June 2009: D.I.Y. Diary

June 2009: D.I.Y. Diary

Moving day

One of the more ridiculous projects we’ve ever done at our house: moving an old wooden shed to a new spot, 30 feet or so uphill. Why? you ask. Well, we were supposed to tear it down altogether for insurance reasons—its stone foundation was beyond precarious—but we liked the building, knew we’d make use of it, and convinced the powers that be to let us rebuild instead of demolishing. While we were at it, we figured we’d move the shed to the edge of the yard to make our outdoor space more open.

A crude system of rollers allowed us to winch the building uphill. Sort of.

First step: Remove rotting floorboards and shore up the bottom of the walls with a band of wide planks and diagonal braces in the corners. Next: Attach a heavy chain and comealong to the frame of the shed and, at the other end, a large tree. We then used hydraulic and floor jacks to lift the shed off its foundation and insert a system of rollers (really just lengths of iron pipe, with planks to roll on).

There then ensued many, many hours of winching the shed a few inches at a time and making endless adjustments to compensate for the slope of the yard and the general crookedness of the structure—both of which meant the shed kept falling off its rollers. In truth, this was less a D.I.Y. project than a H.Y.D.D.I. (Help Your Dad Do It) project, and we’re glad no one lost a finger. Now, where the shed used to be, we’re growing tomatoes.—Spackled Egg