The Road Home

The Road Home
There is no place like home.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Old Shed to New Shed

Hello, Frank here.

Hope everybody is doing well. When Fern and I moved to Oklahoma, this piece of property had an older wooden shed that I'm guessing was about 30 years old. It was weather tight for the most part, which means it would keep the rain out, but it had an open type roof system that allowed plentiful ventilation. We patched up the old shed a time or two, and then a couple of weeks back we decided it was time to replace it. I was looking for a shed or storage building that I could also use to install some south facing solar panels. So, after doing some investigation and research, I decided to go with the same type building we use for other storage items. I'm going to try to walk you through the process of replacing this older wooden shed. Okay? Okay.  

I called a handful of people to see if anyone wanted to tear it down for the 30 year old 2 x 4 and 2 x 6's. There was a lot of good, older lumber, and a couple of 4 x 8 sheets of 3/4" plywood that were in very good shape, but I found no takers. Why didn't I do it myself?
My body will just not allow this type of harder manual labor anymore. I decided what I wanted, went to a lumber yard, talked to the folks there. I have bought portable buildings from them before. And, with a large enough purchase, they will deliver long distance. I've also bought lumber, plywood, and general building supplies before, and they do charge a delivery fee over so many miles. But I like the company, I like the employees and in the future I will continue to do business with them. 

But, before they could deliver the building, the old building had to be gone. It took about two afternoons to empty it, saving the good stuff and throwing away some of the older, useless items. I don't think I mentioned, but we use this shed for gardening supplies, shovels, hoes, water hoses, gasoline
and propane canisters, and just stuff like that. Now that I had it empty, I thought about burning it down, but burning is not a big strength of mine. So, while I was standing in it, thinking of how to do it, one of the outside panels was flapping around in the breeze. Even though I know better, I walked over and gave it a gentle kick from the inside. It kind of flopped around like a fish out of water for a couple of seconds, then kind of fell off. Then I went and got a sledge hammer and found the other panels very easy to remove. I picked them up, stacked them on my utility trailer, and went and sat and had a cup of coffee.

Now, I had promised my wife that I would not do anything major to this building without her being here to protect me. And while I was having my coffee, the building just blew over. Well, not really. I went and got my tractor and a couple of boxes of medium weight chain that I bought at Wal-Mart many years ago and use rarely.

I wrapped one of the chains around the header of the door, and wrapped the end of the other chain around the tractor bumper. I'll call it a bumper for lack of a better name.

I gave the building a very gentle tug and it came down. I retrieved my chains and commenced to very gently beat the building to death with my front end loader. I'm sure some local farmers would cringe at some of the things I do with my little tractor, but since I'm a city boy and don't know any better, that makes it okay.

Different topic, but one of the reasons I bought this particular style of tractor was, one day at work I got to watch a construction team use one of these little tractors for construction purposes. I was amazed at the things they did with that little tractor. So even though I may use it for things it was not designed for, I always have safety in the back of my mind.

So after releasing my frustration on the building with my tractor, I commenced to load all of the pieces that I could handle by myself, which was the vast majority of it. With the use of a fine adjusting tool, a sledge hammer, I was able to encourage other pieces to loosen their grip. 
After a couple of hours, the vast majority of it was on the trailer. This all happened on a Thursday. So I called a buddy of mine to see if he could help me Friday morning with some of the bigger chunks, and we were able to get it all loaded with the persuasion of a couple of fine adjusting tools. We flipped the base over, and again, with sledge hammers and crowbars, broke it into manageable pieces. About an hour and a half later, it was loaded and gone. I spent a little while later smoothing out some of the ground. Also, Thursday afternoon after I made arrangements with my friend, I called the lumber yard and they agreed to bring the new shed Saturday morning.

And right after that phone call, Fern came home from work. She reminded me of our agreement, about not pulling the building down when she wasn't here. But I told her, too, that the wind blew it down. She was happy that I was all in one piece, and proud of me for getting the job done. Now back to real time.

Saturday morning, the gentlemen arrive with the new building and in a perfect world, they could have just pulled in, backed up and dropped it off. But, we don't live in a perfect world. 

So, turns here, twists there...........

avoid this tree limb and that tree limb.......

and be careful not to snag on the antenna wires coming and going.....

back up there.....

But the man that brought this building out, had brought out two earlier. As mentioned, he does a very good job and is patient and tolerant. So, after some creative backing and positioning.....

the building is magically ejected from the trailer.

With a little persuasion from my little tractor, the building was in place.

I was amazed, once the building was in place, at how quickly the leveling went.

Then, Wa-la! The building was there.

One more thing to do, though. I replaced the locking door knob.
A little history here. When Fern and I moved here, there were house keys, garage keys, and a half a dozen different padlocks on various things. So we talked about it for a while and decided that we didn't value our existence by the number of keys that we carry. So we went to a local hardware store and asked if they could get us a number of locking door knobs all using the same key. They said sure. So, we got, I don't remember exactly, about 10 sets of locking doorknobs. So, now our house keys, garage keys, shed keys, all keys, are minimized down to one key. We did the same for padlocks. I use a padlock inside each one of the barn doors, two on my stock trailer, every drive through and walk through gate also has a padlock. Anywhere we need a padlock, we have extras, and they all use the same key. So, one house key, one padlock key, life is good.

So, this is the saga of old shed to new shed. Today is Sunday and our new shed has just received a half inch to an inch of sleet at 20 degrees, accompanied by thunder and lightening. If you need to make some improvements, and you have the time and the means, it never hurts to upgrade. 

And, by the way, after the building was set and everybody left, I was able to reattach my tiller and get the garden tilled before the weather turned. 


All of the antennas are back in place, and sometime in the near or distant future, I will use that building to mount solar panels on. But that will be another story.

We'll talk more later. Frank


  1. Gotta love those high lift jacks!

    1. Rob, these guys use these jacks not just to lift with, but they will tilt the jack, raise it up and move the building a few inches in a certain direction. It was neat to watch them use it. Thanks for the comment.


  2. HI Frank! Love the story! The buildings are very nice! Thanks for sharing! Blessings from Bama!

    1. Felecia,

      Thank you for reading and thank you for the comment. It was something that needed to be done a couple of years ago. In a couple of months it will have grass growing up around it, and hopefully a few solar panels mounted on it.


  3. Thank Heaven for patient and tolerant people; they are worth their weight in gold. Loved the story - my husband took down an old shed in the same manner.

    1. Kathi,

      It's good to know other people use that same technique. It was just one of those days where it seemed to work for me, and I came away from it with only two nail puncture wounds, which were very minor.


  4. I can't imagine anyone not wanting the wood and plywood. If you'd been anywhere near me (N OKC) I'd have been happy to take it, as we are planning a chicken coop.

    Nice little front loader. My husband has been considering one after seeing all the ways our neighbor uses his.


    1. Pamela,

      Not only did I pull down the building, beat it to pieces, and smooth the ground with the front end loader, but earlier that day, I transported four loads of gravel to make the ground more stable where the truck and trailer were going to be traveling. And in the post you noticed, I helped move the building with the front end loader. Then after the ground was solidly compacted, I re-tilled the garden.

      I don't use this little tractor a great deal, but when I do use it, it is a major back saver. I'm also not known for maintenance of mechanical items. So, I would highly recommend this tractor to anyone.

      A different issue. I support buy American any chance I can. And, yes, Kubota is made in Japan. But all small tractors are made in foreign countries, even John Deere is made in India. So that is why my little tractor is orange.

      Thanks for reading.


  5. Building looks great! Glad you did not take the building down the way we discussed. I know your place is small but the improvements you make are well planned and thought out and a definite Plus to your Place! Congrats my friend. Looking forward to coming over and inspecting the addition! Keep us posted on the Chicken Hatching Project.

    1. Thank you for reading and thank you for the comment. If I had planned ahead well, then instead of having two 12 x 12 buildings, I would have one 12 x 24. But these things don't always work out that way.

      In reference to the chicken project, my plan is to post an update tomorrow, as the eggs will be 16 days complete. So, you might say we are in the final trimester.

      See ya,


  6. Oklahoma PrepperMarch 4, 2014 at 7:03 AM

    That. Is. NICE!! Hope to see you after the thaw! OP