Period Barn Restoration

the old barn
Basement Level
When the present owners acquired this early-1800's barn, it was nearly falling down. The foundation was unstable. Many of the foundation posts -- cedar tree trunks -- were rotting away. In the barn itself, many of the joists, rafters, floorboards, and beams were also decayed. The walls and windows were in bad condition.
masonry The foundation had to be restored first. The barn was jacked up, and the original foundation was re-pointed where needed. The foundation on the back side of the barn had shifted, and was leaning. New buttresses were added to stabilize and strengthen the original foundation wall.

Once the foundation was sound, work began on the structure itself. All the deteriorated support pillars and carrying beams had to be carefully removed and replaced. Where old support pillars were removed, new footings were poured to provide a solid base for the new supports. Much of the "new" wood used in this project was recycled. supporting the barn
joist detail Placing the support beams on the foundation involved much detail work.

The old studs were, of course, fewer than today's building codes require, and much of the siding had weathered, worn, and deteriorated beyond saving. New studs and siding were added in sections. Interior

rafters The roof structure was weak. New support beams were added where needed for safety and stability.

The new loft needed flooring and joists. Small windows below the roof ends provide natural light. loft

stairs Stairs were needed to get to the loft. Most old barns simply have ladders to the hayloft, but this barn will now be used primarily by people, not for hay storage.

Where the original windows could not be used, new windows were hand fabricated to match the original multi paned windows. Sheathing used here is recycled rough sawn pine. windows in rear of barn

electricity Electrical service was added. the original shingles were adequate in many places; we're replacing only the truly worn out ones. The owners have already started landscaping in areas where work has been completed.

The loft's recycled rough sawn railing is now in place. The gaps shown in the un-renovated exterior wall in this photo, illustrate the condition the barn was in before work began. loft railing

loft railing The L-shaped loft covers the back and one end of the barn. The area inside the main barn door is open from floor to roof line. Beams came from the Cataumet sawmill. Prior to that they were in a mill building on the North Shore.

Two carpenters preparing to install a window in the loft area. Sheathing in the loft came from pine that was cut to make room for a cranberry bog. preparing to install window

installed window One of the windows installed under the roof ends.

The barn was completed over a period of years. The main floor and the loft, currently storing things for the winter, can be used for barn dances and other parties. The loft can also be used for sleep-overs for the grandchildren. September 2004 barn interior

This barn goes with the Historic House restoration that was done three years previously. When one of the barn owners, an Architect, was discussing some of our Barn Renovation methodology with our lead Carpenter, who is a multi-year craftsman in such restoration techniques, it became obvious this individual had less experience and knowledge regarding the project at hand.

We worked with him and the other two owners; also Architects, as part of a cohesive team with a shared
goal. Some days it was dialog, dialog, research, discussions and solutions. Other days were humor with joyful
results. As you can imagine, we as contractors can provide unique, special experiences at many levels.

Enjoy what we ALL produced!

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Employee Owned & Operated

We educate, advocate and include sustainable energy features where possible with all of our renovation,
new building and restoration projects. We are facilitators of sustainable and energy saving building & renovation practices since the early 1980's.

EPA Certified Firm

We are facilitators of
Passive House Design Principals


Contractor Supervisor License #016018
Home Improvement Contractor #100011
City of Boston Building License #B20374
Commonwealth of Mass Lead Safe License #L-W000052
EPA Certified #NAT 21989-0

Cape Painting and Carpentry, Inc.
24 Bay Road - P.O. Box 39
North Falmouth, MA 02556-0039

Tel. 508-563-9393