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Another ? for those who had barns built- nails, metal shards, screws oh my!

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  • Another ? for those who had barns built- nails, metal shards, screws oh my!

    So... I feel like the crazy person who can't be happy for what she has (I am ECSTATIC that I'm having a barn built- don't get me wrong!) but I'm terrified to ever put my horses in it. It's going to be surrounded by the pasture on 3 sides so the horses will have access to the absolute mess that the workers are leaving behind. I have picked up hundreds of screws and nails- we're talking 5-6" long weapons here! That was bad enough (they're pretty easy to spot) but I went out today and was almost in tears. There are metal shards everywhere from where they started cutting trim and siding. From teeny tiny to large chunks. I will NEVER be able to find all of them. There's not a chance on earth that I could find any of them in the grass, I've just been picking up those in the gravel/dirt/dust. They've only done part of the trim and one wall! Is this a normal part of construction? What did you do!?! Do those rolling magnets work? These metal pieces are razor sharp, literally and some are near impossible to see. They are on all sides of the barn. It seems like a death wish! ...or at least $$$ medical bills waiting to happen. What did you do?

  • #2
    Here you go ...

    reviews of metal detectors


    Happy hunting ... and, eventually, a relaxed existence with your horses and new barn.
    Nevertheless, she persisted.


    • #3
      I know the feeling! I used a magnet - think it was purchased at Home Depot. Went out every day at least once and walked around with it. I felt like I would never be able to pick it all up, but my girls have been happily living in their new place for almost six months and "knock on wood" haven't had any issue.

      Breathe and Good luck with your new place!


      • #4
        One of those big, extra-strength magnets that farriers use would be helpful. I believe roofers also use something similar to pick up loose roofing nails.

        How about these?

        I realize that I'm generalizing here, but as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care. ~ Dave Barry


        • Original Poster

          Thanks! I think I'll get a magnet AND a detector! I'm sure everyone driving by will think I've definitely lost it, but maybe I'll eventually feel safe. If my horse wasn't so damned accident prone I wouldn't be so worried! I swear to god if there's one piece left out there he'll be sure to find it lol.


          • #6
            You can rent a Nail Magnet at most rental places.


            • #7
              Picking up every last little bit is the job of the construction crew. Talk to the supervisor and ask him when his crew will be doing the clean-up work and getting all the metal screws, nails, trim out of the dirt. Yes, they won't get every bit but they will get 98% of it. Often they wait until the end of the job until they do that.

              Let them know that you will withhold final payment until every piece of trash, screw, etc has been removed.
              Luistano Stallion standing for 2013: Wolverine UVF


              • Original Poster

                Originally posted by Cielo Azure View Post
                Picking up every last little bit is the job of the construction crew. Talk to the supervisor and ask him when his crew will be doing the clean-up work and getting all the metal screws, nails, trim out of the dirt. Yes, they won't get every bit but they will get 98% of it. Often they wait until the end of the job until they do that.

                Let them know that you will withhold final payment until every piece of trash, screw, etc has been removed.
                Well.... it was kind of paid in full at the beginning to get the "sale price". My mom had her barn built by them and although she never thought to warn me about this just told me they left her barn a mess. According to the contract "normal construction debris will be collected and piled up. This will remain for the purchaser to remove or otherwise dispose." I knew we'd have to remove all the trash from the site, but according to my mom the picking up didn't include nails and scrap.


                • #9
                  The crew is supposed to have a magnet and someone picking up.

                  We have the little 3' one on wheels and a big one we hang from the gator or tractor, like this one with the pallet point brackets and large eye screws to hang it from a chain:


                  They are indispensable when you weld and use nails or screws, as you can't hardly keep track of every little piece.


                  • #10
                    My grandfather and uncles come from generations of contractors, and if they left such a mess, they'd have been fired. I've been on many jobsites with them, and they were meticulous about the jobsite. There was always someone wheeling a magnet around picking up anything that might have fallen.

                    If I were you, I'd be on the phone to the contractor requesting they send their crew back out to pick up every last piece of scrap.

                    That kind of sloppiness is unacceptable.


                    • #11
                      After having a run-in built and being floored by the pile of trash that the contractors left for me (and they pointed that same clause out to me in the contract), I negotiated with my barn builders to remove their trash. I also spoke with the foreman about the dangers of the nails and shards to the horses and they tried to pick things up as they went. BUT, there will always be some left over. I had a strong magnet, but even a year later, I would still find a nail here and there. They can get buried as they work. So, talk with the workers, explain nicely the situation, and I'll bet they'll try to pick stuff up. Enjoy the new barn!!


                      • #12
                        I'm spoiled..

                        because the guy that built the barn and arena is a horse guy himself. And while I have picked up a few of the 'we were on the roof and dropped that one" nails during construction (just as I saw them to help) when this guy is done, there isn't even a cigarette butt left to pick up. That said, the site itself was questionable, a really good metal detector and a sharp small shovel is your friend. Sale price my ass, tell them to clean it up!!


                        • Original Poster

                          Originally posted by 2ndyrgal View Post
                          there isn't even a cigarette butt left to pick up.
                          Ugh, so far it was so gross to look at that we've picked up red bull cans, water bottles, and trash. I told my husband to stop because we're not their freaking maids. Earlier today when I came in I vaguely remember seeing a rotting banana peel, plastic fork, pop can, and bottle of some sort. They're pigs.


                          • #14
                            If you got a good price, you may have to pick up the nails yourself. Northern Tool catalogue has magnets. I have a magnet on a stick that I got from some catalogue. It works well but is tedious to use.

                            My house roofers left thousands of nails that seem to have embedded themselves in the ground. It has been a year, and I am still finding nails after every heavy rain. I have thought about getting one of the magnets on wheels. It is important to try to get all of the nails picked up. Puncture wounds to the foot are not good injuries.


                            • #15
                              How about sitting a big trash can out for the guys--maybe they would get the hint??????
                              Might ask the contractor to have them cut the siding outside of the area where the horses
                              will be.


                              • #16
                                You can buy a bunch of cow magnets and tie a string around them, then drag it around and it ill collect a lot of debris on it...


                                • Original Poster

                                  Originally posted by Luckydonkey View Post
                                  You can buy a bunch of cow magnets and tie a string around them, then drag it around and it ill collect a lot of debris on it...
                                  Huh... cow magnets. Learn something new every day!


                                  • #18
                                    Wow, what a mess.. I am so sorry you are having to deal w/this.

                                    Mr. EqT builds everything here. He is a neat freak. The last thing he built was a run-in and I asked him if I needed to look for lost nails... his expression was hilarious. "Lost nails? No lost nails. I don't lose nails for horses to step on!"

                                    Thank God.

                                    The cow magnet.. I like that idea...
                                    "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
                                    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.


                                    • Original Poster

                                      So would a cow magnet be stronger than the sweeper magnet?


                                      • #20
                                        Ok, I'll ask. What's a cow magnet?