The Shed

I know you’ve been waiting, so here goes…
 
The old shed, hand-built by my father-in-law, has had its day.  The sliding door has had an argument with the door jamb, and so now they never meet anymore.  The window frames have rotted through, and the yellowing plastic windows have either dropped out or flap like a wounded bird in the wind.  Though the frame is sound enough, the plywood walls are peeling and splintering.
 
So we bought a metal shed.  Self assembly.  Yes, dear reader.  Power tool time.
 
On Wednesday two cardboard boxes were delivered.  Surely a large metal shed could no possibly fit in such small packages.  On Friday evening I did what I have never done before, but what every set of instructions order you to.  I went through the parts to check they were all there.  And what a lot of identical-looking, but differently numbered, parts there were.  I laid them out on the lawn in order.  Sad though this seems, it actually made assembly much easier.  well, less difficult, anyway.
 
The shed had came from the local Homebase store, curiously via Canada.  Don’t they have log cabins rather than tin sheds?  Not all the panels had weathered the journey well.  There were a few minor scratches and grazes, but it had to go up this weekend, so The Missus gave the go-ahead.
 
On Saturday morning in 27 degree heat I and number two sprog set to.  I cannot find my cap, so I take my motorcycle neck tube, close the top with a clothespeg, and stick it over my bald patch.  Protection from the sun and ventilation.  Cool.
 
First assemble the base frame.  I love my power screwdriver.  Then attach the corner posts.  The instructions say that it will go better with two people.  It also says that you have to support all four corner posts until the top frame is in place.  With two people.  Yeah, right.
So Er Indoors joins the party.  They hold the corner posts upright(ish) whilst I screw the top frame in place.
 
The Missus goes and does whatever it is she does around the house.  Shortly after number two sprog gets bored, even after I let him operate the screwdriver, and bogs off somewhere.
 
By noon I have slotted the authentic wood-effect tin walls in place.  She calls me indoors.  She doesn’t want me to get skin cancer before the shed is finished.
 
One-thirty I start again.  On go the gable ends.  Then I fit the roof beams.  Finally I start srcewing the roof panels in place.  Even at six feet two, this is a bit of a stretch, so I use the wooden step ladder I find in the shed.  Cushty.
 
It is while I am fitting one of the centre panels that the step ladder collapses.  Well, not so much collapse, but breaks.  Well, actually, it disintegrates into shards of wood and rusty nails.  My left arm is extended over one of the side roof beams.  When I pick myself up off of the concrete I notice that the beam is bent out of shape.  The bracket is bent out of square.  She Who Must Be Obeyed appears, drawn by the sound of destruction.  She surveys the chaos in an instant, then rushes back into the house on an errand of mercy.  Within seconds She is back, with a metal three-step ladder.  She is so thoughtful.
 
I get up the steps.  A couple of small holes have been torn in the roof panels by the screws attached to the beam.  So I dissassemble the beam, bend it back into a pretty straight facsimile of what it used to be like, and start again.  Some waterproof aluminium tape and it’s as good as new.
 
On Sunday All I have to do is secure the shed to the concrete base and then fit the doors.  We go to Homebase and buy 20 bolts and concrete rawl plugs (OK, they were plastic rawl plugs, but they were designed to  be used in concrete) and a masonory bit.
 
And then back to the shed, power drill on the end of two extension leads.  I am hot to trot.
 
I spent 20 minutes inside the shed, drilling a hole to take the plug.  A small hole.  Maybe 1/4 inch deep.  And no more.  Not even switching on the hammer action and swearing at it made any improvement.  I went back inside and explained the situation to The Light Of My Life.  Her lips moved, but She says nothing.  I tell her I’ll go back and see if they have something better for drilling through concrete.  She mimes again, but no sound.  Then she writes something down.  It’s "And get some earplugs".  Hammer drill.  Tin shed.  It makes sense.
 
After queueing up for 15 minutes at the customer desk I’m directed to the best masonary bit they have.  And the earplugs.
 
I try again.  After 30 minutes the hole is maybe 1/2 an inch deep, and will not go any further.  I examine the concrete floor.  At the edge of the concrete I can see a cross-section.  It has been mixed with flint.  There is no way, no how I am going to get through.  And I have another 17 of these to drill.  Change of plan.  What I’ll do is cement some bricks over the inside lip of the shed.  Cushty.
 
But it is now 3:30 on Sunday.  I will have to wait until Monday.
 
Monday it’s Ho! to Homebase again.  They refund me the money for the pawlplugs and bolts, and I buy a bag of cement and eight bricks.  The Little Woman buys yet more plants.  Then it’s back home.  I cement the bricks in place, then cement the gaps between the base and the bottom of the shed.  After I finished, I don’t want to faff around with the shed until after the cement has set.
 
Tuesday the sizzling heat goes away and it chucks it down.  We decide to give the shed a rest today.  So we Go Shopping at Lakeside.  In the evening She goes up to watch the World Cup in the bedroom.  Stuck with nothing else to do I go down to the shed.  I start to assemble the doors inside the shed, as it’s still raining.  The instructions talk about four different size bolts.  I have two sizes.  Bloody Canucks!  I improvise.  I have almost finished the first door when I drop a bolt.  It is now too dark inside the shed, so I give in.
 
This morning (Wednesday) I finshed up the doors.  Everything seems to work.  The Missus is suspicious, but cannot find anything wrong.
 
Finally I am going to improvise and take the guttering from the old shed and put it onto the new.  I take the old plastic guttering down.  Then I take the clips down.  Then I drill holes in my nice new shed to take the clips.  As I try to fit them a couple of them break.  The sun and age has made them brittle.  Tomorrow is payday.  Guess where I’m going.
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About snodlander
Snodlander is the nom de plume of Bob Simms. He is an IT trainer, but it's not as glamourous as it sounds. When he's not enthralling classes with adventures through SQL Server, he writes, draws and drinks his own home-brew. Buy his novel on Amazon Kindle at The Young Demon Keeper, It's 74p, for crying out loud!

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