Subject: Barn Relocation

Question: We have just moved to Maine and are interested in buying land and building a house and barn. We are interested in receiving information about relocating a barn to the property. Here are some questions we have:

Question: Is it more cost effective to relocate or build new?

Answer: Generally, the costs are similar.  If you can find a frame that suits your needs (unaltered), is in good condition (no expensive repairs for rotted or missing pieces), and isn't expensive to buy standing; then an old frame is cheaper.  It gets down to the fact that there are old house people and new house people - which are you?

Question: What is the availability of old barns?

Answer: Unless you have very specific and very unusual needs, barn frames are readily available.

Question (The question you didn’t ask): What is the cheapest way to get what we want?

Answer:  Buy (carefully) land with a barn (and/or house) already on it.  Moving buildings (except for small houses as a unit for short distances) is very costly (time, money, skills).

Subject: Gutters

Question: I own a very nice, original reproduction 18th century post and beam cape in Trescott, ME (Washington County). The previous owner/builder installed hand-made wooden gutters, I assume cedar, along part of the house. I wish to complete installing the same type of traditional cedar rain gutters, and would like to know how to go about doing this.

Answer: Gutters were almost never original on capes - they did not become common until the 1830s.  One (money saving) option is to skip gutters entirely, which you could do if the roof has an adequate overhang and your drainage around the house is working properly.  If you want gutters (of the kind that it seems you have), there are manufactured Douglas Fir gutters.  These are a special order from your local lumberyard.  They come in lengths exceeding 40 feet.