Voices on the Wind

With the cool change passing over (which brings with it strong, gusting winds), I am reminded of a day many years ago now where the winds arrived and quickly made such a mark on my shed at the time.

Back in 2002 or so, (things are getting particularly hazy), I needed more space than the 3m x 3m shed I was using was offering.  An old Mercedes that I had was sold, and that financed a new 6m x 3m shed by Spanbilt.  It was an amazing thing, having so much more space than I had been coping with.

This was also as my Triton collection was undergoing a rapid expansion, and the Dingo that had joined the family needed a home.  You may have seen the resulting dog house, either on here or in a magazine (House and Home I think).  It was a heavy thing, with cyprus pine weatherboards all made on the Triton Workcentre.  It has particular relevance to this story.

One wet day, the wind was really gusting in, and I had headed out to the shed to see how it was going.  It was therefore particularly concerning when I saw the roof flexing dramatically above one of the doors.  The wind passing over was really lifting the roof at one point, so I started hanging on, while trying to reach  hammer, nails, screws or whatever might help stabilise the roof.

Watching the building closely (while literally hanging off it), I could see a real defect in the design around the door frames.  The roof was lifting right above the corners of the doors.  So while using my bodyweight to hang onto the roof above one door, the wind began ripping sheet after sheet off above the other.  Not only was the roof flying off, over the neighbour’s fence, but even the wall sheets and door were following.  If it wasn’t for the Triton Woodrack on the back wall heavily loaded, I have no doubt the whole half of the shed would have gone.  Even so, the damage was dramatic.  It was still raining, and all the tools that had suddenly been exposed to the elements were getting a soaking.

With a trip to the local box hardware store for a big groundsheet, the effort was in getting it across the roof, and secured against any additional winds.  This is where the newly built doghouse came in – with the decent weight it was placed on one side of the groundsheet to hold it down.

The shed repair was something else, with many panels bent, and some beyond easy redemption.  A call to Spanbilt yielded no joy – they claimed the sheds were more than suitable for Melbourne’s weather conditions, and not only were they not prepared to supply any panels to replace the damaged ones, they were not interested in doing so even where I was wanting to pay for them.

So instead, I sourced some treated pine and built a sub-frame that the tin was to be attached to .  Heavily bent panels were hammered flat an nailed to the new frame.  This design became the basis for the current 8m x 4m shed, and that has not moved an inch, even in particularly strong winds.

So that is the end of the tale, and the visual I still have when the winds get a bit fresh.  Seeing panel after panel flying across the fence – I can’t imagine what it is like for those in the States in the tornado alley, watching whole houses vanish in a puff of wind.

These days, with the shed built with the lessons of the past incorporated in the design and construction, let it blow – I can go back to enjoying listening to the wind and rain throw its fury at my place, content in the knowledge that the shed (and the tools therein) will be there, safe and intact day after day, storm after storm.

3 Responses

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