barn and turning it into a living space/home. Any ideas or leads would be appreciated.
    Look up books by Endersby, Larkin, and Greenwood for lots of ideas for repurposing old barns into living space. Gorgeous stuff

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