The datashed started off as a completely unfinished, dilapidated, sixty-year-old storage shed in my back yard. When I moved into my home, the building had some rickety built-in shelving, some very weak lighting, a few power outlets, a lot of grass growing into the building through holes in the walls, some mice, and lots and lots of spiders:
All of the asphalt shingles had blown off the roof, and the plywood beneath was in really bad shape. It leaked like a sieve:
My plan was always to turn this into a miniature data center, but it obviously needed a massive amount of work in order to serve that purpose.
My friend Joel came to town for a visit in 2013, and I roped him into helping me refurbish the roof. We decided to completely replace all of the plywood:
Some rafters had dry rot, and the ends had to be cut off and replaced:
Here it is with all the plywood replaced:
Next, we sealed it with a fibrous rubber material:
Then, roofing paper:
Then, we prepared it for new metal roofing:
Here’s Joel screwing in one of the metal panels:
The roof completed:
Next, I knew I wanted to get rid of the window, for security reasons:
Did some framing here for a window A/C (which wasn’t nearly enough; but I’ll get to that later):
Next came some wiring work and insulation, as well as adding more ceiling joists to support the drywall:
Then, drywall. My friend Anthony and my beautiful wife Miriam got roped in for help on this:
I built this rig to help me hang ceiling drywall on my own:
Drywall, mostly done:
Then came painting:
I had originally planned on vinyl tile, but I would have needed to re-float the entire floor, which was beyond my budget. So, I went with garage floor epoxy:
Next, I trenched the yard to bring ethernet, phone, and T1 cabling into the building:
Here’s the conduit coming up:
And the same at the back of the house (this has since been greatly tidied up):
The wiring on the inside of the building:
After this, equipment got moved in, and I realized that the old barn door was allowing massive amounts of dust to get in, so my friend Anthony installed a proper steel door:
At this point, it was becoming painfully obvious that the building had neither the power nor cooling capacity to support all the equipment. So, I hired an electrician to both upgrade the electrical service on the main house and add a dedicated 200A panel on the datashed:
The electrician also added a dedicated circuit for the core switch and two 240VAC circuits for the big PDUs that run Cabinet 3.
Next, I hired an HVAC contractor to install a 3-ton split unit to the building, which will freeze the place out even in the hottest part of the summer (100 degrees Fahrenheit and above is not uncommon here):
This brings us to the current state of the building. I need to have the electrician re-locate some outlets, and possibly add two more 240VAC circuits, but overall, the interior of the building works very well. I put in the highest R-value of insulation that would fit in both the walls and ceiling, and sealed every gap I could find, so the air conditioner barely has to work to maintain 75 degrees, and dust is minimal.
I will eventually have the exterior siding replaced and have the building stuccoed to match the house, but that’s a ways down the road at this point.