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House update: Not exactly new shed

I haven’t done a house-project update in a while. Partly that’s because there’s been little to show. Between my travels and The Wandering Monk trying to get out of the construction trade, projects have been few.

I remember a lot of you said you like watching Ye Olde Wreck progressing over the years into Mo Saoirse Hermitage. So here’s something that’s not exactly new but is suddenly making summer progress. And it was pretty cool when it was new — last October.

I didn’t tell you about this then because … well, I blush. It was one of the few things ever that I just went out and bought. No DIY. No scrounging. No thrift stores. No bleg. I just saved up and had somebody else do all the work.

After nearly eight years of shifting drywall, 2x4s, doors, spare fixtures, and tools from one room of the house to another as new parts of the house turned from disasters into rooms, and with no more pure-junk areas left for storage, I was in desperate need of storage and work space. I tried to cajole the Monk into helping me build a shed I’d designed, but he made it clear it would be a minor martyrdom (“I’ll do it because you ask, but …”).

So I specced a shed from a vendor … and then waited. And waited. And waited (not realizing that the supply-chain problems, shortages, and soaring costs that have marked 2021 were already abuilding in the summer of 2020 when I placed my order.

Not until fall did the Red Truck of Happiness arrive. But then I not only got a great shed, but quite a show.

One pickup truck. One guy. Three sheds (two intended for other destinations). And one absolutely amazing trailer.

That’s my shed, on the back.

Those are other people’s sheds levitating over my house.

Lifting sheds higher than my house was only part of what that amazingly articulated trailer could do. It could pivot without the truck moving and it had inline adjustments that could slide the shed in any direction, by feet or inches, as it lowered its delivery to the ground. (I’d been worried whether the shed would be perfectly aligned with my house; that trailer could have aligned it to the width of a hamster’s whisker.)

I liked my new shed. Although the construction wasn’t exactly what you’d call polished, it was sound and sturdy and the interior was full of usefulness (two lofts! high ceilings! workbench!) and light.

The exterior wasn’t bad, either. No, it didn’t match the style of the house as well as my own design would have. But hey, I got to be a spectator instead of a construction minion, so that was something.

I don’t think I’ll ever get that trailer divot out of the lawn, though. That was a lot of weight to push across some rather soft soil.

The siding had been treated, so the vendor told me to wait a year before painting the exterior.

Not quite a year, but I finally find myself with a free month at home, so yesterday I decided to start.

No big deal, I figured. Half a day to prime the whole thing, half a day to paint the body, another half day of trim. No sweat.

I forgot how totally painting with primer SUCKS. I forgot how thirstily T1-11 sucks primer.

This is how far I got my first half day. After three hours …

Four-and-a-half hours …

I quit. That’s too much like work. Too much going up and down ladders. Too much being up in the sky on ladders while trying to pay attention to something other than my prospects of crashing to earth. And I may never get all that oil-based KILZ primer out of my hair, my skin, my landscaping.

Today was much more gratifying.

And there we’ve come full circle. From the unfinished shed of last October with the pathetic drying straggles of last summer’s crocosmia framing it to the will-it-ever-be-finished shed of this July with this summer’s blazing, blooming, hummingbird-attracting crocosmia in full display.

So there’s a little update for all you Ye Olde Wreck project fans. And believe it or not I should have another small one within the month.

But for you who wonder why such homey stuff matters when the world is collapsing around us, it’ll probably be back to more of the usual subjects next week when I blog again.


  1. Mark Payton
    Mark Payton July 29, 2021 4:34 am

    Nice update, Claire, and a gorgeous shed. I am jealous.

    And IMO, the homey stuff matters all the more when the world is collapsing around us.

  2. Toirdhealbheach Beucail
    Toirdhealbheach Beucail July 29, 2021 6:18 am

    I cannot fix the world. I can fix my environs.

    The shed looks very nice (and big)!

  3. Simon Templar
    Simon Templar July 29, 2021 11:12 am

    Cool shed! And a nice paint job, too. Should you try to keep critters out from under it? Or would any attempt to do so just make it more attractive to little varmints?

    I once had a tractor put a pair of big ruts in my yard. I filled them in, slowly and repeatedly (emphasis on ‘repeatedly’), and eventually they basically faded away. Some gravel, some dirt, and some pine straw to help keep the dirt in place (it was on a slope, much like most of your rut seems to be). Stomp it all down. Wait. Repeat . . . repeat . . . repeat . . . .

  4. Comrade X
    Comrade X July 29, 2021 5:03 pm

    I’m a supporter of HSM now;

    homey stuff matters

  5. BearMama
    BearMama July 29, 2021 5:50 pm

    Nice!! Both shed and paint job. I agree with you and the others — home stuff definitely matters. For those of us with cubs, we gotta provide a sanctuary and a place to learn. For those of any age, we all still need sanctuaries. (I still have ruts in my side yard, more than a year and a half after those doofuses drove a bobcat through it in the rain…maybe I will try Simon Templar’s idea.)

  6. Greg
    Greg July 29, 2021 9:20 pm

    Just last week I got mine from the same company. Mine’s a somewhat smaller scale, but it’s purely for storage at present, and if I want a window in it, I can do that easily.
    I suspect that being a nationwide company with something like 900 outlets, that they have those trailers custom made. When the delivery guy backed up close to where it was going, I was stunned when all four wheels of the trailer came off the ground and it started to inch over SIDEWAYS–a pair of 90′ wheels between the tandem axles, all controlled from a remote box in his hands. Fun to watch.
    I bought a lot model because I needed it right now, and didn’t want to wait for a custom order to get filled, so yes, we will be repainting it–next year.

  7. John Wilder
    John Wilder July 29, 2021 9:27 pm

    Sweet! I need a shed. That one looks awesome – looks like I’ll be calling ’em (our local version of ’em) up.

  8. Marda Keith
    Marda Keith July 30, 2021 6:23 am

    We went your route when we put a shed into our backyard. My husband stapled hardware cloth around the bottom edges and buried the bottom of the hardware cloth to keep the pests from underneath the shed. After 20 years the only problem was a poor snake that got caught and died before we saw it and could free it. (I still feel guilty!) It doesn’t take long to get a lot of space filled with plant pots, potting soil, gardening tools, building supplies,etc. But what a joy to have places for them—I’m slightly OCD and like to have places for things.

  9. Cube64
    Cube64 July 30, 2021 2:15 pm

    Nice shed! We’ve bought several of them over the past few decades. They are great for helping to get your clutter under control. Something else helpful is to put in some metal shelving from some place like Lowes. And yeah, every shed delivery guy we’ve ever had has been very good at their job – not only with maneuvering the sheds but with leveling them.

  10. larryarnold
    larryarnold July 30, 2021 9:33 pm

    We got one five or six years ago. It’s already paid for itself in storage complex fees, not to mention mileage back and fourth, forgetting when the company combo lock gets changed, etc.

    With our yard it had to be assembled on-site, but that went very quickly and the punch-list was tiny.

    But ours is mainly filled with off-season clothes, sewing supplies, costumes, and such. None of it’s mine, I just live with three crafty ladies plus two daughters who didn’t fall far from the tree.

  11. Noah Body
    Noah Body July 31, 2021 12:12 pm

    Great shed. I didn’t know they made treated T1-11. At least I haven’t seen it where I am (Midwest). Maybe it’s more common in the Pacific NorthWet.

    Wood has become expensive. A 4×8 sheet of the thinner T1-11 last year was about $25. I saw it in Hone Depot recently for $40.

  12. Joel
    Joel August 1, 2021 8:44 am

    But for you who wonder why such homey stuff matters when the world is collapsing around us, …

    This morning I caught myself reading an anguished article about a college poll – in Portland, yet – that concluded something idiotic about how irretrievably racist Portland colleges are. When I realized what I was doing I slapped the laptop shut and went outside freshly motivated to work on a troublesome plumbing problem. Homey stuff, in my opinion, is far more important than what other people are doing to make the world collapse around them. I’m determined that it will not collapse around me.

  13. BearMama
    BearMama August 1, 2021 1:23 pm

    “Homey stuff, in my opinion, is far more important than what other people are doing to make the world collapse around them. I’m determined that it will not collapse around me.”

    And BOOM there it is. I’m’a go bake some cookies for my cubs!

  14. John
    John August 1, 2021 7:52 pm

    What Joel and BearMama said! Cheers to all here building for tomorrow. I seek blank the noise and pursuit the signal. There are people in my life that compel I engage what is before me. The peace of the nighttime starlit sky and the next morning sunrise, and friends out there that I’ve not yet met, await. Gophers, rats, mosquitoes, etc.

  15. Gran
    Gran August 2, 2021 8:27 am

    Really nice shed! The matching paint just sets it off so nicely! So sorry to hear the Wondering Monk is trying to get out of the construction business. He was a wonderful help to you and I am sure, many others in your area.

  16. thatmrgguy
    thatmrgguy August 3, 2021 11:21 am

    We have two of those manufactured sheds, 10×16, for storage, plus two that I stick built. One for my wife’s sewing/craft room and one for my shop.

  17. LibertyNews
    LibertyNews August 4, 2021 1:12 pm

    Nice shed and matching paint job!

  18. firstdouglas
    firstdouglas August 17, 2021 10:40 am

    Glad to see the progress continuing and thanks for the report!

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