Backyard shed - your thoughts - Router Forums
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post #1 of 80 (permalink) Old 01-26-2010, 01:11 PM Thread Starter
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Default Backyard shed - your thoughts

Might as well see what you think, as this project is quite a while down the road...probably.

We have a shed in the backyard, exterior looks like ply. Here's what I think/know of it: (opinion is *)

Good:
-doesn't leak
-it hasn't fallen down yet
-umm, it doesn't leak - looks to be a good roof
-I have one
-has lights and outlet

Bad:
-side of the shed (rear of yard) is rotting. Old trunks/firewood have been stored next to it.
-water damage to said side and portion of floor/wall
-smells like mold*
-stuff inside is growing mold spots on fabric
-my detailing supplies froze. When I shut the window, I knew why it was left open - the smell
-no ventilation
-no way to keep things proper temp
-tools may start to rust*
-built on an incline - it's still very sturdy, but they didn't support it properly. One corner has blocks that are leaning. Blocks are not solid and not properly seated.
-may be too close to property line
-if there's power running to it, I have no idea what's wrong. Most likely the power got severed somewhere. Underground line, I presume.

I think that about covers it. This was done on the cheap, however many years ago. The interior is probably ply, and not done very well. I believe before we moved in a year ago, it was a very old couple that lived here and probably didn't have much use for it. It's my only outside the house storage, as I have a single car carport and my crawlspace holds my gas water heater and furnace - nothing getting stored down there.

So, I'm left with three options: leave it, rebuild, or repair. I'd really like to tear it down and rebuild, but I'm worried about having to move it due to code, and how expensive that might be. Repairing it wouldn't be that bad of an option, seeing as how the roof is in good shape. However it's not the ideal size (I think 8x8, perhaps 10x10 - need to measure). I would also want to make a proper foundation. I don't think it's going to fall down the hill, but still. The other thing is the wiring - I can do my share of fixing, but I've always been curious as to what exactly happened to the power supply. Did it get diverted when the extension to the house was built? That was ten years ago. Did they do without power ever since?

It needs at least the following if I repair:
-at least a quarter of the exterior walls need to be replaced
-carpet has got to go - may reveal damage to that particular corner
-rest of interior should be gutted. Walls and probably ceiling (if I don't leave an open attic) would become OSB.
-Window may need to be replaced. Might as well if I'm gutting it.
-Insulation install
-Need to figure out a way to vent the fumes from gas can and etc, while keeping temperature moderate
-foundation fix - hardest part of all

What say you? I wish I could just build a new one right beside it (and I might be able to) but there's very little of our yard that is flat. Future (perhaps this year) plans call for me to build two block retaining walls to give us a bit more flat area and drainage relief towards the house. Building or repairing doesn't faze me either way as it pertains to ability. I saw a 16x12 unit at Lowes that I would love to have, but I know I can beat their $5k price tag.
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post #2 of 80 (permalink) Old 01-26-2010, 01:59 PM
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Find out what code is where you live. Just call the local building department & tell them you want information on building a storage shed and what codes if any you need to follow. In my area I can build a shed up to so many square ft without a permit as long as I follow set backs from property lines. They may have preset prices for permits depending on size of shed. I think you could build for less then the Lowe's unit also.

Most time the cost of permits are determined by cost of project. It's a shed not living space so it will not cost that much. Since you are the home owner you would qualify as owner/builder on this project. So the cost would be determined by cost of material. They usually just ask for an estimate from you on cost. They don't ask for receipts of material because you are suppose apply for permit before you start so there would be none yet. If you use a contractor on a project they will ask for his written estimate he gave you & the contractor should take care of any permits anyway. If you go the permitted route it shouldn't cost that much. Calling for info may help on direction you go as far as repair, expand existing or just replace. After all how much could some plywood & a few 2x4s cost anyway?

James
Whittier, CA.

Have a nice & safe day!

Last edited by jlord; 01-26-2010 at 02:14 PM.
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post #3 of 80 (permalink) Old 01-26-2010, 02:21 PM
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If you repair existing you will need to get rid of the mold. Health problem. As far as gas can & the such. Could you build a small vented storage cabinet on outside of shed to house such items that give off fumes?

James
Whittier, CA.

Have a nice & safe day!
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post #4 of 80 (permalink) Old 01-26-2010, 02:30 PM
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Don't know about where you live, but gas should never be stored inside. Like James said, a small storage cabinet, well ventalated and outside should solve at least one of your problems. Robbie
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post #5 of 80 (permalink) Old 01-26-2010, 08:42 PM
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got a match? If it were mine I would start all over again.. just my .02$ dealing with mold and with carpet sounds like its very wet,, what size is it? bad foundation and all if you start with junk you end up with junk

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post #6 of 80 (permalink) Old 01-26-2010, 09:00 PM
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I'm with James...... first see what is permitted........... Then build a new "shed/workshop" at a size that will be suitable for your needs. Either tare down the old one and use what material you can out of it or leave it standing and use it for storage.......I have a nice 8x10 (rocked/insulated/heat/cool) but too much work has to be done outside. My 8x10 often seems more like a storage building for my tools than a workshop. 16x32 would be the smallest I would go if I had the money to build a new shed/wokshop.......... but I don't have the money and time to be worrying about that now.

I'm currently using my money on tools/jigs and material............ while diverting my eyes and thoughts from the 10x12 storage building in the back. Not this year but maybe next I'll look again at enlarging the building/insulating and running electricity to it oh and lets not forget moving/swithcing all of the stored stuff from one building with the tools that in itself is a deterrent.

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post #7 of 80 (permalink) Old 01-27-2010, 12:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drasbell View Post
got a match? If it were mine I would start all over again.. just my .02$ dealing with mold and with carpet sounds like its very wet,, what size is it? bad foundation and all if you start with junk you end up with junk
I agree, Rick.

From the description of the rot, the mould and the rocky foundation, I would be looking to tear it down and start again. You may even find where the electrical cable went....

The health problems with mould are not worth it.

James
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post #8 of 80 (permalink) Old 02-13-2010, 10:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drasbell View Post
got a match? If it were mine I would start all over again.. just my .02$ dealing with mold and with carpet sounds like its very wet,, what size is it? bad foundation and all if you start with junk you end up with junk
I agree too, if its worth doing it , its worth doing right. Salvage what you can and get a better foundation, more space, healthier conditions and peace of mind.

Larry
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post #9 of 80 (permalink) Old 02-23-2010, 07:24 AM Thread Starter
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I got out there and tried to do some exploration yesterday. I thought that perhaps the electricity came up through the outlet to the two lights, and perhaps the outlet was faulty, opening the circuit. Nope. In fact, the outlet's only feed is to/from the overhead light, which in turn feeds the outside light. I took down a couple of ceiling panels to figure this out. There's another line going somewhere but I can't see due to a roof joist. More exploration would have to wait until I'm ready to take down the rest of the panels.

The roof and joists look to be in excellent condition, aside from some sort of substance up there (possibly rat crap). The roof is actually insulated, as well as the walls. I couldn't believe it.

I think the structure is sound. Now I do have to fix one of the outside walls and gut the interior, but that looks like it. Whomever did the ceiling shouldn't ever be allowed to do another one, but that's a personal gripe. No effort whatsoever to match the panels to the joists, they added other pieces of wood so that they could nail.

I looked again under the shed, and can't for the life of me figure out how it was powered. I'm starting to think it had a roof-to-roof line going to it, but at some point that was removed. Possibly when the addition to the house was done. But that was ten years ago. Hard to imagine someone going for ten years without power out there, but the fixtures retaining their bulbs. Really odd. In fact, the oddest thing about this house.

I think I'm going to make this my running diary. Yesterday (after my demo and reinstall of the ceiling panels) I made a ledge for my Ryobi One+ tools to hang from, similar to this one:


Any tips on how to maximize space in here? About 1/3 to 1/2 of it needs to be storage space (or the equivalent), so a big work area is out of the question. I considered taking out the top half of the walls and putting in pegboard, but perhaps a french cleat system would work better.
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post #10 of 80 (permalink) Old 02-23-2010, 09:25 AM
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I vote for tearing down the old shed and starting from scratch. You will probably need a building permit. Also, check the zoning regulations for your area. Our SD restrictions don't allow anything portable such as the sheds that come off the back of a truck. Mine is secured to the ground as part of the real property. A new structure would give you the opportunity to build to your spec's and wire it for lights and powertools. I would also recommend a vent that goes along the roof peak and some windows for light and ventilation. Good luck! How about some pix of the new shed?
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