Shed Build

The Umass Amherst NAHB Student Chapter put on a fundraiser last spring to supplement the funds for the travel scholarships to the International Builders Show in Orlando, Florida.  We decided to auction off a shed, put together with donations from area lumberyards, and the hard work of active members of the NAHB Student Chapter and BCT major.
After discussion some aspects of the project, the bidding, the planning, and the building, to some extent, the president of the chapter asked for a volunteer to head up the project and see it through to its completion.
Once I volunteered and was appointed, I put together a team to help me orchestrate the endeavor.  I asked a few of the members to assist me in certain regards – seeking lumber donations, designing the shed, and acting as liaison to the buyer – and had plenty of people volunteering to actually build the shed.
As project manager, I should have had less of a hand in the design of the shed than I did, but was interested in learning Google Sketch-up, and so tackled that piece of the project myself, albeit with a lot of help from more knowledgeable builders in our group, as well as some of the faculty.  I’d also never done a materials take-off, and so when it came to it, I completed that task ask as well.
After drawing up the plans for the shed in Google Sketch-up, we sent an electronic flyer to the entire staff of the College of NRC.  As no one bid, we put an ad up on Craig’s List for a reasonably priced 8’x16’ shed.  We’d found a buyer, and kept in contact with him throughout the process.

Then we began the materials take-off and donations solicitation.  The take-off was created in a spread sheet, and brought to different area lumberyards, asking for anything, even one line of the list.  Cowls, Kizca Lumber, Lowes, Leeder Lumber, Pella Windows, and Kleer Trimboard were kind enough to give us some of what we needed.  The rest we bought on a weekend sale, and hoped the numbers would add up in our favor.

The 7 a.m. drive to Holland, MA was nice, with hot coffees and fresh donuts.  We were greeted on site by a friendly home-owner.  Then we got to work.  By midday the floor was finished.  The rest of that day saw the stud walls put up, (made of dimensional lumber, mind you) and the front back and side walls assembled.  Construction veered a bit from the plans I had drawn up, mostly because we were working with dimensional lumber in some cases, but the lumber we’d gotten lasted, and we managed to complete the shed.  All in all it took us three weekends to assemble, with four guys working (not all of whom were experienced carpenters.)  We even got it done in time for the owner’s Memorial Day picnic, so they could show it off to their friends.
It was a great learning experience for us.  I personally learned a lot about planning, interactions with lumberyards, and customers, building, and working with others.

  • Charlie Mole
  • UMass NAHB Student Chapter
  • Treasurer Fall ‘10

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