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Small Cabin Forum / General Forum / Moving a 30x40 Barn. Ideas.
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sabiggs
Member
# Posted: 10 Feb 2012 19:01 - Edited by: sabiggs
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Hi everyone.

So, my brother and I have recently considered moving a large barn to our land instead of building a cabin on our land in Vermont. We have a connection to someone who has a 200 year old 30x40 (roughly) barn in amazing shape and we may be able to get the barn for free (with the exception of moving it, disassembling it, and then fixing the owner's land after the move). She's been trying to sell her house for over a year and we think the barn may be a turn-off for some (the house is not really in an area where you need a barn for storage or anything). We're now considering this option but have questions about cost and possibilities. Our uncle has taken apart several barns and re-assembled them on his land in VT so he would be huge in the process for help, but I assume we'll need lots more help. Our main concern and uncertainty is cost. What does it cost to do something like this start to finish, all costs included??? Are we talking 5K, 10K, 20K??? Really, we have no idea.

http://www.small-cabin.com/forum/6_1121_0.html#msg14028

The barn is easily accessible from the driveway/ road so that is not an issue. Here's a few more questions/ concerns we have.

1. Cost to get it disassembled (rentals for cranes, etc.)
2. Cost to transport all pieces roughly 150 miles one way on a large enough flatbed truck.
3. How to get the pieces from the flatbed to our site (about 300 feet). We'll have to leave the flatbed on the road and transport pieces to the site somehow.
4. How to re-assemble it at the site (a foundation will be poured beforehand if we go this route)? Cost for rentals, etc.?
5. Should we re-assemble it now or just store it on our land???
6. How long would a project like this take for each step? To disassemble? To re-assemble?

Basically, the plan would be to hopefully get the barn, move it, get it re-assembled on the foundation and then basically just let it sit for a while like it is now (years even) until we've saved up enough cash to start finishing the interior how we want. If you have seen our project so far, you know we already have a little cabin (10x12) on the land so we have a place to stay for now. 30x40 is large, yes, but we want to both be able to be up there with our families at the same time so it gives us options.

Any help at all would be appreciated. Thanks everyone. I'll try to get a picture of the barn this weekend and post it. She's a beaut though.
Barn Site on Our Land--We would remove more trees
Barn Site on Our Land--We would remove more trees


TomChum
Member
# Posted: 10 Feb 2012 20:50
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Congrats on saving the 200 y/o building, and good luck. Plan to reassemble it right away or it will become just a pile of rotted wood that wasn't free, on the contrary it will cost years of torment, and non-use (before you burn the pile).

A new 30X40 steel building will cost you $30-40,000. It will be a very reliable building, will add zero aesthetic to your land, take almost zero maintenance, might bum out your neighbors, and will take a little of your soul whereas the old barn will give back.

Just
Member
# Posted: 10 Feb 2012 21:44
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i would think you would need a permitt, permitts only last a year or so
if you start it i'd finish it before some inspector changes his mind .

sabiggs
Member
# Posted: 12 Feb 2012 09:11
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So, here's a photo of the barn. I may be back later today to measure and go in. If that's the case, I'll get better pictures later. This photo is not perfect, but you get the idea of size and general condition.

You can't tell from the photos but the driveway we would use to remove it is not in either picture, but is very very accessible and wide.
Front Side
Front Side
Back Side
Back Side


Martian
Member
# Posted: 12 Feb 2012 09:42
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30X40 isn't an exceptionally large structure to move intact. Peak height is a major consideration. Assuming a peak of 16', by the time its on the dollies, it'll be 20'. If I had to take a rough guess as to cost of moving such a structure, I'd put it around $20,000-$30,000.

You save a bunch of work by moving it as a unit. Besides, if it wasn't built to be disassembled, which it obviously wasn't, you are in for some real challenges.

We had a 110yo house, 22X42, moved 6 miles twelve years ago. It cost us $5500. The house was on a rock foundation which made it easier. I had just rebuilt the framing, sheathed the roof and sides in plywood using 1000's of construction grade screws, and put on redwood siding ; so it was very structurally sound. For a foundation to receive the house, we built 28 rock piers which set on 3X3X3 concrete footings. 4X6 beams were placed on top of the piers before the house was set down. Total cost of moving the house, not counting labor since we did all of that ourselves, was around $10,000.

Tom

sabiggs
Member
# Posted: 12 Feb 2012 13:53
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Tom, great insight. Thank you.

Unfortunately, I think it's much taller than 16'. Just from eyeballing it from afar, I'd estimate closer to 30' tall. If it only cost $10,000 to get it done though, I'd be a happy man, that's for sure. Like I said in the first post, my uncle has great experience with barns being taken apart and reassembled so I put a lot of faith in his skills.

I'm going to go see it in about an hour and get more specific measurements and pictures. I'll be sure to share.

Thank you everyone for the help.

Steve

Martian
Member
# Posted: 12 Feb 2012 14:29
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Steve, taller is harder is more expensive. They have a lot more obstructions to remove. And you pay for the power companies to move any power lines that are too low. If you have to cross a RR track, it gets even more expensive. They have to send out a crew and time the crossing to avoid trains. My mover saved me a bunch when he was able to slip the house thru the overhanging flashing lights at the RR track.

If you do a little homework and drive the route you think you'd take with the house and look at everything that overhangs or crosses the road, a mover can give you a pretty good idea of cost.

Good luck.
Tom

sabiggs
Member
# Posted: 12 Feb 2012 19:57 - Edited by: sabiggs
Reply 


OK, so I was able to check out the barn more closely. It turns out it is from the 1600's!!! But, it has always had a solid roof over it so it has done pretty well.

Dimensions are big, almost too big for my liking. About 33x49. But, we figure we could (if we wanted) shorten the length by about 12' as we could just remove the last section.

It is in very good condition for a 400 year old barn. Here's a few more pictures. This would be a big job. Maybe too big, and maybe cost too much. Not sure if it's worth it, but it's very very enticing.
Front
Front
Inside
Inside
More Inside Woodwork
More Inside Woodwork
More Woodwork
More Woodwork


sabiggs
Member
# Posted: 12 Feb 2012 20:03 - Edited by: sabiggs
Reply 


And a few more
Post
Post
Back
Back
Front
Front
Driveway and Street Access
Driveway and Street Access


Just
Member
# Posted: 12 Feb 2012 20:32
Reply 


i'll trade you a bottle moderation for a drop of your youth .

Martian
Member
# Posted: 13 Feb 2012 08:13
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The old beams in that barn would probably pay for much of the cost of building your cabin. They are highly sought!

Tom

spicyacres
Member
# Posted: 14 Feb 2012 09:32
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My offhand gut instinct would be to dismantle and salvage on the original site, save $$$$ on transport, then use 1/2 the reclaimed wood to build yourself a smaller "replica" cabin, and sell the rest of the lumber to recoup most of your costs.

DaJTCHA
Member
# Posted: 15 Feb 2012 16:21 - Edited by: DaJTCHA
Reply 


I'm with SpicyAcres...there is nothing saying you have to rebuild it to the original dimensions. The "stock" of wood that you have inherent in a build of that size may just permit you rebuilding flexibility on your land. I would be jumping for joy, there is so much wood to use there that if stored correctly you could build a main unit and then branch off of it as time and funds allow. The biggest hurdle is dismantling it, but much of the 'excess' if you're going to rebuild a smaller cabin from it could be sold or burned if need be without regret.

brokeneck
Member
# Posted: 25 Feb 2012 18:26
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Awesome barn -- I grew up in New Jersey and miss those old structures -- very few old barns here in Colorado -- and none anywhere near that old. It would be great to save it intact but I agree rebuilding it rather than moving it whole would be the way to go. My dad was an excavater and a trucker/rigger --we moved at least a dozen houses and other structures. My vote would be to convert it into 2 or 3 smaller structures -- I'd bet almost everyone on this forum would kill for an opportunity to reuse those posts and beams. Keep us informed !!

mrssey
# Posted: 19 Feb 2013 08:41
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Really interested in how this situation turned out! My husband and I are considering the same scenario right now. However, we have decided that we will dismantle then move the materials. We have the good fortune of owning our own skytrac lift and couple of commercial trailers and a dump truck too. Think this will help to save of cost. Looking for advice on taking off the roof.

Sabines
# Posted: 19 Feb 2013 13:40
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We ended up not moving it. Just too big an undertaking. Best of luck with yours.

groingo
Member
# Posted: 20 Feb 2013 11:45
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The property owners (if the barn is over 75 years old) may well have a historical landmark and a tax deduction), either way that barn on any property would increase its value not decrease it or they could rent out the space or something.
I'd say anything that big and old to keep from becoming a pile of rubble would be best done by an experienced mover.

fpw
Member
# Posted: 6 Apr 2013 19:43
Reply 


These timber framed barns are unique opportunities. To move, they have to be disassembled, cleaned up, repaired, and reassembled. However, if you ever seen one these restored. Man, that is something.

This means you take everything apart, pull evey trunnel, mark all the pieces like puzzle so that you can put her back together again.

A friend of mine runs this type of operation in Wisconsin, his complany is CRW Timber-framing & Barn Restoration.

From what I understand this type of undertaking is not cheap. However, the final results speak for themselves.

I've done plenty of timber framing. But, no way would you get me up on the top of that barn pulling things apart. I will hire that out.

schlagto
Member
# Posted: 26 Aug 2018 16:01
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Interesting thread. I just started looking into moving the family barn about 150 miles. Have no desire to move back home nor do any of my siblings. Been in the family since built in 1861. My dad has spent the past twenty years restoring - beautiful shape now!!!
It is 35x50 and stands closer to the 30 ft. height sabiggs mentioned. I may very well make contact with CRW to get a feel for the cost to dismantle, move and rebuild the post and beam barn. If anyone could provide some insight to anticipated cost would greatly appreciate.

old243
Member
# Posted: 27 Aug 2018 09:14
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If there is an Amish, or Mennonite community in the neigborhood . They are usually, good at working with timber frame buildings. old243

Borrego
Member
# Posted: 27 Aug 2018 10:51
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Ever watched a show called 'Barnwood Builders'? This is what they do and they are good at it. After watching it for a couple years, I wouldn't touch the job.....if I hadn't seen the show, I might have.
Be very careful, lots of ways to make a mistake and even more ways to get injured.....

GregGibson
Member
# Posted: 9 Nov 2018 13:47
Reply 


Try it the Amish way !
Barn_Moving_1.jpg
Barn_Moving_1.jpg


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