Possible – Beautiful Barn Home from Benson, VT – Available Frame!

I am helping the owner of this finely crafted timber frame find a new owner. The frame, originally built in the 1870s stands a majestic 32 feet wide and 48 feet long.

1_Exterior view_original purple slate visible repairs noticeable from lighter slate color - Copy

The large barn is in good condition and could make a stunning barn home, restored barn, studio or gallery. With so much space, there are a lot of options. There is 1500 square feet of space with an additional 750 square feet of potential if we add in a loft.

5_Partial loft floor joists noticeable_ potential for 750 sq ft loft - Copy - Copy

Notice the partial loft floor joists – great loft potential!

One added feature is the slate roof. Since Benson is in Vermont’s “slate belt,” this frame boasts an unusual purple slate roof that is of the best quality that you can find in the region.

In the picture below, you can see the wide gable wall which stretches 32 feet. The roof pitch is 12-12. This is one reason it feels so big inside.

2_Gable wall is 32 feet wide_roof pitch is 10-12 - Copy - Copy

Both the roof boards and wall boards are in excellent condition and the frame features long timbers that are hand hewn. The posts themselves are sawn.

Some more interior pictures below. Notice the beautiful honey color and the well preserved vertical wall boards.

Timber frame roof boards

4_Interior color is honey brown_ nice vertical wall boards

historic post and beam home

Interested in living in a historic property? Have questions?

Please give me a call at 802.774.8972. This post and beam frame could really make a one-of-a-kind barn home and we are looking for just the right owner to preserve this beautiful frame.

Before and After: The Ira Barn Restoration Project

Gallery

This gallery contains 11 photos.

Remember this 1770s gunstock frame from Ira, Vermont? I have written about this historic timber frame a few times – from this blog, when I first started working with the farmer to help him find a client over 2 years … Continue reading

Summer Restoration – The 1780s Corn Crib Revisited

I’ve had a busy spring and summer, restoring a number of vintage timber frames that were originally from Ira, Vermont and picking up a few other projects in between.

You may remember this corn crib that I first wrote about back in November. I am happy to report that we found an owner for this frame and its new home is in northern Vermont.

Vermont Post and beam corn Crib

Corn Crib from Ira, VT

While relatively small at only 450 square feet, this lovely, hand hewn beech wood frame boasts two floors.

Restoring timber frame roof

Dismantling the crib.

With the help of a wonderful crew, Green Mountain Timber Frames has carefully restored this frame – down to every detail including the famous signature stairway.

Restored Wooden Stairwell

Restored Wooden Stairwell

Here are a few pictures of the frame during the re-erection process:

Reerecting historic barn Old Barn Restoration

We were able to save most of the original roof, wall and floor boards on the interior, so the barn will maintain much of the look it had when it was built 240 years ago.

We wish the owner many happy days and nights in this new-old out building. Freshly restored, it can now be of use another two centuries.

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I really value historic structures and am always looking for the gems – the true diamonds in the rough. Do you have an old barn you want to sell? Are you looking for a timber frame to turn into a beautifully renovated home? Please give me a call: 802.774.8972.

 

First Light of Day After 55 Years

We spent five cold and snowy weeks preparing this 1770s gunstock barn frame from Ira, Vermont for dismantling.

Slate roof on Old Barn in New England

Gunstock Timber Frame from Ira, VT

Historic Old Barn with Slate Roof Removed

Temporary roof on Ira timber frame

With a great team of five fellas, we tallied 370 hours clearing out the interior of the old barn of horse-drawn contents and everything else imaginable.  Removing the 40 square (a square is a 10′ x 10′ surface area) of slate roof took another 80 hours. We then put on a temporary protective roof, seen in the picture above, so the spring rains won’t damage the roof boards and timbers.

At times it wasn’t easy, given the freezing temperatures and the mounting piles of snow. Here is a picture showing the take down of the slate roof in the snow. Half the slate is still on the left side of the roof.

Removing slate roof from Timber frame and braving the New England Elements

Part of what made this project particularly interesting is that the barn was full of antique farming equipment. As we shoveled out the old hay and debris from each of the barn’s five bays, we got to inspect the equipment closely.

Antique farm equipment from post and beam frame

Corn Chopper

Much of it is in great condition and we dragged all of the equipment out into the field around the barn. Imagine the fun of cleaning up and inspecting equipment that had not seen the light of day since 1959! When these machines were last used, they were harnessed to horses and pulled to the fields nearby.

Farm Fleet from Old timber frame barn in Vermont

Corn chopper and hay rake.
Pallets of slate in background.

With the barn emptied out and the rugged beech timbers sighing relief from 15 tons of slate removed, the next step is to dismantle the antique hewn beams and truck the frame to the shop for restoration. We’ll dismantle the frame in late April. First, we have to get rid of two feet of snow and survive mud season!

Here are some more pictures of the treasures we removed from this antique timber frame.

Antique Farm Equipment from Tmber Frame Old Barn

Hay rake being removed from the barn

Removing equipment from old barn for sale in new england

Sled for carrying a maple sap barrel or timber

Cultivator from Old Post and Beam Barn

Cultivator/planter for seeding hay

Moving antique timber frame for restoration

Delivery of horse drawn equipment its new owner in Northern Vermont

Antique Farm Equipment Vermont

Antique Farm Equipment sees the light of day

Phase One is accomplished!

Clapboard removal from antique timberframe

Finishing up clapboard removal.
Removal of sheathing boards will have to wait for Phase Two.

Stay tuned for Phase Two. We’ll let you know when we start dismantling this Vermont Republic frame from Ira!

I’ll leave you with a fun fact: This little Vermont hamlet is named Ira after Ira Allen, brother of Ethan Allen, of the famed “Green Mountain Boys”.

The Barn that Almost Wasn’t

In my last blog, I wrote about the Ira, Vermont 1770s timber frame barn that I am currently working to restore. Here is the tale about how this barn did not burn down 85 years ago.

Ira Vermont old barn_ timber frame barn homes

A twice-saved barn

What follows is a true story, recounted to me by the gentleman whose family owned the Ira barn for generations. The picture below shows his grandmother, Lila, as a young girl, in about 1906. When the fire took place, she would have been about 35. 

Grandmother_Former Owner of Old Barn in New England that survived Historic Fire

About 85 years ago, his grandfather, Grant, was working in the barn during a torrential spring thunderstorm. A bolt of lightning struck the metal manure track and ignited the  southeast upper corner of the addition’s loft and then traveled along the wall.

In the picture below, you can see where the lighting hit the side of the timber frame structure.

Lightning strike on historic old barn

Loft – floor removed

Farmer Grant sprinted 100 yards to the house, cranked the wall phone twice and called for help. In those days, a double crank would connect with every household in town, and important information could be spread. The message went out, “Our barn’s on fire – bring buckets!”

Crank Phone_19th Century Barn Fire

Crank Phone from around 1930

There were no ponds or hydrants nearby. But miraculously, it was still raining hard and the town road next to the barn was full of potholes. The neighborhood fire crew formed a line, scooped water from the potholes and passed the buckets to others who had scrambled into the smoking barn loft.

One bucketful at a time, the town of Ira pulled together to save this barn from burning down. Notice the charred timbers. Imagine the smoke! (There must not have been any hay in the loft.)

Opposite end of old barn where fire stopped

Opposite side of old barn where fire was stopped

We are very fortunate that the community helped to save this old barn in the pouring rain. Without the rain, the potholes would not have been full, and the barn certainly would have been lost.

Fire damage on historic barn

Loft – floor still in place

       After the fire, Farmer Grant decided that lighting rods might be a good idea,!

Lighting Rod on Timber Frame Barn

Original lightening rods with glass balls

Meanwhile, restoration is under way here in Vermont on this beautiful timber frame!

Despite the visible charring on the timbers, the old barn frame itself is not structurally damaged. We are going to sand blast the big timber and reuse it; the sand blasting will take off the char. It seems important to include these timbers in the restored frame, as this story is part of its history.

Want to come see the barn in person or visit some of the other timber frames we have here at our shop in Middletown Springs? Please let us know!

 

240 Years Later – Antique Barn Has a New Home

Back in September, I wrote about this available old barn from Ira, Vermont that was awaiting a new owner with a vision for the next two centuries.

Ira Vermont old barn for sale - timber frame barn homesJust six months later, we are pleased to report that this handsome 1770s timber frame has been purchased. After a complete restoration, we will move the gunstock frame in the spring to its new home in northern Vermont.

Despite the mounting snowfall and frigid temperatures here in Vermont, the mucking out process is well under way. Generations of accumulated treasures/trash have been removed from the barn’s five bays. Four of us guys have put in 150 hours hauling out hay, farm implements, bed frames, furniture, metal, lumber ‘too short to save,’ and more!

Our intention is to have a clean interior to allow accurate measurements to be taken. This will enable the architect to make drawings of the current frame, followed by adjustments for the new owner’s dream.

100_4253

Hauling out hay.

In the second bay, underneath the hay, we discovered three horse drawn cultivators.

Horse drawn cultivators in old barn

Second bay – Horse drawn cultivators

The first bay is falling in. We have braced the timber frame to keep it from further sagging. Horse drawn equipment is stored in this bay, but cannot be removed at this time as it is frozen in the earth. In the mean time, we are being careful to protect it.

Findings in historic old barn

Semi-collapsed first bay.
          Horse drawn equipment.

Our next blog will share the story of why this barn did not burn down 85 years ago…

Stay tuned!

Barn Raising – A good week’s work

We had a great time last week getting this vintage timber frame up in Manchester, Vermont. The post and bean frame with hand hewn wood was originally built around 1800, in Middle Granville, NY.

It was a beautiful week and we worked surrounded by the vibrant colors of near-peak foliage and under the watchful eye of Mount Equinox in the background. Thank God,  the weather was perfect!

Here are some pictures showing the highlights:

Manchester VT Raising - Beautifully restored timber frame beams

Beautifully restored timber frame beams

Saturday Restoring Historic Timber frame

Last Saturday’s work – restoring the frame and getting the primary timbers up

Saturday Timber Framing in Manchester VTAfter erecting the main timbers over the weekend, we spent last Monday focused on placing the roof rafters. We also pegged most joints in the frame with wooden trunnels.

Restoring Historic barn in Vermont

With help from a Grade All, and the view of Mount Equinox in the background.

Here we are installing the roof rafters.

Vermont Timber Framing with Mount Equinox in Background

Adding Roof Boards to Manchester Vermont Timber Frame

Adding roof boards to timber frame

Applying roof boards to Vintage Timber Frame

Adding tar paper over roof boards, as we installed the original boards.

Outhouse in Rural Vermont Best Part of Timber framing

An important part of setting up a timber framing work site: moving the outhouse – at arm’s length –  to the proper location.

Finishing Barn Restoration

The completed roof, protected by tar paper.