2014-08-07

The New Shed - Phase 1

There are three small sheds in my backyard. The 8' x 16' wooden one I helped build with my father in my teens, about 35 years ago. This shed has a workbench, and most of my tools. It is my workshop, and a storage place for good bits of wood and parts.

A change in the environment has seen a good part of the backyard become very soggy for much of the summer, and so the floor of this shed has rotted out. It has been repaired, but the rot has spread to the point where I don't expect the structure to last much longer. I can't even use it during the winter, because freezing and thawing of snow causes the door to be iced shut until spring.

The old shed in February 2014

The second shed is an 10' x 8' metal one, that we put up about 20 years ago to supplement the wooden one. It held things like bicycles, lawnmower, kid's outdoor toys, and so on. It was assembled on a wooden base that has started to succumb to the same rot issues, and the metal is breaking and bending. Another winter with lots of snow, or a few more storms with the wind stressing it, and it is going to disintegrate.

The third shed is one of those 8' x 10' yellow fabric on metal poles things from Canadian Tire. It was bought as a place to put my motorcycle out of the weather, when I got into that about 4 years ago. These things are not made to last, especially in the conditions we experience. I have to tie it to concrete blocks, and the truck, when the winds really pick up. They are known to turn into stringless kites. Remember the melt water? My motorcycle was also locked into place until spring.

Motorcycle slowly being released from the ice in April 2014.

So, here I am with 3 sheds that are on the verge of falling apart at about the same time, and they need to be replaced ASAP. The idea of building a large shed/garage/workshop has been tossing around in my head for about 10 years, but it is a scary, and expensive undertaking. I started taking talking to people about their sheds, and the common theme was, "you can't build a shed too big". Everyone wished they had gone larger.



February 2014 snow around the 2 small sheds.


In the spring of 2013 I got a copy of the town's regulations for accessory buildings, and did the calculations to determine that I would be able to construct a building of a maximum size of 20' x 28, by 17' high. It would have a concrete foundation to avoid future problems with rotten wood, and a narrow attic space for storage. In the main area there would be a small room I could heat to store all my computer gear and have a place to work all year.

My job is in land surveying, so I'm familiar with CAD programs in general, but not designing buildings specifically. Looking around the internet, I found a free 2D CAD program called LibreCAD that I could use to get the ideas from my head to paper. With my background, it wasn't too difficult to figure out, and I eventually had something I could print out. Then I made up a plot plan to show the town where the new building would be located.

My plans for the new shed/garage/workshop.

Contacting the town again with my plans, I was informed that I needed to stake out the area where the new shed would be located, and someone would come by to look it over. Well, the metal shed was occupying one corner of that space, and I would need it to continue holding stuff until the new one was finished. It had to be relocated before staking.

By now, being busy at work and life in general, it was getting late in the year, and thoughts of construction were postponed until 2014. At least the ball was rolling.