Monday, August 8, 2011

Bike Shed

Here is a design for a bike shed that I recently built to liberate our garage from six bicycles. To borrow a term from modern manufacturing, bicycles aren't good at "nesting" with the orthogonal geometry that is so prevalent in a garage.  Common spatial conflicts arise between bikes and shelving, washer and dryers and boxes etc.

Also, as a transportation vehicle, the bicycle wants to be easily deployed and, in our case, moving the location of bike storage closer to the front of the property (our garage is in the backyard) made a lot of sense.  There is nothing more frustrating than moving stuff out of the way when you want to get to a transportation vehicle.   The thing should be able to move immediately.  It's accessibility is part of its function.

Roughly 14 feet long, this bike shed has two bays, one per each rolling door.  You can also just as easily use one bay for your yardwaste, trash and recycling trifecta.

It turns out Metal Sales (the corrugated metal supplier) can ship its panels in 1/8" lengths so to keep my own labor down and to avoid making the backyard a complete DMZ I shipped it this way.  The shed wasn't a big rush so I went ahead and framed it first to make doubly sure the lengths would be right on.  It was great to not have to hover over each panel with an abrasive blade.  I think my dog Blue appreciated that too.  I can't imagine NOT paying this minor premium.  It saved hours of time.

The roof is a very shallow 1/4:12 slope with a rubberized asphalt substrate that should be sufficient to keep things waterproof.  It will be interesting to see how it holds up.  A bike shed seemed like a good place to try it out and I wanted a slope that wouldn't rise up and disturb the neighbors with its height.  I also wanted something that shared the directionality and movement of the the horizontal corrugated siding.

After witnessing the sheet metal work done by roofing subs on a couple of our recent residential projects, this sheet metal work was the first chance I had to try our some of their techniques.  I think the biggest take away from watching how the pros do it is that you can really clean up the look of sheet metal if you understand how and when to use pop rivets.  There is really no better exposed fastener solution for corner flashing and trim than an exposed pop rivets.  It virtually disappears and, if you aren't fastening a big panel to the plywood substrate, there is usually no reason you can't use a rivet in lieu of a screw with a neoprene washer.

Last but not least, a big thank you to Dennis Furia of Furia Heating and Air Conditioning for supplying all the break metal on the job.  They did very accurate work.


  1. Hi
    I was just wondering about how much this shed cost you to build. It's awesome!

  2. If memory serves, it was about $1500. The major expenditure was the 24 gage corrugated metal siding which came precut from Metal Sales. I did the labor myself.