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Woodshed Take Two

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Woodshed Take Two

February 14th, 2011  · stk

NewsBrief: [2nd Woodshed] Less than a week after completing the "free" woodshed, the substructure failed. The shed had to be unloaded and beefed up! Lesson learned? There's a reason Scott likes to over-engineer things ... there's no such thing as a free lunch ... remodeling a woodshed is more expensive and time-consuming that making one right, from the start ... and more! ...

Woodshed Substructure Fails!

Hutton House - Reporters got a giggle as they walked around the "recycled" woodshed at the Hutton House last Thursday. Less than a week ago, they had photographed a completed woodshed that held three and a bit cords of wood. Today, the woodshed sat empty and the flooring had been pulled up. Apparently, the substructure failed in the middle of the night on Wednesday.

"I heard a loud 'CRACK'," said Scott, "It woke me up and I immediately knew it was the woodshed."

Scott had completely underestimated the weight of three cords of (wet) cedar wood and - in an effort to save costs and move forward - had (in a very uncharacteristic fashion, mind you) under-engineered the woodshed substructure.

"Nearly every one of the deck screws used to hold the substructure - failed," reported the embarrassed builder.

"You can see them ... here ... and ... here," he said, walking with reporters around the partially dismantled woodshed.

Asked if he was going to abandon the project, Scott replied, "Oh no, it just needs to be beefed up. It'll be back to holding wood within the week."

And so, the reporters left and Scott went about the task of completely dismantling the old 2x4 cedar wood substructure, getting it ready for replacement. It took the better part of two days to unload the wood, cut out the flooring, dismantle the substructure, remove broken screws and prepare for a new, better, stronger, substructure.

Scott took a trip down to the nearby building center, making almost $200-worth of purchases. (For those keeping score at home, the "free" woodshed is now up to $600!)

Rachel thought Scott was holding up well, given this sad turn of events.

"What can I do?" he asked, rhetorically, "I'd laugh, but it'd only make me cry. You make a mistake, you learn from it and you move on. I can't believe I under-engineered something ... I am like the King of over-engineering!"

It took Scott another couple of afternoon's worth of work to replace the old substructure with one that's beefier and better.

He jacked up the woodshed, re-leveling it and resetting it on the four 8-inch by 8-inch piers, tying it to the substructure using 5/16" diameter galvanized lag bolts, each 5 and a half inches long. He replaced the front 2x4 edge with 2x6 pressure-treated lumber and placed a 2x6 cleat under the rear 2x4. (Only the two side 2x4's remain from the original substructure, as they're under the plywood siding and more of a 'bear' to replace).

Joists were spaced closer - every foot, rather than the original foot and a half. 2x6 pressure treated lumber replaced the 2x4 cedar joists and each end is now supported using galvanized joist hangers.

Pressure-treated lumber was also wedged and leveled cross-ways, beneath all of the interior joists - front, center and rear. They rest directly on the ground and provide complete substructure support, for the interior of the woodshed.

Lastly, the cut-out flooring (numbered before removal) was re-laid.

When reporters returned to look at the beefed up shed, they were surprised that there wasn't more evidence of the work.

"Really, it's only these two cut marks on the floor," said one reporter.

"And numbered planks," laughed another.

"Laugh if you will," said Scott, "I've learned my lesson about 'free', 'recycled' woodsheds! Apparently, there's no such thing as a free lunch, eh?"

"After $600-worth of materials and a complete substructure re-do, this is one shed that definitely isn't free. By the same token, it will now easily support 3-4 cords of wood ... wet or otherwise."

"All that remains now," said Scott, "is restocking it with wood! Any one of you reporters want to put down your recorders and help?"

"Didn't think so," Scott said, as he watched every one of the reporters head back to their cars.

"Oh ... don't forget about the painting," he yelled, "It still needs paint!"

By that time, however, everyone had left. Scott then opened a beer and sat back to admire his new, built-as-it-should-be woodshed.

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Updated: 28-Apr-2011
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