New Shed Construction


Old 04-08-04, 01:15 PM
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New Roof Construction

I'm building a 16' x 20' shed. The roof will be an 8/12 pitch. I'm planning to stick build. The rafters will be 2x8's runninng from the ridge down to the wall with a bird's mouth at the wall. I'm guessing that I will need to run 2x8 cross members between the rafters on each side of the ridge basically forming a letter 'A'....correct? If that's right, then how do I determine what height the cross member should be at along the rafters? I'd like to maximize ceiling height so I want to run the cross member as high on the rafters as possible without sacrificing any structural strength. Is there a way to calculate the proper location or am I overthinking this one? Any help is greatly appreciated!!!!
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Old 04-08-04, 04:07 PM
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Location: Bay Area, CA
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Those 'cross members' are the ceiling joists. They should sit on the wall top plate. Their main function is to keep the walls from moving outward due to the loads coming thru the rafters.

How high are the walls in your shed? If you have a headroom problem, you may need something like scissors trusses.
Old 04-09-04, 01:20 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
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The horizontal element of your "A" is the collar beam, usually 1x6 applied about 1/3 from the top. UNLESS you are intending storage or a loft. Collar beams keep the walls from expanding. A true collar beam is needed on every 3rd rafter pair.

Is it possible you are confusing framing techniques? I also suspect you think factory trusses are too pricey or difficult to erect. If you were to use trusses for the roofing it would go fast with need of minimal help. Stick-built roofing isn't going to make it a solo project. That ridge beam isn't a solo effort.

If you used trusses, you could build the walls flat, tilt them up and apply trusses. Along the way you will have and need help regardless of roof framing technique.

If you need more headroom, bite the bullet and build taller sidewalls.

Why do you want to stick-build? Zoning, code, covenants? What you are planning is on the large side of mini-barns.
Old 04-09-04, 05:55 AM
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Thanks for the feedback. The walls will be standard 8'.

I realize that using trusses would be much easier, quicker and in the end might not be much pricier (I actually haven't had them priced out yet). I'm more interested in the end result having as much usable storage space as possible then I am in getting it done quickly. I was thinking that if I stick build the roof that I would be able to add some storeage space up above the height of the wall at a later point in time. If I use trusses then I've got the bottom chord and all of the webbing eating up all of that space. Am I looking at this wrong?

If I use the Collar beam approach I should put them on every 3rd rafter pair about 1/3 of the way from the ridge?

As for labor, I'm not worried about that. I've got a bunch of people pitching in to help get this thing standing and buttoned up as quick as possible.

Thanks again for you thoughts and your help!!!
Old 04-10-04, 07:11 AM
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attic trusses

all replys are good ideas, i had similar situation with my garage, wanted alot of storage space, i used attic trusses (all the webbing is out toward the sides and the middle is left wide open) simply put 1/2" osb on the top of the bottom cord and you have a floor area, also second reply was right on the money in that trusses are very economical and with a shed your size you could install them yourself.
Old 04-13-04, 11:56 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Eastlake, OH
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By the information you have given you will have about 5 feet from the bottom of your rafters to the top of your calling joistís @ the peak. There are many terms used for the ties you are speaking of, I know them as wind beams. If you are planning to build conventionally and are subject to inspection I donít think you have a choice but to install them according to your local code. Installed properly will leave you about 4 feet of clearance. The clearance will drop dramatically with the width of your new shed so I donít know if I would place too much credence on the storage because it will be limited already. But good luck with what ever you do.
Old 04-13-04, 05:05 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 344
You might want to consider the classical Gambrel roof, synonymous with barns and mini-barns, if you insist on a loft.

Your Gambrel would have a 'bonus room' center, requiring a stronger bottom chord and center rafters/truss, in order to eliminate the center diagonals.

It's not brain surgery, though an engineer would most likely become hysterical upon hearing me say that.

Creating a truss can start as a doodle upon a paper napkin. It's just a pattern of triangles.

Take a 'bonus room' Gambrel truss as an example. The outer slopes are simple triangles, the inner slopes can be a typical truss sitting on the outer triangles.

The bottom chord may need to be a truss in it's own right.

Draw up a sketch, mark with dimensions, indicate how many you want and the load capacity desired for the room. You should have a reply in a matter of days.

If you are butting heads with planning/zoning boards, that's your issue. I am approaching this as an engineering exercise.

If your truss vendor starts mumbling or appears confused, find another vendor. This stuff isn't that mystical.
Old 04-14-04, 06:35 AM
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Thanks for all of the ideas everyone!

I've decided to stick build. I got a couple of quotes on trusses and they were between $55 and $60 a piece!! Seems pretty steep to me! And that's for a basic truss. I'm sure the price goes up if I start looking at Gambrel and other designs.

I am subject to inspection. I called the county and was told that I can use 2x6 rafters (I'm going with 2x8 anyway) and that I need to have 1x6 collar ties every 4 feet as well as a ceiling joist every 4 feet. So, I guess that's the plan!

Thanks again!!
Old 04-14-04, 12:53 PM
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u bet those prices are steep, when i was building my garage, just last september, home depot quoted me about $62 for a 7/12 stamdard truss, at 24' wide, your 16' truss should be in the 30-40 range

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