Country Living Series

Friday, October 21, 2011

One side of the barn

Now that our busy season is over, it's time to work on the barn before the snow flies.

Don started by putting up horizontal girts. These will support the sheet metal siding.

He built himself spacers (you can see them at either end of the 2x6) to make sure the girts were spaced identically. The bottom girts are pressure-treated, the rest of the girts are not.

The prevailing wind direction in these parts is from the southwest. This wall is facing south, so it's the first to get covered.

Next Don started putting up the sheet metal siding. (That's my dad, watching.)

We've collected sheet metal siding for years, whenever we come across it, so we have plenty to side the barn.

(I think men who know their way around tools are SO sexy!)

The siding is of different heights, but it won't matter because Don will put caps at the top and make it all even.

It didn't take long to put all the siding up.

Next step is to cap the tops from the eaves. Don takes measurements. Length: three feet.

We duct-taped three sheets of 12-foot siding together...

...and Don used a metal-cutting blade to cut the metal while I held on to it and tried not to get vibrated out of the barn. It was loud!

Cut pieces.

Then Don started screwing the cap pieces from under the eaves down to the topmost girt, generously overlapping the tops of the siding.

Personally I think the end result looks incredibly professional.

You'll notice there's a 12-foot section on the right-hand side that got no siding. That's because Don plans to put a door on that portion, and he has to frame it in first. This entire south-facing side will ultimately become -- drum roll, please -- a lean-to greenhouse! Imagine it, a greenhouse twelve feet wide and 48 feet long. Whoo-hoo!


  1. looks great! love the green house idea!

  2. That will be one nice long green house. Fresh tomato's in the dead of winter, yum yum!

  3. Fantastic! So neat and even. You're right, it looks VERY professional! We think you should fix Don his favorite dessert after dinner tonight. Heck, his favorite dinner, too!
    --Fred & Deb in AZ

  4. Wow, the barn looks great, better keep your eye on that man he is every womans dream come true!!

  5. So jealous!! We would love to have more room for hay. It looks great!

  6. I'm always in awe of people who reuse and recycle. Great project. And I like men who know their way around tools too. My hubby is a HS woodshop teacher and builds gorgeous cabinets and furniture.

  7. What a terrific looking barn! And I already envy your greenhouse!

    Xa Lynn

  8. It looks great. When you first posted about using scrap sheet metal on the sides, I had a picture in my head of a crazy patchwork quilt-type thing.

    Fortunately, you guys know what you're doing. ;)

  9. looks really good...i do have a question though...why did you not use all pressure treated lumber? i ask this question because here in n.e. mississippi, not using pressure treated lumber on any outdoor bldg means you will be replacing or rebuilding within five to seven years due to rot from moisure and insects.

  10. Very impressive! You've got the fencing secure, the barn built and siding going up on it, plenty of hay for the cattle, wood for your stove, and someday soon a greenhouse. All you need to complete the picture is a good tractor. Maybe next spring? LOL

    You and your family have really made some significant improvements to your place in the short 18 months I've been a reader of your blog. CONGRATULATIONS! Jobs well done.

    Anonymous Patriot

  11. Anon 5:34, we don't have the heat, humidity, or insects you have in the south. Up here there are 100+ year old barns all over the place, still in usable condition. So aside from the cost (cha-ching!) of using all pressure-treated lumber, we simply don't have to.

    - Patrice

  12. Save the Canning JarsOctober 21, 2011 at 7:49 PM

    This big barn is a BIG DEAL!!! It looks great! Congratulations!

  13. Be careful of your greenhouse though when the snow slides off that roof. Our barn has 16' sidewalls and is all metal and the snow flies off or it slides in big thundering plops. Make sure that greenhouse roof is really strong or you will be regretting it come the next spring. I tried a makeshift greenhouse, plastic over one of those portable tent structures with snow load beams. The plastic was so strong, it did not rip like we thought it would and the whole thing twisted and fell one day when we were at church. It was holding up 3' of snow and too dangerous to go in and clear off. The piles on the outside were too high to climb on. We had also had it about 7 years and worn out the original tarp that came with it. Live and learn. Just be careful. Don't want anyone getting hurt. We lived in a 5th wheel trailer under the front overhang of the barn for 4 years so we got really used to the sound of thundering, falling snow. Even the horses and the cow got used to it.

  14. You are most definately blessed to have someone who is so handy and able.

    The People's Republic of Ann Arbor

  15. Wow - very impressive! And I agree - men who know their way around tools are way sexy!

  16. Wow ! I loved seeing the barn walls go up. How long did that take? Looks amazing and I too am envious of your greenhouse plans. I am also impressed with your planning and execution on all things at your homestead.

    - Rita

  17. All the fuzzy wuzzies are gonna love their new digs.

    Just Me