Friday, July 20, 2012

A Big Red Barn

In all of her glory, with a brand new shiny green roof!

  I'd been kind of saving this post for the 4th of July.  Started writing it a while back, got side tracked and then thought it might be a nice Independance Day Post, but I wasn't able to publish anything for quite some time with Blogger.  Let's hope it works now, because I'd like to get this up before July is done and gone!

If you've read our blog for any time, you'll recognize the Burnham Barn.  The Burnham Farm is the property where the Round House is, on the other side of the woods from the house and farm where we live.  The property surrounding this is what we had to sell last fall.  But we kept the Round House, the Barn and about ten acres around it.  Our daughter's family bought the Burnham Farm House several years ago and so they live just down the hill from the barn (I'm was actually standing in their yard when I took this picture)  This majestic old barn is three stories high.  I'm not sure of the height on the high side here, but the length is 82 feet.  A few years ago, the roof on the southwest side started to give way.  At first it leaked a little bit.  Then, of course, left unchecked it got worse.  And worse, and worse.  Just like a house, when a barn roof starts to leak things below it start to rot away.  And the problem just spreads.  A dilema.  And an expensive fix, especially for folks living on a tightly budgeted fixed income!

We don't use this barn for livestock.  We don't store hay, straw or grain in it anymore.  It's mostly storage and mostly not our stuff that's stored in it, LOL!  Bill and I talked about it, prayed about it - talked to others about it, got estimates for a new roof.  The estimate was less than we expected (though still a LOT of money).  We got another estimate.  What it came down to is that it would cost as much (or more) to have it torn down and that wasn't something we wanted to do anyway.  We're just not the kind of people, retired or not, who could willingly let "the queen of the farm" rot away.  It was hard enough to sell the land, what kind of "caretakers" would we be to let this barn just rot and fall down?  Then something happened that I won't share the details of here but will just say that it seemed like a definate answer of what to do for us.  And so, a new barn roof she has!
This is before....
This is an "in progress" picture
And then the joyful day that the work was complete, as you see in the picture at the beginning of this post!  We were afraid that the siding would look really bad with the shiny new roof, but it really doesn't and we're glad because we sure can't afford to replace that.  And I don't really think I want new siding - not quite the character!
So we hope you don't think us foolish or frivilous or that we have money to throw away on a new barn roof.  Just know that we're grateful and happy that we were able to take care of this historic building in the proper way.  Who knows, she may house livestock again one day.  She'll certainly see more bikes and tractors and lawn furniture!
She and her companion, the Round House, look pretty great together don't they?

I want to add how pleased we were with the work our contractor did!  He is local and also did work on our house.  We would be happy to share his name if anyone in the mid-Michigan area needs a new roof on their barn!

Remember this post where I told you about a list of projects we hoped to accomplish and showed you the pictures of our little falling down shed next to the house here where we live?  Well, that one still hasn't been replaced/repaired but this barn roof was another project on that list and it can now be checked off as done.


Lona said...

Caretakers--that's it, exactly. Not frivolous at all to replace a roof on a bit of history. I'm a sucker for old buildings of all kinds, but especially barns.

Side-story: My parents have been taking down old buildings on their farmstead at a steady pace over the years. Their feeling is why pay taxes on an empty old building. So several years ago when they spoke of taking down the old barn, my heart stopped. The Farmer and I conspired together to put animals in that barn (it now houses the rams in the summer and a couple of horses in the winter), AND to fill it with hay each year. We've helped with the upkeep and it now has a new roof, new siding (looks nice, despite the fact that it is steel) and has been spared from the chopping block.

Hope all is well with you. We got a bit of rain recently, and we are praying for more.

Joanne said...

Cary, the barn looks great. I am glad that you were able to fix it up. The last picture, with the round house, is a great picture!

Linda J. said...

The new roof looks grand! So glad you decided to do it.

Pam said...

Love that you were able to roof your barn. We still use our old one for raising calves and one side is being fitted for horses.
Thank you so much for visiting us at the Owosso Farmer's mkt. a few weeks ago.