Pole Barn Construction (part 2, day 1)

More pictures, click on title to see.

contractor for the pole barn is Fisher Brothers Builders.      http://www.fisherbrothersbuilders.com/

Day one of construction materials arrive.

August 17, 2016 - First material delivery.
August 17, 2016 – First material delivery.

Building crew arrives.

August 17, 2016 - Setting post.
August 17, 2016 – Setting post.
August 17, 2016 - Post set, framing.
August 17, 2016 – Post set, framing.
August 17, 2016 - More framing.
August 17, 2016 – More framing.

Crew worked 2 hours 15 minutes today, and more material arrived.  Coming back tomorrow to finish.

August 17, 2016 - End of day one.
August 17, 2016 – End of day one.

Pole Barn Construction (part 1)

This post contains a lot of pictures.  First off, contractor for the pole barn is Fisher Brothers Builders.      http://www.fisherbrothersbuilders.com/

August 1, 2016 – Part one is site prep.

Pole barn site July 29, 2016.
August 1, 2016
August 1, 2016 – After topsoil was removed.
August 1, 2016 - After about 2 hours.
August 1, 2016 – After about 2 hours.
August 1, 2016 - Almost done.
August 1, 2016 – Almost done.

August 2, 2016 – Digging holes.

August 2, 2016 - Flat level building site.
August 2, 2016 – Flat level building site.
August 2, 2016 - View from road.
August 2, 2016 – View from road.
August 2, 2016 - Site marked off ready to dig.
August 2, 2016 – Site marked off ready to dig.
August 2, 2016 - Seven of 20 holes dug.
August 2, 2016 – Seven of 20 holes dug.
August 2, 2016 - Almost done.
August 2, 2016 – Almost done.

While talking to the excavator operator about plans for the property.  Told him I was in the process of taking old barn down.  After he was done digging the holes, he offered to knock down the rest of the barn for me.  This is going to save me a lot of time.

August 2, 2016 - South side of barn.
August 2, 2016 – South side of barn.
August 2, 2016 - East side of barn
August 2, 2016 – East side of barn
August 2, 2016 - North side of barn.
August 2, 2016 – North side of barn.

This video was created by Google Photos Assistant, from different videos that I took. They added the music, might want to turn sound off.

Site now waiting and ready to go.

August 3, 2016 - Ready to build on.
August 3, 2016 – Ready to build on.

This shows how much dirt and rock had to be moved around to make a level building site.  From original grade to level pad it’s about 10 – 12 feet.

August 2, 2016 - Elevation change.
August 2, 2016 – Elevation change.

Pole Barn

Rendering of pole barn that is going to be built. It is going to be 30′ x 48′ x 10′.  I designed this with the help of Punch Home Design and Landscape Professional.  I’m using this program to design our house also.  The program is extremely good and fairy easy to use.  The back wall of the barn is a plain solid wall, no windows.

South east side of Pole Barn.
North east side of Pole Barn.

Where to Start

Since the company I worked for downsized, and move everything to Kansas, I’ve had time to start organizing things for the homestead.  This spring the old barn on the property finally decided to fall in on its self.

Barn in the spring of 2016.

This was a good thing.  The site where the barn sits is where we will have our house built.  First I have to get rid of the barn.  I got a Kioti CK3510 with backhoe, front end loader, and Steinsammler grapple to help with that.  After about 30 hours on the tractor things went from this.

West side old barn 2008
West side old barn 2008
Barn east side 2015
Barn east side 2015

To this, removed lots of brush and trees.

Old barn about half gone.
Old barn about half gone.
West side of old barn, and site for pole barn.
West side of old barn, and site for pole barn.

Old Barn is on the ground now.  After pole barn is built, going to get roll off dumpsters brought in to cleanup old barn.  Then when done with that planning for the house begins.

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Welcome – and a Backstory

Welcome to our homesteading blog! This blog is something we’ve been meaning to do for nearly a decade, but due to various circumstances, we’re just now officially starting into the first chapter of our homesteading journey. So why did it take so long to get through the prologue? Well, here’s a little bit of backstory.

We signed the paperwork to make a rural 4-acre property in southcentral Pennsylvania ours on Halloween/Samhain in 2007. At the time, we figured we’d have a few repairs and upgrades to make to the old 1.5-story house, and then we’d be able to move there full-time.

Yeah. So wrong.

The property itself was beautiful, with a great view of the mountains, several nice bits of yard, wooded areas, a dilapidated old barn that gave the place character, and plenty of creek frontage (but with no danger of flooding the house due to a pretty steep elevation change).

After doing a little bit of demo work on the interior of the house, though, it was pretty clear that it would need major repairs. Instead of insulation, then walls were lined with mouse nests (and the other stuff produced by mice), bees nests, and snake skins. There was a family of groundhogs living under the sunken kitchen, which had been haphazardly added to the original structure at some point. The wiring was old and outdated. Need I go on?

Just one of the many, many nests we found in the walls of the old house.
Just one of the many, many nests we found in the walls of the old house.

We were both working at the time, but between rent on our place in town, the usual bills, and the mortgage on the homestead property, we weren’t able to come up with the money to start repairing the house. We also weren’t sure at that point whether or not the home was even worth saving. So we used the property as a getaway, planning and dreaming for years as we slowly started making it ours in other ways.

We bought a used travel trailer to stay in when we were there, we had a shed built, and we started cleaning up the property – trimming back/pulling out the out-of-control forsythia, getting rid of some of the trash dumped in the woods, etc. It was still a wonderful place to be, peaceful and wild all at once.

The shed when it arrived in May, 2008.
The shed when it arrived in May, 2008.

Over the next several years, life went on this way. Our homesteading dreams, which we’d been building practically since we started dating in the late 90s, remained on hold through various life events – the arrival of an abandoned kitten at Starview (yes, we kept her), the death of a dog and adoption of another, the death of my dad (who enjoyed spending time at the homestead, too), a couple of job changes for me, etc.

Lucy, our found-on-the-homestead kitten. Yes, we still have her; she's a LOT bigger now!
Lucy, our found-on-the-homestead kitten. Yes, we still have her; she’s a LOT bigger now!

Then, in 2014, we finally got the break we needed and were able to start planning in earnest. Since then, we’ve been getting the finances in order, getting the land ready, shopping around for contractors, and deciding what we wanted in our home. We also came to the conclusion that it would be more cost-effective to build a new place than to try to salvage the old one.

So that brings us to the present. We decided to have a pole barn/garage built first, mainly for storing the building materials for the house, as well as Dave’s newest toy – a Kioti tractor. He found a great builder for the garage, and we’ll most likely be contracting with them to build the house as well!

Dave (Daclar) and his tractor.
Dave (Daclar) and his tractor.

As I write this, the land has been cleared and the holes dug for the pole barn. The old, dilapidated barn has been torn down (after starting to collapse on its own late last year), and the new house will be built in that spot. Thanks to Dave’s tractor, we’ve also been able to clear out a lot of invasive vegetation and dead trees in preparation for all of the upcoming construction.

The future site of our pole barn!
The future site of our pole barn!

We’ll be chronicling the journey here on the blog, as well as sharing things we’ve learned, and even writing about some of the other things we enjoy! Both Dave and I will be writing, so just check the avatar beside the entry title to see who’s behind the keyboard – and thanks for reading! 🙂