Today was a sprinkle on and off day so I re mowed the back yard and then raked up all the grass cuttings during a non sprinkle time. It started to sprinkle again so I stood in the barn until it stopped thinking that today wasn't going to be very productive. I decided that I couldn't really start anything big so I resumed the weeding in the hosta bed around the garden shed.
Sometimes I forget how far we have come on this house until I start looking back at the old photos. This garden shed is a perfect example of that. It started out as a pump house/bath house. When we purchased this house, the pump house/bath house had seen it's best days long before that day in October 2004.
Most people would have said knock it down, it's beyond repair, OR even "why would you buy this house?" But we did buy the house and we didn't knock it down. Instead, on and off, over the course of about 6 years, we worked on it in phases. We now have a great storage shed for our garden supplies along with the fact that it stores our pressure tank in the basement portion of the shed.
OK here is the 'before' photo. Clutch those pearls.....it's bad.
Look at that overhang. I think it took all of two whacks with a sledge hammer and gravity to drop it. The bath house was surrounded with over grown junipers and several large, 3/4 dead, crab apple trees that were home to hoards of ants. The above photo was taken after the crab apple trees were cut down but before the junipers we removed.
The shed was looking a little better without the junipers. It would be another three years before we got around to removing the juniper stumps.
This is how the shed looked for three years. Not great but at least a small improvement.
Then we decided to put a new roof on it. That is when we found out that the old asphalt shingles were covering the original green cedar shakes. So rather than removing one layer of roofing we had to remove two layers of roofing.
The previous owners had left us piles of new roofing shingles every where. When we first bought the house, we rounded up all the hidden bundles and individual pieces and stored them in the barn until we started the shed reno. I think in the end we only purchased four bundles of new shingles. So it was actually a rather inexpensive re roof.
The nasty juniper stumps were removed next. That was a tedious mess that required a dumping permit to get rid of the stumps once we got them out of the ground. Removal consisted of digging around the stump, attaching a heavy duty chain around the base, then placing the chain over a standing old tire (still on the wheel), then attaching the chain to the truck and pulling the stump up and out of the ground. Why use a tire? That allows the power of the truck to pull the stump up rather than sideways. You will need to lean the tire away from the truck and go slow. It usually takes about three times of repositioning of the tire as the stump starts to breaks loose.
Next was repairing the water damaged rotted sill on the front of the shed. But first we removed the interior wall that divided the shed into two rooms each with it's own door. We were given 6 free doors (thanks Craigslist) that were like brand new so we used two of them together to make one large opening. Because the new opening required a lot of demo we ended up residing the front of the shed with new shingles.
The remaining three sides were scraped, primed, and repainted. It was looking so much better but we needed something to tie it in with the rest of the house, so that the shed looked original. I needed hand hammered iron straps for the doors to match the doors on the house.
First of all, I looked everywhere and never found any that were close to matching the ones on the house. Second of all, the ones that I did find were smaller and very very expensive. So we made our own out of cement siding scraps that were free.
I traced the shape using one of the original iron straps. I needed to narrow the new ones just a tad to fit the area on the new doors. R cut them out using a jig saw and then I used a Dremel with a barrel bit to give the edge of the faux straps, that hand hammered look.
They were spray painted with satin black spray paint that gives a hand hammered look. They look so real that no one knows the difference. I've had people actually go up to them and feel them because they don't believe me. Plus, the addition of the faux iron straps, makes the shed look like it has always looked like this. You can read about the entire process here.
We also added eave troughs and downspouts and of course landscaping.
We still need to finish off the interior but that is something that can wait until the painting of the barn and house are completed. But we are pleased with how it came out and especially pleased that it was heavy on the sweat equity and light on the wallet.