The Biologist and I try to spend a lot of time visiting her family near Morgantown WV, where they have a lovely 90+ acres of property with rolling hills, woods, cleared spaces with gardens, and a stream bubbling through, Her sister and niece have a small house next to her parents' home - it's a great place to visit and her sister is an amazing host whenever we come, but sometimes it would be nice to have a place of our own to go back to and sleep overnight.
Enter.......... Lynda! I found a plan that we liked for a "Victoria Shed" called "Lynda" from a website called Pin-up Houses. The shed has just enough room for The Biologist to stand up in (a little over 6' in height), a porch, and a small sleeping loft with a ladder to climb up to it. (We're calling it a "sleeping shed" instead of a "Tiny House" because otherwise people picture those $100,000+ things they've seen on TV and start to get overexcited.....)
Our plan was to start building the shed pretty close to her families home but far enough away to give us some privacy. The plans claimed that the total building cost would be under $1000 (which is a mark that we passed a long time ago...), so we got ready to pick a spot and get some wood!
Picking a Spot and starting the foundation...
We picked a lovely spot to start building, a few hundred yards away from the Sister's house and near the creek with a lovely view of the stream.
The original plans called for using a ground screw foundation, but we ended up going with concrete footings instead for a couple of reasons - mostly we were worried about the ground screws and the frost line. The ground screws went into the ground, but not necessarily far enough to be past the frost line. The concrete blocks will all be on top of the ground and should heave the same amount during frosts, so we thought that might be better. They are also easier to install and cheaper, so it was an easy choice.
Starting to level the concrete footings in our chosen spot!
Trying to get the ground blocks even and properly spaced out has been the hardest, most time consuming part of building so far.
I wish I'd taken more pictures - we dug a shallow trench for each block and filled it with pebbles. It took us several trips to finish getting the blocks level, so hopefully everything settled down in between trips and it's all pretty solid now. Then, we put in the boards for framing the floor and and put down plywood. All of this wood was pressure treated so that it was okay for ground contact. You can see the plywood base in the pictures below (under the wall framing that The Biologist did!)
Framing the walls
I wish I could tell you more about framing the walls..... but I can't. When I left the foundation after one trip, the floor framing was up and about half of the floor plywood was on top. Then, a trip came up when I couldn't come down to West Virginia with The Biologist. We kept in touch and she said she was getting pretty far, and when I asked her for a picture at the end SHE SENT ME THIS:
She had finished the plywood floor, bought the next round of wood, cut the wood, and built all of the wall frames! In one weekend she managed to do all of that and get the walls up! She claims that the nail gun was the secret to her success..... I think she has natural talent at this! When I next saw it, it was pretty much like this (minus the posts):
Getting ready to raise the roof!
When we came down for our next trip, we managed to get the front porch columns up and frame off the roof in one day...
...and then we started to Raise the Roof!
The Biologist had to do some redesign on the roof, and she decided a system using bird's eye cuts in the rafters so that they could sit securly on the roof framing.
Ply the roof? (Or would it be 'Wood the Roof'?)
I thought she was crazy when she told me at the beginning of the weekend that we'd be putting plywood up on the roof by the end, but she ended up being right! The next morning found us and The Biologist's Father out in the morning, on top of scaffolding, cutting and nailing plywood onto the roof.....
And that rounded out that weekend! We got about half of the plywood onto the roof and then did our best to cover up Lynda-in-Progress with a tarp to protect it from rain.
And that's where I last saw it! We left it at the end of November, and this is the first chance we've had to go back and work on it. On our way down to WV today, we are planning to stop at the hardware store and pick up the roofing metal that we're planning to put on top!
The goal: Finish the roof this weekend.
The timing: It's supposed to rain starting Saturday night, so we have one day to get it done....
Let's see how far we get!