All Forums
 "You Bought WHAT?!"
 Barn Building on Old Foundation

Note: You must be logged in to post.
To log in, click here.
To join Heritage Jersey Organization, click here. It’s FREE!

Format Mode:
Format: BoldItalicizedUnderlineStrikethrough Align LeftCenteredAlign Right Insert QuoteInsert List Horizontal Rule Insert EmailInsert Hyperlink Insert Image ManuallyUpload Image Embed Video

* Forum Code is ON
Smile [:)] Big Smile [:D] Cool [8D] Blush [:I]
Tongue [:P] Evil [):] Wink [;)] Clown [:o)]
Black Eye [B)] Eight Ball [8] Frown [:(] Shy [8)]
Shocked [:0] Angry [:(!] Dead [xx(] Sleepy [|)]
Kisses [:X] Approve [^] Disapprove [V] Question [?]

Check here to subscribe to this topic.

T O P I C    R E V I E W
Andrea0509 Posted - Dec 15 2015 : 1:33:25 PM
Hi all!

My husband and I are planning to build our barn in 2016. There's an old dairy barn foundation on our property which we're planning to build on. It's 35' long by 20' wide (approx) and foundation is in wonderful condition for its age (our farmhouse was built in 1905 so it's hard to say how old the foundation is).What I'm wondering about is the layout. It's a blank canvas at this point. The bottom level will be for animals, and the top level will be for hay storage. I've sketched a few ideas but wonder what you all would include regarding stalls, milking area, shelter area, etc. I've looked closely at Mary Jane's ideas in her book and everyone's barn ideas on here as well. I'm thinking possibly 2 nice sized box stalls, a milking area for the head stanchion and side gate, and an area that's open to the outside for animals to come and go as they please for shelter. We have one cow (and calf next year), and a small flock of sheep; only 2 right now but will be growing in the years to come :)

Here's a picture of the foundation. Any and all ideas are appreciated! :) Thanks!
25   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
CloversMum Posted - Jan 18 2016 : 12:54:04 PM
I've decided that a bunch of farming is plain ol' waiting and waiting and waiting. :) Always something to do physically ... mucking is always available! But I'm waiting on a bid to build a barn, waiting for the barn to get started, waiting to hear about a pregnant doe, then waiting on an animal's pregnancy test, waiting for an animal birth, waiting ... ugh, sometimes I'm just not very good at it. But getting better at it and it is just best to go to the next thing while you are waiting. Nothing to complain about at all, just learning how to be patient and content with the waiting and to enjoy it. Good life lesson to learn.
Andrea0509 Posted - Jan 18 2016 : 10:36:46 AM
How exciting Charlene!! Hope plans progress smoothly :)
CloversMum Posted - Jan 17 2016 : 2:03:24 PM
So good to hear progress!

We met with a builder last week concerning a dairy barn to be built this year ... now we are waiting on his bid and some details as well. Exciting times...
Andrea0509 Posted - Jan 17 2016 : 1:24:45 PM
Hi Charlene! Haven't been on here much the past couple of weeks! We're waiting on a couple of details but I'm pretty certain we will start building this winter. Will post updates once things get started!
CloversMum Posted - Jan 14 2016 : 10:02:25 AM
Andrea, how is the progress on your barn plans coming? Keep us posted as we all enjoy hearing about all things cows and their needs.
CloversMum Posted - Dec 26 2015 : 08:43:25 AM
Thank you, MaryJane! Looking forward to it, but no rush.
maryjane Posted - Dec 24 2015 : 8:30:32 PM
I'm happy to give it to you. Next week's project is to purge some books from my overflowing barn library. We receive about five new adult how-to type books every week from publishers who are hoping for a review in my magazine.
CloversMum Posted - Dec 23 2015 : 09:23:13 AM
I'd love to borrow an extra copy, if you find it, MaryJane. But certainly there is no hurry.

maryjane Posted - Dec 23 2015 : 06:28:24 AM
Janet, is there a type of birdhouse you recommend for a flicker house? I do have several dozen bird houses stationed here and there that get lots of use but they probably aren't big enough for a flicker. It seems like flickers have a need to create a home with their beaks first, just like the smaller birds gather twigs. Wouldn't it be nice if they'd just go into an existing hole to have their babies? I have several of what we call woodpecker snags that house plenty of birds every year. I'll have to observe more closely who specifically the inhabitants are.

It seems to me like we have plenty of trees with the ridge so close. I'm wondering if flickers are evolving to prefer manmade structures like the chimney swift that according to Wikipedia will only nest in manmade chimneys. It's odd though because only 50 miles away sits my 4-story historic flour mill covered in wood siding like on my barn and we've never once had a flicker drill into it. In that area there aren't pockets of forest like around here. So perhaps they don't even go or exist in that area of the Palouse. The critters I battle in my mill are bats, pigeons, and raccoons. I've starting leaving a radio on to deter the bats (tired of cleaning up bat poop). The pigeons are of course messy also but the raccoons move in and are very destructive and endlessly clever about getting in. I've had them scratch their way in through a wooden floor from underneath. Sigh.
maryjane Posted - Dec 23 2015 : 06:10:08 AM
Charlene, I think I have an extra copy I can give you. I'll check. Our main library is in our barn ... and the weather outside is frightful.
CloversMum Posted - Dec 22 2015 : 9:05:33 PM
Both sound like good books to have on a wish list! The book BARNS by John Michael Vlach even can be ordered on audio; although, I must say I laughed just a bit as I think you'd miss a huge amount of the book with no pictures.

It looks like MaryJane wrote the introduction to Traditional American Farming Techniques which also sounds good. The first edition of the book was published in 1916. It must have oodles of history in it!

Both are now on my wish list. Thanks ladies!
Andrea0509 Posted - Dec 22 2015 : 6:19:31 PM
Loved hearing about your memories as a kid Charlene. Cute how you got to ride in the wheelbarrow!

Sounds like a good read Janet! One for me to put on the wish list :) On a related note, I have a book called Traditional American farming techniques, which talks about everything from tools used in those days to how to care for livestock. If I remember correctly I think Mary Jane was listed as a contributing author.
NellieBelle Posted - Dec 22 2015 : 2:56:43 PM
I absolutely love barns. Reading the history of different barns. And my grandpa told me that the barn and buildings on the farm were for their livelihood. The barn being of the most importance. I have a book, BARNS by John Michael Vlach, Norton/Library of Congress Visual Sourcebooks in Architecture, Design & Engineering, that is full of pictures of different barns from all over. It talks about the history and importance of the barn in farming. Shows diagrams of how they were set up. Old tools too, like hay derricks, etc. Really interesting.
CloversMum Posted - Dec 22 2015 : 2:05:28 PM
As I was reading Milk Cow Kitchen this morning, I stumbled upon a great photo of another majestic barn ... page 236. Pretty cool weather vane, too.

I like what MJ says, "It's no wonder we long for an era when barns were bigger than houses and the size of an outbuilding wasn't about the number of cars it held."

CloversMum Posted - Dec 21 2015 : 9:39:38 PM
Yes, MaryJane, I think a motel for the birds would be just the thing ... you have a B&B for human guests, why not one for the birds? :-) Seriously, if Janet recommends it, I would most definitely try it. She's the wonder with birds.

We laugh when we hear the flickers trying to drill holes through the metal ... they still try on our gutters, chimney cap, and, now, I suppose they'll try on our barn come spring. I get a headache just hearing them drill.

I've seen many pictures of barns made out of stones; but, they are located further east. I suppose that, too, would deter any crazy bird and would last. As a child, I lived in Reading, MA, and I remember my dad building a rock wall from all the rocks that came out of the soil ... such rocky ground. He'd even push me in the wheelbarrow up the street where he'd get the neighbor's rocks and then, of course, I would need to walk back while he pushed the rock-filled wheelbarrow back to our forested yard and build a bit more wall.
Andrea0509 Posted - Dec 21 2015 : 7:51:13 PM
Glad to hear all of you ladies enjoy your metal siding. It may not be as historic inspired or pretty, but I'm guessing those that came before us would have chosen it in a heartbeat. Easier maintenance and long lasting. Can't beat it. Sorry about those pesky birds Mary Jane! Sounds like you've tried it all. My pest around here is moles. SO destructive!

We are hoping to make a decision soon regarding a start date. I get giddy just thinking about it!
NellieBelle Posted - Dec 21 2015 : 7:20:14 PM
Metal siding here, as to build an all wood barn would be expensive. We have red metal siding on the chicken house, dog kennel and barn and I would imagine the new parlor will be the same. MaryJane, have you tried putting up houses up for your flickers/woodpeckers?
maryjane Posted - Dec 21 2015 : 3:24:04 PM
Around here you have to go with metal. My poor old barn that was built probably 70 years ago is riddled with 2 and 3-inch holes drilled clear-through by flickers (we mend it annually with the ends of tin cans). And they pull out and toss any insulation that is in a building all over from here to breakfast and back. Every spring we listen to them destroying any of our structures that are wood. They even try to drill into metal (must cause headaches, right?). Our historic one-room schoolhouse has hundreds of holes. We've hung all kinds of shiny objects and put realistic owls out but the flickers just laugh at us. I finally covered a side of my barn in hardware cloth and chicken wire and they still drill into it. I'm a big fan of metal siding. Love the look of wood but .. it's for the birds.
CloversMum Posted - Dec 21 2015 : 2:56:36 PM
I'm loving my budget-friendly RED metal sheeting ... I had to at least have the old-fashioned red color.
Andrea0509 Posted - Dec 21 2015 : 11:06:35 AM
Hi Janet, what a cool structure!! That's a great idea that there are tours offered by the foundation. Bet they get a good turnout every year. Just did a quick search and found Michigan has a similar group called the Michigan Barn Preservation Network. I swoon over this sort of thing ;) We won't really be restoring ours to its original however; more of just using the original foundation and building upon it something new. Siding will be the more budget-friendly metal sheeting like you see on pole barn. :)
NellieBelle Posted - Dec 21 2015 : 04:40:11 AM
Love old structures, especially barns Andrea. We have an Iowa Barn Foundation an organization that help folks restore old barns to their original structure. I just received a card and picture of a barn that I was able to watch being restored. My son took a picture of it when we were riding together and it is a magnificent structure. They put on a new wood shingle roof. William Owens Barn. It will be in the tour this coming year. I love touring old barns. So much love and history. Peoples livelihood. Thanks for sharing yours. Will enjoy watching the progress.
Andrea0509 Posted - Dec 20 2015 : 7:26:16 PM
The construction of the old barns here are mostly wood, but the foundation/basement levels are either cement or large stones. They are all different and whenever we drive anywhere on a trip across the state I always enjoy commenting on all the barns we see...not sure my husband appreciates them the same way I do! Haha ;) It's always been a fascination of mine!
CloversMum Posted - Dec 20 2015 : 7:15:47 PM
What a treat to be able to explore old barns and learn their history. Be sure to write down your own barn's history as much as you remember ... maybe even frame a written copy and hang it in your barn once its done!

Are most of the barns in your area built of wood or rock?
Andrea0509 Posted - Dec 20 2015 : 6:34:20 PM
Charlene; will definitely post updates as they come :) Wow that's nuts that the wind blew down the trusses, but glad it wasn't too much of a setback for you guys. Us farmgirls have to perservere even when the going gets tough! I'm so glad the project turned out so wonderfully!! I'm excited to recreate the 2 story barn on our foundation too. Around Michigan 2 story barns are everywhere, many of which are historic old buildings over 100 years old, that each have a story to tell! I've been in several and I just love walking through them imagining what it was used for and what animals it might have housed all those years ago. They're a piece of history that I'm thankful is still around for us to appreciate.
CloversMum Posted - Dec 19 2015 : 11:56:50 AM
I'd enjoy seeing your progress as you go along! We, too, were limited on a preset outside dimensions of our chicken barn as posts were put in a few years ago to support some free trusses that were given us. The trusses blew down in a wind storm and set us back a bit. However, we didn't want to redo the posts to save some money ... hence, the preset dimensions. However, it was definitely enough for our needs this first go around.

I love the idea of a two story barn! You don't always see that with new barns ... at least not around here so much.