The following Yankee Barn home story is true. The incident happened several years ago. I posted a story on it at the time. Eleven years later, it remains an impressive testament to the strength of a Yankee Barn home.
Yankee Barn Home Unexpectedly Field Tested
“I live in a Yankee Barn home, built in 1979 – 30 years old! April 15, 2007 was not one of my better days. In addition to putting my tax return and check in the mail, we were hit with a typical Spring Nor’easter. I should mention that my Yankee Barn sits on a lot surrounded by towering Eastern White Pines.
The afternoon began with a heavy, wet snowfall. As dusk settled in, the snow ended and the winds increased dramatically. My wife and I were sitting in the second floor balcony area of our barn watching television. Shortly after the winds increased, the electricity went off. We had anticipated this, as it happens often in our area. We went downstairs to the Great Room and lit a fire in our fireplace, because no power means no heat. It was a pleasant scenario – my wife and I sitting by fire listening to the wind howl outside, enjoying a cocktail.
Suddenly, there was what I can only describe as an explosion followed immediately by a loud, startling bang as stuff began flying through our great room. Shingles, plywood, insulation and tree branches were everywhere. A triangular shaped piece of shingle flew across the room and embedded in the wall above my wife’s head! We had no idea what had happened, except that there was an obvious hole in our roof and rain was coming in.
I tried to go out the front door and quickly realized what had occurred; a huge tree was blocking the door. One of the Eastern White Pines had loaded up with the wet snow. When the winds picked up the top half of the tree broke off, traveled 30 feet in the air, and punched an 8’ x 8’ hole in the roof panel. The trunk of the upper half of the tree, at least 3 feet in diameter, had actually hit our house (where an outside wall meets the roof) and bounced off, due to its encounter with one of the Douglas fir beams.
In addition to the obvious repairs necessary to the roof, we had to call in a structural engineer to verify the integrity of our frame and home. The results were our frame was 100% fine. The engineer explained that the top portion of our post and beam frame actually moved 6” or so when the tree hit, and then returned to it’s original position as the tree bounced off. He added that had we been in a normal stick-built structure, that tree would have been in our laps!”
When Yankee Barn Homes says we build solid homes, we speak from experience which includes an unexpected field-test!