JSPS rec barn
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My husband, Paul, and I didn't intend to build our barn, located on top of a hill in Vermont next to our small getaway farmhouse. At least not right away -- we had met with George, thought he and the GeoBarns approach were terrific, gotten very excited about some of the ideas he proposed to us, and then tried to file the whole thing away on the back burner as a project to pursue sometime down the road.
But when Hurricane Irene arrived, sweeping away dozens of houses in our town and leaving even those residents who'd been lucky to keep their homes, reeling and economically devastated, we decided we didn't want to wait any longer --we wanted to further invest in Vermont and reaffirm, right there and then, our love for the area and our faith in its rebirth. Our ultimate goal: a space that would accommodate family and friends, provide more recreation area for our kids, and compliment the "summer camp" atmosphere that we wanted to surround us on our piece of this lovely hilltop in the Green Mountains. So we plunged in.
Unfortunately for us, as well as for George and his wonderful business partner, David, our "plunge" was literal as well as figurative. We were not five minutes into digging the foundation when the excavator hit a previously unknown well line, severing it and shocking the well pump into an early demise. We were not two weeks in when it became clear that the area we had chosen for our barn was more or less a swamp--every day our builders, Matthew, David and Lee, had to ford a moat before they could get to the actual construction site. We were not a month in before it became clear that the project was going to require more of everyone--emotionally and intellectually as well as physically and, yes, financially--than anyone had expected.
Most people who've done large construction projects will tell you that while in the end, it was all worth it, as with childbirth they have to forget the pain and focus on the finished product. Our experience with George, David and Geobarns was different. Despite all of the considerable frustrations and challenges during the seven months or so of construction, at every step we found the experience to be rewarding and (sometimes oddly) filled with joy. We never felt the niggling feeling of mistrust that can creep into such relationships, especially when the budget is stretched so unexpectedly thin. We always knew that George and David, as well as the crew, Matthew, David and Lee, were committed to achieving our dream for us and that they would neither compromise in this pursuit nor ask us to do so. We also knew they were consistently committed to building a beautiful and long lasting structure in the most cost effective way possible. Despite being hundreds of miles away for the vast majority of the construction (and, ok, despite both being control freaks), we were certain our project was being completed by GeoBarns to the highest standard and with absolute integrity. And we knew that these guys, who had become our dear friends, would remain so.
And now? The barn is gorgeous--soaring interiors, cool sliding doors, a glassed-in cupola. It's built like an armored truck--we barely need to heat or cool it, and it stays cozy and comfortable. It accommodates dogs, kids, snow boots, ping pong paddles, and a happy group of grownups with a bottle or two of wine. The barn is everything we hoped for and more, and, perhaps especially remarkable, when we reflect on our experience working with GeoBarns, thinking about the process that brought the building to be is part of our pleasure in enjoying the space.
Jen and Paul