Monday, November 5, 2012

Residing the Barn

Hi and happy Monday to you all.  I hope you had a nice weekend.

My little barn is 12 years old now and was built with exterior chip wood.  Even though it's been painted several times with oil based paint, it continues to chip away.  The fact that the chickens and goats like to chew at it doesn't help.

Last year I covered the entire barn with roofing paper as a temporary fix to the problem.  My intention is to cover the entire barn with exterior siding and it wouldn't hurt to have an added layer to block drafts through the cracks anyway.  Well, the little goat family immediately took that as a challenge and started tearing the paper off.  It was a big job to measure, cut and staple all the roofing paper on by myself so I didn't appreciate that it only took minutes for them to ruin some of my hard work.

Last year's project beginnings...

The next step I took to buy more time was to attach chicken wire all across the barn.  I can always use chicken wire around here so when I was at a point where I could put up proper siding, it wouldn't be a waste of money.  As you can see, the little goat family still found a way to tear the paper on the front of the barn.

What it looks like now...

Because I can't afford to pay somebody to help me with work around here, my options for siding are limited.  What I really need to cover the barn with is hardy plank.  This stuff is incredibly heavy and requires a special saw blade to cut it with.  I knew I couldn't man-handle those planks by myself so continued looking for another material.

I would love to use cedar shakes - not only would it make the barn look very cute but they are affordable and easy to install.  The problem with using that material is that they are tacked individually and that would make the interior walls look like a torture chamber with all those nails poking through and would hurt the goat family. I thought about vinyl siding but passed on that.  I don't think it would hold up to the goats (darned little critters).

Pressure treated plywood would have been perfect but it too is very heavy and I don't think I could have managed it by myself.  That left me with exterior grade paneling.  I love the look of it and it isn't heavy.  No wonder.  I discovered when I unloaded it that it is particle board.  Great...the mice will chew through this in no time.

So, I purchased all the material on the way home from work Friday afternoon and headed up Saturday morning bright and early to pick it up with my handy, dandy utility trailer that my son-in-law bought for me a couple of months ago.  (I still can't back up with that thing and have to drive in very large circles to maneuver it.)

My goal for the weekend was to get the north side of the barn covered with the new siding.  The entire bottom edge of that side has rotted or has large holes chewed by a gazillion little field mice who call the barn home.  I've patched as much as I can and with winter coming, this job had to be tackeled now.

The first panel went up without too much trouble.  The second one didn't line up exactly as it should have because it was difficult to hold it into position and nail it in place.  These panels are 4 x 8 feet each.  The third panel has a big gap at the bottom of it, which I will patch today.  I am not a carpenter and didn't think to take into account there is a slight slope in the pasture, which meant I shouldn't have cut as much off the last two panels.  Darn it!  And it didn't help that I was tired after installing the first two and was beginning to feel like I had bitten off more than I could chew.

The first panel without the trim board attached.

 All four panels in place and trim boards attached, before I cut the pop door - a good stopping point.

 After the panels were up, I needed to cut a new "pop" door for the chickens and finished that just before dark last night.  I've taken most of today off to secure the pen and tack hardware cloth all along the bottom of the panels to try to deter the mice.  And I think it will help if I attach flashing all along the exterior bottom edge to slow down rot from rain but won't be able to do that till this coming weekend.

Before winter actually sets in, I need to stuff some insulation under the eaves.  Nothing will make the barn warm but it will cut down on some of the cold air coming in.

What a job!!  I want to make the pen look a little tidier and will take care of that today.  Having animals is fun most of the time but they sure do create a ton of work and cost money.  I wish I had the means to have everything built professionally and look nice like I see out in blog land, but don't so I do the best I can with what I have.

Tomorrow will be cold and rainy but please make sure you vote (unless you're voting for "the other guy")!!