Well, the shed’s up. Now the real fun starts.


As I mentioned on Wednesday, the work crew arrived yesterday and erected our new utility building in only a few hours.

It’s not very large by metal building standards, but at 400 square feet it’s more than six times bigger than the old, dilapidated, owner-built shed that came with our house.  Once it’s complete, it’ll be very useful indeed.  Now to lead electricity to it;  install a garage door;  add a small split-level ductless A/C unit;  insulate it against our very hot Texas summers and frigid Texas winter storms;  and assemble shelving.  Then the fun starts of carrying boxes, totes and bits and pieces from the house to the shed, along with others that are scattered in three different storage spaces here and there.  That’ll keep me busy in my spare time (what spare time?) for the rest of the summer and into the fall, I’m sure.

I should give a shout-out to Big Buildings Direct, the dealer through whom I purchased the shed.  They don’t actually build it themselves:  they prepare the design, then contract it out to a company in your area to build.  I was a little dubious about that at first, but their contractors did a great job today.  BBD was very competitive on price compared to others from whom I requested quotes.  Bailey Hanson of their sales staff was extremely helpful throughout the selection and design process, always willing to answer questions that must have seemed terribly basic and uninformed to her.  She was very patient with this novice shed-buyer (even though I was after a much smaller, lower-cost, less profitable building than those BBD usually sells).  She prepared computer-generated images showing what my design would look like as we went through various iterations, and explained the various steps involved.  All in all, it was a pleasure doing business with BBD and her.  If I ever need another metal building, they’re first on my list of people to contact.  (No, they’re not paying me to shill for them:  they just did a good job for me at a fair price, so I think they deserve a public “Attaboy!”)

So far, so good.  Onward!



  1. I'm curious to see how long it takes you to get a garage door. My neighbors across the street put on an addition (home office on the 2nd floor and storage for the kid's toys below. They waited 39 weeks for the garage door for the first floor.

  2. @John Fisher: I pre-ordered one some time ago from Overhead Door. They may be expensive, but they try very hard to keep to a schedule once they've committed to it. With any luck, the door will be installed next week. (I've tried to line up contractors one after another following the date the shed was supposed to be built. Since the latter happened on schedule, I'm hoping and crossing fingers [and tying knots in what I can't cross] that the other contractors keep to the arrangements I made.)

  3. Peter is that 18X22?and you say a garage door what is the sheds actual function?I have a 500' shop with about 100' for an office area and let's say the other 400' filled up quite quickly with wood working tools.

  4. I've got a 10'x16' coming with 4'x8' lofts at each end. No roll up door as I opted for double door entry instead. They build them off site and then deliver. Haven't decided what I'm going to do for insulation, electric, etc as I'm not permitting it since it's technically "portable". Depending on how it goes I may decide to apply for a permit and put a slab under it with underground electrical connections, but that's down the road.

    Not quite as extreme temperatures up here north of Seattle so maybe not a big deal. Or maybe I'll insulate it a bit at a time by just moving shelving racks out of the way.

    Main thing is to get some stuff out of the garage and the house so that the stuff is more accessible and so that I can move around my four motorcycles and maybe get a bit of work done in the garage (currently requires pushing bikes outside first). Can't remember the name of the company off the top of my head but the quality of the display buildings I looked at was outstanding.

  5. Be glad you didn't go with a Tuff Shed. Piss poor customer service,won't stand behind their warranty.

  6. I feel fortunate to live in an area close to the Amish. They have a shop where they build sheds on 4 4×4 runners and deliver them. They can only go 12' wide so they can be delivered, but they go up to 20' long. I have one I bought 20 years ago for a hair over 2000 USD, and I am going to buy another this summer if wood prices keep going down (the price shot up over 7000 USD but they told me they expect to get back down to around 5000 if wood will get where it should be.

  7. @KevinM: It's 16×25'. The garage door is there not because it's an immediate need (I could cope with just the single entry door), but with an eye to future needs. If we ever go to a ride-on lawnmower, for example, it'll need to move in and out of the building; and if there's ever an alleyway constructed behind the row of houses we're in, I might need vehicle access to the shed. It's an unnecessary expense right now, but by doing it now I lock in current prices and I'm prepared for whatever the future might bring. Until then, I'll just put shelving racks in front of it.

  8. I have a 24×30 with 10' walls myself, and wish it was 24×40 with 12'-14' walls. Just like a safe, no matter what you get, it will never be big enough…

    Peter, like all of your readers, I'm sure, I have lots of suggestions for your shed, but for now, I'll just suggest that you seal the concrete floor while it's still clean and stain-free. Were you near OKC, I'd give you some. Home Depot has something that should work for you: https://www.homedepot.com/p/BEHR-PREMIUM-1-gal-Low-Lustre-Sealer-98601/202263929

    I wish I'd been smart enough to do that on my own before I got oil stains on the concrete.

  9. We had an an Overhead Door garage door installed last December. Right on schedule. They have their own manufacturing plant, so they're not as beholden to the supply as other companies might be.

  10. Nicely done, clean. Garage Doors are all backordered, takes months to get depending on type, thanks to the DC reprobates purposefully hamstringing American businesses and supply lines.

  11. Looks like I should put Big Buildings Direct on the list of potential sources for a new outbuilding… this year, I hope… to house the yard equipment so's we can turn the barn into a workshop. (This project also requires getting ground leveled and concrete poured, both of which are hard to get done on any sort of schedule nowadays.)
    You adventures provide helpful information for the rest of us!

  12. I’ll be interested to hear what your results are from using 1” of insulation. I’ve lived all my life (with the exception of my time spent in the service of Uncle Sam) in places where insulation is often 5.25” in walls with additional foam board installed before the structure is sided and 12” of insulation in the attic is common. I have a hard time believing that an inch of foam is going to have an appreciable impact on either heating in the winter or cooling in the middle of a Texas summer. Hope you get better results than I would anticipate!

  13. @DaveS: I'm using closed-cell foam insulation, which is rather different from open-cell foam or other insulating material. It's much more dense. 1" of closed-cell equates to an R-value of 6 to 7, while open-cell is R3 to R4. I'd like to go to 2" thickness of closed-cell foam if I can, but that will depend entirely on price. At present, it looks like 1" will cost about $2K (on walls and inside roof). With that, plus insulation on the garage door, the small split-level HVAC should be able to cope – or so the experts tell me. I guess I'm about to find out!

  14. If it gets insulated before the door shows up, you can add insulation sheets to the door sections. Years ago, my sister found that styrafoam cut to fit into the section reinforcements had a dramatic effect on the temps inside the garage. I think they were 2 inches thick.

    Are you going to run the power underground?

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