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Basic elements of shelter is to:

  1. stop the wind
  2. block sunlight that may be causing excessive heat
  3. thermal mass to moderate temperatures
  4. insulation to slow heat gain/loss
  5. physical barrier for safety from animals so you can sleep easily at night
  6. shielded from bugs with mesh and windows
  7. lockable entrance/exit for access
  8. lighting to be able to do things when dark outside, or if shelter completely blocks exterior light


An outside kitchen is nice. a 20 x 12 foot cover can be built for about a thousand dollars using 4x6 posts and 2x8x20 foot boards and some rafters. Notch the inside of the center post for the 2x8x20 and dig hole for center post closest to the structure. Make sure vertical. After cementing in place with 4 bags of concrete cured, measure and mark the 2x8x20 ever 24 inches (for rafters) and attach to top of notched post with at least 2 3" hardware screws. Next, measure and dig the holes of end posts. Prenotch them and concrete them in place, making sure 2x8x20 header is level. When one side is done, measure out for center post on opposite side. Use diagonals to make sure it is perpendicular and the rectangle shelter shape ends up square on corners. Notch the post on inside before cementing in place. Find center of 2x8x20 and attach it. From this board, measure two end posts, prenotch them, hang them from cross board and cement in place. Next, attach hurricane straps for rafters. Then notch the other sides of posts and install 2x8x20 header on other side of each post to conceal the hanger straps. Drill through 2 headers and center post and bind together with 5/16" carriage bolt with washers. Use ladder to attach cross 2x4 to which to fasten roofing material (galvanized sheet metal.

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