When the fires struck Malibu several years ago, I had a client for whom I had already done some major work on their home. I had remodeled their kitchen and several bathrooms. This family had horses, pigs, chickens, and a lot of property. Her prized possession was a charming red barn that used to be part of Pepperdine Universities archives. Unfortunately, the barn, all the trees lining the long driveway, the storage units, and the back wall were engulfed in flames. 

My client reached out to me a week after the fire, asking if I could build her barn back. It had five stalls, a watershed, and a part of the barn that was used as a rental property. This was a challenge I had never faced before- she had no plans, dimensions, or drawings. We had to recreate the barn from an old photo she showed me. I also had to create a wall tall enough to prevent the wash from running into her house. 

I had my draftsmen come and measure the burnt space, and together, we recreated a barn that looked just like the other one. We installed a metal roof, stall dividers, water to the barn, and concrete in all the stalls. We also made sure the structure was sound and could now sustain another fire. We used metal wall panels and added appropriate lighting for the barn. Finally, we painted the barn red so it matched the old one.

Along with all this, we brought in two tuff sheds for the animals’ accessories. We also brought in the hay to feed the animals. All of this was done so that my client could bring her animals home safely and unharmed. 

Not only did the client receive a safe home for her animals, but she was also able to rent out the barn. This means that in addition to having her beloved animals around her, she also was able to make a steady income. 

I truly enjoyed this experience. I had little to work with, yet I was able to bring a smile to my client’s face. I was proud to have been able to recreate the barn and provide a safe and secure home for the animals. I was also pleased to have been able to provide my client with a source of income. This project has been one of my most memorable experiences as a contractor.

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