"But it's only a cover for firewood..."

Those are just a few words me and Suzie tossed back and forth when we discussed building something to cover our recently-purchased firewood. My way of making or doing something is to do it "too much" and this was no exception. I'll be first to admit that I'm anal and I strive to make things last. Anyway, we brainstormed on how and what to do because it was plain that we needed to keep our 2+ cords of firewood dry and protected.

I don't know wood structure and design because I haven't been really schooled in building things. My dad couldn't build anything, and I'm not fortunate enough to have a relative that I was able to learn construction from. I do understand structure and stuff in general though. I know enough about strength, leverage, weight, capabilities, and things like that though. I know just enough to know that if I'm going to build something like we were talking about building I needed to keep it within my "comfort zone" of knowledge. That meant steel.

The back of our garage was in a sorry state. Largely neglected, it had peeling paint and disintegrating wood. Very few of the panels even matched, and those that did were not in the best condition. Here's what we started with (click for bigger pictures):

After making some basic measurements, we figured out how much steel to buy and picked that up. The following Saturday, I spent a few hours cutting, welding, and painting the 12 frames I needed. Here's what they looked like when they were finished:

And here's a couple of shots of them after I got them all bolted to the back wall:

After I had these things all built and put up we turned our attention to the cleaning & painting of the wall. I felt pretty confident about my ability to handle the rest of the project with wood--After all, it was just flat on top. I purposely made the roof sized to fit even 4 x 8 sheets of plywood on top so that made it easy. What wasn't easy was all the contortionist work that went with all the climbing, leaning, and bending. Here are a couple that Suz took while I was working:

Here are a couple more shots of me playing contortionist. There was a lot of clambering over the woodpile to do the drilling and screwing, and if you've ever walked on a pile of firewood you'll know it's not easy. After all that was done and the roof was on I ran over all the little points where the screws stuck through and "dusted" them flat with my grinder:

So, in addition to the obvious, we scraped, cleaned, and painted the upper half of the building before the roof I built actually went on. I also relocated the bat house to a spot much higher up. It would be nice if a bat or two would move in because we could probably keep them filled up on 'skeeters during part of the year.

I had several snafu's that reared their ugly head during my project. Some days it rained, some days I felt lousy (flu maybe?) and some days things didn't feel right. Now it's finally finished. I added a nice, sturdy wood fascia board all the way across the front, and also added support to the back side so there would be no plywood sagging issues. During the course of the project I got to play with steel, plywood, shingles, flashing, tar, and all kinds of stuff. I'm tired of it and I'm glad it's done. Here's the finished product:

I'm sure the garage feels good about its neglected back side as well. The next project? It's already underway: The installation of the wood stove. Stay tuned!