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Project: Déjà Vu Equipment Shed Construction


Déjà Vu

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It's happening again: I'm building another box.

This time, I'm constructing the Toolbox Equipment Shed to house the extra tools that won't fit in the Wrench Works Service Garage so that I can access them quickly and easily — at least, more quickly and easily than trying to jam them into the Storage Garage, farther away.

Because this is essentially the same project I did to build the Junk Box MRO Shed, I'm calling this Project: Déjà Vu.


The background for the Toolbox lies in the design for the Wrench Works. In order to keep costs down, I had to find the smallest Service Garage I could work in, but that size won't allow me to keep all the tools, machines, and equipment I need — which means I'd have to find a place for them in the Warehouse Storage Garage. A building which is already trying to burst at the seams holding the Car Projects and their related parts — and it isn't even built yet. What makes matters worse, still, is that keeping the equipment in the Warehouse would take too much time and energy to retrieve. I need an inexpensive solution that will keep them nearby.

That solution is a small storage shed.

It just so happens that the Car Lot, when arranged correctly, neatly fits the Toolbox — along with the other two Boxes — without adding significant lot size requirements.


Like the Junk Box, the Toolbox Equipment Shed is an off-the-shelf design from VersaTube they call a Summit Utility Building. It's also 12'x9'x7' and identical to the Junk Box in every way, except for its position in the Hobby Complex and its intended use.

Being a carbon copy makes Project: Déjà Vu one of the easiest builds in the Car Lot. It also means that all of the specifications that make it up, will be identical as well.

The color choices for this building are limited, but will match the Junk Box and the rest of the buildings in the complex.

The frame is the same 2"x2" square steel tube design used for the Junk Box, as is the painted vertically-oriented corrugated sheet metal siding.

Unless there is some change along the way needed to address some unknown issue, the foundation will be the same as it will be for the Junk Box. As of now, that design is up in the air. I would prefer to use a simple concrete pad, but if that won't work, I'll go with either a turned-down monolithic slab or a two-part T-footing foundation with separately poured slab.

The 6'x6' garage-style door will be the same as the Junk Box to match it and keep continuity with the rest of the buildings in the Car Lot.

Even the utility requirements for this building are the same, needing electrical run for lighting.

The only real change is the fact that the lot will already be laid out and all the services run by this point, so the complications that come with the Junk Box are moot.


Beyond needing a place to store the tools and equipment I don't use on a daily basis, the Toolbox serves several purposes related to that:

  • Keep stuff out of the way. It's difficult to make progress on Car Projects when you have to move stuff around to do that work.
  • Keep stuff organized. When you have to constantly move stuff around, it's difficult to keep it organized and keep track of it all.
  • Keep stuff nearby. I don't use all of my tools all of the time, obviously, many are specialized. However, I still don't want to lose time and energy traipsing all the way to the Warehouse to find them.

Ultimately, the Toolbox is a staging area of sorts for tools. It needs to be configurable so that I can swap out machine, equipment, and tool sets to support whatever phase I'm working in on any given project. The Warehouse will still hold stuff, but the Toolbox doesn't need to hold body tools while I'm rebuilding the powertrain, etc. Having it flexible and nearby the Wrench Works makes it more useful than just a shed full of forgotten junk.


Get the Toolbox built — that's the primary goal.

Here are the rest:

  • Keep the Toolbox as inexpensive as possible while still meeting my needs.
  • I need to gain the most functionality out of a limited space as I can, which will mean spending more in some areas to achieve greater versatility.
  • As much as building the Car Lot is paramount to the success of my hobby, constructing it nor the Toolbox are my actual hobby. Every day this thing isn't done is a day I can't spend wrenching on my old cars, so this thing needs to get done as quickly as possible.

There you have it, the goals for Project: Déjà Vu are no different than most of the other buildings in my Hobby Complex.


The scope for Project: Déjà Vu is also no different than that for Project: Test Case.

The prep work for the site will be taken care of in Project: Plotting and Scheming and the walkway will be dealt with in a later project to finish my Hobby Complex. It also won't include outfitting or moving into the Toolbox.

What this project does entail is pouring the foundation, building the structure, and finishing the building electrical and lighting.

Like all of the other buildings, the scope of Project: Déjà Vu doesn't allow for cutting any corners on fit, finish, functionality, or appearance. This is a simple structure and those kinds of shortcuts won't amount to much in the way of time or money savings and simply not worth it to me.


By the time I get to Project: Déjà Vu, I will have already built the Junk Box and will have a very solid idea of the amount of time needed to complete this project.

As for this charter, I'm just going to use the same timeframe I did for Project: Test Case, with the same hours available; that being five a day, two days a week, with the project taking a total of four weeks.

You can see the time broken down in the table below:

Per: Day Week Year Totals
Hours 5 10 40 40
Days 2 8 8
Weeks 4 4
Years 0


Just like up above in the Timeframe section, I'm just going to use the budget from Project: Test Case, which is $9,000.

Below is the same scheduled budget I used for the project charter to build the Junk Box, as well:

Week: 1 2 3
Initial Financing $7,000 $0 $0
Scheduled Financing $500 $500 $500
Scheduled Cost -$2,250 -$2,250 -$2,250
TOTAL $5,250 $3,500 $1,750
4 Totals
$0 $7,000
$500 $2,000
-$2,250 -$9,000


The location is right next to the Junk Box, behind the Wrench Works, within the confines of the Car Lot.

Which will be in my back yard.

Work Requirements

The work requirements for this project are identical to Project: Test Case for the Junk Box and are broken down by building section.


  • Foundation design
  • Site prep and excavation
  • Form construction and teardown
  • Concrete pouring and screeding


  • Frame construction
  • Sheet metal fitting and installation
  • Insulation installation
  • Garage door installation
  • Walk door installation


  • Electrical service hook-up
  • Electrical panel installation
  • Electrical rough-in
  • Lighting and electrical outlet installation


This preliminary look at the milestones needed to complete Project: Déjà Vu is accurate as best as I can tell without having a site to assess, consulting any contractors, or working up a detailed plan.

That said, by the time I reach this project, I'll have a really solid idea of what to do because it will already have been done for the Junk Box — so I won't need to do a plan specifically for the Toolbox to know what I need to get it done — I will create one, anyway, but base it on the plan made for Project: Test Case, modified with the lessons I learned from that project, and adapted for any circumstance that ends up being unique for Project: Déjà Vu.

Assessment, Feasibility and Go/No Go

This is a pretty simple project.

The assessment will already be done during Project: Plotting and Scheming for the Car Lot. The only thing I'll do is give it a cursory once over to be sure nothing has changed to the site that requires adjustment or repair.

The only concerns I have for the feasibility of this project is whether or not I have the time and finances to do it. If those are in order, I'll pull the trigger and Project: Déjà Vu will be officially under way.


The great thing about Project: Déjà Vu is that I'll already have the plan drawn up before starting it. Since the Junk Box is identical, the plan will be as well. Okay, close to identical. I may have to make some adjustments for slightly different circumstances and possibly make some improvements based on my experiences in Project: Test Case.

Regardless, the final go ahead for this project should simply be a formality, then I can begin digging into the principle work.

Preparation and Coordination

I don't foresee needing much in the way of preparation and coordination for this project. In fact, I see needing even less than that for Project: Test Case. I will already know what needs to be done and the precise results I'm looking for because I will already have consulted an expert on the Junk Box.

As for preparation, this is a small building with little in the way of complexity, so, just like the Junk Box, the equipment and materials list will be pretty short.


The foundation should be identical to that of the Junk Box. Which means after the previous phase, I'll set up the forms, bring in the equipment and materials, and pour the foundation.

Again, just like the Junk Box, I don't know what kind of foundation I'll use. I'd like to use a simple pad, but if the VersaTube engineers nix that, I'll lay in a two-part or monolithic slab.

Regardless of what foundation I go with, it will likely be the same type I use for the Junk Box and before I get to Project: Déjà Vu, I'll already know what I'll be doing.

Building Structure Construction

My hope for this project is that by the time I get here, I'll already have a solid idea of what to expect from putting up the Toolbox.

Having built several VersaTube buildings by this point — including one identical to this — should keep me from any real surprises.

I would like to think that by this point, installing the 6-foot door on this shed won't be a problem for me, but I've had too much life experience to think it will work out like that. This may one of the areas I have to bring in a contractor for on this project.

Utility Installation and Hook-Up

After constructing five buildings, I'd like to think I'll be able to handle the simple utilities in the Toolbox.

If I can't, well I guess I'll just bite the bullet and call in a contractor to get it done — but I hope I'm competent enough to handle it on my own by this point.

Close Out

This close out should be pretty simple. After all, I've already done it once. I can't imagine there's a lot more to learn or that I'll have many loose ends to tie up. I'd like to think that my previous experience would keep things like leftovers to a minimum. Of course, I'm me, so that probably means there'll be a hole that goes to the center of the Earth that I'll need to fill in or something.


Not the most significant building on the Car Lot, and only indirectly involved in the Car Projects, themselves, the Toolbox will allow me to keep the tools I need for whatever projects I'm working on, close at hand.

Thankfully Project: Déjà Vu is one of the cheapest and easiest Garage Projects because it will hopefully only prove to be a little hiccup on the way to getting the Wrench Works Service Garage built and my hobby back on track.


Progress is neat.

I like making progress — it means I'm getting somewhere I want to go.

In this case, that would mean I'd be moving towards getting the Toolbox built and the Hobby Complex complete so I could start working on my Car Projects.

That's not happening right now — see, I still need to plot to put it on.

When I'm finally able to start working on Project: Déjà Vu, this is where I'll post the updates.

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