Saturday, November 7, 2009

There's nothing like help from the family!

My dad and his wife came down a few days ago to help with the barn. They arrived on Thursday and dad and I started working on Friday morning while Spencer was at work. We worked on the upper structure - getting in a lot of the boards that tie everything together. Once Spencer got home, he and dad and I kept working and by the end of the day had finished most of the structure that tied the uprights together.

We did discover one flaw - somehow Spencer and I had managed to put one of the 4x4s that's supposed to hold the stall gates/doors at 3 feet instead of 4 feet from. So we worked on digging the 4x4 up, removing all the concrete and resetting it. I seriously thought about just leaving it, but everyone pointed out it would look funny to have six stalls with 4 foot gates and one stall with a 3 foot gate. I knew they were right - but I didn't really want to hear it!

On Saturday, we put in more work on the upper structure. Dad and Spencer cut off the 4x4s and 6x6s to be even. And then they started installing the rafters. The barn will have a raise barn aisle. These rafters weren't hard to put in - but there are 48 of them so it took some time.

On Sunday, we worked just a little in the morning before dad and Cindy left to head back to KC and I had to head to Corpus Christi for a conference. Dad and Spencer got all the rafters up and even discussed how to make the trusses for the raised section of the roof. Spencer and I will have that fun later. For now, I'm happy with the weekend's work - a barn with rafters over the stalls!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Happy Halloween! It is a work day!

It may be Halloween, but it is also a work day here for the Williams. We had a lot of rain last week, and the bad news is that it caved in some of our holes. So Spencer had to use the manual pole hole digger to enlarge them. And we found out that some were not on the line - we're not sure how or why that happened. But he dug and fixed them. I couldn't really help as that's a one person job, so I cleaned the house and yard until he was ready.

Once he was ready, we had to work on pouring concrete into all the holes. That's another tough job. The bags of concrete are 80 lbs each and we would load the wheel barrel up with two bags. Then bring it over to the barn site, mix up the concrete. Spencer would get the post square and in the right spot and I would start shoveling in concrete. We wanted to make sure each post was on the line where it belonged and that each post was upright. Some of our holes had water in them, so we ended up mixing concrete right in the holes. Another hard day - but satisfying. I can actually see where the stalls and barn aisle will be now.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

A lighter work day

We had a lighter day today. Spencer had to work in the morning so we didn't get started until a little before lunch. And then the time change means it gets dark earlier so we had to quit earlier. But we did make a start. Today we had to begin tying the boards together with 2 x 6s and 2 x 10s. This upper support structure keeps the poles all straight and also will allow a place to attach rafters.

There wasn't much excitement here - except a place or two where we realized we made small mistakes. But they're fixable!

This coming weekend my dad will be here. We'll finish the upper structure. And maybe even begin the rafters.