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Tuesday, July 22nd, 2008

When we were shopping for a house two winters ago I had a list of things I was looking for. There were some deal-breakers that I absolutely had to have like a flat driveway and two car garage, and some would-like-to-haves like a basement you can do more than just store stuff in and a shed. The shed was just about the only thing I didn't get when we bought our house, and I finally got around to building one this past week with the help of my parents.

I shopped around for a while before deciding on a specific shed. I looked into having the Amish build it on their end and deliver it, but for a 10'x10' it would've cost around $2300 not including delivery at around $2.50/mile. The other option I didn't go for was a guy in LeRoy (ShedGuy) who will come out and build a custom shed onsite including leveling. The ShedGuy wanted about $1700 for his services on a 10'x10', so I ended up buying a 10'x12' kit from 84Lumber that was 'precut' which included everything from a floor to roof shingles for $500+ cheaper.

Little did I know that 'precut' meant just the trusses were cut and assembled, everything else I had to measure and cut. It's a good thing my dad brought his circular saw because I didn't have one and without it we would've been dead in the water. We still ended up having to borrow some tools from friends and neighbors to get the job done.

The place I wanted it build it in the yard was relatively level to begin with, but there was a tree by the back corner, so we had to do a little leveling. I bought some small cinder blocks (16"x8"x1") and a bunch of crushed stone to use under the pressure-treated wood in contact with the ground, hopefully that'll keep it from rotting too soon.

shed 1

shed trusses

Once we got the ground level we were able to put up the pre-made trusses to form the general skeleton. Then came the most time consuming task: laying the floor. It took all day, from 9-4, to get the floor cut and placed. I had to ask my neighbor Steve for a sabre saw to enable us to cut notches in the floor boards to lock the trusses in place.

shed floor notches

Since the shed is 10'x12' and the flooring came in 4'x8' sheets we ended up having to rip one of the floor boards in half to fit down the middle. It was incredibly difficult to do this by hand with a circular saw so there was no gaps in the middle of the floor. It's one thing to make a straight cut a few inches long by hand with a power saw, but making an 8' cut was practically impossible. We did a good job, but it's not perfect. Once the floor was in we put up the side walls to steady the trusses and then framed out, cut and installed the siding for the front and back walls.

shed walls

Next came the roof sheathing, which was a bit of a puzzle because we had to figure out which pieces in which order to put up so we could screw them down from a ladder. If we didn't pay attention and did it out of order (which they didn't tell us) we would have had to get on the roof to screw them in which wouldn't have been secure enough to hold our weight.

shed roofing

The second longest part was shingling the roof. It took probably 4 or 5 hours to nail all of the shingles. The plans called for laying shingles right to the edge of the front and back of the roof, but we wanted a bit of an overhang to keep rain from dripping off the roof onto the top of the trim so we ended up having to cut a bunch of shingles which took even longer. I'm really glad I now know how to shingle a roof and have done it, but I'm even more glad that I don't have to do it again. Then the doors were hung, then taken down and hung again correctly. It was a bit tricky getting all the grooves in the siding to line up correctly when you're cutting them from different pieces of wood in different orientations; I think we did a good job though.

shed doors

Finally it took an entire day to cut and mount all the trim for the whole shed.

shed trim

Sure it doesn't sound that bad listed out in a few sentences, but it took 6 full days outside in high 80° weather. Even after the fact it sounds like it took way longer than it should have, but they only give you exactly the right amount of wood, if you cut something too short, you're screwed. So we had to double and triple measure everything and cut very precisely. I'm going to need a vacation just to get over this vacation.

Amazingly there was only 1 incident of blood-shed (pun intended) the entire time, not including some massive splinters. When my dad was putting a piece of trim on the front, the screw he was driving tipped off the end of the driver sending the phillips-head bit right through the edge of his thumb. After we bandaged him up, we just continued using the driver with the thumb meat stuck in the bit. By the end of the day it looked like a little piece of beef jerky.

finger meat


Comments (16) Subscribe

#1 - Jul 22, 2008 at 7:09 PM
Good thing your mom...the nurse was there to help with the bandaging! And that drill bit looks nasty!
#2 - Jul 22, 2008 at 7:20 PM
Yeah, she aided him in pushing the still-connected meat back into the hole in his thumb and putting the band-aid on.

My thumb hurts just thinking about it...
#3 - Jul 23, 2008 at 11:48 AM
OOOhhh. That is so bad! I showed this to Robert last night and he was like....eewwww, gross. He said your father told him all about the shed and mentioned nothing about the injury! How funny.
#4 - Jul 23, 2008 at 12:28 PM
Yeah he just went on like nothing happened. We kept asking him if he hurt and he just kept saying no. He must have been lying because he was bleeding through this bandaid all over the tools for a while.
#5 - Jul 24, 2008 at 4:27 PM
Just a bandaid? Sounds like he needed some wrapping with gauze and stuff.
#6 - Aug 2, 2008 at 6:53 AM
#7 - Aug 2, 2008 at 10:03 PM
I love your matching hats.
#8 - Aug 3, 2008 at 11:10 AM
Shedguy: Thanks! It was rather difficult, but I'm happy I did it myself. It's a nice sense of accomplishment.

Manda: I've been waiting quite a while for an opportunity to wear that hat...I couldn't resist.
#9 - Aug 3, 2008 at 7:33 PM
And where did those shorts come from? You and your father were making an interesting fashion statement there. And of course he had to be wearing a Honda shirt!!!
#10 - Aug 4, 2008 at 12:43 PM
Of course...but I think those shorts used to be mine from 15 years ago
#11 - Aug 5, 2008 at 2:59 PM
From 15 yrs ago! Usually, hand-me-downs go down not up! Then again it is your father!
#12 - Aug 20, 2008 at 5:36 PM
The shed has been finished for quite some time now, but I never got around to putting a final picture.

(Note my new garbage-picked ladder!)

#13 - May 16, 2014 at 1:06 AM
Hello Joe. I'd just like to let you know that I am in the final stages of building a custom gambrel shed of my own; and your pictures came in quite helpful throughout my building process. I am still working on the walls, but I referenced your pictures many times in the last few weeks. Thanks Joe!!
#14 - May 16, 2014 at 1:09 AM
If your interested I can email some pics of my shed to you. Just let me know!
#15 - Jul 3, 2014 at 7:38 PM
I built an identical shed, but mine is 12'x16'. This was in 2001. I'm in the process of tearing it down and moving it onto an asphalt foundation. The trusses on these "kits" are terrible due to the mandatory floor notching. The space around the notches allow snakes and mice to move in. No roof overhang, created a great environment for carpenter ants infesting the underside of the floor and back panels. I was looking for an alternative flooring option when I ran across your pics/post. I learned a lot from building mine though. Yours turned out very nice.
#16 - Jul 7, 2014 at 3:02 PM
I actually put mine on pressure treated 4x4s to get it up off the ground and some air flowing under it. That space is now currently home to a family of cats and a family of ground hogs. I'm sure by the time mine is 13 years old it'll need a lot of TLC...good luck :)

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