Print This Page

DayCreek Journal

October 25 , 2011


Garage / Workshop - Part III
The Barn Raising Begins

barn raisingIt's not exactly like the barn raising scene in the movie Witness and it doesn't star Harrison Ford, but it is being built by a hybrid team of Amish and "English" workers. And just like the hybrid team of barn builders, the barn-style garage is not exactly built like the old-style barns, but it is a hybrid of old and new building techniques.

I did look into building a traditional timber frame barn complete with fitted mortis and tenon joints, but the costs were just too high if I purchased a pre-cut, pre-fitted kit. If I were to cut my own timbers with mortis and tenon joints, it would take me years to cut/chisel those joints and if I had carpenters do it for me, it again would be really expensive to do.

I also found a more reasonable approach using a pre-cut kit that instead of mortis and tenon, were joined with standard timber hardware. This also was expensive due to the fact that the timbers would have to be shipped from upstate Maine to Minnesota.

Another option was to restore an old barn frame. There's a barn restoration company in Iowa that take down old barns and save the frames for rebuilding them. This would have worked if I could have found a style barn that came close to the size/shape that I was looking for. Such was not the case and it still was a bit pricey.

So...my quest then turned to find local timbers and someone that could build a post and beam frame for me. Luck would have it that I found a contractor in Rushford, MN that not only was interested in my project but had a source for the timbers needed to build the barn.

It took a number of months to finally piece together the project, but it was worth the effort and wait. We're now well on our way to getting the barn-style, garage/workshop up before winter sets in.

Amish building barn

More to follow...

—Alan Stankevitz