In which building the barn is illustrated from beginning to end

Follow along, and see how we grew our very own barn!

In January, 2009 on this blog I posted  a plan . The plan showed an aerial photo of Haiku Farm, and included our notes about where things were, and where new stuff needed to go.

In early 2010, we were able to start adding the most important building of all:  the barn.
Jim dug the hole, using Tootles the Tractor.  
(Tootles is for sale now, by the way.  Anybody wanna buy a friendly blue tractor?)

After the hole was dug, we added gravel.  Lots of gravel!
 Throughout the project,  it seemed like the answer to almost every roadblock was "MORE GRAVEL."
The barn frame was made by Noble Panels, a manufacturing company based in Oregon. 

We bought the frame through our local farmer's co-op, rather than directly from the manufacturer because the purchase price is the same, but the co-op gives us a 10% rebate on all purchases at the end of the year.  Our 2011 rebate is going to be a big 'un!
 Our building site is sloped; we had to dig ditches so the frame could set level.  We also needed some substantial post-holes for the support poles. 
The panel pieces are heavy!   That's good, of course.  We didn't want a flimsy, lightweight barn.  But it took two or three of us + Tootles to move most of the panels into place.

 Next step: bolt the pieces together.

 The brackets and bolts are very simple, but strong.  It's the bolt/bracket arrangement that means our barn is legally a temporary structure, because technically we could take the whole thing apart and move it elsewhere if we wanted to do that. 
 Having a "temporary structure" means we didn't have to hassle with the local government about permitting, which saved us a lot of time and money. 

(I can't imagine actually taking apart our temporary structure anytime soon, though!)
 Structural inspections took place periodically, especially if somebody left a gate un-latched somewhere on the property.
 Inspector Lupin Goat Gruff gives his approval.
 The roof rafter isn't very heavy, but it's bulky, and needed to go wa-a-ay up in the air.  Tootles helped again.  The instructions sent by Noble included step-by-step photos, which were really helpful. 

That's how we knew to use 4x4's to support the rafter while it was being bolted. 

January 1, 2011:  raising the roof!
 The roof-raising party was blessed by sunshine. 

 We must've used up our sunshine quota for that day, because we haven't seen much of it since then.

The frame was up, the roof was up.  The next step:  make some walls.
The instructions for the frame included the dimensions of all the wood pieces, but a few of the provided measurements weren't accurate. 
 We checked every single piece before stacking it away to be painted.

 The weather was totally uncooperative for painting: cold and wet and windy.  We made walls out of tarps, hung the tarp-walls on our panels, and proceeded to paint. 
 After the walls boards were painted with KILZ + paint, we bolted them to the frame.

 We finished the "horse-side" first. 
 Each stall is 12'x12', with a tall door and roof, so even Gigantor has plenty of room. 

 The final building:
The modular barn is constructed of 12x12 squares, so the aisle is 12' wide and 24' long, with enough roof clearance to bring in a pickup truck full of feed to unload right from the aisle into the hay room (which is also a 12'x12' space) or the tack/grain room (also 12'x12').  

It's simple.  It's basic.  And it's finished!

Well, almost finished.  We still have to attach some gutters and do a little bit of "finishing details".  But functionally, it's done at last.



  1. Our Noble barn was put up on *rented* property, so we KNEW it would get moved one day. We used it for a season here at EvenSong until the "real" barn was under way (still a work in progress), then sold all but the 6 foot gate panels (still in use) to a friend who was wanting to use it for a kennel building. It was an outstanding investment!
    Your project is MUCH nicer than ours was, as it's much more permanent, for a temporary structure.

  2. wonderful! i love the entire story. i have to show my man when he wakes up (it's after midnight and i'm still awake blogging..)

    spring break has just begun and we have one huge priority - finish the freaking barn. it has to have an overhang roof installed so the rain doesn't pour in. and insulation. and perhaps those stakes that keep the thing from blowing away?

    i love your white barn panels and look forward to seeing more details.

    how do the mares like it?

    one more detail we did accomplish, my man installed a two-sided bucket holder for a water bucket. it comprises two hooks that we lined up and riveted together so you can hang a bucket on the inside or outside. sometimes i lock baasha out of the barn so it's good to be able to hang a bucket on the outside.

  3. The barn looks awesome!!!
    You guys are some hard workers, and I have to say its really nice to see your kids out helping, and smiling at the same time. Very nice.

  4. Aarene, I'm seriously impressed! I really enjoyed all the pictures. Whenever I do a project I get so involved the last thing usually think about is a camera, but you really followed it well. I think the barn looks fantastic! Great structure and size, put together very well by you guys and Tootles. I'll bet you've got some happy horses now. Great project!

  5. We like it. Plus you have cute girls. We want to visit. We'll bring hay...
    Um. Do the goats gruff like to play...tag?
    We like...tag.
    Hudson and Dinero

  6. I love this photo essay! Great work! :-)

  7. Barn + musicians = barn dance, right?


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