Tuesday, April 7

Chickens Join the Ranch

Well after the goats got et by the big cat we decided to downsize with alittle chicken coop and some fryers. And on the inside ... No curtains

Monday, April 28

CO is on the Horizon

With a hope that the Certificate of Occupancy (CO) is on the way here shortly there is work to be done on everything in the house. Here are current pictures of where we are.

Sunday, March 30

Wayne's World (Counter Culture)

Wayne Hileman had his crew down and they did a great job at putting the granite into the kitchen. It is really starting to look like a house.

Tile Setters Wanted

Lora and Scott have been the bulk of the labor in getting the tile into the upstairs bathrooms and we are making great progress. Here is Lora alone in the shower, although there is lots of room for more.

Monday, March 3

Barn Living is the Place for Me!!!

Just a quick look at the barn accomodations. We ahve a lving area upstairs and the kitchenette and the bathroom downstairs. The cabinets are for storage and really great. One thing though. It is cold.

Kitchen Cabinets

Well it is looking more and more kike a real house as the wood flooring was installed and the kitchen cabinets put in place. Wayne Hileman was out to measure for the counter tops and the tile and painting start in earnest this week. Who knows maybe this spring we'll move in.

Sunday, January 27

Is it really a Barn?

The discussion was on between John and Dave as they completed the outside wall for the bathroom in the "Barn". Dave wondered why you even needed a bathrrom in the house let alone in the barn with " all those trees around".

Hi Ho, Hi Ho We're Putting on Stucco

The crew got to work on a beautiful Saturday morning and made great progress on the stone and the stucco. Unfortunately it all stopped half way through the day when they ran out of the pigments for the stucco. Oh well, hopefully there is good weather on Tuesday.

Sunday, January 20

Beautiful Night for a Roofing

A great picture of one of the sunsets we can enjoy in the future as Rock gets a start on the roofing project.

Thursday, January 17

Rock On ! ! !

Well we have rock on the outside and rock on the inside. That would be decorative stone on the outrside in Cheyenne color and drywall on the inside in basic white.

Sunday, January 6

Birthday Barn !!!

Not only do we have friends that help us build the barn, we have friends that help us celebrate in style as well. The chocolate barn was delicious. The construction was aided by a few toothpicks and extra sheets of graham crackers (some wise cracks about fewer mistakes on the cake than the barn). The cake version was great, thanks Mary... and thanks Dave for making the wood one a bit better as well.

Friday, December 28

Father and Son

John has been at the barn every day and working up a storm. Owen joined him on his preciously short Christmas vacation. Leaving his new fiance in town, he braved the cold weather to help get the shower installed. Thanks to a talented father and an apple that didn't fall far from the tree we may be able to have a warm shower without the fire and bucket approach Lora was looking forward to.

Oh the weather outside is Frightful and Inside...

It is frightfully cold as well, at least in the barn. The house is a balmy 65 with the heaters running full out. The Christmas week was supposed to be one where we got a lot of work done but the weather has not cooperated. Still it is beautiful in the snow.

Wednesday, December 26

Christmas Update

From Santa we got snow for Christmas and progress on all our projects. The gas is installed the water is not leaking any more and the insulation and dry wall gets started next week. So despite a snowy Christmas and cold weather we are making a lot of progress. The new year will bring lots of progress in side the house as we begin to finish the wonderful spaces that have been created so we can enjoy the amazing views.

The barn windows are in and the bathroom is being built so maybe in January we'll get to move in. Lora is so very excited that her dream of living in a barn in Colorado in the Winter may actually come true. It will be a pioneer story for the ages.

Friday, November 30

First Occupant

Big day at the Barn. John finished the flashing just in time to get the tarpaper on and get us dried in prior to the weekend snows. We went inside to check out the conditions and found out that the first occupant had already moved in. It must be a first rate barn if the Barn Owl has already decided to take up residence. We managed to capture him without much trouble and set him free in the woods. We'll see if he comes back.

Sunday, November 25

House is covered for Snow

With a roof and windows we were ready for snow (at least a little).

Friday, November 23

Thankful at Thanksgiving

We are very thankful this holiday season for all the Lord has seen fit to bless us with, family and friends most of all. The weekend prior to the holiday we were in Utah for a special occasion with the kids and friends and family worked on the barn (see last post). When family gathered for the holiday, friends and family again worked along side us despite the cold conditions and tempting football games on TV. It was great to have Bishop Smith and his son Josh out working with Eric Zircher on Thanksgiving Day. Josh took a break from work to go hunting cans, pine cones and who knows what else with his BB gun. It was a great reminder of what we hope this place will be (a great place for family and friends to play). On Friday we got the barn site a bit late (truck didn't start) but Jacob Howell was there to help despite the cold and eventual snow. On Saturday Sean King and Scott & Jason Lindsay came to help get the last of the sides on and the windows in. They were lots of help and when we finished later in the afternoon it was really looking like a barn. Thank you to the many helping hands that reminded us again in this season of Thanksgiving that one of the great blessings in our lives is the people we share it with.

Monday, November 19

What a Weekend

While we were away in Utah visiting the kids and having a wonderful family time, John and brothers Zircher and Matney from the Heritage Park Ward came down and worked wonders on the barn roof. Monday Scott came down and worked wonders on the siding (and then took a short break). We are moving along to try and beat the cold and snow.

Sunday, November 11

Alta, first on job site!!

After a life time of being the 4th child, Alta is finally first. She is the first of the kids on the job site and the first to hammer nails into the barn (actually it was a nail gun and an electric saw but that's the way it is now). We had a lunchable(tm) lunch on the deck, enjoyed the view and got a great start on the barn roof. We will probably get snow this week so every little bit helps.

Monday, November 5

Measuring Up

Today we spent a long morning with Ray walking the house to get the final framing details right with John who is doing all the work. We talked through the added windows, resized walls, coffered ceilings and lots of other details. It is really coming together and we are grateful for good work being accomplished and for Ray putting up with Dad being a pain in the $%#&. Here is great early morning view of the house. The picture is back lit with the morning sun.

Saturday, November 3

Raise the Roof

Lots of help from many friends (Dave Rutherford and John Merkling in the photo) and the trusses and the rafters are in place. Now we need to get the sheeting on the outside to keep the snow out. It's starting to look like a barn. On Monday Lora and I are going down to walk through the framing to work the closeout list. We'll post new photos then. Lots to do and lots to fix the plumbers and heating folks have taken a few liberties with the basement.

Tuesday, October 23


It snowed on Sunday and on Tuesday afternoon when it was all gone in Highlands Ranch there was still snow on the loft flooring in the barn. I shoveled it off in hopes that the dry and warmer day predicted for Wednesday would dry things out and allow us to make some progress on getting the roof up. There are 4 of the guys that are planning to come down after work on Thursday evening to help hold everything just right to try and get the trusses up. If that gets done we ought to make good progress over the weekend (besides moving out of the house).

Monday, October 22

Barn Raising Day 2

The second day around brought high winds, high hopes and great accomplishments. Our neighbor Melanie Bastian was there to get us started and then we had several return appearances. Tom Scanlan could not let the staircase go and came back to get it "half way to heaven". Mark Spain and Dave Bogard did comeback tours and of course John Merkling was leading the way. Our ranks were joined by Donna Ellsworth and two father and son teams, Dennis and Brady Hansen and Gary and Scott Brown. Both were great. Mike Bailey is going to be very sore from crawling around on the decking for the loft and Joe Rutherford took a windblown ladder in the head for all of us. Eric Thorderson came by for lunch and stayed to hlep get the heavy stuff up on the roof. He was tall enough that he and Dennis could just hand the stuff up and we didn't need the lift. The Pichulo family came down with the whole gang and it was great to have a whole family down at the barn. It was great fun and we got the loft decking in, all the supplies loaded on the top and the brackets in place to lift the pony poles for the roof. All in all a very good weekend for the Merkling Barn. Thanks to all for your time, your talents and your friendship. Hopefully this is a place where you all will feel welcome to come back to.

Friday, October 19

Barn Rasing Day 1

Well the call went out and the only slightly Amish clad poured in to help. It was a great turn out. Our special thanks (in random order) to: Ed Hettler, Dave Bogard, Mike and Jan Hole, Lou Turner, Tom & Sharon Scanlan, Gene & Peggy Dionne, Rich & Ben Smith and friend, Gary and Janet Gardner, Mark Flak, Jon Groves, Dan Gotzinger, Alex Santiago, Riches Dixon and S-in-L, Mark Spain, Steve Knudtson, Tom Smith & Julie, Dave Burrup & girls, John Merkling, Dick Merkling, and my favorite Lora Merkling.

Despite poor program management and obvious lack of planning and little coordination the team as usual carried the day. It is starting to look like a BARN. Take a look at the progress in the Barn Movie.

Monday, October 8

John and a Jack Hammer !!!!

We were working hard to get the drains in so we could have a successful inspection on Monday and we hit dirt so hard it hit back! After we had told John and Kate that we would be fine getting it done that day they made the long drive and showed up anyway. Dad had gone to get a Jack Hammer since we were going through real concrete. After lots of digging (thanks to John getting every shovel full out of that trench) and lots of the jack hammer we had enough of a trench to get us through the inspection. We were almost 3 feet down. The well company wants 5 feet so with a little insulation on the pipes we are good to go. Next step is the concrete floor which will be late this week and then on to the barn raising.

Saturday, October 6

Tractor Man

Need we really say more. It's Eddy Albert all over again and wait till you see Zsa Zsa.

Barn has Holes and Poles, thanks to Superwoman

This is the before picture. It is not really before considering we had the caison drilling company out to drill the 21 five foot deep holes that ranges from 18" to 30" in diameter. Lora and I then stood the fifteen 16 foot, four 14 foot and one 23 foot 6x6's into position. Then came the 11 tons of gravel to fill all but 6 of the holes.

This is the after picture. That is after the first day of work together. You will notice that the poles are straighter and the pile of gravel is smaller. Tomorrow we do the rough plumbing for the bathroom and get the frame ready for pouring the concrete slab. The bad news is that we are one pole short. Even though I checked the bill of material prior to shipment and called and sent a note to the Barn company they still shipped it short the one pole. It is not easy to run out and buy a replacement 16' pressure treated 6x6. Hopefully this can be solved before the concrete is poured.

Movin' On Up

The framing crew is really, really good. They are making great progress and as you can see are working on the upper level exterior and interior walls. It is wonderful to stand in the spaces and get a feel for what the house will be like. We have made several changes. Mostly we ave been adding back windows into the design and making a few even larger. The previous 2'x6' window in the shower is now a 3 1/2' x 6' (what a view). A window has been added to the side wall of the exercise room to give you that great view to the south. We are hoping the prediction for precipitation and even some snow for this weekend is not correct as we hurry to get a roof on the structure.

Sunday, September 30

Basement Framing

The exterior walls for the basement have been framed and it gives a great look at the views that we can expect from the main floor. Take a look.

From the Bottom, Up

The sub floor is made of structural aluminum as shown in the picture. They did a great job on installation and luckily we were able to catch the plumbing mistake and move the toilet location before they put the sheeting over the top.

Barn Arrives in Parts

The barn arrived on a tractor trailor from Elma Washington and was unlaoded next to the building site. You can see some of the prefabricated parts as Ray moves the stair railing and the cupola top is sitting on the stack of lumber. As luck would have it I picked up the approved building permit from Douglas County the same day. Next step is to get the foundation in so we can have a barn raising as scheduled for October 19 and 20!!! Everyone is invited except those 7 brothers, the barn never seems to be in good shape when they are done.

Monday, September 10

Slow Going

Rock tells me I need to set my clock to construction time. It is a hard thing for me to do. The things that were supposed to be done on Friday were not. No one worked the weekend and then it rained on Monday. In the satellite business that is 3 lost days. In construction time that is the way it goes. I hope ray has the patience for putting up with me. Perhaps this is my own road to patience... or a heart attack.
After pushing week after week on getting barn plans completed we may have the plans into the county tomorrow and the barn parts delivered next week. Then it will be waiting for the permit. Great... more patience training.

Friday, September 7

A trenching we will go, high hoe and in ya go, a ...

IREA showed up on Friday to start the process of gettign us "on the grid". They are laying 1/0 aluminum underground cable in a 3 1/2 foot deep trench across the field. Dewey is checking out the depth. Rock came out early on Wednesday and mowed the grass down to make it easier and they have moved along rather quickly. They were half way across the meadow when these pictures were taken and about to hit a soggy spot. The crew got about 75% of the job done when the quitting bell rang for the weekend so they will be back on Monday and hopefully have us hooked up by noon. With all the other activity and the floor guys counting on power this one is coming down to the wire.

How Firm a Foundation

Well here it is. All that concrete in real walls. It looks extra deep since there will be a structural floor and not a poured slab of concrete in the bottom. The site is all preped to water-seal and put in the drains on Monday and the floor guys will be there to start putting in the beams as well if ... there is power. Hopefully it will be a busy week.

Tuesday, September 4

Barn Our Home Away from Home

Many of you may know that we are building a Barn on the property to house animals, teenagers, visitors, and maybe even us circumstances permiting. I've included the link to Uncle Howards website and the Gambrel barn design we are building. The barn raising is hopefully the last of this month but we will see what the county says with the permit. The barn site is just to the east of the house and will have a wooded setting with views of the south through the pines. The leveled site is shown in the picture. Mark Yocam and his boss (wife) Terry are in the picture.

Friday, August 31

What Comes in 9 Concrete Trucks ???

The answer is a foundation ! consisting of 80+ cubic yards of concrete. You can see the trucks stacked up on the road waiting their turn at the pump truck to fill the walls with concrete.

Unfortunately, Driver 1291 is not as happy as the other drivers. It is the Friday of the Labor day weekend and he is truck number 9 and .... he has broken down just 250 yards from the pump truck. There was 45 minutes left before the load was too hard to use and the repair truck was 5 minutes away when I had to leave to get to Bolder. As Paul Harvey would say, tomorrow "the rest of the story."

Monday, August 27

Hey! That's Not Building a House....

While the caissons were being completed and the foundation forms were being prepared we decided that a trip to Bermuda for our 26th anniversary was in order. Lora is teeing off from the #1 tee box at Ocean View Golf Course with the training ship "Spirit of Bermuda" in the background. Tough life.