RENOVATING THE SHEDS - 28 Aug - 3 Oct 2001

Three scared mice, see how they run

Front of shed
The "Before" shot looking at the south side.
Back of shed
The back side with the shingles and rotted decking removed
Rotted rafters
The ends of the rafters and first four sheathing boards are rotted.

White-footed Mouse, Peromyscus leucopus There was plenty of evidence of ant and rodent infestation but I saw neither. The boxed soffits were, I think, contributing to the mouse population by providing a secure home as well as easy access to the outside. I will not box them again.

shed renovation
Just removed the interior stud wall that partitioned the building into a chicken coop/workshop. Top, bottom and end studs still fixed as well as a piece of the ceiling panel. Note the light coming in from the missing decking. This made it easier and more pleasant to work in what would otherwise have been a dark space.
shed renovation
Center partition completely removed as well as all attachments on the north wall. Note the corks. The mice got into them and when I pulled down the bag which was overhead, they came raining down all over me and everywhere.

Soffits, trim, debris & nails removed, ready for reconstruction
Burn Pile
The guts in the burn pile

August 29: The rotted sill and chicken door job

Rotted northeast corner

The Chicken Door
Rotted northeast corner

The Chicken Door
This was a bummer to discover. The corner is completely rotted away. I don't know what I will do about this but, for now, it has to stay. I dug away a lot of dirt from under and around the area. I think there was a flood at one time (at least) that washed in the fine soil I found under there. It was touching the wood underneath which may have been a contributing factor to the rot. I then brought up several buckets of gravel and small stones from the brook and laid that down then placed a flat rock under the joist near the sill just under the left side of the chicken door and then jammed another flat rock on top of that and hammered it in with the maul to support that joist. I cleaned away as much rotted wood as i could and slathered everything with used motor oil. Then I framed in the chicken door and lastly, cut 3/4" plywood (the old Evergreen ping-pong table top) to scab over the openings. Tomorrow I hope to staple heavy mouse-proof wire fencing all around the corner to thwart that entry. The motor oil will deter them as well. I'm still pondering the roof job.

August 30: The Bird Cage Shed
birdcage shed birdcage shed

car loaded Today was great. I went to the dump and got rid of 8 dog food bags of roofing shingles, almost all of the north side, (I haven't stripped the south side yet) and 3 big bags of misc garbage. It cost me $20. Then I went to RK Miles and got the roofing for the big shed, four 14 footers, which I will have to cut in half, a couple of 14' framing studs to support it in the car and 4 sheets of grayboard insulation, a 100' extension cord, and some coated sinkers. That all cost me $162. I also applied for an account. Then I came home and beefed up the bird cage shed and ran out of framing studs. Tomorrow, another run to Miles in Arlington for studs and Wilcox for lots more roughcut. Zowee!!! I'm on a roll!

August 31: The Tool Shed

bird cage shed Miserably hot. Worked on the computer for a couple hours then dashed to Bennington to get some supplies that I could only get at Greenberg's. That was my only stop and I went straight to Wilcox for more roughcut. Ten 1x6x12, four 1x8x12 and eight 2x4x8. I already had 10 2x4x8 framing studs in the car! So, as you can see, I got up the rafters today. There were some humorous moments. I have never done it before. I cut the first pair and the bird's mouth was perfect! I am getting quite good at making accurate cuts. It was too dark to take a picture when I finished but I have all but one sheathing board on the east side now and two on the short front section next to the door. These middle pieces are custom cuts as the space is more than 6 inches wide. The top half of each middle section on all three sides (not the door side) will have a translucent panel on it the same as the roof panels to let in more light as well as provide some architectural interest. I have officially christened this shed the Tool Shed. There will be no more talk about birds but I think Zoe will spend the winter in here with the tools.

Hmmmmm... I forgot to buy the ridge piece for the big shed.

September 1
tool shed rafters tool shed rafters

Big storm last night, lots of driving rain, thunder and lightening. All my sheds got wet inside. No problem. Today began cool and dismal and I worked all morning at the computer. But the sun came out in the afternoon and I worked on the rafters... mostly installing the blocking. By not putting strapping over the rafters which would certainly have been easier, this way the clear panels will sit flush with the rafters and it will have a nicer look. I also sheathed the back wall and installed the lucite panel (pic 4). It looks black because it was almost dark and the camera flash reflected.

tool shed tool shed looking in

September 2
A somewhat discouraging day. Two steps forward and one step back. By the end of the day I realized 1) how it (the roof) would have been done conventionally, 2) how much extra work I've made for myself by doing it the way I did. Ultimately, it will work out and look very nice, but my inexperience has cost me precious time. I didn't buy enough "bumped" nailers (pic 1 blowup) for the roof panels and Monday is a holiday so I can't put up the east side of the roof until at least then. I also went out to the big shed and carefully patched with duck tape the black plastic that is covering the open sheathing. Then some blam, blam, blam, tearing out the galvanized box with attached wire stove and refrigerator racks that was used for I-can't-imagine-what but was attached like it was meant to hold a Grizzly bear. Then, with aluminum flashing and mothballs, I moused-deterred the corner from whence this apparatus was extracted.

Panels going up

Looking in

From the back

September 4
Forgot to take photos the last two days. I've completely reamed out the big shed and evicted all mice... the last community was in an old circuit breaker box. When I opened it, they came popping out like a jack-in-the-box and a couple bounced off me. There were lots of babies of all ages and a couple mom's hung in so I closed it up and carried it outside and laid it down carefully. Today when I looked, all had been evacuated... I wonder where? I salvaged a stout oak table top which will become two of the three shelves in the tool shed. Tomorrow, I hope to finish the roof of the tool shed and maybe make the door. Then I can turn my full attention to the big shed. I bought a tarp today large enough to comfortably cover the whole roof so I may begin stripping the south side in a day or two.

September 5
Stripped the south side of the big shed roof. Camera ran out of batteries so I only got 2 pics. These illustrate the best technique I've found so far, after tearing off at least 4 roofs in my life. Working from the top, and left to right, I pried up about 3 courses at once then use my feet to push these away. When I got to the right edge, I came back to the left, pried another 3 courses and continued to roll up the whole lot as one. This made for very fast, neat, intact work. I think I made only 4 passes, then the whole lot tipped over the edge and I was able to fold the large pieces neatly in piles for hauling away. Then I removed the soffits. Only the very last sheathing board was rotted and I removed that, too.

After that I went back to the tool shed project and installed the panel nailers and two more panels on east side. There remains only the small center section on each side and my step ladder is not tall enough so I went to Mom's and got her 6' step ladder. I can't use a regular ladder against those panels. I hope to finish the roof panels tomorrow. Billy came over late in the day to borrow my mower and I consulted with him about the rafter ends and we came to an agreement about how that will be done.

Using my feet

The giant curl about to take the plunge

The roof is on

September 7
September 6
I got a late start and was not feeling too energetic today. Pottered about quite a bit, organizing, cleaning up, moving things around. Moved the lumber pile and got the roof on the shed. Next comes the gable ends but that may have to wait a few days.

7 Sept

September 9 - Tool Shed Done
9 Sept 9 Sept 9 Sept

This is enough of this for this season. I have to shingle the gable ends and put on the rest of the battens, but that can wait. Time to get the roof on the big shed.

October 3: My birthday and I will always remember that was the day I got the shed roof on.

shed roof
The view from the north, standing
just to the right of the burn site
north side view
From the roof, the north side view
showing the (zero) remains of the burn pile

Panoramic Shed Roof View Looking South
Panoramic view from the roof, facing south

Looking east from the roof
Looking east from the roof
Looking down at the brook
Looking west into the brook*

*That is the rock retaining wall I'm building. It's 2/3 towards completion... that is, 2/3 of its finished height. The flood in January took out 5 feet of the bank. There remains only three feet in front of the door. This is a rather odd perspective, looking almost straight down.

As for the shed, next year the plan is to reconstruct the rafter ends and hopefully side it. That shiplap is nailed directly onto the studs, no sheathing.

Now I have to get to the front side of the house.

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