Sunday, September 13, 2009

Barn of a Different Color



Around 42N country (and a quarter turn west or so past the prime meridian) it is fair to say that there are many, many farms where you may find barns in colors of red, white, yellow and gray. Generally the construction material on these local barns is made of cedar or pine siding boards. Oak is sometimes used for the main frame.

In the last two decades metal roofs have been installed on many existing barns covering the original wood shingles. Newer barn designs can include traditional construction material and non-traditional material like metal. Walters Buildings and U.S Buildings have some fine examples of each style.

This barn, located outside of Traer, Iowa (42.19N, 92.46W) was built in the 1940s according to an expert. Dan Reed of Fairfield, Iowa explained that the barn’s clean design and the way the roof is peaked is an example of the post World War II construction style that occurred in these here parts.

This particular barn (and another one closer to Traer) are unique in their siding material. It’s masonite – a fiberglass like man-made material that can be cut in large sections and nailed to the barn frame. The material is extremely weather resistant holding up well for 60 some years. Like the other nearby example near Traer both buildings were of the same color - masonite white gray.

Wood, one of the more traditional materials used in this barn is evident in the door and window frames. Sixty years of weather and paint layers has left the door hinge in a more typical setting of elemental exposure. Know that.