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Author Topic: My Old Barn  (Read 5418 times)

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Offline OldBarnOwner

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My Old Barn
« on: August 04, 2013, 05:21:18 pm »
Thank you for accepting me into the forum.

At the end of 2012 I closed on the purchase of 42 acres in eastern Vernon county Wisconsin.  The property has about 12 acres of woods,12 acres of creek bottom pasture, 10 acres of tillable land, a few acres of farmstead with a 100 or so year old barn on it and various gullies, springs and other land.  The barn is still relatively straight and solid but has been compleetly neglected since 2001 or before.  I have the advantage of having the last owner to work the farm living in the house that was part of the farmstead next door.  It's a long story that I am still learning but he owns the house and I own the barn.  One of the primary things that convinced my wife and I to purchase the land was the barn and it's condition.  The barn measures 36' X 75'.  It is a bank barn with about a 7'6" milking parlor below and a hayloft that is 16' to the eaves above.  I definatley want to save this barn and entertain dreams of converting it to living space with the possibility of a comercial kitchen in the lower level milking parlor.
It is still essentially straight and standing tall though it has some problems.  On the south side the Gambrel ridge leaks.  The gutter above the large hayloft door is rotten so the post next to the door has rotted at the base.  The drive has collapsed  letting water collect against the sandstone foundation to the point where the foundation is no longer solid in the area below the door.

I have to save my pictures of the barn in a format that the forum will accept as they are still in the camera format.

Pictures and more information comming in a day or so.



I will try to post
100 year old vehicles, buildings and tools are precious.
10 year old cars, offices and computers are useless.
Are we going in the right direction?

OBO (OldBarnOwner)

Offline clww

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Re: My Old Barn
« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2013, 05:25:31 pm »
Welcome to the Forestry Forum. :)
We look forward to future posts and photos.
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Offline beenthere

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Re: My Old Barn
« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2013, 07:20:06 pm »
Welcome to the Forestry Forum.
That is some beautiful country in Vernon County.

And pics from your camera to your computer will likely be stored in .jpg format. That is also the format that loads into your gallery (when you have it set up). While there, you can fill in your bio and such. ;)

Go to the "Behind The Forum" Forum on the Home page and the first thread will be a primer on how to post pics. Look forward to them..

And first thing to do to the barn... fix the roof...  ;D  It is the most important part so no more leaking.
south central Wisconsin
 It may be that my sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others

Online thecfarm

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Re: My Old Barn
« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2013, 09:30:11 pm »
OldBarnOwner,I like that.  ;D  welcome to the forum.
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Offline WmFritz

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Re: My Old Barn
« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2013, 10:09:04 pm »
Welcome OBO. You will find ALOT of great advice here.

Congratulations on your new property.
~Bill

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Offline Rooster

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Re: My Old Barn
« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2013, 11:04:33 pm »
Welcome to the Forum!!

As much as I agree with Beenthere that the fixing the roof problem is important, the frame/foundation/structure should be inspected and fixed before a new roof is put on.

A new roof will "lock" the frame in whatever it's shape/ orientation/ or state of being plumb (or not), and will not allow the frame to be jacked or straightened for any repairs without compromising the integrity of the new roof.  Patching to stop damage is ok, but it needs to be seen as a temporary step towards a new roof system.

Rooster 
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       and new barns are a reminder that I am not so young."
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Offline beenthere

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Re: My Old Barn
« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2013, 11:14:52 pm »
Very good point there Rooster.
Just that sometimes the heavy timber and foundation decisions delay getting the roof fixed, and another year and then another slip by. 
Not much will be simple when fixing up an old barn that has had a leaky roof.
south central Wisconsin
 It may be that my sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others

Offline OldBarnOwner

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Re: My Old Barn
« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2013, 09:38:39 pm »
This is a test post.  I'm still learning the details of posting.  As with all things computer (I've been a computer network engineer for 30 years) I've wasted 2 hours then was timed out on my first try. 8)  If this goes through I'll post a few more tonight.

http://www.forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/33342/Barn_Site%7E1.jpg[/img]

This is just a nice little pic of how the barn sits on the land.

Thanks for your induldence.
OBO
100 year old vehicles, buildings and tools are precious.
10 year old cars, offices and computers are useless.
Are we going in the right direction?

OBO (OldBarnOwner)

Offline OldBarnOwner

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Re: My Old Barn
« Reply #8 on: August 05, 2013, 09:47:21 pm »
Close but no cigar.
I was looking to get the Pic in the post not a link.

 

 

Let's see if this works.  I read the menu this time.
100 year old vehicles, buildings and tools are precious.
10 year old cars, offices and computers are useless.
Are we going in the right direction?

OBO (OldBarnOwner)

Offline OldBarnOwner

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Re: My Old Barn
« Reply #9 on: August 05, 2013, 11:37:33 pm »
Ok, enough testing.  I think I'm ready to start.

First I appologize for my quick post yesterday as I received notification of acceptance to the forum just after my wife ordered a pizza so knew I did not have enough time to sort out all the details of the forum that I have been playing with for the last three hours.  Tonight my wife is working and there is some cold pizza in the fridge so I can mess with the computer.  Now let's see if I can get some real information out to the world.

Thank you beenthere and Rooster for the advise already.  I was "lucky" enough to be in the barn during a drenching rain a couple weeks ago.  It appears the two worst places for leaks are the whole south gambrel bend at the low (south) side of the barn and the gutter above the door on the high side.  Water comes in over the length of the gambrel beam where the shingles have been dried by the sun and blown away by the wind.  On the high (northish) side the gutter is rotted out above the hayloft door and drive (probably the worst place for it) poring water onto both.  As the drive is collapsed the water collects at the bottom of the sandstone foundation so has inflitrated it to the point the sandstone acts as a filter more than a stop.  the foundation was orginally a double thickness laid up sandstone that has been replaced with cement block when it needed repair. 

I am not thinking of "fixing" either leak right away but trying to patch them to buy me a few years time to fix the structural and foundation damage.  I have been talking to an Amish neighbor who has a roofing and construction business about these fixes and dismantiling the extension that was build in the 1950's and is completely rotted now. (More about this later.)  He tells me he can patch the roof cheaply with a piece of roofing steel to seal it till I can get the structure solid and be able to afford a full steel roof.  The frame is maple 8X8 post and beam that does not appear to have been eaten drastically by borrers.  I have been told that water leaking on maple beams is a bad thing so want to get them dry a.s.a.p.  Please let me know any opinions on this. 

Now:  After your induldgence here are a few pic's of the thing.

 

 

This is the high side of the barn.  The large door as normal leads into the hayloft.  The tin roof in the forground is the 1950ish addition.  It is rotted out inside and dumps tons of water into the barn so I am going to have it dismantled.  There is good flooring wood and beams in the hayloft that I am going to salvage along with the roof tin.  Notice the kink in the eave line above the door.  More on this shortly.

 

 

This is the low (southish) side from the feedlot.  The cement block is probably beyond repair.  I will probably jack the whole barn off the foundation and replace the foundation with either pored concrete with a sandstone facing or double course sandstone as in the original.  The decision will  depend on what I find when I look for a footing and my dedication to learn how to lay a sandstone foundation.  If you are wondering, my wife is the blond in the pink shirt and black jacket the other lady is the realtor.

 

 

A quick interior shot.  It appears mostly straight and solid.  There are a couple beams that are cracked.  There are blind scarf joints in the center of all the beams.  A couple of them have cracked and been patched.  I plan to cut them out and put in a new beam with the same type of blind scarf joints over the posts instead of being unsupported between the posts.  Any and all opinions on this idea are appreached. 

 

 

This is the reason for the kink in the eave.  It is the frame for the hayloft door.

 

 

Here it is from below.  I plan to cut it off a couple feet above the hayloft floor, take up a couple of floorboards to reach the foundation and put 2 jacks under the hanging section then start slowly jacking it up.  When the eave is level I will cut a toungue and grouve into the new bottom and put in a new lower section with wooden peg fasteners.  Again any and all opinions are encouraged. 
(The first suggestion on my plans I received was to strike a match and walk away.  But, that was from someone who is doing more work on a barn in much worst shape than this and who knew I would tell him that I could not do that!)

 

 

A bonus!  This is a 20' X 30' approximatley grainery.  It is solid except for some tuckpointing.  The roof does not leak.  It has a partial second floor.  My wife has already claimed this has hers.  The old shed behind it belongs to the neighbor.

 

 

For those who are interrested here is the whole place.  It goes from the nearest fence post to the top of the hill.  You can just see the barn over the top of the lower trees.  Between the barn and the bottom of the hill is a little bottom land with a step across creek that runs all year.

Thank everyone for your induldence and all comming suggenstions.

OBO
100 year old vehicles, buildings and tools are precious.
10 year old cars, offices and computers are useless.
Are we going in the right direction?

OBO (OldBarnOwner)

Offline beenthere

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Re: My Old Barn
« Reply #10 on: August 05, 2013, 11:52:49 pm »
Looks like a very nice place to fix up and spend some quality lifetime.  Enjoy the work and the time spent managing the water.
Doing great on the pics and thanks for posting them.
south central Wisconsin
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Offline kderby

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Re: My Old Barn
« Reply #11 on: August 06, 2013, 01:18:04 am »
Wow, That is beautiful!  Thanks for the scenery and the detail shots.  I hope you will take us along for the ride as you catch up with the maintenance.  It will not be cheap or easy but wow!  You can say you were the steward of a beautiful barn.  I think that is a worthy role to play.

Kderby

Offline mesquite buckeye

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Re: My Old Barn
« Reply #12 on: August 06, 2013, 02:07:01 am »
Best of luck in saving a vanishing part of America. ;D 8) 8) 8)
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Offline Axe Handle Hound

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Re: My Old Barn
« Reply #13 on: August 06, 2013, 08:19:28 am »
Beautiful piece of land.  I like the mix of forest, ag land and farmyard.  I am not a barn construction guy so I won't speak to any of that, but I would say you're in for a multi-year project here and a pretty sizable bill.  If you can stomach those two factors, go for it.  I love to see the old buildings restored and given a new life.     

Offline Jim_Rogers

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Re: My Old Barn
« Reply #14 on: August 06, 2013, 09:22:16 am »
You need to search and read my story about scarfs. Placing a scarf over a post is not the best location. Where these original scarfs are may not be the best location either.
But sometimes they had to make them where they landed because of the lengths of timbers they had available to use.

The reason why you don't want a scarf over a post is because that point is where you need the timber to be the strongest. And when you place a scarf there you cut half of it away. How can you ask a timber to be the strongest, and then cut half of it away?

I have written about how to cut a scarf joint for use in post bottom repairs.

And I am currently working on some videos showing how to cut a post to repair it with a new bottom and they should be done soon.

It is best to start at the bottom, with the foundation issues and work your way up the frame. But you may need to do some "emergency stabilization" first. That would include patching the roof to eliminate further rain water from getting in. And proper runoff.

Jim Rogers
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Offline grweldon

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Re: My Old Barn
« Reply #15 on: August 06, 2013, 09:44:14 am »
Gorgeous piece of land and that's a sweet barn!  I could NEVER torch something like that if I were lucky enough to own one!  Welcome to the forum and take lots of pictures!  We LIKE pictures here, especially timber-framed stuff!
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Online thecfarm

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Re: My Old Barn
« Reply #16 on: August 06, 2013, 12:04:15 pm »
Mow and cut those bushes around that grainery and that will look some nice. I would also remove that addition too,if I was doing what you plan. Clean up around it and the barn will look some nice.
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Offline OldBarnOwner

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Re: My Old Barn
« Reply #17 on: August 06, 2013, 09:16:58 pm »
Thank you everyone for your comments.  I actually found this place on a web search.  I thought the price was close to right so went to look at it.  After going up the hill and checking out the creek my wife and I went into the barn and both immediatly knew "WE FOUND IT"!  Needless to say we worked out a deal.  We are still working in Chicago for about another year so the start will be slow.  This years goals are to get the weeds and 6' high burdock chopped down then to clean out a couple tons of old hay and piles of old firewood from the barn.  The weeds and boxelder tree are already cleaned from arround the grainery.  If possible I would like to patch the leaks and fix the door post before the barn has to carry a snow load.  I consider everything I do now as "emergency stabilization" (in Jim's words) so that I have something more than a pile of splinters to work with when I start restoration "for real".  Next July we retire so will have time to work on the place.  Several of you brought up the cost of restoration.  Our retirement income will support us but will not allow much extra cash.  We are planning on working the farm as an organic garden farm to provide the additional income for projects.  I hear local organic hops are hot now.  Anything to help support Wisconsin micro breweries is a good thing.  Even better if I can make money at it. 

Jim,
I like your comments and will deffinately check out you posts on scarfing beams.  I was thinking the post would support the scarf better but your comment that the post actually supports the whole beam and all it holds up so has to be on the strongest part of the beam makes a lot of sense to me.  On the post, I was thinking a tongue and grove with wood dowels would be the most stable joint for a post.  I really want to see your videos on scarfing posts.  It will probably be sometime next year before I get things raised enough to put in a new lower as I am going to take things slow.  By the way, part of the reason the kink is so bad is that there is a scarf joint in the eave beam right on top of this post.  I know that if I don't take care of the foundation problems everything else I do it temporary.  Gravity will overrule anything I think will work.  so at this point I am just trying to keep the barn standing till I can do things the right way.

Sorry guys no additional pictures tonight but as I work on things there will definatlly be lots more pictures.  Including some if not all of the mistakes I make.  Hopefully someday someone else will be as new as I am now and stumble across this forum as I have then be able to learn from my posts as I am sure I will learn much from yours as I work on this project.

Again, thank you all for your suggestions and kind comments.

OBO
100 year old vehicles, buildings and tools are precious.
10 year old cars, offices and computers are useless.
Are we going in the right direction?

OBO (OldBarnOwner)

Online thecfarm

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Re: My Old Barn
« Reply #18 on: August 06, 2013, 09:23:21 pm »
BURDOCK. I hates that stuff as much as Magicman hates sweetgum.  >:(  We had that burdock around here.It's all gone.My slack neighbor has it.  ::)  It's at my stepson place too.  ::)  His dogs gets into it every so often. His started out just a few plants. Not a few anymore.
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Offline OldBarnOwner

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Re: My Old Barn
« Reply #19 on: August 09, 2013, 09:40:20 pm »
Tomorrow morning I leave for 4 days at the farm. 
My goals are to chop more weeds and get a bunch of hay out of the barn.  If I get really energetic I may get a cable on the end wall that is bowing out due to another weak scarf joint.  I may be able to post pictures of my progress over the weekend, or not as I tend to go to bed early after doing physical work all day.  If I don't get updates over the weekend I'll get them up, with pictures, after Tuesday next week.

OBO (Old Barn Owner)
100 year old vehicles, buildings and tools are precious.
10 year old cars, offices and computers are useless.
Are we going in the right direction?

OBO (OldBarnOwner)