We decided we wanted natural light in our barn, so we added clear corrugated roofing for windows on the sides. The area between the metal posts is about 20 feet, so we bought 5 panels, using two that are whole and one that is cut down the middle (I used ordinary scissors to cut it.) In order to have support for the windows, we put a row of wood at top, and added two side supports in the middle by kreg jigging holes to the top and bottom of the boards and fastening on the inside of the barn with pocket screws. We used 1" self -tapping roofing screws to put in the windows, due to the washers they have on them. We had bought self-tapping 1 1/2" screws to attach the 10' boards to the metal carport supports, which we counter-sunk to make the heads even with the boards (or close to it). It really didn't take that much time with two people working on it (my husband and me). It's funny that we started working about 9 am and decided we needed better tools, so we left to go buy new drill bits and a generator so we could power regular drills (it was draining the batteries of our cordless drills quickly to drill into those metal supports.) We had wanted a generator anyway with our off grid system and the upcoming wedding reception being so far from the house, so the timing was right. We didn't really get back to work until about 2:00 in the afternoon, so the work done on the sides was accomplished in about 6 hours, with two of us working. The boards in 10' lengths were about perfect. There are only a couple we will have to trim at the corners. We let them hang over about an inch so they will meet the front and back boards. Next weekend, we are planning to drill the holes for the interior posts, put cement in to set, and then put up the posts.
We took about 4 hours to put in some posts this past weekend, and a short time the previous weekend putting in cement to dry. I felt that I needed to show details on this step, as it doesn't seem to be in the progress pictures of the Mulligan's Run barn that this is patterned after. I did get a helpful email from the owner, however, to give me a direction to go in. We used the 12" auger on our tractor to dig some holes that are 12" deep. We then mixed concrete and poured it into the holes (seven holes in all). Despite having it blocked off, the Black Angus steer that we have in that pasture managed to get into it as it was getting close to being cured and put their hooves in. As we were keeping a check on it, we managed to step in with our muck boots on and re-flatten it while it was still malleable. They did not mess them up again, thank goodness.
We removed the base and used a hammer drill to make the 1/2" hole for the redhead sleeve in the concrete. We used a piece of tube and our air compressor to blow the extra dust out of the hole so we would get a good fit. We put down the post base and hammered in the redhead, then tightened it with a socket and driver to secure it in the concrete. We then put the post in and drilled two holes through the top and into the metal carport supports so we could use a carriage bolt to secure the two pieces together. We put the post bases so that the sides went to the sides and not towards the front of the barn where we would be putting wood. We also secured them to the posts with joist hangers. Then we repeated this procedure with the other outside posts.
We got the last outside post put up, then started with the back wall. This time, we ran out of wood screws and had to stop. I love the way my husband took a small amount out of the 4 x 4s and wedged in the header for the door. Of course, we also toe-nailed that in.
As work on the calf barn continues slowly, we have had to make a few temporary adjustments. We bought a gate to stand up at one end and used a board on the other side as sort of a creeper barrier (thanks Linda for the idea) to allow the calves in and keep the older ones out so they don't push the younger calves off of their feed buckets. As you can see by the picture on the right, one of the calves graciously agreed to model how it works. So far, so good.
As we are planning for the finished calf barn to have three stalls, a kitchen area and hay storage, I have been watching out for a sink with big drainboards to put in the barn. Thankfully our neighbors (thanks John and Karen!) were pulling one out from one of their buildings, so that worked out well. Currently it is just sitting in the barn until we get the opportunity to run water out there. We are trying to figure out what we are going to use in that area to level it and provide a better flooring, and are considering sand and stepping stones.
My husband specially made a support piece for the door. It was made out of a 4 x 4 with chiseled out parts to fit just right.
We just put a 2 x 4 support piece to set it on and toenailed it in.
We made the door down in the basement, and we put it up today. We transported it out to the pasture on the forks of the tractor (my husband is a genius.) It looks so nice on the barn!
Update: We realized that we needed some light for nights when the days are short, so we added some dc led lights that we attached to a battery and a trickle charger. For the switch, we used a spring wound timer, so we could set the light on about ten minutes and give the calves time to see their food. It is great as we don't have to come back and shut off the light! For the battery, we used a riding lawn mower battery, as it was cheaper.