TBT That Time We Bought a Barn

"Hey Dave you bought a barn!"  was what our founder who happens to be my grandfather heard one Saturday morning when I stopped by our warehouse.

What I heard back was something along the lines of "expletive expletive expletive, you bought an expletive barn with my money!"

After I reminded him of my business savvy and revealed to him some of my market research (asking people on Instagram about barnwood) he understood that I had a little bit of a plan. His final thought on the subject was incredibly valuable to me and it made me less afraid of the chance I was taking as well as some of the chances I have since taken. He said to me "At least you are trying something. If you sit around and do the same things over and over you will never get anywhere." He was right.

The barn project was going to be tough. I had a lack of the following.

  • Man power
  • Machinery
  • Trucks big enough to haul an entire barn
  • Any real lumber or wood selling experience
  • Time  

This was late August in Pittsburgh when I signed myself up for this little side hustle so we were up against it as far as weather goes. I did not want to be out there in the freezing cold picking a part my first ever barn. 

I spent the first night with my wheels absolutely spinning. Smoke was spewing out my ears like a burnout scene form Fast and the Furious. RIP PAUL WALKER. Who, what, where, why, when, questions all raced through my head. Sleep was not on the menu, my mind was too excited about this barn adventure. 

The next day I started calling in favors. Within three days I had a 48 foot flat bed trailer parked by the barn along with a 40' JLG lift. On the fourth day I had a crew of six guys scheduled to go up there.

Let me tell you, taking down the siding and the floor of the barn is easy. The rest is extremely difficult. The crew I had took the floor and the siding off in one day. My hands were so battered from pulling nails I could not even open a jar of pickles when I got home. We busted our humps. I cant thank the other guys that worked for me that day enough.

I rested up and cleared my head. I had zero clue how we were going to get the roof and structure down. Zilch, nada, nothing. I was so far out of my comfort zone you could have probably found me in another universe. So I am panicking and basically ignoring the problem at hand, I have no plan and I am stuck.

The roof structure was re done a few years back in newer 2x4 material. It would be basically worthless other than for firewood or framing out walls. Winter was coming. Yes I chuckled and thought of Game of Thrones when I typed that. Being the John Snow type figure I am I did something rash. I called my buddy up and told him we were going to RIP THE ROOF OFF WITH AN EXCAVATOR. Where does one get an excavator of this size can not be revealed. Trade secrets... I am sure you will understand.

****Spoiler Alert***** 

When you rip the roof off a barn... THE ENTIRE BARN WILL FALL DOWN!

So there I was, standing next to a heaping pile of barn. It wasn't even close to an episode of Barnwood Builders. It looked more like a scene from Saving Private Ryan when the bodies and smoking rubble fill the streets. 

All the beams were actually saved except for a few with rot.  Most of all the original 2x4 and floor joists were saved. Some would say I got lucky but I would tell you I had it figured out all along.

Easy peasy. We bundled it all up got it on the trailer and back to our warehouse. Obviously this is down playing the difficulty especially considering our lack of experience. 

Getting out of your comfort zone and doing something different makes you feel amazing. I did not know what I was doing but I know a lot more now and I worked hard. The entire experience was extremely self satisfying. Most of this barn is gone and we have since got more barnwood in to stock. If you want to help us out and buy some, hit us up! I can not wait for the next tear down. Stay tuned!