Friday, September 18, 2009

Lumber ordered

We've burnt the burn pile that was in the middle of where the barn will go. We've ordered the lumber for the upright supports and the concrete to put them in the ground and we've ordered the lumber for the overhead supports and bracing. That should get here next week. now I need to find a post-hole digger to rent and next Sunday (the 27th), we'll start on building the barn.

This weekend, we're hoping it is dry enough to mow where the barn will be. Then we can use the stakes and string and measure everything out and get ready.

We've also decided to go with a metal roof, so we have to learn how to put that on and price our materials.

The barn is starting to feel like it actually might happen!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Our first set back and a decision to make

We had planned to order the lumber yesterday, have it delivered later this week and dig the holes for the support posts on Sunday. However, we found out yesterday that no one in town carries the 6 x 6s we need for the supports. One place told us they could order them, but it would take 4-6 weeks before they came in. I had a minor panic attack as I want to start this barn now before winter sets in. I know it'll take us a long time to build, but I don't want to wait another month to get started!

Luckily McCoy's came to the rescue. They'll order the 6 x 6s for us, and they'll be here next week. Their delivery charge is only $25, too, so they rock. Spencer is going tomorrow to order all the lumber for the upright supports and overhead support structure.

Now my chore is to find a place to rent a post-hole digger and we can start next weekend.

We also have a decision to make in the next few weeks. We had originally planned on putting on a shingle roof. We did that with the last barn and it looked fantastic. In fact, the barn and house matched and it was gorgeous. Looks and cost are advantages to shingles. And Spencer and I know how to do a shingled roof. However, metal is supposed to be much easier. We also won't have to haul plywood to the top of the roof to if we do a metal roof - and metal is lightweight so Spencer and I can wrangle it without help. Plus metal should go down more quickly. For shingles you have to put down plywood, then tar paper and then shingles. For metal, you have cross supports along the roof and then screw the metal down. And a metal roof should outlast both Spencer and I unless we have a tornado.

The downside to metal is that we've never done a metal roof before. So there's more room for error. We've got to decide pretty soon, and Spencer's going to talk to McCoy's this afternoon to see if they sell metal for roofs and price it out.

Barn building is an adventure!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Barn Building Adventures

Welcome to my new journal - Barn Building Adventures.

I'm starting this journal as my husband, Spencer, and I start out on a big adventure - building my new horse barn. We've got 10 acres, 5 horses of our own, and anywhere from 1-3 foster horses at a time. We just moved to this property in May and it needs a barn. The horses just went through their first real rain with no shelter - and they're not happy campers! They've threatened to call animal control if we don't get to work on a barn right this second. So we are!

We're not going into this adventure completely unprepared. When we were much poorer and much more desperate, we rebuilt a falling-apart mobile home so we would have someplace to live. We bought that thing for a whopping $50. Rebuilt it, lived in it, and then resold it for $3500. Not bad!

We've also built a 12 x 12 shed to house our well pump, water treatment system and assorted tools and the lawn mower. It wasn't perfect, but we learned a lot. AND that little shed was the only structure on the property that took minimal damage from Hurricane Ike. Our house was rendered unlivable for six months. Our barn disappeared. But the shed lost one piece of trim board, got a dent in one door knob, and lost about 5 shingles. So we were pretty proud of it.

And after Hurricane Ike stole my very first barn, a little pole barn that we made work, we built an awesome barn. My friend Julie designed that barn. Our contractor, Chop, and his guys and Julie did a lot of work on the barn. We put in a lot of sweat equity, but they did do a lot of the hard work. We won't have their help this time, and that's a bit intimidating!

We've designed the barn. It'll be a 32 x 48 foot barn with a raised center aisle. There will be seven 12 x 10 foot stalls and a 12 x 10 foot tack room (which may end up housing feed, too). We'll store hay in the 3 sided shed that currently houses our feed and two stalls. I'll bring a bale over each day in the wheel barrel. I hate having hay stored in the barn, so this will be good. The south side of the barn will have 4 1/2 foot stall walls and will then be open to the roof. The north side will be most enclosed as that's where most of the rain comes from. Each stall will have a gate/door that opens into the barn aisle and one that opens out behind the stall. We're going to give each stall its own paddock - 12 x 20-30 feet. They aren't big paddocks, but it'll be someplace we can confined the horses when we need to keep them off the pasture. It'll also make horse care easier for Spencer if I'm out of town - he can let everyone have access to their paddocks and just dump feed and water and not have to worry about turning horses out or bringing them in.

The only other things I can think of to add to this barn to make it my "dream barn" would be a wash rack with hot/cold water, automatic waters, rolling doors at both ends, and a feed room that's separate from the tack room. Otherwise, this barn design is perfect for me.

We've bought most of the tools we're going to need that we didn't already have - namely an air compressor and nail guns. And a few small things we needed to replace post-hurricane (level, square, etc). And we upgraded a few tools.

We've picked our site. We just had about 10 inches of rain and went back out to check the site. Next to the house, it is the driest place on the property. This means we won't have to build up the site much. Thank goodness!

We've got our lumber list worked out, and today we're going to place the order for lumber. That makes it all seem more real. Tonight, we're going out to burn the burn pile which lays right in the middle of the barn. Once it is down, we'll mow and stake out the area. That'll involve a lot of measuring, re-measuring and re-measuring again.

I'll post progress photos as I get them.