September 09, 2013

Barn Home Project ~ Part 2

Let's see, where did I leave off?  We picked a beautiful spot, cleared the trees, leveled the ground, anxiously awaited getting the well drilled, brought in too many loads of gravel to count, and got everything ready for the concrete.

The top picture is of the trees being cleared for the electricity to be put in.  Believe me when I say that we fretted something awful about this part.  This location is heavily wooded and they were telling us that they would cut a 40' swath of trees.  It may not look that bad in the picture, however, nothing could have prepared us for what looked like a
tornado had gone through.  Prior to the clearing of the trees, you couldn't see into the woods very far.  After they were done, we could see clear over to the next pasture.  It has kind of grown on us though since we can see our Scottish Highlands lazily grazing over there through the front picture window.

Next came the concrete trucks.  

We still don't know how the concrete trucks got all the way up the hill, but we are grateful they did.  One of the other things we had to consider was a place for these trucks to turn around.  After clearing the trees for the electricity, we absolutely refused to take out one more tree.  Thankfully, the concrete trucks were able to circle the house to turn around.  

It was fun watching these men work together in unison.  They had a great sense of humor....until after the concrete was hard they informed me, with a dead pan face, that this was their first concrete job, they were just hesitant to tell me before they did it.  Needless to say, I was not amused, however the joke was on me and they thought they were hilarious!

This concrete process began early in the morning, took all day and into the wee hours of the next morning.  The Amish crew has a driver that also works on the construction crew.  When the sun began to set, the driver headed for the nearest hardware store to get some big construction lights.  The sun went down and we still couldn't see any lights up at the construction site.  About 9:00 p.m., I headed up there in our truck and saw a sight I never will forget.  As I topped the hill, my lights came upon Amos with the machine that smooths out the concrete surface.  He was working in utter darkness while he waited for the driver to bring back the lights.  Leaving my lights on, I quickly jumped out of the truck to ask how on earth he was still working in the dark.  His only response was 'I can feel my way along'.  Our concrete was incredible when he was finished.  

It was also fun to see how quick they framed the walls in.  

The water on the floor is from melted snow.  Remember this is still winter, lol.  

This back wall is the kitchen area.  We designed it with one long counter and no top cabinets in order to capture the beautiful Ozark Mountain view.  We picked this spot specifically for the view and I wasn't going to cover it with kitchen cabinets.  The long opening now accommodates four windows with the kitchen sink centered in front of them.  One thing I have learned from the design of an Amish house is the joy of having a large pantry so we designed one into the plans and won't have any lack for space regarding cabinets.  Here is a picture showing the outside of the back wall.  Part of this design is open from the back kitchen wall to the front living room wall to enable the wonderful breeze that blows across the hills.  It keeps the house cooler in the summer which is truly a blessing! 

Below is a shot from the outside showing the shop/garage wall.  We are planning to someday, Lord willing, build a kind of a lean to off this end for storage purposes.

Below is the front wall taken from inside.  As I referenced earlier in this post, if you look through the center window, you can see the cattle up on the next hill.  Just ignore the ugly electric pole!  We will probably end up growing something in that area so we don't have to look at the electric poles.

Here the roof is fixing to get put on.  Do you see this little concrete pad sticking out in the middle of nowhere?  We had leftover concrete and had to come up with something quick to do with it, so we made a spot for a little patio.  We knew we might have a small amount of extra concrete so we framed an 8' by 10' area for a chicken coop, but then there was still extra so we thought of the patio idea.  Since the framework was still in place for the foundation, Amos refused to put it as close as possible.  He said it would look like a mistake, which he could not tolerate, lol.  So we put it out a ways and built a little porch between it and the house.  I plan to plant several kitchen herbs in that area so they will be handy for me to step outside and pinch off when I need them.  

In order to remind us that this was still indeed winter, a beautiful snow fell and the winds turned very cold.

However, the work continued and we began to really see it take shape.

Remember, if you have any questions, be sure to ask!  I'll go searching for more pictures for Part 3, until then, have a blessed week!


  1. It's looking great! I know you must be excited. Wonderful progress.

    1. Thank you Leigh, it is a nail biting process, but when I look back on it, it really went extremely smooth!

  2. That is so neat that you have an Amish crew (funny guys). Your home sounds lovely already. I like the idea of the windows in the kitchen and a large pantry. If I had to do over again, that is exactly what I would do. You can never have too many windows or too big of a pantry. I look forward to a tour on the completed house someday. :)

    1. Thank you Jane, it still isn't finished though. We still have lots of sheet rock to put in and so much to do, however, it sure beats paying a mortgage! My husband is chompin at the bit to have everything done, but I want to take our time, and be creative with it. Find things at auctions to incorporate into the house, things like that. I do love how it all worked together though, the long window area with the view and the openness of the layout functions well with how we live.

  3. Oh I love part 2, the foundation is down, walls, and roof are up. I'm so happy for your guys. Can't wait for part 3.

    1. Thank you Sandy! I hope to get to part 3 next week, but our daughter is off to the fiddle state championships in two Saturdays so things are getting a bit tense here, lol. Not sure how much I'll get done on the computer until after that.

  4. I love reading these posts on how you built your homestead. My hubby was interested in this part, mostly because he drives a concrete truck for a living and found the Amish crew rather interesting.

    1. Your husband would have probably been like the rest of the truck drivers that had to make it up here, not happy! I ran into one of them at our local country store the other day, he was telling this other guy about this job they did here locally....and it was our job he was talking about so I know they are STILL talking about it LOL! At least now everything else they will do will seem easy :) Everyone around here works with the Amish in one way or another, we have 7 large Amish communities and they are part of our every day life.

  5. I just found your blog, how nice it is! My mother lives in Gainesville MO . It is one of the most beautiful places in the world, the Ozarks are hard, but if you conquer them, oh the reward is great! I am visiting in November and cannot wait to go hiking and breath in the Ozark fall air!


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