Vermont 10 x 16 Shed With Loft

Started by rich2Vermont, August 30, 2010, 08:46:56 AM

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Gorgeous.  I love the wrap-around porch.  Jill really liked the interior paneling and countertops.

Great job.
John Jaranson
Home: Dearborn, MI  Cabin: Iron Range, MN

Barry Broome

"The press, like fire, is an excellent servant, but a terrible master."


For a long time we've been trying to decide what kind of flooring to put in our little house. It'll likely be the last substantial project we'll do on this place, but we hope to have something done by fall. I always imagined finding some nice, wide plank boards of some sort. But, I've been ignoring a reality that makes a wood floor pretty impractical. This photo illustrates that pretty well:

We think we have a solution that's admittedly a compromise. Tile that kinda, sorta looks like wood. It turns out there are a lot of places that have it, but I found one that sent out free samples. I chose a selection of 4, of which we quickly narrowed down to two, as seen here:

While I'm not a huge fan of tile, it seems like this is our best bet. The tile come in a 4x24 inch size, I guess to seem more like planks. Anyway, if anyone out there has experience with this sort of tile, we'd love to hear about it.




would you have detailed drawings for this building that you wouldn't mind sharing ?  I really like the way it's built and it is exactly what I would like to do.


John Raabe

I wonder if that is an engineered type flooring? I put down laminate with a thin pad on the back. We put it over old vinyl that was nasty to keep clean and dented and tore easily. This comes in 12x48 panels that click together. The brand I have is Dupont "real touch", but Consumer Reports has a recent issue where they tested all types of flooring and there are better brands that cost less.

Laminate is not real wood but a picture of wood. It looks good, is very tough and easy to clean. Downside - it can puff up at the edges when it is wet for a long time (you don't want to flood the floor to wash it). We had a leak from the ice maker on the fridge and I thought I was going to have to tear out a section and replace it. But I didn't get around to it and it is now fully dried out (over months) and has pretty much lost the puffiness.
None of us are as smart as all of us.


Hi Aaron - my sketchUp files are on a hard disk (I hope) that my son has. I keep meaning to get it back, but something always comes up. But, as soon as I do, I'll make them accessible in some way to anyone that wants them.

John - I think you're partially right. This is definitely ceramic tile, but it also has a texture somewhat approximating wood grain. But it is definitely a picture that is printed on the tile. I don't think it's laminated on there. Out of curiosity, I looked around the web and saw a number of websites that describe this is digital printing and glazing on tile (this is one:

But, here's a closeup of the sample. I think you can make out the pixels:

We have similar tile in a bathroom here at home, only not as high-resolution. If you look closely, it's like looking at a color picture in a newspaper. Much larger pixels. We've never had a problem with it, in over 15 years.

Of course, if I had dogs that didn't like to be wet 24/7, I'd just get some nice wide plank flooring. But that's not going to happen:

John Raabe

That's an interesting tile product. Should be very tough.

The laminate flooring I described would not be a good flooring choice with a bunch of wet dogs
None of us are as smart as all of us.


After 4 months of weekend work, I've completed all 4 sides of clapboard. I'm very happy to be done (for now) making so many trips up and down a ladder.

The toughest section was under the eave, above the porch. Due to the way things are, the only way to get under there is on one's stomach or back. The cramped space, plus the slippery metal roof and lots of things to hit your head on made this a real trial. But, I found a couple of ways to make things a little easier. First, the "Rich Retention System (tm)". ;)  I needed some way to keep from slipping every time I hit a nail. So I put some clamps on the standing seam, then clamped the board to the clamps. It wouldn't take a lot of force to have it all come apart, but all I needed was something to brace myself, as well as grab if things went awry. I also used some rubber backed mats to lie on. Here it is:

You can see the completed wall behind there.

Then I just wailed on the back wall:

Yeah, I still have the back shed clapboard to do, but I need a couple of doors first. And I need to do something different for awhile.




Thanks KSScotton, it's been a long chore, but well worth it!

For a change of pace, this weekend I added a little 4x9 deck off the back that connects the porch and the future composting toilet room:

Also, after 3 years of looking, finally saw this guy at the end of the driveway:

My wife is so mad she missed it.


I'm done with clapboard! Well, not entirely, but I need a couple of doors on the shed before that can happen. The second coat of paint is on, but the trim paint won't be done until next year. Maybe. Meanwhile, I've been busy with a some other tasks. Painted the front door, once my wife found the color she liked:

The color is "black forest green", in case you're wondering.

As we've had a couple of painful falls, I moved up a project I had planned for winter -- a bannister for the stairs. The first job on that was to find a newel post. I had spotted a wind blown balsam fir of about the right size earlier this summer. I collected that and some maple branches and cedar for the rails. The newel needed to be shaped to fit. I used the circular saw to give me a head start, and then finished off with my nice handsaw:

That evening I decided to play with the post a bit, just for kicks. You can see the result and where I ended up last weekend:

This weekend I got the rails in place first:

Then I spent the rest of the day drilling and whittling the stiles. I'm pretty pleased with result. Got a couple of coats of spar varnish on before leaving today:

A closeup of the newel top:

new land owner

small cabin dreamer

your place is beautiful. Very nice. When you did your posts did you backfill the holes with gravel or cement? And did they move (wiggle) much while you were installing the floor joists and decking?


I need to do this but have been challenged by how to get the holes drilled right for the tenons on the cross rails??  My stairs are about 60 degrees and drilling with a forstener bit at that angle is impossible by hand (ok maybe not but so far for me it has been).

How did you do yours?


Well I finally got my old computer back with the sketch-up files with my original drawings. I know a few people have been interested in looking at it, so I've placed them in my dropbox, publicly accessible. As things are rarely permanent on the Internet, I'll post on this thread should anything ever change. This is where the file lives now:
7/7/17 edit - those files no longer available

small cabin dreamer - the holes for all my posts are backfilled with gravel and packed as tight as I could possibly make it. There was no wiggle in them afterwards. However, and I can't state this emphatically enough, don't assume that my choices for foundation structure apply to your own situation. My soil is very stable and packable, though it probably wouldn't perk. If it were any different, I'd have invested in cement mixing tools long ago. Truth be told, I probably should have anyway.

OlJarhead - it was a bit different doing the holes on an angle, and certainly more difficult. But I did do it all by hand, or rather, with a cordless drill and forsteners. The trick is getting the hole started at a 90 degree angle, then slowly tipping it to whichever angle you want. I did have to go back with a small chisel to remove material from the slightly u-shaped bore. This works best with stiles that are slightly larger than the hole, for which I whittled down to the right size. You don't see so much of the oval hole. Of course, if I had a nice drill press in my tool shop... But I guess I'd need a tool shop first.  ;)

A shot from the weekend:


While there were a lot of good reasons to wait until warmer weather for it, I decided to start tiling the floor. I don't think I could have made it much harder on myself. I should have had some knee pads and a tile saw (and an un-winterized generator to run it). And as these tiles are supposed to look like wood, I staggered them long ways. My somewhat flawed plan was to put as much tile down as possible, then mark tile for the edges, bring those back home and cut them here. The major flaw was that I had to figure out just how far to put the thin set on those edges.

I do want to thank Danfish for introducing me to uncoupling membranes. Until I saw his pictures of his Truckee house, I had no idea what they were. But it makes perfect sense in this instance.

Here's my Saturday progress:

And where I left off yesterday:

So, now I only have to cut the tile, hope I measured everything right, lay it down, and grout. After my knees and back recover, of course.


Oh yes...knee the body!

Glad the Ditra worked for you.   Your only challenge now is to put down thinset without getting it on those tiles already in place.  In future, don't be afraid to run thinset into all those dimples in the Ditra.  Scrape off excess (with no ridges) let set and when you come back to set tile you don't have to attempt to work thinset into dimples inside a restricted space.  The second coat of thinset should bound without problems and lock into membrane dimples.  In this case you can then back-butter tiles and control the mess.  Important thing is to get those dimples packed with thinset to lock tiles to membrane.   Thinset will not bond to the plastic membrane surface, the dimples are key to locking it all together!!!


Thanks Danfish. I probably should have asked you for some tips last week. I was pretty diligent about getting the thin set into the dimples. I would lay down a layer with a flat trowel, pushing it in, then coming back with the notched trowel. It shouldn't be too bad doing the edges, except maybe in the kick under the cabinets.


I finished tiling the floor. Thanks again Danfish for your advice. I brought up some smaller sheetrock knives to aid in pushing the thin set into the Ditra. I then buttered the backs of the tiles I had cut at home on a rented tile saw. I also bought a little  4 inch wet/dry saw blade that fits my cords circular saw. That worked well, if a little dusty, for the few tiles I had not measured well. I think it came out well with the gray grout:

My next project is to add some drawers under the stairs, but not all that soon. I have a few bills to pay off first. Happy New Year everyone!


Finished job looks great and should hold up for many years to come!


I think I may need to replace the asphalt shingles on my little shed roof with something a little more slippery. And this is taken before an additional 4 inches last week:


That an example of why we design and build to what the local ground snow load is. Or at least we should. Also an example of how the very local winds can foil best laid plans.
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn't mean it is good design.


I love what you have done with your house..   the fact that it is in Vt is pretty cool too :)   I was just up there visiting my daughter and meeting some new boating friends..    that is quite a snow load.. makes a wonderful case for metal roofing.   we are all looking forward to  seeing continued progress in the spring!  jt


Thanks! It's been fun, but no where near the quality of craftsmanship of your place. I am finishing up my last little project inside, adding storage under the stairs, and covering up the stair framing. I hope to have it all done in a couple of weeks and will post picts then.

I thought you might like that snow load, Don. Yes, it's a really good illustration of the need to pay attention to the local snow loads, as I believe you pointed out to me some time ago (much appreciated, then as now). It's a small space, a little overbuilt, so I'm not really worried about it. Particularly as there's not much in there yet to worry about, mostly winter toys and stuff. But I'm hoping to get the composting toilet in there this year, if I have time and money to do it. I can just imagine sitting in there next winter, hearing the roof creak and not accomplishing the job at hand, so to speak...  ;)


Quote(much appreciated, then as now)

You are welcome. I'm pleased you listened and did a redesign.   :) :)
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn't mean it is good design.