Netflix fun

What could be more fun than going into a family member’s Netflix profile and messing with their name and profile pic?

The final push

It’s been quite the journey. Laying concrete, getting drunk, building stud walls, getting drunk, putting on a roof, getting drunk. So finally it came to the time to stop drinking [ it helped that Charlie stopped coming around since he now lives in Manchester ] and finish the job.

So I enlisted the services of mini me and did a bit of slave labouring

He quite took to the nail gun

Some people, cough Dan cough, mock me for my Ryobi tools fetish. But if they’re good enough for the god that is Colin Furze then they’re good enough for me…and apparently Oli.

We made a bit of a shoddy job in places [ this is rather a recurring theme right ] when putting the tongue and groove cladding on. You can see this in the back wall where there is light coming through the planks – you shouldn’t really have light coming through the planks but hey ho – it’s only a shed.

Added a bit of guttering…

Then came the time to make and mount some doors. I went through a few versions of doors and this bit could be a blog post all of its own, but I’m getting a bit bored of blogging about my shed so I’m going to skip over it. I had some 16mm or 18mm [ can’t remember which ] ply laying around so I made use of it. I really should have used something much less thick as these doors weigh a tonne! Especially after putting on my fancy shmancy outsidey bits

First door finished
Both doors up. Ridiculously insecure though.

If any burglars are considering coming nicking my paint cans and hammock then please don’t smash through my walls / crowbar my doors – you can just unscrew the hinges and you’re in!

Aaron came and hooked me up with electricity for lights and plug sockets and stuff.

I also added a lovely green door handle that had been lying about in my garage for about a decade

And finally we come to the end of the odyssey that has been the shed building mission. I’ve got stuff in there, I’ve added the fascia boards to the front to make it all pretty and I even sealed the end caps onto the guttering, although you can’t see that in this photo.

C’est fini

There’ll be one more blog post on this matter and it will be the costs. Really quite nervous about adding up how much the concrete/timber/electrics have cost in total – especially given that timber shortages have pushed up the prices of everything and I used far too much wood for the job – but we’ll see! It’s still probably cheaper than buying one off the shelf which wouldn’t be anywhere near as sturdy.

My final note….right angles….RIGHT ANGLES!!!

Shed roof

Central beam

With the stud walls in place I reckon it’s time to put the roof on. I’m taking a central beam with rafters approach. Kinda wish I hadn’t, but ho hum

The rafters are all wonkily in place – seriously, it’s a right mess, but it’s keeping the water out. I ran out of 2×6 so went and bought some more but bought it in brown…because I’m an idiot.

You could drive a bus through that gap

Because way way way back at the beginning I made a mistake and my bricks weren’t laid at exact 90 degree angles everything has been kinda thrown out. This is why there are gaps in my roof. It’s not the end of the world since it’s being felted but if there’s one thing I’ve learned from this whole experience it’s that 90 degrees is really really really important.

Too damned hot

Usually the sail shade will suffice when it comes to keeping cool and snoozing in the back garden, but sometimes one needs a little extra shade for when the sun is starting to go down and the rays dip beneath the shade and start cooking you. Enter, the side shade

I knew all that haggling on the beach in Thailand would come in useful one day

The stud walls ( Part 1 )

This is the good bit. This is the bit where my garage that was full of wood and has been for quite some time

…begins to empty.

Charlie and I started carrying the wood out of the garage and sawing it into roughly the sizes we wanted and erected some stud walls. We did this for a while and then started doing a bit of drinking. It all got a bit blurry but eventually we ended up with some pretty badly fitting stud walls. The reason they were pretty badly fitting is because I made the mistake of not springing some cash for some new bricks and instead used some that I had in the back garden which ultimately were all different sizes. Because it appears I’m not as good at laying bricks as I thought I was it’s all a bit wobbly. Furthermore, because the day I laid the bricks was really really hot and the concrete still trying to soak up moisture all my mortar went off too quickly which resulted in a bit of a shoddy job…but ho hum – it’s just a shed.

In the picture above you can see that the front left brick has been taken out. This is partly due to the aforementioned shoddy brick laying and partly because Emma looked at it and said “Do you think the red tractor will fit through that hole?”. I measured it, and it would…just. So I took a couple of bricks out to make the hole bigger. It was slightly before this happened that I cracked my head on my old shed doorway and decided this wan’t going to happen on my new shed and made the whole thing taller. Plans, pffffkkkk, fuck that.

Because I made the whole thing taller I decided to add a mezzanine – but that can wait until part 2.

The pour

The shed saga rumbleth on….

I always had Dan’s voice rumbling in the back of my head that I should be putting a hardcore base beneath my concrete. It nagged at me. Kept me awake at night. Until finally I cracked. I lifted up the paving stones – which I was just being lazy by burying – and ordered some more wood to go with a couple of bulk bags of hardcore. I specifically ordered the hardcore as bulk bags to be delivered on a truck with a hoist so that they could drop them into the dug out base hole. The guy turned up, took one look and told me there was “no chance” the arm would lift the bag over the bushes. He didn’t even have a go … that’s the problem with people today – no willingness to go the extra mile to help ME!

So anyway, I spent a couple of days wheelbarrowing two bulk bags [ or about 2 tonnes ] of stones around the bushes and into my hole. I then hired a compression plate and the end result looked like this :

This is after I had a quick run around the edges
Before
After
I then added a layer of plastic to stop the concrete sucking all the moisture out of the earth…
Added [ apparently far too much ] mesh to hold the concrete together, whilst Daisy watched in amazement at my elite building skills

Slightly before doing all this the pubs in England re-opened. So I took a break for a while and met up with Paul and Jason. Paul and I started discussing concrete pouring techniques and he put me onto the concrete poker. It’s basically a vibrator but I think people in the building industry are averse to using that word. Turns out the poker/vibrator was a genius idea of Paul’s. He also told me about how to use a float, which is you rotate the handle to change the angle of the float and have it skim across the surface of the concrete giving you a neat finish. This came in incredibly useful when the chap at the tool hire shop asked me if I knew how to use it. “Sure”, I replied “you just twist the handle and change the angle right?” – the tool hire guy replied affirmatively and added “you wouldn’t believe how many people bring it back and say they couldn’t make it work”. We exchanged knowing glances and eye-rolls and I swaggered off with my pride intact.

The day of the concrete pour arrived and it was a beautiful morning. No wind, no rain, sunshine – but they did arrive at about 7.30am.

Spread out a bit
This is the poker in action. I’ve pokered the left half of the concrete but not the right. It has the effect of knocking out any air bubbles and makes the bigger stones sink down a bit giving a smoother surface finish
The surface having been floated.

So the stressful bit is now done. I’ve never poured concrete before and if it had gone all wrong then it would have been a proper PITA to sort it out. From now on it’s just laying a few bricks and screwing together some wood…famous last words.

Chess

During a recent impromptu garden party where we basically started drinking at 11am and didn’t quite get around to stopping until I couldn’t speak anymore and then proceeded to sit on the toilet with the lid down and crack it and then wake up next morning wondering who the bloody hell broke my toilet…we played chess.

I played Nigel – who I reckon is some sort of secret Grandmaster because he kicked my arse at least twice – that I remember. I firmly believe that it’s his Grandmaster-dom rather than me constantly confusing my Bishop for my King, or my pawn for my Queen. Anyway, it got me interested in Chess again and so Charlie and I had an evening of sipping some fine wines and drinking some fine rum and playing some less-than-fine Chess.

Charlie took the first game, which made me nervous – but I took the next two and then we were too drunk to really concentrate and spent the rest of the night listening to music.

Half Century

It finally happened, I turned 50. Many in this world at times thought I wouldn’t make it this far – but here I am with my London Gangsta Crew at Moor Hall eating Michelin starred food.

Creature of habit

Or complete OCD nutcase, you decide.

So I always have an omelette for breakfast on weekdays. It’s always two eggs, always chorizo, always cheese and then sometimes mushrooms, sometimes tomato and sometimes red pepper. That’s not the weird bit.

I noticed this morning that I always put my omelette ingredients on the left side of the omelette and always fold from right to left…thusly

I generally use the same ring on the hob too – which always reminds me of a r/casualuk post asking if anyone had a favourite ring on the cooker. Seems I do, for omelettes at least.