It’s pretty sad when your bartender-friends remind you just how long a project has taken… or, more correctly, remind you that is has not been completed. I say bartender-friends because it’d be too forward to call them family, but they probably do see us more than any of our family or friends as we’ve been going to the On The Border in Kennesaw, Georgia on just about every Friday evening since November 22, 2000 for our weekly ‘decompression session’. Yes, if you do the math that’s probably over 500 visits during the past 10 years, and don’t think they don’t appreciate it!
Anyway, both Jeff and Kaleb busted on me during last evening’s visit for not having finished my stupid shed yet. In my defense, I only work on it on about 2 days a week and the weather has made it slow-going. By weather, I’m referring to the 95F plus heat and high humidity that makes you change out your T-shirt every hour for one that’s not totally saturated; seriously. Even my socks and work boots end up soaked with sweat by the end of a work session.
Moreover, it truly has been a one-man project… much to the amazement of my 32-year old stepson as he watched me heave a 4×8 sheet of plywood sheathing onto the rafters from the precarious perch of my 8′ stepladder. Sadly, I’m not sure his DNA has any of the Scottish stuff I got from my mother’s side of the Gene Pool. Yes, I’m also that kind of guy… the one who never asks for help because it’s just easier to “do it myself”. I like to think of it as therapy and it also let’s me screw things up without any witnesses, the latter always being pretty important. It’s like falling over on your bicycle when you can’t get your shoes clipped-out, where the first thing you do is check to see if anyone saw you fall as you quickly gather yourself and stand back up.
Well, back to the shed… it’s VERY CLOSE to being ‘done’ if you define done as the exterior, less a few details. Like so many projects, as this one took shape it morphed from a simple shed into complex one, with an elaborate foundation that had to deal with a 3′ elevation change and unstable soil sitting over a construction waste hole… basically a 15′ deep pit where the builder’s ‘dozer operator buried tree stumps that has been back-filled 3 times in 17 years. So, to deal with this little problem I had to dig holes for 12 concrete-encased pressure treated posts that went down 4′ – 6′ in solid soil that are topped by four 11’-long beams that top 3 of the foundation posts each. They’re strapped and bolted together and then the joints and 3/4″ plywood flooring sits on top of all that. The rest of the shed is stick built out of pressure treated 2x4s, mostly as a hedge against insects as well as moisture damage and then sheathed in 3/4 siding and topped with architectural grade shingles to match the house with a full ridge vent. As you can see from the photo of the shed just before I put the 2nd and 3rd coats of exterior paint on today (the plastic is to guard against over-spray on the roof shingles) the siding ended up getting some siding of its own, just to create some visual interest as the battens and lap siding will cast small shadows to give the shed some texture vs. being just another dull box with a door. Speaking of doors, the large door is actually a pair of sliding doors handing from an overhead track and roller system: I’ve always liked sliding barn doors, so there you go. They never get in the way or banged around by the wind, so what’s not to like?
- Paint the corner, fascia and door trim pieces shadow white to match the house: I think I’ll leave the soffits color matched to the body of the shed.
- Install cedar shakes under the eaves… again, for visual interest and to add some color.
- Build the 4′ front deck and cedar 4′ overhang with galvanized metal roof.
- Install diamond plate / corner molding over the threshold
- Install door hardware, that is once I figure out how to modify a garage door locking system to work on my barn doors…
- Build-out interior shelving and move-in all the ‘yard stuff’ from the garage
- Haul construction waste to the dump
- Landscape to screen foundation and tie into garden.
Next: gut the garage…