Though I have built numerous structures in the past, this one is one of the most practical use due to the times that we are in. This was a two person job which took approximately three weeks to complete. Since so many individuals are now working either full or part time from home, they end up isolating themselves in a corner of the living room or bedroom for minimal distractions. For those who have a yard that can sustain a minimum structure of 12'x12', then this project is for you.
Initially the construction plans were
for a larger design however, due to
City Ordinances requiring permits, I modified it's dimensions and added a deck to compensate for it.
Prior to starting any project involving digging, contact 811 which is a standard number nationwide whereby the city will come out to scan and flag any area that may have underground cables. There is no charge for this service.
This structure is 12'x12'x10' ceiling allowing for a more open feel and a 12'x12' deck. Any lumber that will have ground contact must be at minimal Pressure Treated. The posts used were 4"x4" with same type as an overlay frame bolted on to the posts and 3/4" plywood flooring.
Prior to constructing your frame, sketch out where the windows and door will be including dimensions so you won't have to modify openings anymore than necessary. Consider as well what type of insulation and R Factor Rating that is being used. For the walls, it's usually R-13 which means that the studs would be placed 16" on center in order for everything else to fall in place such as drywall installation.
Though the initial plan was to modify
a Tuff Shed structure, I was not pleased with the minimal design of it which did not provide a house wrap either. In the past roofing paper has been used as a wrap however, with newer materials in the market this was the most feasible.
After installing the wrap, determine how many outlets will be utilized and for what purpose. A single Breaker can handle up to 8 outlets of a standard 110 volt usage. I recommend using a 12/2 wire with 20 amp breakers to handle possible appliances. In order to not have any breakers tripping, a Sub-Panel will need to be installed. For the size and use of this structure, 2 Double 50 Amp Breakers were installed on the Main Box for a 100 Amp Sub-Panel using 6/3 wire to the structure. A 6/3 wire will consist of a Neutral (White), Hot (Black), Red and Ground. This size of wire can be expensive however, the gauge is necessary to maintain a consistent current.
Place your outlet and switch boxes in the area they will be installed to provide a visual for any possible modifications. In this design, I would be placing three of those outlets 3' off the ground keeping in mind that a Laminated Counter would be installed there allowing for easy access. The rest would be 1 1/2' and yet others to the height of Mounted Wall TV to conceal any wires hanging to the bottom outlets.
To minimize distraction or noise, the AC/Heater Combo was place high in a corner. This unit was assigned a dedicated line of 220 with a 12/3 wiring. Inside frame was modified to handle the exterior supports for the weight.
The next step is to perform the insulation making adjustments where needed. Insulation rating for the ceiling would be R-19. Since I did not want to install numerous Soffit Vents, I instead installed a Ridge Vent. The rubber overlay panels are 4' in length. When installing, allow 2' in from the edge to minimize any water coming in. The opening slit on the top should not be anymore than 1 1/2" on either side of the ridge.
After that comes the drywall. Since drywall generally does not come in 10' length without doing a special order, I settled for standard 8' and adjusted the difference.
Once the interior is painted, I proceeded to install the Counter, Laminated Flooring and baseboards. In conjunction with the wiring, an ethernet cable was integrated for a hardline connection from the router in the house so one would have to rely on wi-fi connection. This took care of the PC, TV inside and for another TV outside above the door with an outlet.
Proceeding to the outside process. The ridge height was set to 2'. Generally one should have at least a 3' rise to allow for as much insulation as needed. My decision to keep it at that height was to not have a sharp drop in the front over the deck allowing for a more open feel.
The deck roof required three 4"x4"x12' posts to handle proper weight distribution. If only two are used, the posts will start to warp. Once roof shingles were installed, the deck frame was started using 2"x6" boards and ground supports at the two foot intervals.
I recommend integrating a deck to
any outdoor project. It's a comfort zone to congregate. A place to enjoy BBQ's or simply a quiet place to contemplate. With this deck, I added back support to one of the rails so drinks could be placed without spilling. A four foot entry space was more than enough for accessibility.
Following the deck would be the walkway. Based on the ground level, it was determined that a 3 tier walkway would be more appropriate. To get the most use of a standard eight foot plank, four foot width walkway was built insuring that each level was bubble level.
This particular design turned out to
be the most practical which coincidently ended up meeting to center of the patio slab. Insure that center frame supports are installed as well to avoid warping of the boards and even weight distribution.
The final phase was to stain all the lumber. I decided to go with Mahogany color from Ready Seal. This semi-transparent stain accentuates the wood grain very well. Though I have tried numerous other colors, this is the most vibrant. Rope Lighting was added as well to provide even distribution of light without glare of any type. When installing Rope Lights, make sure Light Channels are use to provide an even form. Do not rely solely on the adhesive of the channel to keep the rope in place. Install small screws in conjunction.
Ideas not only come from within but through a consolidation of other visuals to provide that spark of creativity that we all posses. Enjoy this presentation.
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