THE BARN PROJECT
|May 8 2003: This years main project is the
"barn". I have, in the past, avoided this wreck getting into photos
but now I must document the project so below are the "Before"
shots. I have already removed the boards from the east side. I'll
remove some more and then pull the structure down with my car and a
long rope. Then the site has to be dug down and graded a bit,
filled with stone and four corner stones set. The new structure
will be the same size, 16 x 14, but it will have a gabled roof
rather than the shed roof and it will have a floor. The main
structure will be 6 x 6 post and beam. I don't know how I'm going
to do all this but I'll make it up as I go.
|June 4: Big doings. This past Saturday Gavin
came over with a bucket loader and demolished the old barn, pushing
it into three piles at the perimeter and then roughly clearing and
leveling the build site. He is most graciously not charging me for
this and says he will come back to spread the gravel. Today I
burned all the barn wood and some trees to boot. The wood was too
far gone to salvage but I did save a few pieces which looked good
enough for bird houses. I've ordered all the posts and beams and
got a very fair price and I'll be getting a truck load of bank run
slate very soon.
|June 9: Gavin brought over a humongous roll of landscape
cloth, 12 feet wide, and I finished raking up the site and laid out
two, overlapping pieces measuring 18 x 20 so there is two feet
extending all around the perimeter. I've begun mowing up to the
site now, extending my lawns way beyond what is practical for my
little push mower. I got my laser level in the mail today. I'll use
that to lay out the lines so Gavin knows how deep to spread the
stone. The site is quite a bit lower on the south side so there
will be more than a foot of stone there and only a few inches on
the north side.
Woodards delivered the bank run gravel today and I incurred my
first major expense of the barn building project, $220.50 for the truckload of 14 cubic
yards. I was pleased to learn it comes from Sandgate... Wuerslin
Road, but it was not attractive looking stone and I was a bit
disappointed. Upon further consideration, though, I believe it will
serve the purpose rather well. There were some larger football
sized stones that distinguished themselves and I hauled them away
to the retaining wall. The only other expense that I can think of
is the laser level for $15.95
which I ordered from the Lee Valley Tools catalog.
|July 1: I've shoveled and raked gravel about 3 or 4 days
with lots of days in between because this is not a fun job, but
yesterday I started working on a retaining wall for the foundation
and today I used the laser level to set the string guides. What a
nifty tool that is! Of course, if it's rocks, it's fun, so today
was a good day.
|July 14: Richard Sweeney, Jr. delivered the hemlock
posts and beams today. $275.40,
no charge for delivery. Four 6x6x16s, four 6x6x14s, eight 6x6x8s,
two 2x6x16s and two 2x6x14s, the latter four pieces being somewhat
of a mental slip. I thought these might be the top plate but came
to my senses after I ordered them, then figured they will be used
for the joists so let it be. I will get the remaining 2x6x14 joists
myself from Wilcox, as I need them. They will be 16" on center and
depending on my mood, I may add blocking which will make installing
the rigid foam boards all the more complicated... just my style. I
also priced, at Griswolds, a palette (2 tons) of black ledgestone
at $210 + $75 to deliver. They were out of it at the moment,
expecting more this week and I just may order it... a total
extravagance. Maybe I'll shop around a little... call the
|July 17: I picked out and ordered the black ledgestone
and it will be delivered on Tuesday morning. They had ten palettes
and I walked around and examined each one before deciding. I've
cleared the area around the build site of unwanted saplings,
undergrowth, most unwanted weeds and some limbs that may get in the
way of the truck. This truck is bigger than either of the other two
and there's a boom. I have two more trees to cut down. Then, I
think, access will be easier for large trucks although I don't
foresee any more coming in. This two ton palette of stone is my
biggest expense so far, $299.25
I am still pondering how I'll attach the joists to the sill. I
read online that there is actually such a thing as rough-cut joist
hangers and if I could find them I would be one happy camper. I
maneuvered a 14 foot beam over the gravel bed today in roughly the
position it will be in and damn if it wasn't dead-on level. That
has got to be a fluke. I doubt I'll get that lucky with the other
three. I wonder how long it takes gravel 2 feet deep to settle and
stop moving. We've had three hard rains so far but I can't believe
that gravel is set.
||I can pick up an 8 foot beam OK and I can pick up
an end of a 16 footer and pivot it around. I distributed all the
beams to their respective sides. I was concerned about the weigh of
the stock but now I am less so. It's a grunt, but it's doable.
Left: Now this is a joke. I've got 6 inch stock. I need
to cut in 3 inches for the half lap and my saw will only cut to two
inches. So go figure. I have to think about that. Furthermore, this
being roughcut, none of the ends are squared which means I have to
square all of them! I better get a really good hand saw.
Also bought two 5 lb boxes of 20d 4" nails and a 5/6" extension
bit for my drill for $19.42 at
Greenbergs. I also ordered 5 boxes of 3/8 x 4" lag bolts at $15.95
a box. I'm still researching, but I've got a price so far from
Lauzon of $12 each for the angle irons. I'll need 24. I think.
July 22: The palette of ledgestone arrived and now that
I've replanned my foundation, it doesn't look like much, but it has
to be because it's too expensive to get more. I will supplement
with other flat rocks. I've seen some around that I can pilfer and
I'm sure my property will yield up some more. I'll use a cement
block pier in the center.
July 24: Ordered the rough-cut joist hangers today and
bought a box of galvanized joist hanger nails ($8.69) and a 1x16
spade bit (9.49) for a total of $19.09 with tax. I have a cash account now
at Greenberg's so I get a little break on materials. The spade bit
retailed for $10.59 and the nails $8.99 so I can't figure how they
came to the discount that they did but anything is better than
nothing. The spade bit is for drilling the holes that will
accommodate the 1" oak pegs. The joist hanger nails are blissfully
I'm reconsidering using so many angle irons. Now I'm thinking
the more traditional oak wooden pegs with some toenailing might be
enough. I have been combing the net but not finding the right info
for this project. Now I am researching a good post & beam book.
It's been raining every day for several days now and that wood is
I've also worked out how I'll frame the floor.
August 8: Bought the case of 50 rough-cut 2x6 joist
hangers to the tune of $77.70 (1.55
|August 18: I guess today is the first day of
construction. It has been raining and very hot and humid for two
weeks and I would not consider this job under those circumstances.
I cut and squared the two 16 foot beams and built the piers to
support the one on the south side. It came out perfectly level the
first time... a total fluke and one I'll probably not see again.
The cuts went surprisingly well and there was a much smaller center
piece to cut by hand than I imagined. It was a piece of cake to do
with my folding saw, taking only seconds and very little effort.
The ledgestone is a joy to work with and I need only 3 or 4 pieces
for each corner and the center of the span. The southeast corner
needed only 2 stones (photo right). There will be quite a bit left
for aesthetic finishing.
I bought a 5 lb box of joist hanger nails which is marked $8.99
but I get a cash account discount and then there's tax so I don't
know what they really cost but $8.99 is close enough. Also ordered 20
2x6x8 roughcut boards for joists.
|September 10: The cooler
temperatures are making this work more appealing however this whole
project has not inspired the enthusiasm I thought it would.
However... moving on... I finished all the half laps then slathered
some homemade preservative on them (roughly 2 parts motor oil to
one part kerosene). After a couple days, when they were
"touchable", I cut 6 x 24" pieces of aluminum flashing
and nailed it onto the bottom of each beam at each end and in the
middle where the stone piers touch the wood. This serves as a
moisture barrier. Then I assembled the frame and leveled it. Then I
measured corner to corner to determine square and I was off 2
inches. One of the lap cuts was not deep enough and I was hoping it
wouldn't matter, but 2 inches is too big a discrepancy, so I'm
going to have to cut it again.
And herein lies one of the considerations of using rough-cut
materials. I had already made four lap cuts before I realized that
I cannot assume the beams are all 6x6 and my cuts all 3" deep. They
range from a half inch less to right on, so it is important to know
which beam is going to lap onto which beam and measure each ahead
to determine the depth of the cut. Because I had set all the beams
into place about where their final resting place would be, it was
easy to know how to measure once I realized that I needed to do
that. Recutting one lap joint is not a big deal but it reminds me
to think out each step very carefully and I do spend a good deal of
time when I'm not sleeping at night, pondering construction
But all that is for next year. I will be content to finish the
floor framing and decking. The flat surface will be easy to cover
with a tarp and all the construction materials can be laid out on
the new floor under the tarp.
September 16: Picked up the joists,
20/2 x 6 x 8s and
10/1 x 6 x 8s for the blocking, if I decide to
do that, and for the outhouse door. $90. The guys at the sawmill were dubious,
but the car took the load just fine with no visible strain.
|November 6: Kinda dropped the ball here with the
updates. Except for some minor stuff, I'm finished for this season
thanks to John, the carpenter, who helped get me motivated again.
He put in 11 hours total, 5 the first day installing all the joist
hangers and joists, 16" on center, by himself. A couple days later,
working together, he installed all the angle brackets while I
ripped all the ledger strips and cut and installed the foamboard
insulation in between the joists, each hanging on the ledger strips
which John nailed on to each side of the joists, 2 inches down,
using #6 galvanized nails, 5 per strip (photo). Then, as I finished insulating a side,
John laid the 3/4 CDX plywood decking so that it meets tightly over
a joist or beam. We worked 6 hours and I had been ripping the
strapping for an hour before he arrived. All work began from the
center and that premise will continue throughout the floor project.
So far, it's working out very well and I'm pleased.
Some fair expenditure went into this last effort and it's a
sobering testimony to what will be the overall cost of this
building. John charges $20/hr so he cost $120. The 8 sheets of CDX, 7 2" foamboard,
box of galvanized #10s, and a box of (50) 5/16 x 4 lag
screws cost $402.79 (that's
with a cash account at Greenberg's). I ordered the angle brackets from Monarch Auto Body
$171.20 for 16
(1/4 x 4 x 8).
Miscellaneous expenses were a 4' T-square $15.00 which is very helpful in cutting the
foamboard and a (camo print, la-dee-da) tarp to cover the floor
$26.49 at Aubuchon's. So, from
top of the page, the expenses to date are $1,761.78. This does not include some small
tax, the fasteners that I already had on hand and whatever small
purchase I may have missed.
June 20: I put 2 coats of oil-based stain on the barn
June 24: Slowly getting into gear. Moved nails, lag
bolts, framing hammer, angle irons out to building site where they
are stored in a plastic container. Ran the power out there a couple
days ago. So far my heart is not in this. Once I get going, I may
pick up the ball again.
August 30: Paid $312.80 to the
sawyer for 5/6 x 6 x 8',
20/2 x 6 x 16',
20/1 x 6 x 16' &
20/½ x 6 x 16' but the latter two are
mostly for fencing.
Sept 22: The project begins. Today was spent working with
John. Mostly I moved all the rough-cut lumber that was delivered a
couple weeks ago. It is green hemlock and really heavy. It is
amazing how much lighter the hemlock beams are from last year. John
cut all the posts and beams to size.
|Sept 22: I cut all the floor pegs and
rounded each end with a file so it would insert easily and John
installed all nine in the floor. The corner pegs are 6 inches to
tie the lapped sill beams plus the plywood decking and about 3/4 to
1" into the post. The rest are 3". Since rough-cut has varying
widths, I made a 6 x 6 template of flashing with a hole punched
dead center so we could be assured that the hole we drilled in the
post would match up with the peg in the floor. That went well. John
refined the cut on the posts, squaring it with a power planer and
they fit comfortably tight into the pegs. In fact with only 3/4" of
peg protruding, the post stood without my holding it... but I did
anyway, until John nailed in the bracing.
Sept 24, Friday: Got up all the posts and beams. All the
corner posts are pegged through but I cut off the pegs under the
mid span posts because, for reasons I cannot remember, we decided
the top beams should go on first and it was too much of the pain to
fit the posts under them and onto the pegs. It would entail one of
us holding up the beam while the other wrestled the post onto the
peg. It was overkill and unnecessary. We toenailed all the posts
top and bottom.
Because the beams were seasoned, we could lift the 16 footer
into place. We would not have been able to do that if they were
green. John swears they weigh half, literally, of
what they were last year. There was no discernable shrinkage and no
checking and they spent a year outdoors, uncovered. Hemlock rules!
The diagonal bracing has to stay until the plywood goes up. No more
work now until Tuesday. I have a lot of materials to buy. Gave
$380 to John for this week's hours.
Bought at Greenbergs: roof cement $5.61
Bought at Home Depot:
||2x4x92 5/8 studs
||15/32 CDX spruce plywood
||Metal roofing 26"
||Bag 1½" roofing screws
||Rolls 30lb felt paper
||Boxes coated sinkers 8p
Tax = 65.07
Sept 27: Rented the Home Depot truck and brought home the
plywood, studs, and metal roofing. Truck rental: $25.44. Bought 3/2 x 4 x 12's to
support the metal roofing on the truck, $17.49
Sept 30: There is at least one piece of plywood on each
side now so the bracing is off. The door and all but one of the
windows is framed. All studding begins at the center point of a
span and works outward, 2' on center. That way I can always know
where they are after the walls are covered on the inside.
$320 to John for this week. $82.84 to RK Miles for
2/2 x 10 x 18' and 2/10' metal roofing ridge
pieces both of which will be delivered on Monday.
Oct 4: $41.27 for 20 roughcut
joist hangers at RK Miles. (2.06 ea, compared to 1.55 ea for a box
of 50 at Greenbergs last year)
$46.29 for 15 precuts at RK ($3.04
each, compared to $2.89 at Home Depot and the latter had better
Oct 5: I had too much web work today so John had to work
alone. All the sheathing is on now. $6.83
for a tube of silicone caulk and joist hanger nails at Home
Oct 6: Today we got up all the joists for the loft floor
and 2 pieces of plywood. Since it appeared I had some extra pieces
of plywood, I demurred to using the 1/2" for the floor, even though
I wanted to put on 3/4". But down the line I can put another
flooring over that 1/2". The joists are 2' oc. There is a
2 x 3 board nailed into the top plate on the long (16')
side, flush with the exterior plywood sheathing and it is on this
that the rafters will sit. This extra piece allows for a graceful
seat of the plywood decking on the loft, a very nice touch, I
Oct 7: $68 to Sweeney for
6/1 x 8 x 8s (fascia) and
10/2 x 6 x 12s (more rafters)
Oct 8, Friday: The ridge and 8 rafters are up. John had never done a ridge like this. I didn't know I was wanting anything unusual. I just wanted the 6" framing precedent to carry up to the
ridge beam as well and the end result is aesthetically appealing. John likes it and was eager for the challenge. Doing it this way does require a bit more calculating.
Since my sawyer did not have any 18' stock, I bought 2
dimensional 2 x 10 x 18s and these were rabbeted into the outside of the 6" post that supports it on both sides and extends out one foot on either end for the roof overhang. That
left a 3" space in between them and this was filled with a roughcut 2 x 3 aligned at the bottom. Then blocking was installed above that in the space between the 2 x 10s. Then John
nailed a mitered 2 x 6 on top of that and a mitered dimensional 2 x 4 on top of that. Pretty beefy but we've got a nice triangular nailing surface for the roofing.
|9 Oct: Bought 60 feet of nylon climbing
rope to keep me from falling off the roof, if I actually get up
there: $11.63 and another box of coated
1 x 8 fascia in place
Interior framing, temp stairs
|13 Oct: I returned to Home Depot the 18 pieces of 2 x 12 corrugated galvanized
roofing and exchanged it for 12 pieces of 3 x 12 brown metal roofing. The additional expense came to $71.41
19 Oct: Bought a box of galvanized tens: $6.89
20 Oct: We finished the roof on the north side and removed the scaffolding. Tomorrow we start the south
side. With the scaffolding, being on the roof was no big deal at all. It was like being on a roof that ended at the ground. I screwed in the lower 4 courses and John did the upper five. The 6th and
last panel was done with the wooden ladder resting on the 5th panel, a cleat on the scaffolding holding it firmly in place. There were 6 panels, 45 screws per panel, 270 per side. John marked every
screw position on the sheets before we put it up. I started all my holes with a nail but John could just screw them right in. It went like clockwork in about 1 hour and looks perfect. John is
meticulous about measuring and it pays off.
21 Oct: Bought another bag of brown roofing screws (15.99) at Home Depot and a 12 gauge 100 foot extension cord:
22 Oct: Friday. Paid John $640. We've got the south side all sheathed and strapped. Monday we put on the metal.
23 Oct: I'm out of
money. Writing checks against my home equity line now. Exchanged the galvanized roof ridge pieces for brown and got 4/2 x 4 x 12s and 10/ 2 x 4 x 8 (precuts, actually) and 30 roofing screws at rk
Miles. (The bags I had gotten from HD contain 250 screws. I need 270 per side. I had some extras from doing the house roof but not quite enough for the ridge.) $41.48 /
27 Oct: The roof is on and the gables sheathed except for a small triangle at the top of the west side. After
that's done tomorrow, we'll start installing the windows. I got the hang of screwing down the metal and didn't prenail at all of this side. Awesome lunar eclipse happening right now, fully covered,
blood red at 11:00 pm.
28 Oct: Installed all the windows today. Paid $16.44 for door hinges and lock set and $10.71 for a piece of red oak for the door sill, both
at rk Miles.
29 Oct: Friday. Today was spent solely on the installation of the door. All the jambs, sill, stops had to be made and fitted and the end result was perfect. Paid John $522.89 but $72.89 was for 4 sheets of ½" plywood he picked up for me. As it turns out, we only needed 2 more so now I have 2 extra.
John is done for a while. I've got
to get organized out there. I want him to make the stairs but I don't know when yet because the temp stairs work just fine for now.
I filled the cavities around windows and door with spray foam.
The exterior side of the door has to be stripped and stained and I am going to fill the glass panel opening with 5/4 wood. The exterior door and window trim will be part of the siding so that won't get
done until next year. I need to get the roughcut board and batten siding ordered so it can season but I have to recoup my expenses first.
About the windows and door: The two matching pair on the
south side are steel clad thermopane. Mom got them at the Lion's auction two years ago for $2.00 for both. The 6 lite casement window with storms was
$40 at this year's Lions auction and the small double hung with storms on the east side was $10 at the yard sale last year. The door I've had for a few years and I
don't know if I paid anything for it. It is 1¾" solid wood, 36" wide.
Oct 30 Returned one roll of felt paper.
Bought a 5/4 x 10 x 10
at Greenberg's which is for the empty door panel. $20.44
25 Sept 2019: Bought 6 hemlock barn boards from Dorr - $30.82
29 Sept 2019: Bought cove siding for gable ends at Paulson's - $421.85
10 Oct 2019: Finally got most of the siding up on west side. Gables will be horizontal cove lap.
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