Saving Our Home

edwardqApril 25, 2010

Hey all:

I need some creative thinking and experienced people to help me figure out what to do to save our barn conversion home from total loss.

My family and I live in a two level barn conversion. The upper level is one great hall, 116 feet long and forty foot wide---a former hay loft structure built with arches like a quonset hut with wood frames that span an arch of 20 feet high.

The recent snow storms cracked several frames due to snow weight, and now the whole upper level needs to be dismantled and demolished. We need to re-build the upper level completely.

The lower level is finished, however, as living quarters, so the question becomes: What method or temporary stucture could be put in place to keep the upper floor deck dry until we put new frames and roof--most liklely some post and bean structure.

Is there some sort of plastic / water proof tubular structure we can use (with water proof "roof" material) we can put and take down as the re-build progresses?

This is an insurance claim, so we are also looking for a contractor on the re-build team to help us with this temporary need for water-proofing this.

Any suggestions and help would be appreciated?? :) We haven't heard any good ideas yet from some builders who have visited.


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Dan Staley

Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too hard to do a distance solution - brainstorm with the information provided.

Try talking to your local building inspectors, structural people, etc. One of my old building inspectors seemingly knew everything about construction.

Or maybe you didn't hear a "good idea" because you weren't ready to hear it. A beer or two helps get the ideas flowing/receiving as well. Or try a construction trade forum/listserv.


    Bookmark   April 25, 2010 at 1:34PM
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I am a 30+ year designer and contractor of custom homes. 6 mil polyethylene tends to be a good temporary waterproofing solution. Find a contractor and rely on his/her expertise. Make sure to look at no less than two of his/her previous projects. If he (or she) has done a quality job his former clients will usually be glad to show you their home.

Like Dan says, advise from a distance concerning a project like this is quite difficult.



    Bookmark   April 25, 2010 at 11:11PM
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Might it be possible to rent an inflatable structure/tent like those used for 'events'? You know the kind that use inflated 'air beams'...

I've seen them large enough to enclose football fields.. Like the one that collapsed on the dallas cowboys (or was it houston texans) practice session when it was hit by that microburst/funnel cloud last year, and your needs are considerably smaller than that....

The military uses them a lot too... You see them at conventions and what not al the time...

Just a thought....

    Bookmark   April 27, 2010 at 10:05PM
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Can't you re-inforce the upper level and use "house jacks" to support it in the meantime? Rebuild from the inside out.

You need a structural engineer, not a bunch of random people on the internet.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2010 at 2:15PM
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