19 June, 2017

A New Shed

We (that is, I) just don't seem to be able to leave well enough alone. I just had to go ahead and start a new project, in fact, two of them simultaneously.

One project is replacing Elsie's palapa with a work shed, and the second is rehabbing the street-side or back porch of the Mennonite house.

Both projects started at the same time, but I've separated them into two postings. Replacing the palapa comes first simply because that's the way the photos showed up.

It's Seen Better Days
So, here's Elsie's palapa. We call it that because Elsie King, a friend of ours from Canada, used to own this half of the property and she built the palapa.

It's seen better days and is in dire need of re-thatching. Thatch is becoming more and more expensive. I have been wanting to build a shed of some sort so that we could move all the paint, bug killer chemicals, and yard tools out of the 'basement.' I also wanted to move the gas cans out of the well pump house, and the lawn mower needed a protected storage area as well. I'm hoping to also be able to shoehorn the storage rack in the west breezeway into the shed. That all will leave the breezeways clear and clean, instead of the junk collectors they are at present.

Cross Piece Coming Down
The first part of getting the palapa to come down is unbolting all of the supporting structure. Here the guys are unbolting cross braces. Even then, they still had to saw several of the timbers to get it to come down.

Reached the Ground
Finally, it's beginning to come down. It may look flimsy, but keep in mind just how heavy lumber is down here. This thing weighs a ton.

It never did really crash to the ground. It more or less, eased itself down gently.

The final dismantling of the palapa is well underway. All the thatch went off to the burn pile. It's several years old and has become much to brittle to even think of using it to patch holes in the parking palapa, which is in dire need of some serious thatch patching, as it were. But that's another story for another post.

Just the Posts Left
The only things left at this stage are the vertical corner posts. They're sunk deeply into the marl, and they also weigh a lot. They're made from a very dense hard lumber..

In the meantime, marking the dimensions of the shed are taking place around them.

Digging the Footing
Even though the marl is almost as tough as concrete, it really doesn't take the guys long at all to dig a nice sized ditch, which encompasses the outer boundaries of the proposed shed.

Most of the marl that comes out of the footing work will end up being spread along the fence behind the shed.

Sand Arriving
Of course, even though we have a couple of nice piles of gravel and sand around, one can never have too many of each. Especially the sand. That's very popular with both the dogs and the cats, but for very different reasons. The dogs love to play king of the mountain, and the cats, well, they put the piles of sand to a more practical use, you might say.

Adding Steel
With posts still in place, the footing trench is coming along quite nicely. Here, the guys are adding the steel (rebar) to the trench which helps strengthen the concrete.

Footing Poured
And, just like that, the trench is full of concrete. Well, a bit slower than that. Actually, it's a lot of wheelbarrow loads of concrete. Soon we should see the walls begin to rise.

Floor Ready for Pour
Next came leveling out the middle section and laying a rebar mat of concrete which will form the shed floor.

You can see the wood forms already in place to contain the concrete that will be poured to made the floor of the shed.

Collection of Rubble
The rubble is mostly old curbing that once defined the driveway edges. We had to take some out so that the new parts of the driveway could join with the old.

This also has the piece of curbing I fell against two or three years ago when our dogs Cindy, Secret, and Deeohgee, all got into one of those weird fights that happens now and then with dogs. Unfortunately, Cindy ended up losing her life as a result of the fight. I almost broke my back trying to separate the three of them. I fell, rather violently backwards and landed square across my lower back. I was bedridden in mucho pain for about a month.

There's other bits and pieces of concrete rubble, like our birdbath that mysteriously flipped off of its pedestal, broke into a bunch of pieces, and cracked the base. All that ended up in the pile as well. We suspect Noel of being the guilty party by jumping from the circular staircase onto the bowl of the birdbath. But, she won't admit to it.

First Row of Blocks
Now, the first row of blocks is going in. When the weather is nice, things move fast. Of course, now we're entering the rainy season, so we're expecting to have some delays in the construction.

Landing Hold Some Rubble
Here's some of the rubble going into the landing for the shed. As it turns out, the guys were only able to use about half of the rubble in the shed. They'll be hauling off the rest of it at the project end.

Floor Poured
And now, the floor of the shed has been cast. The PVC piping you see is where the water supply and electrical service will be coming through.

We're going to have some LED lights inside and an LED porch light with an electric eye. That will be centered over the shed door. I also want to have a couple motion detection lights at either end of the shed.

Wall Tools Installed
I couldn't figure out what they were doing when these steel 2x4s were installed vertically. I asked Rene and Ender about these. Turns out they're tools that they use to help ensure straight edges of the blocks in the corners, and as tools in determining window, lintel, and roof height and pitch (I think). Anyway, there's marks all over them. They have a collection of eighteen of these things. Well, as long as it works for them.

Just About Done for the Day
This is day two of the block-laying. It rained quite heavily early in the morning, but really cleared by 9:00 AM.

Window and Sink Location
This shows the window (louvered) location. The utility sink will also go here. It's only going to have cold water, and will drain into a rock-filled drum buried in the marl just outside the building.

This rather plain wall will have a set of shelves to hold the paint and yard/bug chemicals. I'll be using the standard and brackets type of shelving. As long as you anchor them with epoxy applied to the plastic wall anchors, the shelf system becomes basically bomb-proof.

Daisy's First Inspection Tour
Here's my newest supervisor. Her name is Daisy. She's a rescue dog and is about a year-and-a-half old. A sweet girl, she's a quick learner.

She's busy checking out the inside of the doorway, looking out to the landing.

I mentioned the rain. It's Monday now, and no work today. Heavy rain has been in the forecast, but of course, so far, we've had just a little. Maybe tomorrow.


Julian Foster said...

Hi Dave,
Glad to see you posting some again. Did your computer woes get solved -- or did you have to buy a new one this time??
I am sorry about Secret - I know how hard that can be - and that was with a cat (which don't always show the same feelings as most dogs.)
BTW - when are you getting a boat to put in your nice slip back at the canal??
Take care,

Winjama said...

Hi Julian,

Thanks for your kind comment about Secret. She was a great dog. She knew it was time to go. It's strange how that all works out. I really miss her.