Replacing the bottom of my shed with blocks?

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Old 01-17-13, 06:19 PM
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Replacing the bottom of my shed with blocks?

Hello,

I am looking into a summer project of replacing the bottom of my rotting shed (12'X20') with blocks. The bottom foot or so (some places are only a few inches, may be up past a foot in certain spots) are rotten/gone. (in the 2nd image you can see the slate stones...it is rotted out around them)
The outside is OSB (Who knows why), 2x4 framing, insulation and drywall on the inside. I would like to remove the drywall and insulation as I just need it for relatively dry storage and have no plans to heat it. I think critters are less likely to make a home without insulation as well.

I was told by someone I work with that I should make a temporary frame (about one foot in from the side) and cut out the bottom foot and replace it with cement blocks (presumably after putting a shoe on the bottom). Does this sound like the best course of action?

Overall appearance is not overly important, but I would like it to look better than it currently does. I plan on siding it with something to provide weather protection, but I am not really sure what. I'm open to ideas. I have thought about cedar, vinyl, and T1-11. Not sure if there are other options that are on the cheaper end.

I have some better pictures at home, but I am not there tonight.

If it matters the floor is plywood over what I presume to be 2x4s (not PT), and this would probably be the next step, unless I should plan for it now.
The "green roof" doesn't look great, but it also is dry so I am likely to leave it for now.
 
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Old 01-18-13, 06:10 AM
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So the shed foundation is basically wood that sets on the ground?

I'm not sure cutting out the bottom 8" or so and replacing it with block is feasible. Is the shed stable enough where you could lift it off of the ground and set it on blocks? [4" cap blocks might be enough] If not, you might be able to securing framing horizontally across the studs to support the walls while you remove the bottom portion. You'd still need to add a new PT 2x at the bottom to support the studs.

btw - I've built a few sheds using OSB because it's cheap. If it's oil primed and painted with latex house paint it will hold up fine.
 
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Old 01-18-13, 08:34 PM
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I believe the walls are fairly stable, but the shed is just sitting on the ground. I'm not sure that it could be lifted though, since the bottom of the framing (shoe and studs I believe) is rotted out...

I'll toy around with some different thoughts and let you know if I end up making any progress.

Any thoughts on cheap"er" siding to go over the OSB?
 
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Old 01-19-13, 05:11 AM
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Probably the cheapest siding would be the 3/8" thick T-111. Last I bought was about $15 a sheet but it's been a few yrs.
 
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Old 01-19-13, 07:00 AM
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I'm just the piano player, so don't shoot . But before you sink a lot of money into siding or other materials, consider a complete demo and replacement. I really don't think you will be able to lift this structure and block it properly without some serious lifting techniques, possibly even professional help. The roof is a time bomb, and although it isn't leaking presently, wait until you disturb the structure by racking it slightly.

My guess is, lifting and blocking this building, placing new siding on it, and a new roof will run over $1k, for which you could easily build a new one and even have a concrete floor which would be a plus.
 
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Old 01-19-13, 07:02 AM
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Is there a concrete pad under your shed? If so, is there a sill plate to which the wall studs are attached?
 
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Old 01-21-13, 06:04 PM
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No concrete. Just Ply on the floor. Presumably on a frame of 2x4 that are not pt, but I have not looked under the ply.
 
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Old 01-21-13, 07:19 PM
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You have to look under the plywood. The question is, what is connecting the structure to the ground. A concrete pad is a flat rectangle of poured concrete on which the structure might have been built, so the floor of the shed would not necessarily be concrete. The flooring could have been build over the pad. Another possibility is that the corner posts were sunk into concrete piers. It just seems hard to believe that without PT and no base holding it off the ground that the whole thing hasn't rotted from the ground up if it's just a wood frame sitting on the ground. You're sure? Take a steel rod and poke around in the ground under the walls and corners to see if you feel something solid.

If there's a pad you might be able to save the structure (I have a suggestion). If not you're probably better off buying a new one or having one built like others suggest . . . but on a concrete pad this time! Anyplace where stuff grows on the roof must be pretty wet!
 
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Old 01-21-13, 07:40 PM
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What is the siding on there now?
 
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Old 01-21-13, 08:16 PM
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Suobs, in post #1 he told us that it is painted OSB.
 
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Old 01-22-13, 01:41 AM
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I don't believe the suggestion by others that you could build a new 240 S.F. shed on a concrete slab for anything close to $1000. Around here (central Oregon), it would be closer to 3 or 4 times that much. Just saw an ad in the local CL by a licensed concrete contractor, almost bragging about his concrete slab quotes of "just $12 per S.F." (just the 4" slab, nothing above it). Even the tiny prefab sheds (12' x 16') at the big box places are more than $2000, with no foundation.

Take a closer look at the structure's framework. If the walls above the rotted areas are sound, and same for the roof framing, lifting the entire unit and resetting it on a new concrete foundation would certainly be an option to consider. Cost would be relatively small in the overall picture (salvage steel beams can be your friend). The trick is knowing how to attach your lifting beams to the wall framing, and lifting everything uniformly as a unit, and then holding it there while you build the foundation. I'd vote for orienting the main lifting beams in the transverse (shortest) direction, from outside of the structure, with all of the studs in the long direction connected by interior carrier beams. Controlled movement is the goal, with no movement in any direction but vertically "up" and then "down."
 
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Old 01-22-13, 04:07 AM
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Granted, $1000 was light on replacement cost, but as an example compared to the "simple" lifting you suggest.

There is no way I would attempt to lift this structure without knowing more about it. Looking through the door, it appears the floor is on the same slant as the landscape, which has to be corrected. The landscape has to be corrected, pad poured. Then the lift.....attachment, or through points must be cut, support members installed for the lift. Once you lift it, what do you have??? A structure with uneven bottom that must be set on a level surface.

Regardless of the cost, I would replace this one with a soundly constructed one on a concrete slab.

Most of the sheds from the box stores come with a flooring system, so the only support is needed is to keep it off the ground. Of course a slab would be an option.
 
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Old 03-11-13, 09:42 AM
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After thinking about this further I am wondering about residing it with T111. I realize that this is "not the right way" to do it, however I'm not sure that the cost/benefit is worth redoing the whole shed when I only use it for storage.

Pluses would include:
A nicer look (living room looks out to the back of the house and the shed)
I could still remove drywall/insulation from the interior walls to remove the critter habitats
I think I would remove small trees/shrubs around the outside and put in some stone to aid in drainage to reduce the likelihood of rot starting again.
It would cost me about $500 in T111/stain (or perhaps paint) rather than $????
Roof would be likely to not start leaking based on trying to move the walls, roof could be replaced/reshingeled in the future.

Cons:
Not doing it "the right way"
Poential for rot to continue
Potential to need to replace some framing/sill plates
May require rebuild in the future depending how long we live here

Questions for doing it this way...
Would you remove the OSB prior to putting the T111 on? If not would you power wash it? Would you put a layer of anything behind the T111?
Would I be wise to paint rather than stain it for weather proofing?

Thanks for your thoughts,
Adam
 
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Old 03-11-13, 10:02 AM
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At a minimum, I'd replace any OSB that is no longer solid before you install any siding. You could, for example, snap a level chalkline around the base of the shed that is 16" or 24" up from the bottom and remove just the lower 16" or 24" of OSB. Then replace it with something solid (either new OSB or plywood, ripped to that dimension).

Normally you want a WRB (felt paper or tyvek) behind any type of siding, just to protect the sheathing from the weather and any leaks through the siding in the future. But since this is a dilapidated shed, that's probably optional.

Personally, I'm a big fan of cement siding. The brand I prefer is Maxiplank, and it's close to $1 sq/ft. And it will hold the original paint job for +25 yrs if done right. Not having to paint again in that amount of time is worth something. Not sure what your t1-11 is costing you per sq ft but I suppose if cost is a factor it would be the cheapest.

Almost no mfg's recommend stain on t1-11 because it doesn't provide the level of protection that paint does. The only thing stain has going for it is that it doesn't usually peel. Paint would be my choice. But you'd need to be sure water isn't getting behind the siding that is CAUSING it to peel.

However I'm in agreement with Larry that based on the pictures, this shed needs just one thing... a match. Bottom line though, is that it's up to you how much money you want to sink into repairing this thing. Just sprucing it up is going to be a lot cheaper than replacing it.... but on the other hand, any money you put into repairing it is going to be money down the drain if the thing collapses or doesn't last.
 
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Old 03-11-13, 06:42 PM
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Since you seem set on keeping the structure, here's an idea for reinforcing the walls. I would say that stablilizing the structure should be the priority before doing any siding. You could try removing the floor, siding and drywall and pouring a concrete curb perhaps 6-8" high at the base of all walls. This is not a bad DIY project if you rent or buy a mixer. Use a temporary form built around the base of the existing studs and set up tied rebar in the curb void before pouring. The curb would encase the rotted base of the existing studs.

You would anchor (bolt) a new PT sill plate on top of the curb between the existing studs and reinforce each stud with a new one next to it, with the studs anchored to the sill plate and top plate with retrofit ties (USP, Simpson) and also nailed to the existing studs. The curb also gives you a support to keep the new floor off the ground.
Consider making the curb a few inches wider than the wall toward the inside of the structure.

A curb of course isn't a pad - it could crack. As the old studs rot the weight of the structure would shift onto the curb. But compressing the soil under the curb, using gravel under it, and reinforcing it with rebar should help make it rigid, and it has to be much better than what you have now, which with the ground contact is only going to continue to rot whether you put new siding on it or not.
 

Last edited by suobs; 03-11-13 at 07:11 PM.
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Old 04-27-13, 05:40 PM
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I spent yesterday ripping out the insulation and drywall inside the shed. I have a bunch of pictures Shed Photos by AdamL11 | Photobucket of the shed. It looks like each sill plate on the long walls and the back wall is at least 1/2 good (strong enough to lift or move without coming off), but there are a few spots usually for 3ish feet that the plate is slightly or fully rotted.

The floor appears to be disconnected from the frame, and sitting unevenly on a subfloor of some form of particle board. I am less concerned about the floor being flat at this point, unless fixing the walls would somehow make it so the floor couldn't be fixed up in the future. There appears to be some form of 2x? (maybe not wood) framing under the particle board.

Can the sill plates be replaced if I support the rafters near the edge and dig out around the current plate, sister in new 2x4s where needed and then put a pt2x4 as the sill? Then tackle outside osb and siding? I'm thinking perhaps shiplap siding (or perhaps vinyl or T111).

Thoughts? I can get more pictures if needed. They were from the different stages of taking it apart.

Thanks!!

-Adam
 
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Old 05-22-13, 07:46 AM
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Andrew, funny you bring this up. We are currently working on this shed similar to what you have said. Replacing the bottom sill with a 4x6 on end and sistering in PT 2x4. Then T111. Will post pictures when done.
 
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Old 06-13-13, 07:12 PM
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Well, slowly we're moving ahead with this. 3 sides have had the sill plates replaced with 4x6s on edge. Cut off the bottoms of the rotten 2x4 joists and replaced the gap with a piece of pt2x4 sistered on both sides by a longer pt2x4. Lastly some T111, which will hopefully last (we'll see) since it has some space between the bottom of it and the ground.

Stained half so far, these pictures are a week or so old. I'll post more (including the inside) after we get the last side done.

A little landscaping also went a long way into making the view from my couch better :-)

Shed Part 2 Photos by AdamL11 | Photobucket
 
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Old 06-14-13, 04:20 AM
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This is not the same shed. You photoshopped it for sure!!! The first shot you took, made it look as if the landscape was tilted to the right. In the new pictures it appears to be on fairly level ground. I guess taking all the information from the first picture, the suggestion of tearing it down was justified, BUT in seeing what you have done, it is amazing!

You are right, getting all that shrubbery away from it makes it more eye appealing. The new siding cleaned it up, too. I would have poured edge footings to sit the studs on, but what you have done for a "shed" will probably last longer than the original set up. Great job.
 
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Old 06-14-13, 08:07 AM
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Like Larry said, great job.


Lastly some T111, which will hopefully last (we'll see) since it has some space between the bottom of it and the ground.

I put T1-11 on my garage in 89 and it has held up like new using solid color oil stain. Nothing I hate more than scrapping paint, the stain soaks right in. Make sure to coat the bottom edge as well as you can.
 
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Old 06-18-13, 03:38 PM
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Thanks guys. I'll post some updated pictures once we get the trim painted and door on.

Maybe I'll even go crazy and get the rest of the moss off the roof (possibly re-shingle with some nicer shingles in the future)
 
 

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