Time to Build a Shed.

Now for a big project. We decided, after we made that huge mess during the freezer dig, that we needed a place to store all the tools, supplies, and other random things. Since the house wasn’t an option, and certainly not the horse barn, the only solution was to build a shed.

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We checked around for what kinds of supplies we had available. We decided to set a goal of spending as little money as possible on this project (just like all the others!), and in the end, we only had to purchase bolts and concrete. Its rustic, but certainly not hokey.

First things first: let’s get the supports laid out. We want this thing to be as square as possible because then it will not only be sturdy and nice-looking, but it will make all the other aspects of the build go smoother–like installing the roof and side walls.

We want the shed to be 10ft by 10ft, and tall enough to store ladders inside. We have some timbers lying around, and find they are long enough for us to have a drop in our roof of about 1’8″, steep enough to shed snow adequately (always a concern here, by the way.)

Now, go ahead and lay out your poles 10ft from each other. Check your diagonal measurements–if they are exact, then you’re effing awesome, bruh, but most likely they are off a little bit. Here is where it helps to draw a diagram so you can figure out which pole you need to move in order to make them square to each other.

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Then, mark the locations so that you can dig an accurate post hole. The posts will need to be seated about two feet into the ground; around and a little under the poles, we will pour some quik-crete to anchor it, and protect it from rotting.

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We double-checked the measurements from the center dot, just to be sure. Yeah, it will vary a little as our poles are all different diameters, but setting this up right from the beginning makes our margin for error much less destructive overall. If you start out with it all messed up, you can be sure it will just get even more wonky.

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Okay, the posts are set. (Fast forward, concrete and digging are both terribly boring at this point!)

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Now we want to attach our two main support boards, and ensure they still have the pitch we want for the roof. To do this, we need to make a line leveling the front posts to the back posts for a common measurement. The ground is uneven, so it can’t be relied upon!

Note the nail!
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We used a string level to get the same point on the front and back posts, and then put a nail there. From that nail, we could measure up, ensuring we get our pitch different of 1ft, 8inches. (This may make more sense later, when you see the roof’s slanting.)

Here, I am pre-nailing into the board to make it easier to “tack” once I’m up on the ladder. Of course, we will use much sturdier equipment to connect this board to our posts, as it is going to bear the weight of the rafters, but this little nail will help me pin it down in the right place so that I can drill a hole, and put thick lag bolts into the board + post.

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Lindsay, driving the lag bolt into the board, as I steady it.

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Kristy finds our work acceptable.

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BAM! Our support beams are up. Now, where are we going to get some rafters???
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Lindsay knows a good place to salvage. The carport of an old, abandoned cabin. Too bad its uninhabitable, but that’s how it is and now its salvage material for outdoor projects only! Our neighbor is kind enough to let us salvage this material, though I’m pretty sure she’d enjoy just pushing the whole thing over with her giant bulldozer machine. Who wouldn’t?

(This way, at least its going to good use instead of rotting away, and then being buried. I figure those trees gave their lives to make those boards, and their bones should be honored by being used for something.)

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Better get up there with a prybar and a hammer and get to work removing those rafters! We found that the 16ft length was perfect, and would give a decent amount of overhang for our shed, both in the back and the front.
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How do you know how many rafters you need? Well, its ten feet wide, and we want a support every two feet. Two goes into ten five times, right? However, don’t forget that you start with a rafter, so the number you’ll need is actually SIX rafters.

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Clear blue sky through the non-rafter area of the roof! Thanks for the salvage, stinky sheep cabin!

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After laying out the marks for where the rafters will be attached, we hauled those bad boys up there and got it done.

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Lookit our awesome shed!

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There are some other salvage materials from another neighbor–old pine boards that were “milled by some Russians that lived by the river,” at least, that’s how the story goes. We were allowed to sort through a pile, but only if the entire pile was sorted through, and unusable pieces set aside to be burned.

(There’s something about country folks that they like to hoard things in their yard. Most often, it never gets used, but in this case, the boards get a new life as our funky shed! We are trying hard to organized all the supplies so we don’t create the same kind of rotting boneyard of wood and other various salvage. Everything we take gets used!)

Here we are making a support in the middle of the wall. It is for the back of the shed to have a little shelf outside. The roof will overhang enough to protect this area pretty well.

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The back of the shed:

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Rawr!!!!
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At this point, we start thinking about roofing. Yet another neighbor I know of was replacing some roofing panels; their skylights were leaking (by the way, they pretty much always leak), and they decided to just take them out and put full lengths of metal there. So we scored some metal that was long enough to cover the roof. We just had to cut it to size so they matched. More life to things discarded!

Here is Lindsay installing the metal with roofing screws. Too bad there were already holes in the metal from being installed on the neighbors roof. Ohwell, its just a shed, afterall, and I will never argue about the cost of free.

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Now we install the end board; this not only makes a nice face at the end of the rafters, but also gives extra snow support to the edge of the roofing metal.

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Now, for some corner braces with my favorite angle–45 degrees! What a supportive angle it is, indeed.

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You can also see here how we attached the rafters. They want to turn a little, so they are braced on the sides.

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Well, there you have it, the finished product. The only thing left now is the killer pegboard we ordered to organize all the smaller hand tools.

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Our own wood pile! If you store them upright, they will last literally forever! You can also see a nice half-circle of plywood that was leftover from a concrete form that was made as a landing for some deck stairs. We are going to turn it into a table in the backyard area with–you guessed it–45-degree angle supports instead of table legs!!! It will go around a post. You’ll see. I’ll make a post about it, don’t worry….

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Well, that’s it. Now we have a shed and its freaking awesome.

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2 thoughts on “Time to Build a Shed.

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