The Broad Side of the Barn

Arnold Ziffel
P.O. Box 2
Grand Island, NE 47318
April 23, 1997

Math 101 Students
Wheaton College
Norton, MA 02766
Dear Calculus Students:

I let my barn repairs go for too long, and now I find myself in a predicament. Although the barn is structurally sound and the roof is fine, the siding is rotting. I need some help deciding on the best way to proceed, and your enterprising and resourceful professor referred me to you.

Mr. Haney has offered to sell me aluminum siding that is either three feet, two and a half feet, or one and a half feet wide. I can order the siding in any length I need, and the cost is $4.25 per square foot. Since I can get Eb from over at the Douglas place to do the labor for next to nothing, my only real expense is the siding from Mr. Haney. I want to do the entire barn in the same width siding, so for each width, I need to know how much siding I should order and how much it will cost.

I know that there will be some waste material due to the shape of the barn. Being the environmentally aware individual that I am, I'd like to know how much siding will be wasted, and I'd also be interested in any suggestions you have for what I can with with the leftovers.

I've included a sketch of the barn. Mr. Haney has only guaranteed his prices through May 2, so I would greatly appreciate your report by then.

Yours sincerely,
Arnold Ziffel