There was already a shed in the garden, when we bought the house, ten years ago, but it was on its “last legs” even then. I coaxed and patched it up for a while but, by this year, it was clearly overdue for replacement. The roof was too rotten to hold a felting nail and the bottom of the frame and the bottom rails were virtually dust. My plan was to replace it with something, if not rot free, at least highly rot resistant. So I scrounged some old racking steelwork from work. I thought: if the new shed has a steel frame, I can always re-skin it with new wood.
In my mind, it was all so simple. The frame would just bolt together like a meccano kit. Skinning it would be child’s play. How wrong I was.
First, the racking steelwork will bolt together quickly and easily if you’re building racking. Trying to turn it into something else is, not surprisingly, something else. I didn’t think it through well. After several false starts I had cut up my steel and I still couldn’t see how it would go together.
The original plan was for an apex roof, which I threw out, because it was unnecessarily complex, in favour of a single pitch.
With a wooden frame, fitting a shiplap skin is a doddle: you simply nail it on to the uprights. When your uprights are steel, you can’t do that. So now I have pieces of wood inside the upright steel sections. It remains to be seen how easy it will be to nail to those. I may have to screw each one, which will take three times as long.
I will get there in the end. And I will have a quality, rot resistant shed. But what a palaver in the interim! I took down the original shed in May. So it has taken me six months to get this far. I am definitely not an architect!