A Possible Plague & My Future Workshop (These Things May Be Related)

Even though the garage (also called “The Middle Barn” to distinguish it from The Big Barn and the Future Donkey Shed) is lower on the priority list than, say, having a flushing toilet, it’s still guaranteed some attention before too long because the big gaping holes in the siding is one of those little items the appraiser took issue with.


I mean, I’d like to be pissed about that, but the truth is, she has a point.


I was hoping this would be one of those projects I could tackle on my own next summer, but all-in-all I’m not going to complain about having a nice place to store my tools sooner rather than later.

This structure is actually similarly sized to the would-be Hillside Cottage, just without the dormers and living space on the second floor. That means it has a decent workshop area in the back…



And a two car garage on the front.


With new siding (I’m thinking of doing T1-11 with “battens” to look like board and batten siding) one new garage door on the shop area, and one of the “car” garage doors hooked up to an actual motor, this place will be good to go for a while.

This weekend I took advantage of the nice weather and got a start on hauling some of the junk out to the dumpster. You guys remember these things, right? I almost kept them out of nostalgia, but in the end they had to go.


I even did a little exploring in the loft area, and, well… I found something.

Something that can really only be described like this. (Warning: Not pretty.)

I was fairly calm on camera but about 0.05 seconds after I shut it off I hauled ass out of the loft. Listen, I know you don’t hear about killer flies as a rule, but I’m just saying… a million of anything in one place is bad news.

After a little investigating downstairs I think I might have figured out where the plague came from. I noticed something in the garage that looked suspiciously like, uh, animal parts.


And then I realized that the huge cluster of garbage bags in this corner…


Actually contain food items. And apparently bones from a T-Rex.

I found out from the neighbor that the previous owner used to burn all of his garbage in holes in the back yard, so I don’t know if this is somehow related to that, or perhaps to whoever came in and “winterized” the house.

Either way… um, yuck.

But it’s just another job for the ol’ haz-mat suit, I guess.

21 Responses

  1. Here Hardie panel is not that much more than plywood siding. It should last a lot longer.

    You could always go with the old standby of sheet metal siding either modern pole barn style or old fashioned corrogated.

    Don’t throw that ols Hollywood style bed frame out, good source for angle iron for future projects.

    1. I get eerily calm when presented with a crisis or a swarm of insects, apparently. One of my hidden gifts.

  2. Best. Video. Ever. “A normal fly thing” hahahahahahahaha

    Good luck on getting the Middle Barn all cleaned up and fly-free! It looks like a great place, once it’s all cleared of dinosaur remains.

    1. Yeah, I’m in Good Ol’ Boy territory up here. I’m lucky the septic went to a leach field and didn’t just get pumped into the ditch somewhere!

  3. Oh. wow. That is gross! On the other hand, you found the cause, so that’s good. And it looks like it will make a great workshop (minus the flies, of course).

  4. Just a little hunch I’d like to share. I think your garage, or a least part of it, was a corncrib at one time. Tell the appraiser the barn is designed to have gaps in the siding to allow airflow to dry out the corn cobs.

    Also, we don’t have flies invading our farm, but the box elder bugs can be fierce.

    1. You’re absolutely right Joyce! But that woman wouldn’t listen to reason. (Also it’s clear that at some point there had been siding over the wood slats because there’s insulation on the inside that is clearly destroyed.)

  5. Really though – How cute could you make that barn? Some T-111 done as batten and boards will go up quick (and you wouldn’t have to do the battens right away for the appraisal) and would look fairly in tune with the structure. It would also go well with that upper facade on the front gable end too. Then some Carriage-House Style garage doors would really pull it together! Put a coupola and a weathervane on top and WaaLaa! (I ordered a coupola kit online from Home Depot for $100 a few years back). And you could copy the same on the donkey shed later if you need to.

  6. I vote for Hardie Panel as well. That’s what we did on my brother’s workshop and it looks nice. Also shouldn’t have to repaint nearly as much.

    In terms of health care issues in the barn – do you have bats? I would think if you had bats you wouldn’t have fly hordes, but bat exposure (rabies) and bat guano (histoplasmosis from inhalation) can be dangerous.

    1. Hardie Board doesn’t stand up to snow drifts so it’s not a good choice up here. If it says constantly wet and covered by snow for an extended period of time it turns to mush. It is sometimes used on upper level details occasionally though.

      1. I live in South Carolina. That is a consideration that I never would have even considered. Thank you for that.

  7. Are you planning to keep the fish scale gable? It is just adorable. I think the t1-11 is a good choice for this application. Cant wait to see the after pics!

  8. I hope that’s the last of the surprises the former owner (or the fail-tastic winterizers) left for you. Your workshop has the bones of greatness (minus the flies and the t-rex bones, of course!).

    1. Oh my god Katy, this make SO much sense! I never knew how handy a biologist friend could be!

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