Welcome to the second installment of the building of our garden shed! The last installment discussed the dry research details and today we’ll have more fun getting into the actual building of the shed.
In March 2011 we started formulating ideas and the week of July 4th (what turned out to be the hottest week of the year in California) our plans came to fruition. I can almost call this shed a true DIY project, except we had some professional help. We wanted this shed to last for years. That’s why we called in the big guns…. literally…. check this cute guy out (sweltering in the heat).
Yep, that’s my brother, a licensed contractor. Thank God for small miracles – I have a family member in the ‘biz’ who can help when we we bite off more than we can chew. There were two rather large areas we found ourselves perplexed: the materials list and framing. How much wood? How many joist brackets and pier blocks? Do I even mention figuring roof pitch and the rafters? Framing the doors? Aye yie yie!
I showed him my Punch Home & Landscape creations.
He was impressed but then asked, “Where’s my measurements?” Have no fear brother dear, I have a drawing of rough measurements.
He said, “That’s it?” Um, er, well… yeah? (Then the hubby proceeds to NOT back me up and says, “Welcome to my world.” Guess who was in the corner building his dog house after that comment!) Sorry to disappoint, I’m not an architect. This is the best darn blueprint I can create. Besides, I’m a little fuzzy with the 16 inches on center thingy. You’re better at that so you can figure out the specific measurements based on that little thing called code. So there!
He forgave me and came back with a whopper of a materials list. My punishment.
Off we went to the re-use store. Our first order of duty was to find the windows and doors and did we ever hit the jackpot! It’s not often we find exactly what we’re looking for in a single trip so I was beyond tickled when we found it all. The hinged swing out vintage french window; the french door with crystal knob; the unbelievable find of a custom made high-end french window (from a Los Altos home); a door wide enough for the lawn mower to fit through (and still be cute); two matching windows; brick pavers; tongue and groove board; a custom leaded glass kitchen cabinet; and a storage cabinet.
We bought all these items for $250! Can you believe it?
Next was the trip to the lumber yard. There’s a great locally owned place we go when we need expert advice. I say that because the list we got from my brother might as well have been written in a foreign language. Well, it wasn’t quite that bad, but there were a few questionable items we couldn’t pick out on our own. A hanger something or the other; a pin blah blah blah. Or come to think of it, maybe it was a pen. Just a tad lighter in the wallet at $400 later, we went home hoping our money tree was still lush and hadn’t gone deciduous.
Just before the heavy work got under way, the phone rings and pop-in-law comes to the rescue again! He heard the word “build” and said, “I’m in!” Little did he know we asked the weather Gods to crank up the heat special for him. You all should have seen the, to put it nicely, discomfort he was in. See him sweating buckets in the pic below? Mind you, this is a man who lives in Alaska walking around in 40 degree weather with a t-shirt on. But, he sucked it up like Tim the Tool Man would and carried on.
This next photo shows some of the stakes we placed in the ground to mark where the pier blocks were to be placed. The guys dug a few inches down, pounded the dirt, checked for level, pounded some more, checked level again and would continue the process until perfect. Then, they were finally able to set the pier blocks… all 18 blocks. This was no joke. It was tough and took hours, but it had to be done in order for the structure to be level and square.
The back side foundation framing done.
With the magic of hours gone by (and me having other things to do besides take pictures), here’s the framing almost complete. You’ll notice cross bars stabilizing the structure so it stays square.
Here’s the distance view so you can see where it is in the yard. Plus, you get to see the work area. Not too bad – they were great cleaner-upperers!
After four days of sweltering heat and hard labor, we have a framed structure!
Come back Monday to see the exterior of the shed finished up. Have a great weekend!