Do you still listen to “The Guy At Home Depot”?


Suzuki M50 Boulevard 2009, the reason I needed a motorcycle specific hangar …

I built the shed floor with pressure treated lumber, dug and poured concrete footings, then built the ramp (on a concrete slab), walls and roof, which included a skylight cheap plastic like the first shed had. Because this hangar was actually an addition that was part of the original hangar, I only had to build three walls. My goal was to make the shed weatherproof and complete it after the new bike got home. After two months, Bettencourt became a little impatient with my progress or not being there, and that’s when they started calling me every week to find out when I was getting the bike back, on which I had already made several payments. New England weather wasn’t cooperating and when does it ever? As a result, it took a lot longer than I expected to build my 8ft x 10ft Motorcycle Shelter.

I went to Home Depot to buy the trim and all they had was finger jointed pine (shorter pieces of pine that are joined and glued together to make a long board) and the more expensive plastic. I wanted solid pine but “the Home Depot guy” Assured me that finger jointed pine was just as strong, if not stronger, than solid pine, even installed outdoors. So I bought the finger jointed pine which was already primed, based on the floor of “the Home Depot guy”

I trimmed the shed and doors using jointed pine and when it was waterproof and lockable I picked up the bike. Once the hangar was closed, I painted it …

It wasn’t much more than a year later that the finger joints started showing through the paint and a year later the joints started to separate. It looked horrible. I had made a huge mistake while listening “the Home Depot guy”

Fast forward to 2019. By this time the hangar looked awful. All the trim I used on the double doors was peeling off and starting to rot, there was even some fungus looking mold growing out of it. I knew I had to take it apart and do it again, but fixing your own mistakes is never fun and my motivation was very low …

For a few years, I looked at the shed doors from inside my house, knowing it was time to redo them because they had become such an eyesore. It had clearly escaped me… I looked into the roller garage doors and for around $ 700 I could have had one custom made to fit my opening which would have been nice, but I didn’t Really didn’t want to spend the time the money, that’s how I got into this mess in the first place. I should have just bit the bullet and bought the plastic trim when I was originally building the motorcycle shed …

I had plenty of lumber left over from another project and decided to forgo the roll-up door, save $ 700, and use the lumber I had. Okay, I lowered the prices again. But how could I cut it? I didn’t have a lot of wood, so I was looking to use as little wood as possible. One Saturday, when my wife was away for a “girls’ weekend”, I went to work on the hangar doors. When just thinking about doing something becomes more stressful than actually doing it, it’s time to do it.

I decided to match the motorcycle shed doors to the original shed doors I built 30 years ago, after all those doors had survived the bad New England weather. I didn’t really have a definitive plan, but neither did I. I decided to use blocks under the galvanized hinges like I did on the original, and two vertical pieces of solid pine in the middle to mount the locking hardware.

I removed the old jointed pine that stretched over the doors and under the hinges, one at a time, then cut new blocks out of solid pine. To prevent anyone from using a cordless drill to unscrew the hinges and gain access to the shed, I originally used two hinged galvanized carriage bolts, making them essentially tamper-proof. Once I mounted the new block and secured the hinge with flat head screws, I drilled from the inside of the shed (original hole) through the new block and slipped in a carriage bolt galvanized through, and clamped it inside. I did the first four on day one and installed the two long pieces in the middle with all the hardware (handle, barrel bolts, and hasp). My goal was to make it lockable by the end of day one. My current motorbike and my Westinghouse portable whole house generator were inside the shed …

The next day I replaced the wood under the two lower hinges and cut out the rotten lower part of the door opening trim and replaced it with plastic. When I was done I took a step back, looked at him from a distance and decided I needed to dress him up a bit. Using some plastic that I had dragged around, I tore up narrow pieces and cut the top, bottom, and middle of the door to make it look more symmetrical.

Once the finish was done I went to my basement where I knew I had a gallon of unopened green exterior paint that I bought years ago and never used. I found the gallon unopened and when I opened it the paint had settled and must have been strongly agitated. I stirred the shit out of it and the paint mixed in really well and it was still usable even after spending 10 years in my basement.

I painted the T-1 11 part of the doors green and all the door trim white and think it looks a lot better than what I originally did in a rush in ’09 -’10. Because it’s a mix of solid pine and plastic with no bullshit attached, it should last. I completed the first phase of the project by painting the door of my original hangar to match.

There is still more to do. I will replace more of the rotten trim, paint the entire building (same color / white trim) which measures 20 ‘x 10’, cover the 20 year old roof shingles on the original 30 year shed with a new architecture of the shingles that match those of the motorcycle shelter, and finish by hanging a few gutters in the front which will hopefully prevent water from entering the bottom of the doors, which I would have must have done years ago. I come and go in the sheds on rainy days and all winter long, and it will be nice not to get soaked by standing directly under the drip edge to unlock and lock the doors, which is a lot like water torture.

Because I was able to use leftover wood and paint and reuse existing material, my construction costs were minimal. All I really had to buy for this project were deck screws.

Unless you have a garage, and I don’t, sheds are a very important part of any home. Because mine is in the side yard and is not buried in the back where it cannot be seen, it is part of the overall visual of my house. It was way past time to beautify it and I have to admit, the hardest part was just getting started… My goal now is to finish everything before the first snowfall, which in Massachusetts could happen at any time…

What should we take away from all this? Do not listen “the Home Depot guy”!

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