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NDR Barn Renovation

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NDR Barn Renovation
My wife and I recently purchased a piece of ground with an old barn on it. The barn appears to be in good overall shape. The roof is tight. The doors are gone and it surrounded by weeds on 2 sides. But walking through it I don't see any signs of it sagging, rotting, or falling down. The timbers all appear to be original locally sawn old-growth douglas fir in good shape. I'd like to renovate or restore the barn so I can use it as a boat shed, boat shop and a horse stall or two. It does not appear to have any concrete footers, foundation or flooring. I think its in good shape, aside from having having a board floor has a lot of loose boards and a hay loft that is a bit low. The neighbor thinks its pretty usable with relatively small investment of money.

My question is I don't know where to start. Clean it out and then get a engineer or inspector make an assessment of its overall structural integrity? Then what? Have an architect develop a plan? General Contractor? I can do some of the work but likely not all. Concrete floor? What should I do about the rust on the north side of the roof?

Anyone been through this or have professional experience renovating large structures?

Last edited by:

Brad Bortner: Jul 8, 2021, 12:40 PM
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Re: NDR Barn Renovation In reply to
One of the first things I would do is grade the exterior to allow for proper drainage away from the structure. In your photo it appears to sit level or down hill from the surrounding grade. I have woked on several older barns in much worse condition and proper grading could have prevented alot of structural damage such as rot and pier settling. If you decide to do this make sure you exagerate the swail because without gutters you need to get the water away fast. Good luck, It looks like it will be worth the time spent to fix it up.
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Re: NDR Barn Renovation In reply to
Great looking building. I love old structures. It's hard to tell from a picture but looks in pretty good structual shape. Ridge is nice and straight, rafters don't seem to have moved around to much. Maybe a little settling in the back right corner. I would recomend a professional inspection of structural components before spending money on plans or looking for a general. As for wether or not to hire a general contractor it would depend on your experience and the amount of time you have to hire, schedule, and over see subs. If your thinking about adding new electric, plumbing, insulation, drywall, flooring, concrete, HVAC, etc,etc. It may pay to get an architect, and or general contractor involved. Whatever you end up deciding, good luck with it. Looks like it should be a really cool project. Luke
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Burn it down and get a couple pods.

Very nice, I hope it is in as nice a shape as it looks. Good luck.

T
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A boat shed? Hell, you could store the Queen Mary in there. A family of horders couldn't fill that thing up in a lifetime.

Neat looking structure. Hope you can bring it back to life and get good use from it.

Eric
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A family of horders couldn't fill that thing up in a lifetime.

Eric



Eric, you obviously have not met my wife. That is a challenge she would gladly take on.
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Well Tod here is the house on the property. Not too bad for 108 years old.


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Re: NDR Barn Renovation In reply to
 Roof looks good. Ridges look straight. Back corner looks like it dropped. Looks like a good structure to work with, Is the inside split up with stalls. Find a good general contractor. Some of the building practices from that period wont pass inspection. Unless you know an engineer it could cost you a lot of bucks. Old houses and barns are neat but they can take a lot of work. Does the barn have a hay hook and rail in it. This end looks like a drive through to unload hay or hang tobacco. Looks like a cool place. John
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Neat Brad. Keep the pictures coming of any progress, it would be neat to follow along. That looks like a huge barn!
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A boat shed? Hell, you could store the Queen Mary in there. A family of horders couldn't fill that thing up in a lifetime.

Neat looking structure. Hope you can bring it back to life and get good use from it.

Eric



Well Eric there is the 19 foot Bankes, a 17 foot aluminum duckboat, a 10 foot tin boat, 1 Oldtown Canoe, 2 aquapods to store and who knows what I'll build once I get that into suitable workspace.

Seriously, I would like to get boat storage, a full size wood shop, a decoy room and a 2 horse stable incorporated into the barn. It is huge and has a neat internal structure (pictures this weekend). It is going to be a long-term project but for right now I want to make sure I stabilize it and while I assemble the cash to really do the job right.

Who knows maybe I'll beat Tod in building a Tolman in there. Thanks for the tips everyone. Keep them coming.

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Brad B: Aug 18, 2010, 11:10 PM
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Thats pretty cool Brad, Hope you enjoy the barn and house! looks like a winner...

Zach
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Brad-
Why does that house look so "Sauvie island" to me? Neat property and beautiful structures.
D-
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Excellent

I've always had a fascination with barns.

I have a book brewing in the back of mind
______________________________________________
It's all about the doin'


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...and then get a engineer or inspector make an assessment of its overall structural integrity? Then what? Have an architect develop a plan? General Contractor?


Engineer? Instector? Architect? You realize these barns were built by the men who worked the land? A farmer back then was truely a jack of all trades...they couldn't afford to hire an architect. Do you have modern zoning and inspections to deal with or is your area still rural and ag based such that you don't have to deal with that nonsence? My dad, brother and myself did some renovations on the family farm about 15-20 years ago.



The original section of the barn was built before the cival war. You can see what section that is by the hand hewn timbers within...Guess which section was the original part? The top! In 1903, a new house was built on the site, and shortly there after, the family before ours jacked the barn up 10 feet in the air, built a stone wall on teh side facing this photo and the barn bank to access the now second floor (hay mow) and set up the entire lower level for livestock. The three other foundation walls were orignal and in poor condition when my dad and his mom and dad moved in in '31 (dad was just 3 months old) and grandpa rebuilt the foundation in sections.

I'd try and befriend a local farmer (one who has been keeping up his own buildings) and ask him to give it a look over. He might even be interested in hiring on for some of the work if it fits around his crop schedule or may could know a local that would be. Also, I have an internet pen pal out in Washington (south of Olympia I believe) that reciently did a major barn rehaul. He contracted out some of it, including the foundation repair. I can get you some info on who he used. My point is, if you are going to hire it out, a general contractor will make the project cost prohibitive IMHO There are some contractors that specialize in barn repair.

If the roof hasn't leaked, that is in my opinion what saves these buildings. If it hasn't been gooped up with roof coating, but is just galvinizing that is starting to rust through, there are rust neutralizing primers that you can brush on. We did that with several of the buildings that had "newer" rooves, then painted with rustoleum silver. Once they have been gooped, you pretty much are stuck re-gooping untill you want to bite the bullet and replace it.

Great looking barn...I want one...someday!

Chuck



"A little learning is a dangerous thing;
drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:
there shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
and drinking largely sobers us again."


A. Pope
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I'm about 7 years into a similiar project although my house isn't NEARY that nice and has taken most of the priority. Barns are a great project but they are a major project of their own.

Try to think/plan WAY ahead when putting utilities in. Put lights, power, switches everywhere, not just where the imediate need is.

All good advice so far. You've got to protect from the weather and get the structure sound before doing anything else.

Because of the slow pace of my project I've found it easiest to be my own general contractor and work with one sub at a time.

I suggest containing yourself to a small part of the barn and work in the rest of it. If you get all moved in it really sucks working around all your/my crap!

Have fun!

Gene
________________________________________

"Take your kids hunting so you don't have to hunt for your kids."
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WOOW, I am so jealous I can hardly stand myself. She looks wonderful. The very best of luck on your new project.
"There is nothing- absolutly nothing half as much worth doing as messing about in boats or with boats. In or out of 'em, doesn't matter." Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Graham

Shiny side up,
Wicker T, Booker T & Charlie Brown
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Do you have any Amish communities near by? Here in central Iowa they do barn restoration the old fashion way by hand tool like they where built.
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Very nice Brad, nice orchard, super set-up. Great compound with the barn.

Do you have a nice guest suite or maybe a guest house off in the corner?

T
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Great idea Tod. We can have a DHBP get together at the place and knock this project of in no time. Thanks everyone, great posts. I knew this would be the right place to ask the question.
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Washington is under Imternational Building Code, so if you start structural repair, and get caught, your permit fee can be twice as much as it would be if you get one up front. Start by contacting your local building dept, if you plan on repairs or renovation. Your barn is what building dept. people call "non prescriptive", so you'll probably need an architect or engineer for at least some of the design/calculation of the structural repair.
Why go this way? It's state law, and if the building falls down, or burns down, and you've done work on it, your insurance company will say tough luck on the repair/replacement on the building and it's contents.
Just my two cents.

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Nice barn! What a great looking house! I'm looking for a house just like that one here in Jersey, although I think they're a bit cheaper out where you are :) Look forward to seeing pictures of the renovation!

Anthony
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Re: NDR Barn Renovation In reply to

In Reply To
Washington is under Imternational Building Code, so if you start structural repair, and get caught, your permit fee can be twice as much as it would be if you get one up front. Start by contacting your local building dept, if you plan on repairs or renovation. Your barn is what building dept. people call "non prescriptive", so you'll probably need an architect or engineer for at least some of the design/calculation of the structural repair.
Why go this way? It's state law, and if the building falls down, or burns down, and you've done work on it, your insurance company will say tough luck on the repair/replacement on the building and it's contents.
Just my two cents.

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Matt, A serious question, how often does the insurance company not cover in such a case? Something I always wondered about... Every house I lived in has has a lot of uninspected work on it before we bought, so how can they tell if it is your fault? What woudl they ahve to prove? Like I said, I always wondered about that. T

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My two cents. I would think the insurance company would have to prove that 1) the cause of the loss was due to inadequate/non compliant work and 2) that the insured is the one that did the work in the first place.

That IS a great boat house. Have fun with the project!

Kevin
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,,,,,,,,,,the insurance company would have to prove,,,,,,,,,,




In all reality all they have to do is deny your claim. They do this quite often on older farm buildings. Most of the time the reason is lack of proper care to keep the building in reasonable repair and structurally sound. If they deny your claim, it then goes to arbitration as the next step. Yes you may eventually prevail in court,,,,,,,, but at what cost? Meanwhile you are at a standstill concerning replacement or repair of said building.

Probably better to be safe than sorry. JMHO

Take care, Huntindave McCann Smile SHELL ROCK IA. ,,,,,, "As sailors grow older, the wiser ones move to smaller boats." Thomas Firth Jones, Multihull Voyaging
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insurance companies want to make a profit they dont want to pay a claim. So anytime they can deny they will. But it does depend on the adjuster you get the most succesful adjusters in the company deny the most claims. Best safe and contact someone on what is required as far as permits.

Oh God, thy sea is so great and my ship is so small.

Its all fun and games until the flying monkeys attack!

Never be afraid to try something new. Remember: Amateurs ... built the ark and Professionals ... built the Titanic.