Simply Resourceful

Simple ways to be more conscious about how we use our resources.

New Barn Roof!

Fixing up the barn is one of the two big projects for this summer, next to pumping the septic tank.  It's a small barn that has an insulated woodshop upstairs equipped with an air conditioner, fluorescent lighting, and cable TV.  It was certainly a man cave!  Over the years it had been neglected; as a result, squirrels, mice, snakes, wasps, and ants have made this their home.  Before the roof could be replaced, the plywood and moldy insulation had to be removed because there were some major water leaks.  This was quite the project!  Every time a piece of plywood was removed, nuts and ant eggs and ant larvae would scatter on the floor.  To put it bluntly, the ant colonies were pissed and had a terrible bite!  Thankfully we decimated the wasp population early this spring on cold mornings so  there were only a few wasps to smash before they had a chance to sting.  We weren't surprised to find 2 snake skins in the wall!

Our camera broke the week we started this project so I don't have any of the inside destruction, but we managed to get a camera the day before the roof tear off began.  The picture on the left shows the moldy plywood.  In places the mold was about an inch thick and hung like stalactites.  Because the walls and ceiling were insulated, the water never leaked fully through the plywood so the floor is dry. I think we caught the problem just in time!

The original roof was asphalt shingles, but we decided to put on metal.  It just seems fitting to have a tin roof on a barn.  Jon and I have never replaced a roof, so we leaned on two close friends who drove all the way from Wisconsin Memorial Day weekend to help us with the project!  With their help and expertise, we managed to tear off and put on a new roof within 2 days.  The guys worked hard and did a fabulous job in the 95 degree heat with 35% humidity!

In addition to the roof, we have also replaced some of the rotten siding (see the white squares?).  I hope to give the barn a fresh coat of paint this summer to finish it off.  It is a cute barn and we would like to have it ready for when we decide to have some livestock. 

Here's the first trip to the landfill.  There were 3.5 truck loads.  It was a little sickening to see all the waste. 

Here is a snippet of what it looked like at the landfill.  It was an open pit were we literally drove on a pot-hole ridden path to the top of a hill, dropped our load, and drove away.  


Terry June 2, 2012 at 2:39 PM  

I'm so glad it's not leaking! Loved seeing you, Jon and Paul. I realized that I ended up with your battery powered screwdriver and tape measure in the back of my truck in WI... I'll ship them back to you this week.

Phoebe June 11, 2012 at 10:22 AM  

Good job catching that project in time. Examining our outbuildings in their different progressions of disrepair on our Homestead, it has become so clear that the roofs were the one deciding factor on whether we could save the building or not. If it leaked, the building was usually too far gone. If the roof was sound, we could overcome all the ills it had.
Nice work!

Mariam Freame June 12, 2012 at 8:41 AM  

It is good that you renovated the farm before you decided to have some livestock. It would be awful to raise livestock and have an infested barn. Having the new tin roof was great because, with the state of the barn, there may be more problems waiting to pop out and cause you more harm. It's just the right thing that you had it renovated before those had happen.

Emma Phillips June 22, 2012 at 3:45 PM  

Congratulations on pulling that one off. I bet you've experienced a lot of "huffing and puffing" while you’re replacing the old and unusable materials, and I salute you for that. It's a good thing that you've used metal shingles for your roof. This can definitely provide you protection for 50 years, probably even longer, if you maintain it well. Good job!

Santo Caridine July 11, 2012 at 2:09 PM  

What a cute barn! BTW, it’s good that you chose a metal roof. The new roof of your barn can now last for many years because the lifespan of a typical weather roof is 50 years or more. Plus, it is durable, attractive, and very versatile as a roofing material.

Cody Charlebois August 28, 2012 at 1:16 PM  

What an incredible transformation you’ve made! It’s very different from the old barn, and it looks beautiful and new! The new color of the barn is livelier and very refreshing to the eye. Thumbs up for you guys!

Penelope Dingee September 5, 2012 at 11:43 AM  

A metal roof is a good choice, since it is, in itself, durable enough to protect the livestock you’re planning to put in your barn. Here’s a tip if you’re planning to recoat your tin roof: Apply the paint according to the manufacturer’s application instructions. In reality, the lifespan of the paint depends upon the application process. However, regular maintenance will typically guarantee its lasting effect.

Sharron Folkes September 6, 2012 at 1:00 PM  

3.5 truckloads of waste? That's a lot.. And those pests will definitely destroy your home if not dealt with soon. Like everyone here, I'm also hoping for better times for this barn. Congrats and good luck! :)

[Sharron Folkes]

Danielle Bailey September 7, 2012 at 6:45 AM  

I’m also a fan of metal roofs :D Great job! And to think that you did it 95-degree heat. Regarding the painting, it is a good idea to paint in the summer where the weather is mostly predictable. Timing is everything in painting, and agreeing with Penelope, it depends on the application process.

Max Boughner September 24, 2012 at 10:24 AM  

Good job on the roof! That metal roof sure looks sturdy and dependable. It will also be good to coat the roof with liquid rubber as a preventive measure, so that it may better stand against corrosion.

Noreen Weigle October 1, 2012 at 11:06 AM  

Metal roofing is designed to be low-maintenance. If you notice any rust or leaks, those are probably due to wear and tear over time and the harsh weather. However, immediately patch them up and perform the necessary repairs to keep the roof’s life service from deteriorating. It would be advisable to ask for roofers to do maintenance if needed.

Noreen Weigle

William Gulliver October 22, 2012 at 8:41 AM  

I agree with you, Noreen. Indeed, metal roofs only require low-maintenance, but it’s definitely durable. In fact, it has a high damage resistance. So whenever there’s a hail storm, the damage is more on the aesthetic aspect than its structure.

Willie Norman October 22, 2012 at 1:31 PM  

I agree with Max. Though metal roofs are low-maintenance, it does not mean that they are immune to wear and corrosion. It would still be good to do inspection on the roof once in a while to prevent some existing corrosion from progressing.

Willie Norman

About this blog

A weekly update on our adventures of trying to be more self-sufficient by using resources wisely. We explore a variety of topics that most broadly fit in the "Homesteading" category, i.e. beekeeping, organic gardening, edible landscaping/fruit forest, food preservation/canning, woodworking, soap-making, and environmental stewardship.

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