(This may take a minute if there are a lot of photos in the series)
In November 2002 we featured the brand new 24'x 36' two story GambrelGarage/Shop built by Andrew and Gretchen Jenkins in Ellensburg, WA. Andy's a Community Health Professor at Central Washington University and climber for the local volunteer search & rescue team. His wife, Gretchen, is a full time mom, part time student at CWU and substitute teacher. As busy as these folks stay, they still found time to build their "Dream Barn". We'll let Andy run you through their project....
I'm a college professor with some light construction experience. I fell in love with gambrel barns while in graduate school at Penn State. I have always wanted to build something big....a house, a cabin, or a barn. When my wife, Gretchen, and I bought our new house last year I saved out some equity to build my ultimate barn/shop. For my ultimate barn shop I had a few requirements. First, it had to be a gambrel, match my house aesthetically, be very well constructed, and be large enough to fit a motorhome and woodshop. Here's how we did it....
I staked out the perimeter in the backyard a few times and tried driving the motorhome in and out planning the location. The tall pipe later became the RV dump.
The perimeter foundation was laid in a day. I hired it out since I had no experience with concrete. The trench was dug to bring out the electrical and to tie in the RV drain to the septic.
Next came the flatwork. I was glad not to be on my knees for that job.
The materials arrived and the work began. It's scary but exciting seeing $5,000 worth of wood show up! Note the 1980's Sears radial arm saw-that's what I did all my cutting with.
It took only about three days to build the sidewalls. Here we gathered neighbors and friends for beer, sandwiches, and an old-fashioned barn raising.
That's Big George in the coveralls, he's a three time world weight lifting champion (you only need one of him). I built my barn with 12 foot 2x4s in order to give me the headroom to bring in my 10-foot motor home.
All three outside wall went up without a hitch. We braced them well against the Ellensburg winds. I nailed the OSB on before raising them and left the top half sheet off to give me room to place the double studs and loft floor joists. The giant header in the front was engineered so I could have a 20-foot opening.
Because of the 12 foot 2x4s I used instead of the 8 footers recommended in the plans I needed to recalculate the stair risers to 20 steps. I put these in just as soon as I got the floor joists done.
It's almost 13 feet to the loft floor.
I hand nailed the expensive horizontal lap siding to match our house on the sides that faced the house (front and one side). I used less expensive T1-11 type siding on the back and fence side.
I checked into renting a crane at $500 a day, a high lift $300-heck with that, I decided to do it with muscle power. To raise the trusses I got help from two neighbors and my wife. The first truss went up with a great deal of pushing and shoving from the center on a 20 foot 2x4.
My wife Gretchen gets into the act and hefts one up by herself (NOT!!)
Once we got to where we could stand on the loft the trusses went up quickly. I'd clean and jerk them overhead and then my wife and kids and I would all push on the center 2x4. They'd hold it while I'd nail it in place.
It's beginning to look like a barn now!
I had to tie the trusses off to my truck to keep the valley winds from blowing them over!
The four doors are 12 feet by 5 feet each. I built them in the bi-fold style sold by BarnPlans, Inc. They are insulated with Styrofoam and covered with 1/2 OSB inside and 1/2 exterior sheeting outside. They are very heavy but just glide right along on the tracks above. The windows add light to the front of the shop and break up the wide flat space on the front of the barn.
Here's a shot of Dano himself posing with me in front of my finished barn. It's completely "dried in" at this point. I still have electrical and insulation to go on the inside. So far it's cost me around $15,000 with all the framing lumber the fancy siding and windows. Included in that cost is the concrete and roofing which were the only parts I hired out. I built the entre thing almost entirely alone in one summer. Dano was a great help and offered valuable advice by phone and e-mail.... and then he actually came out from Hawaii to visit in person... talk about customer care!!.
It's a done deal!
The barn was appraised at $76,000 this fall when we refinanced. Every week I have someone stopping by to ask who built the barn and where could they get the plans. So what are you waiting for.... build your dream barn like I did!
You can go through the photos by choosing from the thumbnails up at the top.