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A New Barn in an Old Historic District

When The Barn Yard was called to design and build a Carriage Barn in Colebrook CT, we were faced with an interesting challenge. On the homeowner’s property are several 1800s period post & beam barns. In addition, the property is in a historic district. Therefore, it was essential that the new barn compliment the old ones, in both the construction style (post & beam) and exterior features.

26' x 44' Carriage Barn with 12' x 44' Enclosed Lean-To, Colebrook, CT

26' x 44' Carriage Barn with 12' x 44' Enclosed Lean-To, Colebrook, CT. Historic post & beam barn on the left.

The 1800s period barns on the property are all built using post & beam construction. The new barn is also a post & beam barn. In the picture above, notice the posts and beams visible in the open garage bay in the old barn on the left. We drew inspiration from the historic barns on the property, from window placement & size to trim details, doors, and a lean-to.

Here’s another view from the opposite side of the same old barn with the new barn in the background. You can see that both barns feature a lean-to. Also, notice that the old barn had a stone and cinder block foundation. Of course the new barn has a modern concrete foundation, but we still used a heavy 6x8 timber sill where the posts meet the foundation.

View of old barn with lean-to in foreground with matching new barn in background
Lean-To on Post and Beam Carriage Barn in Colebrook, CT

The property has quite the collection of buildings, like an 1800s farm or small village might have had. In the photo below, the new barn is on the left.

Many old red barns in a historic district in CT, with the new Carriage Barn on the left

Our Carriage Barn was designed after 1800s post & beam barns, so it only took a few additions to our standard Carriage Barn to match the actual 1800s barns on the historic property. Specific additions shown below are larger windows and overhead doors with pine facing, strap hinges, and oak latches. Also shown is our bow top window, sliding barn door with horseshoe track hardware, and singe door with transoms above.

26' x 44' Carriage Barn with 12' x 44' Enclosed Lean-To, Colebrook, CT

On the opposite gable end, we went with a three-window and door design on the second floor. Notice how this echoes the barn in the background of the photo below. The next photo shows another one of the existing barns. You can see how the new barn again compliments the old one with just a few changes to our standard Carriage Barn.

Post and Beam Carriage Barn with Custom 2nd Floor Windows and Doors
Existing barn and second floor window and door design

Inside, it’s all authentic post & beam. From 6x8 heavy timber sill all the way up to the second floor, there’s quality everywhere you look.

Authentic Post & Beam with 6x8 Timber Sill and Oversized Windows (Inside)
Inside of post and beam Carriage Barn - looking at sliding barn door and timber stairway
Second floor of post and beam Carriage Barn showing custom window and door design
Close-up of custom window and door design upstairs in post and beam Carriage Barn
View of expansive second floor and bow top window in post and beam Carriage Barn

Clear-spanned 26' upstairs thanks to larger heavy timber roof rafters and hidden steel tension rods, all precisely engineered for snow loading in Colebrook, CT. Learn more »

We are proud of the finished barn. It looks like the existing 1800s barns on the outside and has the same post & beam construction style on the inside. Of course, the new barn is engineered for strength and is supported by a modern foundation. There is authentic joinery in the new barn, like the old ones, but the joinery in the new barn is much stronger because it was cut on a CNC machine, giving it the highest precision and therefore tightest connections.

When designing and building an authentic post & beam timber frame barn, we always approach the project with the future in mind. Timber frame construction has been proven to last for centuries. The new barn will have many uses throughout the next few hundred years, just like the existing 1800s barns on the historic property. It will weather many storms, witness a myriad of family events (wedding barn, perhaps?), and be passed down from one generation to the next. What we built is a testament to the strength and beauty of timber frame construction, and it looks like it’s always been there, home among the other historic barns on this property in Colebrook, Connecticut.

26' x 44' Carriage Barn with 12' x 44' Enclosed Lean-To, Colebrook, CT

With just a few customizations, our Carriage Barn can be the barn of your dreams, and even fit in a historic district!

Learn more about The Barn Yard’s authentic Post & Beam Carriage Barn »

Posted to Blog: Friday, July 24, 2015