When DIY Means Drenched in Yuck

Warning – Heat Exhaustion.

If you’re not a fan of Do-it-Yourself projects, you can skip to the photos, glance at the non-project-related ones and move on. Have a nice day.

One of my projects that a few people have been asking about is the facelift I am giving our garden shed. I’ve been getting things ready, hoping to start this week. I built this shed over 25 years ago. I won’t bore you with the long history of the building, but it’s been sitting in its current location for most of that time, and it has settled a little bit. My initial reaction was to tear the shed down and build a new one. But the roof doesn’t leak, the walls are plumb and the floor is level. Also, although I’d like a much bigger shed, I don’t need one. All of our lawn and garden equipment and tools fit.

I convinced myself that, since the shed is shaded by two trees until late afternoon, that I could start working on this project on Saturday, despite the fact that it was going to be 98°f (37°c).

I’ve worked in heat like this before, and it really isn’t as bad as you would think. However, the first step on this project was a crummy one.

Due to the settling, the siding on one of the walls is touching the ground. That is a recipe for disaster. The sidewalls are T-111 which wicks water like Quicky (the Nesquik Bunny) with fresh glass of Quick®. Again, I’ll spare you the options I threw out. I decided to jack up the shed (one side at a time) wrap the T-111 in a waterproof membrane and secure the membrane to the pressure treated structure of the base.

Some of you are probably shaking your heads and mumbling, “did he say jack up the shed?” Yes, I did. It’s not that heavy and it only had to come up about six inches for me to install the membrane. Once protected from the water, I don’t care if it comes in contact with the ground. Still, it was nasty work.

I had to clear the dirt away from the walls. Then I had to attach brackets to the walls and fashion some cribbing so the jack could lift the side. The shed is in the far corner of our yard, two sides are within 2′ (61cm) of the fence so bending down and working is difficult. Kneeling was required. Kneeling in the dirt on a 98° day. The membrane I used is very sticky, and some of the adhesive got on my hands which led to dirt sticking to my hands. Once I folded the membrane under the T-111, I nailed a thin strip of PVC trim to hold the membrane in place. When I say ‘nail,’ I mean using a pneumatic nailer. Those things use a blast of air to drive a piston, and…well, let’s just say there’s an exhaust that blows dirt all around. Dirt plus adhesive plus sweat equals one miserable human.

I managed to install the membrane to three sides. The fourth side, the side with the main door, is still far enough above the ground that I can wrap it without jacking it up. Once I install the siding, I plan to dig out around the shed and replace the dirt with pea stone fill. We are a long way away from that, but we are underway.


82 comments

    1. Hahaha – I thought of you guys several times on Saturday. Especially when I thought “why didn’t I just tear this down and build a new one?” No vintage tools in use, but I am trying to use up a lot of leftover material. Does that get me in to club?

      Liked by 1 person

        1. How about this: I don’t have enough J-Channel to do the two gable ends. I’m thinking of ripping some PVC trim scraps (they are long enough) and overlapping the existing trim to serve as a channel.

          The place that sells J-Channel is 10 minutes from here and it’s dirt cheap to buy.

          Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha – I don’t think I’m going to get anyone to join me today, Pam. The Editor may veto outside operations entirely until the heat advisory ends. MiMi takes that pose when she seems ready to pounce on us. Probably because we woke her up.

      Take care.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I am hoping to avoid that, Cheryl. Every outside project is vinyl and PVC – I don’t even want things that have to be painted. This will be the last time I shingle a roof. When the house roof needs to be redone, I will hire a contractor – but he better be a good one, ‘cuz I’ll be watching ;-)

      Like

  1. No, you’re not going to have to hire someone because you’re getting these long-term maintenance jobs done prior to those years when you can’t do them. 👏🏻 Good planning on your part, well, except for doing it in the heat. Of course, while you were doing that, we were out there replacing our dryer vent which is two stories up, but that certainly didn’t take the effort of your project. Nothing like the heat, challenge of the job, and then add in a 2′ wide work space. :-) That shed looked good to me before so I’m looking forward to tracking its update.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is the way I’m thinking, Judy. It’s why I studied the shed first. If I thought I would have to rebuild it in 10 years, I would have done it now. Second story dryer vent? Ugh, I hate doing those at ground level. I would love to get the two sides by the fence done, it’s so confining. Fortunately, there are no windows, doors or penetration points to work around. The siding should go fast. I might get one side done today, unless the Editor vetoes my plan.

      Stay cool!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. That does not sound like a fun project, Dan, so I will give you much credit for getting down and dirty with fixing the shed. I hope you don’t have to finish this in the miserable heat or perhaps you just need lots of adult refreshment for the end of an honest day’s work. Cheers and Happy Monday!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I admire your tenacity, Dan, or maybe you are just a little crazy. It brings to mind some of the lines from a Noel Coward song about mad dogs and Englishmen.

    Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun,
    The Japanese don´t care to, the Chinese wouldn´t dare to,
    Hindus and Argentines sleep firmly from twelve to one
    But Englishmen detest-a siesta.
    In the Philippines they have lovely screens to protect you from the glare.
    In the Malay States, there are hats like plates which the Britishers won’t wear.
    At twelve noon the natives swoon and no further work is done,
    But mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun.

    Here’s a link to the lyrics for the entire song: https://www.esl-lounge.com/songs/songmaddogs.php

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Quik!! I loved that stuff! I don’t even know if they still make it. Saturday was awful. Husband and I were both working outside in the shade, but that was no help. It was just plain hot. You do good work, Dan. The shed is looking great. Maddie flopped–ha! She looks like that is exactly what she did. Oh, little Theo..he is such a cutie. No one gives stink eye like a cat–cracks me up when they do that. I hope today is a rest day for you. Gonna be another scorcher.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m going to try to get a little work done on the shed, Lois. The heat will likely chase me in early. Plus we’re supposed to have some thunderstorms. Maybe I’ll find a glass of Quik – if not, a beer.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. That would’ve been a tough job under any conditions, let alone doing it in “heat stroke” weather! Well done. I applaud you for looking ahead to when you likely won’t be able to tackle certain DIY jobs, and doing them now with the goal of being functional for many years to come.

    Love the shot of the squirrel in the tree. Maddie looks hot already. “Theo” doesn’t seem to have had an attitude check yet,🤗

    Please think hard about any outdoor work today Dan. It is just going to be ugly outside. The air already feels like I’m walking through a swamp!! Let’s try to get through the entire month of July without a trip to the ER!! Just sayin……
    🐾Ginger 🐾

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hmmm, your warning sounds a bit like the Editor’s, Ginger. I may have to give it some thought. I won’t overdo things today, that’s for sure. I have all summer.

      Working at ground level was the hardest part of this job, well, getting back up was the hardest part. But, if I can get this shed ready for another 25 years of service, I can sit back and enjoy afternoons in the shade. That’s the goal.

      Maddie literally flopped on the deck. It’s like she wasn’t going to give me a chance to say no.

      Stay cool today. Take care – I promise to do the same.

      Like

  6. Amazing Dan. Half expecting to see Maine Cabin Masters show up and put their 18 x 6 concrete biscuits under the corners to keep it up off the ground. If it is any consolation Saturday during the heat we were putting ditch lilies in my son’s ditch. Even without the pneumatic nailer there was enough dirt flying.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I thought about jacking it up and shoring it up, John, but I’t has only settled about an inch in 25 years, and I’m not even sure it isn’t the ground rising up (roots) to meet it. It’s a shed, if it grow a little cockeyed over time, I think I’ll be OK.

      Good to know I wasn’t the only crazy person out in the heat.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. You’re right, I don’t understand exactly what you did, but the pictures helped. I can’t imagine doing that kind of work in the heat, don’t overdo it! It’s not worth a heat stroke! Maddie has the right idea!! ;)

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Malcolm decided to refinish all of the coach lights on the exterior of our home this week and I thought HE was crazy. He has methodically worked for several hours each morning for the past five days (in 90-degree +++ heat) and has completed three light fixtures. Only 6 to go! Your project sounds insane. My advice to you – Gatoraide!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The feeling of accomplishment is very rewarding. I’ll get the lights look great. I’m not trying to break any speed records. Slow and steady is my motto this week.

      Like

  9. Oh can I ever relate to this post. The part about sounding like a simple project, but there’s more to getting it ready than the project itself. Even the heat part I get. We’re in the mist of putting vinyl siding on a under stair storage area. It use to have vertical deck boards over OSB panels. Of course water got through the deck boards so all OSB had to be replaced and the 3 access doors rebuilt to work with siding. It’s on the south facing side of our house blocked by most breezes, and our humidity has been crazy high. Definitely more breaks are needed stretching this project out longer than we thought.
    Hopefully, now that your dreaded jacking up and readying your shed is done the rest goes good.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Repairing is always harder. I understand the issue with the doors. I have two barn doors on the shed that have to be built out and reinstalled to pass over the siding. I have a plan, but I hope it works. Good luck on your project. Water does so much damage.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Now that I’m past the part I was hoping to avoid, I find myself way ahead of where I’d be if I had gone the tear down and rebuild route. There was some crummy work involved, but this will cost a lot less and be done mush quicker. I worked yesterday and today, but only four hours each.

          Liked by 1 person

  10. Hi Dan – I too admire your tenacity to keep going and get things done. I’m sure there’s little things that can be done in the heat – without incurring the editor’s wrath and whistle for you to hang your boots up – then you can swing back in when the weather cools. Makes sense saving money and keeping things in tact for another ten+ years … good luck with the weather this week – Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I spent one day rearranging my garage and moving all the equipment in there. Then Saturday getting the three walls prepped. Earlier today, I installed two corner boards and got half of one wall sided before it hit 94°

      I am going to take it slow. If I get the two windowless walls done this week, I’ll be happy.

      My workshop renovation is waiting for cooler weather and got this to be done.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve read that hot weather is a good time for shed lifting, John. I made a little more progress today before the heat rolled back in. I stopped when it hit 94°. I’m not breaking any speed records. My goal fit the week is to complete the two plain sides. I think I can hit that, unless it rains. We do need rain.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Ally. You’ve been here long enough, you can say stuff like that. I am working in moderation. I worked four hours today. I’m making some progress. I wanted to wait for it to cool off, but we’ve been stuck in this heatwave pattern since mid-June. Something had to give – I guess it was me.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. You are made of tougher stuff than I am. For me, those kinds of temperatures demand a retreat into air conditioned spaces, preferably doing as little as possible.

    “Your Theo” channels more of a we-are-not-amused kind of look 🙂

    Like

    1. I did retreat into the AC. I gave it another four hours today, then beat feet to the house. I hope to be able to work in the mornings this week and get the part by the fence done.

      Our “Theo” is not easily amused. He also isn’t one to back off, either.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It was a miserable job, but it’s done and everything going forward will be easier. That shower and those beers felt very good. I am hoping to get this little building ready to serve for another 25 years. We hope to age in place, here, and I am trying to minimize the maintenance load.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Horsefeathers, Dan! Maybe you need to un-retire. Seems like you’re working way too hard. When you said “jack up the shed” my mind went immediately to the scene from vintage TV, The Bionic Woman, where she holds up a sofa with one hand to vacuum under it. Sorry that my brain didn’t pick up a image from the Six Million Dollar Man, but nothing he did was as impressive as the bionic house cleaning. :D The point that I seem to be going around my rear end to reach my elbow is — Impressive, Dan. Hugs on the wing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha – I’ll take that comparison, even if I used a hydraulic jack. Unlike the job I retired from, I enjoy this work. I am learning to limit my activity according to the weather. I’m a work in progress, Teagan.

      Thanks for stopping. Hugs!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Really nice shed, Dan. Hubby is planning to build one, but he is going to try and do it on our fairly steep terrain. I wish he had a better workspace (we both wish for separate workspaces) so he had more room to work. I cannot imagine how this might go. I would rather he build a screened-in gazebo.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Building on steep ground seems like a challenge. I have to do a little digging and grading to get the dirt away from the shed (I plan to put down stone) and I’m not even looking forward to that. Having a workspace is so important.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. With a good roof, level floor and walls, I’d keep the structure, too. The shed is the same structure where you built Maddie’s porch, right? Does that prior work make the job harder? At least today and tomorrow are cooler. Hopefully the rain will allow you to still work. No power tools in thunderstorms. Ha!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No, this is a detached building next to my workshop. The workshop and garage are done on the outside. This is where we keep the lawn and garden tools. I’d like it to look nice, but I’m more interested in making sure it lasts as long as the rest of the place.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. “Drenched in yuck” — man, you are not kidding. I share a coast with you, and I’m even farther south, so … yeah. It’s been a hot humid-a-palooza out there. I’m writing this on a 95-degree day. On the bright side, tomorrow’s high is projected to be a mere 80. Can’t wait. Sounds like a cold snap at this point. Anyway, good on ya for doing that shed work in spite of the temps. Looks great!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. You’re really a prize when it comes to DIY — you save yourself a ton of monies and make your wife happy. I am personally awed that you did the muck n’ guck here, let alone developing a plan and executing it in the heat!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.