Monday, November 3, 2014

Should He Tear Down The Old Barn?

Should I tear down the old barn?  That is one of the most discussed questions for people who buy a new place or realize the old barn isn't what she used to be.

Frytown Farmer in Iowa posted this question on Machinery Talk.

"Has anyone tore down a solid well built barn that just has no current value to them? I have a well built barn that could easily stand for another 50 years but is right where I want a shop/machine shed. It can't be transformed into a shop. It has a milking parlor floor (uneven) and hay loft is part of the structure. The doors are 8 foot wide with heavy beams going clear to the top making it hard to make doors wider...

Lumber is heavy thick stuff antique places would die for. I'm hesitant because it is such a nice old barn. Will we be as in love with our hog barns in 50 years? That's what it is... A place to hold livestock yet it does hold a different "romantic" charm to a place.

I don't know if I can bring myself to it. Can't even get my mustang (car) in it without ramp boards to get over the unevenness of the door. Just a place to store junk I guess. Could be holding my sprayer and planter instead.

Had a carpenter come out and look at it. He said it would take as much money in labor to remodel it and have it not be what you want as it would to tear it down and put up a pole shed and have what you want .

Should he tear down the old barn?  You and I have discussed this question many times in the six years of HyMark High Spots.

If you read between the lines, I think perhaps he should tear the old barn down.  I hate to say that and I didn't do it but I wonder if he should.

Ed Winkle


  1. I'd never tear down a good building. But then I am a junk collector and always need more space to store things.

  2. Oh my heavens no!!!! If the taxes on it aren't killing you, save it and put other buildings elsewhere. Your place is beautiful and the barn is a work of art. I'm sure you don't want looky loos tramping thru your property but all kinds of commercial possibilities. Rent out for special events, reunions, wedding receptions, birthday parties, hayrides, sleigh rides, anniversaries, farmers markets on and on. Been too long in south Florida where everything is new. Your barn is oozing in history.

    1. Thanks, the only looky loos we have had stole out of our barns and it has not been a problem since we got Sable The German Shepherd. She scares the UPS man.

      We bought at farm at age 54 I really needed at 24 but never had the resources.

  3. I mislead everyone because I didn't include the link. I just did. It is Frytown Farmer from Iowa, click on the first sentence. I think I made a mistake saving this old barn because it doesn't pay the taxes on it.

    I should have posted the picture of his barn, not ours.

    Ed Winkle

  4. Anytime a sound old building is torn down, history is destroyed - something that can never be replaced. On the other hand, if it's going to be neglected and allowed to ROT down, then please give it to someone who will appreciate it.

  5. Ed,
    The earthen Dug-outs and the Indian TeePee's are gone. Few old log cabins remain and unfortunately these barns are going to go the same way. Even a livestock guy like me struggles to use the old buildings as the ventalation is terrible and the pens are small. I think the big old barns are nostologic and make a place look beautiful. However the taxes and repairs kill ya.
    If your business plan says something needs to be there down goes old barn and progress continues.

    Phil A.