Finally, the time had come.
It's not that we'd OUTGROWN our garage + attic storage. We actually do a pretty decent job of purging stuff we don't need anymore. But our family had made the decision to repurpose the garage as a gameroom, and that decision means that even the stuff we DO need must find a new home. So the time had come: we needed a storage shed.
I've owned and used storage sheds in the past - they're flimsy and cramped, and in wind storms they give you a little angst as you envision the shed collapsing and your possessions blowing away.. Eventually they rust away to nothing, because of necessity they are made from pretty light gauge material. But they fit in the back yard, and if you believe the sales literature, they're easy to assemble.
So I bought one. My first problem was building a suitable foundation. That was the first weekend, and the first $300. It was a fun project for the kids - but mostly they got to watch Dad sweat it out while babbling obscure lessons on geometry and trigonometry. Then the rains came - luckily we kept the shed kit under cover so the bajillion pieces of sheet metal wouldn't get all wet and rusty before assembly - only a couple of rust stains appeared.
The next weekend was long for the 4th of July, so I was confident we'd have plenty of time to put up the shed and still enjoy the holiday. After cutting back some tree limbs and letting the foundation dry out, I was finally ready to assemble! By now it was REALLY hot, and the help from the kids was either overwhelming (think: "How can we help, Daddy? Can I do it? Hey! Give that back!") or scarce when I really needed it (think: "Can you please hand me another screw and washer? Hello? Where'd you go??"). Now I think I'm pretty handy, but it took about a day to get the walls going and another day to do the roof and doors and finalizing things. Now and the long weekend was over, and our garage still had most of the stuff in it.
As it turns out, I'm glad the garage was still full, because he rains came again, and I was really discouraged to find water standing inside my "simple" little shed. Now I have caulked everything down to the foundation, and I'm hopeful that it will stay dry. Hmm, I wonder if that dry space will attract ants?
I suppose these tribulations would be just part of life in suburbia, if I didn't have such intimate knowledge of the ISO shipping container! For not much more money I could have way more space, a rock-solid foundation, and structural walls that won't even think about leaking. Even the undercarriage is coated with a waterproof bitumen that should keep the ants out! But alas, we live in a neighborhood with covenants -- maybe I should have used my time to convince the neighborhood association that these non-flammable, nearly indestructible structures are the wave of the future in neighborhood enhancements! Maybe if I painted one to look like a neighborhood-approved shrub, nobody would notice....