The Older Shed, Part II

WHEN I HAD THE idea to create this blog, I imagined coming home at the end of a tough day of sweaty work dismantling the various sections of the house and chronicling the day’s successes–almost like I might have kept a diary of daily events when I was a boy. That hasn’t happened. Most days I come home almost too tired to move. So, it’s been a few weeks since I first wrote about the shed, and a lot has happened in the interim.

I had hoped to have the shed “on the ground” before I left Virginia in mid-June to do some work in Minneapolis, but there was a particularly stubborn corner that I left standing after several days of tearing off the boards and trying to get the roof to drop in, without having it fall on my head. So, I left for two weeks half expecting to come back to a collapsed pile. When I returned on June 24th and went to check on the house, however, the corner was exactly as I’d left it.

2016-06-09 19.38.56
One corner of the shed refused to budge even though it was only being held up by a single support post.

The picture here shows what the shed looked like when I got back to it. There was one sturdy support that refused to give.


I tugged at a few more boards and started rocking the remaining structure from the back, pushing on it with my hands. It wavered and finally crashed to the ground. I knew that having it on the ground would make it easier to take off the boards from the back side that were too tall for me to loosen.

A bit overwhelmed by all of the demolition chores, I asked my niece’s fiance if he would be interested to help me continue taking the shed apart. Fortunately, he took on the job. He spent one Saturday morning disassembling the rest of the pile, which included the front of the shed, the last section of the back, and the remnants of the rotting roof. Five hours later, this is what the site of the old shed looked like. IMG_2731

There’s a large pile of boards, ripe with nails hiding behind the forsythia bushes, so that’s the next big chore–pulling the hundreds of nails from the boards so that they can be reused. I’ve found that builders from the past loved nails. If you could use one, they used three. I’ve already spent hours taking the nails out of the mouldings from inside the house. Maybe I’ll find some helpers for the chore of removing these nails.

Here’s the “before” shot of the shed for the sake of comparison. The thin yellow “string” hanging right inside the front of the shed is the caution tape that was stretched around both sheds when I bought the property to warn folks of the danger that the sheds might collapse at any moment. This work is much slower than I had hoped it would be, but there is progress. I’ve already spoken with my uncle about helping me construct a new gardening shed on the site of this old one … one step at a time.




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