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~The Barn~

A Picture Story
. Well, after months of looking for the perfect pole barn package (one that was big enough and one we could afford) we began the task of building it ourselves!! Neither of us have EVER done such a thing before...... this could be dangerous! Here is a picture of how it all started. Our friend Len came in a leveled the ground for us. He and his wife Nan have a landscaping company, so he took the topsoil and gave us fill. A good exchange! Next we used strings to make the outline of the building. We then rented this massive two man earth auger! WAY too big for the two of us with the extension on it. Luckily John stopped over one day and he and Larry were able to finish the holes. This picture shows the holes dug and just starting to put the pole up. Then once the upright where in place ( and level) we had to nail the header on. It is very important at this step to make sure the building is square! Here is a picture of how WE did it! The truck was much more stable than a ladder!The next step was to nail the purlins on. Then put up the trusses. Even though we had ten feet sides we set all the trusses by hand.
Jesse showing me what a hammer is!!Amanda helping Jesse on top of the barn!

A Slow Start

Great Roof! We ended up getting our hay (850 bales) before the barn was even close to being finished. Since the roof wasn't on and not the next step, we put tarps up. With a good strong wind the tarps kept blowing off so Larry finally nail it down with 2X4s! The back of the barn was suppose to be the green metal but we opted to do it in hardwood. We figured that the horses would only dent and poop on the wall causing it to deteriorate prematurely. We got the wood from a local mill. For a truck load of assorted sizes it was only $78.00. We ended up going back later for another load. On the day I started on the back it began to downpour. Here you can see how I pulled the tarp out, continued to work and stay dry!

Not much difference between this picture and the one above only a different SEASON! We really needed to start hustling, winter in Michigan can come as early as November!

Voila!! The back is done and so is part of the roof. We had decided that the horses would stay back here in the winter a long time before this. So now we need to start adding on, but we weren't sure how much. We finally decided taking the back out 12' would be enough. After another pole planting we were ready to put up purlins.

This will be divided into three walk out areas for the winter only. Two of the areas are 8'x 12', and the other is 16'x 12'. The smaller areas are intended for only one or two horses. In the larger area there will three to four horses. Each walk-in has it's own turn out area to equalize the competition for food. The walk-ins are divide by 12'x something hardwood planks.Even though you see the green metal exterior, the interior is all planked hardwood, this makes the stalls warmer and less likely to be damaged by the horses. This is the back before it was all done. There is only one doorway for the "kids" to come in and out. This door can also be shut to keep them out if needed. Larry ran electricity through out the whole barn. There are outlets in each walk in and flood lights, too. There are still going to be outdoor flood lights on each corner on the back. Plus a mercury vapor light over the sliding door. It gets very dark early in the winter here.

The entire back is done with wood like this, it make it look a wee bit like a traditional barn, plus it is sturdier and, again, warmer than just the metal paneling.
Here are two other pictures that show the wood dividers between the walk outs. .

We still have a lot more to do on the barn. But now that I have a digital camera I will take some summer pictures that show the finished barn!
HEY! Here are the pictures! There was a slight change of plans. We ended up putting the door on the east end of the barn instead of the south side. You can see where we were going to put the door in the earlier pictures. John had told us when we started to put the poles ten feet apart at one end in case we changed our minds and wanted a wider door. Once the poles were cemented into the ground there would be no way of changing the size of the opening. So we followed his advice and made a ten foot opening then covered it with purlins. When we did decide to have the bigger door, there was no problem in pulling down the purlins to expose the opening for a ten by ten door. But there was a small problem, the original package had material for an eight by ten sliding door not a ten by ten. Fortunately since we used wood on the back instead of the panelling we had plenty left to make the larger door. As a matter of fact we still have paneling left! The larger door is also a much more practical size for farm use...

You can also see our chicken coop in the picture below.The wood is the same as the barn. We figured the coop cost us around $50.00 to make.
And Sandy, our 33 year old horse (she thinks I am there to feed her!)
Here is a drawing of the building in case you wanted to know the dimensions..

BIG THANKS go to Jesse, Amanda and my brother John for all their help. I know we would have never gotten this far with out them, thank you!

Please leave a comment in our Guest book. We would love to see your site if you would leave the address!

And a huge congrats to my friends Jesse and Amanda on their marriage!! CONGRADULATIONS!!!! AND BEST WISHES!!!!

Comming Soon!! The Photo Gallery!

Well, it is here, not the greatest yet, still under construction Click here

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