Friday, February 19, 2010

The Monolith

The recent warm weather is a welcome relief from winter.  Our winter has been consistently cold, with no warm spells to shrink down the snow, and there is a lot of snow!  Going into the barn these days is an adventure in dodging drips and moving things to a drier location as the snow on the roof melts and drips through.

This beautiful but neglected barn was likely moved onto it's concrete foundation about 50 years ago.  The walls are squared logs with perfect dovetail corners.  It has a wooden floor and stalls on the main floor and a huge hayloft above.  The hayloft had straw in it for many years and with a leaky roof above created a perfect environment for rotting the hayloft floor in numerous places.  The barn roof was already in need of replacement when we bought the place, and probably about 10 years before that!  We have the tin to cover it, but soon found out that it's not going to be a simple project.  Last summer we straightened some of the walls and tore off the flare-out from one side of the barn to see what the ends of the rafters looked like.  There is some rot right at the ends and the plate on top of the logs needs replacement.  Knowing that this was going to take longer than the available time we had last fall, we bought a tarp that we were hoping to secure over the whole roof, which meant that all the old wooden shingles and nails would have to be removed.  We got most of one side of the roof stripped, then the snow came and hasn't let up since!

We get asked and we occasionally ask ourselves if it's worth it to fix something up that needs so much work.  I don't think we'll be able to answer that until we're done, but we've got time and money invested now, so forward is the only route!  I envision the gleaming tin roof, solid walls, and a extended flare to make a lean-to outside... and more importantly our hay staying dry in the hayloft and no more water running down my neck while I'm milking!
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