Home ownership brings a lot of rewards, but it also brings a lot of headaches. We all want to change things to either upgrade them or make them suit our style and tastes.
This is our back yard. This is how it looked for the first three years that we lived here.
Last year we shared the cost of removing the giant maple that dropped a whole big mess of stuff in our yard every year. I’m allergic to them, so it didn’t hurt my feelings to see it go. We really enjoyed the back yard except for one thing…
The shed. An engineer built this shed. At first glance you might think that it’s quite a great building and how could we ever dislike it? Do you see the gaps in the wall planks? Those were about 1 1/2″ wide and didn’t do much to keep the weather out. Also, please take note of the metal roofing. The ridges are supposed to run UP and DOWN in order to help shed water. This was placed on the roof sideways so it did an excellent job of catching all of the rain and bringing it in. Also, this was the biggest waste of space. There was a loft area that was not usable because the previous owners had stashed all kinds of wood and such up there. We looked forward to replacing this structure.
This summer we decided to replace it. First, though, we had to get another tree cut down. Actually, there were two trees in this spot. Technically they were on our neighbor’s property, but after the branch fell on The Monstrosity this winter we offered to split the cost of taking them down. After all, if we were going to invest in a new shed we didn’t want it being wiped out by a tree branch.
These trees had power lines running through the branches and I worried about Jay and the neighbor kid trying to take it down themselves. They actually managed to get most of them down when we called in the Tree Guy. The one tree was so rotted that when the trunk fell to the ground it actually burst apart on impact. The Tree Guy said that if we hadn’t taken it down now it would have definitely come down this winter. Yikes!
Our shed was 12′ x 16′. We looked around, compared prices, and Jay decided that he wanted to buy a kit that he could assemble himself. When it arrived we weren’t quite ready to put it up because we wanted to get a concrete pad poured to set it on. The other shed had a dirt floor and critters were constantly burrowing their way into it.
While we were waiting for the concrete guy to get freed up Jay decided to start building parts of the shed. The kit was divided into two piles; one on the deck and one beside the house. To build the trusses Jay decided to screw the pieces of wood to the deck that acted as a jig. This way all of the trusses would be the same.
At night after work Jay would spend a few hours building the trusses and then the wall panels. These pieces of wood were screwed onto our deck for a few weeks. Luckily I never tripped over them!
We finally had a firm day for the concrete guy to show up so the shed came down! We had borrowed my parents’ enclosed trailer to house all of the stuff that went into the shed until we got the new one up.
We had help bringing the old shed down. Then we rented a dumpster to get rid of the debris. By carefully stacking and arranging the wood we were able to fit the entire thing in the dumpster. The only stuff that didn’t go in there was a handful of boards for one of Jay’s coworker (to be turned into a turkey coop) and then the metal roofing was scrapped by a friend of the concrete guy.
That really opened up the back yard! I guess that I never realized how much privacy The Monstrosity gave us. Since I have no plans of sunbathing in the nude, though, the newly opened space will not bother me at all.
After the concrete was poured we only had to give it 24 hours before we were allowed to start building on it. How impressive is that?!
We have two double doors on the end and a man door on the side. Let me tell you what… the full 16′ side was HEAVY! I almost couldn’t help move it.
Originally when we discussed the shed we thought that we might actually downsize in order to give me more vegetable-growing room in the yard. That’s when Jay decided to make room in the basement for trains and I suddenly had jets spread all over the place.
That’s when I suggested that we put up a shed with the same footprint as The Monstrosity and use part of it as airplane storage. After all, once Jay gets the Spad completely finished and it comes out of the basement there is no way that he’s going to be able to get it back down there. It will have to reside in the shed.
Last weekend my parents came down to help us with the final assembly. Friday night Jay and I managed to get the walls up and fastened together. On Saturday my dad, sister, and the neighbor kid helped me and Jay to put up the trusses, plywood and shingles.
We’d had no rain for several weeks, but the day that we were going to be outside doing this it rained on us twice.
Sunday Jay put the doors on and then I painted it yesterday. I still have to paint the trim white. I figured I would make it match the house.
We have begun to fill it, and boy is it filling up quickly! We actually need to start organizing it, too. I need to get the hardware to hang my gardening tools on the walls.
Jay needs to start figuring out how he’s going to store his planes in there.
The other thing that I want to do is put gutters on it and get a rain barrel. Not for any kind of environmental reason, but because I don’t want to pay the city to water my gardens. I’m cheap like that.
I have some landscaping work that I need to do. I’ll wait until next spring before fixing the fire pit area that was torn up when the concrete guy was positioning his equipment in the yard. Overall, though, we are happy. Jay really enjoyed putting this kit together. Everything was cut perfectly and went together so easily. There was once that Jay had to call the company to ask a question and the customer service was quite impressive. We highly recommend Best Barns if you want to build a shed/garage/play house from a kit.
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