Barn Improvements 2.0

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In late 2014, the horses got an entirely new roof on the barn. It’s hard to top that gift, but just before Christmas last month, the horses got new windows, too.

Like the roof, the windows were a necessity. In the horses’ stalls, the original glass panes are long gone, and for a decade, we’ve improvised with plexiglass sheets, which Martin screws in for the winter, and removes in the summer.

But these flimsy plastic sheets aren’t always tough enough to withstand the worst winter winds; sometimes they blow into the stalls over night. And I worry that a horse will catch his lip or nose on a jutting screw head. (You’d be amazed at how horses manage to injure themselves. In leu of screws, we’ve tried using wooden slats, but they never fit properly. Besides, the horses chew them.)

Of course, Home Depot doesn’t stock replacement windows for a 95-year-old Dutch style dairy barn. Trust me, I looked.

But my friend Wild Bill stepped up to the plate and offered to make them for us.

(Why is he “wild”? I’ve known Bill for donkey’s years and the name suits him. Here’s a picture of him with Brynn last year.)

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Anyway, this wasn’t a simple project. Weather, wear and time had altered the casings and sills, so each window would have to be designed to fit its respective space. And, they’d need new fittings that would secure each window against the wind, but facilitate removal in the summer.

Wild Bill found a solution. He custom-built the frames for each of the 12 openings. And he came up with a simple but clever latching solution using 4 standard window closures…. and he color-coded the latches so that we’d be able to match each window to its respective sill and casing.

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So, there you go. Another project in the can.

If you’re keeping score at home, it’s horses 2, humans 0. We are still living in a house with a leaky roof and broken windows, but the horses, cats, and raccoons & possums are toasty-warm this season!

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