Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Barn Renovation Part 2: An Engineering Feat!

I told you in my last post about our barn that the carnage wasn’t over and just look at what our contractors did! Can you imagine my face when I walked outside and saw our barn hanging by a thread? It was necessary in order to fix the water problem since water and wood don’t mix. I know it’s a little dark but if you look inside under the barn you’ll see that our foundation for the barn is made from stacked boulders. It won't fall since it goes back into the earth twelve feet! The foundation for our home is like that too in our basement and it’s stunning! Isn't the barn pretty nestled in the forest?

The earth came up on the sides of the barn and was rotting the wood so in order to stop that little problem we decide to use something that would never rot from water…stone! Both end walls will be built up out of antique granite block to the second floor crossbeams. Since this is the granite state and our home foundation is all granite we weren’t going outside of what is normal for our home.

That would be the husband laying the footers for the walls, he’s very handy to have about. No he isn’t a mason by trade but used to do it once upon a time in another life. You would think I would be married to the hulk since those cement blocks weigh 67 pounds apiece. Good thing he didn’t get mouthy with me since he’s already standing six feet under….;)

Up go the granite blocks, those only weigh 18 pounds apiece and he’s doing a double wall, one inside the barn, and one outside. The cement and one or two of the granite blocks will be buried once the earth is graded on the outside. The rebar in the middle helps to stabilize the walls.

Mister man had to hand cut those thick solid granite blocks to fit snugly around the boulders. Everything had to be precisely measured so when he reached the beam he wouldn’t have to cut any blocks or end up with any gaps. It’s amazing how he worked it all out but he has a saying: prior preparation prevents piss poor performance and trust me he did his prep work.

A corner that wraps around to the front or face of the barn, that corner will support one barn door when finished.

This is the end of the barn you can see from the street and as you’re coming up our drive.

Look at that, to the left of the picture, see that support beam hanging out in thin air…another water incident that will soon be taken care of and look, the wall is up to the beam!

Mister man finally got smart and hired our contractors’ 18-year-old son to labor for him and the kid didn’t whine once….now that’s amazing!

You can see from the inside how the block wall came right up to the crossbeam. Look right there in the very middle, you can see how the blocks were fitted right into the boulder wall. Oh and that yellow tubing you see snaking through several of my pictures....yeah, that would be the propane for my stove and oven. Imagine how exhilarated I was to see people cutting and sawing around it?

One wall up now to get mister man to clean up this colossal mess! Yes, this whole mess is just from the husband not to forget that the contractors were here working and making messes of their own!

Not only did everyone have messes working on the driveway but they took over my front yard as well!

And then more trucks arrived with more deliveries. The excavator thought it a good idea to park his bobcat on top of the husbands’ stone dust. To top it off the cement guy thought the stone dust was a great place to wash leftover cement into, do you know how that stuff sets up…it’s concrete! Trust me ladies this sort of work is not for the weak of heart to live around!

Stay tuned for next week when we feature….oh yeah more mess!


The enchanted home said...

Wow, have to show this to my husband who is fascinated beyond words with any building process but this one is outstanding! Those granite blocks are like works of art and it appears they are doing some job on this...cannot wait to see the finished product but its a lot of fun to watch and follow it along midstream too!

Divine Theatre said...

Gee...the Before and Afters I always see in magazines look so smooth!
What a blessing to have such a talented husband, even if he is a tad messy!
I read this tale with bated breath. I dunno if I could be as brave!

sharon santoni at my french country home said...

Debra I actually gasped when I saw your barn hanging in mid air!! how brave is that! What a brilliant way to get around a damp problem, I'd love to know how long this step took

Blooming Rose Musings said...

I have been fascinated with reading your barn renovation/reconstruction. So much work and wonderful talent goes into something like this. Fascinating. I am eager to see the next progress report.

lvroftiques said...

Well your husband certainly is a Godsend Debra! Those granite blocks are extremely well fitted against the bolders (How's your husbands back?) And yikes! Seeing the barn hanging by a toothpick had to be freaky! No walking on that floor for me please!
And when I read "the cement guy thought the stone dust was a great place to wash leftover cement into" I totally cringed!! I've been pulling out cement chunks from my property for years! I could just shoot the person who came up with that great idea. Grrrrr! Vanna

Mona thompson said...

Your Mister Man is quite the MAN! He is doing an incredible job. This is going to be fabulous and you cannot hire work done as perfectly as this. Can't wait to see more.

Greet Lefèvre said...

I really enjoy the process of your barn project! Looking forward to the next level!!

savvycityfarmer said...

oh how I wish we were neighbors...

Loretta Fontaine (EcoHappy Blog) said...

Debra- This is a real labor of love project. Your husband should be so proud!

I can't wait to see what happens next!



for the love of a house said...

wowser! yep- looks familiar! My stance regarding the boards looking like they were holding up the building... if you can't stand the answer don't ask the question!! So I didn't... just held my breath until it was all over, as I'm sure you did too!

Tell Rick that his brick wall is GORGEOUS!!


Trouvais said...

Oh how fabulous! And I love it when husbands can be induced to work the dream! You'll chuckle over these days when all is gorgeous and done. Especially the stone dust. Can't wait to see it all done! Trish

Stacey said...

I can totally see beyond the mess to the beauty that it will be when it's done. When i visited the site(for our new house) a couple times, i thought it looked more like a demolition zone than anything else. However, it's part of the process. I had to keep reminding myself that it won't look like this at the end.:-)

Boxwood Terrace said...

Oh. My. Gosh., Debra - that is a feat of engineering and patience! Very exciting though and I'm looking forward to the next installment. My hat is off to you and your husband for taking on a such a project, but the results are worth it.

lvroftiques said...

Debra it's normandy lace 1890's to 1910. Wow I actually knew something for a change *winks* Ummm on that price and tell thing....I don't talk about my LV or hermes collection either unless I almost stole it because people would think I'm nuts....And I am a little *winks* Vanna

Richard Cottrell said...

This seems like a major undertaking. I would be araid to work under that hangig barn. We had to do a lot of jacking with my house, I just stood back and prayed. Thanks for sharing, Richard at www,myoldhistorichouse.blogspot.com

Unknown said...

Amazing..I am obsessed with your barn project...loving the updates!

designchic said...

Love watching the progress...so fascinating!! Can't wait to see the end result, but I love following along - Happy weekend!!

Valerie said...

I ran across your blog this morning. It has me spellbound. The progress on the barn is very interesting. Will now be a follower eagerly waiting the next set of progress stories and photos. So glad to have found you!

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