A DIY Goat Barn for Less Than $1,000 from Reclaimed Materials

Something is very satisfying when a person can complete a project from reused items so that they don’t end up in a landfill while saving money in the process. Last year, we constructed a goat barn using mostly reused building materials and it cost us less than $1,000.

The barn is 16 feet square and of pole construction. The posts used were of Rocky Mountain juniper (locally known as cedar) that had been killed in a wildfire. Several years ago, we obtained a permit from the Forest Service and harvested the dead trees. This particular species is naturally resistant to rot and, for added protection, a layer or roofing tar was applied four feet up from the bottom.

All the holes were laid out and then dug by hand. One difficulty with using this type of post is the natural taper of the tree. The posts were plumbed only toward the outside of the building to ensure the walls were straight.

Next, the roof beams and rafters were installed. The beams are lodgepole pine that was harvested in western Wyoming. The trees were standing dead and had been killed by mountain pine beetle. A very inexpensive post and pole permit was obtained from the Forest Service to harvest the trees. Lodgepole pine is extremely strong and makes excellent roof support beams.

The roof purlins, wall girts and rough-cut siding were all purchased from a local sawmill. The lumber was cut from beetle-killed ponderosa pine. The barn was sided in the board-and-batten style. The battens were cut on a table saw from rough 2-by-8-inch boards to reduce the lumber needed and reduce project cost.

1/7/2016 11:40:06 AM

Hi Bill! Thanks for the comment. We have a lot more pictures to share with you. Please e-mail us at thehappycowgirl@gmail.com and we'll get them to you. We will also be more than happy to answer any questions about the project you may have. Thanks!

1/6/2016 11:59:27 AM

Nice job. When hearing of all the wildfires and pine beetle damage, it is a comfort to read of folks like y'all who have made lemonade of the sour fruit. May your goats and kids be well!

1/6/2016 8:55:43 AM

I'd like to see more photos of construction, if possible. We have hundreds of cedars on our property, and are building a goat barn. I plan on using this build as a guide. I can pretty much guess what you've done for bracing, etc., but pictures are worth a thousand words, as they say. Thanks!!

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