Please hold on while we load everything up...
(This may take a minute if there are a lot of photos in the series)
This month we're featuring the brand new 32x40 two story Gambrel Garage/Shop that Bill Hammond just finished in Parker, Colorado. He's going to walk you through the project himself......take it away, Bill!
First a little background - I am 42 years old and live with my wife Sandra and our two children on five acres of property near Parker, Colorado. We are located about 20 miles southeast of Denver. I told my wife that I wanted to build an airplane. She told me not to even consider the project until I had a place to put it. Therefore, I decided to build a barn. It had to be functional and attractive. My proposal had to pass muster with a local covenants committee before construction could begin. Also, I wanted a building that would compliment the house and not detract from the rural setting. I chose the 32' x 40' garage/shop plans to meet my needs.
Now, I have never built a barn before. I am not a builder by trade. I am an Air Traffic Controller at the Denver International Airport. So, what made me think I could tackle such an undertaking? I relied on skills I had gained through my hobby of woodworking, a couple of good books on construction techniques, the plans I found at BarnPlans, Inc. and the self perception that every Controller believes he is infallible. Besides, the construction work is a great stress reliever.
Plans arrived in October 1999. Permits were secured and construction began in November, 1999. The following images document the progress.
I hired a contractor to pour the foundation and set the cinder block. The autumn weather cooperated and the foundation was complete at Thanksgiving. Shortly after, all the building materials were delivered in one large load on a semi trailer.
Initial framing began in December, 1999. By then, the snows were flying.
For assistance, I enlisted my father (a telecommunication executive) and my 11 year old son David. I paid David a dime for every hurricane strap he installed. His enthusiasm waned after the first fifty or so. I decided to place 7 windows and a service door at the main level. Additional windows would be placed in the loft.
The loft floor framing created an impressive illusion of geometry and space. Evident in this picture is the center carrier beam and the metal joist hangers. Spaced at 12' on center and supported at the outside by a cripple stud, this thing should be able to hold more than I'll ever be willing to haul upstairs.
The stair construction looked pretty complicated in the plans, but the result was just as expected. The framing reached this point in January 2000.
February and March were spent constructing the 21 roof trusses. I built the truss jig on the loft floor and worked diligently on each truss. As each truss was completed I slid it to the ground and stacked it with the others. That's a lot of trusses. Each one has an awful lot of separate pieces to fabricate and fasten. I was sick of making trusses! So why make them myself? I was quoted almost $10,000 for a truss manufacturer to produce and deliver engineered trusses. The materials cost for self construction of the trusses was about $1,800. I got over it. I built trusses.
I decided to pre-assemble the front two trusses, their overhanging purlins, the edge fascia, and the decorative peak on the ground. Then, the crane would be able to lift it with one motion and I would be saved from doing all that work way up in the air. I did the same for the rear overhang.
The trusses were ready, but I worried about the logistics of working on the high wall tops. Remember, I'm not a professional. Luckily, right about that time I was checking the BarnPlans, Inc. "Barn Showcase" web site and came upon the idea for a walkway attached to the barn walls. I borrowed the idea from the Bob Kosty project and constructed the walkway shown here on each long wall. The walkway prevented any of my "volunteer" help from incurring injury and remained in place until the roof shingling was complete.
How many Air Traffic Controllers does it take to raise a roof? Six, in my case. The morning of April 9, 2000 dawned cool and clear. My amateur labor arrived. The crane arrived on time. The neighbors almost drove off the road as the skyline changed.
What a life-saver the crane turned out to be. I contracted with a local equipment company to provide the boom truck and operator. The entire roof was in place after two hours. Not bad for amateurs! Cost for the crane - $230.
A view from the front of the barn shows how it gained character with the addition of the roof trusses.
The last truss member flies into place.
The plywood roof sheathing solidified the structure. Shingles were delivered to the rooftop for installation.
The roof was waterproof by the end of May, 2000. I turned my attention to the gable ends. The only way I could comfortably work on the gables was to rent the scaffold pictured here. I kept it for a month so that I could complete both gable ends and reach the roof peak inside the barn to install the steel tie rods. Notice the window going in at the loft level.
Work on the front gable included framing for a fixed window placed high. I also elected to raise the beam over the main door to provide 9' of clearance. I wrapped the barn in Tyvek house wrap, and used rough cut T1-11 sheet siding with vertical cedar battens. This scheme compliments the cedar siding on my house. The windows are all vinyl frames.
My wife applied two coats of Penofin Western Red Cedar oil finish to the exterior. Trim was painted in a dark green.
The Double Bi-Fold doors are done. The opening is 18 feet wide and 9 feet tall.
The inside is like an artist's blank palette. I haven't even finished dreaming of the work space, storage areas, and toys that I'll place in there.
The full size (F250) pickup gives perspective to the size of the interior. Loft is visible with the railing.
A view towards the front of the barn as seen from the loft floor.
A propaganda post card look at the finished product.
The builder, Bill, supervisor Sandy and critics, David and Sarah with the completed barn. Notice the height of the door clearance!
In closing, many thoughts need to be expressed. At several times during and after the construction phase total strangers have stopped to admire the barn and comment on its pleasing proportions. It has been a big project, but a fulfilling one, as well. How do you tackle such an overwhelming endeavor? The same way you would eat an elephant.... one bite at a time. Would I ever do it again? Absolutely, but I won't have to. This barn is built to last. Thanks, Dano, for the outstanding plans.
You can go through the photos by choosing from the thumbnails up at the top.