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Old 07-24-2016, 01:53 PM   #1
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Repairing bottom of shed walls


My husband wants a hunting cabin. We've found an 11 x 20 building that used to be a car lot office. It needs some work, but the only want $800. It'll cost about $150 to move it. The cheapest premade comparable building is more than 3x that. This one's finished already wired for electric, and has a gas line.

My only real worry is the bottom of the walls or floor are rotted, I suspect from water slashing up as it sat on the parking lot. The ends of the skids are fairly rotten too. The floor itself feels pretty solid to walk on and from what we could see by sticking a camera under.

How hard it's it to fix this issue and how exactly do you go about it? I've looked quite a bit but still a little worried as the closest videos and such have been for sill repair. Also, should skids be replaced? Or can we just put some more timbers under? We figure for the price, if the repairs aren't too bad, if it lasts 5 years we'll be happy.

Thanks for your thoughts. We're handy, but amateurs. Be kind.
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Old 07-24-2016, 04:00 PM   #2
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Re: Repairing bottom of shed walls


That's what I call a leverite.

Leave her right where you found it.

You should be able to find an old Katrina FEMA trailer for a similar price.

And have less repairs to do.


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Old 07-24-2016, 04:29 PM   #3
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Re: Repairing bottom of shed walls


Thank you, but we can't put a trailer on this property. There are restrictions that stop us from putting something that would be considered a "mobile home" and while we could put a travel trailer or something on it only during hunting season, we don't have a vehicle that would tow it and we'd like to have something for storage year round as well. We're actually pushing it with a cabin - but as we can class it as a storage building or shed, since we're not living in it full-time and it'll be mostly hidden in the woods anyway, we should be fine. One neighbor we have seen has a hunting cabin as well. (We have 17 acres, there are a number of other wooded parcels, 20 to 40 acres each, around us. The restrictions are in the deed.)

So, really, the question is can this be repaired fairly easily? We have already priced the cost of siding, so we could rip it off and redo it fairly cheaply. We originally planned on a portable building, but the cheapest we've seen that is about this size and configuration is $3300, and then we'd still have to insulate and finish the inside.

I know she looks rough; dirty, dented and in need of paint, but the building seems pretty sound other than these rotten boards, as best we can see and tell from walking around in it. We're not little people, it is sitting unlevel, and the floor didn't feel shaky or bouncy. The inside actually looks pretty good, nothing some finish nails and paint can't fix.
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Old 07-24-2016, 04:59 PM   #4
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Re: Repairing bottom of shed walls


I would not trust the skid structure to move this 10 feet without tearing apart.

I would be rebuilding the skids right where it sits, By jacking it up by the actual rim joists, removing all the old skids, replacing them and then loading it on a truck / trailer for hauling.

And if you took the wheels / axles from a FEMA building, it becomes a permanent structure.


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Old 07-24-2016, 05:17 PM   #5
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Re: Repairing bottom of shed walls


It was moved recently about 30 miles. The current owner bought it for a hunting cabin, moved it to his property a few months ago, and planned on working on it there before moving it to it's final spot, but he suffered a severe injury - nearly losing his left arm - and will be unable to do anything with it for a very long time, so decided to sell it for what it cost him to buy and move (friend of a friend). He said they moved it with the type of tow-truck that moved big vehicles, just hooked it by the skids and winched it up on the trailer.

It does appear that only the ends of the skids and the bottom 2x4's are dry rotted. Less than a foot in, they become sound.

So, assuming he has no problem with us leaving it there to put new skids on (there are only two) can't we just put the new ones to the outside of the old ones, up against them, to add stability to transport it?

A mobile home is a mobile home, even if you take the wheels off. No mobile homes are allowed on our property. Besides, there are none for sale around here anywhere - I just did a quick search and the closest one I found was in the next state and was still more expensive than this building by hundreds of dollars.

Last edited by Liliona; 07-24-2016 at 05:31 PM.
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Old 07-24-2016, 05:38 PM   #6
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Re: Repairing bottom of shed walls


It is feasible to "sister" new skids to the old ones, if there is any solid material there to bolt to.

That is a big IF, though and I and all others need actual "eyes-on" to advise further.

It's chancy advising and taking advise over a long distance.

Because you could be endangering someone else if you are wrong.

Just make sure that any work that you do is sound.

Another thought, I have seen people buy old Bread delivery vans and convert them into a hunting cabin.

Might this be feasible where you are?


ED
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Old 07-24-2016, 06:10 PM   #7
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Re: Repairing bottom of shed walls


Well...not as feasible as just moving a ready-made building, doing a few repairs and calling it done.

See the thing is we really want a building...something we can put a little kitchen in (planning on an RV stove and ice chest since we don't have electric yet) and a bed for crashing if we want to go watch the stars and not come home overnight, a picnic table outside, a fire pit - a get-way place. And someplace to store camp furniture and lanterns and such for when go there. We have been down several times, looking for mushrooms and blackberries and just walking the woods and scouting out the deer trails, etc. But we can't really stay long because we have nothing when we're down there. This is bare property. There's no well, no electric. We plan on both those things, but in the future.


The original plan was to buy a portable building and then insulate and finish out the inside, probably with paneling or something cheap like that or practice our drywall skills. But as the cheapest ones we can find in the size we'd like are several thousand dollars, plus the cost of materials to fix it up, that would have to wait a while. Money is an issue.

This building looks like it's falling apart in the photo, but I think it really mostly needs new siding and these repairs done. My husband has an overtime check coming that will pay for all of that. That's why I was wondering if the repair could be done DIY without too much trouble.
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Old 07-24-2016, 06:33 PM   #8
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Re: Repairing bottom of shed walls


The old saying, where there's a will there's a way comes to mind, and you can do anything if one put's their mind to it, sit down and give the repair some thought, then draw up a plan and have at it.
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Old 07-24-2016, 09:31 PM   #9
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Re: Repairing bottom of shed walls


What's that old saying?

The best laid plans of mice and men.

is told already with the current owners tragedy.

This is doable, I think that it is going to be more costly than you are hoping for,
But if you really want it, it will be done.

I wish you all the best luck with it, Remember that the site is here if you need any more advice on how to D I Y.


ED
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Old 07-25-2016, 10:29 AM   #10
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Re: Repairing bottom of shed walls


I appreciate your thoughts gentlemen and I know that a new structure would last much longer, but would be much more expensive too.

So...anyone have an old saying that tells me what I'm looking at here in repair? I assume that the rotted board you see at the bottom is the outside of the floor structure? If I understand correctly, you build the floor structure, put your plywood subfloor over that, then build the walls etc, on top of that? I guess you can put the walls up then the plywood subfloor, but my point is the board that is rotten is the one that runs with the floor joist, what they call the "Rim Joist" in the 2nd picture I'm attaching. They all may need repair and we won't know until we take off the siding, but the ones that are falling apart are the ones that rest on the skids. I don't think it's a coincidence that that is the side where the eaves are...no gutter, water has sheeted off the roof and splashed up under those sides for years, while the other two sides got less splash-back.

So...what we have to do is support the wall while replacing that rim joist? Right?

Please keep in mind...if this thing stands up and keeps us dry for 4-5 years while we save up for what we want to have eventually - we'll be happy. This is not intended to house us for 20 years.

Thanks again.
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Last edited by Liliona; 07-25-2016 at 10:34 AM.
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Old 07-25-2016, 11:11 AM   #11
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Re: Repairing bottom of shed walls


From what i can see from your pic's, is the skids are what in need of replacing, but you'll be able to see more when you take the siding off.
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Old 07-25-2016, 03:59 PM   #12
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Re: Repairing bottom of shed walls


Quote:
Originally Posted by Canarywood1 View Post
From what i can see from your pic's, is the skids are what in need of replacing, but you'll be able to see more when you take the siding off.
No. The very ends of the skids are rotted, but the part that hangs down, where you can see the rotted wood in the second photo, is the board that runs at a right angle to the skids. Skids may need replaced, depending on how far back the deterioration is, but the board running parallel to floor joists and under the very bottom of the siding is the worst part.

Last edited by Liliona; 07-25-2016 at 04:02 PM.
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Old 07-25-2016, 04:54 PM   #13
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Re: Repairing bottom of shed walls


Good advices but refuted for one reason or another, and looks like your mind is set.
I would pay 3x the cost because:
1. old structure, originally probably not properly built, faces bigger chance of collapse, etc, esp when moved around a few times.
2. into the woods? over a paved or flat road? One racking and lot of joints will become loose.
3. if under the trees, is the roof capable of one good limb falling on it? One bad roof damage, you will have to write off the whole shed.
4. electric and gas, I would not use it unless it is inspected, and not by a home inspector.
5. FEMA throwaways sound really good. Am in NJ and no chance of using the government around here. I'd find more about it and talk to the town for chance of using it.
6. New floor, new siding and fixing a skid on it? First price all materials first. Once you have the floor, the walls and roof have to be braced before you can lift it on the new floor. You may find it will cost you another $1300. 100% extra cost and you are back to 0 - old walls, old roof, old utilities.
When they say the remodel/repair costs more than a teardown, this is the kind of repair they're talking about. Repair should be what you can handle, not hiring a crane, etc.
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Old 07-25-2016, 10:16 PM   #14
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Thank you. Forgive any errors in this post. On my phone.

You raise some good points about the road..it's in rough shape. Not too worried about a limb. I mean, any wrecked roof is a problem and I'd rathat to write off a $800 shed than a $3000 one. We simply don't have three times the money at this time. The plan is to save up and upgrade in a few years. FEMA trailers are not an option. Period.

We are going to look over it again and give it a thorough going over before we make up our minds. Maybe the price is negotiable...maybe we'll change our minds.

I just really wish someone would answer the real question I had...what is involved in making this repair IF the rot is confined to the rim joist that runs parallel to the others?

Last edited by Liliona; 07-25-2016 at 10:22 PM.
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Old 07-25-2016, 10:25 PM   #15
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We're going to look tomorrow evening. Will have a better idea off what to look for now.
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