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2011 Shed Remodel Project



In 2011, we decided to remodel our shed, which is attached to the back of our garage.† It actually consisted of an open-front shed and a back part with doors.† It has been used to store firewood, garden tools, and my lawnmowers (a push mower and a riding mower).† It has always been a real mess and has needed a good cleanout since we moved in here, in 1987.† It had a dirt floor and was infested with rats.† One of the reasons for the remodel was to make it rat-proof, which would mean a concrete floor and doors that would close.† The roof was also badly in need of replacement.† The rain gutter along the back had fallen off as well, so installing new gutters was part of the project.† In addition, there had been raised flower beds at the base of the greenhouse extension to the garage and the siding on the greenhouse had rotted at the bottom.† Christina wanted to have a concrete pad put in, so she could put flower pots in that place.† While we were at it, we thought we might as well make a concrete pad for the BBQ, which has been sitting on the grass/dirt next to the greenhouse.


The first big job was clearing out the shed.† We had been using it as a staging area for stuff that needed to be hauled to the dump, and the back part was still full of stuff that my grandfather had accumulated over the years Ė pipes, pipe fittings, and all kinds of other junk.† Here is a picture of the first pile of stuff for the dump:



Here is a picture of some of the firewood, after more than a third of it had already been hauled out:



Christina was worried about hanta virus (from deer mice) and contamination from the rat debris, so she suited up for the cleanout process:



We ran into all kinds of tools, including some mystery ones.† We think this is some kind of weed digger:



I donít know what this next one is.† The outside pieces donít move now, but they must have moved at some point.



Here is one that I think might be a wedge for splitting wood, with a ratchet handle to twist the wood and split it.† Or, maybe it is intended to be driven into the end of a log, and then the ratchet used to rotate the log.† Or, maybe something else.



My grandfather was a hunter, and he used to make his own bullets.† There was over 500 pounds of lead in the back shed, which I managed to sell for about $130 at the local metal scrap yard.



Each of those boxes weighed about 70 or 80 pounds.† For a size perspective, the round pieces are old one pound coffee cans, filled with lead.† A coffee can of lead weighs about 17 pounds, I learned.


These odd crowbars had to have had a specialized use.† It has been suggested that they are intended to be used to twist 2x4ís.† There is a third one, too, a size smaller than these.† Again, for size, that is a one pound coffee can, full of lead.



There were a bunch of metal pieces that must have been dies or tools of some kind, but I canít imagine what for:



We put all the scrap metal into a big pile, and I put up an ad on Craigís List to give it away for free.† Within 20 minutes, I had three responses from people who would be glad to come haul it away.† It really loaded down the full size pickup truck that the guy hauled it away in.† He was glad to get it, and I was very glad to be rid of it.† I could have gotten a few bucks for it at the scrap yard, but it wasnít worth it to me to have to haul it there.† Here is the picture I put up on Craigís List:



So, that completed the first phase, the cleanout.† It was a big job.† Here is what the shed looked like after the cleanout.† First, a front view:



Here is a view from the end:



And a detail shot, showing the poor condition of the roof:



The first step in the actual remodel was cutting off the back end of the shed and putting on the new roof.† The idea was to make a concrete pad on the back for the firewood, and leave a roof overhang to protect it from the rain.† Here is a picture of things after the new roof went on and the end had been cut off, from the front:



Here is that same roof detail, with the new roof and flashing:



And, from the end, showing the old wall on the ground:



The blue tarp on the right is covering the siding that had been taken off, for reuse later.† Our house and garage have old cedar siding.† It has never been painted, stained or treated in any way, in the 63 years it has been there.† Iím told that you canít buy cedar that good any more, though.† Here is what the inside looked like at that point:



The next big step was pouring the concrete.† They brought in a huge truck of concrete, and then had to move it by wheelbarrow to the various places it needed to go.† Here is the interior, all ready for the concrete:



Here is the greenhouse, ready for concrete.† Note the rotting of the siding, where it had been touching dirt.† This was not the original house siding, it was cedar that had been bought in the early 90ís.



Here is the huge concrete truck:



And, here the workers are hauling the concrete.† There was supposed to be a second truck, a pumper, to pump the concrete to the places it was needed, but someone decided to economize and the guys had to use wheelbarrows, which was a surprise to them when they got here.† It all worked out in the end, but there was a minor kerfluffle for a while there.† Our primary contractor promised the guys a case of beer, and they were okay with the wheelbarrows after that.






There was some framing work around the doors to do, the repair of the rotted boards on the greenhouse, and the replacement of the siding and finishing the gable on the back, but then the job was put on hold while we went off to Hawaii for a couple of weeks.† When we got back, they put up the new doors and installed the rain gutters.† All that was left after that was some final trim on the inside, to rat-proof the place, especially under the eaves, where the roof overhangs.† Here are the more or less final pictures, before the firewood gets moved back or the inside has any of the improvements we plan (electrical outlets, more lights, a work bench, racks to hang garden tools on, maybe some shelves, etc).† That can all be done over a period of time, though, as now it can be closed up and the rats kept out.† Here are the pictures after the doors and gutters were installed:







Here is a before and after comparison, from the front:



And one from the end:



There is still a lot of work to do, to move everything back in (much of it is in the barn, which is a whole other project for another year) and fix up the inside part, but at least we can keep the rats out now.† We lived with it the old way for 24 years, and finally we are moving ahead.