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Thread: Summer farm roof project

  1. #1
    President Member Jeff_H's Avatar
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    Dec 2004
    S RR Valley, ND, USA.

    Summer farm roof project

    I thought I would post a bit on my main summer of 2018 vacation project at the farm....

    This hog (pig) barn was one of the original farm buildings, probably built in the 1920s. I have a 1938 aerial photo that shows it was there then. It was added onto about 1955. The last time any hogs were in there was I think in 1994. Long obsolete then. I remember growing up setting out late at night in there when sows were farrowing and dealing with newborn piglets, etc. Quality time spent with a pitch fork too, haha.

    This photo from 1967 shows the barn and it looks the same now.

    Its been used for storage of misc. junk ever since. I have had some parts stored there for >20yrs, including some Studebaker parts.

    The roof had some work done about 1993 but its been leaking since and gotten "critical" the past few years. Either fix it or get everything of any value out of there as it will be ruined.

    So, this summer I went through the re-roof process. A metal roof was put on for cost/time reasons. Also, I am doing this myself alone w/o any helpers.

    I started on this back in June on the South side (worst part):

    The design of the barn had these skylights. They were the main reason the roof leaked since its last redo. All the old hog barns in this area had these sort of skylights that were designed to open up for ventilation. Most all of them are now gone.

    I removed the hardware and covered it over as too much trouble.

    This re-roof was done about 1993 but must have been bad materials as it was going south even 10 yrs ago. Holes in the roof here and the asphalt shingles are disintegrating.

    I had to fix the rafters in this area to support the new roof.

    Work continued for the rest of the south side:

    The 1955 addition was done on the cheap and the roof was sagging. I used a floor jack and post to push it up before adding some structural improvements:

    I had a brainstorm on how to get the metal sheets up the roof by myself. I got some big clips and casters and attached to some scrap plywood. Clip this to the top end of the sheet and it was easy to slide it up the roof w/o it catching on the old shingles.

    At the bottom a "calibrated" piece of wood and C clamp to hold the lower edge in place.

    Normally, 2 people would do this but its just me so some ingenuity is required.

    I stopped work 4th of July week here:

    I was going down to finish the project on July 28th when I was in a traffic accident and my truck got damaged. I ended up going down 2 days later with the car with what I could cram in for tools to finish this project. My 12' step ladder had to stay home.

    Fortunately, I got it DONE and it should be good for the next 40+ years now.

    The old dairy barn is pretty much a goner. Too big of a project and not worth the $$$. Its in worse shape than this hog barn was. Unfortunately, the hazmat rules in this area mean it will have to collapse as a eyesore as the cost of having it demo'd and legally disposed of are significant. In times past it would get burned or buried but not anymore w/o significant $$$$

    Jeff in ND

  2. #2
    Silver Hawk Member
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    Jan 2008
    Bay City, Mi., USA.
    Dang, Jeff - That's impressive. Particularly that you did it all alone. I gave that up 20 years ago.

    Well done. Bob
    , ,

  3. #3
    President Member r1lark's Avatar
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    Oct 2004
    Winston-Salem, NC, USA.
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    Good job on the roof Jeff!

    And that's a beautiful farm place too.
    Winston-Salem, NC
    Visit The Studebaker Skytop Registry website at:

  4. #4
    Silver Hawk Member Milaca's Avatar
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    Apr 2005
    Milaca, Minnesota, USA.
    Check with your local fire department, as they may be interested in burning the barn down as a method of practice/training for the fire fighters. Such was done 22 years ago for an old farm house that my parents had. The asphalt shingles were allowed to burn with it.

    Also, you might consider posting it for sale on Craigslist, as there are people that like to repurpose old barn wood...though it would likely be more hassle than it is worth with liability and all.

    In the middle of MinneSTUDEa.

  5. #5
    Silver Hawk Member 53k's Avatar
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    Oct 2004
    Martinsburg, West Virginia, USA.
    That's truly an incredible job- heavy, dangerous metal panels, moving around on a roof that looks like you could fall through... Wow!
    Some years ago some metal roofing was blown off my 1870 bank barn. I put my big extension ladder against the front of the barn (shortest place to put my ladder). I climbed to the edge of the roof, looked up and decided no way I was going to go on there, backed down the ladder and called a roofer. I wasn't afraid of ladders and I did some pretty dumb things like painting the barn. The only way I could reach the peak was to back up the Stude one-ton 4x4 to the barn, put my ladder in the bed and extend it fully. Then I had to use a paint roller pole, at the top of the ladder to even reach the peak. My bucket of paint was hanging way below me on the ladder and I would swing the pole and roller out and down to the bucket, soak up some paint and swing it up again.

    Paul Johnson, Wild and Wonderful West Virginia.
    '64 Daytona Wagonaire, '64 Avanti R-1, Museum R-4 engine, '72 Gravely Model 430 with Onan engine

  6. #6
    Golden Hawk Member DEEPNHOCK's Avatar
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    Oct 2004
    Brooklet, GA, USA. Planet Earth
    BTDT.. Brought back great memories of a harder time.
    Hang in there... It will be worth it!
    HTIH (Hope The Info Helps)


    Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please. Mark Twain

    Note: SDC# 070190 (and earlier...)

  7. #7
    President Member Jeff_H's Avatar
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    Dec 2004
    S RR Valley, ND, USA.
    The secret to hopefully staying on the roof is wearing these:

    You can almost walk up walls with them on, haha. They DO grip pretty well on roofs though (more than any work boots or shoes I ever tried) and I bought a new pair especially to work on this one.

    This building was about as high and as steep as I would want to deal with. The old dairy barn is at least as steep and much higher with worse leaky rot spots not to mention some wall and foundation issues. Should have had a new roof about 20yrs ago, maybe even 10. That would have needed to be a pro job.

    These metal sheets are not all that heavy but they are unwieldy to handle, especially if breezy. I had more safety concerns getting the ridge cap on w/o taking a tumble. I was glad to find those 2 old wood ladders in another shed that my late dad must have got at some auction or another. They were old, but solid and about the perfect length with roof hook attachments I added.

    I worked on this over 3 separate weeks I was at the farm. Got rained on a bunch so usually could only get a couple days in per week of being on-site. No doubt some crew could have knocked this out in a day or 2. Fixing up rotted rafters and other structural issues inside ate some time too.

    Jeff in ND

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