Monday, August 30, 2010

The siding goes up... slowly

We have to put siding up on either end of the barn.  It sounds simple - just nail up the siding.  Unfortunately it goes slowly.  First you have to put up the structure that goes behind the siding to hold it up.  Then you have to measure and cut the siding.  The big sheets at the bottom were easy - they went up whole.  Our biggest problem was getting them even and getting the pieces to fit together.  The upper pieces were harder - we had to measure and cut, carry them up the ladder, figure out they were still too big, take them back and remeasure and cut again.

The barn starts to look more like a building instead of skeleton, though, when it has siding up.

We'll be working in the evenings this week to see if we can at least finish this end.  The north end is going to take more work as we first have to put down the floor for the tack room and then hang the siding.  But it is coming along.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Putting in Stall Walls

Now that we have dirt in the barn, we're ready for some stall walls.  We had the bottom board down on the two outside long walls and down the barn aisle, so Spencer started putting the walls in on the outer walls while I moved dirt around.  We got several walls done, and he finished the rest the next weekend while I was away.  It was a nice surprise to come home and find all of the outer stall walls and all the walls along the barn aisle up.

Then we spent the next weekend getting the most of the interior walls up.  We cannot do the end walls until we have the outside siding up, but that'll come soon.  The stall walls aren't done yet - we still have to put a vertical 2 x 4 up in the middle of each stall wall.  That helps pull the wall together and eliminates gaps and bulges. 

Friday, July 30, 2010

Building up the barn base

We wanted to build the barn up some from the surrounding land so that water wouldn't flow into the barn when it rains.  So we had six huge dump truck loads of dirt delivered.  And then we had to get the dirt into the barn.  There was no way I was hauling all of that stuff into there with a wheel barrel. I would be moving dirt for the rest of my life.  

 So we rented a bobcat to move the dirt.  Spencer did the driving - I was afraid I would knock down the barn.  I did take one spin in the bobcat towards the end of the day, and it was pretty cool.  The bobcat made short work of moving the dirt into the barn.  

Spencer put several loads of dirt into each stall, and then I started raking dirt around.  That's hard work!  At the end of the day, we had a lot of dirt in the barn but still a lot of work to do.


Thursday, July 15, 2010

Now we need some walls...

Now that we have a roof, we need some walls.  But before we can put in all the walls, we had to build up the base of the barn some so water wouldn't run in.

Before building up the floor, though, we put  metal sheathing around most of the upright posts.  This will prevent my beavers, also know as horses, from chewing the supports into two.  They love to chew wood.  They love to drive me insane.

After putting the sheathing up, we put the first board up of each stall on the outside of the barn and down the barn aisle.  When we bring the dirt in, we'll put dirt part-way up that board and then build the stall walls on top of it.  We also took our left over boards and put a partial stall wall up on the far side.  We wanted to see how it would look.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

We have a roof!

It took some work, but the barn now has a roof. After we got all of the rafters and trusses up, we had to put down 1 x 4 tack strips.  Those took a while with Spencer scrambling over the roof structure and me staying safely on the ground, cutting boards and handing them up to him.  

We had part of the roof done when we had a tornado come through here.  After the initial shock of hearing the roar of the wind, feeling our house thud, and seeing the hole our travel trailer made in the house when it was thrown into it, we both panicked. Was the barn ok?  It was still under construction and not insured.  After the worst of the storms passed, Spencer ran out to check on it.  It was standing, the metal was still attached.  It got pushed around some and isn't perfectly square anymore,  but we cannot do anything about that.  It is still solid and sound. 

Everything on the property that we DID NOT build was damaged:  chimney torn off the house, holes in the house roof, hole in the side of the house, travel trailer destroyed, horse trailers pushed across the yard, one loafing shed destroyed, storage shed destroyed, 3 sided shed/small barn damaged.  But the barn we built?  It was still standing and sound.

After the storm, my dad and step-mom came down and helped us finish roofing the barn.  It is now insured as a pole barn.  We're not done with it.  If the weather holds for us this weekend, we'll be moving a lot of dirt into the barn to build it up.  And after that, we'll start putting the stalls in.

We're getting there..

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Starting to Roof the Barn

We've gotten a good bit of work done since the last post. But it can be hard to see - so much of it is smaller stuff.

Spencer got the overhangs up, all the fascia boards up and put all the 1 x 4 tack strips up. On April 13th, we ordered the tin for the roof and then found a few areas that needed shimming before we could put the roof on.

This Saturday we had the first horse show of the season (and my first in five years!), so we didn't start work until Sunday. Spencer had some areas on the roof to touch up before we could start putting up tin, so we didn't really start until after lunch.

Our first job was to figure out how to get the sheets of tin up there. They pieces for the upper tier of the roof are 3 foot by 8 foot - not too big or heavy, but they can be a pain to haul on the roof. We ended up using some boards to make a ramp. We clamped a rope to the sheet, I pushed it up the ramp and Spencer tugged it up to the top.

After we got the first sheet square and strung a string line to help keep the sheets straight, roofing went pretty quickly. Within a few hours, Spencer had the entire upper tier on one side done. He needs to go back and put a lot more screws in to keep it 'extra secure', but it is looking great!

The tin for the lower tier is harder to wrangle. It is 3 foot by 14 foot and heavier. On Sunday, we used our ramp but struggled to get the tin up. We got two pieces done before it got too late. On Monday, we drug two more pieces up, this time carrying them up ladders (Spencer on one ladder, me on another). Then the wind kicked in and we had to stop. We may try to get some more done in the evenings this week.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Half a good weekend

Saturday was great. Sunday was not so great!

On Saturday, Spencer got right to work while I took care of a few other things. Our goal was to get the lower roof on the north side completely ready for tin. Spencer ended up crawling around in the rafters while I cut the 1 x 4s and handed them up to him to nail down. His parents came and put in a few hours of work, too. They cleaned up the building site (A HUGE help!) and his dad took over the duty of cutting boards and handing them up to Spencer. We all had lunch and then they headed back to College Station.

We finished all the 1 x 4 strips and then Spencer went up to the upper level of the barn to cut the rafters so the ends were even and I attached rafters to support boards with Simpson Strong Ties. We ran out of daylight before I finished the strong ties, but Spencer did the rafters measured and cut off even.

On Sunday, we got up and got to work. I was putting on the rest of the strong ties while Spencer cut the fascia board for the upper section of the roof and put together the boards for the overhang. And then it started raining. It rained just enough to get everything wet, making it too slippery to climb around on the rafters. I finished the strong ties and we quit for the day.

We're hoping to get in a day of work this coming weekend. If we can do that, the barn will finally be ready for the roof!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Getting ready for tin

With all the rain we've had since the fall, we haven't gotten to work on the barn much at all. We finally had a dry spell, but I had a meeting with 40+ people at the house for the rescue on Saturday. Spencer decided to work on the barn by himself, although he did get some help from a couple of the rescue people (handing him stuff, chatting with him while he worked, etc.). He got most of the rest of the 1 x 4s up on one side of the barn. These strips of wood are where we'll be attaching the metal for the roof.

On Sunday, we didn't put in a full day. We've both been working hard and needed to be a bit lazy in the morning. After lunch, we went to work. Spencer finished up the strips on the first side of the barn and started in on the second side. We ran out of boards and out of time. If we could have two good solid days of working, we could finish the strips and get the overhangs put up. Then we'll be ready for the tin for the roof. I guess we better start looking for roof metal!

It'll be awesome when we get the barn done. If the weather would just cooperate, we could get a lot more done!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Truss time Part 2

Today we spent all day working on getting the trusses up. We reattached the first one by hanging onto the uprights and trying not to fall to our doom. We got the simpson ties in to hold it in place when Spencer had an epiphany. He created little platforms made of 2x6s. We for the rest of the trusses, we stood on the 2x6s while hammering in the simpson ties. Spencer had to come climb with the circular saw a few times to cut notches to help the trusses better fit onto the cross pieces.

We didn't get all of them up today - we have six more to go. We'll see how the weather holds up and see when we get to work next.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Finishing the trusses and cross bracing

We got the last six trusses up today and Spencer put up the cross braces. This involved him being even higher up in the air on a slightly bigger platform while I was on the ground cutting the braces to be the right size. Since this is a man-made barn, it isn't perfect and you can't make 'one size' cross braces. There's three braces between each truss, so that's a lot of cutting and nailing!

After all the braces between the trusses went up, we also started putting down the 1x4 strips on the lower rafters. This is where we'll eventually attach the tin for the roof. We had hoped to have the roof up by the end of January, but the weather has not been cooperating with our plans!