Some of the best projects start out as an image in your head. Most of the time, it’s hard for anyone else to conjure up the same image in their minds, but when you know deep in your soul that it will be worthwhile, it’s time to pursue it. When Tyler and I purchased our home in January of 2014, we had no idea what we were getting ourselves into with our project to-do list. The front barn has been an ongoing project for us, and while every phase has had its ups and downs, this project has definitely been worthwhile.
The front barn actually started out as an old camper shed that the previous owners had used. The shed had a mud floor, termite damage, and half-dead landscaping. The storm pipe running from the old shed across the driveway was damaged and caused the driveway to washout every time it rained. As you can imagine, it was a serious eye-sore, and Tyler desperately wanted to tear it down. Despite all this, I saw the potential. This problematic camper shed was destined to be a beautiful barn that would hold countless memories and good times for so many people.
The first thing that had to be done was a good old clean up. It was out with the junk and in with some fresh new gravel to create a base. After saving up some money, a concrete floor was poured and we enclosed the front wall in a board-and-batten look and built some sliding exterior barn doors.
The next step was to run all new electrical throughout and put it on its own meter. Of course this did not change the look of the barn, but as with any project, you have to start with the basic necessities. And electricity has proved to be a huge necessity in the long run!
During the remodel, we really wanted to spruce up the mismatched exterior paint, so we bought a horrible paint sprayer and a few gallons of paint to match the front wall to the existing grey metal on the other three walls. With the terrible paint sprayer and a borrowed extension ladder, Tyler began the painting process only to have the hose come loose from the sprayer, allowing paint to spill all over the concrete. You can still see his shoe print in the dried paint on the front concrete.
Next, we used the doors from our existing back barn as a model to build new front sliding doors out of PT deck board. Once I had finished staining them, we hired a contractor to enclose the front wall and hang up our new doors. All of this had finally led us up to our first barn sale in September of 2015. What a transformation!
Of course we quickly noted a serious design flaw after the first barn sale. There was only one way in and out of the barn which created a terrible traffic flow issue. We had shoppers who would pass up seeing the vendors in the front barn simply because they couldn’t get through the door.
This convinced us to hire another contractor to begin phase two. We had four new door openings cut and built sixteen-foot lean to’s on both sides of the barn, creating even more space. Lastly in phase two, we had concrete floors poured for each lean to and enlarged the concrete apron up front. Also, we replaced the damaged storm pipe with a new one that would no longer cave in every time someone drove a trailer across it nor would it allow our driveway to washout every time it rained. So, we started our spring show with a larger barn, and God grew our vendor family to fill the spaces up.
This finished up the bones of the barn for the most part which allowed me to focus on the design aspects which is the really fun part. I knew I wanted something different, and Pinterest was a great resource for inspirational pictures to help me bring my vision to life. I wanted simple, clean, and white so it would be a clean slate for each vendor or bride we hosted to create the look they wanted. We went with white board-and-batten on the inside. I used cloud white for the interior paint and shortly after, decided to paint the exterior the same color.
We knew we would eventually want to put a ceiling in, but we always save and budget for each project. Finally, we have begun our ceiling project and we are so excited to show you our progress.
The front barn has come a very long way since the beginning of 2014. It is no longer a troublesome eyesore. The front barn has been given a new purpose, and we couldn’t be happier. The walls of this barn have seen so many wonderful events, and we can’t wait to experience even more wonderful times in the coming years.
P.S. Stay tuned for part two where we will show off the ceiling when it is complete!