Up She Rises! The West Barn Returns to Wells Farm

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One of the oldest barns in the town of Lincoln, the 1860s-era West Barn at Vermont Family Forests’ Anderson Wells Farm was in need of major repair last summer–from foundation to rafters. We called on the skills of Miles Jenness of Vermont Heavy Timber to carry out a restoration process that would reuse those parts of the barn that were still sound, fix timbers that could be repaired, and replace those that were beyond salvage.

Last summer, the West Barn came down. Miles and crew carefully stored all reusable timbers and brought damaged timbers back to his shop for restoration or replacement. In the fall, Dave Newton and his crew completed a new foundation for the bank barn, utilizing both poured concrete and masonry. This summer, the Vermont Heavy Timber crew returned to raise the barn once again. The photos below give a taste of the beautiful intermingling of old and new in the restored West Barn, which will be completed soon.

As you’ll see in the pictures, the West Barn’s original timber framing was anything but uniform, so the restoration and reconstruction work was a massive 3D jigsaw puzzle. Precisely crafted joinery connects old framing timbers with new. Miles and crew were able to salvage most of the original sheathing, which they then topped with a new layer of sheathing that’s been fully coated with a whey-based, locally produced stain from Vermont Natural Coatings. That double sheathing layer allows the interior of the barn to retain its historic look and feel, while the outside is ready to stand up to another century of Vermont weather.

It’s great to have the beautiful West Barn back–new and old and improved.

Image of timber frame flooring joists
Timber framing for first floor
Close up of bottom of support post