Boring version of the title: Building a Shed, Part 2. (Part one can be found here.)
Let us begin with a story about an eye injury (thankfully, unrelated to the building of the shed).
We had set aside an entire Saturday to build the shed, and hoped to have it completed by the end of the day. Technically, it was at the very beginning of that day (like 1 AM) when Amanda somehow scratched her eyeball. She was already awake and her eye started hurting. Unable to find the eyelash she assumed was causing the excruciating pain, she had me come take a look. Nothing. She determined that if she held her eyelid up off of her eyeball, it didn’t hurt. If she kept her eye closed, the pain was tolerable, but if she blinked it was pretty bad. (Note to self: You don’t realize how often you blink until it feels like someone is stabbing your eye every time you do it.) She managed to go back to sleep and deal with the pain.
When it was still hurting at 6 AM, we figured she probably needed to be seen by a doctor. Luckily, we found an eye doctor with a 24-hour on-call doctor and Saturday hours. We talked to the doctor around 7, and she said if we could be there before they opened at 9, they could probably squeeze Amanda in. We did so, and they had us out of there before 10. I had a lovely time reading “The Birds, the Bees, and the Berenstain Bears” to Jonah and Micah in the waiting room while a woman across the room tried to pretend she wasn’t listening. The doctor said it was a corneal abrasion. She numbed it, prescribed some drops, and put a bandaid contact on it. Seriously. A bandaid contact. Who even knew such a thing existed?! Amanda’s eye was dilated the rest of the day, and she couldn’t wear her regular contacts for almost a week, but she was fine other than that.
We had been afraid that all of this would cause us to miss out on our shed-building day, but thankfully, we were still able to work on it and weren’t delayed too much by the emergency eye appointment. In fact, Grandma and Grandpa were waiting for us when we got home from the doctor. They got to spend time with the boys, and we got to have several relatively uninterrupted hours to piece together the giant Lego project.
We started, as the instructions suggested, by dutifully laying out all the pieces and making sure everything was there. This is not a big shed (7×7), but the parts covered almost our entire yard.
Speaking of instructions, I think we made the right move by downloading them ahead of time and reading them in advance. If we had just pulled them out of the box, it would have been hard to summon the self-control needed to get through them before building the platform, let alone assembling the shed. (And if we hadn’t noticed the parts where you need a ladder outside the back wall, we might have placed it too close to the fence to get a ladder back there.) Also, Amanda’s slightly compromised vision made her less helpful at reading instructions than she would have been otherwise.
Assembly was pretty logical: floor, then walls, then doors, then roof. Then about a million screws. OK, maybe it was more like 112. By the time we had the plastic floor screwed together (and realized we didn’t have anything to anchor it to the platform with, meaning it might get blown off if we get heavy winds), it was time for a lunch break.
a floor, a fool, and poison ivy
Probably due to screaming babies, I came back outside before Amanda did, and in what seemed like no time at all, I had several wall sections in place. They don’t quite snap together like Legos, but it’s close: once two adjacent sections are seated in the floor, you drop four pins through preformed holes to connect them. It was good that Amanda made it outside when she did, because some of the sections were starting to fall over before I got them secured. (Note: Best not to attempt assembly of a plastic shed when it’s windy outside.)
A room with a view (because there are no doors and there is no roof)
An even better view now that it has a gable window.
We summoned my dad as another helper when it was time to attach the roof beams. Made of Actual Metal rather than plastic, they are a little heavy. What’s worse is that because the rest of the shed is plastic, the walls tend to bend as you get a beam seated in its notch, which causes the beam to fall back out and hit you on the head. Hence the need for three people: two to hold the assembly in place and one to screw it together so it won’t keep falling apart.
Beam me up!
This is serious work.
It is also work that made me smile for some reason, even though I didn’t know Amanda was taking this picture through the roof pieces.
We had seen in some online reviews and heard from a (rather large and presumably strong) employee at Lowe’s that the top piece of the roof was difficult to fold. This proved true. But I guess that’s the trade-off for a lightweight, waterproof design that fits in the box.
Ever try to shut your wallet with a gold bar inside? No? Well, that’s what it was like to fold this roof. I’d imagine.
All the pre-folding didn’t seem to matter much once we got it on top of the gables – it sprang back to its flat shape. To fix that, we had to really work to wrestle the eight roof pins into place. This might have been the most frustrating moment for me… while trying to hold the roof down, I was straining to slide this specialized pin into the roof to lock it, but the pin would either pop back out or tear the plastic or both. (Rubbermaid: This would be a great place to start if you improve the design.)
Wait, didn’t I already fold that thing?
If you can’t beat ‘em, peer out through their roof slits, or something.
With all the pieces in place, the only remaining task was to attach an unholy amount of screws (seriously, the thing came with over 200 screws) to keep it all from coming apart at the slightest touch. I only ended up short two screws (plus my normal condition of having a screw loose), which isn’t bad when you consider how much brush was around for me to lose them in.
First (and maybe hopefully only?) burglary attempt.
We built a shed! We’ve already put some stuff in it and will probably have it almost completely full during our big construction project. Now we just need to devise a better step situation, as it is currently a big step into it.
Photo credit: Jonah