It is a rare barn indeed that requires no structural or surface repairs. We, at The Barn People, feel that the restoration phase is really what separates the amateur from the professional. In many ways it can be likened to the restoration and refinishing of a fine antique. A barn bought as an “as is” commodity can be likened to purchasing a used car. It may run fine for awhile, but then things start to go wrong and it can become a never-ending saga of disappointments and unforeseen expenses. Our product is the vintage Vermont barn fully-restored and reassembled to look as it did the day it was built almost two centuries ago.
When the barn frame arrives at our shop, all the labeled parts are carefully sorted according to their placement within the barn's framework and again according to their condition and overall appearance. The beams are then stacked undercover to protect them from the sun’s damaging ultraviolet rays which tend to gray the wonderful honey-colored timbers rapidly. Again, because our product is the vintage Vermont barn frame restored and reassembled to look as it did the day it was built almost two centuries ago, meticulous attention is given to the original beams that require repairs due to blemishes or deterioration. Whenever possible, the original beam is kept intact and sections of wood (Dutchman) that match in color and character are spliced into replace deteriorated or unsightly areas.
When all structural elements meet our standards, they are laid out on the ground and preassembled into large wall sections. Each large section is then “squared up” and precise measurements are again taken to make sure all posts are the same length and all joinery is tight. Any corrections to these measurements are now made to the new set of “verified” blueprints. This new and verified set of drawings will then be sent to you and your architect in a disk form to be utilized for the actual construction drawings of your project.
At this point any missing beams are replaced, again using beams that match in color and character joined to the original frame utilizing authentic and matching joinery techniques. The preassembled large frame sections are now ready for the often utilized "adaptation phase". Shortly after a Purchase Agreement has been signed, clients are given the option of customizing the barn frame to meet their particular needs. These changes and additions are then sent to us clearly marked on a set of blueprints for review and a firm quote. During the restoration and repair phase all changes or additions to the original frame are then made to correspond to the drawings we’ve been furnished. These changes may include new lofts in certain areas, which will require additional joist beams spaced at regular intervals; or perhaps the removal or relocation of a specific beam to facilitate a doorway, window or addition. We’ve also fabricated frames, sheds or saltbox additions which will later serve as a bedroom, office, dining nook, entry or connector to an existing structure. These additions also permit a smaller barn to grow on the ground floor plan without adding volumes of space above.
Because the frame is laid out and all "squared up" these changes or additions can be performed again, utilizing beams that match in color, character and authentic joinery and will then appear as an integral part of the original barn frame and never look like an "awkward afterthought".
The entire frame is laid out in our washing area and washed with an environmentally friendly detergent mixed with pure Vermont water. The dirt just floats away and in less than an hour the beams are dry and their appearance is the difference between night and day.
Besides removing centuries of barn dirt, this process also insures that the barn will not smell like the barn it once was, when the new furnace is turned on. Washing is essential!
No one wants to think about bugs in the beams. Beams that have been damaged by insects or dry rot are replaced with beams that match in color and character of the original. However, just to be on the safe side, the entire frame is then sprayed with Bora-Care, a state of the art treatment which kills anything living in the wood including mildew, but remains non-toxic to humans and animals. In addition to killing anything that may be living in the wood, it also has residuals meaning that it will remain in the wood for many years to follow. Insect treatment is also essential!
Our barn frame's timbers require no further attention of any sort. They have been fully restored, washed and treated for insects and mildew. The splendid honey-colored patina is as good as it gets!
The Barn People, 2218 US RT 5, Windsor, Vermont 05089
RELOCATING VINTAGE VERMONT BARNS FOR OVER 35 YEARS.