Friday, 28 November 2014

A Shed Obsession - part 4 - Main Build Phase

Over the next days of the plan, until the end of August, it was all the complications of putting the pallets up, preparing the main roof rafters then fixing in the cross braces and the decisions around that process, particularly using recycled wood where the rafters are not exactly the same size, some aren't exactly straight. All of this plus my learning curve as I'd never built any structure before, I've built bicycles and fixed cars and that's it.
It was days of grunt, but the weather was sunny and progress was being made. Although slower than the plan, much like the costs the time was working out to be roughly double. It was not a huge surprise, I'm an experienced estimator in my work and the old paradigm of take your initial estimate and double it is about right. Particularly when you've never done it before. Reusing the old shed wood for all the internal structures (window frames, in-filling structure that the pallets didn't fill) was satisfying but slower. Finding the wood, removing old nails and then cutting it to size made it slower.

By the end of the 5 days the posts were up, the pallets in, the walls mostly completed and the roof structure beams with bracers done. I'd sourced some plyboard for the roof cover but didn't think they'd be wide enough to cover the whole roof. A friend then suggested a roof light, to sop it being too dark... which inspired a change in the design of a middle clear section rather than a solid roof. Solving two problems at once as it also solved my concerns about the weight of the green roof in the middle of the structure. It also meant that having windows East and West facing with an additional central roof panel was letting a lot more light onto my vegetable patch.

All Druidic practice was subsumed into my shed obsession. My inner guides, accessed in meditation, helped me with such pieces of problem solving. My holiday over I then had to go back to work, but the light, warm evenings of the autumn were used to continue the build. The waterproof membrane was cut and stapled into place wrapping the building. The battens went over the membrane. Fixing the plyboard sheets for the roof was done the next weekend as well as painting them with bitumen to make it watertight.

The plastic corrugated roof went sheets down the middle, it was the first real test of the roof structure as it had to take my 80kg weight, shimmying on my belly down the flat roof to finish the bitumen painting and then fix the plastic roof sheets down. It was a great feeling to get off the roof alive and with no disasters. I was becoming convinced that I'd actually created a structure that could support a green roof.

It had all been stress and worry up until then. It was satisfying to have some proof that I could build a solid structure.
The evenings were spent cladding; measuring, sawing, fixing . My old shed fence walls provided the feather lap cladding for the rear of the building (that most wouldn't see) and then I bought cheap, sustainable pine tongue-and-groove cladding (you know from where!) for the sides and front. This is where the fence post issue really bit and the reality of how un-perpendicular the posts were. The word, shonky most probably comes from a mix of shoddy and wonky. The name for this building was being formed...

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