Building Our Timberframe Barn

There is a long and continuing saga to the barn you see in my blog title up there.  Our farm needed a barn — someplace to store the equipment we were accumulating to take care of the land.  A place we could camp in comfort, and a staging area to build our house.

barn-sketch-1We mulled it over three years, while our daughter studied architecture at the University of Minnesota.  We visualized something traditional, but Della sketched an asymmetrical roof to take best advantage of the solar angle for PV panels some day.

In the loft, the short, high north roof let us keep the building as low as possible and still have room to walk up to the wall and look out a window.   We added a lean-to greenhouse on the south side, and built into the hill such that you walk in on the ground floor in front and walk out on the loft floor in the back.  We liked it.  We wanted to build something that would last.  We wanted timber frame.

We took Della’s drawing to Mike Yaker, and he said he could do it.  After getting the first cost estimate, we dropped the idea of insulating and heating it.  Once the house is built, it will not need either, so why waste the resources?

We are still working on this barn.  Hope to get the batten boards and the rest of the windows in this summer now that the Wild Parsnip campaign is winding down.  See my post Warning: Wild Parsnip Season here.

This being a photo essay, I’ll stop yakking now and let the pictures do the work.

The four corners of the barn with lean-to greenhouse in our imagination.

The four corners of the barn with lean-to greenhouse in our imagination.

Doug and Della stand in the door of her first building.

Doug and Della stand in the door of her first building.

14-view-from-house-site

What an exciting day Raising Day was!

The roof boards came from trees with oak wilt that we harvested carefully and milled a few feet from the barn site.

The roof boards came from trees with oak wilt that we harvested carefully and milled a few feet from the barn site.

The shape of these rafters always makes me think of someone throwing their arms into the sky in pure jubiliation.  This will be our view in the loft -- once we get the floor boards in.

The shape of these rafters always makes me think of someone throwing their arms into the sky in pure jubiliation. This will be our view in the loft -- once we get the floor boards in.

The first two winters, we stapled plastic sheeting over the greenhouse.

The first two winters, we stapled plastic sheeting over the greenhouse.

Last fall we got polycarbonate panels on the greenhouse roof.  Still have to finish the door this summer.  Check out that copper-colored metal roof.

Last fall we got polycarbonate panels on the greenhouse roof. Still have to finish the door this summer. Check out that copper-colored metal roof.

My next post on Friday will be about the way several health insurance programs in Madison WI offer rebates to clients who buy food through CSAs.  How cool is that?

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