Climbing Barn: Framing and Finishing the Expansion

IMG_3995It’s time for another climbing barn update. Again, Josh has made a lot of progress since the last barn post, so I have much to share with you. After demolishing the existing wall and pouring the concrete footer for the expansion, Josh got to framing out the expansion walls, rebuilding the barn wall, and putting on a shiny tin roof. For portions of this project, we had professional help from our very knowledgeable friend Stephan. We are so thankful for his expertise!
IMG_4015With the foundation dry and free of the wooden concrete mold, Josh and Stephan secured treated footer boards to the foundation with 1/2″ spade bit anchor bolts placed at about 2′ increments. They also built the main header that serves as the primary support and structural interface between the expansion and the existing structure. This support is made from sets of three 2″ x 8″ boards bolted together. Josh said that the three boards fastened together are stronger than a single beam of the same size and same density material. Bolting the boards together into a beam also makes it much easier to cut and install.

Then they built each wall panel separately and made sure they were all square and level by measuring them corner-to-corner. Next they lifted the wall panels into place and secured them. Nail guns and an air compressor made quick work of the fastening of the siding boards to the studs, which has to be done per code (we did 4″ spacing at board edges and 6″ spacing at intermittent studs).


Next, Josh and Stephan measured the angle on the roof, cut the roof joists, and attached them to the header. Josh then put on roofing board (a strand board instead of plywood sheathing). Since the dimensions of the expansion were based on standard board sizes, they didn’t have to make a lot of specialty cuts.

The following weekend Josh finished the expansion soffit and the eaves, framed out the large barn wall (connecting the expansion space to the existing barn), and nailed on the ply board. He used 1″ pine boards to apply board-and-baton to the large wall and all the expansion walls to seal up the board edges and cover most of the nail holes. It went from looking like a bunch of boards to a real building! 
IMG_4747After framing out the door, we caulked all the edges and used spray foam in a couple larger gaps in the old barn frame. I almost forgot, Josh also attached new tin panels to the expansion roof using gasketed tin screws. It looks so nice! 
IMG_4762Finally, I covered the new walls with a fresh coat of light gray paint to seal the wood and make the barn look “finished.” Next steps include painting all of the cinderblock walls of the barn to match and painting the barn door a snazzy, cool color. Also, I’d really love to make a barn quilt for above the door (like one of these barn quilts). There’s a perfect space for one – it was meant to be. Stay tuned for updates on our future projects!


2 thoughts on “Climbing Barn: Framing and Finishing the Expansion

  1. Catherine Jeltes

    Had to grab my coffee for this one. A lot of work, but you guys pulled it together nicely (as if there was any doubt 😉 I’ve never heard of a “barn quilt” before…but they look cool! And you’re right–there is a PERFECT space for one above the door. Can’t wait to see the design you make for it!

  2. Mark

    Great Job Guys! The barn was going to be Dads next project, but you took it far beyond what he was going to do! Josh is correct, “the three boards fastened together are stronger than a single beam of the same size and same density material”. If you havn’t noted already, the primary overhead beam (and pillars) constructed in the house are based on the same premise. I recall i was the ‘glue boy’ when that was constructed. Keep it up and best wishes, Mark


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