Epic Barn Project Ranch

Epic Barn v1.0 – Completed!

I really can’t believe it. Old man winter really gave us a break this year. It’s almost thanksgiving and we don’t have any snow on the ground. We got our first snow months ago, but it didn’t stick long enough to be annoying.

We have completed v1.0 of our Epic Barn! I’m calling it v1.0 because I’m sure we’ll be doing a lot of finishing work on it before it’s really done, but it is dry enough to put hay in!

Okay, here’s the pictures:

Here’s Donald doing his famous leg hold on the barn to get the hard to reach nails:
Epic Barn South wall

Here’s the south wall completed, which was pretty much done completely by Donald as I was called off to do a bunch of electrical work…
Epic Barn South wall

Honestly, this would not have been done before winter if it weren’t for the Stanfield boys. Donald and Casey did so much on the walls, it was ridiculous.
Donald and Casey

Nora and Liana have been testing out their new shelter and, so far, are really enjoying it.
Epic Barn

Finally, we completed the North wall!
Epic Barn North wall

And what’s a blog post without Mocha? (This first pic is my new dual-screen desktop image.)
Mocha on the Epic Barn Roof

Mocha has learned how to climb up and down ladders and scaffolding. If we leave a ladder leaned up against a pole, she’ll climb up and walk around on the rafters.  I still have no idea how she got up the scaffolding…

Mocha in the rafters

We have started filling up our new barn with hay for the horses. Here is what two tons of hay looks like in our epic barn:
hay Epic Barn
(You can see the horses on the far right of this pic. And since we were going to be stacking hay all the way up to the horses, we built a little wall to keep the nosy out of the hay stack.)

Here is 4 more tons of hay that has since been re-stacked in our barn and you can see the wall we built on the right side of the pic:
hay in the Epic Barn

Before I sign off, I’d like to make a thank you list of all the people who helped us build this epic barn:

Buzz and Connie
Grampa Joe
Buddy and Carol


Ashton and Anna

Epic Barn Project Ranch

Epic Barn Project – Roof Completed

Well, I think we can finally say it’s all down hill from here.

When I started on this Epic Barn Project, I thought getting the poles all straight and perfectly placed was the hardest part of this barn. Then when I go to the roof, I thought that was the hardest part (as I’ll explain below). Now that we have completed those two difficult tasks, we only have walls left. These walls consist of 2×12 boards nailed vertically to the “cross beams”.  Thankfully that doesn’t take a lot of thinking, measuring or calculating to make sure it’s absolutely perfect. We may run into a couple difficult spots (where the rafters come out of the wall for example), but I think it will be easy peasy lemon squeezy compared with trying to calculate where all the roof purlins go… explained below.

Putting up the Second 1/2 Roof

Pretty much all of the material we are using for the Epic Barn Project (including the tin roof) came from our neighbor’s barn. It was just as cool as my barn, but I don’t call it an epic barn because I didn’t build it ;).

Since the roof tin has already been used on a barn, all of the screw holes have already been drilled through the tin. We got very lucky on this first roof because most of the holes were the same distances from each other and lined up with the purlins (wooden 2x4s we screw the roof to). There was only one small area where the purlins and holes didn’t line up.

Unfortunately, the other roof was very sloppy. The holes were all over the place because the old purlins were not perfectly lined up. Even the length of the roofing varied by up to 5 inches!

In this picture you can see that the holes on the top line up with each other, but the length of the tin extends much farther and the second set of holes (bottom) don’t match up either.

So I had to measure every roof tin, put the measurements into excel and put them all in the proper order. Then I had to calculate where the purlins would have to go to match up with all of the holes. Here’s the first half of the purlins: (You can also see the progress on the “West Gable”)

Epic Barn Project Ranch Snow

Epic Barn Roof

*It is late so please excuse my especially horrible spelling.*

After not working on the epic barn project for 20 days, old man winter peaked his head up just to remind me what’s coming. It snowed a few inches in a night on October 9th… Last year we had snow on June 12th. Someone please tell global warming to hurry up, geeze.

This Epic Barn Project won’t be of much help to anyone without a roof… especially if this winter trend keeps up.

First things first: I called my good neighbor Buzz down for some quality construction advice and so he could chainsaw down the excess top of the support poles.
Buzz chops down the epic barn

Epic Barn Project Ranch

Epic Barn Project – 11th Day

Wow, I can’t believe it’s been 11 days since this project began (or than I haven’t posted in 8 days). This is going to be a pretty fast mash of what has happened in the last 8 days. Enjoy!

July 18

Buzz and I took down 75% of the East gable Long Boards, but Buzz got the remaining 25% down before I was able to take a pciture of it the next morning:

epic barn

Buzz also pulled nails out of most of the East gable before I got back the next morning.
epic barn

July 19

epic barn

After I arrived, we spent that Sunday taking down the West gable:
epic barn
(I have to use the crowbar, but buzz just uses his hands.)

At one point, a bunch of the neighbor’s cows came by to see what the ruckus was about.
epic barn

It took about 3 hours (including lunch) to get all of the long West gable boards down.
epic barn

The reason it took so long to take down those boards was because 3/4 of the (huge) nails stuck out though the other side of the wood and had been bent down with a hammer. But overall, we got some good work done:
epic barn

After Buzz went inside I stayed up with Beau, a great neighbor who had offered to help. We took the nails out of almost all of the boards in the hopes that Buzz would be forced to take it easy on Monday… How wrong I was…

July 21

Two days later, Buzz had taken down all of the inside planks and the highest gable boards, so we only have the north wall left to take down.

epic barn

That man is just a work-o-holic.

epic barn

July 24

Over the last couple days Anna, Buzz and I brought down a few loads of wood in the back of Buzz’s Pickup. We’re trying to make organized stacks of the wood around where the barn will be reincarnated.

Today, when I made it back up to Buzz’s he had chainsawed all of the support beams down for the South half of the barn!

epic barn

We started by taking down the final boards on the North wall. There used to be a little pig-pen behind the barn there, so we had to take out the old water-trough and shed that was nailed to the barn:

epic barn
We didn’t even notice that the sun went down in the two minutes it took to flip the pen over.

Then we had to get back to removing the exterior walls. The most time consuming part of this was preparing the boards so that the bent nails didn’t split the vertical 2x12s. Here’s what we did to take the bent nails out without breaking the siding (vertical) boards:

1) Drill a large hole right behind the bent nail.
2) Gently hammer from the back side of the board to try to create a gap between the siding the horizontal support beam. (Brace as necessary.)
3) Using a crowbar or spud bar, pry the boards apart.
4) Pull out the top nails and remove.

remove bent nails out without breaking the wood

Then we just removed some of the remaining rafters and leveraged a post out of the ground:
epic barn

Here’s the final pic of the day:
epic barn

I can’t believe how much has gotten done in only eleven days! Super thanks to Buzz for all the great ideas and hard work. Great neighbors rule!

Ashton Anna