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VersaTube Steel Framed Wood Shed

We moved into our new house on the homestead in mid-winter.  As we were using a wood stove for heat, we struggled a bit with wet firewood for about a month before we bought some oak that was dry enough to burn properly.  I spent that winter cutting and splitting that oak in freezing temps.  There wasn't much else I could do at that point.  I promised myself that by the time our next heating season rolled around, I would have a fully stocked wood shed. 

Our general contractor (GC) still had various projects left to complete once the weather warmed.  We added a request that when he poured the concrete for our sidewalk and garage approach, he also pour a concrete slab where for the wood shed that Donna and I would build.  Since the concrete truck was already coming out, adding a few more yards to the load was very cost effective. 

Having grown up in this area as a kid, I decided a wood shed much like my Dad had would serve us fine.  It only had a roof to protect from the elements.  No walls meant some moisture entry during a rain storm but it also allowed for maximum airflow the rest of the time.  We always seem to have amount of breeze here and that goes a long way towards faster wood drying when the wood is well exposed to it.

The only unanswered question was the type of building, metal or wood.  We had recently built a wooden chicken coop and while it went very well, I knew there would be some maintenance down the road, such as occasional painting and maybe shingles.  On the other hand, a metal frame building with a metal roof would most likely stand for longer than I would be able to cut wood.  I started looking online at what was available and would fit our budget.

The local Menard's store could obtain a metal storage shelter made by VersaTube.  The VersaTube website has videos that detail the construction of their products so I was able to see just what was involved with putting up one of their structures.  After watching it, I was confident that Donna and I would be able to assemble it ourselves.  The construction docs also includes all the specifics for a concrete slab.....the kind of info that your GC needs.  Having that available made it that much easier for me and him.  After some discussion, Donna and I decided to go with a VersaTube shelter from Menard's.   

 

concrete slab

Our GC's crew did their magic and produced a properly sized concrete slab per the specs in the construction docs.  It was now up to Donna and myself to assemble the VersaTube storage shelter. 

 

VersaTube shelter components

When our shelter arrived at Menard's, I picked up everything with our trailer and brought it home.  Leaving the roof panels on the trailer, I laid out the rest of the frame parts and verified everything was there per the construction docs.  Since my the concrete pad was well into curing by the time I got the VersaTube components, I had no choice but to drill the anchor holes in the concrete.  More on that later.

Looking back at our first full heating season, we burned less than 2 cords of wood, a mix of poplar and oak.  We ended up getting a shelter that by my estimation would hold 2 to 3+ years worth of wood.  This would provide us with sufficient space for any wood to be under the shelter for at least a full year before being burned.

 

VersaTube slip joints

All of the metal frame pieces and swaged at the factory so that they just slip together.  If you want a higher or wider frame, VersaTube uses  longer piece in the kit.  The pieces are held together with the supplied self tapping metal screws.  I would suggest that if you don't have a cordless drill/driver, get one.  I had bought one for another project and it worked great for this project too.

 

squaring up the frame

I assembled the lower rails, one for each long side of the shelter, and roughly positioned them on the slab.  With a long tape measure, I began the process of moving the rails such that structure would be true/square when I started drilling the anchor holes.  I got it down to within an 1/8", which was good enough for me. 

Once I had the rails in the right spot, I outlined the ends of both rails with masking tape.  I knew someone (me most likely) was going to kick the rail causing it to move......or it would move while I was drilling the holes.   Seeing the exact position of the rail ends outlined on the pad made it super easy to reposition them which I ended up doing more than once.

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