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Author Topic: "Sad" Wisconsin barn  (Read 6842 times)

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Offline Zimmysevenfive

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"Sad" Wisconsin barn
« on: September 14, 2012, 06:06:08 pm »
Hello forum members and guests!  I'm new to the forum and would like to post about my barn.  I'm hopefull that someone more knowledgeable than me can help give me some direction of what I may do with it based on it's current condition.  I am the owner of a "sad" Wisconsin barn and have been trying to decide its' fate for a number of years now.  During these years nature has been trying to decide its' fate also and sometimes I'm afraid my time is running out.  I use the barn to store about 250 bales of hay for our sheep and house the chickens.  We do our spring shearing in the barn also and it is used for storage. 

It's main problem is the foundation and sills.  In many places fieldstone has fallen completely out and there are gaping holes in some of the walls from this happening.  The wall along the bank side is also pushed in a fair amount but still standing.  Some of the interior posts have sunk into the barn floor and caused the mow floor and all the way up to the roof to sink.  I tried to measure with a laser and I think the lowest spot was down a bit more than one foot.  I jacked up along one of these timbers in the spring and put it on some heavy cribbing in the hopes of buying myself more time.  The main timber frame not counting the sills seems to be in pretty good shape.  There are a couple wind braces that have fallen and a few of the other timbers are not where they should be due to the sinking and foundation problems.  For awhile I was considering trying to support the barn and replace the foundation with a poured concrete wall below the frost line to maybe 4 feet or so above ground and then building in the rest with block.  I'm just worried now that the barn is too far out of shape for this to be a good idea.  I also don't like the idea of working inside the barn jacking things up with the thought that it may not be stable or safe running through my mind.  I have recently considered the possibility of taking it down, putting in a proper foundation and rebuilding it.  It is a 48' x 54' early 1900's bank barn.  I would imagine this to be a very costly option but would probably leave me with the nicest barn in the end.

I would appreciate any comments or discussion that anyone would like to add.
Thanks-
Zimmy
 

Offline Jim_Rogers

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Re: "Sad" Wisconsin barn
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2012, 07:28:23 pm »
I think the first thing you need is to get someone there who can do a proper assessment.
Which will most likely be followed with a plan for emergency stabilization.

Once the barn is stabilized and not shifting any more. Then you'll have some time to consider all your options.

That would most likely be fix the worst spot first. What that is, where it is, and how much it will cost depends on exactly what the overall barn condition is.

I once arrived at a barn about to be restored and asked the carpenter what was he going to do first as he was building two very nice doors for the sliding door entrance.

He told me he was going to go up and put a new roof on, as I could see through the existing roof to the trees above.

While looking up I could see a timber frame brace that had dropped out of it's mortise pocket.

And I asked why did that happen? And he didn't know, why.

As we look at the tie beam that it was suppose to be connected to we followed it over to the back eave wall of this side entry English barn, and the rear wall post that the tie beam was connected to was rotten clean through and about 4' of it was  completely missing.

I explained to him that putting a new "heavier roof" on a barn that doesn't have a good foundation or support was not the first place to start.

I did tell him that he needed to tarp over the entire barn so that the rain expected that night was going to come through the roof onto his two nice new doors on his saw horses in the middle of the center isle.

We worked together and I provided him with stock for him to replace the sills. And I taught him how to repair a post in place with a new bottom to the new sill. Which he did first before he put on the new roof.

Basically you have to start at the bottom and fix that and work your way up. After the barn is secure and save to work on.

I hope my story and explanations have helped you.

Good luck with your project.

And keep asking questions.


Jim Rogers
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Offline beenthere

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Re: "Sad" Wisconsin barn
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2012, 08:48:49 pm »
Zimmiesevenfive
Welcome to the Forestry Forum.

There are a couple threads going in the recent months about the barn renovations, and I assume they have given you some ideas.
Where are you located?
Does the roof leak? How long?

Would like to see some pictures of the condition now, as that may help with positive suggestions.
south central Wisconsin
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Offline shelbycharger400

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Re: "Sad" Wisconsin barn
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2012, 08:57:27 pm »
pictures?/
typing this post to repair isnt going to be an easy.

we did this on a buddys late 1800's early 1900's peg n post barn.
His was rotted all the way around on the ground.
take the outside siding off .  put in a few posts to shore it up.  then take and jack it up with a BIG bottle jack, then block under the posts ect.. when  its where its supposto be build a new wall over cement.  His barn we just poured concrete in a trench somewhere between 6 to 10 in thick and 8 in wide.  we cut the rotted posts off and set them down on the cement, and tied them off too.       their is 2 walls that need to be done badly yet but he lost interest, the 8x8x12 cement blocks are sitting their too. . His old man did put concrete triangles under the main beams years ago, and put in 1/2 cables through the walls and up in the loft.   

Offline Zimmysevenfive

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Re: "Sad" Wisconsin barn
« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2012, 10:31:57 pm »
Thanks everyone for your stories and input so far.  I will try to answer some of your questions.  I'm located near Whitewater in south east Wisconsin.  The roof on the barn has just begun to leak in one spot that I know of.  It is 3 tab asphalt shingles and I intend to go up this fall yet and patch new shingles back in.  The roof is about 20 years old and close to needing to be redone.  There are some log type floor joists and hay mow flooring that was rotted before the roof was replaced 20 years ago.  Some of these joists and flooring are no longer in the barn.  I'm not as concerned about the mow floor and joists as I am about the foundation at this point.  Here are some pictures.
 

  

  

  

  

 

Offline beenthere

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Re: "Sad" Wisconsin barn
« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2012, 12:46:51 am »
Well, you for sure need a foundation. ;)

As I see it, start with timber supports in key places with cribbing that will eventually allow you to jacke up the barn. Need to plan it so at least one wall at a time can be ripped out, new footers poured, and at least a half wall poured. Then put block on top of that to any new support timbers to replace the rotted ones.
Look at how a house is cribbed up before the moving company moves it to a new location.

With plenty of cribbing (own sawmill or own logs taken to a sawmill) and some careful planning, will be a lot of work but doable.

How much are you looking to do yourself, and how much contracted out?

Rooster, forum member here and administrator along with Jim Rogers, lives not too far from you and may have some better suggestions than mine. He may offer an opinion on dismantling the barn, as to the in's and out's.

Thanks for the pics. And good to see a roof on it, albeit near the end.
But apparently you feel safe on the roof. Right?
south central Wisconsin
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Offline Zimmysevenfive

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Re: "Sad" Wisconsin barn
« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2012, 09:36:37 am »
Beenthere,
Your suggestions for supporting with cribbing and replacing one wall at a time sound similar to what I was thinking about doing.  I think maybe I need to get more cribbing in there before any more jacking is done.  Does anyone have any references to the proper way of supporting a wall while the sill is replaced and foundation work is done?  I have some ideas but am not sure if I'm on the right track or not.

My north wall which is the one with the steel "I" beams sticking through it in the pictures above is 54' long.  There are four upright timbers along this length.  My barn has two bays 20' each and a 14' center driveway to make up this 54'.  I know these "I" beams are not supported well and are not what I should have there now.  The two middle ones are each below the upright timber.  I put them in years ago with good intentions but not very good planning.  I need to support this wall soon since if you consider the window openings and holes in the foundation it is not sitting on much right now.  I don't think there is alot of weight on this wall though since I think it is only really supporting the last 12' of roof or so.  The other problem with the north wall is the corner that is poured concrete over 2' thick with the upper corner broken out.  I don't know if this should be eventually removed so the wall can be fixed along the whole length in the same way or if it should be left and somehow repaired or tied into the repairs I would be doing there.  I'm not sure how to go about removing it if it should be removed or if it may be better to just leave that amount of concrete alone.

I would like to do as much of the work myself as possible which probably explains why it isn't done yet!  I feel safe on the roof.  When the last roof was put on rafters that were in bad shape were replaced and the barn was sheeted over with 7/16 osb before the roof was put down.

Offline Jim_Rogers

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Re: "Sad" Wisconsin barn
« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2012, 10:40:17 am »
Cribbing for support.
One well know restoration company from my area uses 6x7 cribbing blocks.
Like this:

 

That is so when you need to insert some blocks between the cribbing stack you can put the block in on the 7" wide face. Normally the 7" wide face is the height of the block and the 6" is the width.

When you roll one on it's side it slides in and make a good base for the jack, like this:



This will help you to support the center areas of your barn.

Now to support your post you may need to have some brackets welded up.
Something like this:



And here is a close up of the post bracket:

 

These types of things can be used to support the wall posts while the foundation is repaired underneath.

Jim Rogers
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Offline Zimmysevenfive

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Re: "Sad" Wisconsin barn
« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2014, 11:06:08 pm »
It has been a long time since my last posting here about my barn.  Thanks for the clear pictures of the cribbing and jacking weldments in your last post Jim.  The barn is still in the same condition or slightly worse than when I originally posted.  I am strongly considering taking the barn down with the hope of re-erecting it on a new poured concrete foundation.  I have a few reasons why I think this may be the best plan for saving the barn. The foundation is so bad at this point that there really are no walls that would not need to be replaced.  The sills are bad on most of the barn due to decay or having been replaced incorrectly with smaller sized timbers that were not joined in any way to the timber frame posts.  The barn frame from the hay mow floor up is in pretty good shape from what I can tell.  I have one center post on one of the middle bents that will need to be replaced due to powder post beetles.  The roof is asphalt shingles and needs to be replaced but I don't want to spend the money on a new roof if the foundation and sills can't be fixed first.
Rebuilding the barn from the ground up would allow me to have a good level and hopefully long lasting foundation to build on.  I am considering 8" thick walls poured at 4' below ground to either 2' or 4' above ground and then erecting the main timber frame on this new foundation.  I am also considering shortening the posts and siding by the height of the above ground portion of the foundation.  The barn would not have a hay mow with this plan.  Has anyone seen this done to a barn like mine?  Can the timber frame posts be anchored to the foundation without needing sill timbers like the original barn has or is it best to find new sills and have the posts mortise and tennoned to the new sills? If anyone has any thoughts on this I would be happy to hear them.

Offline SPIKER

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Re: "Sad" Wisconsin barn
« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2014, 11:28:56 pm »
Using the photos Jim posted what you MAY be able to do is to jack the entire building up off the foundation walls using a dozen or so of these "Cribbing Piles" to support the barn a foot or two above the existing foundation & LEVEL.   While the barn is UP the old foundation can be tore out and a NEW one put in place of it.   While it is up you repair/replace the sills and rotted bottom sections.   Drop it down onto the NEW treated sills and then tackle the beetle damaged post...    Sounds simple  ::) :D :o   now to make it happen is a LOT more to it ;)

If you can locate some BIG beams you can get away with a lot less cribbing but will still need some good help.   There are House Movers that have all the cribbing and jacks that are tied together and move with equal pressure to lift it even.    They might be able to do the job start to finish but cost would be a lot more...   

Mark
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Offline D L Bahler

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Re: "Sad" Wisconsin barn
« Reply #10 on: July 19, 2014, 12:52:44 pm »
Hello,

I don't know if it is done in this country, but in Switzerland it is commonly done that an entire building is jacked up and the foundation completely replaced, not always with cribbing though often they use heavy wooden posts. This is often done too that the building is jacked up and some or all of the walls replaced while the roof structure is held up in the air.

I think it is a matter of cost here, is it worth it more to just take the building out and redo the foundation and then start over with all new siding, floor framing, and roof covering. It seems most of this would need replaced anyway?