As I mentioned in my 2017 renovation goals, we really need an undercover area to store the kids’ bikes and scooters. It would be nice to have somewhere dry to store them on the three days a year that it rains, but what I really want is a shady spot for the rest of the year so the seats don’t split open from being baked in the sun. As we have a limited budget for this project, I’ve decided to build a simple bike shed from scratch using materials we already have (yes, this is insanely ambitious for me).
Last year I’d picked up a load of treated pine 2x4s (second hand on Gumtree for $30 – bargain!) and by my terribly poor calculations I should have enough for the bike shed frame, but maybe not enough for all the support blocks. In a moment of wild enthusiasm, I decided to start building until I ran out of 2x4s and see how far I get. This is probably where I should point out that I have zero building qualifications, have never built anything like this before and that you should probably continue reading this less as a “tutorial” post and more as a “things that can go wrong” post.
The first thing that went wrong was that my “bargain” 2×4 treated pine was all warped. I hadn’t noticed how wonky the boards were in my giddy eagerness to shove it all in the car as fast as I could before the seller changed his mind. In hindsight I realise he was just selling off the stack of wonky timber that was leftover from the building site he works at. Never mind, I was on a roll, nothing could dampen my spirits!
I started by building the two side walls. Each wall has three studs, joined to a head plate and a bottom plate.
I had originally attached the studs to the plates using nails (taking care to nail across the grain and not into the end grain) but the joins were weak and started to pull apart. I ended up adding screws as well which gripped the timber together better.
With the wall still lying flat, I added a couple of studs at each end that would become the top and bottom of the back wall. Since I was doing this by myself, I used quick clamps as a second pair of hands.
In order to save enough timber for the roof frame, my back wall consists of just a head plate and bottom plate, supported by 45degree corner braces I made from offcuts. I figure I can add studs to the back wall later if it needs them.
With a lot of cursing, I managed to stand the walls up and clamp them in place while I screwed the back wall pieces in to hold it all together. You can see from the photo above that I’ve chosen to forego a header or bottom plate at the front. My sound reasoning for this was that the kids would have trouble pushing their bikes up over the bottom plate and that I would probably hit my head on the head plate. Who needs structural integrity anyway??
In the picture above you can see how I built the gabled rafters for the roof. I wish I could say that it was a straightforward and easy matter of cutting the correct angles first time and installing the whole lot in the time it took to boil the kettle. *HYSTERICAL LAUGHTER* In reality, building the roof was a long, frustrating process of trial and error until I got the first set of gabled rafters just right. After the first set was finally right, I just copied the lengths and angles to make two more.
This was a fun moment! I removed the temporary spacer (from the previous photo), stood the rafters up and wedged the long ridge board in place. I screwed all the rafters to the ridge board and then, with my heart in my mouth, yelled for Emma to come help lift this bad boy into place!
Woohoo! It’s really beginning to look like a bike shed now. I’ll go ahead and add some blocking pieces of timber with any offcuts I’ve got left. Next up: the roof!
*Linking up with The Creative Circle.*