New Prairie Construction logo

Homestead Barn Repair & Restoration

This 1850s barn is believed to predate the 1874 Victorian Italianate farmhouse by roughly 20 years. New Prairie and Trillium Dell Timberworks worked together to save what could be saved and replace what needed replacing.

The deteriorated siding was removed, and several steel I-beams were carefully placed in order to lift the barn off its foundation. Underneath the beams, thick timbers were laid on the side and crossed in a process called cribbing. This stack of lumber held the barn up as the foundation was replaced. It made the barn look as though it was floating in midair! The new foundation was faced with brick veneer.

Some of the original wood was too decayed and had to be removed. Rotted wood was cut out, and splices of wood were laminated in. A special drill was used to mortise some of the timber so that stabilizing hardware could be inserted.

When the old roofing was removed, it was discovered that the 2×4 rafters were all rotted on top and had to be replaced. The ridge beam had a swale in it, but we were able to save it by adding additional framing. New metal roofing and a cupola were added.

Railings were added in the loft to keep folks from tumbling down the stairwell and hay opening. (The barn had one opening to lift and drop loose hay through. At the time the barn was built, balers hadn’t been invented.) A concrete floor was poured over a gravel bed.

A new lean-to with Dutch doors was constructed on the south side. A festive wreath adorns the finished barn.

Click or double-tap images to see them in larger lightbox format.