FramingDoneA little progress on our barn. The roof is framed, all the purlins and fascia boards are on, and the widow’s peaks are done. They are nearly done sheeting it with OSB and covering that with tar paper. Many people don’t sheet the roofs of pole buildings, preferring to put the metal roofing down right over the purlins. That is certainly less expensive in material, labor and time; and practical for many cases.

The drawback is the bare metal roofing always gets a little drippy with condensation on the underneath side. Initially, if a layer of insulation is installed, the moisture is curtailed. But in my observation of most people’s barns in the NW, birds and rodents end up destroying the insulation over time. Then the bare metal gets exposed, and in cold damp weather, drips fall on your head when you are inside the barn. This is only a little unpleasant, since when you are doing things inside a barn, you are likely already a little damp and dirty. But still. TarPaper

We chose to do a more traditional roof, not only to avoid the drippiness problem, but to leave open the option of doing something with the hay loft in the future. We’re not sure what, and it could be many years before we use it for anything other than storage and hay. But maybe when we are ready to retire and live more simply, we may finish the upstairs into an apartment, and rent out the house. We may someday have a desire to finish it for farm worker housing. Or we may finish it into office space or a retail area. We may also end up doing nothing with it other than filling it up with farm stuff. But there will be value in its finish ability when we someday sell the place. Ceiling

There was an additional advantage in that the sheeting adds a lot of sheer strength. This is a pretty big barn and we are in an “exposure C” area, which means since there are few trees, the wind load is higher. The engineer was glad to be adding this extra strength to the building, despite the extra weight it also adds.


There is a funny optical illusion created by the sheeted roof and no sides, and the widow’s peaks- it makes the barn appear taller than it is wide, which is not the case.