Friday, September 03, 2010


Ok... this is kind of a long post as we are trying to play catch up...

With all of our plants out of the way and the dirt somewhat leveled out, we mapped out the area in which the garden shed would sit. Anything under 200 sq. ft. does not require a building permit so we designed the shed to be 18' x 11' which comes in just under 200 sq. ft.

The shed is pretty much being made from the old shed we tore down so we could build the office. With the exception of six 16 foot long 2x6's that we had to buy for additional roof joists. So all but those, nails and some door hardware and this is pretty much a free structure for us. Oh did I mention John and I are the only two building it? With the help of our amazing team from Mauka Builders last summer on the office construction (we still owe you images of that finished project... soon we promise), we learned a lot more than we already had already stored in our construction data base... that and the aide of some internet videos.

We have already erected 2 walls as of yesterday and hope to have all 4 up tomorrow as well as the roof joists by Sunday, but we have other yard chores that need to take priority.

Here are a few illustrations we did on the computer to design the shed followed by some step by step images. It will be painted to match the office and house... orange doors and all.

First we placed 1 stakes at each corner and connected with string to determine the footprint and size and placement of the shed. You can see the avocado tree there behind the blocks.. it's just to the right. We are hoping that the shed will block some of the wind that tortures the poor thing and not blow the flowers off before they have a chance to fruit.

Once the footprint and placement were determined, we then placed 2 stakes outside each corner (top image) so that the string would criss cross over the true corner. This also allowed us to dig out the dirt for each footing unimpeded by any stakes. The string was also set at the proper height so each corner was level. The pier blocks were then lined up with the string to make sure they were square (bottom image). Gravel was added to the bottom of the hole for the blocks to rest on.

Once the outside blocks were set, a straight board was placed on top and the levels checked.
Knowing that the outsides were level we dug holes for and placed the center blocks.
Once all were level we attached the outside base and floor joist lip. Rather than using joist hangers, we used 2x6's on their sides to act as a lip to hold the floor joists. This allowed us to use up wood from the pile and save us from having to buy joist hangers. It also save on time as the joist hangers are 4 nails each end and by doing the lip method allowed us to use 2 nails on each end. The lip only runs the 3 lengths of the shed and not on the ends. You can see it in the nearest front corner in the 2nd image.

Next we gathered all of the used 2x6 scraps we were going to use for the floor joists and roughly placed them into position - 16" on center (top image). John then began marking and cutting while I nailed them into place.

Top 2 image shows the floor joist lip and where I went along and pre-nailed where the joists would go while John was measuring and cutting the boards. This way I could just zip down the line once the boards were cut without having to fumble with nails and trying to hold boards in place. I'm a bit OCD that way.

By the end of the day we had all the floor joists in place and blocked. The blocks are the short boards placed between the joists to add stability.

We still had a few hours left in the day and wasted no time getting the floor boards in place. I picked up all this Trex composite decking from our neighbors in trade for a small design project. We had the perfect amount with enough left over for a ramp. In the top image you can get a better view of the floor joist lip and can see where we placed a 2x4 on the outer edge to act as the bottom of the wall frame. The floor boards will set within the wall frame.

The next day we started cutting and placing the floor. At first we were going to square each board off as they were all mitered from being used in a previous decking setup, but decided we could just use them as is.

TAH-DAH!!! A little stage! 


LaurensMama said...

I want you two to be my husbands.

Conn said...

is that legal in your part of the country?

Steve Asbell said...

"Is that legal?" Thats really funny. I am so impressed with the scale and planning involved in this project. I'll definitely have to share this post.

Conn said...

Thanks RG...
what part of florida are you in?

LaurensMama said...

on a more serious note (though the first comment was plenty serious, let me tell ya) -

Did you like working with Trex? I am considering it for a future deck re-do project.

Conn said...

working with trex was ok... it installed perfectly.

you do need to let it sit in the sun for weeks before installing it because it fades at least 3 shades. so anything under an awning that gets no sun will not fade as fast as the parts that do. so it says to pre fade it for a good amount of time... which meant our yard had trex strewn all over it ... and we faded it for 3 months.

our color for the lanai was called saddle which was a nice orang-y brown and now it's just tan. that sucks. the shed floor was not so important to us as it was already used and will get dirty anyway...

the trex we have on the lanai stains easily - any food dropped on it ...STAINED... which stinks because we eat out there a lot... sunscreen dropped on it... STAINED... around the grill....STAINED. we are always running to get soap and water... well were. we have learned to just say --- to hell with it. eventually some of the satins seem to fade.

and the areas that are not under the lanai ... about 3 feet on 2 sides tend to mold... not sure why since those areas get the most sun. we bought it so it would be low maintenance and we are always cleaning it. i called trex and they suggested a list of cleaners... it's really irritating.

we wanted Veranda from home depot... but it was a drama to get it ordered in our color. it fades as well... to what extent i am not sure. trex has a fake wood texture which i'm not jazzed on... veranda is nice clean grooves.

consumer reports rates veranda higher.

you can get samples of it from most resellers...
pick some up and fade them... stain them on purpose.... it's not rotting and replacing rotting boards over staining.

trex did inform me that the Accents style is still covered under warranty if you decide to satin it a color or give it a protective coat... with products they approve of course.

LaurensMama said...


you are awesome.
wish i were 1/1000 that awesome.

for future reference, i have copied/pasted your Trex tips to your e-mail pix.

thank you, dear boy.

Conn said...

awwww. laurens Mama you are MOST AWESOME and sweet.

glad to be of service.