Raab Barn Review

Rural Elkhart Lake, WI

On-site inspection done May 21, 2005 by Chris Kuehnel



I toured the building on a sunny summer day and observed

The barn is built in "bents" which were assembled lying down, and then stood up one at a time perpendicular to the length of the building.  To clarify the location of problems or observations, we identify the bent as 1 through 6, and the posts within the bent as A,B,C, or D, where A and D are the outer walls.  From the road, bent 1 is to the left (next to the silo), and bent 6 is to the right (closest to the house).  Wall A is away from the road, and D is towards the road.

The full set of digital pictures taken are available on CD, only those relating to the explanation or plan are shown here-in.


Details Observed (in the order observed)


The silo seems to be in reasonable condition and could be kept without being a risk at this time.  Would be good to stabilize the 'tunnel' from the barn to the silo.

Roof line is not straight.

Hay mow

Roof from inside seems good, no pinholes showing, no water damage in general, stored straw appears dry.  Tamarack round rafters in very good condition.

Top plate A has slight bow out at 3-4-5.  Plate D appears straight but pins sheared or relish torn out at D2 and D3 and D4, as well as at A3.

B2 and C2 posts are sunk, brace disconnected at B2.

Vertical purlin post is split at C3.

Very nice hay 'basket' and all ropes and sheaves still in place, a nice aesthetic touch!

Summary and Plan

The main barn building is recoverable if action is taken very soon to tie the two plates together.  In the current condition, any major windstorm could cause major damage.

Priority of repairs and suggested schedule is a follows:

Spreader cable to tie top plates together is the top urgency, with the

After the cables pull the plates back into postion, the vertical post at C3 to be bolted together with a short 3"x6" oak 'backing' plank.

Would be good to be in the barn during a gentle rain to doublecheck statements about 'no leaks observed'.

Remove the chopped and baled straw, if in place it can make it difficult to notice roof leaks until rotting of both roof and floor makes it obvious.