Last fall, Tom finally realized his dream and began work on his barn at Bad Beaver. He had been building this barn in his brain for years. As he envisioned it, it was a 30’ x 70’, 4200 sq. foot structure – and we only had a 14-day window in which to build it. This was insane! Liam O’Brien came to stay with us at the Beeve for two weeks to help Tom get it built. Could two cute guys make that deadline and pull it off?
BUILDING SUMBITCHIN BARN ~ WEEK ONE
DAY ONE ~ Tom Lajoie & Liam O’Brien start the day with the dogs.
DAY TWO ~ Tom’s maniacal engineering. The second floor is supported with 4 enormous (30’) steel I beams from a NH highway overpass. The whole thing went up like a giant erector set with the help of his two LULLS. Now Tom can drive all his equipment around inside the barn without being hampered by columns (a must have, apparently, in a man-cave-barn).
DAY THREE ~ Camp Kwitchabitchin. This is the little camp Tom built for me so I could cook and clean for the crew (and paint all the frickin windows for the barn). I felt like Snow White taking care of the 7 dwarfs every morning as the guys go off to work on the barn (except that my dwarfs were Sweaty, Overachiever, Dysfunctional, Pukey and Grumpy). HI HO!
DAY FOUR ~ The barn raisers enjoying a beverage at the end of a hard day: Tom Lajoie, Liam O’Brien, Leo Lajoie, Lee Lajoie
DAY FIVE ~ The fifth and final bay going up. Tom cut all the lumber used for the barn from our own trees with his sawmill!
DAY SIX ~ The first floor is up…now on to the second floor and the big observation cupola.
DAY SEVEN ~ The intrepid crew at Bad Beaver…thank you Leo, Lee, Liam, Tom (& Phaedra, Gladys, Bailey, Matilda.) Now on to bean-hole beans and beer!
BUILDING SUMBITCHIN BARN ~ WEEK TWO
DAY EIGHT ~ My hottie husband, Tom Lajoie, putting down the second floor deck (with Matilda sniffing his man bits).
DAY NINE ~ Back at the camp…totally shitty, miserable, soaked day. The guys got rained out by a torrential downpour. Tom and Liam hung around the camp drying their clothes by the woodstove, playing cribbage and complaining bitterly about losing a day.
DAY TEN ~ There are 120 roof rafters in the barn. Tom cut all the lumber for the barn from our own trees with his sawmill! The roof rafters are HUGE. They are 2 x 10 x 30’ and weigh 150 lbs. each. Tom physically lifted every single one up to Liam who was waiting up on a catwalk. They got all 120 rafters in place in one day. Lots of ibuprophen for dinner that night.
DAY ELEVEN ~ This is my favorite photo of building the barn—with all of Tom’s roof rafters in place and the roof going on. I call it “In the Belly of the Whale.”
DAY TWELVE ~ Tom and Liam pushing like hell to finish the final side of the roof and get it weather-tight by nightfall.
DAY THIRTEEN ~ They did it! They beat the clock! They built a 30’ x 70’, 4200 sq. ft. barn in under two weeks – and it is stunning. Here are Tom and Liam posing with their work of art at nightfall on the 13th day. The barn looks like an antique New England barn from the drive and the gable ends. The far side has 5 huge bays for all of Tom’s equipment.
A great quote overheard from Tom describing his structure: “The first impression of the barn is one of New England tranquility. The far side looks like JiffyLube.”
DAY FOURTEEN ~ Tom contemplating his feat. I am so proud of him…he rocked it! Designed and engineered by Tom Lajoie, the baddest dam beaver of them all.
THE FOLLOWING WEEKEND ~ Carol and Kendall Carlisle-Temper at a barn-warming party, where Carol is (probably) exclaiming about what an ingenius builder Tom is. Doesn’t it look like Kendall is saying, “Please make her stop!”
(More details on the construction of the barn coming next month in the Bangor Daily News blog: Bad Beaver Tales, Love and Life in Downeast Maine)