The door to the long barn, a long, low-roofed barn on our property that was once a chicken coop and now is a storage shed, went from rustic to just plain shoddy when a tractor gouged it. We decided to replace it. It’s not a task we’ve done before, but our learning curve has ramped up considerably since we’ve become owners of the ranch. These old dogs have learned lots of new tricks.
We began with a heavy-duty frame, which I’m pretty sure will be standing after the rest of the barn has disintegrated. With the help of some crates and blocks of wood, I held it in place while Clay screwed it in. Clay then fitted the frame with 1-by-12-inch redwood boards to match the existing barn.
Then we took our first trip to the hardware store. Any self-respecting do-it-yourselfer will tell you that nothing gets done without multiple trips.
Next, Clay ripped 6-foot lengths of bender board with his new SawStop to create the slim lathing that covers the gaps between the redwood panels. These allow the panels to shrink and swell, while protecting the inside from weather. The SawStop came with a close-to-100-percent guarantee that Clay would complete the job with all of his fingers. He cut the pieces to the correct length and attached them to the redwood panels.
And then we went back to the hardware store. It’s hard to believe that we don’t own every imaginable length of nail, screw and bolt, but as any do-it-yourselfer will tell you, you never have the right thing. At Home Depot we got screws to attach the kick plate. Nobody ever uses the barn door handle.
At the end of the day, we toasted a job well done with a Pliny the Edler from our local, fabulous brewery, the Russian River Brewing Company. We toasted the fact that our important irrigation and filtration equipment, our tractors and our tools, were now snug and safe. But mostly, we toasted that we newbies had done it all by ourselves.