Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Boat building shelter

When I decided to move ahead with this project, I had to figure out where to build it. My choices were limited: my garage was too small (both in length & width), and I didn't want to build anywhere else but my house. So it had to be outside, and I couldn't afford to build a new shop. After some investigation, I went with a Clearspan 14'x28'x10' shelter:

Clearspan Storage Master

To the above right is a picture of the pallet in which most of the parts were delivered.
Before I made the purchase, I did hear some warnings about Clearspan's quality and their product support but so far I've been pleased with both. The "skylight" feature is very nice and provides a ton of light; during daylight hours I hardly ever need to turn on the string of lights I've hung up.

One annoying thing was that the initial delivery shorted me on some critical parts (two of the frame pieces were missing) but they promptly sent me replacements, with no hassle.

One of the reported quality issues was about these shelters' performance in high wind conditions. I wasn't too concerned about it given that the Pacific NW is not really known for high-winds, plus this shelter is located in the lee of my house, a mere 2 feet away. Well, this year we had a terrible wind storm -- some rural areas were without power for over a week. I had skimped on the shelter anchors and only put in three per side. Even so, the shelter only moved about six inches to the side -- that's roughly due to the slack I had left in the anchor tie-downs.

Our weather is pretty wet usually for most of the year, and I was worried about condensation & humidity in the shelter. Fortunately this has not been a problem after installing a gable vent at each end.

Here's a picture of the finished shelter (vents not yet installed):

I think it looks really great, and actually adds a touch of class to the back yard, and serves as a conversation piece for backyard parties. Every house should have one of these, right? Well my wife wasn't too happy about it -- but hey, it should only be around for ~2 years or so.

To make the shelter more liveable, I've made a few other small improvements. I layed down a blue poly tarp to act as a moisture barrier...

(those beams are the foundation for my strongback, more on that later)

...and layed some cheap OSB boards on top of the poly to serve as a "floor". I am lucky indeed to have great neighbors; and one of them loaned me a 10-light bulb string, and a 200,000 btu propane burner. The propane burner can't beat the cold entirely of course, but it is useful for taking the chill off of things and getting rid of any condensate in the peak of the shelter. I have not yet run a circuit to the shelter yet, but will probably do so soon (for now I just run an extension cord out there from the garage).

1 comment:

Bailey Rory said...

Fabric buildings make great temporary shelters. They're relatively easy to set up. After removal they often leave no lasting trace on the land.