Are You Sick Of Me Saying Barngress Yet?

I hope not, because here we go on another barngress post. You lucky, lucky ducks. This will be the last one for now.  I’ll explain what I mean by that below.

At the end of my last barn post, Andy and Tom Cruise had finished siding the front of the barn with worm wood pine. I don’t think that’s the technical name of it, but it’s literal. It’s pine that has worm holes in it. Rustic character provided by nature? You bet.

After work last week Andy took a couple hours—literally, and finished the siding that faces the garage/driveway/road/orchard.

I need to digress for a second. I’m pretty sure my husband is a mutant. I mean that in a very loving way, but he often leaves me perplexed. He has a hard work ethic I’ve never seen in anyone else. I actually had someone ask me how I “motivated” my husband to fix/build things around the house. I just stood there. Are you kidding me? The guy leaves me in his smoke. I don’t even know what’s going on half of the time except I hear “I’m going to Home Depot” and before I know it I’m in the truck just because I have to know what the hell is about to go down. Or when he says he’s going outside “to putter”, while I’m shoving my face with pie,  I hear the chainsaw, see trees falling and all of the sudden we have room for an orchard. What?! I have a sneaking suspicion he was infused with Ox DNA at birth. I may start a research panel because I’m fairly certain it’s abnormal for someone to enjoy and thrive off hard work this much, let alone have the staminaOh, and if you think I’m complaining—I’m not. It’s one of the reasons I married him. I. Love. It.

(This photo was before the bottom boards were cut flush)

Back to the topic at hand. This weekend, while I was having intense debates with Troy and fixating on other landscaping—like adding some beautiful red tones to my shoulders, the man-ox hybrid and his brother continued putting up the piney gloriousness that is the barn siding. Due to the height of the barn and the lumber we’re using (the lumber we had sawn), it meant that we didn’t have lumber long enough for the back. So instead of making it piecemeal and look odd, Andy decided to use this obstacle to actually incorporate a design feature into the building. Of course he did. Because he’s Andy. I would have laid it like flooring and made it look like shit. He on the other hand laid it out with a simple overlap, and then chalk lined right about where the roof starts and made an unexpected detail in the back.

We’re debating what to put up in that peak, but options include:

  • A half moon?
  • A boom chain welded in the shape of an S?
  • A painted on lab? 
  • Nothing because it would mean getting the staging back out and going up there and me likely doing it and I’m not keen on staging?

As well, the boys built a lean off the side of the barn. Oh, you didn’t think we were just going to have an awkwardly tall and narrow barn, did you? Not on our homestead.

It was smart thinking on Andy’s part though, because we are getting a sawmill, and need to put it there. As I expected them to start excavating I saw the boys conversing and then going towards the garage. Uh Oh. Out came my husband with a roaring chainsaw and full gear. Always keeping me on my toes. As it turns out a beautiful maple was in the way of both the lean and another project down the line (or so I was told, I’m still slightly confused as is par for the course) so the tree needed to be felled. Here’s what I want you to see though—just how precisely the kid can fell a tree. Looks like it’s about to hit the barn, right?

Nope. The branches just barely brushed up against it.

Then he bucked the tree and cut the stump down. I took these photos specifically to show you technique. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. 

Then came actual lean construction, which started with digging holes, placing in some structural support, deciding on a roof pitch and then framing everything up.

It was a lot more technical than that but blah blah blah. Let’s get to aesthetics. If the siding on this side of the barn looks like crap, you’re correct—and we know it. I guess it doesn’t read as crap in this photo, but in person it’s funny. This is the side facing the woods. The side under the lean, and the side no one really sees. So we saved the crappiest pieces for this side and didn’t worry too much about anything else. I even helped nail most of this side, hence the near finished photo only. I asked Andy how people were actually going to believe he was a construction professional with a barn side looking like this. He just laughed.

(again, photo with a couple pieces missing, and the bottom not trimmed yet)

What about a roof on the lean? You didn’t think Andy was going to pay for a roof did you? Not a chance. We’re yankee-thrift all up in this homestead. See, we have steel roofing on our house. Specifically on the part we’re renovating, changing the roof line on, and getting all new steel for. That means the old steel on the house is going to be re-purposed as the roofing for the lean. Then the final touches will happen and the barn will be completed; and when this happens, I’ll be here to tell you all about it.

xo (not ox),


P.S. In true moment of “Andy Decorates” he hung the boom chains, which his dad found at the bottom of Ripogenus Lake from the old log drives, on old cast-iron hardware we had dug up around our yard. Little known fact—way back in the day our property was a farm, and the old farm and attached barn burnt to the ground. Over the years the soil buried the old hardware and a lot of granite from the foundation. You can see a bunch of the granite in the background of the shot below. We have even more large slabs on another part of our property, and used even more in the retaining wall stairs and the temporary stairs to our house.

Andy and I actually visited Ripogenus Dam/Lake on our honeymoon, and got this photo at Pittston Farms where we had our honeymoon.

P.P.S. If you don’t know about the log drives in Maine, it’s a huge part of the Maine heritage and it’s actually really interesting. Look it up!

8 thoughts on “Are You Sick Of Me Saying Barngress Yet?

  1. I am pretty sure you have a following of incredibly jealous women who wish they had a husband that worked this hard. AFTER he gets home from his real job. Seriously…it is’;t natural. But def must be NICE. If he runs out of projects send him to my house.

  2. I am hoping to meet a guy like him, loves to work hard, I love DIY projects, and one day when I own a house I plan on doing as much as possible without other peoples work, save money for more important things, I definitely get the building and hard work gene from my dad who built houses, and gardening and house renos from my grandparents 🙂

    I definitely enjoy your blog, great inspiration

    1. Funny you say that, my grandpa was born in Maine, and he’s just like you Andy, it must be true 😉

  3. Heather – This is Jane – your father’s cousin. I just spent the best 2 hours ever reading your blog posts. This one entry about logging made me remember that Pepere Raymond (your Memere’s father) was a logger in Northern Maine. He moved his family to Brunswick, but would go back and log for months at a time. Memere Raymond said that she could always count on being pregnant when he went back. :o)

    I have two labs as well, Maizy (named after Memere Raymond and my Memere Belanger – Mabel and Rose) and Cooper. We lost our Delaney last year after 13 years. I miss her. I wish that I could bring them to Maine soon and have them swim in the ponds and lakes. Maizy is a water whore.

    Hope I can meet you and your amazing sister sometime! I’ll be travelling to Maine next month and be there for 2 weeks.

    Would you be willing to email me your father’s phone number? I’d like to say Hi to him.


    1. Aww I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed reading, Jane! Thank you for the information on my Pepere Raymond, I don’t hear/know a lot about the Raymond side of the family. 🙂 That’s a great story about Mabel haha, they definitely had a large family (and I love it). I’m sorry to hear that you lost one of your pups. I remember when we lost our 13 year old, it was so so sad. Our two crazies keep us laughing all the time though. Our dogs love the water too, no doubt about it.

      I’ll email you Dad’s information so you can touch base with him!


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