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Building a LifeTime 8-foot by 10-foot storage shed

Prelude

Lifetime storage shed after 8 months on the patio
May 25, 2019 – Lifetime storage shed after 8 months on the patio

This shed was purchased in the fall of 2018. The plan was to set it up immediately. When Hurricane Michael looked like it was going to head directly for Albany, GA I unloaded the boxes from my truck, put them on the back patio and wrapped them in a tarp. When Hurricane Michael came in and wiped out most of our trees and tore up the landscape. The boxes sat on the patio from October 2018 until Memorial Day weekend May 2019.

During this time of year in southwest Georgia, it is really hot and humid. While I was working on this project the temperatures were above 95 degrees for most of the day that I was working. I do not do well when it is hot and humid.

May 25, 2019 – Lifetime storage shed after 8 months on the patio

Digging the footing and laying out the floor.

The plan I wanted to go with was to build a simple wood platform on some preformed concrete piers. The area that the shed location is not level and I did not want to excavate the soil to make it level. When the shed construction is complete I will build a ramp to make access easier for wheeled based tools.

Lifetime storage shed footing construction
May 25, 2019 – Lifetime storage shed footing construction

My process for the shed foundation set the concrete pier at the highest corner of the shed first. It was really hot here in southwest Georgia during the time that I was working on this project. digging holes in the read clay using a 25-pound rock bar and a post hole digger is a great way to get your upper arms and abdominal muscles a workout. no need to go to a gym or pay for a cross-fit class when you do yard work regularly.

I dug the holes large enough and deep enough to put an eight-inch square concrete paving stone on the bottom below the concrete pier. This paver would give the pier some added stability plus it would help me slide the pier around later on in the construction when I would be squaring up my frame.

I dug my second hole along the back of the shed ten feed from the first hole. I used one of the 2x6x10 treated boards to check the level between the first and second holes. Once I was satisfied with what I thought was an approximate good depth for the holes I started on the third hole 90 degrees perpendicular from the first hole. I figured that getting two points of the plane level with the highest point on the slope would get me closer to level for all four points with a minimal amount of moving dirt.

Final level check and confirm my footer depth
May 25, 2019 – Final level check and confirm my footer depth

After I dig all four holes and placed a paver stone and pier bloc in each one I placed two 2 x 6 x 10 boards and two 2 x 6 x 92-1/2 boards in place to give me a frame with the outside dimension of 8 feet by 10 feet. I clamped the corners temporarily to do a final level check and confirm my footer depth.

Joining the frame and getting it close to square

May 25, 2019 – Marking where the joist are located.

Before I joined the frame members I wanted to mark the two 10 foot boards to locate my floor joists. I learned this tip from YouTube University. I marked where my joist would go on both boards at once. I decided to forgo using the joist hangers and I used the GRK screws as they were easy to drive and were rated for the task.

I purchased a Bauer impact from Harbor Freight in Thomasville, GA drill so that I could quickly drive all of the screws for the wood joinery. This drill is sort of overkill for this project, but I have other projects that will require this drill for driving heaver lag bolts into wood joints. By the way, a Harbor Freight will open soon here in Albany and I will be a happy camper because my budget is limited when it comes to buying tools.

May 26, 2019 - dual fuel generator
May 26, 2019 – dual fuel generator

My work site for the shed was beyond the recommended cable length for the wire gauge of the 100-foot extension cords that I have. My 100-foot extension cords are 16 gauge wire and the Bauer drill required 12 gauge at that length. I decided to drag my dual fuel generator to the site and use it to power my tools. normally I fire up the generator once a month to test it. I purchased this generator shortly after Hurricane Michael because my previous gas powered generator would never start when I wanted to because I used it so infrequently and the gas corroded the engine. eventually, I ran out of propane, so I went to Lowe’s and bought a 100 12 gauge extension cord and finished the project using house current.

Once I had the 8 x 10 2 x 6 frame joined at the corners I started the process of getting the frame square. I took my tape measure and measured the diagonal length from two opposing corners. I used a heavy mallet to tap the corners until I got both measurements to be close to being equal. I stopped then both were within one half of an inch of 53 inches. I am not building a palace so no need for tight tolerances.

Building the floor to support the shed

Listening to music while I work and play is a must for me. normally I wear headphones when I am listening to music, but during this project, I decided to use my cooler boom box that I built from the knowledge that I gained on YouTube University.

May 26, 2019 -  Joist are installed
May 26, 2019 – Joist are installed

The next step in the project was to add the joist which will add support for the plywood that will go on top. I had to level the inside of the frame and remove some dirt to get all of the joists to fit nicely. Once I had them in place I used my drill to drive in two screws into each end.

May 26, 2019 – Installing the joist.

The GRK fasteners are truly amazing. Even with the high torque of the impact driver, the screws did not break. they went into the wood like butter. The large flange on the driver end prevented the screw from going too deep into the wood.

May 26,, 2019 Adding the joist noggins
May 26, 2019 Adding the joist noggins

I decided to get my Hitachi framing nail gun out to install the floor joist noggins. I quickly discovered that joist placed on 16-inch centers was just barely enough space to get the big head of the nail gun in position to drive a fastener. This step took less time than the setup time for using the nail gun. I don’t have a small portable compressor. I have a large 30-gallon compressor that I bought from Harbor Freight to use in my shop for airbrushing. Fortunately, I had a 100-foot air hose that allowed me to use my nail gun without dragging the large compressor to the construction site.

May 26, 2019 Hitachi framing nailer
May 26, 2019 Hitachi framing nail gun
May 26, 2019 Hitachi framing nail gun
  • May 27, 2019 - Red Hat Construction taking a break
  • May 27,2019 Plywood almost installed
  • Plywood installed
  • Holes drilled in deck so water will drain.

The basic framing is complete. The next step is to put the 3/4 inch plywood over the 2 x 6 frame. I am getting excited at this point because I can finally see the end of this phase of the project.

May 27, 2019 plywood is installed.

Lifetime Shed Assembly

May 27, 2019 – Lifetime shed parts

I have finally got to the part of this project where I can actually start assembling the shed. It is late in the day on Monday, May 27th and I am just getting the parts out of the box. I started getting the shed walls up the next weekend, June 1, 2019.

I am reading the extensive detailed instructions on how to assemble the shed. There are plastic bags that are labeled with all of the hardware for each step of the assembly. All of the large plastic panels which form the shed walls and roof are stamped with their part numbers and are identified in the detailed assembly instructions. It took me a while to look at the images to identify some of the parts correctly. I made a major mistake with installing the roof trusses which I will describe later.

  • June 1, 2019 - Shed walls going up
  • June 1, 2019 - Shed walls going up
  • June 1, 2019 - Shed walls going up
  • June 1, 2019 - Lifetime starting to add the shed roof
  • June 1, 2019 - Lifetime starting to add the shed roof

Putting down the flooring was pretty easy. there are interlocking tabs on the four pieces of the floor. Small screws are used to keep the 4 sections of the floor from separating during the rest of the shed assembly. although I have no plans at this time to take this shed apart and move it, the possibility of moving the shed in pieces is possible.

The shed instructions call for an additional one or two persons to help with some of the assembly steps. Since I am a member of the “I’d rather do it myself” club, I have enlisted my ladder helper and bungee cord minions on this project.

Getting the first wall up and standing all by itself is a milestone for me on this project. Spending almost four days working on the foundation for this shed and not even getting to the shed assembly was a test of endurance for this arduous work. the payoff is that the shed assemble is not as hard as digging in the dirt, so I am happy.

After I got the walls up I started on the roof. This first truss that I have in place is actually facing in the wrong direction. I will find out about this mistake later when I install the doors. The metal truss has one end that is cut out so that the door poles will fit. I will describe how I “fixed” it later on in this story.

All three roof trusses are installed. I had to use my ladder and bungee cords to get them in place and screwed in. This shed has a lot of screws so using a lightweight battery-powered drill to use as a screwdriver is a key tool in this type of work. I use this method when I assemble Ikea furniture too. I have a Dewalt 12v drill that I set the speed to 1 and the clutch to between 9 and 11. This is the perfect setting to prevent over-tightening or stripping screws used to assemble soft material like wood or in this case plastic.

Fixing my mistake on the trusses near the door hinges was a sobering moment for in this project. I wondered why the trusses were different on the ends, but it did not dawn on me to think this through and flip them around. the images on the instructions were too small to show that the direction that the trusses face was to the door location. The descriptive text did do not make note of this fact (at least at the time of this diatribe I believe this to be true. I will go back and check to make sure I did not miss this important detail).

Fixing the left door

June 2,, 2019 - left door hinged popped out.
June 2, 2019 – left door hinged popped out.

So after a long day of shed assembly, I find that after installing the roof pieces over the door that the left door hinge has popped out of the slot in the support truss. I will have to take the screws out of the roof next weekend to put it back in the truss. I will be careful to make sure it stays there when I re-attach the roof section above it.

Building the tool rack

I built a 2 by 4 frame on three of the interior walls of the shed. This frame would support the weight of the tools as the plastic walls would not handle the load. I was glad to finally finish the shed assembly and enter into the start putting stuff inside of the shed phase.

The tools are on the racks and organized. there is enough space int he shed to walk around as the middle of the floor is clear of clutter for the moment. there is plenty of room for more tools and the rack system is flexible so that tools can be moved around and are easily found when needed.

The Ramp

  • July 07, 2019 - Shed and ramp supports
  • July 07, 2019 - Shed and ramp supports
  • July 07, 2019 - Checking the board layout on ramp
  • July 07, 2019 - Ramp front view detail
  • July 07, 2019 - Ramp top view detail
  • July 07, 2019 - Ramp side view detail

I had a lot of fun engineering the ramp. I was going to make it four feet wide, but Sylvia suggested that the ramp be wider than the door for safety reasons. I thought this was a great idea so I made the ramp seven feet wide, I used the recycled paver stones that we have lying around our yard to add additional stability for the ramp when it makes contact near the ground. I added treated 2 by 4 to transition to the dirt. the ramp is strong and makes it easy to get the lawnmower and leaf mulcher in and out of the shed.

Finally, the shed is finished

This was a fun project, but I am glad it is done. Sylvia and I grew so tired of looking out on our patio and seeing the shed boxes covered by a tarp for months. Ore garden tools were scattered all over the garage. now everything for the yard is in one spot inside of a lovely cottage style shed.

  • July 07, 2019 - Shed and ramp are finished
  • July 07, 2019 - Shed and ramp are finished
  • July 07, 2019 - Shed and ramp are finished

Lonnie Wormley

1 Comment

  1. Walter Frank on July 8, 2019 at 11:15 pm

    G
    reat job Lonnie, thanks for sharing, during the build did you get any of those “Screws in you coffee” cup?