Barn Progress

Back in June I was writing about our next step in the farmwork…the shed.  In On to the Next One I showed you the plans and the beginning of our site prep for the barn.

We initially planed to put a pad down of stone dust and build on top of that.  Many pre-fab barns recommend this.  We thought we had a nice section of level ground selected.

Boy were we wrong.

In photos and in person the site looks to be pretty close to level.  Zac and I removed the top couple inches of soil and began to put down loads of stone dust.  While I was at work one day Zac was beginning to check the pad to level it and tamp.  It was then we discovered that looks can be deceiving.


While one corner began on the ground, the other corner diagonal to it was 16″ above ground.  We were flabbergasted.  With the location we are unable to get large trucks in and we would need a few more large loads of dust to make it work.

We thought to use piers, but the only piers available are for 4x4s (for decks).  Our shale doesn’t allow us to get 48″ down, so we decided to make “piers” of our own.  We bought sonotubes, and only went 24″ into the ground.  We spent one hot afternoon mixing and pouring concrete.  While the concrete was wet we placed a metal rod and metal brackets to hold the 6x6s in place.

We did this last minute fix the week before the build to allow the piers time to cure.

July came and we had our first building weekend.

My uncles and neighbor all came down to help start the shed.  We grossly underestimated just how large 16 feet was.  When we stood the posts up we realized this.  The good news?  I now have room to put in a hay loft.

The design of the shed changed some during the build in order to introduce better structural integrity.  I am so fortunate to have such knowledgeable, helpful, and amazing people in my family.

After the first two days our help was thoroughly sunburned and we had a great start.  The frame was finished and the first 8 feet were sided.

…..and Bardi, our herding dog, kept the skies clear of all the birds, dragonflies, and helicopters the whole weekend.  He was wiped out!


In the weeks to follow Zac and I worked when possible; it wasn’t often but we did make SOME progress.  First we had to order more siding and lumber.  I purchased some stain and got to work on the color aspect.  In the process I managed to also stain myself!

Zac cut and hung the siding for the upper section on the back of the barn.  He finished preparing the rafters and purlins for the roof.  Most days he was working on the barn after work…even as the sun went down.


Finally we decided on a day in August and a smaller group of us worked on the roof.  Being afraid of heights I was daunted by this task.  The men got up on the roof and completed the project while I stayed on land and helped pre-drilling holes and handing up roofing sheets.  By the end of the weekend we had a roof!

All that is left to finish is the interior walls of the run-in, the door to the tack room, and the rest of the siding.  When money allows we will add the hay loft.


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