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As a contractor, I use a fair amount of barnboard. I get it from the same supplier every time, my buddy Brett from Bored Barn. He always comes with quality planks as far as mashed up 100-year-old weathered planks go. He takes a commission to pull down old barns that are out of use and rotting, then salvages what he can from the demolition.
I’ve demoed many of kitchens in my time, but never a barn. Being the curious cat that I am, I asked hom how he pulls them down and if I could join him on a job. When he told me that he pulls the barns down with a truck, I almost tripped over my own feet because I have a great truck, a Toyota Tacoma, and I’d love to put it to the test.
My excitement to demolish a barn was so real! It’s not an opportunity that comes along every day.
This barn was built in 1911 and had seen it’s best days decades ago. It was built by the family of the farmer who asked Brett to pull it down. Although it looked cool, it had become completely infested with powder post beetles, which are little insects that eat through the posts and effectively turn them to dust.
The difficult part of this demolition was that there was only one direction we could allow the barn to fall. There were silos to the left of it, a garage to the right of it and a 20ft drop off with more buildings behind it. That meant we had no choice but to drive up the hill to pull it down. An unusual predicament to say the least.
Brett usually pulls the barns down with his own truck, but I had to put mine to the test. We cut reliefs into the posts, hooked up my Tacoma, flipped it into 4 wheel drive and let it rip. That Mid Size truck generated so much POWERRRRRR.
What an amazing experience for a person who loves driving! The barn came down with little resistance and a huge crash.
We didn’t shoot the rest of the process, but it took 4 days to clean up the property and sort through all of the lumber. Every part of that barn, down to the rusted square head carpenter nails were up-cycled to various places to live a second life.
Here are a few projects where I used lumber from this barn to add character to a renovation.