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Blog entry by canadianchips posted 04-29-2016 02:57 AM 1004 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Moved back to comunity where I was born. I counted over 15 old barns that are not being used. 5 of them on property that I once farmed. 2 weeks ago I approached the new landowner and asked if I could salvage these oldbarns and buildings. MOST commercial farmers are either burning them or pushing them into heap with DOZER. How sad is that.
The new landowner was concerned I would take a few pieces and leave a mess ? i respected that. So i made an agreement to clean up the site. I said I do not have equipment to remove concrete footings or floors ? He was okay with that. I also asked that I start with smaller shed. Lots of drop cedar siding. A few ship lapboards. IF I do good enough job I get okay to start on barn. This barn was built in early 1900. It is gambriel roof design. Loft floor is tongue and groove hardwood boards. Floor joist run entire width ofbarn (28’ ONE piece Douglas FIR), the beams are also douglas fir. 6×6 solid. Not laminated like most. I wss told who ever built the barn and house used the best materials. House is a disaster, racoons , rats, mice. i am afraid of virus’ and other environmental hazards in house. BUT the barn and shed are terrific shape.
I am projecting salvaging 40-50 % of material. Since this is first BIG project taking apart, I am asking for opinions from people that have done this.
I know I shall be bust all summer.
Also. Can this be done alone ? I cannot afford to hire anyone !
Lots of questions.
Looking for lots of advice.

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

7 comments so far

View stefang's profile


17039 posts in 3938 days

#1 posted 04-29-2016 11:16 AM

Tearing a building apart is even more work than building one if you plan to salvage the materials. Instead of hiring someone to help. You might consider partnering up with someone, which would be a big advantage for efficiency and perhaps more importantly safety. Someone with lifting equipment or a tractor mlght be ideal.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View americancanuck's profile


446 posts in 3214 days

#2 posted 04-29-2016 11:17 AM

this sounds like an exciting venture. where will you be doing it?

-- Retired and lovin it

View PhilBello's profile


411 posts in 2571 days

#3 posted 04-29-2016 11:41 AM

Sounds like a big undertaking, especially alone, I agree with stefang, for your own safety it would be better with a partner, I’m not sure how it works in your area, but do you have anyone who sells firewood? they might be up for this, and could take the 50% you are not able to reclaim, at the same time they would have the tools, especially for carting away the timber.

-- If you want the rainbow, you got to put up with the rain - Steven Wright

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

23740 posts in 3710 days

#4 posted 04-29-2016 02:04 PM

Well barns are never put up alone and I’d thing they would be real dangerous to try to take down alone. The roofing and siding may be taken off alone and dropped but on the beams you will need help and most likely lifting equipment.


-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View canadianchips's profile


2632 posts in 3601 days

#5 posted 04-29-2016 02:12 PM

Thanks guys.
I ve considered a “Genie” man lift.
Partnering with a “Firewood Guy ” is also a great idea, I never thought of that. (Not many wood stoves up here)

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View Dark_Lightning's profile


3752 posts in 3713 days

#6 posted 05-01-2016 12:55 AM

Look around and see if there are an millwrights in the area. They know how to get big things moved safely. It’s in the job description- machinery movers and erectors.

-- Steven.......Random Orbital Nailer

View canadianchips's profile


2632 posts in 3601 days

#7 posted 11-02-2016 11:28 PM

Few 2×6x12 douglas fir.
Few 2×4 xrandom length douglas fir.
The way I dropped the barn a lot of wall material splintered, as well as they nailed the crap outta these.
Well I finished Barn #1
Told the owner I would be done by end of October. Weather has been crappy last 3 weeks. BUT I finished today
I salvaged more than expected.
About 20 2×10 x 26ft. Douglas fir
8 6×6x 8ft Douglas fir posts (Not laminated)
90 lin ft 6×6 douglas fir Beam (Sold some for mantels already)
Approx. 1200 sq. ft. tongue and groove cedar
Approx. 2000 sq. ft. 1×8, 1×10, 1×12 Douglas fir roof boards.(Used a shingle shovel scraper, this worked amazing. Took old cedar shingles and nails
Approx. 1500 sq. ft. drop siding (nice grey patina)
Before and after pics.
Waiting for light snow now to burn remaining piles.
This WAS bigger job than I expected. Next one will be 2 people, not doing it alone again !

Approx 1200 sq. ft. shiplap
Random Stall planks.
Few old hinges

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

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