Please critique my wood shed design

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  #1  
Old 11-11-15, 09:09 AM
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Please critique my wood shed design

I've been looking around for ideas for building a wood shed/shelter that will hold 4-6 cords of wood. I am looking for a simple design that is strong. I'd like it to be

- as open as possible to allow drying
- not overly complicated design
- as strong as possible given simple design and reasonable cost


My idea is to dig 6 holes as deep as I can, hopefully 2-3 feet if possible, install a little gravel and then install 6 pressure treated 4x4 posts in concrete, hopefully to a depth of at least 2 feet. I might use those cardboard tubes (8" ID?) or skip them, not sure. It will be very hard to dig the holes I think, as there are a lot of rocks and roots, but i will try and see what happens.


The rest of the design I laid out in Sketchup and will try to attach below! The idea is to notch out the 4x4 posts at the top and rest 2x10s or 2x8s across the 3 in front and 3 in back and screw them on with deck screws. Then, I can attach 11' 10" long rafters (2x6s?) to make a "shed" roof using birdsmouth cutouts. Rafter spacing is around 19" now. I just laid them out so I don't have to cut the plywood sheathing as much so they aren't even. Overhang on back is ~1' and ~1.5' on front. I also attached some 2x4 bracing, as I've read it will greatly strengthen it and prevent "racking". The roof pitch is rise/run of 0.22 or 2.64 : 12.

Roof is staggered 5/8" plywood with asphalt shingles.

Some questions:

What hardware is best to make all of the various attachments? (header to posts, braces to posts/header, rafters to headers?)

What is the best way to attach the braces to the structure? Is it best to butt up edges or to overlap the brace and screw from the side?

Am I using the right size boards for all of the parts of the shed?

Smallish to medium branches may fall on the structure. Will it be able to withstand the load as built? How about a snow load? We get a foot or sometimes a bit more on a single snow every winter with total loads of 1-3 feet possible.

I thought notching the backs of the front posts and the fronts of the back posts made most sense for some reason. Is that true? The front of the rafter seems like it will push out and down while the back will push back and down?

I wasn't sure what to do with the front, top part of the roof. I put on a board onto the front of the rafters. Should I just shingle up and over that front board?

I hope I've explained myself well. Thanks so much for the help.

Aaron

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  #2  
Old 11-11-15, 04:39 PM
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Your design should work quite well, I'm sure many of us would do it differently but that's because we are all individuals. I would ask if you thought about using the translucent fiberglass panel for the roof instead of a plywood and shingle roof like you are now showing. Using translucent fiberglass pillow for the roof would allow some solar heat gain onto the wood to enhance drying of it.

I wouldn't bother notching the posts I would just lap and the other members onto them and use through bolts to attach them for you could use lag bolts. For your diagonal braces 2x4s would be perfectly adequate.
 
  #3  
Old 11-11-15, 05:01 PM
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Your frost line is at least 4' not 2'.
To notch you need 6 x 6's not 4 X 4's.
Hozizontal 2 X 4 are useless.
 
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Old 11-11-15, 05:22 PM
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i thought about the translucent fiberglass, but i am worried that some branches may fall on it. i have to place it below some tree branches, as i have trees everywhere on my smallish city lot. i was hoping if i build it strong it can withstand a few direct hits and still come out ok. how strong are the bolts? i guess i can look up their shear rating and estimate the weight they will all have to sustain?
 
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Old 11-11-15, 07:54 PM
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joecaption,

I've read a lot of posts where people building a shelter such as this don't worry about the frost line as much, as it is ok if the shed heaves a little. It's not as important in as it would be in other structures. Do you disagree? I'm worried that I just won't be able to get down through the rock and roots. I can try to go deeper though and see if it works. Notching 1/2 of the width is a problem? Is that it? You can only notch 1/3 width? Can I use lag bolts or ledgerLOK screws instead then? On the horizontal 2 X 4, my thinking was that it would help to prevent the front and back line of posts from pushing outward or racking. Would you just omit them entirely or add some other bracing?
 
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Old 11-11-15, 08:16 PM
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Something to think about relates to your statement of " a small city lot". If your city requires a building permit - which many do if the structure is embedded in the ground - You may be required to dig the post holes below the frost line and make other changes to meet code.
 
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Old 11-11-15, 08:27 PM
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True, I need to go down and ask what requirements I need to meet before building it.
 
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Old 11-12-15, 12:02 PM
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While you are talking to the building permit guy, be sure to ask about the tax ramifications.
In my town any structure permanently affixed to the ground on posts piers or a poured foundation is considered an improvement to the property and it is taxed. Most folks get around that for their garden sheds by simply resting them on a gravel base. They are then considered "temporary" and are not taxed.
 
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Old 11-12-15, 01:03 PM
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Huh, another interesting point. If I made this one on a floating base, I would have to design it with a floor, right? Or, could I put the posts on concrete bases and then interconnect the posts on 3 sides to make sure there is no racking?
 
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Old 11-12-15, 02:15 PM
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I agree with getting below the frost line. It's your starting point for the structure, but shouldn't be the starting point for shortcuts. You fit your braces when you build it, then, even if only one corner kicks a bit, you've started to rack things out of shape.

And I would backfill with pea gravel, rather than concrete.
 
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Old 11-12-15, 02:40 PM
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Is that so that the concrete doesn't damage the post over time?
 
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Old 11-12-15, 02:55 PM
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Consider "framing" the base and let it sit on the ground or a layer of pea gravel. It just needs something to keep the fire wood off the ground. The weight of the wood should be ample to keep the shelter from blowing away. I'm assuming that you will normally have some logs in storage there.
 
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Old 11-12-15, 03:07 PM
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It might be worth it building a base so that I don't have to rent a heavy duty post hole digger and go through the agony of trying to cut through roots and rocks to get 6 post holes to 4' depth.

Don't I have to place the base floor onto a bunch of concrete blocks? I'll have to check with the building dept.
 
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Old 11-12-15, 06:29 PM
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What about the best way to attach the headers to the posts. Someone said I couldn't/shouldn't cut a notch into my 4x4 posts to rest the headers on. I guess it's too much thickness taken out and maybe the post will crack or something? Can I use LedgerLOK screws or lag bolts on the headers and just attach them to the posts that way? is that better?
 
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Old 11-12-15, 07:12 PM
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I think I'll just attach some 2x4s around the bottom of the posts to form a rectangle all the way around the structure and then just fill it up with gravel. That should be a nice floor for the shed to rest wood on. I hate putting it on pallets. They're a pain.

Also, maybe it makes sense to hire someone to come in and drill the post holes for me. I am worrying about the roots and rocks. I think a contractor could come in with a heavy duty bobcat auger and rip out some nice holes in no time. It's only 6 holes, so it shouldn't be too pricey, and it will be very solid.
 
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Old 11-13-15, 06:18 AM
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Bracing

On the horizontal 2 X 4, my thinking was that it would help to prevent the front and back line of posts from pushing outward or racking
I agree with your reasoning. The shed needs front to back bracing. I would use 2x6's instead of a 2x4's.
 
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Old 11-13-15, 09:24 AM
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I just rebuilt my model in sketchup without the horizontal 2x4s and braces. Do the rafter connections give much anti-racking protection? If not, I don't see why I don't need bracing on the side. Maybe the criticism of my original plan 2x4s on the side with braces was just that it is the wrong way to do it no that i don't need them?

What is the best way to brace the sides so that I am not getting racking forward and backward on the structure? It seems hard to believe that those buried posts will want to move at all, but they are just dangling out there i guess.

I also read that 4x4 posts are not that good anymore, and that they can really bow. You can't notch 4x4s according to several things i've read. maybe i should go with 6x6 posts and notch them.
 
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Old 01-07-16, 06:30 PM
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Wow I like it! What software are you using for the design?
 
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Old 01-07-16, 06:54 PM
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Hey Kevin,

I use Sketchup Make: SketchUp Make | SketchUp

I HIGHLY recommend it as a free tool! It takes both some learning as to the software and the theory behind how to construct objects and move them efficiently, but it is not super difficult, and it can pay huge dividends in designing almost any project.

You can load in pre-made components such as furniture, cars, people, etc., the sky is the limit, and resize them to fit your exact specifications. You can add floors, walls, make a replica of your house or whatever. I've used it to design my home brewery, a basement sink/counter area and cabinet, the wood shed, my new kitchen and other stuff.

When you design on the computer you can really see how it will look and what is stupid about your idea or good before you actually build it. You can also see how much material you need to buy very easily once you lay it all out.

Get it and use it. you will love it. it can become very addictive though, trying different designs and tweaking them!
 
 

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