I’m back with an update on Side no.1 of our “Shed to Schoolhouse” project. A few days ago I shared the before pictures of our backyard shed and our plan for it. Right now we are focusing on the exterior of the shed because it was in BAAAD shape. Also, it needs to be sealed (no holes or openings) completely before we do any work inside. My husband and I began slowly working on side no. 1 back in February. He works full time, so we work mostly in the evenings and on weekends (when we don’t have plans). It has truly been a team effort thus far. Over the summer I’ve been able to work some on it during the day while my girls play outside (or watch too many cartoons….hehehe). Our first step was to pry off all of the battens and decide which boards would need to be replaced. Then we had to decide the height that would be our “half way” mark to cut the boards. It took some discussion and trial and error because we needed to make sure the height that we chose would work all the way around the building. Once we decided on the height, we snapped a chalk line across the shed. Next, my husband set our circular saw to the depth of the boards and cut the side in half. The picture below shows you the side “in half” with the left side of the door ready to have the plank siding put on. We had also installed the new door. The new door makes such a big difference! The natural light that floods in through the panes is great. The interior definitely needed more light!
We purchased an outswing door which is sealed differently than an inswing door. The previous door was not an outswing door, it was rigged to be one which is why it was rusted and in such poor condition. Elements (i.e. wind, rain, ice, high temps) can really wreak havoc on buildings when things are not properly installed and maintained. Moisture especially can really mess things up!! That has been a huge lesson for us throughout this process so we are taking care to do everything right.
The next picture shows several battens in place, 3 planks up and the place where the window is going to go. I want to say here that JamesHardie products are HARD!! A hammer and nail and plain ole’ saw blade was not going to cut it(haha, no pun intended)!! After many bent nails and some research, we ended up investing in a roofing nailer and a special blade for our circular saw. Both saved us a ton of time and effort!
Once we snapped our chalk lines, the planks went up fairly quickly. Below shows the rest of the planks up before we added the window and the trim. The tan/yellowish color is the way the planks and trim come. We plan to paint after all four sides are complete. Plus, we have a ton of caulking to do! Exterior caulk has to set-up for several days, sometimes as long as 10 days depending on the humidity, before it can be painted.
Something really cool happened as we put our planks up. The planks come in a 12 foot length. Per installation instructions, a gap minimum of 1/8 inch is supposed to be left between the planks and the vertical trim. Well, the length of the planking ended up being exactly 12′ and 1/8″ which left our gaps on either side of the plank between 1/4 to 1/8 inch!! Folks, we absolutely did not plan it this way!! It simply just worked out this way!! (I don’t believe it was just coincidence either. Only God could have had it work out so perfectly! And yes, I totally believe that He works everything out from the tiniest detail to the biggest in our lives.)
The next picture brings us to the almost completion of Side no. 1 of this Shed to School house renovation!! The small window has been installed as well as the battens completed too. We still need to change out the floodlight with something prettier, power wash that metal roof and of course paint. However, it is quite the transformation already!! We are so pleased!
We are hoping to complete all four sides by the end of August. For now, I will leave you with the unbelievable before and after of side no. 1.
Now, on to Side no. 2! Be back soon with an update!