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Letters home to mom

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Outdoor shelving

Posted by joeabbott on October 23, 2011

Adjacent to the house we started gathering a number of different items that weren’t suited for storage in the shed, but we weren’t ready to toss out, either. Items like plastic pots from landscaping purchases, an old Tupperware bin used to haul rocks or dirt, and our temporary “chick” coop. All of these were starting to just sit on the ground behind the shed or in that area. Well, the pots were behind the shed but the temp coop was starting to take up a minor residence to the side of the shed just inside the gate.

Not good.

P1030916P1030915So, I started thinking about using the space behind the shed more productively. The problem was that in the 4’ or so between the garage and shed, about 12” were at the level of the house foundation and the rest was built up into a pad for the shed … it was about 2’ higher. Overall, not great for storage space.

So I built this.

The decking is 10’ long and supported by two a 4×4 frame. I’ve found that it’s squishy enough that, if I’m walking on it, I need to spread my weight out across several decking planks.

The back is supported by four 2x4s at an angle to help control racking and movement. It’s situated very close to the shed and garage so I don’t want it moving around. Each of the 4×4 timbers is resting on 12”x24” paver stones that I set and leveled. As you can see, the legs aren’t hitting the pavers in the middle so I should have situated them better. Crud.

P1030924But, I recon this will hold just fine for plastic pots and a few pieces of chicken coop.

I will admit that it was a pain to construct. Tight spaces, I had to step on and off the rock wall, and keeping the separate uprights in place while I added the cross beams was a trick. And, let’s not forget, it was raining.

Yesterday I placed the pavers and built the 4×4 assemblies. I also added cross beams like I showed here. But, as I noted, it wasn’t stable enough so I wanted to add a second set of lateral support timbers and moved all the support beams to the “back”.

In all, it came out OK. I was disappointed by how squishy the decking was, but it’s just simple 2×4 lumber supported with a 7’ span. I should have expected it. Well, I did but didn’t expect that much squish. I’m pretty sure I’ll break a timber if I walk across without being careful!

I can always shore it up a bit by adding decking with 2×4 timbers on edge … but, that will require a lot more 2x4s and I would rather keep this job as “cheap” as possible. And “cheap” is in quotes because I’ve already spent too much on it!

But, that’s it: a simple project completed over the weekend. While it was a hassle to build while someone else was in my garage, it did feel good to be productive again and build a little something for the house.

That’s it for now!

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