Every deconstruction project we decide to take on comes with its own unique set of circumstances, including challenges to be solved. With each unwanted structure we remove, two things are always at the forefront of our minds: first and foremost - safety, and second - salvaging the maximum amount of material possible for repurposing or up-cycling. Over time, we’ve developed techniques for deconstructing various types of buildings that are the safest approach for our team and result in the least damage to useful materials.
This project was for a customer in West Salem, WI who wanted their barn safely removed after the roof had been heavily damaged by a storm. The owners decided that it would be too costly to repair the barn, so they reached out to us.
One of the challenges with this project was that another structure was attached to the barn. The attached shed was in good condition, so the barn needed to be dropped without causing damage to the shed.
First we did some careful planning, disassembled some of the connecting materials from the barn to the shed, then weakened a few structural components. Next We attached our heavy duty steel cables from the proper points in the structure to our four wheel drive pick-up truck. Before pulling the structure down we gave several gentle tugs from the truck, to double-check that the barn would detach as we hoped. Once this was determined, it only took a couple lunges with our truck and the roof came down onto the haymow floor exactly as planned. There was no damage to the other structure, and none of the material we intended to repurpose was destroyed.
In many cases barns like this one are removed through demolition and would probably be dumped into a landfill as waste, or burned or buried on site. Instead, this barn yielded hand hewn hardwood beams, beautiful weathered barn siding, and a lot of other excellent material that has been purchased for multiple projects. We still have some of the lumber and other material from this barn deconstruction and it is currently awaiting it’s chance to serve a beautiful new purpose!
Although demolition has become a common solution for removing unwanted structures, we applaud these barn owners along with many others who make the choice to have their buildings deconstructed so that these irreplaceable materials can be enjoyed by others.