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Day 61 – Finishing the Shed and Other Things

It’s been a pretty busy week, non-stop since Lucy’s birthday. I’ve only got to writing the blog posts this morning, following a review of the photos I’ve been taking last night. You may have noticed a flurry of catch-up posts, and there’s still a gap. I expect the rest will follow over the next couple of days.

This weekend has been one of finishing off things, largely as parts arrive. On Friday the new garden shed arrived and we started building it yesterday. Today we finished it off.

Lucy eating breakfast on the sofa while watching Lego Friends videos. (Photo: James Kemp)

We had a pretty slow start to the day. With no alarms and no pressure we all slept late. I spent the morning writing captions on the pictures and starting the backdated blog posts while Lucy sat on the sofa watching YouTube videos of Lego Friends builds.

Garden Shed pt.2

Lucy holding the electric screwdriver while she was helping fit the windows in our new garden shed. (Photo: James Kemp)

Yesterday we left the shed with four walls attached to the floor. We still had the windows, door and roof to do today, as well as painting it.

Windows

The first thing we did today was to fix the covers over the gaps between the panels. Once we’d done that we fitted the windows.

Lucy gives the thumbs up to the newly installed windows from inside the new shed. (Photo: James Kemp)

The windows are moulded plastic, which only fitted one way, so we didn’t need to worry about putting them in the wrong way. They’re held in place with a three strips of wood.

Lucy screwing in the windows on the new shed. (Photo: James Kemp)

Lucy helped by screwing in the bottom screws on each bar with the electric screwdriver. She also helped by passing the screws, until she got bored.

Door

We found the door a bit trickier, mostly because of the hinges. The instructions just had a single vague image, and it took a bit of experimenting and thinking about before we were sure enough to screw the hinges on.

Tracy peering through the window after we’d fitted the door to the shed. (Photo: James Kemp)

Before that we had to put the slam strip and weather strips on the doorframe to fit it for the way we wanted the door to open.

Proving that the door actually opens! (Photo: James Kemp)

Once we’d done that it was time to start painting, and both kids spent some time painting the front of the shed and the door while Tracy and I worked out how to do the roof. I also had a small repair to do to the shed. One of the planks in the side of the roof got cracked in transit, and when I was inside the hut with Lucy after we put the door on we noticed that it was a really wide hole.

One of the shiplap boards in the side of the shed split in transit. (Photo: James Kemp)

It wasn’t the only hole we noticed though. Lucy also spotted that there was a knot on the other side that had fallen out, and we could see through it. She made me go out to the other side so that she could wiggle her finger through the hole and I could catch it. Once she’d done that we had to trade places so that she could do it from the other side. It was a shame to plug the hole with the knot again.

A spare board from one of the old fence panels was pressed into service to cover the gap. (Photo: James Kemp)

The cracked board wouldn’t sit together, so I got a long board from one of the fence panels we’d taken down and sawed it to fit either side of the join. I initially intended to nail it in, like the way the rest of the boards are attached. However without the roof on it bounced too much and the nails wouldn’t go in. So I gave up and screwed it in place with some of the spare screws.

Roof

This was by far the most time consuming part of the build, and I’m glad that we left it until after lunch. When we’d finished the leftovers from last night’s dinner we assembled the roof on the grass.

Three sheets of OSB, which I’m not sure what it is, and four 30x30mm strips of wood made a rather flexible roof. Tracy and I hoisted it onto the top of the hut with some difficulty. The individual boards flexed and caught on the supports as we tried to slide it across. It got there eventually, although I realised when we did that the supports weren’t quite in the right place as the overhang wasn’t equal on both sides. Alexander commented on this at some length, but then realised that his friend was running a D&D game shortly and asked to be allowed to go play. Which we did.

The OSB base for the roof on top of the hut, with some overhanging branches. (Photo: James Kemp)

That was just the start. What I realised when I was screwing the roof onto the shed was that I’d not cleared the tree branches enough. So I took some time to get the loppers and cut all the branches that I could reach that went over the shed.

Tracy and Lucy dividing labour while painting the hut, Tracy did the parts Lucy couldn’t reach. (Photo: James Kemp)

With the shed roof screwed on the whole shed was a lot less wobbly than it had been. Once I’d got most of the screws in it felt stable enough for me to crawl in top, which made the next stage much easier.

Lucy helped me measure the shed, and the overhang so that I knew how long the felt had to be. Then we unrolled the felt and measured it with the tape measure. Lucy was quite surprised by the small stones on the outside of the roofing material. We cut out a piece and then Tracy helped me drag it onto the roof. While I crawled on top of the shed Lucy helped Tracy fetch nails, hammers and anything else we needed to get it in the right place. She also played with the tape measure and measured several things while we were hammering in the felt.

It was time for a break about then, and while we had a cheeky ice-cream, Tracy ordered in pizza for 1830. We didn’t stop for long, just enough to eat the ice-cream.

While I finished off getting the felt  Tracy resumed painting the outside of the hut. She managed to get most of it painted while I sorted out the rest of the felt with Lucy, and then dragged it onto the top of the hut. We had another spell of working together to get it in the right place, and then Tracy did more painting while I hammered in tacks.

The roof with the felt in place and the last fascia screwed in place. (Photo: James Kemp)

Once the felt was secured to our satisfaction I did the fascias while Tracy did even more painting. Lucy went off to play, and Alexander re-appeared briefly, but only to collect his music box before returning to playing games with his friends. At this point the build was more or less complete.

Build complete, and Tracy is almost done painting the shed. (Photo: James Kemp)

Tracy finished painting it while I collected up the spare screws, instructions and tools we’d been using. I also tidied away all the power and other tools into the shed, because it isn’t complete as a shed until you are using it.

This isn’t really the end of the shed build, just phase 1. We’ve got to add in some shelves to put things on. Brackets for the spades and forks etc to hang from. Maybe a work surface on the side of the base for when we need to do things. There also needs to be a better tidy up and a small ramp built to make it easy to get the wheelbarrow and lawnmower in and out of the shed.

Dinner

As a reward for getting the shed built Tracy had promised us a delivery from pizza hut. We shared two large pizzas between three of us. Lucy had almost half of one which had Margherita on one side and American Hot on the other. Alexander had the American Hot half and also 3/8 of the Texas BBQ that I finished off.

As if a load of pizza wasn’t enough the deal also came with a tub of Caramel Chew Chew. One of my favourite ice creams. I interrupted Alexander’s attempt to serve it up by cutting the tub in half with a knife. He was aggrieved that he felt he was getting less than Lucy and I, but accepted in the end that we all had an equal portion.

After dinner Tracy and I put some of Lucy’s toys in the garage. We had her barbie dolls, including the house, and her baby dolls with their pram and cradle.  Lucy had suggested putting them away yesterday when she was tidying her room. They’d been blocking the hallway since then. It took a bit of tetris like stacking to get them neatly into the garage in a way that didn’t stop us getting to the other things we might need.

After that it was back out into the garden to get the kids to jump on the trampoline to burn off some of the ice-cream and pizza before bed. While they were jumping I finished the tidy up and also found a large bag of rubble hiding in a bush at the back of the garden. I offered this to my neighbour over the hedge for the ballast he’s looking for to fill the base of the chicken enclosure he’s building.

Working shed. All the tools at the back end of the garden got put in the shed overnight. (Photo: James Kemp)

 

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