Begin with level ground. I prepared this area (picture below) almost two years ago, using paving slabs rescued from a skip, retrieved with the help of a kind neighbour. It was just before the Diamond Jubilee. I remember I was reading a lot about Mongolia at the time, specifically its food. Remember how it rained, that Queen-laden weekend?
Two years on, check the ground is level. Check out how level this is. Boom!
Be sure to dress for the job ahead. The latest addition to my DIY wardrobe are these knee protectors. They’re gel-filled. My wife pointed out how the knee pads resemble the Leeds United badge. They really do! Come on Leeds!
Have a good, clear working area where you can prepare your materials, and even do some of the assembling. It’s neat to have a kind of Centre of Operations where you can keep going back to the plan. In my case, I’m using our lower yard. And see that hammer on the table in the picture below? I bought that in Reading, Cemetery Junction, 1986. That’s – hang on – 28 years ago!
But it’s okay to work on your lawn, too, as long as it’s dry and level. Here (below) I’m fitting the door to the shed front. Don’t affix those hinges too tightly at this stage, as you may need to make later adjustments. Also, check that your lawn doesn’t have an ants nest. I didn’t (check) and ours does (have ants). Ants are now already living in my shed.
No matter how small the shed, you should always have at least two persons working on its erection. I do not have access to that kind of ready help, and I am naturally pre-disposed to want to forge ahead alone. I have always been this way. It doesn’t mean I don’t trust others – I don’t know, maybe it does – I guess I have issues in asking for help. Plus I kinda like the challenge in working alone. And more than anything I wanted this to be a surprise for my wife – that I’d just gone ahead and got it done. That, and the hedges I’d arranged to be cut back, which I sorted this morning. O boy, she’s going to be pleased with me when she gets home! Well, anyway, look, see how I’m using a ‘G’ clamp to do the holding up whilst I prepare to make the joins. You should probably look at getting proper quick-release corner joints, like I saw once on Discovery Shed.
And then I needed to bob back into the house and get this bigger clamp. This is a special one, it belonged to my wife’s wonderful grandfather. It’s a nice feeling to be using it in this project – but then it’s put straight back into our study room where it belongs.
Actually I should also say, use really good tools, or certainly they should be ones you like. Take my AEG cordless drill and screwdriver set – man, I love this. Got it from QVC a few years ago, and it’s a dream. Before that I had a Bosch cordless thingy, which I got for a significant birthday, along with a Bosch jigsaw. We also went to Italy for the first time that year. I remember how the police sirens were exactly as heard on Morrissey’s Ringleader of the Tormentors. I downloaded his new single yesterday – the one about World Peace being none of your business. I should listen to it some more. Well. Also notice in the photo below how one of the back slats is missing. WTF? But actually it made room for the ‘G’ clamp, so, you know, there are different ways of looking at problems.
Eventually, like when everything’s ready for it, you can put the front on, with the door attached already, remember?
Stay rehydrated! Especially when working in hot temperatures. It was unexpectedly hot here today, so I had quite a sweat on. I nipped indoors and drank the last of some Copella apple juice, then half-filled the bottle with filtered water and squeezed in some Robinson’s super-concentrated new innovation fruity juice stuff. I know the bloke who worked on this NPD. Nice guy. Plays a lot of hockey and is very tall. I’ve only just started using this new concentrate, so haven’t yet found my ‘squirt level’, so to speak. But it’s fun finding out. The black spot behind the bottle on the left is a squished ant. Sorry ant.
Make good your repairs as you go. See here, I have replaced that missing slat with some everyday pine cladding, later ‘sealed’ with a garden-grade varnish. You will find a better solution by doing some research of your own, asking around, and so on.
When putting up a shed, remember to have a keen eye for the niceness of what you’re doing. In this photo (below) I’ve recorded how I felt about the shed being sited next to a long-standing birdhouse in our garden; feelings to do with quirkiness, joyfulness, whimsy.
Similarly, be aware of the things you’re calling into use to make the job easier. I’ve turned this old beer case, quite literally, upside-down, to use as a handy and sturdy stepping block. See how it’s branded ‘Grolsch’. My wife and I have such long and deep connections to this beer. And you will have connections of your own to others – maybe not just beers, but wines, champagnes, soft drinks and minerals. Have a think.
And here’s the shed finished – the project almost complete. Remember you might need to paint your shed a colour that’s particularly ‘on trend’. You might even want to give something this new ‘that shabby chic look’, by all manner of scuffs and scrapings. And of course you will want to adorn it with ironworks, both decorative and secure. You’ll need to be clearing up your tools and that, too, and picking up any dropped nails and screws.
That is the end of How to Put Up a Shed. I skipped right over the roof-felting element, I know, but you’ll be fine with that. Trust me.