Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Tiny Barn: On the Horizon!

It's unbelievable, I know!!

I'm actually updating the blog! ;-)

No, actually...I mean that we are finally going to have a proper barn! At least 'proper' for our tiny farm and our tiny goats. We have been researching this since we bought the place. We knew what we wanted, but most pre-designed plans and most pole-building places are organized around much larger buildings. Given that our space is limited, we really didn't want to give up too much real estate to a building, no matter how helpful that building will be. Plus, a big honkin' barn in our yard would look decidedly stupid as it would dwarf everything else.

We had basically come to the conclusion that to get exactly what we wanted and within our budget (a key consideration, of course), that we'd have to buy plans, modify them somewhat and then build it ourselves. This is a massive undertaking for two completely untrained carpenters. One look at my addition to our goat shed would quickly convince any doubters as to my lack of carpentry skills. So, to be smart about this, we ordered plans for a small shed and we were going to build that first, as practice. (Then we'd turn our current tool shed into housing for meat chickens...but that's a future endeavor). This shed was supposed to be built last spring - after we moved the compost pile.

The compost pile is still in its original location. The shed is not built. The plans are gathering dust and spiders in the basement. We just don't have time for this type of major project.

So, months later we just happend to walk into a 'Tuff Shed' building at our local HomeDepot. We were just curious. It was a 12x16 space and as we stood there, we realized that we could totally turn this into a workable barn for us and our small goats. We'd have to build some interior walls and figure out a pully system to load hay into the loft, but we could do that!

So we contacted Tuff Shed for a quote. It came out within our budget, but I had a lot of questions about the features we were choosing. Turns out, there is a Tuff Shed showroom not too far away. We took a trip down there last weekend and it was exactly what we should have done a year ago. We worked with the guy, toured all their on site samples, chose our own materials and features and basically created the barn that will suit us perfectly. He drew up the quote and for whatever reason, it was even cheaper than the first one! Top this off with the promise to build it on site next Monday - and we can promise our goats a new residence by Christmas!

This is essentially what it will look like.

We are providing the paint (left over from our house painting - we never used it on the deck) and they will be painting it for us, so ours will be a midnight blue color (coordinates with our slate blue house). The trim will be white. Our window and door configuration is different than the one pictured here, but the basic structure and openings are the same. Inside the enclosed area, we will be creating a clean, sanitary, milking parlor! Both sides will have loft space to store hay and feed bags (we'll create a pully system for this) and we will create a 'birthing stall' area inside the enclosed part so that when Pepper kids in February, the babies won't freeze to death if we don't happen to be in attendence.

And, if this turns out to our liking, we'll start setting aside a little more money to eventually have Tuff Shed build us a new garden/tool shed.

Can you tell how incredibly excited I am???