Do NOT Copy

Do NOT Copy

Shed Building 101... part 5

I guess this step really wouldn't be neccessary for a shed, but no one ever accused us of being usual people (or even sane for that matter!). What am I talking about? I'm SO glad you asked. We decided to put a porch on our shed to dress it up a bit. You may think this is a bit eccentric, but we wanted to give it a bit of a cottage-y look. What better way than adding a deck and a window box?

No, we did not finish the deck today. I was too cheap to spring for the quick setting cement so our activites are limited by both Cheesehead's availability and the curing time required for regular cement. I'll have to limit today's post to how to set the footings for a deck.

You will need a header board for your deck in order to meet with most local building codes. These gives you something to support the weight of the deck along with a place to anchor it to. This is not a hard step to accomplish. Simply put the header board at the height you would like to place your deck. Pre drill your holes for the substantially sized bolts that you will us. We used galvanized lag bolts to attatch our header board. It is also avvisable to use a washer to keep the head of your screw from being sunk too far into the wood.

Once your header board is in place, you need to dig a hole to set your support posts into. If you live in the frozen north it is an excellent idea to dig below the 4 foot frost line. If you do this, you won't get the heave that seems to cause so many of our roads to buckle, break, and/or form potholes. Cutting thick tree roots with some gardening scissors of some sort is the easiest way to get through the tangle of roots. I sure hope we didn't damage the roots too badly doing this.

You may want to place a frame in place to keep the cement level. We did this by using more of our scrap lumber and forming a square box. All sides were cut to the same length and was assembled in a chase pattern.

Next you measure and cut your supports. (Argh! I'm caught red-handed. We MAY have forgotten to do the previous step first, that just means we did yet another thing twice.) The length you need to cut varies depending on the depth of the hole you dig. For supports, we used green treated 4x4's. After they are cut to your desired length, you will need to check your supports to make sure they are level, square, and evenly spaced.

Then, simply secure it in place. We had some extra timber screws from a previous project that worked perfectly for this step.

It is a wise idea to dig both of your holes before mixing your cement so you don't have too much waste.

We put some water into a bucket so we could more easily contorl the amount of water that we added to our cement. That way it was simple to pour in small amounts of water at a time so we could make the mixture evenly moist without being overly wet. Kind of like what we do when we bake our favorite desserts.

Carol may frown on the use of a hole for this task, but it did a good job of moving the rocks around in our wheel barrow. I don't know when this poor hoe has last had such a good workout!

Tamp the cement down once you have the hole partially filled, this removes any air bubbles that may later cause problems. We did this several times as we scooped the cement into the hole. Once the hole is filled to the top of your form, use a trowel to level the cement.

Our final step was to back fill the edges around the cement we poured into the hole. Okay, I guess we had to wash our equipment too. I'm sure you don't want to see that though, so I'll just cut the lesson off there....

We're moving right along. Hurray! I think we may actually reach our goal of finishing by the end of summer at this rate. We are hoping to finish the rest of the shed over his upcoming vacation. In the meantime, the kids and I will be painting and organizing the shed. Who knows? I may even attempt to build a window box myself. Wish me luck.

Thank you for stopping by. Please leave me a message and a backlink. I'd love to hear your thoughts!

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