Rebuilding the barn | Living the Country Life
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Rebuilding the barn

See how three old barns were transformed into new, useful spaces
  • Country drive

    While driving through rural Georgia last year, Randy Meyer says, "I was shocked to find so many empty, unused and abandoned barns." He had wonderful memories of growing up playing in his grandparents' barn, and decided to try and buy one of the dilapidated structures. He found a farmer willing to sell this barn, which was built around 75 years ago by the farmer's grandfather.

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: October 25, 2012
  • Tearing it down

    "I made him an offer, which he accepted way too rapidly," Meyer says. "Should have offered less." Next came six months of occasional weekend work, disassembling the old barn and moving it to his own backyard. This part of the project required many hours of sorting through rotten, wormy lumber, and even more time getting all the rusty nails out. Rotten lumber was discarded and the good lumber stacked according to size.

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: October 25, 2012
  • New home for an old barn

    The wood from the old barn was hauled to Meyer's place in Georgia. "The original size was reduced to a manageable size for my property," he says. A 16x24-foot concrete slab was poured for the new barn's base. "I was so excited," he says. "Construction was slow and precise. Walls, siding, loft flooring, roof truss, and rusty tin all came together."

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: October 25, 2012
  • Hard work rewarded

    "I constructed when time permitted," Meyer says. "As the months clicked by, I was beginning to wonder if I would ever finish. After six months of brow wiping and splinter removing, my barn was complete. What was once a field ornament was now my barn. I can't begin to express the satisfaction that I feel each and every time I look out from my home to the back of the property and see this piece of history."

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: October 25, 2012
  • American history

    Maryland's economy was based on tobacco from the early 1600s through the 20th century. Then barns like the Bean Tobacco Barn in the southern part of the state were abandoned. It had holes in the walls and roof and vines taking over.

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: October 25, 2012
  • Getting to work

    Thanks to a grant written by a St. Mary's College student and matching funds from the state of Maryland, the Bean Tobacco Barn at St. Mary's City was saved. Here, supports help hold the barn in place as work begins.

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: October 25, 2012
  • Maryland makeover

    After having its structural damage repaired, getting a new roof, and having a fresh coat of red paint applied, the Bean Tobacco Barn was restored to its former glory. It is now used by students for exhibits and events.

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: October 25, 2012
  • Bearclaw Farm

    J.T. Potter submitted this photo to our <a href="http://www.livingthecountrylife.com/app/sharemy/allChannels.jsp" target="new">ShareMy</a> gallery, showing the barn at Bearclaw Farm before getting a facelift.

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: October 25, 2012
  • New look

    A new roof, windows with shutters and new panes, repairs to the building, and a fresh coat of paint in a new color suit the barn at Bearclaw farm well!

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: October 25, 2012
  • Saving the barn

    <I>Living the Country Life</I> editor Betsy Freese and her husband, Bob, found it would cost about the same to restore the 1917 barn behind their Iowa home or to tear it down and put up a modern structure. "I can be a sentimental fool, so we decided to save our barn," Betsy says.

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: October 25, 2012
  • Help from the experts

    Bob and Betsy took a stab at tearing off the roof themselves, but called in the experts after one day of dangling from a safety harness pecking away at rotten shingles. It took three months to complete the basic work, Betsy says, which included straightening the barn, replacing the foundation and haymow floor, and adding two lean-tos. "The final product has been a big hit with our neighbors, our sheep, and everyone driving by," she says.

    Date Published: April 13, 2012
    Date Updated: October 25, 2012

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