Written by James Hetfield:
It was approaching the end of august, 2011 The foggy aftermath of the infamous storm that hit us had left a few blocks damaged and destroyed. My father’s barn was one of those buildings severely damaged. I could not get myself to fix it, until a few months back my wife instilled the idea in my head that I need to take action regarding the dilapidated old barn hanging loose on its rusty screws facing the facade of our house.
There is something elegant and mysterious about old barns. With their elevated ceilings and simple-but classy woodwork, a renovated barn can be quite an eye catcher. I started my mission on a Saturday morning.
The barn needed a lot of work. The floors were dismantled and were in need of new insulated wooden tiles. The barn had overcome a harsh beating caused by the london riots, but the fact that due to its age, wear and tear was evident on the wooden columns lifting the house. The most serious issues had the tendency to be present in the barn’s foundations which were typically made of free laid dry stone. Since barns seldom have in-ground drainage systems, wet soil slowly works its way between the stones, relaxing them causing the building to shift over time.
Excavation needed to be carried out immediately and over the next two weeks, the stone foundations were strengthened and the layout of the barn was decided upon and built.
In an attempt to carry out minor fixtures to the body, I woke up early gathered my tools and head off to the construction site when I realised I would need a new saw , painting tools and without doubt – wood!
The renovation began later that day, with the assistance of my cousin.we managed to dismantle the broken pieces and carefully picked apart the undamaged beams from the barn. I took care Insulating the barn from the inside and James took care a small leak issue at the back (James is my cousin).
The right insulating material was of extreme importance. Different types of wood have different insulating materials specific to them and the condition of the walls and beams is taken into consideration – whether damaged by water, dust, pests, or simply due to age.
The problem with these barns is that they are old. They do in fact look attractive and give a sense of spaciousness when renovated, but the bitter truth lies in the fact that barns were built by our forefathers to serve as barns and only barns. The woodwork was mostly done by hand and was in need of cleaning and plastering with the appropriate insulating coating and enhanced by an extra wood coating. Insulating water proof paint is hard to find, but I managed to acquire some from our inventories at Cornwall Building.
Four days had passed by and I was beginning to feel a sense of self accomplishment bubbling through my veins. The barn looked as good as new, as if a doll house was just removed out of its box and plastic coating. The interior on the other hand was in dear need of revamping.
A layer of wooden tiles would be used to cover the old floors and glass windows would be measured. The trick in adding glass windows to a barn is that depending on the way the building is constructed, glass windows can add a feeling of spaciousness or be completely unnecessary. I teamed up with fellow engineers at Cornwall builders and deduced that the structure of the building would not support glass windows.
A month had passed and I could not believe my eyes. What was my father’s old barn and his father’s barn before that was something of quintessence hue. A modern well functioning summer house and shed.
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