CornerPosts Our barn is starting to take shape. On Wednesday, they started setting poles. I had to smile, since engineering process and estimation are areas of focus in my work life. We’ll have those poles up today, and will pour concrete tomorrow, they said, confidently. I was working from home that day, so every hour or so, I’d glance out the window, gauge their progress, and think, hmmm, done today, eh? 😉

The four corner posts went up quickly, I’d say maybe in less than two hours. Many of the outside wall posts were shorter, only 22’ tall. But the middle posts and the ones along the second story shed dormer were 34’ tall. Most of the posts are 6×8” in dimension, and a few are 6×6”. So as you can imagine, those biggies were a lot or work for two guys to wrestle. They paused once to receive a lumber truck, and move stuff around to accommodate the new load.

LumberTruck

When Kirk and I considered our options for building this barn, we looked at do-it-yourself kit buildings. But we didn’t want construction to drag out for many months or years. And our biggest thing was we didn’t want to horse around 34’ poles. We were curious to see how these guys did it. It was a two-man job, but I would classify it as one of those do-not-try-this-at-home things. Watching them, I was glad I’d recently confirmed this builder’s insurance policy and workers’ compensation up-to-date-ness. 😉

PoleSetting3 They work with this little Bobcat skidsteer. It is a pretty impressive and versatile little machine, with easily changed quick-attach connections that switch between post hole digger, pallet forks and loader bucket. I didn’t get a picture, but to move a post, they would wedge one end into the loader bucket and lift, driving around with the post sticking straight out in front of the skidsteer like a saber. I think this length of post was about the max size one could get by with using this method. Once the post was lined up above its hole, they’d wrestle one end into the hole, balance the other end on the skidsteer bucket, and very carefully, start to push it vertical.

By the end of Wednesday, I think they had twelve of the 44 posts up. It seemed like their rate was about a post an hour. So I was thinkin’ their Thursday afternoon pour was indeed a bit optimistic. Thursday their pace quickened some, but those long poles really bogged them down. They got the center corridor done, plus two more long ones on one outside wall. So another sixteen poles in about twelve hours. I assume at some point in the day, they called to cancel their concrete order. 😉 PoleGrid

So for Friday, they had sixteen left, but eleven of those were short poles. They had re-scheduled concrete to come at 1pm Friday. I didn’t think they would pull it off, but they did! The short poles must have gone much, much faster.PolesToday they are back, they pulled off all the braces and are shooting the grade to level the dirt after all the post hole digging mess. They’ve brought a new tool, one of those Genie hydraulic lifts. Soon they will start framing in the roof. ShootingGrade

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