Monday, October 8, 2012

The Barn

Our barn has 750 square feet of insulated workshop space and two horse stalls built into a lean-to-shed off the right side. Josh has been keeping the mower & other miscellaneous equipment in the stalls, and I am now setting up the workshop area as Little Dog Vintage headquarters (photography, storage, shipping). The barn is going to be a great place to work, but there is a lot to do before the space is functional for my needs, and admittedly I am a little overwhelmed.

Soon after buying the house I brought some items into the barn to store. We were in and out of Vermont at the time, so the items sat unattended for a few weeks. When I finally came back to check on them, a mouse (or a family of them) had burrowed inside the foam cushion of my desk chair, created a nest inside my tool box, nibbled the edges of a number of other items, and left droppings all over everything else. When we noticed Riley obsessively circling and sniffing the chair, Josh slammed his foot against it and a little mouse came flying out of the bottom, ran across the floor, and escaped under the sliding barn doors. It suddenly became very clear that I would need a better plan for keeping my items safe & workspace clean. Below is my list of to-do items for the barn:
  • Build storage cabinets with doors that seal shut to store shop merchandise
  • Clean and paint the walls & ceilings (we spent a whole day last week vacuuming spider webs and dirt off the walls in preparation for this)
  • Clean and paint the work bench that runs along the length of the left wall
  • Find a large slab of limestone to set the wood burning stove on (limestone will radiate heat from the wood burning stove)
  • Find flue attachments for stove & install
  • Insulate the wall behind the stove to avoid damage from heat
  • Set up Internet in the barn
  • Install new ceiling lights
  • Clean and seal, stain, or paint the cement floors
  • Have an electrician fix breakers in the electrical box (we are currently only getting power from one outlet)
  • Build photography setup: Make a table with wheels on the bottom out of an old barn door I found at the burn pile at the dump. This will be used as the base surface my my photographs. Buy a large piece of drywall and attach it to a rolling wall frame. This will be used as the wall background for my photographs. The whole setup will be able to roll around the workshop as needed to get the best light.
  • Set up computer, printer, packaging supplies, etc.
  • For next year: paint the outside of the barn red with white trim

Not every item on the list will get done in the next month, but I am aiming to have 85-90% complete by mid November. It's ambitious, I know. I'll be posting progress updates as we check items off the list.

↑ Above, the inside of the workshop. We cleaned all the walls with a shop vac and started painting the bench along the wall white the day this photo was taken. The wood stove in the back is waiting for a limestone slab to sit on and a flue attachment. Josh is going to set up his carpentry tools and table saw on the right side. I would like to find a long work table for the middle of the room that we can share when we work together in the barn.

↓ Below, the horse stalls, now serving as storage. Josh would eventually like to use this space for goats and/or chickens. I am not completely sold on farm animals, only because I know I will get attached and be heartbroken when they get sick or when a raccoon or Fisher cat breaks in and picks a few off for dinner.

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