I suppose that is my warning to you: I have a lot of pictures coming your way. It also means that if Rory and I should ever have to build a barn ourselves, we'll be able to do it given our incredibly detailed documentation.
We started talking about our needs for a barn last summer and it was about then that Rory began sketching out what all he'd like a barn to house. Every barn ever built has three main purposes: animals, workspace and storage. With those three things in mind, he began drawing up plans on his computer and handing them off to me late at night to review. (I actually think a super fun post would be to show the evolution of those plans, all winter long, as we tweaked and modified along the way.) Even Ivar caught on that drawing barns was the cool thing to do.
Over the winter, Rory brought his plans to Menards where they would take his design and use their computer system to engineer the blue prints. Rory would bring those new plans home, we'd look them over and make changes and then he'd head back to Menards to adjust the prints.
We found local contractors who specialized in pole barns, decks and patios. They were two brothers and were awesome. All summer long we talked about how grateful we were to have committed, trustworthy workers building our barn. And that really was the story all the way through. The man who came with his bulldozer to set the foundation was awesome. The man who dug the trench for the waterline, the team that came to run the electric line, the inspector, and the crew that came to pour the concrete...from start to finish we had awesome guys working on our property. All small business owning, self-employed and hard working. These guys were the real deal.
I've said it many times before, but you only build a barn every 150 years. We built this building with 150 years worth of possibilities. Some parts of the building are going to be used immediately for immediate needs. Other parts are still unknown, but given a lifetime ahead, I'm pretty sure we'll have stories and uses that will fit every nook.
So here we go: how to build a barn in a whole lot of pictures:
The siding was put on and I was so relieved we had picked the right red! You pick your color based on a 1 inch swatch in a paper brochure. These pictures show the electrical line and water line going in.
And finally, the concrete was poured everywhere except the stables. I adore this picture of Ivar and Elsie watching the action. It has been such an incredible summer of tractors and workers and excitement.
We still have garage doors that are coming in and we will need to extend our gravel lane. But then it's time to fill the barn up. If you ask Ivar what he wants to use it for he'll tell he he really wants an alligator and a bear. Which seem about as possible as anything else at this point!
So that's the official barn tour. It was a big project, and don't anticipate we'll ever build another barn in our lifetime...so it's a good thing we love it!