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Have Dog - Will Travel
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
There are several great "Shed: Build vs Buy" threads here. I would have preferred to take the time to build, but at the time (5 years ago) I didn't have the time. As an academic exercise I priced the lumber and shingles at the local HD and could not buy my list for less than a pre-built delivered price. That didn't take into account nails, screws, hinges, windows, paint or bandaids. I know, YMMV, I took the easier way out and am very happy with my 12'x20' mini-barn.

After settling on a pre-built, I chose 12'x20' as a practical size. I believe it is the largest size my chosen supplier can deliver without extra transport permits ($$). I also chose their "garage" model with beefier floor joists, set closer together, and heavier plywood flooring to support automotive storage.

That set, I picked colors that complemented the site (at edge of woods) and existing structures and placed the order.

Next, I decided to build a raised stone bed foundation to assure level, clean, weather/moisture proof footing, and to minimize settling and frost heave. I had some old railroad and landscape ties on hand, and had several tons of stone delivered to my site.

I spent some quality time with a couple back-breaker tools and a Saturday afternoon constructing a 14'x22'x12" stone pad for my shed:



It took another couple weeks for my custom shed choices to be built, and for delivery to be scheduled. But delivery day finally arrived. Watching the delivery, setting in place, and leveling process was almost worth the price of admission.



The delivery trailer is a match for any transformer movie device. Once the trailer is backed in close to the pad site, the driver stands back with a remote control and sets the shed.

Note the extra opposed axle wheel set that drops down underneath to make east/west adjustments:



Tilt, roll, set, and walk away all by remote control:



Here it is, set, leveled, and ready for service, well except, as is it is a step in barn. Not very convenient for most garden equipment.

 

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Have Dog - Will Travel
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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Building Access Ramp

I'm not too patient, so I set to building a simple ramp to get my equipment into and out of the shed. I took advantage of the landscape tie as part of my structure for the ramp. Again, another Saturday of quality time with the hand tools.

First task, a quick mental image design, and a hand shovel:



The design needed to accomodate a couple variables:
  1. Potential settling of the mini-barn itself
  2. Guaranteed annual frost heave which would doubtless heave the ramp at a different rate than the shed
  3. Doors hang below the floor of the shed
  4. Approach angle would have to accomodate various equipment tongue lengths and heights


I notched the joists over the landscape tie, and then sawed off the top of the joist about 2' back to make a more gentle approach angle. It has worked well for all my equipment. I used a couple joist hangers because they were easy, but probably not necessary. Then it was time to start screwing down the deck. Ah, the miracle of battery powered drill/driver.


Just a view from back a little to get the scale:


And the Ramp is ready for use. Note, I left two short 2"x pieces laying lose on the ramp at the door to make a temporary half-step into the shed. I assumed the shed would still settle a little, and I could kick them off to the side at winter to avoid binding the doors in case the ramp heaved more than the shed. Both did happen, and though I still have the 2x pieces laying on the stone foundation, I never use them any more:
 

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That's one heck of a base you built for your shed. Looks like you intended it to last awhile.

Amazing how some of these companies can build and deliver these smaller outbuildings cheaper than they can be built on site.

Have you found enough "Rusty Gold" and other treasures to fill it properly?

Mike
 

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Have Dog - Will Travel
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Discussion Starter #4
Five years later, still holding up

It really didn't take long to start filling the shed. Most of my equipment is green, but I have enough other colors to be able to presume it would work for other brands too.

Here it is loaded, I have to rotate my equip seasonally so that the next needed is near the door, and the off season stuff is toward the back:



Five years later, the ramp has weathered, and the shed has settled just a little. I still have a 2½" step from ramp into the shed. It is plenty to accomodate frost heave and not bind the doors, but not so much that I have any problem backing even the heavy, long tongued TracVac in and out.



Here is a side profile view of the ramp, both the shed floor and ramp are level, the picture is a little deceiving. Also might note I immediately put half-inch screen on both ends of the shed. I don't have a ground-hog problem in this area, but coons, skunks, foxes, ... all seem to just love burrowing under sheds. I'd prefer to leave mine to the black snakes and milk snakes as a form of rodent control.



And all buttoned up and weather ready:



I am not a structural engineer, I am not a rabid fan of "Buy vs Build", I am not trying to convince anyone to do it my way. I just offer a quick summary of my decisions, and my results. They suit me fine.
 

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Handyman
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871 Posts
Thanks for sharing. The write up was great and the pictures were awesome.

I have had a tarp shelter tent and it recently failed on me. Looking at the options for replacing it and did not even consider this.
 

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close enuff works for me
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You want your shed to be higher than the surrounding ground, One of my shed doors is only 1 1/2 " above the ground ,and in a heavy rain,the water runs in under the door and soaks everything laying on the floor.:banghead3
 

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I admire your constraint. After five years around here the walls would be festooned with hangers and brackets holding all kinds of good, bad and questionable items with just enough room under to pile scads of like goodies.

The lack of shelves stuffed with various lubricants, sprays and other needed items leads me to believe you have other storage facilities as well. Likewise the lack of apparent grease stains on the floor indicates another area is used for maintenance and you don't allow leakage from any of your equipment.

Certainly is neat looking.

Mike
 

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Have Dog - Will Travel
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Discussion Starter #8
I admire your constraint. After five years around here the walls would be festooned with hangers and brackets holding all kinds of good, bad and questionable items with just enough room under to pile scads of like goodies.

The lack of shelves stuffed with various lubricants, sprays and other needed items leads me to believe you have other storage facilities as well. Likewise the lack of apparent grease stains on the floor indicates another area is used for maintenance and you don't allow leakage from any of your equipment.

Certainly is neat looking.

Mike
I do all my maintenance work in my garage, and usually keep the John Deere x728 there too with it's current attachment (62" mower deck or 54" snow blade). So you are right, all my mechanics tools, lubricants, etc are stored in my garage, handy for use there. This mini barn has no electric, nor water, (and as a result no air pressure). It really is a storage barn. The fact is, I'd have to take stuff out of it to be able to work on anything in there. As far as leakage, well, knock on wood, none of my equipment leaks for now.
 

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USMC
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Thanks for sharing with us. I'm using some 2x4's right now on our ramp to get the Ingersoll 318LGT in/out.
I will get the barn & ramp leveled out in a couple of weeks. slkpk
 

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4K Poster!!!!
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Great write up Jere! I really like the base and the way you did the ramp!:thanku:
 

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Need to bulid a ramp going into my shed. I've been using a pair of atv metal ramps to get the x530 in and out since last fall. I needed to build a small retaining wall before I built any sort of ramp. I am now finishing the wall and will be starting the ramp soon.

This thread has given me a lot of info/ideas. Thanks Jere!

While the ramps work ok during the summer, they're not that great with the blower on the front. Since the blower only lifts about 4", it drags and bottoms out on the ground when going in/out. I need a solid ramp with a easier pitch. I may be stealing some of your ideas Jere! :fing32:
 

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Have Dog - Will Travel
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Discussion Starter #12
No stealing necessary, these are all shared. And doubtless there is room for improvement. For getting that blower in, see what I did to alter the rake of the ramp rather than attempt a straight shot which would have bottomed out the long hitch on my TracVac.
 

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Likes Vintage JDs
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Great thread, Jere. (Must have missed it when you first posted.) I always seem to learn something from your threads and photos.

In my area it is definitely cheaper to truck one in than to have one built on-site. I'm sure it's a closer call if you build yourself -- but not everybody has the time/skills to do that.
 

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Well I took BEFORE and DURING pictures, but for some reason they won't fit on here. So I have a couple of AFTER pics.

The shed has been there since last October and I've used ATV ramps to get the JD in and out. I would have to move them every time to open/close the doors. PITA!

I couldn't start making the ramp untl I finished the retaining wall you see in the pictures. I hand dug into the small hill, roughly 5 feet in X 90 feet long. A lot of rocks too. I did most of this in July. HOT! Then I picked away at the wall. Naturally the first course of block was the most difficult. Anyway I finally finished the wall and was able to do the ramp.

4 2x12x8' that I tied to the shed, buried about 2-3 inches into the ground. I tied them together in 2 different spots. PT decking on top with the 2 pieces at the shed level, the rest gently slope down. 6 foot wide. I put Thompsans Waterseal on it all and will figure something to put down on it to give me some grip in the winter. I think it'll work out all right. Thanks for the know-how Jere! Notice the x530 in the lower left corner eagerly awaiting to climb in! :fing32:
 

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Have Dog - Will Travel
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Discussion Starter #16
Looks good Haulin. I like the wall too. Funny, the straight on picture does not show the angle of the ramp much at all, but the side view makes it pretty clear.

I think you said you set the shed last October, so you've had a winter to observe any frost heaving and settling. Or, maybe your "Seacoast" location doesn't really have much frost heave. Anyway, having tied the ramp to the shed, I'd keep an eye on it come February just to make sure the two don't get minds of their own and heave in different directions.
 

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I think you got a really nice shed there. :thThumbsU
But I think from what I have seen you should have gotten one two sizes bigger.:sidelaugh
 

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We do get some frost heaves here, and I'll keep an eye out for it but I'm thinking it should be fine. The hardest part was digging a few inches down. Rocks everywhere!

As far as the size, I originally looked at a 8x14. Wound up 10x20 and you're right, I could use bigger! "If I had a taller door, I could get a cab". "if the door were wider, I would fit a power flow through it" "if it had a nice loft"... Always can go bigger!:fing32:
 

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Have Dog - Will Travel
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Discussion Starter #19
We do get some frost heaves here, and I'll keep an eye out for it but I'm thinking it should be fine. The hardest part was digging a few inches down. Rocks everywhere!

As far as the size, I originally looked at a 8x14. Wound up 10x20 and you're right, I could use bigger! "If I had a taller door, I could get a cab". "if the door were wider, I would fit a power flow through it" "if it had a nice loft"... Always can go bigger!:fing32:
you'd have a place to stay in the unlikely event you are ever asked to "leave". I made sure my hammock fit perfectly side to side in mine.
 

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Great pics, everybody, and very nice barns. I bought a 10 x 16 Amish built barn to keep my Ford 860 undercover down at my hunting camp. It was delivered the same way and amazing how they do it so easily. I made the same type of base with #2 stone, but when it came to a ramp, I just shoveled the stone on an incline up to the bottom of the doors and have been in business ever since. I was afraid with our winter temps going down to below zero that I'd definitely have trouble with a built ramp heaving and then having to straighten and level it every spring. When I get out there, I'll take a pic or two and see if I can post them for all to see.
Duane
 
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