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The Big Project is Finally Finished

When our daughter moved out, we had space for the first time in 6 years. Naturally, when she moved back home, we suddenly didn’t have any space again. Don’t get me wrong. We love our daughter and love having her here. This is simply a small place and we effectively have two families living here when she’s here. It was time to begin a big project, which was finally finished today.

The thing is that we didn’t have any room to put all of our daughter’s stuff. Most of it was simply stacked inside of the house and there were still about a dozen boxes that have been sitting under a tree out in the front yard. She was going to rent storage space (at $45 per month), but then she called and talked to her husband. He made the suggestion, “Instead of renting storage space, why not buy a storage shed?”

They have pre-made storage sheds on the market, but they are very expensive and we had nowhere near enough money for even a small one (~$3,000). So we bought an 8 foot by 10 foot by 6 1/2 foot storage shed kit for a bit more than $500. It took two weeks to get here, then the odyssey began.

Vacant spot for the shed

Before the shed kit even got here, we needed a place to put it. Thankfully, we had a place that was good for that purpose. This is right across the front yard from our front door. All we had to do is to clear the space, which only took about 15 minutes.

When the kit got here, loaded on a pallet, no less, we realized that we didn't want it sitting on bare dirt. The spot is protected in the summer by the neighbor's big maple tree, but in the winter, there is a lot of snow and the ground gets soggy.

So we made a trip to the hardware store and bought 12 cinder blocks and three sheets of plywood. It took an extra 2 days for them to deliver it. However, I got the blocks into place and put the plywood on top, with the plywood sheets attached to each other with flat braces.

Starting the shed construction

The kit came with all the parts, but everything was naturally apart and in small pieces. The instructions weren't the best, but thankfully they were good enough for a non-builder like me to figure out.

First, the bottom frame had to be put together with bolts. Then the vertical corners were put on, bolted to the frame. Next came the center horizontal frame, bolted to the corners, and finally the top frame.

On top of the framework, we fastened the frame that would hold three roof beams, which of course also had to be put together. Once that was done, the back wall panels went on. This picture shows all that I have described so far, except for the top of it. To get an idea of the sizes of the parts, the back wall has six wall panels.

What I haven't mentioned yet is that all of this began just when our temperatures bounced to well above 90 F / 32 C. In fact, the first day we started this work, it hit 98. 

Naturally, we worked on this in the mornings and stopped by 10-11 am because of the heat. The whole time we worked on this, I was also splitting time with working on the church flowerbeds and our garden, plus doing the other things that needed to be done around the house, and sneaking in time for writing. It was a juggling routine.

Partly done

The next step was to put on the front wall panels and the side wall panels. Only one wall panel is up in this picture. None of these steps was especially difficult, but each of the wall panels is held on by about 15 screws and plastic washers, so it was time-consuming. The roof has even more screws in each panel and there are quite a few nuts and bolts, as well. I can't begin to count how many of those screws I dropped and had to find before preceding, either. Hey, I'm not a builder.

This picture shows one of the corner cement blocks, which raises the floor about 9 inches off the ground. In case you wondered, the flashlight is there so we could see in the inside corners, which are in dense shade.

Speaking of shade, when I was ready to put the roof on, I also had to trim some of the maple branches.

It also occurs to me that I keep saying "we". At various times, my daughter or my wife assisted me and that help was invaluable, especially when parts needed to be held up so they could be fastened. I wouldn't have been able to attach the screws, nuts, and bolts without the help.

Finishing touches

Once the walls were on, the roof beams were fastened in place. Then the roof panels were put on. I didn't realize until I got all of the roof panels on snugly that I was supposed to put half of the roof crown (the centerpiece that prevents it from leaking) on before connecting the last two roof panels. So those panels had to come back off, then the roof crown was attached for the back half of the roof. 

The two roof panels were then put on again and the other part of the roof crown were affixed. At that point, it actually looked like a shed, except for the doors, which I then put together. It actually took about 20 minutes to put each of the two doors together, and another 20 to put them in, but they are surprisingly stout and sturdy with all the braces in place.

The finished job

At that point, the shed was done. The only part that was left to do was to fill in gaps at the top and bottom that would have allowed moisture and wasps to get inside. The gaps are from the corrugation of the roof and walls and none of the gaps is very large, but wasps don't need much room. I can't even get inside our old and much smaller wood shed out back because of a large wasp nest that I can't get to.

So I went down and got a can of spray expanding insulation and filled all of those gaps. The foam should be cured by tomorrow morning, then my daughter can start stacking her stuff into the shed. If we figured correctly, this should again give us some indoor space, while also getting the boxes out of the front yard.

This was more of a project than I thought it would be, primarily because of the number of parts, screws, nuts, and bolts. There are about 450 screws and 250 nuts and bolts holding this together. Still, it is metal, so it should weather well. It took over a week to put up, mostly due to the heat, but I'm proud to say that it is done at last.

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Written by Rex Trulove

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    • The great part is that it isn’t difficult to do and it isn’t tremendously expensive. Our 8 x 10 cost about $500 and all that was needed for setting it up was a phillips screwdriver and a crescent wrench. It wouldn’t have taken as long to set it up if it hadn’t been for the heat, too.

  1. By the way, @Ghostwriter, I haven’t rewarded myself yet, but might do so in a few days, somehow. I still have to catch up with everything else that didn’t get done while I was working on this project.

  2. I remember building metal sheds years ago. Sliced the heck out of my fingers!

    Good idea though, to solve the daughter space problem!.

    I know, two years ago when our daughter moved back in, we had to move heaven and earth to find space for her!

    • I was fortunate. I didn’t cut myself and only jabbed myself a couple of times. Aside from a few bruises and twisting in ways my body wasn’t designed to twist, I came through it unscathed.

      The funny part is that I was thinking that an 8 x 10 shed wouldn’t be large enough to hold much of our daughter’s stuff. I was wrong. There is a huge amount of space in that thing. The next part will be primarily my daughter’s; going through her things, repacking most of it, and putting it in the shed. We’ll help, of course, but most of everything else was done for that eventuality.

    • I really had no choice, as I saw it. The end of this hot weather is likely going to be when the weather begins to turn nasty. Without the shed, a lot of stuff would be damaged by that bad weather.

      If we’d received everything when we expected to, the shed would have been finished before the hot weather even began.


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