Is it possible to straighten my barn?


Mathis Family Farm-Lansing, IA after rehabilitation.


Yes. Straightening is a process that may have to be tackled by professionals due to dangers in structural movement, however it has been refined in recent years and many aspects can be done easier and cheaper than the past.

Cabling of a barn depends on the extent of the lean and the strength and size of the timbers used in the frame. The key is to determine how slow the process needs to occur depending on how much of the frame is connected to static pieces of the structure such as the foundation and roof. The quick movement of the frame may lead to other problems if connected in multiple areas. Embedding anchor bolts that are fitted to turnbuckles which are, subsequently, attached to cables is a standard procedure, but it needs to be situated at a proper angle and anchored to a solid timber or an outside concrete form.

Jacking is another method of straightening, usually in a localized situation or in conjunction with cabling. Jacks must be placed on a stable surface and pressure asserted on a solid structural component of the frame. Jacks may be placed on solid ground or on temporary supports. The speed of jacking must also take into account the strength and flexibility of the structural members being moved. It is best to consult an experienced contractor or structural engineer before beginning a straightening project.

More information can be found in Barn Aid #2: New Spaces for Old Places