This is my new shed. I just finished building it. I’m posting this blog as a public service to all of you out there who might be contemplating building your own shed to RUN AWAY SCREAMING. This beast took me three months, riddled my body with scars, and made me blow a gasket pretty much every weekend.
Why, do you ask, did it take three months? “I thought you were pretty handy with tools building stuff,” I hear you cry. And yet, isn’t it interesting that a rectangular building not much larger than a twin bed can provide so many opportunities for such flummoxation?
Here’s the thing: I don’t like other people doing what I can do for myself. And since Salem put me on Betty Mills’ corporate mailing list, I saw a good deal on a 4’x10′ garden shed that seemed to be our cup of tea; it had a “lean-to” look that was perfect for this tiny space between our house and the next, and we could finally get our bikes out of the dining room.
First off, I had to build the thing into the tiny space itself, meaning I couldn’t just build it in the yard and move it – that would mean uprooting trees and all kinds of crap. Thus my power drill screwdriver was useless, which meant sticking my hand into blind 4-inch crevices and installing screws with this:
Technically, it’s a Husky ratchet and socket set, but I’ve come to know it as the ArthritisMaker 3000™, and it nearly killed my spirit. After about five screws, I was done for the day. Half of the screws wouldn’t even work with it, so I was forced to use other methods so chintzy that I won’t mention them here.
Secondly, the Shed Assembly Instructions was written by either a sadistic bastard or a robot with no sense of narrative flow. Take this, for instance:
1. After the 3rd side siding is fastened to the 2nd, roll it over on the roof and fasten as before.
Um, WHAT? Are you fucking kidding me? First, Mr. Manual, you never used the term “1st side siding” or “2nd side siding” before, so I don’t know what the “3rd side siding” is. And when you say “after,” are you assuming that I already did it – I mean, clairvoyantly – since “Step 7” didn’t mention it? And how can I “fasten as before” when this is the first time I’ve been asked to do anything like this?
Oh, I could go on, but you would have had to been there to understand the backbreaking idiocy of it all. And at the end of the three months, I had a… vaguely crappy aluminum shed. Yeah, it’ll be fine, and it’s pretty airtight and we can keep the bikes, barbecue and random shite in there, but heed my warning.
If you have a modicum of building skills, just design a shed yourself and build it out of pressure-treated wood using a simple frame. Stick a tiny shingled roof on it, and voilà! Barring that, get a professional Shed Man (or Woman) to plop a pre-made shed on your property while you sit in a hammock sipping Pimm’s and lemon soda.