Top Secret Project: New Shed

And hardly worth the wait. But this is my record of what we’ve been doing at home – and when.

Between my Potting Shed and the Log Store is our coal and bucket shed where we store bags of smokeless fuel (for our multifuel stove), and the mop bucket, the ash bucket and anything else I can squeeze in. This is how it has looked for the last few years.

We’ve had this particular shed for approximately twelve years. The previous one (smaller) lasted for fifteen years, Hubby built the first one of tongue and groove, but decided to use marine ply for the second shed. Between driving rain and wood-chewing wasps, the front, roof, floor and both sides have de-laminated, split and rotted, so time for another new shed – using feather-board this time – and recycling what we can.

Day 1 (15 June)

But before construction comes destruction. Almost all the old boards must be cut into smaller sections ready for a trip to the skip either later in the week or next week. He also kept calling me away from the jobs I’d planned in the front garden. We had to stop at 1pm – it was far too hot to continue.

The new shed is going to be slightly smaller. Two inches less on the width and several inches off the height (to be determined by maximum featherboard length – and may possibly stand on a plinth to keep the base out of standing water.

So, there is a scale plan, neatly drawn with angles calculated and measurements in inches and millimetres?

NO. Because I’m not involved in the design! He’s making it up as he goes along. If we’d planned, I’d have researched green roofs – like this one or this one – I have the sedums!

Day 2

The remainder of the boards have been cut up and stored in rubble sacks awaiting removal to the Recycling Centre. In years gone by, we would have kept the board to burn on the stove, but that’s not an option as we have no room to store it AND, more importantly, who knows what chemicals it might release into the atmosphere?

Day 3

A fun trip to the Recycling Centre, to dispose of the old boards. This journey included putting petrol in the car on the way – for the third time in 15 1/2 months – and dodging the roadworks that seem to spring up overnight without notice. No work on the shed as hubby has – NOW – decided he needs a plan! But when you see him with a tape measure, a stub of a pencil, and a scrap of paper (not even the back of an envelope), it’s time to take charge!

Build the Sides First (and the remainder to fit)

We started by setting out the salvaged frame pieces from the previous shed, then laying out the featherboard on top to see how many boards we actually needed per side. Hubby had calculated for nine, but we’re building a slightly smaller shed, so we only need eight per side. The height of the shed is to be reduced slightly so the back (the highest point) is equal to the length of the boards provided, with the front 1000mm shorter (so rainwater flows onto our patio and NOT into our neighbour’s garden or – worse – onto our 30 year old trellis.

He’s also got to make sure that the featherboard (which we are using in a vertical position) takes account of the prevailing wind/rain – which is directly onto the front of the shed; so the boards must overlap from back to front (first board at the back, moving forwards by overlapping board 2 to board 1 etc through to board 8).

Each featherboard is 1800mm long by 125mm wide. Calculating for a 31mm overlap, there should be a slight adjustment of approximately 2mm when fixing board 8.

Day 4 (19 June)

Nothing done yesterday. Friday is housework day, plus it was supposed to rain. It didn’t! Today – building the side frames (there are two in the photo – one on top of the other).

Day 5 (21 June)

We weren’t planning on a separate frame for the back or front, but found the structure needed more support, than a couple of cross pieces screwed to the side frames.

It took two of us to lift it into place – and we’ve only boarded the back! We’ve resorted to levelling by eye as, despite strident attempts to keep everything square, the frame is now on the skew. Fortunately, the back looks really nice – for our neighbour, and we’ll only see the front, which will be the door. If this shed lasts as long as the previous two, we’ll be too old to care when it rots or collapses!

By the time we’ve boarded the sides, it might be us who are collapsing – from the weight!!

Day 6 (22 June)

Leave a man unsupervised for 90 minutes and he’ll deviate from the plan! Not in a good way.

Day 7

It was an 8 am start. With rain forecast from noon onwards, I needed to get paint on shed with time to spare for it to dry. I almost made it! The temporary cover managed to keep the worst of it off the top (which is the back) – the final section of what we’ve made (so far) to be painted. Mr O, meanwhile, was faffing about with pieces of plyboard to make the roof. For those interested in such things, the colour is Cuprinol’s Silver Copse – which comes out of the tin looking light to mid-grey, and turns darker as it dries. (Actually it didn’t – it slid over into the blue scale).

I’ll paint the inside once the shed is standing – we have an ancient tin of Red Cedar fence paint that is far to fierce a colour to paint anything in plain sight, but will contrast nicely with the dark grey when the yet-to-be-built door is open (saving the cost and effort of buying expensive paint).

Day 8 (26 June)

Though the forecast was for dry and sunny weather today, the sky didn’t look at all promising, but it didn’t rain and the sun eventually shone. I painted, Mr O made the roof, using left-over roofing felt to cover it (and working without supervision).

Just the door to measure, make and fit, and a small shelf up under the roof for kindling sticks.

Day 9 (30 June)

The door is made and the inside surface painted.

Day 10 (1 July)

Door, hinges, trim – and trim – and trim – until it fits, but I left him unsupervised and almost ended up with one half of a stable door (and no wood for the other half)!!

It’s all a bit on the wonk; we can’t work out if one or both hinges need to move out or further in, so we need to ponder on it for a while. But everything that came out of the previous shed has gone back into this one (and a lot tidier too) – except for the spiders.

Rain stopped play before I could paint the additional inner frame and the outside of the door, and the forecast is rain or light rain until a week Saturday (10th), so it gives me time to catch up on my own work. It will be painted – sometime, this year, soon – maybe.

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