Monday, October 29, 2012

Barn Building Part 4: Hurricane Sandy Preparation

Hurricane Sandy is due to make her appearance in Maine later this afternoon. By the time she comes this way, we are anticipating winds and rain, but nothing like what the folks in the lower coast are facing. I hope that everyone took precautions to evacuate and stay safe. My prayers have certainly been filled with thoughts for their safety.

Around here, there has been a flurry of activity preparing, just in case. Sean and I spent the day on Saturday building a retaining wall from an 8 inch square wooden beam (gifted to us) a little over 2 feet past where the front wall of the tack room sits. We back-filled a 10 foot square area, 8 inches deep with dirt, rocks, and gravel.
Previous build. Notice 8 inch drop
on front left side of building. Not good.
Fixed corner.
Once this was level, we reinstalled the 2 walls that were previously crooked, nice and level (READ POST HERE) and started putting on the rafter supports for the second story.  Originally we thought we could get away with using 2x4's for this job, but with the combined weight of the hay we'll be storing up there next year and the roof, we are going to need to frame this out with 2x6's instead... and, next Spring, we will. As we have written about in the past, this is a "build-as-we-go" project. For this year, we are proud to complete: framing the entire downstairs of the 20x30 building, sheathing the first floor interior and exterior walls, installing 4 windows, building floating wood floors, and securing a flat plywood roof covered with tarp.

Come Spring, we'll focus on removing the temporary 2x4's and replacing them with 2x6's, rescrewing the plywood flooring, framing the second story and roofing and sheathing this. The goal is to have the barn exterior complete by next winter. We spent $110 on a dump truck of dirt/gravel and nearly another $100 on 2x4's. These expenses bring the current total cost for the project (out of pocket) to $799 for materials, well over our original hope of keeping it within $750. READ POST HERE -Silly Us!

By Saturday evening, we had the walls back in place and secure. Much better!


Sunday, we all spent time, digging out the horse stall and refilling it with a new bed of 8 inches of soft dirt. Caitlin and I shoveled dirt into buckets, Sean and Justin dumped the buckets into the stall, and Kristen and Meaghan sifted out any large rocks that had the potential to get caught in Jasmine's hooves. I love all working together and fixing a problem in less than an hour that took all Summer to create. What happened was Jasmine's 10x10 stall already had a slight dip to the ground. Over the Summer as it rained, water would pool in the depression, causing a horrible mess. The more we mucked the stall, the more dirt was removed because it was muddy and nasty, which then made the problem worse with each new rain storm. No good! It rained last night and the new floor held up beautifully; no puddle, no mess. The real test will be what the floor looks like after Hurricane Sandy passes.
By Monday morning, the roofing supports had been secured and a blue tarp screwed into place to help keep the stalls dry. Sean and I are planning a "Stay-cation" the week of November 12th. Rain or shine, this building will be as ready as it is going to be before winter comes. Still lots left to do, but we are really pleased with the dent we have made in finishing it.

And, what were the goats up to while all this was going on? See for yourselves:

Eating, of course!

Thanks for visiting today.
Sean & Sonja ♥


  1. Nice! Looking good. Lots of great progress made. I can't believe how big it is!

    The goats don't seem to be bothered by your presence haha.

  2. Wow! It is so nice when the whole family works together. I am hoping all will be well while we wait out the storm.

  3. Looks great! Stay safe, and I hope y'all make it through the storm okay.