Monday, June 29, 2009

Doh! A door!

Adelaide asks:
"What kind of door will the garden shed have?"

And of course there's a story there. The door was free - $0. And it came with a complete jamb - including threshold. And the jamb was in great shape.

So, I was riding the bus home from work one day, and as it drove by our old neighborhood, I happened to catch a glimpse of this big door (with jamb) leaned up against a garbage can on a side street. In our city, stuff on the curb is fair game, and frequently raided.

Completely spazzing out, I called Ken from the bus. "There's a door on the side of the road. We just have to go back and look at it. Someday if we build a shed we could maybe use it. And anyways, it's free!"

Always open to my wacky adventures in dumpster-diving, Ken immediately sensed the urgency and we raced back up the hill in the little Suby, parked by the door - which thankfully no one had snagged yet - and declared it a superb find. And on the roof rack it went.

This was, oh, over a year ago. Since then, it's sat out in the garage, often in the way and totally neglected. The plan was to slap on some fresh paint and use it on the shed. Easy, right?

Wrong. The minute I began feather-sanding a chipped spot, I saw that it was fir - like all our other doors in the house. And out came the stripper. Several goopy days and three coats of spar varnish later, here it is. The glass was completely intact and the door had no condition problems whatsoever. Definitely a find! And the jamb was just the icing on the cake - talk about an easy installation!

This week (if it ever stops raining) we will install it. We're very close to 40 days of rain, so perhaps we should just turn the shed into an ark. Cedar floats well, right?

Friday, June 26, 2009

You put your backside in...

..and you shake it all about. Here's the only picture that didn't have my horribly white, non-tan legs in it as I sat enjoying my end-of-day beverage (thanks Ken, today's photographer of legs-that-haven't-seen-the-sun-at-all).

The shake master did the back side (which faces the street, so it's sort of a front side too) of the shake today. I love it!

I finished painting the nail holes in the trim and pulled about three metric tons of weeds from the gardens in between running back & forth to help with shake-o-rama. Once it stopped raining so we could see what was going on out there, we realized we'd better get the gardens tidied up or we'd look pretty foolish if we have this awesome garden shed and the gardens are all a wreck!

This weekend we'll hopefully shake some more (you put your left side in...) and I will hopefully cut and paint the fascia boards, plus get some spar varnish on the door (painfully slow door progress, that).

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

On a dark & stormy night...

I realized we haven't updated folks on the shed. Friends are starting to email (How is the shed going? Any progress on the shed? etc., etc.). So here you go.

We have been kicking ass on the shed, EXCEPT that it won't freakin' stop raining. Hello, we're wet enough already.

The good news: I can HEAR the broccoli plants growing - they're so enjoying the soaking.

The bad news: crappy weather for cedar shake siding (what's the verb for that? Cedar shaking? Cedar shake siding? I guess "applying cedar shake" but it sounds so snooty).

But, progress has occurred. Ken shingled the whole roof (shingles courtesy of the ReStore, $15!), did a lovely job with drip edge, flashed all the corners where the posts stick out, and tarpapered the sheeting.

While Mr. Roof did his thang, I cut and put on sheeting all over the sides of the shed (before the tarpaper), painted, cut, and installed all the trim, and otherwise got in the way of the shingling process. Oh, and I built an entire window jamb from scratch, using scrap wood in the garage. I had to first go to the Big Box and sketch out window jamb construction - they have a cutaway display window that was perfect. Though I got lots of odd looks with my pencil & sketchpad in the middle of the store. Joke's on them - our window was a $6 salvage jobby and the jamb was free!

Then we hunted down and watched several videos of people cedar shaking (there it is again! grr!) houses. We particularly liked this one with Tom Silva (my personal hero). What a date night activity. :)

Then Ken bravely charged ahead with a whole lotta shakin'. Neither one of us has ever worked with cedar shake so the shed was a great, small project to start with. It took all day to do one side - but we feel like the rest will be much quicker. Also, I found out that broken bundles of shake can be considered cull lumber at the Big Box, and therefore half off. The shakes aren't broken - it's just that the cable that's supposed to tie them neatly together is broken, so they look messy and there's no guarantee you have a full bundle. Sweet, though!

And finally, I looked more closely at the free door we found on the side of the road - jamb completely intact! - last year, and realized that it's totally awesome fir. So instead of quick & dirty painting, I'm in the throes of paint stripping - again - but it's turning out to be gorgeous. So Susie - maybe you feel better knowing that someone else is elbow-deep in the goo this week.

Anyways, here's where she stands, sopping wet in the dark and with only one side clad. (I'm not even going to try it - shaken? Shaked? Ugh. I give up.)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Shameless plug

Eddy's in a calendar contest (with about a hundred other adorable beagles). You can vote for him online (or the beagle of your choice) at:

Ed's # P033, P097, and P117.

It costs $2/vote, but it's tax deductible and for a good cause.

Also, you can always donate old blankets, towels, pillows, etc. to your local animal shelter - perfect for when you finish that bedroom or bath remodel and decide to spring for some new linens.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Il pleut.

Oui. It is raining. Story of this week. We were totally cruising on the shed then it decided to be positively dreary all week.

Yesterday, the rain stopped and things dried out - so Ken heroically decided to press on, installing enough of the roof that it would be OK if (who are we kidding -- when) it started raining again last night.

We got the rafters up, sheeting on, and tarpaper down - and still had an hour of sunlight left to enjoy a beverage and admire the shed - now really taking shape.

There's a rumor that tomorrow that big, bright, shiny nuclear reactor in the sky will come out - and we can shingle and get going on the siding.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Now we're getting somewhere...

After several trips to the lumber yard (thankfully only about a half mile away) due to slightly enlarging the shed (concrete snafu), we have the whole damn thing framed. And it's pretty awesome, if we can toot our own horn a sec.

Here's Ken up top, hammering. Daredevil, you.

Here's the view from up top. We used the leftover pieces of decking that were too short to be fence panels. So, cedar floor = freebie!

Here's the framing, all in place & ready for sheeting (rafters are not attached in this one).

And, the rafter tails - which took inspiration from the house.

In order to cut the rafter tails, I had to make an emergency run to Sears (in my sweaty work clothes), slap my dead Craftsman one on the counter (15+ yr old, 1/4 hp, and burnt out) and ask for a saw with MORE POWER! We absolutely love the new one. It's the beefier, better quality Craftsman (without being a Pro version) and worth every penny. Should have gotten it years ago.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Shouldn't have joked...

We had a shed setback today. It will turn out fine, but progress has been very slow. We used some concrete that apparently was old? Had already activated? And didn't set. Poured the last 2 footers for the shed on Weds. and when they still were green today, we smashed them up and will start over tomorrow.


We sprung for the super-quick set concrete, so tomorrow we'll either have good, solid piers or have made ANOTHER total mess. Anyone care to place a wager?

The good news is that we framed the back wall and cleaned, prepped, and painted the little window we got for the shed. And then Ken took me out for a stroll to the store for a Slush Puppy, in our crummy work clothes. I got blue, of course.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Shed's done!

Kidding, kidding. This is just a Photoshop mockup, so we could see how it might look before we build it.

We did manage to get the concrete piers poured and the weather is supposed to be lovely for several days, so we're hoping to get the shed looking somewhat like the photo fairly soon.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Do fence me in

With the assistance of aforementioned Nick, who was happy to help finish the fence with us (or was a good faker), we finished the fence portion of the fence-pergola-shed complex in the side yard.
It's awesome. Let us count the ways:
  1. No more gawkers judging our choice of cheapo 'working outside today' beer.

  2. We're more confident about wearing our holey, ill-fitting, completely out-of-style work wear (fortunately, nothing with shoulder pads, acid washing, or fringe, but close) and not being seen by the style police.

  3. Bending over in the garden is now A-OK, and no one will wonder if it's a horrible plywood cutout or the real thing.

  4. Only those who make it past the fence will realize the rest of the lawn is nothing but weeds! The front yard's reasonable looking grass is the perfect camoflage. And finally...

  5. We can now peep at THEM through the fence slats, virtually unnoticed.
Oh, how the tables have turned.

Next up: the garden shed. Still finalizing plans and translating Ken's verbal description into my visual one (and vice versa). Maybe next weekend...