The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Storage building top box

 home made storage building top box

Today we installed some hard wood beams from the old house on the top of our walls to form a solid box for the storage buiding. We decided to extend each side out by a foot to provide some additional cover for the outer walls.

This post is part of our Building a Storage Building from Scratch series.  Read all of the entries:

Part 1: Foundation
Part 2: Floor
Part 3: Walls and scavenging lumber
Part 4: Adding the loft
Part 5: The roof
Summing it up:

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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Double up those beams to get a full four inch thickness.
Comment by errol Tue Jan 19 18:57:19 2010
I did the math, and our beams have the same cross-sectional area as the doubled 2X6s you were talking about. Those would be 3 by 5.5 (16.5 square inches) and these are 2.5 X 6.5 (16.25 square inches.) It's the cross-sectional area that's important, right?
Comment by anna Tue Jan 19 19:20:12 2010
P.S. I appreciate you checking on our progress. I've been refreshing the comments form for two hours waiting for your input. :-)
Comment by anna Tue Jan 19 19:21:54 2010

All this watching you guys build your building has me in the mood to build another one this year. Heaven knows I need one.

On another note, do y'all have any auctions around there where old hand tools come around? Like old bit braces, augers, draw knives, etc.?

Comment by Shannon Wed Jan 20 00:10:02 2010

You can always come and help us on our building. :-)

I haven't really done the auction circuit, but we do read about real estate auctions a lot. From the two I've been to, it sounds like they might fit the bill --- they tend to auction off everything from the barn in the process, which often includes a lot of hand tools.

Comment by anna Wed Jan 20 08:32:55 2010

Your building looks great, especially for your skill level. You shouldn't have any problems with that big old beam on there. That old wood is already dry, unlike houses built today with "wet" pine. Yes they dry the wood but everyone can tell you that it is not completely cured. As it drys it sags and warps. Plus that old wood was mostlikely slow growth timber, not the fast regrowth lumber of today. Alot of todays codes are there due to this weaker wood. Also your building is just that a building not a foundation house. If your cedar piers rot, just through a farm jack under it and add a new one. I have done this many times with storage buildings. Its not that hard, you aren't lifting a house.

Get that water line covered up and insulated at the tank. Life will be much better. Make it a priority, water is essential.

Loved the book! Great read even just for the entertainment value.

Comment by Erich Wed Jan 20 12:06:41 2010

I'm so glad to hear someone with a similar building philosophy to ours. I was starting to doubt our methods. :-)

I'm also glad to hear that you approve our old beam. It was seriously hard wood! Mark had to drill pilot holes to get the screws to go in (compared to the storebought wood where we just screwed straight in.)

You're totally right about our water line. We're adding it back on this year's top ten list and hope to get it insulated as soon as the building gets done. :-)

Finally, thanks so much for your kind words about our book!

Comment by anna Wed Jan 20 13:39:38 2010

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