Jun 17, 2013

Club Shed

A garden shed has been on our exterior "to do" list since we moved in.  We originally thought we'd end up with a lean-to type of shed against the garage because all of the large, nice looking ones that we priced (even ones from a kit!) rang in between $700 and $3,000.  So we had resigned ourselves to something smaller, even though we didn't care for the look of lean-to sheds.  But right around Easter, Woot! offered a metal 10' x 12' storage shed by Arrow for less than $400.  We checked out some reviews online, found we wouldn't be able to beat the price, and pulled the trigger.  The shed was delivered about two weeks later, boxed up and ready to assemble, and it's been languishing on our front porch since then.

But no more!  Steve and I finally had a weekend to ourselves so we decided to reclaim our front porch and get that freakin' shed up so we could actually use the thing.  I have to admit, this was not as easy of a project as we anticipated.  But the good news is (spoiler alert) we got 'er done!

The first thing we had to do was some site prep.  The previous owners had a large amount of chip bark where we decided to put the shed at the very far west end of our yard.  Since we planned on landscaping around our shed, the bark had to go.  Four weekends worth of raking and shoveling bark chips later... we pulled up the beams the previous owners had set into the ground to separate the chips from the weeds, er, yard.

Bark raked, one beam left to haul away.

Next we had to build a foundation for the shed.  This part was not included in the kit, and by the time we were done, the foundation and flooring materials set us back about $300 (although I think we'll be able to return about $50 worth of unused materials).  We hauled all of the foundation goodies into the backyard and Steve started digging away.

It has begun.

It was at this point that we ran into two major issues.  First of all, the yard is sloped.  We always knew it was sloped, but we didn't realize it was THAT sloped.  Especially at the far west edge of the yard.  Figures.  And second, we realized that like much of the landscaping work on our property, things were done slap-dash.  For instance, a few inches of soil and sod resting comfortably atop who-knows-how-deep 3/8- gravel.

Bring on the pick axe!

Nevertheless, we managed to construct a frame.  And by we, I mean Steve did pretty much all of the work and I helped hold the beams in place while Steve nailed them.

Looks like a construction site.

I'll spare you a shot of Steve looking super tired after digging out gravel with a pickaxe and laying a foundation on a hot day.  At this point we called it good for the day and rejoined the following day by laying the flooring.

Gratuitous Action Shot.

Hurrah for plywood!

One of these days these boots are gonna walk all over you.

We noticed at this point how entirely non-level our floor ended up being because of the slope of the property.  We also felt the floor was a little jouncy, so we flipped the whole thing up on its side, added some extra crossbeams for support, and laid it back down.  All of the tutorials online and even the shed assembly instructions made a big deal out of the floor needing to be square a level, but we decided to live dangerously and roll with it as-is.  After all, this is a cheap metal shed that's barely tall enough to stand up in.  We weren't building a luxury hotel.

The next day we started on the part that Steve refers to as "Legos for grown ups"-- assembly.

Better for your brain than Sudoku.

This part went surprisingly easily.  We worked until we had all of the sides built and then quit for the day, not too long after this picture was taken.

Yowsa, that is a seriously non-level shed.

It took us three more days of an hour or two after work to get the roof and the doors on.  And we did end up shimming one of the corners of the shed to help the pre-drilled holes in the roof panels line up better.  But we were overall really impressed at how well this little cheap-o shed came together.

Luxury hotel, at your service.

Steve added one more layer of plywood to shore up the floor a little more, and now she's ready to roll.

Blank slate.

I've already started moving some things out of our garage and into the shed.  We agreed that anything gardening or yard care-related would live in the shed and so would all of our camping gear.  Steve would like to store some of our seasonal decorations out there too,  but I convinced him to wait until we've had a few heavy rains just to make sure we don't have any issues with leaks (nobody likes a moldy Christmas tree).  We also think there will be shelves out there eventually to help keep things a little more organized, but for now it works just fine and we are one step closer to having our garage organized enough that Steve and I can both park in it again!

Gardening and lawn care stuff.

Camp chairs, lawn care stuff, and a generator.

Have any tips for me about organizing this space?

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