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Homestead Texas Barndo

Barndominium (AKA Barndo) - noun - A development of the process of people building a small apartment on the second level of a barn (usually a horse barn) for reasons unknown to me.
The term has come to refer to a residence built in a steel building, which has several benefits: Steel buildings are low maintenance, hail resistant, and provide a large, clean surface for rain water collection.
Inside, normal framing is done so that the interior looks like any other home you might walk into.

 To remind you where the barndo will be sited among the other structures (this is not an actual picture - it's kind of a photo-shopped Google Earth image):


Here's our floorplan.
23 June, 2018
This was the building site before we started prepping it.
Neighbor Ron helped a great deal, moving as much brush in minutes as would take me hours with lopper, chainsaw and BCS tractor.
I need to get me one of those front loaders...
Some clearing done.
1 July, 2018
They mined the property for soil to build up the foundation. When they dug in the right place, we have some primo "Red Select" material which is preferred to build up a foundation on top of which to pour the slab.
They had to truck it a short distance to the building site.
The foundation is almost ready to start cutting footings and rough plumbing

You may recall we had a huge cactus patch. We had them scrape that clean and use the cactus to (partially) fill in the hole where the dirt came from.
No more cactus!
We got tired of using a magnifying glass to go over the plans, so Kit copied the PDF file to a thumb drive and visited Kinkos.
Very happy with the results, and made laying out the kitchen cabinets much easier!

6 July, 2018
On the day we were supposed to 1) have our building delivered, and 2) have the concrete forms started, we've had (so far) 0.71 inches of rain - and nearly an inch over the last three days.
The delivery was postponed to Thursday and no concrete forming today...
12 July, 2018
Building delivery day!


17 July, 2018
Ground breaking and foundation forming day!
23 July, 2018
Rough plumbing day!
31 July, 2018
The day came to start laying down poly and as soon as they got a good start - rain.
But eventually they got it down, and steel too.
We're currently scheduled to pour concrete next Monday, 6 August.
6 August, 2018
Pour the pad day!
We had a fleet of 14 cement trucks come thorough the gates - and we needed one more to make it 15.
Our concrete guy had a double crew on the job as the pad is larger than "usual".
They had it poured and finished by noon.
The rest of the day and evening we kept the pad wet to prevent cracking from heat as it cured.
We'll keep this up tomorrow as well...
The block of wood you see in the lower right corner is reserving space for when we get all the grandkids on site at the same time - we'll mix up a little cement, remove the wood and fill the pocket, then they can put their hand prints in for posterity!
Here a video of some of the work done today:
17 August, 2018
Stain the pad day!
We have chosen stained concrete floors for the barndo.
The stain is applied in several coats by spray, and then top-coated with wax.
The preferred method is to stain the pad soon after it cures sufficiently and the top coat will protect the floor from construction equipment and boots.
Were they to wait until all construction was done, the concrete would not take the stain the same - so while it seems a bit horse-before-the-cart, this sequence has been found to be the best.
21 August, 2018
Erect the building day!
Windows were delivered today as well.
How it was done:

25 August, 2018
Set the posts day!
I found a source of peeled cedar posts on Craig's List. There seem to be very few doing this work and after visiting with Kris and his wife Teresa of Posted Up (, and watching them work on the posts, I can see why. A lot of attention to detail is required. These folks don't just wiggle chainsaws (although they do that too), they are craftsmen.
I briefly considered making these posts myself from cedar trees here on the farm - but our cedars seem to split their trunks into several very quickly, so we don't have long straight trunks to work with.
After seeing what all goes into a "peeled post", I'm glad we let an experienced craftsman do it. They are beautiful, as you will see.
I put my duds and sunscreen on and went out to work with the crew setting the posts.
We had considerable success and even managed to communicate decently (muy caliente!).
I used my chainsaw to cut the logs to length, and then slotted them to accept the metal joist.
I was happy to find I haven't lost the touch.
27 August, 2018
Today we set the first corner post.
They had a lot of frame welding to do and the timing of their completing the corner and my lunch hour overlapped nicely.
I took some shots to show how we prepared the posts.
The fist step (not shown) is to stand the post up against the framing and scribe a line of the top of the joist on the post.
Then I cut the post along that line and cut slots in it.
The "Crew Chief" uses a spade bit in a drill to hog out enough material to...
...get the Sawzall blade in there

We used a scap piece of the tubing to check the fit, and eventually come up with a slot that fits the welded metal joist.
And then we have a corner post set!

Kitchen window.
Dining room windows.
Living room windows
Master bath and bedroom.
Minor bedroom, shop, garage.
28 August, 2018
Today was windows and skins.
30 August, 2018
Walls are done, front posts up.
31 August, 2018
Roof is on.
12 September, 2018
Rain tank and interior framing has begun!
19 September, 2018
Still making progress.
Safe Room II is underway, here sheathing the outside. A full sheet of 3/4 ply required some mechanical help to raise to the top position.
I could swear I used to pick these up by myself...
Rain tank is all connected to the guttering, ready to collect gallons and gallons of water. Our roof will collect about 3,000 gallons per inch of rain.
26 September, 2018
Framing is done. Electrical is mostly done, waiting for drywall. Plumbing same thing.
I take two dozen picture and they all look the same. Framing, wire, plumbing.
But here are some examples...
This is the wall where we'll have a preparation sink opposite the island.
Safe Room II with external armor complete.
Master bedroom wall, master bath behind.
Spray foam insulation.
7 October, 2018
OK, NOW things are starting to look different!
Sheetrocking started Friday - maybe a couple more days to finish putting it up, tape and float.
This is the kitchen, shot from the living room.
This is the master bedroom and closet.
Sewing room.
Sewing room closet (right) and minor bath entry (left)
24 October, 2018
Additional work done:
- Tape and float
- Texture
- Doors hung
- Trim installed (windows, doorways, baseboards)

Completion of the septic system is delayed for rain, but we hope will be done soon.
The next thing (we think) is paint.
Welcome to our new home.
Sewing room.
Pocket door to the master bedroom
The silver lining to all this rain is that our rain tank will be brimming full when we move in!
If you can pick out the little red puck - that represents the water level inside.
1 November, 2018
This week has been all about the septic system and tile.
Our septic system was inspected and passed yesterday, and is now complete (save some landscaping)
Late last week the plumber installed the tub, but has to wait on the tile to install the faucets.
And now they're tiling the master and minor showers. Here is the master niche (soap, shampoo shelf).
Here is the master shower floor. Kit did an excellent job of choosing a tile with matching mosaic and bull nose, and is sized to look good in this size shower.
The floor between the shower and the tub - the same tile with mosaic border.
10 November, 2018
After some dancing between the plumber and the tile guys (you first - no, YOU first - no, YOU first)... we finally have the tile complete in the master bath, specifically around the tub.
The minor bath
Wall color - "Agreeable Gray"
15 November, 2018
The kitchen coming together.
21 November, 2018
A big day for the Barndo. Power is on!
Electricians have spent the last couple of days installing outlets and switches and fixtures and today, we connected the house to the main power junction box.
This is huge because the lack of power has delayed the finish of other installations - HVAC for one, water filtration for another, water heater... everyone wants to make sure their installation works, but don't want to make more trips out here than they need to.
So HVAC is coming out this weekend, believe it or not.
Water filtration will be here the first week of December.
The plumber is a real will o' the wisp and will be out.... when he gets here.
So I finally was able to seal up the junction box
Back To Homestead Texas Home
Ground Breaking
Clearing For The Cabin
Labor Day
Labor Day II
The Tractor
The Tractor Barn
The Cabin
The Truck Patch
The Bee Yard
The Hay Field
The Tractor Barn

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