We've been building this love, from the ground up.
When we initially purchased the barn "kit" we figured it would be a lot more like adult Legos, or some kind of puzzle... As it turned out, it is pretty involved, and required us to learn a lot of new skills! It has certainly been a labor of love, and we're loving the end result!
While the remaining to do list, seems to never get any shorter, there are significantly fewer challenging items left on the list... We've figured out how to install the bay doors, and the trim work has been done. The crown on the barn (the cupola) goes on next! That makes the initial structure complete. Cannot believe that we are finally so close!
On the exterior, we've got quite a bit of tidying up to do, but the paddock is nearly done. We somehow managed to set nearly a 1/2 acre of fence in a day - the caffeine was doing its trick! We used pressure-treated posts and lumber from a local mill. One personnel gate was installed, but there are an additional two livestock gates left to complete.
Setting the fence posts was a pretty tough task - and one we weren't sure was even going to happen in time for our deadlines.... Our antique Massey Ferguson backhoe tractor broke down a week earlier. Our on-site mechanic did his best to get it up and running, but it didn't look like it was going to hold...
This tractor sat outside, uncovered in the ever-changing Maine weather, and unused, for 15 years before we got our hands on it and got it running again. Since then, it has cleared various plots on the property, participated in digging the pond, filling the lot for the barn, and now dug over 15 post holes. While the tractor needed breaks throughout the day, our mechanic's special touch seemed to keep it alive long enough to finish the job! Thank goodness, because the Homestead Husband was about to attempt to dig the holes by hand.... I think we know how that would have ended (painfully).
We wanted a fence that would be super secure (having experienced far too many escapees) - so we're keeping our fingers crossed that we got it right this time, using lumber, weld wire fence, and hot-tape for a complete safety zone, for a variety of different sized livestock.
After all of this back-breaking work, we do get one exciting major milestone to look forward to over the next week - bringing home our horses! It's finally time!!! Let cowboy living truly commence! Watch our Facebook page for special updates and photos of the herd as they arrive.
The phase that follows is all interior work:
Filling and compacting stone dust for the barn floor
Constructing walls & stalls
Installing the tack room wall & all tack mounts & equipment
Installing feeders and supplies
Utility work (electric, to run lights, refrigeration, heat, etc.)
For me, this becomes the really fun part - I love bringing spaces together and designing our very own tack room and barn is an exciting new decorating adventure.
Maybe, just maybe, we'll be done before Christmas..... eeek! Realistically, we should have this accomplished mid-fall - hopefully in time for us to get some riding in, and take some much needed weekends off!