The Thangles Barn

In 2001, we relocated our company from Poolesville, Maryland to Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. One of the freedoms of owning your own business is locating it where you want to live.

We wanted to return to the Midwest. Also, we wanted to help MB’s parents fulfill their wish to stay on their farm in Fond du Lac, WI. MB’s mother, Vallanee was born on this farm in 1921. We started the renovation in the fall of 2000, when we had the building stabilized. Someone had cut into one of the main beams. In addition, there were other structural issues.

We planned to locate our business in the lower area of this former dairy barn. The barn has not been used for dairy since the late 1950s, so lots of stuff had accumulated as you can see in this “before the renovation” photo. You are looking north into the building.

barn before pan

Patrick did all the design work and when we did hire contractors, he supervised them. After the barn was cleaned out, new footings had to be poured for the metal posts that support the main beams. The old posts had rusted out. In the picture below, you can see the areas dug out so the new footings can be poured.

barn footings

Once the posts were in place, the rest of the floor was dug out.

breakout of floor

Now it was time to insulate. Foam insulation was put down, it also served as a base for the tubing for the radiant infloor heating system.installing the heating tubesNext, all of this was covered with sand and then concrete was poured.concrete was pouredNow we had a floor and a heating system, so it was time to close up the building and put in windows and doors. Patrick did all of this in November of 2001.

installing the windows and doors

Interior finish work began just after Christmas in 2001. We put in several interior walls so the building has a warehouse space, office space and studio space.

interior walls go up

For our exterior walls, a concrete block wall was built right next to the original stone walls. There is an insulation space in between which is filled with vermiculite.

block wall going in

We also insulated our ceiling and our interior walls and then it was time for the drywall.

time for drywall

The electrical rough in was done while the interior walls were going up. Once the drywall was done, we spent a very long weekend getting all the walls painted before the wood trim went in. Below, you can see Patrick talking to the Barn seminar in May of 2002. We had not finished yet, but we were honored that our barn was featured as an adaptive reuse site for this annual seminar.

adaptive reuse seminar

Here is a finished shot of our front desk area.

Front office area

Here is the area where your orders are packed.

order packing

Here is our office.
 mb and pat office
Here is MB’s mom, Vallanee in the sewing studio.  She is enjoying an afternoon in the barn with her “Sewing Friends” group.
Val in the sewing studio
Here is a shot of the residing of the exterior in the summer of 2002.  We had all the wood milled specifically for this project. 
residing of the barn
Pat and Bart taking your orders.
bart and pat taking orders
More cat shots!
thangles cats hugging
cats on printer