With similar passion and dedication, Dan Schmitt and Lorin Hayden took to one another a bit like a mortise and tenon. Lorin and Dan have become nationally known experts in the restoration and reconstruction of 19th century heritage barns. They have collaborated to restore, repurpose and/or relocate barns across the United States.
Their complementary skills, ingenuity, and dedicated hard work allow quality craftsmanship to come through in every project.
Lorin first discovered traditional timber frame construction while living in Southeast Alaska. He was drawn to this age-old building technique for it’s natural beauty, functionality, and enduring strength.
“I love going to job sites all around the country because everyone is so passionate about the barns. Each project is a new adventure.”
Lorin mentored with an Alaskan timber framer who specialized in traditional Japanese timber framing. Lorin formed a building company, called “Backcountry Builders”, to integrate both traditional and modern building techniques into new home construction.
One of Lorin’s projects, a Japanese style bathhouse in Juneau, Alaska, was featured in the Fine Homebuilding’s
Growing up in Guttenberg, Iowa Dan fell in love with the traditional barns that dotted the landscape. As Dan saw the number of barns dwindle, he created the Iowa Barn Savers to help preserve these iconic structures.
“Each project is unique, and each barn has a story to tell. They’re worth saving!”
As a skilled carpenter and craftsman, Dan had worked on restoration projects of local churches. To educate himself about barn restoration and construction, Dan was mentored by craftsmen from the neighboring Amish community. These heritage barns were built with hand hewn, large timbers and intricate joinery of the centuries old technique of timber frame construction. The Amish
were some of the original European craftsmen who brought these techniques to United States.
Dan spread the word amongst farmers and landowners about the value and potential of their barns. He discussed various options to consider: restore, repurpose, or relocate a barn to a new owner.
Dan, with his partner Lorin Hayden, has dedicated his career to barn projects across the Midwest, Oklahoma, and Colorado. Dan is continually learning, and is as passionate as ever about his career.
Summer 2000 edition. Lorin has presented at the Timber Framers Guild annual conference.
Following his passion for timber framing, Lorin connected with Dan Schmitt of the Iowa Barn Savers to work on heritage barn projects. Utilizing years of custom home building expertise, Lorin is the barn reconstruction expert. He is a people person, skilled in working collaboratively with clients to make their vision become reality.