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Renovating Barns Sheds and Outbuildings Book
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Renovating Barns Sheds and Outbuildings Book

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Save money, history and architecture by restoring and renovating instead of replacing your old barn, shed or other outbuilding. Very clear instructions with diagrams and photos. Covers restoration of frame, pole, post-and-beam, and masonry structures. Engler, 11" x 8 1/2", 247 pp.

Chapter One - Why renovate?

Saving history
Saving architecture
How-to Guide: A barn architecture primer
Saving money
The costs of renovations
How-to guide: Restored outbuilding gallery

Chapter Two - Evaluating the structure

Type of structure
  • Post-and-beam structure
  • Frame construction
  • Pole construction
  • Log construction
  • Masonry construction
How-to Guide: A barn dictionary
End use
  • Humans full time
  • Humans part time
  • Animals
  • Automobiles and machinery
  • Storage
Building codes permits and inspections
  • Building codes
  • Building permits
  • Preliminary inspection
How-to Guide: Sample building permit application

Chapter Three - Foundations

Minor repairs - fixing what's already in place
  • The mortar is crumbling
  • The concrete is crumbling
  • The stones or blocks are loose
A portion must be reinforced or replaced
  • The foundation has settled unevenly
How-to Guide: Raising a building
  • The strucutre is slipping off its foundation
  • The poles are rotting in the ground
  • The building is slipping down a hillside
Major repairs - replacing the foundation
  • A foundation primer
  • Marrying the building to the foundation

Chapter Four - Floors

Finding and fixing floor problems
  • The floor is weak uneven sagging or sloped
How-to Guide: Framing fasteners
  • Leveling the concrete floor
  • The flooring is cracked or deteriorating
  • The floor must support additional weight
  • Installing a new floor
How-to Guide: Finishing floors

Chapter Five - Structure and framing

Fixing structural problems
  • Gussets and cleats
  • Splices
  • The structure is leaning
How-to Guide: A bracework primer
  • Sagging walls
  • Rotted sill
  • Rotted sill log
How-to Guide: Hewing logs and beams
  • Bowed walls
How-to Guide: Cable tools
Adding to or modifying a structure
  • Removing a post
  • Removing a wall
  • Cutting or enlarging an opening
How-to Guide: Spans and loads
  • Adding room to a structure

Chapter Six - Siding and painting

Common types of siding
  • Vertical siding
  • Horizontal siding
  • Sheet siding
Finding and fixing siding problems
  • Inspecting the siding
  • Caulking cracked and split boards
  • Replacing rotted wood with fiberglass
  • Replacing missing battens and trim
  • Replacing rotten or missing siding boards
How-to Guide: Using a clapboard gauge
Installing new siding
  • Installing sheathing
  • Installing a vapor barrier
  • Installing vertical boards
  • Installing lapped boards and clapboards
  • Repainting old wood siding
How-to Guide: Choosing exterior paints and coatings
  • Painting new wood
  • Painting aluminum and vinyl
How-to Guide: Painting tools

Chapter Seven - Interior walls

Adding partitions
Joining partitions to existing walls
Framing partitions
How-to Guide: Toenailing
Insulation, condensation, and ventilation
  • Condensation
  • How condensation works
  • Ventilation
  • Batts
  • Loose fill
How-to Guide: Installing fiberglass insulation
  • Rigid foam
Installing gypsum wallboard
Installing paneling
How-to Guide: Planning partitions
Fitting walls in post-and-beam structures
How-to Guide: Fitting drywall
Fitting walls in pole barns
How-to Guide: Converting a barn to a living space
Attaching to masonry

Chapter Eight - Roofing

Fixing roofing problems
How-to Guide: Getting to the job site
  • Replacing shingles and slates
  • Replacing parts of the deck
  • Replacing flashing and valley liners
How-to Guide: Installing flashing against vertical surfaces
Installing new roofs
  • Roof sheathing
  • Roll roofing
  • Asphalt shingles
Metal roofing

Chapter Nine - Doors and windows

Fixing door and window problems
  • Doors in crooked buildings
  • Windows in crooked buildings
  • Rot
Installing manufactured doors and windows
  • Installing windows
How-to Guide: Making your own windows
  • Hanging doors
  • Boards and batten doors
Making and installing barn doors
How-to Guide: Making a door to match an old barn
How-to Guide: Using old hardware

Chapter Ten - Utilities

  • Outdated wiring
  • Inadequate lighting
  • Adequate wiring
  • Wire sizes and types
How-to Guide: Rules of thumb
  • Installing new electrical runs and lighting
  • Burying a branch circuit
  • Running an overhead branch
  • Installing the branch box
How-to Guide: Wiring switches and outlets
  • Installing individual circuits
  • Four-season water
  • Warm-season water
  • Water for occasionally heated buildings

Metric Conversion Chart

Excerpt from Chapter One
Why renovate?

Every time I start out to renovate a barn or an outbuilding someone asks me "Why don't you just tear it down and start over?" It's a good question. In many cases it's easier to start from scratch. The building techniques and materials available nowadays enable you to put up a building quicker and more easily than you can do a full-fledged renovation in many cases. But quicker and easier aren't the only considerations.

When you renovate a building you can save three things: money history and architecture. The money you save the historical value of the building and the building's unique architecture often make a renovation much more attractive than building from scratch. So before you call in the wrecking crew give some thought to what you might gain by letting the structure stand.

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