Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Away on Spring Break

I'll be back with more Barn, part 2 next week.
This week, I am in Colorado with Jenna, and her dear boyfriend Jeremy visiting my brother and sister-in-love (Joel and Jody) in Colorado.
My phone takes marginal photos and I forgot the USB cord for my real camera.
These are a couple phone pictures that didn't turn out too bad that I will share. 
Just a taste of what's to come when I get home to my computer.

 Duffy, the smooth coated collie mix.
One of the best pound puppies I've ever met.
This is his "throw my toy one more time" pose.
Let's play "Where's Carla?"
This is the view off the back deck of Joel and Jody's cabin.

I'll be back home this weekend.
I'll see you then.

Answer: I was in Trinidad, CO.  These are the Spanish Peaks. 

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

The Barn, part 1

June 18th was when I first picked out and announced my plans for a barn.
Up until that point, I had spent hours and hours and hours looking at barn plans.
Eric had decided that we needed a good, old fashioned wood barn instead of a metal barn that is all the rage in our part of the country.

I'm here to tell you that nothing in my house that involves building and plans and bids EVER goes off without a hitch and hours of discussion.
I'm the type of girl that picks something out and goes with it.
Eric is a thinker.
A ponderer.

I sought advice from my friends that are also donkey owners.
and lastly my local friends, Barbara and Sisu.

Every single one of them told me one vital piece of information.
"Donkeys will eat a wood barn."

Justina actually had a hole in her old barn in New Mexico as proof.

Secondly, we were having a hard time finding a contractor that would erect what we considered a 'turn-key' barn.
We didn't want to have to seek bids from road base, foundation, the actual barn and then electricians and plumbers.

Lastly, I was having personal drama about a barn that would blow down in a storm or potentially catch fire.

Way back in April I had contacted a sales rep from MDBarnmaster.
One of those 'metal barn' dealers and gotten a bid on a much larger barn than we ended up with.
Eric and I were both having a terrible case of sticker shock.
Then we got some bids on a wood barn manufacturer that was turn-key after the road base and foundation were done.
More sticker shock!

Honestly, I was done.
Too much information and WAY too much money.
I wanted to build a 3 sided run-in and call it a day.
Donkeys don't need to stay warm in our part of the country, they need to stay dry.

More discussion with Eric. 
Some tears on my part.
He wanted whatever we put up to match the house and be a sales point should we ever move away.

On September 13th, I contacted MD Barns again.
A full 5 months after my first contact with them.
I told you, we don't do building projects quickly at our house.
Metal barns can be beautified to match the house.
Metal barns cannot be eaten by donkeys.
MDBarns will not blow away unless the winds exceed 120mph.
MDBarns have a lifetime guarantee.
MDBarns have a guarantee to never spread fire from one section to another.
If the hay in my hay room spontaneously combusts (and it can!), the fire would stay put.  
It would burn itself out.
MDBarns come with a site director that watches over every step of the operation and makes sure it's all being done properly.
Heck, MDBarns even makes sure there is no trash blowing about and goes over the entire site with a huge magnet to make sure every single tiny bit of metal (bad for donkey feet!) is picked up.

MDBarnmaster did not pay me to say any of that stuff, I promise.
They just had several selling points that spoke to me that other turn-key metal barns did not.

We signed a contract and were off!
12 weeks later the barn was delivered in pieces on a truck.
Winter temperatures and rain got in the way a few times.
We had to wait for the road base to cure.
We had to wait for the foundation to cure.
However, once the actual construction of the barn began, it went up in 3 days!
These guys were pros!

The barn was not the design/layout Eric would have liked.
That design would have cost twice as much as the one we chose.

Nothing in this world is free except breathing.

This barn and every single other barn we considered was expensive.

It's a building.  
A stout building with a foundation, plumbing and electricity and many guarantees.
I will probably always have guilt about spending so much money for a place for my pets to run into when it's raining.
It's something I'll have to get over.

The road base arrives.
17 truckloads!

Next the foundation was formed up and the concrete trucks came.

Like all little boys, Bill and Ted were captivated by the big trucks and all the workers.

I was there for support should the boys get spooked.
They were completely enthralled with the whole operation.
My assistance was only needed for belly scratches.
Grooming the concrete.

Francisco was the lead in construction and Don is my barn rep that made sure everything was on schedule and being done to our specifications.
Can't say enough nice things about either one of them!

Front view

Back view
We'll talk about the height of the road base in another blog post.

North end
South End

All done!
Move-in day in the next blog post.