It’s Part of the Plan

Before retiring, I developed a retirement plan. The plan was to retire as soon as possible. I tried to do things that would allow my plan to materialize, including maxing out my retirement savings plan contributions. This left me with very little money to live on, which I considered to be retirement training, because, if I retired as soon as possible, I would have very little money to live on. Happily, it turns out that I need much less money to live on, than I thought. Working was expensive.

Part of my retirement plan was to have a shed built in the backyard. My spouse (Phil) and I would then finish the inside to create a self-contained, self-controlled office (She Shed) for me to write in, and stay out of his hair (he’s been disabled for over 20 years and is used to having control of the house, television remotes – including volume, thermostats, etc.).

Tuff Shed was happy to take my pre-retirement money and then deliver and assemble the shell of my 8 X 12 shed, which they did in September 2018. Phil, a former electrician, very kindly ran electricity to the shed so that I would be able to heat and cool it, and power my laptop computer. We didn’t start working on the inside until I began retirement in December, 2018 We decided to go with polystyrene foam insulation, and learned that we could purchase a block (I could have sworn they called it a blub, but my cognition has suffered following many hours of polystyrene – in both its solid and gaseous state – exposure), and have sheets cut to our specifications. We felt that 3 inch sheets would work, and the company was happy to comply. We picked up our custom-cut polystyrene and then experimented with ways to cut the stuff so that it would fit between the studs in the shed. We tried an electric carving knife which was messy. We don’t get a lot of snow in Albuquerque, but it looked like it was going to be a White Christmas in our backyard. We moved on to a “heat knife” and were much more successful (I did worry about the ozone).

This was followed by spray-in foam insulation, to fill in gaps. That resulted in many foam insulation stalactites. It was like Carlsbad Caverns North. After much trimming, we were ready for the paneling.

We went with the cheapest paneling available at Lowes because it was our favorite. With the help of family, we got the paneling cut mostly to size, and up on the walls. I put down peel-n-press tile. Next we painted and put up trim and molding to cover spaces that the paneling had chosen not to cover. The spaces that remained were filled with paint, and if too large to fill with paint, they were filled with caulk and painted.

The plants are to remove the toxins emitted by the cheap paneling.

Furnishings were repurposed items donated by family members (again, with a heavy reliance on molding, caulk and paint). The best decorations were donated by friends and family (two personalized signs and a chandelier). The remaining artwork is the result of sales at Hobby Lobby and Michaels, lots of hot glue (Phil says the house still smells like burning wax and skin), and artificial plants. There was even a little sewing involved to make a cushion cover for the repurposed banco.

I was so proud of our finished project, that I sent pictures to Tuff Shed. They like it!

The welcome mat is out, and I’m planning lots of She Shed shindigs like She Shed Scrabble and She Shed Screenings, and of course writing She Shed Scribbles.

2 thoughts on “It’s Part of the Plan”

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