Barn wall leans in MN

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by MN Mom, Sep 23, 2005.

  1. MN Mom

    MN Mom Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    238
    Joined:
    May 19, 2003
    Location:
    a state of confusion...ha ha. MN
    Yeah we moved to the country and now all the work can begin. Ok what I have facing me is a 100 year old barn that has the foundation on oneside leaning out and it is taking the one wall with it. Now there are suport post inside the barn by this wall so I know it has been this way for awhile but if I plan to live here for the next 50 years it needs to be fixed.

    So my choices are:
    Since the barn is supported on the inside I can rip wall and foundation out and put in new. But this is costly and with the rising fuel costs not really feasable.

    My second opion is to try and pull or push 40' of foundation back into a upright position. Foundation is a standard barn poured wall about 12" thick by about 3' tall (guessing about 1' of the 3' are in the ground). Now if I am able to get it back in place and get the wall to be right again how do I keep it that way?

    3rd option is ?????

    First I need to clean out that side of the barn and see what is there.

    So any suggestions? anybody live close to Mora, MN that wants to come look and comment? I can send pictures if it helps.

    Thanks, Jon
     
  2. thebeav

    thebeav Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    129
    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2004
    Location:
    MO
    Support the barn wall inside the barn. Dig a new foundation right next to the existing one. After the concrete has set a week, straighten the wall by sliding the required amount on to the new foundation.
     

  3. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    7,154
    Joined:
    May 11, 2002
    Lots of luck getting the wall to stand straight again. If the barn is supported by inside posts, It should remain stable. You could pick field rock if Minn has them and pile them along the outside of the foundation. They will hold it where it is now for the next 51 years. FREE
     
  4. palani

    palani Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,322
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2005
    If you are planning on living there 20 years or longer bulldoze it and put up a hoop building
     
  5. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    8,323
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    MN

    _IF_?????????????

    Been picking rocks all my life up here. If indeed. ;) I got a pile the size of a barn here off a small farm..... ;)


    I don't understand the 3 foot wall, 1 foot below ground. All walls that last are below frost level here in MN, 4 feet or so into the ground. So, that doesn't make sense to me. A poured wall only 1 foot deep would break up in the frost heaves.

    My barn was bult of chauk (sp?) before real portland cement & feild rock in 1909. Keep patching on it, it keeps wanting to lean or fall.

    --->Paul
     
  6. BlueRidge

    BlueRidge Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    202
    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2005
    Location:
    Virginia

    Not going to happen without some serious heavy equipment.
     
  7. Quint

    Quint Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,510
    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2004

    I vote for just opposite. Bulldozing would be the very very last option only if the structure is beyond saving. If I was going to stay there 20 years I'd do whatever it took to save the old barn. Bulldozing a salvageable 100 year old barn is a real waste. Especially to put up some ugly soulless hoop building that I guarantee would not be standing in 100 years.

    Look around for barn restoration funds and organizations. I saw an article a while back where a family received funds from a historic barn society to save and restore an old historic barn.

    I'd save it if I possibly could.
     
  8. palani

    palani Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,322
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2005
    Quint

    If you make your living restoring historic barns have at it. That is your living.

    Most people in ag country work pretty hard to make a living by growing crops and livestock. Throw the added burden of having to maintain 'historic barns' to the satisfaction of disinterested bystanders kind of tends to distract you from why you are there in the first place. The price of eggs doesn't seem to be affected by the ambiance of the location they were laid in.

    But, that is an individual choice. Do what pencils out the best.
     
  9. mamakatinmd

    mamakatinmd Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    333
    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2005
    Location:
    Ontario
    We have a barn we are trying to restore also. We found the book "Renovating Barns Sheds and Outbuildings" by Nick Engler. Very useful and informational. We had a wall that was also leaning. We used a comealong winch with heavy duty chain to pull the upper wooden part of the wall back in and hold it tight. Now we can pemanently secure the upper beams and pour some new footers and fix foundation. Maybe you can check with a library if they have the book. We bought ours from Lehman's.com.
    Good Luck
    kat
     
  10. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

    Messages:
    7,102
    Joined:
    May 12, 2002
    Location:
    In beautiful downtown Sticks, near Belleview, Fl.
    I corrected one about 30 years back by placing a pair of chains diagonally from the top plate to the bottom of the other side and pullling it back straight with truck load binders. This was in sandy Florida soil, so if you have rocky or clay soil it might be necessary to dig out the soil in the way. After moving the wall, wet down the soil so it will hold its shape, allow a day or two for it to set, and add 'collar beams' across the top before releasing the chains.
     
  11. milkstoolcowboy

    milkstoolcowboy Farmer

    Messages:
    337
    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2003
    Location:
    MN
    Before you go hog wild on fixing the footers and straightening the barn, look up. If the roof is in poor repair and has been for some time, all that leaking will have caused a lot of rot, and there is no reversing that.

    If it is in good shape, then decide whether you want to try to salvage the barn or just salvage the lumber. I have torn down 6 barns and several granaries in my life (It was a good activity for boys to keep them out of mischief and I haven't bought any lumber except plywood in the last 30 years).

    The best approach would be to jack it up and use crib pilings to hold it while you replaced those old foundation/footings. Put in new sill plates as well. Lots of old barns didn't pour the foundation below the frost line, the concrete that was mixed was awful lean on cement to save money, and no rerod. All of those together can get these foundations heaving out. If you don't want to jack it up, you might be able to dig out the exterior foundation wall and patch it as well as pour concrete pilings to prevent it from heaving out further. Lots of old barns use poles on the outside to prevent the progressive lean of the frame.

    Regardless of how you tackle the foundation repair, Mitch and others are right about getting 2-3 dozen come-alongs/winches and bringing the frame back to true. Then, you can use some heavy cables and also add additional cross bracing and diagonals to keep the frame straight.

    Like most things, only limits are your ingenuity and your checkbook. There are people who do this professionally. If you look in an ag newspaper or equivalent under barn straightening, you should find some guys. If memory serves me, I read about a guy named Lloyd Halverson from Clitherall, MN that does straightening and lowering and is supposed to be top-notch.

    I wouldn't hold out too much hope for getting a grant or something to fix it. There are public groups like Friends of Minnesota Barns that offer workshops, and I think there is even a magazine called The Barn Journal. I'm not sure if these are preservation, yuppy tear-down-and-rebuild as homes, or designed to help repair working barns.

    From my experience, when a barn sits empty for any extended period of time, it goes downhill in a hurry.
     
  12. gardentalk

    gardentalk Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    296
    Joined:
    May 30, 2005
    Vomit.
     
  13. palani

    palani Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,322
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2005
    I know. I feel the same way when I pay the property tax on these old buildings.
     
  14. Garden Ear

    Garden Ear A-Maize-ing

    Messages:
    98
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2005
    Location:
    MidWest