The hard work we put in over the summer has finally paid off in a useable barn. When I bought the farm the barn was solid, but mainly a very dusty storage area. Various ideas were debated about updating the barn, including making it into a house (which would have cost as much a building a new house), or just knocking it down. I couldn’t bear the thought of knocking it down, but wasn’t sure where to start on the renovation. Finally this spring I decided on just making it useable.
Last summer during one of our many barn planning sessions we discovered that the floor had considerable dry rot. To the point that we were falling through the floor in spots. So the first step was pulling out all the floor boards. Fortunately the joists underneath were sturdy. I had a termite inspection done, just to be on the safe side and everything looked good there. A friend came to help and redid some of the siding. This was followed by many more barn planning sessions. My contractor has many different plans drawn up for the many different ideas we had. After much planning and discussion I decided I would just work on putting it back together to make it useable and work on adding the grand plans as I have money to do them.
The first step was to put the floor back down. My son and my parents helped add a plywood subfloor. Then we added some temporary walls. Based on the forecast for the weekends of the ghost tours I knew I was going to try to heat the barn somehow and by adding in a wall it would give a smaller area to heat and block off a large opening. My son added some plastic sheeting on the ouside walls to block the breeze and we moved in our patio heater. Some edison lights and we had lighting!
Our first weekend of ghost tours was cold as predicted, however the barn stayed fairly warm and worked well for starting the tours in. Much better than sitting outside on the patio in the rain. I am so happy with this project. It is far from complete, but it is useable. Future plans involve finishing the leanto areas to make them functional as well, and possibly a bathroom.