Shed Update

So you all remember that last post about the shed where Tina and I were trying to figure out if it was going to look too big?  Well, thanks to all the input we got from our readers, we’ve decided to go ahead with it.  This is a highly desired project to free up some space in the basement.  Although we had great intentions of getting this done last summer, work, life, travel, other projects, budget constraints, and the fact that I haven’t finished the design stage yet have kept us from finishing it up.  We have made significant progress with the time we have found to work on it though.  Let me catch you up on what we’ve done…

We started by stringing out the three-foot offset from the property line that is required by the town.  Then, we staked out the potential corners of the shed.  This led us to building the rough frame to get an idea of the size of the shed:

The next step was laying out the actual corners of the shed. I built batter boards so we could put up some string:

We used part of the temporary sidewall frame to get the rough location of the shed:

Tina and I surveyed the topography of the land in the vicinity of the shed to assess potential drainage issues:


Then, we installed the batter boards and strings. Once the strings were in the correct position, we cut grooves in the boards so we could quickly get the strings in place to check our work:

Now it was time for the hard work:

The soil here is actually very nice for digging as it is very sandy with only a few thin clay layers:

The biggest rock was about 2 inches in diameter and the worst problem I had was with roots in the northeast hole:

I finished the holes in one day but then we got busy and they sat covered for 2.5 months:

By November, I was anxious to try and make progress before the weather got unpleasant so I ordered some of the materials to get the site work completed and the deck built. Here’s a pile of 5.5 tons of 3/4″ stone. It’s more than I need for the shed, but I have a few other ideas for it and I didn’t want to pay multiple delivery charges:

Here’s the pressure-treated lumber for the deck and 15 80-lb bags of concrete mix:

And the tubes for the concrete pillars. Also, some of the 500 square feet of tile that we bought that we’re not going to use. Does anyone want any tile? Let’s make a deal:

I cleaned up the holes to get the concrete tubes installed plumb and then started mixing. It was easier than I expected and I was able to finish off the 6 pillars in one afternoon:

I graffiti-ed up the posts:



The following weekend, I was back out in the yard to remove some soil to make room for the stone. That corner of the yard is always damp and I didn’t want the shed sitting right above the damp soil so I’m putting a few inches of stone to keep things a bit more dry.  I marked a line 1 foot beyond the edge of the shed and got to work.  The first task was moving the soil that I had removed for the pillars.  I transfered these piles to a pile up near the driveway.  I’m going to have to find some place to haul this to because we don’t have anywhere on the property where we need that much fill:

Next, we pulled off a couple of inches of really nice organic soil:

We hauled this to the other side of the back yard so we can use it to build some raised beds near the bird feeders in the spring:

I continued digging until I had a nice slope from the center of the shed toward the edges to keep water from pooling underneath. I also dug a ditch around the outside to catch the runoff from the roof. I didn’t finish on the weekend and with some cold weather coming I raced to finish this off one night in the rain by the light of a Coleman lantern:

By mid-December, snow stopped my progress:

When we had a warm spell the week after Christmas, I took the opportunity to continue my work on the site. I shoveled off the remaining snow and laid down some landscape fabric to keep the stones from mixing with the soil and to keep weeds from popping up around the edges:

After countless trips from the driveway to the back yard with the wheelbarrow, I had filled in the hole with the stone:


It took about 2/3 of the pile of stone. It’s nice to be able to walk from the driveway to the front door without climbing a mountain:

Meanwhile, we’ve been stockpiling materials as we come across them. Pops found a couple of replacement sashes at his local lumber yard that were never picked up:

And he had some shingles left over from one of his projects that he was willing to get out of his garage:

I’m hoping that weather and schedules combine to allow me to finish building the deck sometime this month. I will also get serious about finishing up the plans so I can order the lumber and get the rest of the shed built!

One Response to “Shed Update”

  1. Neeko says:

    Fantastic job Jesse!

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