With the Superbowl behind us, it's time to discuss another kind of kick off. After months of planning, hiring and cleaning, construction on the barn has officially begun! And what better way to break ground on a project than with a giant jackhammer!
On Day One, I awoke to the sound of a cargo truck reversing down the driveway. The intermittent beeping was music to my ears — our first load of building materials had arrived! For the framing lumber, our contractor chose douglas fir (his friends call him Doug) citing its superior strength and stability over spruce or pine. Minutes after the big delivery, Doug was put to work.
The first order of business was reinforcing a sagging ceiling with sturdier new beams and a couple of steel columns. After building two temporary load-bearing walls, the team cut a path through the joists to install the new beams. To meet code, the steel columns would have to sit upon two-foot deep cement footings. Our expert builder Steve lugged out the jackhammer and started digging for China.
With our footings both dug up (and refilled with cement), I was tasked with moisture sealing the building. Before we framed and insulated the new interior walls, it was crucial we prevented any future water damage. Using a standard painting roller and brush, I applied a thick coat of Drylok, a latex-based masonry sealant. Painting the back wall was exhausting since it's made entirely of cinder blocks. With all those nooks and crannies, our contractor pointed out, it's like painting an English muffin. But after the first coat, it went on like butter!
Johnny is currently blogging his experience as an amateur woodworker. You can keep track of his projects on his blog, Woodlearner.
Images: Johnny Williams
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