For years now my father's been complaining about his shortage of indoor parking spaces and workspaces. He's been converting all of his outbuildings (mostly disused 100-year-old chicken barns) into garages and putting up tents and lean-tos wherever he can hide them out of view from his house. Still, this isn't enough.
He's also been compulsively squirrelling away a respectable stockpile of heavy timbers and leftover lumber from wherever he can find it. He's been finding leftover construction materials on Craigslist, rooting through recycled concrete forms at the used lumber yard, and even pulling large chunks of wood that float down the river and dragging them home.
All of this hoarding has been aimed toward one day, someday, building a new workshop. Doing my best to be encouraging, I've been telling him for the past couple of years that he'd be better off just hiring a construction company to come in and erect a steel building on a proper concrete slab.
Finally, something goaded him into action. Here's the finished result:
If you'd like to see pics of it all coming together, read on...
This particular project began with sinking some pilings into the ground next to his existing workshop. Then he ran some headers across from one side to the other and rafters to hold up the roof. Then the project stalled like so:
Some weeks later he went ahead and poured a strip of concrete where the front of the workshop would end up being:
Most of that strip of concrete was just overflow for the two pads of concrete he needed to anchor down the two posts that would hold up the front half of the roof:
Holding to the "built from whatever was laying around" theme, the tops of the posts were bracketed with some scraps of metal from the pile behind his workshop:
Yes, the outside ones are actually stainless steel.
Once the concrete had set up, the next step was to crane the final beam into place:
Then install the rafters that would hold up the front half of the roof:
With the addition of some OSB sheeting and steel roofing, the project stalled again. For a couple of months, it was a nice place to park projects in the shade and avoid the blistering heat of the California summer. Then dad managed to muster up the funds for a shiny new concrete slab. That meant it was time to roll all of the projects out of the way and lay out forms for the floor:
Then add rebar and wire reinforcement:
Over the course of a day, the floor was poured and smoothed over:
Wasting no time, he then went ahead and boxed in the posts in the back corners of the building:
Then it was time to frame in the walls:
Finally, the whole thing was wrapped with steel siding:
Contrary to what you might expect, closing the building in actually made it seem bigger inside:
Here's a progress shot showing dad and my uncle cutting siding to fit:
With the siding installed, he went ahead and build large doors to close in the back of the building. Here you can see his custom latch arrangement that holds them closed at the top:
Using a rod to trip the latches, the entire back side of the building can be opened up so he can drive through:
The first segment is just big enough to walk through:
The next segment opens half of the wall to allow vehicles to drive through:
On the front of the building, he installed a pair of tracks for sliding doors:
Here's a shot showing the partially-built doors installed:
When the tracks turned out to be misaligned, I got to help out and ride in the lift basket on the utility truck:
It makes for fun pictures:
At long last, here's the completed workshop:
I'm still working out the design for a sign to hang on the facade.
Here's an interior shot with the lights and lift installed:
As expected, he's wasted no time putting the space to work.