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Since last weekend we’ve been insanely busy trying to get the goat shed built for our impending doeling arrivals this spring.

In our last post we outlined the plan for the goat shed

It’s interesting how in one’s mind’s eye these projects always seem to go faster than they do in reality, but I think we’ve made some good progress, and the shed is now really starting to take shape.

As with everything on the farm, our terrain confounds any new project.

Just moving the miter saw down to the shed site each morning is a workout

Everything is ten times more challenging when working on a slope.  Even the design on of the shed was complicated by the grade, and moving tools, and lumber, from point A to point B requires more physical effort than if our ground was perfectly level.

Before construction could start, we made a few trips to the lumber yard for framing material

On the upside though, we save a fortune on gym memberships here!

Once the foundation was cured enough, the shed building began in earnest last weekend, when two good friends offered to give up their entire Saturday to help us with the initial framing.  Each framing stud doesn’t weigh that much, but an entire wall once it’s framed out can get very heavy, so the extra hands were very much appreciated.

Shed construction started very early February 4th, once the concrete foundation was cured enough

The first morning we began by cutting the pressure-treated sill plates, and measuring and drilling out the plates for attachment to the J-bolts on the foundation.

The perimeter sill plate for the shed is bolted to the foundation

Anywhere the framing came in direct contact with the concrete, we used pressure treated lumber.  We minimize our use of any PT on the property, but for this part of the project it was necessary to ensure the long-life of the building.  If the sills rot out, the entire building’s structure will be compromised, and trust me, we only intend to build this shed once!

Installing the sill plates was complicated by the changes in foundation elevation, which slowed down construction

Getting the sill plates in place took time, as each plate is bolted to the foundation.  As you can see, the rear wall was a bit tricky, with the multiple changes in elevation.

By the end of the day we had the first three walls framed out.

The morning of day 2 we started with rough framing done on the first three walls

We left the front wall framing for the next day, as framing for the door on that wall was a little more complicated, and we were running out of daylight.

The morning of Superbowl Sunday, we installed the rough framing for the front wall

Over the course of the week, into this past weekend, we’ve spent every spare hour we could find during daylight hours finishing up the wall framing and blocking.

Before roof framing could begin, the top header plates were secured

Unfortunately, we do have other commitments as well, so we’ve had to squeeze in working on the shed anywhere we can.

Framing in the door header on the front wall

Once the four walls were framed and in place, it was time to start framing out the roof.  Our local codes not only limit the square footage of the shed, but also restrict the height of the shed at the peak, so the roof pitch is relatively shallow.

We began framing the roof by setting the ridge beam and end rafters in place, finishing up as the sun set

The roof framing is fairly standard, with a center ridge beam, and bird’s beaks along the rear top plate, and notches cut for the lookout rafters.

Notches for the lookout rafters that will support the roof overhang on the gable walls

The tail rafters appear longer in the back of the shed at the moment, as the front roof rafters will be joined to the rafters on the front deck roof, so things look a little lopsided at the moment.

As the sun sets, again, the last of the framing for the roof and shed is complete

If the rain stops today, we hope to get the footings for the deck in place by mid-week so we can finish the roof, and get it sheathed.

Once the rain stops, we hope to get this 'roof with a view' sheathed later this week

The deck roof height has to be set before the fencing crew can begin, as the enclosure will be covered, and needs to meet the edge of the deck roof.

Taking advantage of our dry weather last week, I spent most of a day preparing the siding for installation.  This required staining a LOT of sheets of T1-11.

Blessed with a warm sunny day, it was time to stain the siding

When we inquired about hiring a shed-building company to install a shed for us, the sheds would have been constructed using cheaper grade, pre-primed, T1-11 panels, which necessitates using paint as the final finish.  Not really the look we were striving for.   As we opted to build our own custom shed from scratch though, we decided to use raw T1-11 so we could stain it, rather than paint it.  This will not only integrate the shed better into the woodland surroundings, but also ties the shed better to the other structures we’ve already installed on the property, from the greenhouse, to the raised beds, chicken arks, and barrel planters.

The siding was sealed with a penetrating redwood stain

We also stained the redwood gable-end louver vents to match

With the siding stained, and dry, this weekend we focused on getting it installed.  Of course, very little of the siding installation was straightforward, as almost every sheet required some degree of creative cutting, either to accommodate the foundation elevation changes, or the cutouts for windows and doors.

Almost every sheet of siding needed to be cut to fit

I’d forgotten just how heavy a single sheet of T1-11 is, so wrangling that into place with just the two of us didn’t go quite as fast as we hoped, but we’re almost there.

During the week this week I’ll start construction of the ‘windows’.

An early morning view through one of the 'windows'

We’re not using traditional windows in this barn, but instead constructing vented openings with shutters that can be opened and closed to control airflow within the barn.

Predators have been known to defeat conventional windows, and they’re often considered to be a weak point in construction when designing a predator-proof barn.  There will be a total of three 2-foot x 2-foot windows.

We've framed two window openings on the southeast wall, and one to the left of the door

These ‘windows’, however, will only be on the two walls that will ultimately be inside the covered enclosure.  We’ll be using rustic-looking expanded metal panels in the window openings, as it’s much more durable than hardware cloth.

I'll build frames for these expanded metal grids, and install them in the window openings

The shuttered windows, in addition to the roof’s ridge vent, the wall vents, and the dutch door, will help to maintain good air quality, and decrease humidity within the barn.

The walls outside the fenced enclosure have no window openings

Although things aren’t going quite as fast as we hoped, in two weeks we have gone from a patch of weeds and dirt, to a structure that’s starting to look like a real shed.

The goat's view up to the gardens, and greenhouse

It’s quite a balancing act between the garden and goats this week, but hopefully by the end of this next weekend the shed project will be mostly wrapped up so we can get back to transplanting for spring before the goats arrive.

As soon as the rain stops...it's time to start the roof!

So, as shed building is temporarily halted due to rain, I’m off to the greenhouse to get some seed starting done.  I need get our tomato seeds sown so we can get our spring tomato-grafting project underway!