Barn Raising

I had a great experience recently in Vermont. Some good friends have been planning to build a small barn for some time. Since I have built a number of projects, and have experience as a draftsman, I have been involved with the project from the beginning. My friends were able to determine their needs and the function of the building and they settled on timber frame construction.  I was able to draw them what it would look like and how it would go together.

Barn Assembly

Small barn in perspective

           This is far from being the first timber frame project that I have been involved with,(see the boat shed on the boat page and my friend Peter’s timber frame tree house) but it just might have been the most fun. First of all because my friends really took the time to carefully consider what they wanted as a completed structure and second because they were willing to participate in the construction of the timber frame itself.
           The other element that made this a fun project was the high level of organization. When I arrived in Vermont with my timber framing tools, the concrete slab with appropriate plumbing and wiring run through it was in place, and the lumber was all on site. Even when it started to rain, tents were ready to set up so that we could keep working. In my experience, where most jobs get bogged down is when materials run out, or when there is no “plan B” as things go wrong. What was great for me, was that the two times that we had a problem (two 16 foot timbers unaccounted for, and a broken drill) my friends, a husband and wife team, had the resources to effect a solution by the end of the day.
           We got up each morning, outlined the plan for the day and just worked…it was great. At the end of each day we could stand back and point to what we had accomplished, which is a really rewarding feeling. This was particularly true after the third day of working together because the timbers were coming together into timber bents and the barn was beginning to take shape.

End of Day 3

           Another ingredient that made this project fun is its size. Like the tree house, this barn is small, somewhere between garden shed and a typical barn. Four of us could stand up the timber bents by ourselves. Not having to organize a huge crew to put together the pieces of the building made it a pleasure to assemble.

Putting the Barn Together

           So rather than write any more, the picture on the Left was taken Monday morning, and the one on the right Friday afternoon.

Day one  Day Five


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