Michigan Heritage Barns Construction Guide.


Thank you for your purchase of a Michigan Heritage Barns barn kit. Your new barn kit consists of full dimension rough cut White pine, Oak, or Ash timbers. All timbers are sawn to the correct dimensions by local sawmills. Posts and Beams are then cut to the proper length and angle. Holes are drilled and bents are assembled to ensure proper fit. This is the framework of your barn. We then disassemble the frame and label each joint to be reassembled on your site. Siding, roof sheeting, girts, and purlins are packaged separately and are to be cut on your site.

This construction guides purpose is to assist you and your builder. It contains general instructions for the standard kit. Refer to your plans for specifics about your barn.

The builder of your barn is responsible for following local and state building codes, construction requirements, covenants, the building process and your barns final appearance.

If you have questions we are just a phone call away. 989-235-1200 We will be happy to assist you in any way we can.

Typical Barn Frame

Gambrel Barn Frame

Before Building Begins

Before production begins on your barn, be sure to carefully review the plans you receive from Michigan Heritage Barns with your builder.

Any additions or modifications that are to be made will require an Addendum and will be changed on your final plans.

After receiving your final plans a building permit (if required) will need to be obtained from your local building department.

Michigan Heritage Barn Kits meet most building codes, however, we are not familiar with all local building code requirements. You or your builder are responsible for checking with your building department to be sure your barn meets all requirements.

Michigan Heritage Barns will make any changes to our standard plans, and assist you in any way we can in obtaining the proper permits for your barn. Any changes need to be done before your final plans are drawn so be sure to check with your building department early.

If a Professional Engineer seal is required Michigan Heritage barns can make provisions for you if notified in advance. The Engineer seal will be billed to you at cost.

Site Prep and Foundation

Before your kit arrives you should make any site preparations necessary. such as removing trees, and leveling the site. Consult with your foundation builder to be sure all needed preparations have been made. Michigan Heritage Barns will provide basic foundation plans to assist your builder.

There are many options when choosing your foundation type.

Michigan Heritage Barn Kits can be constructed on most conventional foundation systems.

The most popular type of foundation is poured concrete piers. However your barn kit can also be constructed on poured wall foundations, concrete wall foundations, and slab on grade foundations.



Check your local building codes to see what is required. It is important that your foundation is built according to your foundation plans. Be sure that it meets the outside measurements of your barn kit. This information is found in your plans.

The drawing below shows how the U bracket, post and, foundation join together.

Delivery Day

Before your barn kit arrives be sure that you have adequate space to unload a Tractor Trailer. Depending on the size of your barn kit more than one Truck may be arriving at your site. Be sure that you have a 5,000 lb capacity or larger forklift on site for unloading the truck. Michigan Heritage Barns recommends that you rent a Telehandler type forklift with a 35' or more reach. A forklift like this will be a great help not only in unloading but also in raising assembled bents and lifting material to workers on your barn. Carefully unload your barn kit making sure not to damage your material with the forks on your machine. Be sure to stack all lumber off the ground, try not to open the banding until you begin building. Do not cover your material with tarps doing this will lock moisture inside the cover. Store your wood in a shaded area if possible. Prolonged exposure to sunlight can cause your wood to discolor. The less wood to wood contact during storage the better.

Contents of your Kit.

A shipping list will arrive with your delivery.

Michigan Heritage Barns clearly labels all components for easy identification. Be sure to check your materials with your shipping list. Here is a basic list of the components in a standard kit.

*Barn Frame including all Posts and Beams.

*Board and Batten Siding

*Girts and Purlins

*Doors and Door Hardware

*Roof Sheathing

*Floor joists and Loft decking

*Stair Package

*Hex bolts, Lag bolts, anchor bolts, hex nuts, and washers

*T plates, U brackets, etc.

Barn Construction

The following are the recommended procedures for constructing your Michigan Heritage Barn Kit. Throughout this section you will be shown various standard methods and drawings that demonstrate assembly and construction procedures. Refer to your plans for specific placement of the various components that are include in your kit.

Begin by becoming familiar with the various components in your barn kit. They are all clearly labeled for assembly. Each bent will have its own letter. Each joint will be assigned a letter and a number (A-1 is, Bent A, Joint 1, and, A-2 is, Bent A, Joint 2, etc).

Bent Assembly

1. On a level plane lay out all of the components labeled Bent A arrange them according to there joint labels. Use bent jacks to support the timbers off the ground if you have them. Otherwise heavy duty saw horses can be used.

2. Bolt the posts and beams together with the provided 1/2" x 7 1/2" Hex head bolts.

3. Determine the exact length of your posts according to your plans and trim them to length.

4. Use the drilling jig provided to drill two 9/16" holes through the bottom of your posts to accept your U brackets.

a. place the U bracket on the bottom of your post and mark the location of the holes.

b. Drill two starter holes about 1/2" deep.

c. Place 2 bolts in your drilling jig and slide it over the holes until they drop into the holes you drilled, this lines up your jig for drilling. (the jig keeps your bit square to the post)

d. Clamp the jig securely to the post. Remove the bolts and drill the holes through the post.

c. Remove the jig and bolt the U bracket in place.

5. Once you have bolted all the timbers together and have an assembled bent it is time to raise it into place. (note: bents wider than 20' will need to be erected in smaller segments)

6. Raise your bent and brace it securely. It is very important to adequately secure and brace your bents, do not remove any bracing until all the bents are raised and secured together with girts and purlins.

7. Place the U brackets in there proper locations and drill into the foundation through the holes in the flange.

8. Drive your wedge anchor bolts into the holes and tighten them.

Girts and Purlins

As your bents are raised into place it is time to attach your 3x6 purlins and 2x6 girts. Attach purlins with 6" screws or nails, and girts with 4" screws or nails. Refer to your plans for proper spacing. These will need to be squared and trimmed to fit by the builder on site. Be sure to leave an overhang on the gable ends. Your kit includes longer purlins for the overhang.

Board and Batten

Below are drawings showing the correct placement of your board and batten siding. We recommend using 2 1/2" ring shank exterior grade nails. Be sure to use careful cutting procedures to minimize waste.



Loft Decking

Below are drawings that illustrate the correct installation of your Loft joists and decking. Be sure to cut carefully. Ample material has been supplied to do the job if waste is minimized. Joist are to be placed 16" on center and are supported by the tie beam.



Roof Sheathing

The below drawing shows how your roof sheathing is installed. Be sure once again to cut carefully.


Finishing Touches

Before painting or sealing your barn with any finish allow your barn to season.

Michigan Heritage Barns recommends painting or sealing only after 6 months or more. It would be best to allow your wood to go unfinished one full winter. This allows your wood to fully season and prevents moister from being trapped inside the wood. The suns ultraviolet rays may discolor the wood during this time period. A simple way to correct this is to power wash the barn a week before applying finish.

Do not hold the power washer nozzle to close to the wood, you could damage the wood fibers. Make long sweeping motions across the surface of the wood. This discoloring is only cosmetic and no power washing is needed if color is being applied.


You have built a barn that will last for generations! You will be enjoying your barn for years to come. As well as those who come after you. You have not only built a barn for utility and beauty but you have also built a legacy to pass on!

Traditional barns

I would like to Thank You for your purchase of a Michigan Heritage Barn. Please consider sending us pictures of your barn. We love to see what our babies grow up to be! You never know your barn may be featured in one of our catalogs!

Show your barn off to your neighbors. I guarantee they are curious to see what all the fuss has been about. Let them know where you got it and how they can get one of their own.

Thank you again for your investment, and welcome to the family!

Aaron Esch

Michigan Heritage Barns.

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