© 2017 by Indiana Barn Foundation.  All Rights Reserved IBF*reps

Misty Cowart
Nov 16, 2017

1920 Amish built bank barn.




Hello everyone! We purchased a new property last january, which has a old bank barn. Barn had powder post beetles. We have treated he whole barn and even had them back for spot spraying. So anyone that has had them

before knows the damage they do. We need a main support beam replaced. Would be 12 x 12 x 35 is my best guess. Previous owner did support the beam but not jacked up where it should be so upper level has sunk. Another large support beam needs replaced below. Its more like an 18 x 18. Yes pretty large. So i am trying to figure out the best way to fix all these support issues. We do not want to lose the barn. Money being an issue, we may need to do it in sections. First being has the powder post beetles done to much damage to repair? We do plan on keeping up with treatment of them and yearly checks. After support beams are replaced will the floor boards in the upper level lose the bent memory and overtime lay more flat or will we need to replace the whole upper floor. These are the first projects we want to do. Last questions is, where do i find someone to look at my barn? Give estimates on work needed? Be honest on the whole structure? I have called 2 barn restoring companies. Both have said they are booked up maybe can come out next year. This barn is far from falling apart. Dogs play in it and we are not afraid of falling through anywhere. But we dont want it let it get that way either! Any thoughts or help would be great!

Nov 17, 2017Edited: Nov 17, 2017

Hi, Misty. I am short on time right now, preparing to go to the annual meeting of the National Barn Alliance. You have a lot of good questions, which I think I can help you with. Assessing the nature of the beetle damage and assisting with at least temporary support issues requires a first hand look, but if you would like to arrange a site visit, I would be happy to come see your barn. We do not charge for this, only ask that you pay travel costs--whatever gasoline expenses there are. I am in Bloomington, but we also have knowledgeable barn members in other areas of the state. Just let me know where you are located, and we can arrange for someone to come see your barn with you.


Your floorboards will probably need replacing, but depending on how long they have been distorted, it may be possible to relax them back into shape. There are techniques for this, but it can be difficult. The good news is that rough sawn flooring is not too expensive and available at most local sawmills.


If you look on our website, www.indianabarns.org, under the MORE button, you can access our list of barn contractors, who may be able to help you with estimates. You have already discovered that there are too few barn contractors, and the good ones are busy.


You can contact me at 812-325-0248, or campbellduncan02@gmail.com. I hope to hear from you.

Jun 20

Thanks for your interest, Eliza.

New Posts
  • Gary Kaufman
    5 days ago

    Added a new metal roof last year and then had major structural work done this past week. Replaced the center beam support columns and footings. Also replaced the entire north side wall footing/foundation and related support columns and lower wall framing. Thanks to Kurt Gardner and Paul Hayden for your advice regarding what needed to be done. The work was very quickly and professionally done by Marvin Schwartz Construction - (260) 414-2897
  • derekleemay
    May 25

    We recently purchased an old historic property in Attica IN in September 2018 with an old, beautiful 1910 Monitor Style barn. Strong winds came through two nights ago and collapsed the barn. We‘re deeply saddened as we were preparing for renovations to use the barn as a wedding venue. We want to restore the barn to its former glory, but it’s extremely difficult to find someone that still builds the mortise and tenon style, and financially we’re not even sure if it’s possible for us to do so . Any thoughts, suggestions, ideas?!
  • arianeanddavid
    2 days ago

    Barn restoration? We are looking for a contractor to help us shore up an historic barn in northwest Indiana. Any recommendations. ? near Valparaiso. Arianeanddavid@mac.com