Thursday, April 23, 2015

The Brush & the Barn

2015 work on the Manor is officially in full swing. Even though the final soffit was the first thing on the list, we decided to take a little break from that small nightmare & work on the barn. Plus we're notorious for getting a project an inch from completion & moving on to another. Don't do that by the way. Anyway, Yes! The Manor came with a barn. You probably wouldn't know that unless you drove by it during the winter months because that's the only time you can really see it. When the jungle starts to grow it pretty much disappears.

We thought it might be a novel idea to actually get to "use" the barn this year so we tackled the brush surrounding it first. I really wish I knew how many trailer loads of vines, thorn bushes, small trees & weeds we've actually carried off the property over the last 2 years. I know it's unreal. I kinda feel like we've wiped out a small habitat but it had to go.

Plus having trees this big growing out of your barn's foundation is no bueno!

There was a point in the deforestation process where I asked Jeremy, "So what's worse...this or soffits?". I think we both agreed that it was a toss up.

There is still a little LOT more work that can be done as far as pulling up vines but for the most part it is cleared out.

Getting to the barn was only half the battle. Of course it was full of junk. Of couuurrssse iiiittt waaaaaasss!!! And a barn full of someone else's junk is not very useful if there is no room to store any of your own junk. I admit, I was REALLY excited about this project. If you watch American Pickers religiously like I do you know that a barn that has been sitting for 23 years full of "stuff" is a treasure chest waiting to be opened. As we're driving to Bevier I'm daydreaming about uncovering some rare antique or coins...maybe a first edition book by Poe or a Rembrandt. Maybe there's a secret door that goes underground with a vintage car in pristine condition in it! Ummmmm....yeah, it was all actually just trash. We removed about a million worthless plastic flower carriers, rusted cans, soggy cardboard boxes full of soggy clothes, an innocent looking chair that a cushion fell off of to reveal that is was actually a toilet, the most disgusting mattress & box spring that I think I've ever seen...the list goes on.

I did have a keep pile & seeing how small it was in regards to the fact that I am a borderline hoarder just proves that the barn treasure hunt was really a bust. It is nice to have it cleared out though & besides a couple of small leaks in the roof it seems to be in pretty good shape.

I did find a pretty cool "wooden thingy" that looks like it was attached to a bigger & cooler "wooden thingy" that's long gone. I also found a pretty cool little table. By the way...Rule #1 when treasure hunting in barns: Open drawers carefully & slowly. Mice can apparently take flight when discovered & if you have a bad heart, you're toast!

This years list is pretty ambitious:

Fix final soffit
Attach decorative trim around finished soffits
Repoint the brick
Finish cleaning the attic
Rebuild terrace on the front of the house
Fix decorative trim on the peaks of the house
Scrape paint off of peaks/primer

....and IF we get that finished...and that's a big will be time for the big kahuna: NEW ROOF/GUTTERS!

Loooooonnnggg road ahead but seeing this old picture is pretty good motivation.


  1. Is the cool wooden thingy a piece of trim from your gables?

  2. Honestly, I'm not sure. It doesn't match anything else that I've seen on the house so I'm thinking it probably belongs to something else.

  3. Thanks to Pam Ugolini for sharing this with us. Very impressed and entertained by your blog. We live in an 1881 Italianate so we relate to the love and work engendered by an old house. Tom and Wendy Phillips

    1. 1881, Wow!!! These old houses are definitely a labor of love but they are so unique and have so much character that it makes it all worth it. :)