- Green Technology
Build A Storage Shed Out Of Recycled Material
From Wood Deck To Woodshed
For all of my adult life I have been recycling things. I am always looking to re-purpose items I either find, am given, or sometimes both. And my latest project was no exception.
The house where I live has a huge backyard full of rose bushes, peach trees, blackberry vines, and a host of other landscape plants and trees. But in a very back, dark, desperate corner of the yard where very little wants to grow, there is a pole frame that was once used (before I moved in to the house) as a dog run. It is an eyesore to say the least with only a blooming Jasmine creeping over some chicken wire on one end of the frame to soften the view. Removing the frame would have been arduous and painful work as it is cemented in the hard ground so I came to the conclusion that it should be converted in to a storage shed which I didn’t have in the backyard. However, after careful calculation, I realized that to transform the pole frame in to a shed was going to be expensive. So I put the idea on the back-burner of my mind to simmer for what ended up being three years. In the meantime, I collected or hoarded any free lumber and hardware I came across with the shed still lingering in my mind.
Then one day, my father decided that he wanted to have a house built on his property to replace the mobile home he was living in and suddenly opportunity came knocking. On his old mobile home was a large wood deck covered by a metal roof and he needed it to be removed before his new house could be built. "Perfect!" I thought, "Materials for my shed!"
Luckily I was able to enlist my brother’s help and we slowly, piece by piece, removed the wood deck and metal roof in one day. I saved everything I could including the screws. With this material, the material I had been collecting, and tools I already owned, I had enough to start building my shed.
I started with the roof and only had to buy three 4X8 sheets of plywood (which were on sale), two boxes of screws (wood and roof metal), and two 10' sections of drip edge metal. For the roof supports, I attached four 2X6X8 boards that I got from my dad to the pole frame with pole clamps and bolts I found. Then I screwed in the plywood, screwed in the drip edge, screwed in three sheets of 3X12 roof metal, and the roof was done.
Next was to build the floor. I basically just built a deck using the deck boards and screws I got from my dad and a 4X4X6 post I found. I only had to buy 12 concrete pavers to place under the short pieces of 4X4 post I used to support the deck. I wanted the posts to be off the ground and out of the mud and any water that might stand after a rain. I also bought a few lag bolts. All the other hardware I used, I already had from either previous projects or were found.
With the floor done, I was ready to install the wall supports. I only had to buy the pole clamps, bolts, and nuts for this. Once again, I already had the lumber and other hardware I was to use. I used both 2X4 and 2X6 lumber to create 3 rows of supports on each wall section. Please see the picture of this section to get a good idea.
The walls consist of 10 sheets of 4X8 plywood that I also bought on sale. I also had to buy two tubes of caulking for the cracks between the sheets of plywood and the wood trim pieces. I made the trim pieces by ripping some fence planks that I already had in to two smaller pieces. I found that ripping boards in to two pieces with my circular saw saved me from having to buy any extra lumber. Then, I bought two gallons of primer and applied that to the outside of every piece of exterior wood. I used the paint that I had left over from painting the house a few years before so the house and shed match.
For the double doors, I pieced together some of the larger pieces of plywood I had left over from building the walls. I bought four very inexpensive hinges, used a latch I already had, and made door handles out of a couple of clamps that were once auto parts.
I built a wooden ramp up to the double doors once again using the wood and screws from the deck tear down and other lumber and hardware I already had.
To complete the project, I built a pergola for the Jasmine to grow over since I had to take down that lovely chicken wire. I only had to buy some plumbers strap to attach four 2X6X8 boards to the pole frame. I cut strips of left over plywood for the lattice work. All the wood is primed and painted. And as an afterthought, I attached a 2X4 to the pole frame with 4 chain link fence pole clamps I hadn’t used yet to work as a tool hanger under the pergola.
I built this 7X12 shed and pergola by myself in approximately 5 weeks. It was a lot of work and fabrication but well worth it as I now have extra storage space and who doesn’t need that? Cost for this project? Only $230! This just goes to prove that with a little planning, hoarding, and imagination, you can make something you need out of something someone else doesn’t, save money, and recycle. I don’t know about you but this makes me feel good.