I’m inordinately proud of this post title, and I’m also months behind in writing up the shed progress since I did most of this work in the spring and it is now decidedly the season of firewood, falling leaves and pumpkin flavored … anything. And as much as I love getting outdoor projects done in the spring and summer it feels like I have no desire to write about them during that time. Oh well, past tense shed work it is.
Once the foundation was put together and filled oh so nicely with gravel I was ready to get my first big delivery of lumber. I needed the pressure treated 4×6 skids, the pressure treated 2×6 floor joists and 150+ 2x4s. I had it delivered from our local lumber yard, and that extra $25 was seriously some of the best money spent on this project. Delivered lumber instead of multiple trips in my non-truck (the Outback gets plenty of chances to haul materials as it is) made this so much simpler, plus with 14′ rim joists, 16′ ridge beams and a couple of 12′ pieces that would be cut in half for the 6′ wide coop section I was more than happy to not haul them.
The #neveragain part of this project started right about here. I laid out my 4×6 pressure treated runners, 3 for the main shed, 2 for the coop side. I assembled the deck structure of 2×6’s with joist hangers and set aside a full day to cut and lay the 3/4 Advantech tongue and groove plywood subfloor / decking. Before I even got outside to lay the first sheet the weather was already starting to mutiny. Rain was seriously on the way and if the decking got wet, it would be days for it to dry out enough to glue down the sheets like I wanted to. Since my dad was already lined up to help me, I just threw caution (and my checklist) to the wind and started right in. We got barely two sheets in before I had the horrible realization that I had never squared up the deck before I started. It was already glued and screwed down and in the rush to beat the weather and the frustration with my mistake I gave up with four miserable words: “It’s just a shed.”
Now that I’m on the other side of the project, knowing that the out of square foundation, walls and roof worked out, I’m okay with it, but it stressed me out throughout the project that I had missed a key step and worse plowed through my one shot at fixing it. Particularly when it rained for 3 weeks straight (nearly) after I got the decking on so I got to watch my out of square, slightly gapped, glued and screwed (not going anywhere) deck get soaked and turn nice and gray.
Once the weather lifted, I hastily finalized my framing plan on a few loose sheets of paper and went about marking layouts and cutting while my dad nailed walls together. Sidebar: my dad is now 70 and this summer was the first time in my life that I can ever remember out-working him. I’m always impressed by how hard both my parents work and their generosity in helping others and giving to others. I really hope to have inherited even a fraction of those attributes from both of them.
These two images were after the first day of framing with my dad. Sadly his hands were bothering him and since I didn’t have a framing nail gun and he was nailing by hand, he called it a day. Not bad progress though to have 4 walls of the coop up and plumbed.
From there I started framing by myself. I framed the longer 14′ sections in two 10′ and 4′ sections, attaching with a double top plate once they were standing. Sadly I don’t have any photos of the deadman contraptions (deadmen?) that I used to put the ridge beam in place. I was rather proud of putting up a 16′ ridge beam and all the rafters by myself. I used an awesome online rafter calculator that gave me all the measurements based on the span, rise, run and thickness of the rafters.
Now that I had walls and rafters it was time to consider how to top this thing off. I am not bad with heights per say, but I don’t love them. I especially don’t love being attacked by inanimate objects while up high on something that is swaying every time I move. But that’s a story for next time.