South Windsor, CT
I just wanted to send you some pictures of my finished barn. I am really happy with the way it came out, and thanks to the Better Barns design, I love the finished look to it. I followed the plans almost exactly, making a few changes but sticking to the overall design theme. It was a big project to take on, to say the least. It turned out I had to do quite a bit of site prep, and build timber retaining walls...something I had never done before! I would suggest to anyone thinking of taking on a barn build.... buy the Building A Shed book from the website...especially if you are using a Better Barns plan. The book was practically a step by step construction manual to build my barn, and was invaluable. I had some help from a couple of contractor friends, and family and neighbors but I tackled this project pretty much on my own. I started the actual barn construction in late July, and finished it up right before the thanksgiving holiday.
The changes I made were I eliminated the partition wall, I eliminated two windows to keep the cost down and gain wall space for storage, I made the side door a single 36" wide door, and I cut out the center truss chord and framed the opening, to make a loft storage space. I decked the loft with some 1/2" plywood and that doubled the storage capacity of the barn! The construction went pretty smoothly, and following the plan everything lined up and fit together the way it was supposed to! I did a few things to really tweak my barn...I painted the floor with Sherwin-Williams floor paint with a sand additive, I installed peg board on the long wall for tool storage, and I added I brought power out to the barn for an electric outlet and a couple of overhead lights. All the trim and the doors are made from rough sawn cedar (straight edged, and tongue and groove). The keystones, the window sill and the transom window are all made from Spanish cedar. I liked the smooth sided contrast and the color...and it was allot cheaper than Western Red cedar in 5/4! All the cedar trim and the cedar T&G doors are finished with Olympic Maximum cedar tone sealer. I liked the color and it guarantees the wood will not discolor for at least 5 years!
I think along with buying the book, attention to details helps everything to fit together correctly. I took a lot of slack from my contractor friends about my fastidiousness and attention to details down to 1/16" of an inch...but it shows in the finished product! I also was hearing it from all my neighbors about how long it was taking me to just put some walls up! They would see me out there working away but it didn't look like I was accomplishing anything...little did they know I was building a huge pile of trusses and assembling gable overhangs! You can build one of these with even the most basic of power and hand tools, but some items that were invaluable to my build were my 12" Sliding compound miter saw, my table saw, my framing and finish air nailers, and my cordless impact driver. The impact driver is the best tool for driving screws ever made. I screwed all my floor plywood down, and I screwed all the framed walls to each other and the floor, as well as all the trusses to the top plates......well, you get the idea, you have to drive A LOT of screws, and the impact driver drives them effortlessly with out chewing up the screw heads and twisting out all the time.
All in all, it was a great experience and like I said I love the finished product! I have never received so many compliments....neighbors who would just walk by before were stopping and telling me how nice it looks! Your plans and book and video were great and the results speak for themselves. Thanks again Penny!