Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Here's to New Barn Doors and Great Neighbors

If you have ever read our blog you are well aware of how awful our barn looks. It is no surprise. However, it was one of the main buying factors when we looked at this place 2 years ago. The sill needs to be replaced. There was a leak in the roof for only God knows how many years. It was let go and not repaired. Hence, we are going to have to put in some major rehab into the barn. We have had one contractor that came out last week and basically told me that it would be cheaper to tear it down. He didn't act very interested. He is also the contractor that never bothered to call me back with an estimate on the barn or work on the house. So, pfft to him. To the women out there. Do you ever talk to a contractor and he just blows you off like you don't have a brain in your head. You have no idea what you want or need. Yes, he is the same guy at the car dealership or the tire warehouse or the auto mechanic shop. You know the feeling you get. Like you want to smack them in the back of the head and say "Hey, take me serious, I'm not stupid". That is the feeling I got with this contractor. We always try to get local people. We are still looking for someone who is competent and able to replace the sill on our barn. It is old, post and beam. The roof is now good and so are many of the beams. If there is any way possible to repair it we will. In the present time we have to get it ready for winter. The ever present looming of WINTER! Buying doors was just out of the question. We have learned to either build or buy used whenever possible. At one time the barn had nice sliding doors. Where they went is anyones guess. We now have animals who need a nice cozy place to winter. Mainely 3 spoiled little goats, many hens and guineas.

So off to Parker Lumber in Bradford, Maine. (again we always try to buy local, not to mention that their lumber is half of what Home Depot costs) Alex spent the last couple of weeks laying out and framing in three barn doors. She designed the doors to be sturdy and long lasting.

We put everything together with deck screws. Both sides are the same. Strong and heavy!

What a nice design. Even unpainted it really looks good.

Of course the color is "Barn Red". This will be the same color we use on the exterior of the barn. We just love red barns.
We were so fortunate to have our neighbors Kevin, Cheata and Nikia over to help hang the doors. The hardware went on without any problems. I don't know how, but there just happen to be beams where the rails have to go. The lower doors went on without a hitch. Each door weighs about 200#. We were able to lift and place the rollers into the rails without too much strain. The top door really worried me. I just didn't know how we would be able to get the door up, much less how to slide it onto the rail. Kevin kept telling us not to worry. He had ideas. Sure. Us of little faith. He was able to install the top rail using a ladder and hanging out of the door. I need to stop here and tell you that Kevin is not a fan of heights. That was putting it nicely. He is a great neighbor and really worked hard here getting past the height issue.

We will work on the framing in of the top door later when we have more time. We just have to block snow and rain from damaging the hay.

Cheata has driven tractors all of her life. A real honest farm girl. The plan was to raise the door and Kevin up to the proper height and slide the door in. This is where I really started praying.

Ted and Kevin are really strong and able to lift this door. I watched from the porch and took pictures. Nikia and I were the official cheering section.

After much maneuvering they were able to get the door to slide onto the rail. There for a while I didn't think it was going to go on. It was getting dark by this time. But with skill and determination the door gave in and went to it's new home.

The doors look great. The barn is kinda tired but the doors look wonderful.

Compliments to the designer, builder, and painter. Alex what a wonderful job!

The production crew, Kevin and Ted. Cheata refused to get into the picture. Excellent work to all. Thank yous all around.

It feels so good to have everyone pitch in and help. Neighbors, family and friends. This is what it must have been like 160 years ago when the barn was built. I can just picture an ole barn raising. Well, minus the John Deere tractor. Thank you Mr. John Deere whoever and wherever you are. The barn was cozy and comfortable tonight with the animals safely abed. Thank you all.
Much love and prayers from Mainely Ewes Farm.


Peggy said...

beautiful doors! A great job Alex!!! You guys are amazing in all you accomplish.

katiegirl said...

Great job on the barn doors!! They look great!!

Not sure if he has email, but Alex should email them and say she built them herself since he didn't want the job! That'll show him!

Terri and Randy Carlson said...

You guys are doing an awesome job! I love old barns, so much character, like a wise old man (or woman!) I totally understand the contractor thing-ugh!

Beverly said...

Wow, those doors are beautiful.....great job!! said...

Wow - Alex did an amazing job on those doors! They are beautiful! I'm so happy you have such wonderful neighbors. What a great accomplishment for the barn. You ladies are doing a wonderful job up there!