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The Barn People prepare to dismantle a barn by first photographing the structure as it originally stood. We then carefully measure the barn and make sketches to record its essential character. Blueprints are later drawn from these sketches of the original frame, stating the location and size of each timber. These drawings are then labeled for coding purposes.
The exterior roof cover, which maybe slate, old tin sheeting, asphalt or wooden shingles, in then removed. These materials cannot be reused. The roof sheathing boards are then taken off, exposing the rafters, which are one of the barn’s most compelling features soaring high above the ground floor. The exterior siding is now taken off. This may be clapboard, wood or asphalt shingles, or vertical boards commonly referred to as “barn board.” We save as much of these barn boards as we can, but due to years of exposure to the sun and Vermont’s harsh winters, the yield is generally small.
Farmers seldom had the time or the money to replace the exterior skin, so many old barns have a decidedly seedy appearance. But within the tattered shell with its leaky roof and brittle barn siding, is an exposed splendid framework of solid, warm mellowed timbers, which succeeds functionally as well as aesthetically.
This framework is wire brushed by hand to remove hay, cobwebs and years of accumulated dirt. All nails and hardware are removed. The entire frame is now exposed, which always proves to be quite exciting for us. We brace the frame for dismantling the large sections with a crane. All wooden pegs, which hold the the timbers firmly in place, are then removed. Any missing timbers, which made up the original frame, are drawn onto the blueprints for later replacement at our shop. The entire frame is then labeled to correspond with the labeled blueprints, the rafters are lowered to the ground by hand and ropes. A crane is utilized to lower the large heavy sections of the frame to the ground. These are then carefully taken apart and loaded onto a flatbed truck for shipment to our shop.
All during this dismantling process great care and attention to detail is taken to assure that there won’t be ugly scarring or breakage to the timbers. We don’t want to spend hours at our shop repairing or replacing timbers that were carelessly handled.
The Barn People, 2218 US RT 5, Windsor, Vermont 05089
RELOCATING VINTAGE VERMONT BARNS FOR OVER 35 YEARS.