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The Timber-Frame Shrine to Incompleteness

It might be time to get out the chisels and saws and build a timber frame.


We moved into a new home two years ago. Well, it was new to us, but was celebrating its 25th birthday. There is a utility shed out back that keeps our gardening weapons, all manner of sharp objects for attacking the onslaught of nature in our yard.


This little — and I do mean little — building is one of those home-center specials made of some undetermined metal that seemed to rust at the hint of rain. Last summer I rigged a 2X6 super-scaffold that let me paint the disgusting roof if I laid prone and twisted my body just so. It is a temporary victory against the natural elements that attack the shed that keeps the weapons of war.


I know that I've got to replace that shed. A timber-frame shed would be a great idea. And I know I can do it myself because I've worked on timber-frame houses and I've made enough furniture in my day to know how to sharpen a chisel and cut a mortise-and-tenon joint. 


But there are two hurdles to overcome. I live in one of those developments where the local committee has to approve all changes. Their policies are best explained by noting that they do not permit solar panels, clotheslines, compost bins or most of the colors in the rainbow. The other enemy I have to overcome is time. I know that building a timber-frame structure, even a small one, at this point in my busy life would take six months. It's my own fault, but the neighbors and my wife wouldn't care much for six months of a shrine to incompleteness. 


But in the meantime, I'm planning this gorgeous timber-frame shed in my mind. I know where the rakes and hoes will hang, where we'll park the mower and where the shelf for the little tools will fit. I've got a few more joints to work out, but it will be a wonderful little timber frame. And whenever I finish it, my wife and the neighbors will love it too.

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Comment by Tim Schreiner on June 15, 2011 at 9:26am
144 square feet would probably be considered a mother-in-law apt in my subdivision. I envy you the work space, and the price was certainly right.
Comment by Wes Loder on June 15, 2011 at 9:09am

No solar panels, no clothes lines, no compost bins! Do you have to park your vehicle inside the garage all the time too? Sounds like you are owned by the Koch brothers. I'd get out of there fast. Your development is run by idiots. Tell the "local committee" that if they will not allow panels, they must pay for the additional cost of power. As for your shed, draw up your plan and take it to them. A beautiful timer-framed shed has got to have more "curb appeal" than what you have. Just added a new shed myself. Anything under 144 square feet does not need a permit in my township. Took less than a week and cost under $800. [see http://wesloder.blogspot,com/]

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