Big george is busting my chops about me not fishing so I'll tell you why. My grandfather I never got to meet that was killed when my mother was 8 years old had a 4 room tobacco barn built during WW2. It measures roughly on the inside 17x21. Since it was built during the great war it is referred to as a ration barn which simply means lumber was rationed so alternative methods were used for construction. In this case it is teracotta block tile. A couple of years ago an ice storm took the original shelters to the ground. Since then a nice L shaped shelter has been constructed and constructed like a tank. You wont find many shelters on a barn built this stout. Problems encountered. The grade has been the big problem. To get all the clearences I want I have had to take dirt out of the barn and out from under the shelters and move it and use it to correct grade issues else where. All of it has been done by one man and a shovel to date. All total we are looking at somewhere around 9 dumptruck loads of dirt moved in a bucket, wheel barrow, or one shovel full at the time. So, when I finally got acceptacle clearences for roll up doors it carried my grade below the barn footing. The one man band strikes again with about 80 bags of sakrete, rebar, some form boards, and a concrete mixer. Basicly I capped the footing in the barn carrying it higher and lower then the existing footing while attaching it to the existing footing by drilling, pegging , and tying rebar to the existing footing. Outside the barn I've done basicly the same thing but instead of form boards and alot of concrete, I poured a small footing, laid 2 inch solid block and backfilled with concrete. This was primarily for a finished look when I pour my floors insted of seeing a jagged footing along the walls. Inside the barn I'll start my framing on the 5-1/2" wide concrete footing I poured. My ceiling height will be 10,6". This will leave me with about 7 foot ceiling height on the exterior walls up stairs. Upstairs will be a living quarters comparable to a hotel room efficiency and be used by me at times or people like Big George that want to come down a few days to hunt and fish. Downstairs is going to be a tool room. Most of the work building boats or what not will take place under the shelters. The shelters. Once my floor is poured and finished slick as glass I'll lay a few courses of block and build walls to close in the shelters. I'm still designing in my head a cabana style wall where half of the wall can be raised or opened in some manner for spring and fall work when heat or air conditioning isn't necessary yet maintain security for my tools when closed. In the floor of the barn in one corner I formed up and poured a square manhole about 14 inches deep. Pvc pipes of varying diameter leave this manhole and go to various points. In these pipes I'll pull Pex water lines. The purpose is so if I have a water line problem I can pull it out and replace it and everything is graded back to the manhole so in the winter when we have those cold snaps I can turn a few valves and all the lines will drain into the manhole. The manhole itself drains via a 2 inch PVC pipe that runs out to the woods. This isn't a backyard barn. It's on the farm. Not many people know there is even one there. It will be the gathering place for fish fries, cookouts, tuning the car, building boats, beer tastings, and small get togethers to cook a pig. It will be a lodge for a few close friends that hunt and fish. That way I can sleep in my bed and not have to hear their snoring. At some point I'll expand off the other side with something like a 40x30 to build bigger boats or to tear a tractor down or have big fish fries and pig pickins. I've really enjoyed piddlin down there the past 3 years most of which has been spent contemplating what I wanted and how I wanted to do it but play time is over. I've worked most every weekend down there the last 6 months or so by myself forming and moving dirt. This week I spent all my freetime after work and today wrapping her in 6 mil plastic and building a 4 foot wide hinged door so I can continue working through the cold months out of the wind and rain and throw a little heat to her when needed. Now that its wrapped my next course of action is to start the inside framing and insulating by myself of course. Here is a few pictures that are about 18 months old. Tomorrow I'll take some more pictures and you'll be able to see visually the amount of dirt I've moved by hand. It's provided alot of therapy for my back and my mind. I work at a pace I can live with and my back can live with. I engineer "helping hands" to lift one end of a beam or move something heavy. So the sign over the door will read THERAPY. The other plaque will hang over the door to the barn itself rededicating the barn my grand dad who I never got to meet used for tobacco curing to a modern day shop and dedicating it to my dad who taught me how to use my own hands and mind to accomplish. It's recycling on a large scale. Keep in mind, these pictures are 18 months old.