On Friday, the builders working on our barn raised the roof -- literally.
The day before, they had put the trusses in place and built the framing for two sections of the roof, but at ground level. We wondered how they would get those roof sections in the air with just two guys and no crane.
First thing they did was add a temporary 2x4 below the top board, so they could straddle the top board and support themselves on the 2x4.
Then out of their truck they pulled these nifty gizmos called boat winches.
They had left the 20-foot 6x8 uprights taller than they needed to be for the sole and exclusive purpose of supporting the winches. But since the winches only fit on a 6x6, they first had to trim the 6x8s down to 6x6s at the top.
Then the winches fit.
They pulled the winch cable down until they could wrap it around one end of the truss.
They had four winches, one for each corner of the roof section. Then starting at one end, they started cranking, a few inches at a time.
Back and forth they walked along the 2x4 support beam, cranking first one side, then the other side, no more than a few inches so as not to tweak the roof section.
And slowly the roof section was raised.
When the roof section was at the correct height, the builders nailed it in place. A truly elegant and deceptively easy method to accomplish what seemed impossible.
They repeated this procedure for the other roof section.
With the two outer roof sections up and in place, the builders now had a structure on which to stand while they built the middle sections.
Amazing to think those roof sections were on the ground just a couple hours earlier.
Next they put up the OSB sheathing.
What an incredible day's work!
The builders: Don (on the right) and his assistant Mike (left).
While Don and I chatted with the builders, I happened to photograph a dust devil that formed nearby.
On Monday the builders will finish the job. Tar paper and metal roofing should be the last step. The result will be a roof on stilts, and Don and I can finish out the rest. We already have salvaged metal siding, and we'll add bays, feed boxes, interior lofts, etc. as time and money permit.
As Don mentioned, this barn will change the whole tenor of our farm. Within a year or so, we will no longer look like a patched-together place. It will be much more efficient.