Building a Bank Barn

Finished Barn            Stone House

We recently completed a unique project in southeastern, PA. A young couple had purchased an old farmstead dated to the 17 or 1800s. They did extensive remodeling work on the beautiful stone house on the property. Then the old bank barn on the property collapsed during a storm.

They cleaned up the barn and then began searching for someone to build them a new barn in the same spot. When Steve, of Wagler Builders LLC, first arrived at the property this was all that remained of the old barn.

Stone Walls 1   Site   Leanto 1

Steve has faced many unique challenges in his 30+ years in construction, but this situation was something new. The owners had drawn a rough sketch on a piece of paper of what they wanted their new barn to look like. They wanted to save the existing stone walls and build a new barn over them. They wanted to integrate these stone walls into the new building to look like they were part of it. The problem was the stone walls were not in any shape to actually support any of the new building.

Steve took the rough sketch the owners had made and worked out a plan for a new barn. The new barn would have several rows of posts inside the building to support the new floor. Several posts would also have to be installed outside the walls to help support the floor and the structure of the building. Steve worked with the experts at Graber Supply to come up with a building that was safe and structurally sound while also meeting the customers wishes of integrating the existing stone walls into the building.

The new barn would be 30 feet wide by 40 feet long with an 18′ x 30′ lean to attached to one end. The building height would be 19 feet to the bottom of the trusses (10 feet to the first floor and then 9 more feet to the trusses).

The owners liked the plan Steve came up with and they were also happy with the price so we were scheduled to begin the project.

It was a challenge starting this job and squaring up the building. The site was a little muddy and the stone walls somewhat obstructed our ability to square the building. Eventually though we managed to get the building square and dig the holes. We installed the posts on the outside walls of the building. Then we put up the headers and straightened out the walls.


By the end of the second day we were ready to set trusses. We set the trusses with our pettibone, a large all-terrain fork lift. The trusses had a 6/12 pitch, which is a little steeper than the usual.

Setting Trusses 1   Setting Trusses 2

We then installed 2×4 sheeting on the trusses and a metal roof. The color was charcoal. Here is the building after the roof was installed.

Metal Roof

The next step in the project was installing several more rows of posts inside the building for the floor. Then we installed headers and joists and the floor. The floor was a 3/4″ tongue and groove plywood.

Then we installed the wood siding on the outside of the building. It was 1×12 board and batten siding. The boards were nailed beside each other, then a 2 1/4″ wood piece was nailed over the gap. We also installed wood trim around the windows and doors.

Siding 1    siding 2

Here are a few more pictures of the building progress and the finished building.

Building a deck and ramp behind the barn

Building a deck and ramp behind the barn


Installing a ceiling beneath the front of the barn

Installing a wood ceiling beneath the front of the barn


Wood trim installed around an arched window

Wood trim installed around an arched window


Completed 18 x 30 leanto

Completed 18 x 30 lean-to


The Floor

The 1200 square foot floor


Deck and Ramp completed

Deck, ramp, and sliding door completed


The barn completed

The barn completed


This project offered unique challenges but it was very rewarding to complete. The customers were very pleased with the way it turned out. We hope to have some more pictures once the stonework is repointed and the siding is stained.

Post frame construction can be used for many different buildings. For all your post frame needs call Wagler Builders LLC at 717-823-1395.