This post is sponsored by Indiana Family of Farmers
Do you ever wonder why farmers take down beautiful, historical barns? As a farmer and member of the Indiana Barn Foundation, I get asked this question a lot.
This subject is a hard one for me to swallow. I understand the farmer's perspective but I also understand the one of a historical preservationist.
As I mentioned in my previous post, Last Chance for Indiana Barns, barns built before 1950 are falling at an alarming rate. Historical barns are no longer practical for today's production agriculture needs. As more and more people have moved off the farm and into the city, current farmers have taken on the burden of producing more and more. Livestock herds and machinery sizes have grown tremendously in the last 60 years.
I often hear that farmers are "selfish" for buying ground with an old barn on it and just knocking it down. I don't necessarily see the person performing the common act of tearing down an old barn as selfish.
A farmer or property owner has to look at their financial well being. If you own a barn that is falling in, you have a dangerous structure on your property that puts you at a liable risk if yourself or someone were to get hurt.
One may have an appreciation for barns like I do, but may not want to put the funds necessary in the restoration. It truly is a tough, financial decision to make and that's why I understand it.
Just to give you an idea of the financial burden to put a new roof on a barn, you are looking at anywhere from $10,000 to $30,000. To repaint a barn properly, you are looking at $8,000 plus.
By this point, we are close to $40,000 in the hole just on a roof and paint.
Now, look at the home where you live. Let's say it needs a new roof as well.
If you only had enough to repair one structure, your home or your barn, which one are you going to choose?
More than likely your home.
To put things in perspective financially, owning a barn is like owning a second home.