Barn Raising
September 12, 1998

Our Barn-Raising on September 12 was fun, exhilerating, frustrating, satisfying, occasionally frightening, and did I say it was fun? 8-).  While we didn't get as much done as I'd hoped for, we did manage to do everything that required heavy equipment and lots of hands.  We also managed to do so without breaking anything and with no injuries; on that basis alone I consider the day to have been a rousing success!

The barn itself is a prefab structure built by a company called Miracle Truss.   (Take a poke through their website to get an idea as to how their buildings go together).  The building is based on four huge steel trusses which are each bolted together out of four components; two uprights and two overhead cross pieces.  These trusses are cross-tied by 2x4 wooden members on the sidewalls ("girts") and 2x8 members on the roof ("purlins").

To ease download times, I've broken up this photo album into several sections.

Before The Big Day
Before one can build a building, even a pre-fab from a kit, one needs a foundation to set it on.  One of the reasons I selected the Miracle Truss package was that it could be erected on a simple "pier" foundation; that is, we did not have to pour a continuous concrete wall.  Instead, we could pour (what I thought would be) simple, inexpensive concrete posts in the ground to set the ends of the trusses on.  The actual story behind the foundation is a subject for another time.  I'll just show you the results here.
This is the foundation after the forms have been removed and before backfilling.  It consists of twelve 18-inch square columns on 3-foot-square footings.
Side view of the foundation prior to backfilling.
The day before the barn-raising; backfilling the foundation
Jim at work compacting the fill.  The fill was a loose sand/clay mixture which needed to be compacted in order to provide adequate soil bearing around the piers.  While the backhoe could do some compacting just by running over the area, those areas the backhoe couldn't reach had to be compacted with this instrument of torture.  It's basically a 200-pound jumping-jack machine that's always hopping up and down and trying to get away from you (hence my constant pulling on it, as you see here)
Closeup view of the head of a column after backfilling
The finished, backfilled foundation.  Typical for us, it took us until sundown to do what needed to be done, which is why this picture is so dark.

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