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Barn is getting a whole new makeover

-Messenger photo by Kriss Nelson
The Hoeflings' barn was built back in November, 1940.

Editor’s note: This feature first ran in a special publication called Barns of Iowa, featuring historic barns in 37 counties in Iowa.

MARCUS — When Bob Hoefling told his daughter he would have their family barn in shape for her graduation party — she laughed at him.

“It was game on,” he said adding that laugh was a challenge he quickly accepted.

Preparations for the event quickly began and first order of business was to refinish the east side of the barn.

The east side now features a full kitchen, bathroom and plenty of room for tables and chairs.

-Messenger photo by Kriss Nelson
Lori and Bob Hoefling consider the remodel of their barn a “labor of love.”

The flooring is repurposed gym flooring from the local high school. That flooring was no easy feat to use, however.

“There was a lot of prep work because the gym floor was taken apart board by board and all of the 40 years of varnish had to be cleaned out of the tongue and groove by hand,” he said.

Bob and Lori Hoefling daughter’s graduation has since come and gone, but work on the barn continues.

They have replaced all of the siding on the outside of the barn, have put in a family room on the west side complete with furniture and a projector for movie and game nights and they are currently working to refinish the haymow.

“We used to fill the hayloft with 5,000 bales of straw, but now there is going to be an actual basketball court up there,” said Bob Hoefling. “I envision it to use for fun. Maybe we will have a barn dance or just have fun with friends and family.”

The couple also installed a balcony off of the south side of the barn.

“It’s kind of a fun place to hang out, watch the sunset and be with friends,” said Bob Hoefling. “This gives us an amazing view.”

The Hoeflings consider their barn remodel a “labor of love.”

“It’s a work in progress,” said Bob Hoefling adding they have done the majority of the work themselves.

“I can’t wait for it to be done,” said Lori Hoefling.

For the Hoeflings they have always wanted a place to be able to entertain friends and family.

“We have a large family,” said Bob Hoefling. “For example, we are going to have Thanksgiving and Christmas in the barn and we will have as many as 50 people or more. And we can actually sit at one table.”

“Nobody’s house can fit that many” said Lori Hoefling.

During the restoration process, Bob Hoefling said he came across the date of November, 1940.

“So this barn is 79 years old this month,” he said.

Unsure of much of the history behind the barn, Bob Hoefling said it appears cows were kept on the east side and horses were on the west.

The Hoeflings started using the barn in 1976 and prior to its makeover used it for cattle and their hog operation.

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