Thanks. Here's the short version of how I decided to build this barn.
I found Barngeek web site in the midst of my research to find "the barn" . After retiring in December 2013 I ordered plans for the 30 x 40 gable barn. It took me a while to really commit to getting started as I continued to toy with other designs. Finally, I decided, "what the heck, I can do this." So, I prepped the rough site that I had originally built with a bulldozer in 2011. I leveled and smoothed the fill dirt with my tractor in July and augured out pier supports. By early August I was ready for concrete and we poured the slab on August 7th.
In the mean while I had shopped for a source of timbers and found a small sawmill in East Texas using Craigslist. I hired a guy to haul it to my ranch and had most of the bent lumber in place by early September. I built the bents pretty much alone during October and November. Then, after lots of hand wringing I decided to seek "professional help" for standing up the bents and putting on the roof. I figured the solo approach clearly was not an option and I doubted that I had enough skilled friends who happened to have a week or so free to help me stand things up. That was the best decision I have made on this project so far. The crew is decking the roof today and it should be in the dry by tonight.
Here are some pictures.