Dani's old Barn Workshop - very much a work in progress

EDIT:: on Oct 27, 2023 I changed the original title of this thread from “Are there structural advantages to angled end walls on a barn” to its current title and moved it from the Corner Bar into Galleries because I would like to continue to make updates on the barn and I have absolutely LOVED all of the help, advice, and discussions that have happened here in this thread. I think this is an excellent place for continuing this thought process.

September 01 2023. Original first post

Disclaimer:: I am not seeking architecture advice in the manner that I will get myself or anyone else into trouble. I merely ask basic questions to decide which avenues I should explore.

You guys seem to like discussion…
So recently I bought a barn… this barn to be exact.

No ridge beam (it will be getting one in future)
Built in 1906
Laminated beams

And I hired a small crew and a demolition/building expert to take the barn down, because the land has been sold and the barn needed to be moved.

Long story short, the barn is now in pieces, safely stored on one of my properties an hour and a half from it’s original location.

The end-walls were completely destroyed in the demolition process, and in cany case, the barn is becoming a lakefront property and I would like the lakeside end-wall to have as much window real estate as I an afford when it goes back up in the summer.

SO the question (finally) is:: Since I get to redesign the end-walls, is there an advantage to having them built in two pieces at an angle?

The Original walls had SO MUCH random bracing, which I had assumed was due to a ‘need-a-brace-just-slap-something-up’ kind of world, but having been all over this building and pulling and pushing on everything as it was being taken down, I assume that some of that bracing was necessary to the structure and will need to be put back up again (hopefully in a more thought out way.)

Pictures of the original bracing and a down-and-dirty model of what I’m asking.


I don’t know about structural advantage but it might be nice for widening the view. Which direction does it face?

North east.

Well, depending on the view from there, it could add a nice vista. What about an assymmetric ivision with more view toward the east and east southeast? Could be nice for sun and moonrise views.

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Man, that thing is awesome.

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Are you using the space for a studio and workshop? That would be a dream maker’s space.


I had assumed that I would need to catch the ridge beam at the split? How would an asymmetrical spilt work?

You’re the first person to assume this, and it is EXACTLY what I am doing. :heart:

Although I am setting it up for easy conversion to house in the next ten or so years. Plumbing in the slab, etc.


it looks cool.

Structural rigidity ? since the end walls are not load bearing, they can be quite thin - and braced - or angled for a better wind resistance ?

An angled end wall would possibly hold itself better, especially if attached to the roof structure, making the use of the long wooden braces you saw ?

since you’re assembling the structure without a wall, it’s free standing. So you could consider the endwalls as completely indépendant in terms of structure, they are not going to bear the load of the roof, no need to have the fold aligned with the beam

always a good idea to be able to crash in your studio.

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Not with a ‘garage’ permit :wink:


My simple structural thought would be, tie one end down with some buttresses, flying if need be, to give you a stable end, then rebuild your barn from that fixed point/datum.

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well from the unbuilding photos, the roof is quite stable on its own. just need a bit of transversal bracing, you can still see it in diagonal, but it could simply be sheet of plywood supporting the roofing material. or as Box says, a buttress on the end to tie it down to the ground and avoid transversal movement.

beyond that, for the endcaps, she could use wood, glass, brick, or even tarp, the roof itself would hold.

It’s basically a tunnel. or a cloister.
I would go with maximum glass on the north-east side for the neutral all-day-long light, and plain vertical on the other one to be able to fix stuff on a vertical surface. like an artist studio.
Maybe the vertical one made of bricks, with a stove.

ok, let’s go barn hunting…

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I suppose they can offer a little added support, since you’re essentially putting a “pillar” at the join of the angles. It wouldn’t necessarily be load-bearing, but I also can’t help but think of dominos when I see those whale bones Highly unlikely scenario, but there’s a very loud part of my brain that likes to catastrophize things.

Like I said, a highly unlikely scenario (and if it does happen, you’ve probably got other things to worry about), but if I were building this place, I know it would bother me.


My understanding was that the end walls would go in last… The roof structure was pretty wiggly when we were de-shingling (6 mother-effing corses, one of which was solid tar), but I wasn’t too worried then. I just don’t want the building to shift around too much being lakeside in potential winds? Was all that long board structure on the inside necessary?

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You mean it?

This was necessary to give longitudinal stiffness to the structure. But in case you apply your idea with a broken gable it will be redundant as these walls will provide longitudinal stiffness. As long as it’s at the right angle. The ridge beam is redundant in this case. It is an arched vault which is a type of self-supporting

Have you also thought about such a case?

I think you’d want to catch the ridge beam but there’s no reason that the post doing that has to be centered in the V.

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Good thing! I see so many of these old barns being destroyed because the shingles are worn off. Keep us posted on the progress.

Shingles cross section that was sawzall’d.

Ye gods! That’s a whole lot of tar.

Jeepers. I used to do construction for an old guy near Turtle Lake / Clayton (which I’m guessing you may know). He’d sometimes apply tar directly to his shingles… I guess to ‘fix’ leaks. I suppose you save labor on the tear off / haul out. One might think there’s a limit to how many times you’d shingle over a roof. But if that’s the case that number seems to be greater than (or I hope) equal to 6.

It’s great that you’re reusing this building. I don’t think it would make a very good Tea Pot house but I’m guessing you’ll do something cool/creative with it.