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Old 05-19-2008, 09:10 PM   #1
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barn renovation

been working on this for a long time, probably about 8 months, chipping away on weekends mostly.

the space will be a fitness studio for my private personal training business.

have done everything myself with a lot of help from a trusty friend or two.

basically had to reinforce from underneath with a new end wall (the foundation was bowing out), then double up the floor joists, do some jacking up of the floor, and a new post.

then new subfloor, frame a partition wall, two new windows, expanding foam insulation (contracted out), drywall, spackle, paint.

it's not finished yet. green walls need another coat, after i get the window trim done.

i did the baseboards and the hardwood floor is finished. it looks absolutely awesome.

we have 5 LED lights along the top, about 12 watts each, dimable and very bright.
the ceiling is 11' in the middle, and about 7' at the beams.

the floor is "natural maple" with the knots and mineral streaks. the big window was given to me by a client. it's an andersen from the 70s.

this section of the barn is maybe 60 years old, nothing square, nothing plumb, studs and joists on no kind of centers at all (roughly 2'). so the drywall in particular was a massive custom job requiring many repeated cuts on every single piece except for the partition wall.

i have learned a ton and continue to learn, and have had a blast.

the next project is to redirect the stairs coming up, and build a bathroom downstairs, and do the plumbing sot hat it connects to the existing septic.

thanks for looking. i'll have more pics of the finished product.

it's a shame i have such few pictures of the work as it progressed.

the green is a nicer color than it looks in the picture. it's the behr equivalent of ben moore's "baby turtle." linen white on ceiling.

any ideas for trim color, guys?

it's funny, this entire job was done manually, with a hammer, horrible cheap drill that broke many times, and many other crappy tools.

it's only now that it's almost done i just invested in a bunch of good power tools. hehe.

the room is about 26X 26 feet. this subfloor was laid on top of the old semi rotten barn floor.
end windows were replaced, and a window was framed in the opening to the left.

here i'm covering up the eaves so the expanding foam insulation can have a backing. i fi rst did wire mesh, then plywood, then matched the cedar shingles on top of that. looks a bit funky, but OK. the section i'm working on is only from right end of the door to the left end of the barn. there's still about another 50' X 26" of totally unfinished barn upstairs. thinking of doing this someday, too.

measuring a new joist. the old ones were only about 2X6, and extremely far apart.
also i built that 2x6 wall on the end. had to blast through that concrete hump at the end with a maul. that was a job! the barn used to house cows, obviously.

a nice view of the big window. was a freebie! it pays to be a personal trainer...

a view of my partition wall. i was going to do a pocket door originally but changed my mind so had to redo some framing. looks a total mess but does the job wonderfully now. decided with all the money spent on insulation, needed a good exterior door.

fnishing up the drywall. it came out very nice despite all the custom cutting. the ceiling was the hardest part. you can see some insulating squeezed out along the beams. the guys did a sloppy job and it required a lot of cleanup.

looks like the first coat of compound (i did 3 coats).

ready for painting! took us three different sprayers before we got one that worked. in the future i'm rolling for sure.

hardwood floor! this was also a challenging job. took two full weekends. the wood was the factory seconds stuff, some "over under," a lot of warpage, bowed stuff. took lots of hammering and forcing things into place. end result looks fantastic.

will get more pics soon.

thanks for looking. any questions please ask.



Last edited by wombosi; 05-19-2008 at 09:29 PM.
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Old 05-19-2008, 10:09 PM   #2
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You DID buy the power tools too late. I would have thrown in the towel long before then doing it by hand!
Great job and kudos for taking on such a big project on your own!


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Old 05-19-2008, 11:32 PM   #3
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half the challenge of any job is having the right tool.. but hey, something you learn the hard way

you must be one hell of an expert drywaller. i wish i was that good. drywall is something i discovered (also the hard way) i am no good at.

thanks for sharing you pics and good luck with your personal training business.

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Old 05-20-2008, 05:49 AM   #4
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Great to see ..........................

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Old 05-20-2008, 02:44 PM   #5
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The work looks great. Did you insulate the walls?
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Old 05-20-2008, 03:00 PM   #6
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we did an open cell expanding foam insulation under the floor and on the walls (basically a generic icynene). it was the most expensive part of the whole job.

i hired a contractor to do this. however, in the future, i would love to do it myself with by any means possible.
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Old 05-23-2008, 11:07 AM   #7
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Looks awsome ! I'm in the process of framing my basement to enclose my home gym. This site is a great source of info.
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Old 05-26-2008, 07:04 PM   #8
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my wife and I think it looks great
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Old 05-26-2008, 07:12 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by ugabulldog View Post
my wife and I think it looks great
thanks a lot for the compliment.
i'm pretty proud of the work so far.
will get more pictures up soon. into the "finishing" stages of the space, and then doing some demo to put in stairs, a bathroom downstairs, etc...
lots more to come.
thanks again.
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Old 05-27-2008, 02:36 PM   #10
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That looks awesome...can't wait to see finished pics...from one personal trainer to another...I'd love to train there! :D
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Old 05-27-2008, 02:38 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by pwhoolboom View Post
That looks awesome...can't wait to see finished pics...from one personal trainer to another...I'd love to train there! :D
thanks bro.
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Old 05-28-2008, 07:00 PM   #12
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Demo Work Downstairs!

Well, started some light demo work today downstairs. This room will be the main downstairs entrance, a mudroom, and will contain the stairs.

I wanted to pry off the old boards to see how sound the post and beam setup was.

Talk about a can o' worms, guys...

Not pictured: a before pic, there were these huge mongo boards on the walls up to about chest height, about 2" thick by maybe 12" wide. I guess it used to be a hose stall. Anyway, those pried off, as they were just nailed into the tongue and groove siding.

I basically found that there is nothing at all holding the barn up.

to the right you can see those big boards. i did almost all the board removal with a pry bar and hammer, but a few stubborn ones required a few vicious blows with the axe. hear i'm stripping away the corner to get at the post.

uh... what? it looks like the bottom was cut too cleanly across to be rotted away, so i think it was just somehow built this way, as baffling as that is.
that bright light you see at the bottom is, you guessed it, outside!

with my trusty new miter saw, i cut a piece off a spare solid oak beam i had lying around and slammed it in there hard with the maul. i didn't want to go any further because the outer wall was starting to come loose. i guess this is stronger than that post has been in about 60 years, so perhaps it will do?
i might try to remove it and trim a tiny bit off so i can get it in there all the way. then again, i may try to remove the entire post and replace it with the oak one we have. i'm worried about damaging the exterior wall, though. also, the whole rest of the barn is the same way, so it's sort of too little too late, i think.

the entire wall to the right of it will be rebuilt soundly. right now the bottom is floating off the floor so it's really doing nothing.

well, that was my afternoon. i got to use my new 18v panasonic sawzall. it was great and did most of that room with one charge. it quickly konked out though when it hit the old oak 2X4s and stuff. i'm not sure if this is a cordless limitation, or just the wood.

many more pics to come. the main beam holding up the new studio and the old half of the barn looks decent where i peeled away to expose it. it gets really rotten and nasty looking toward the other side, though. so i'm not sure what the right thing to do is. probably build new structural walls on either side of it. but it's almost getting to the point of just tearing the whole thing down and building a new barn, so i think we'll err on the side of keeping it as simple as possible while making sure it's safe and sound.

this weekend i hope to frame up a floor off the conrete, fix the posts (the other corner sucks, too), cut a doorway where that window is, etc...

stay tuned.

Last edited by wombosi; 05-28-2008 at 07:05 PM.
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Old 06-14-2008, 08:48 PM   #13
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Progress Downstairs!

Finally some progress to report guys.

Lots and lots of work.

Been downstairs, trying to prep the area for a new floor, and a new set of stairs.

The new permanent wall is all framed up carrying the load of the new studio.

I replaced one rotten corner post, tore up the floor above to get the joists off the beam, then took out a large chunk of the beam and extended the post above it all the way to the floor.

Went through about 6 charges with the sawzall, but she zipped right though everything like butter.
The impact driver was amazing to have for all the timberloks and lag bolts.


Took out the door and the trim. Looks pretty mangy. THis will be covered up with siding eventually and the door relocated to the wall on the right.
The stud wall is holding up the studio, in place of the beam.
There are little blocks above the header to hold up the old joists.

Yay! This sucker basically came out in my hands and was one of about four pieces that looked like that. Utter garbage.

DIdn't budge an inch. You can see that 2X6 to the left just in case, but nothing moved at all. I had to chop that beam out of there to extend the post all the way up.

The new post! I had to chisel for about an hour up at the bottom of the beam to try to get it more square. I gave up and it still isn't anywhere close to square. We put an angle iron on the top, and on the bottom connected to our wall sill. See other picture...

This is really the only thing connecting this half of the barn with the other.
I'm going to put some more 2X6 in the gap between to get another lag or two into it. That 2X4 you see behind is holding up the double 2X4 header which basically isn't doing squat, maybe holding up the smallest angle of the roof.

Took no chances on bracing this guy. With a nice 2X6 scab to the floor with 4 timberloks, and a 2X4 on either side, screwed into the protruding old floor joists. Luckily one of the joists was sistered onto the post, so I think that helped.

I put a 2X6 on my car jack to take just a tiny bit of the beam upward, then we put in the supports.

It took awhile to cut out that "Dutchman" joinery with the sawzall, but it came out quite nice.

I'm really very proud of this work. It's basically seamless. It's got only three 6" timberloks in it now, because the fourth was splitting the post.

I think we'll put some steel across the seams, and an angle iron or two down at the bottom into the stud wall.

The big cavernous opening is the result of my taking the floor OUT.

THere's still another post to contend with on the other end of that beam, but the rest of the beam is held up with a bunch of temp supports.

Just to be very safe I went into the studio and put a double 2X6 temp post under the end of the beam in the studio.

I really should get another picture of that Dutchman joint. It's sweet. Luckily we had a big chunk of post sitting around that pretty closely matches the other one. Up close they're a bit different though.

The bottom of the post is anchored to a 2X6 PT, which is sitting on the cement. I'll probably tapcon that down just for grins.
I used pinch sticks to measure the length of the post (perfect scraps I had laying about from ripping extension jambs on the big window), then just cut it a kerf long and pounded it hard into place with a big maul. If you tap the post now, it's a high pitch and feels like it's carrying a lot of weight. Job well done.

Much more work to go on this sucker, but it feels great knowing that I'm doing it right, and this damn barn will stand another few hundred years.

By the way, looking at the inside cross section of the beam I sawed off, it actually looks pretty good with a lot of good meat left. Still, though, I'm doing the right thing for the barn. The whole setup was so cobbed.
Once I severed it with the sawzall, and zipped a few nails t hat were toenailed through the joists into the beam, I gave it some hard whacks with the maul from above, and it dropped right out. So far have taken out maybe 5 feet, and about 20 feet left.

Will have more pictures soon.

The spacking on this outer wall upstairs was the first bit I did, unfortunately BEFORE I learned how to do it properly, so it looks like **** and is way too think. Some sanding down the road, and a few more coats...



You can see the old stairs right in the foreground, way too step for code.

The red lines outline the proposed new stairs, with a raised landing at the bottom. This shortens the length, thereby creating more of a "safe" landing up at the top, clearing my studio door by about 5 feet.

I think I might just leave that room vaulted to the top, I think it looks sweet.

The window is unfortunately right on the middle, and thereby can't really serve as a window or as a door with the stairs there. So, might have to basically rip that wall out, try to salvage the relatively new prime cedar shingles.

Or, just try to be careful and do it from the inside. Maybe try to make the doorway where the window is now. I think it would be nice to have a little window at the bottom of the stairs, though.

The red arrows point to the floor joists sticking out that were resting on the beam. The plan is cut all this out right flush to the level of the header on my new wall. I built the wall so that it's 1/2" behind the one above it; in other words, once it's drywalled, it will line up perfectly with the outer wall of the studio. The studio partition wall there is 2X4, where the one directly below it is 2X6.

Soon I'll get some pics of the rest of the upstairs and how this picture relates to the entrance of my studio.


Last edited by wombosi; 06-14-2008 at 09:21 PM. Reason: added last pic
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Old 10-06-2008, 10:42 PM   #14
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should have used two of those red windows where that white window is.... otherwise... absolutely amazing... i really love it


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