This is one of the most unique barns I’ve had the pleasure of knowing. I often find that most barns I visit have their own distinct character that sets them apart from one another. This building in particular has been standing for at least 150 years and has many interesting sub structures inside of it that were built throughout the years to accommodate the changing needs of the four generations of family that have passed it down to one another. Its most recent incarnation was to house hundreds of chickens with coops climbing as much as six stories high! Alas the days of this barn housing floors and floors of feathery friends has passed and now it sits and waits for it’s next incarnation. The current owner has great respect for this lovely old barn she grew up with and has done much to insure it will still be standing for future generations. One of the very important tasks of maintaining the structure was to secure the largest side of the barn that is battered every year by the rain and snow and prevailing winds.
This project was too much work for me to do alone, and so I roped my partner in crime (my incredible wife Kate) into helping me out. She is a fantastic artist, a creative thinker, and as I was soon to learn, quite the Foreman. We started this work on what turned out to be the hottest day of June at a whopping 95 degrees in direct sun. Needless to say, in that kind of weather it was a slow start. The lower portion of the barn was in pretty good shape and we managed to save the existing siding. All it needed was a good sanding and a couple coats of stain. The top half, including the windows and sills was a very different story. All of the siding above the first floor had to be replaced. The windows were all in desperate need of new glazing, and almost all of them needed new sills. You can see the missing shudders in the picture above, which had invited buzzards to take up residence on the upper floors. Our work was cut out for us!
Kate sprayed out all of the new siding with two coats of Behr barn red stain/sealer before we hung them which saved us quite a lot of headaches. Much to her chagrin, the wind didn’t alway cooperate with the direction of the spray…
Getting the old boards off was almost as much work as putting the new ones up.
Eventually we got into a groove and things started chugging along!
One of the fun parts of working on an old barn is having a good nosey around the place on your lunch break. You never know what treasure could be hiding inside!
And when we had reached the limits of our scaffolding, we rented a 60 foot boom!!
Things were starting to take shape and this barn was really starting to look like new! With only the top third left to re-side, we were on the home stretch. No amount of wasps or ticks or rain or sunburn was going to stop us now!
As I nailed the last remaining boards to the peak of the barn I had a pang of sadness… suddenly I’d realized I was going to have to return the boom which I had grown to love! Life can be so unfair. Despite my broken heart, I pushed on and we finished the final coats of stain on the lower portion of the barn.
All that was left to do was to paint the window trim, replace the new and improved windows and install the brand new shudders we made.
and here it is, the end result, and we couldn’t be more pleased!
Isn’t she pretty!?
Now, just to save you having to scroll all the way back up to the top of the post, here’s a little side by side of the before and after…
We loved this project. It was a lot of hard work, but it was also fun and interesting. We look forward to renovating the rest of this building in the years to come!
Thanks for reading!