People have stuff. By and large, people have more stuff than they have room to keep the stuff. So the choice is simple: 1) Get rid of stuff 2) Build sheds to house the stuff that you can’t bear to get rid of. Mainly, you need a place to put stuff that is not where you usually live. Ideally, this place should be able to keep your stuff out of the elements. You need a shed. A shed is any small building that you can place pretty much anywhere (and everywhere) on your property to store your important stuff.
Now lots of people have garages. If you are Type 2 (see above), then you might be tempted to pack every cubic centimeter of space in your garage with your stuff. Thus eliminating (temporarily) the need for sheds. This strategy works until the first serious snowfall when you have to go out in sub-zero temperatures and clear feet of snow off of your wife’s car. Now you regret your decision. So let’s skip ahead past this sorry mistake and figure you’re bright enough to know now that you need a shed. Because hey, Happy Wife, Happy Life.
The History of Sheds in America
There are some sheds that have always been here. They were created by God on like the 5th day of Creation. They are called barns. Nobody built them, they just always existed. They are always on the verge of collapsing, but you can still put your tractor in there, and store animal feed in the bottom.
For those of us not lucky enough to have a Divinely-constructed barn, we have to buy and build sheds. Like me with my first house, you might happen into a shed that was already there. In this instance, it was a metal shed that was built by this German guy who really knew what he was doing. Walter owned the house before I bought it from him. Everything he did was done with German precision. This metal shed was on a concrete slab that was as massive as the basemat of a nuclear power plant. It was spacious, but I soon filled it with junk. Still, it was the inspiration for my love of sheds.
First homes eventually lead to second homes. In this case, we moved from a really nice German-designed and built house to an ancient farm house in the middle of nowhere. However, it did have one of those barns originally build by God.
And I had it completely filled with stuff. The plan was to build a huge garage next to the house that would house the (ex) wife’s car and other important stuff. Alas, this, like the ex-wife, did not pan out. My current wife soon tired of bucolic bliss and we moved to our current home.
My Current Sheds
Now my current house is huge. It has more square-footage than your average airplane hanger. As well as an over-sized two-car garage. So I wasn’t hurting for space. For about a year or so.
Then I realized that I had nowhere to store my tractor and other yard maintenance equipment. So, of course, I needed a shed. Owing to my acute lack of funds from buying such a big house, I opted for a metal shed which I would build myself. The instructions were clear. “BE SURE THAT THE GROUND IS LEVEL BEFORE BEGINING CONSTRUCTION OF YOUR SHED”. Well it looked level to me, so away we went.
Now all of the 700,000 parts of the shed had pre-drilled holes where the screws went. At the base of the shed all was well and the holes lined up perfectly. As we progressed up the shed, the lack of “level-ness” became problematic, and the holes no longer lined up. Through man-handling and creative drilling, I got the thing up. And it held up fairly well. Until the blizzard of 2007 where we got 28 inches of heavy wet snow that collapsed my shed like a potato chip. I’ve heard of metal “screaming” when it fails, and I can honestly say it does. When the dust cleared, I had the insurance dude come out and inspect the damage to the shed as well as rather large tree limbs that had crashed into the house. His verdict was that the metal shed was a total loss, and that he would give me a generous sum to have it torn down, hauled away, and replaced. Cheap-O that I am, I tore it down myself, then transported the scrap to the local yard and made $80 on the scrap metal. I then took the insurance money and got me an Amish barn shed!
Now I’m pretty sure the Amish got a load of barns that God had made during the creation as this thing has been there for 15 years now and looks like it will likely be there for another million years. They brought it in on this wild-ass flatbed trailer that had the ability to move in 3-D. They placed it exactly where the metal shed had been, and the lack of level-ness didn’t seem to bother it in the least.
For years I was happy with my Amish barn. Then we got into biking. We had a number of bikes that were taking up valuable space in the barn where I needed to park my tractor and other yard maintenance equipment in the winter.
It was then that I bought my first Rubbermaid plastic shed which I placed near the Amish barn.
Now, you’d have think I’d have learned. Because right there in the instructions was “BE SURE THAT THE GROUND IS LEVEL BEFORE BEGINING CONSTRUCTION OF YOUR SHED”. But I was placing this one on a blacktop driveway that sloped ever-so-slightly away from the house. Alas I had the same issue with trying to fit the pieces together at the top. But nothing that a bit of Gorilla Tape couldn’t seal up. So now I had a place to fit my bikes, and the tractor was happy in the Amish barn.
Then I got electric bikes. Now these had to go in the Amish barn because I had electricity in there to charge the bike batteries. But then there was no space for the tractor. Until my neighbor told me of a guy he knew with a really nice plastic shed that he wanted removed. So me and my buddy went there and tore it down, transported it to my house, and erected it. For the first time, I followed instructions and built a treated wooden platform that was absolutely level. And the shed went up as easy as pie.
So there you have it. The house we live in now has a huge two-car garage. An Amish barn shed, and two plastic sheds. However, I couldn’t let my tractor sit out in the rain during the summer, so I bought this steel-framed, canvas-covered carport. When I put the tractor away in the winter, I repurpose the carport to park my son’s car.
And that’s it. I think I’m done with sheds. Oh wait. There is the plastic-canvas shed-in-a-box I got to store the swimming pool stuff in the winter. Well, it’s not a real shed, really.
And now that really is it. I’ve been told by “others” that I will be hauled in for examination if I get any more sheds. Looks like it’s time to throw stuff away.
And if you think I’m alone with my obsessions, I took a quick spin down the bike trail with my electric bike. Sheds are like flag poles. You’d be hard pressed to think of anyone who has one until you look. Then you find out that about everybody has them. Here is a few local sheds from a brief half-mile ride up the bike trail.
Some look good, and some not so good.
Daytripping with Rick