Tuesday, May 26, 2020

0 Ditch the Tarp - Build a DIY Woodshed

Six years ago, we moved our fire pit from the middle of the back yard to a better location, closer to the house and near some trees so it felt a little more defined. We also made a proper fire pit, instead of just burning stuff on a pile of ash.

Ever since then, we've either covered the wood with tarp, or just forgot and had to struggle to get a fire going after a rain. We've also usually just burned sticks and branches we got from the woods, or scrap wood from other projects, but this year we actually bought a half face cord of wood. Instead of dealing with putting it on the ground and covering it with a tarp, I decided to finally build a proper woodshed.

This entire project was created using nothing new/purchased. I started with some 12"x12" concrete pavers, 4 railroad ties cut to 4' each and some leftover deck boards. I put the pavers in a 4'x8' rectangle pattern and attached the deck boards on three sides, top and bottom, to create a rough frame. To create a sloped roof, I added (2) 4"x4" scrap pieces to the tops of the front ties, tying them in with more deck boards on the face. Oliver found a couple of triangle pieces in the scrap bin and insisted I add the triangle design to the front. For the start of the roof, I grabbed a bunch of leftover sheathing and laid them on top.

The logs you see in the background have been just laying on the ground, and that's never good, so I decided to make the floor out of a ton of broken concrete pieces we dug up when creating the foundation for our next project, the barn/studio/shed expansion. Once the floor was in, we added all the wood.

Now, this is not exactly waterproof, but as luck would have it, our friends Katie & Chris were ripping out their deck, so I offered to take the boards to use as the wrap on this shed, which I learned makes great siding from our Bear Teeth Cabin build.

Since the extra piece gap was so small, I opted to just do an overlapping piece than try to rip a board that small. I also didn't have the right length pieces, so there's a little bit of a gap there that eventually if I find someone else with extra deck boards I'll re-cut to match and close that up, but for now I stuck with what I had on hand.

One thing I didn't take pics of is the screen - I added an angled 2"x6" on each side to support the roof, and then in the triangle gap that remained, I stapled in some window screen to keep airflow but keep the bugs and rain out of that gap. You'll see it below in the roof pics.

Now, I'd considered leaving the front open, but I opted instead to use the remaining short deck board cutoffs to make a middle wall while using the barn doors from our recent barn tear down to finish it off. I added two more concrete pavers, a couple posts I took from the deck and attached it to the front header board.

Now this is the way it stood for over a month, using a tarp on the roof to keep the rain out, while I worked on other projects. Finally, in mid-May, I called up my roofing guy to see if he had some extra underlayment - I had plenty of leftover shingles from getting our roof done, but no underlayment, nails, etc. He was gracious enough to bring over some end rolls of DiamondDeck, a bag of nails and some drip edge so I could get a proper roof on. I started by adding 2x4 joists on the inside to screw the plywood deck pieces to. Once the plywood was all secured, I started the actual roof.

I stapled on the DiamondDeck (pretty sure there shouldn't be a vertical seam like that, but I was working with scraps, so I did what I could to get the most coverage), nailed in the drip edge on the sides and bottom edge and then started nailing in the shingles. Now, I'm pretty sure there's a rule of thumb for starting the shingles so the seam is staggered - I think it's like cutting the shingles into 1/3 / 2/3 pieces and then using those in succession (1/3, whole, 2/3, repeat), and I did do that for the first couple of rows, but then I just did it like I would a wood floor and cut off the end of a row and used that to start the next row. If it was too short, I tossed it. It worked out very well, and in like 2 hours I had a roof.

I then added some hooks I got from buying some disassembled lockers (I seriously have SO many of these hooks) to hold the wood saws, machete and hatchet (not pictured) inside the door. There's also a small shelf inside the middle wall that holds lighters, bottle opener, bug spray, etc.

I then added two bolt locks that I had laying around so the doors would stay shut. And because I can't stop messing with things, I had a gallon of barn red paint in the garage that I've never used, and thought the doors might look better with that red on them. As soon as I started painting I had a mild panic attack thinking I'd made a HUGE mistake - it went on so bright and glossy, but I'd already committed, so I finished it out. Once it dried, I was relieved - it looked awesome.

And there you have it! It's one of the most practical builds I've ever finished, and it's just in time for a summer of bonfires and outdoor gatherings.


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