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Plans

The plans for my barn are finally starting to come together.  I drew plans for the barn, talked to an architect, redrew the plans and am ready to talk to the architect again.  Once the architect is satisfied that I've done everything correctly, he'll stamp the plans so I can go to the county to get a building permit.  I'm hoping to be ready to pour the foundation in a couple months.  Then it will be a few more months to actually build the barn.  When completed, it will be 24' wide by 51' long and 27' tall at the highest point.

Since the top deck will be used for nothing but coffee drying, I figured it would never need to carry much weight.  Unfortunately, the barn will be classified as a "commercial" building so building codes require that the upper story is designed for 100 pound per square foot instead of the 30psf I had originally designed for.  That's strong enough that you could drive a vehicle around on the upper floor.  Way stronger than I will ever need.  But the building codes don't care what I will use the barn for, they only care what somebody may some day possibly use it for.

Anybody that's built a building before knows that there are always unexpected expenses.  In this case, the extra expense of the upper floor will be offset by some unexpected good news.  Our utility lines run directly across where the barn will go and I have no choice but to move them.  I had originally figured that I'd run the lines underground from the barn to the house.  Buring the lines would require special permission and cost me several thousand dollars.  I got the power company engineer to come out and take a look.  He informed me that buring the lines would be even more difficult and more expensive than I had thought.  But... my existing power lines are only 100 amps.  The power company will pay for a free upgrade to 200 amp lines.  When upgrading, they could put in a new pole too.  So it turns out that moving the electricity will be free.  Or atleast as close to free as anything concerning construction can get.

Digging Sarah Even though I don't have a building permit yet, I have started some excavation.  Digging by hand is quite slow but it can be a nice mindless break from other stresses.  I usually feel more relaxed after a couple hours of digging.  Filthy, tired and sore but more relaxed.

Mostly I wanted to see how difficult it was going to be to dig the foundation.  The answer is... very difficult.  I've removed all the dirt to discover that I have nearly 1000 cubic feet of solid rock that needs to be broken up and removed.  My tractor, shovel and pick-axe are no match for all that rock.  I'll need to hire a professional with some heavy-duty equipment.  If I can't get the job done cheaply enough, I'll have to redesign my barn yet again.




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