Building a Storage Unit

Building a Storage Unit

Storage Unit Project Part 2

I really do enjoy building things and remodeling my apartment. But this storage unit has not been much fun. It’s just not glamorous. Ya know what I mean? But I made progress.

As I mentioned on the previous page, the lumber was giving me fits. It’s nice to have friends though. A contractor friend, Ken Heiman, dropped off a few rows of 16 penny nails for the nail gun he lent me last year. The nails drive so fast, the 2×3 studs don’t have a chance to even think about splitting. The framing went pretty smooth.

The floor is attached to the treated 2×4 lumber sitting directly on the concrete. Because the concrete slab is not level, I had to cut each framing stud at a different length. And the angle of the eves presented another challenge. I want siding to cover all the vertical surfaces and it’s important to seal it all up tight to keep the critters out. Critters like mice, squirrels, and a large assortment of bugs and spiders.

framing complete   siding complete   trimmed and sealed to the eves

I went through several tubes of caulking and spray foam sealant. I think I got every little crack and crevice from top to bottom, including the gaps around the pipes, the openings under the eves and the small mistakes I made in my measurements.

The dryer venting was an important step. It originally exhausted directly to the outside of my utility area. With the storage unit erected in that spot, I had to extend the vent pipe another 4-plus feet. I used an adjustable kit that is primarily designed to help you get your dryer closer to the wall. They come in varying lengths, so I got one that was for up to 6′ of extension. Care must be taken to avoid trapping lint and debris, so the inner sleeve has to be on the side closest to the dryer. Otherwise the lint will snag on the inside edge and build-up will occur, causing eventual clogging of the vent pipe. It may not happen until long after I’m gone, but I can’t let my other foot get in the grave knowing I’m creating problems for other people.

new dryer vent location   Dryer vent extension

To reduce the chance of air leakage and loss of pressure in the dryer vent, I taped all the fittings with aluminum tape. That stuff is great. It’s ultra sticky, very thin and molds itself around all the bumps and creases in the metal to make a very secure seal. I taped both ends and the slip joint.

The doors were another challenge with this project. The door frame and the skin was square, but it had a flatness problem. One door fit against the opening at the bottom, but stuck out at the top corner. The other door did just the opposite. I added a cross member for support, which took most of the bend out, but not all of it. Maybe if I had a flatter work surface, or larger scale lumber… You may not want to do it like I did, but it works okay for me and it’s still better than what was here before. Perhaps I will change or fix it in the future. Perhaps not.

Storage unit almost done   Storing stuff in the storage unit

After sealing everything up tight, it was time to coat everything with primer. Primer helps the paint go on easier and in fewer coats. I don’t believe in those paints that claim to have the primer in them too. First primer, then paint. I painted inside and out, including the vent pipe, just to make everything look the same. Besides, it was easier than trying to mask off and protect the pipe from drips – I’m a sloppy painter.

While I was at it, I changed the trim piece above my back door. The original was the wrong size. I decided to paint all the wall surfaces because I couldn’t find the exact same color of the original paint. The color I got was very close, but not perfect. The building needs a fresh coat of paint anyway, so I got my part done. Well, not quite done – done.

I got touch-up to do, as you can see by the pictures. The doors don’t have latches or handles yet and I also want to change the rain gutter. But I have finished the inside of the storage unit and have begun to fill it with junk from my bedroom so I can get going on that project. Look for articles on that in good time.

Jim McClain

Born 1949 and not dead yet.

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