Saturday, July 22, 2006

Restoration begins at ENER

Recently I traveled to N. Stonington, CT to Early New England Restorations, the company which built my parent's family home back in the early 80s and is restoring our home's barn frame. Up until now the frame, plank, and sheething has been packet carefully in a box trailer. For the visit last week, the the trailer had been unpacked, and the workmen had begin the process of assessing the frame by actually setting it back up, bent by bent, flat on the ground. This is what you see in the bottom two images.

When we purchased the frame, Scot Hanning made it clear that only AFTER dismantling can one tell conclusively what kind of shape a frame is in. It became clear after the ENER folks began re-assembling the frame that there would be some repairs required, as is revealed by the third image up. Here you can see the bases of one the posts...rotten after years of exposure to moisture. No problem, we're told. They will simply cut off the rot and splice on a new segment of timber of the same dimension.

The top image is cool. This shows one of the marks made by the barn's original builder used to indicate which timber connected where. Today we use computer-printed tags, applied with staples!

For now, the folks at ENER will continue the assessment and eventually come up with a list of needed repairs and adjustments. The architects are working on the final set of drawings, and we are beginning to contact prospective builders. If all goes well, we MAY actually break ground before the snow falls!


Dave B said...

Ben and Susi,

these most recent pictures are very cool! I had no idea how involved the process was once the barn was taken down. I thought the wood was "prettied up," and then the barn was reassembled in a new place. Any other stops before Framingham?


Lori said...

Your leap of faith seems to be fufilling itself in inches and marks, the way life truly does (and I'm sure you've had your moments of wanting to scream)... you're amazing, and I'm fascinated by the process-- my favorite is the first image... the hand-hewn mark of the original builder.