At long last, the only thing remaining was the door. Now, as I have mentioned earlier, my daughter Eleanor (10 yrs old) has read The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, and she really wanted me to put a round door on the barn like a hobbit hole. Well, as luck would have it, I found a free Craigslist posting for a company that had what appeared to be a side of a massive construction spool: it was a huge circle, 7-1/2 feet in diameter and 1-1/2” thick, made of of 1” x 6” pin...
My daughters wanted the barn to be “hobbit-style,” complete with a round door. So, for the wall on the “human side” that will be visible from most of the property, I wanted to find a round window to match. Again through a free find on Craigslist from a floor and door company, I managed to acquire 2 beveled half-round and two rectangular door lites, double -paned: For the “goat-side” window, I was also able to get 6 15” double-paned squares from...
As you may have noticed in the last post, the barn is already occupied. True, the walls aren’t even done, but friends of our were thinning their herd and offered us a doe and a wether, so I asked for a couple of weeks and quickly built a 20’ x 25’ paddock and partioned the interior of the barn off to separate the goat lounging area, kidding stall, and sleeping platform from the human side that houses the hay crib, the feeder rack, and the access to nest boxes and feed/water ...
My wife and I have been interested in building with cordwood for almost 5 years now. Initially, we planned to use the technique to build our Washington home ourselves but we found great home that was already built that saved us the work. Cordwood masonry is a centuries-old technique that uses short, debarked logs (like you might use for firewood) set in mortar to form structural walls or else fill in a timber frame structure. It’s a great way to use woods that otherwise would not be ...
If you’ve been following this blog series at all, you’ll know it’s been a lo-o-o-ong time since my last entry. Rest assured, I haven’t been idle—quite the contrary, I’ve been too busy to think about documenting and photographing a lot of the work. But, here’s a catch up of the roof. Rafters and purlins make a great roof for a gazebo, but a lousy roof for a barn to keep out rain. The covering starts with burlap. While not strictly necessary, the fir...
After the rafters were raised and secured last Saturday, we moved on to attaching the purlins. These are the radial pieces between the rafters that will hold up the roofing material. In our case, these are fashioned from alder branches or saplings, with the bark left on, nailed to the rafters with about a 4-inch spaced between them so that there is room for the purlins on the adjacent sides to attach. It was great to have a “ground crew” of people to hand up purlins of the ...
Well, the long-awaited barn raising day finally arrived this past Saturday, and my family in the area arrived to help. Wrestling eight 14-foot rafters was definitely a portion of the barn build that I could not accomplish alone. Of course, like any good barn raising, the family brought food, we grilled out, and we made a day of it. The first order of business was to explain to my “crew” what we would be doing. The barn’s roof is supported by reciprocal frame rafters, a te...
The barn raising is Saturday, so in the meantime, I’m attending to some other related things that need to be done, but that won’t get in the way of the ladders, braces, and people that will need to be in and around the structure in order to get the rafters in the air. So, I’ve been done smaller projects like building out the next boxes for the chicken coop, teaching my wife how to stack the rafters, etc. Another big project that needs doing is the paddock, the holding and...
Inspired by Simon Dale's Low Impact Woodland Home, the roof for the barn will be held up by reciprocal frame rafters rather than a ridge peak or a truss system. This will allow a clear span beneath without support poles. Other web resources about this kind of roof can be found at the Year of Mud blog and at Green Building Elements. This weekend, I tested out the reciprocal frame concept on the ground ust to make sure the voodoo works before I tried it ten feet in the air. First, I brought ...
One of the design goals with the barn was to able to care for the goats, chickens, and the livestock guardian dog from inside the structure, without necessarily tromping around outside in the often-wet Washington weather. To that end, one of the back (uphill) walls of the octagon will therefore be common with one of the walls of the coop and provide access to nest boxes for egg collection as well as food and water containers. After a few free Craigslist lumber finds, I was ready to proceed...
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