More Shed Planning Questions

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  #1  
Old 09-18-04, 08:05 AM
ukchris
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More Shed Planning Questions

Okay, my plan is evolving for my 12' x 16' shed after nosing around some shed suppliers and I have a few more questions.

I plan to run 4" x 4" or 4" x 6" Pressure Treated posts as the base resting on cinder blocks. If I have three runs along the 16' length then run 2" x 4" PT across them on 16" centers will it be enough to support a small lawn tractor or should I run more support beams? I'm tempted to run more as this part is comparitively cheap, beams and cinder blocks would only add another $35 or so per run but it's more to level etc.

Preliminary design can be viewed here http://www.worktech.com/chris/s1.jpg , is this way too much?

Flooring - as the base will be Pressure Treated already is there mch benefit in using PT plywood as my floor? If it costs about the same is there any reason to avoid a PT floor?

Walls - I'll frame the walls with regular 2" x 4"s. I've been looking at the T1-11 and it looks okay but would of course need sealing and painting. As the bad weather is coming time is running short so:

a) If I use T1-11 I assume I could seal it before installation then go over it again once in place, any reason not to?
b) What about using PT plywood for the walls? Again if it's close on price what are the advantages and disadvanatages?

Finally - the roof, again any pros and cons for using PR rather than regular roofing plywood?

Thanks again for all the help.

Chris.
 

Last edited by ukchris; 09-18-04 at 10:01 AM.
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  #2  
Old 09-19-04, 02:07 PM
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I would use 2by6 for the floor joists as there are no listings for 2by4 in the spec books I have anyway. A 2 by 6 doug fir will span 9'6" for a 40lb live load (min house floor req.) which should carry your small lawn tractor. So putting a 4 by 4 beam along the edges and 1 down the center will give a 6' span which would be plenty. Pier blocks at 4' o.c. should be plenty and reg. 5/8" or 3/4" subfloor would be fine if sealed (p.t. would be o.k. if a lot of water is predicted). I would prefer to do a concrete slab 4" thick as it is just as easy, probably cheaper, and stronger. It would be much harder to remove however. But a large shed (framed up) will be hard to remove anyway.
 
  #3  
Old 09-20-04, 07:56 AM
ukchris
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Thanks Jeff, using 2"x6"'s for the base seems sound advice, given the minimal price difference I'll do that.

I don't think I have the time or the energy for a concrete pad, the location isn't that accessible and als time is becoming of the essence as the weather changes in New England.

I think I'll check the price difference for using 2"x6"'s for the walls and trusses too, if the difference is minimal the extra strength never hurts.

I need to figure out angles for a Gambrel roof, are there any standards or guides for that? Maybe a separate post would be better for this question.

Chris.
 
  #4  
Old 09-20-04, 07:26 PM
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IF the site is pretty level the time to level and form up the concrete is about equal to framing a floor and you get a much better work space floor. studding with 2 by 6's makes it possible to insulate better though strength wise is totally unnecessary. The Gambrel roof is much more time to frame than a regular peak roof. You will need a steep pitch to sluff off the snow load. Gambrel is cute and gives you more space upstairs but in a small shed I don't think it would amount to much other than looks.
 
  #5  
Old 09-21-04, 07:40 AM
ukchris
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Thanks again for the guidance Jeff, a few notes:

The lot is sloping sightly sort of across oppsite corners by a foot or so drop. I was thinking that if I place it on cinder blocks I can probably level it roughly then sink / stack blocks to achieve my level, sort of one block at the high-side, two in the middle and three at the low so to speak. Time is becoming a factor a the weather changes and I can probably only work on it at weekends. Because of this I'm thinking of using SmartSide as it is pre-sealed and I could probably get away without having to paint it. Seems it's either that or T1-11 and try to prime it in the garage before using it.

The gambrel - personally I don't like them but my wife does, there's one major factor! Secondly I end up with lots of odd bits of wood and i could be an ideal storage space. The shed will be 12 x 16 so there's a lot of roof space up there. From my reading it seems a regular gambrel is half of a regular octagon, therefore made up of 4 identical pieces. I suppose that will make cutting easier although there's still lots of it. Cutting the 2x4's is easy enough it's making the joining pieces that is more of a pain.

When I looked at a regular peak roof I was considering a 20 degree angle which would look nice but probably not do much for snow or storage. I suppose I could go higher but I think my permit says the shed should be less than 10' high. With 6'6" walls a 20 degree roof gets me to almost 10' already.

Anyone have any experience with SmartSide?
 
  #6  
Old 09-21-04, 04:30 PM
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To use cinderblocks you would have to pour a concrete footing below the frost line (check w/bldg dept.)and then have a perimeter foundation with the blocks (pouring the holes at intervals). I thought this was a non permitted job. Check to see what foundation requirements would be from the Bldg. dept. Typically the footing would be 12" wide, 6"high with 1/2 rebar at bottom (1"off the ground), then a min. 4"wide stem wall high enough (30"?) so you have an 18" crawl space under the structure framed up and poured at the same time and another 1/2" rebar near the top of stem wall. On top of that a 2 by 6 p.t. sill bolted every 4' to the stem wall (put the foundation bolts in when its wet. Then your floor framing and walls etc. By the way 10' total height sounds to low to me. I would check houses in the neighborhood for appropriat roof pitchs. And I like the idea of going to the library for books on construction as 1 picture is worth... To level the floor in the center use Pier blocks on 2' square concrete pads poured in the ground and vary the height of the 4by4s going verticle to the beams. I like using a 5 gal bucket with water in it, siphon it through a clear plastic tubing say 50' long. Place the 5 in the center of the space and hold the water in the tube up anywhere you need to check for level and the water will be the same height as that in the bucket. Put a stake in the ground and mark the level spot on the stake. I highly recommend doing standard 8' walls as you will always use the extra space and all your building materials will have to be custom cut otherwise.
 
  #7  
Old 09-22-04, 08:29 AM
ukchris
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Permit - I have a permit, they didn't specify any specific foundation requirements. The companies near me that sell (and install) sheds just expect a fairly level area. They stack blocks level and dump the shed on top, no digging, concrete or permafrost foundations. My neighbor just had one out in that is about 8 x 10 and it's just stood on four piles of blocks. I guess I should check with the town as no doubt the expectation is I should ask and not expect to be told!

For the height I'd thought 8' walls may be a little high, I was going to use 6' 2x4's with doubled 2x4' top and bottom to make my overall wall height 6' 6". As you say higher is always better, maybe I'll pop down and see the planning guys tomorrow, especially regarding the foundation requirements.

I had planned to stake the area, determine the spots for the blocks, stack them up then sink some in a little until it's all level. Put my beams on top then joists for the floor etc.

Thanks again,

Chris.
 
  #8  
Old 09-22-04, 12:22 PM
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You would be helped by getting a library book on construction. THey all have pictures and typical design info. (very helpfull). I dont believe a layer of cinder blocks is good for you but if that works why not. If you are spending a lot of money on framing and siding, etc. why not make a solid foundation? Lifting it up later to do it would be a chore? If you stake out your area, set leveling marks on the stakes and dig fill from outside the perimeter (@ the high side) to fill the low side. Then put blocks in...why not form it up and pour cement. The cement will run around $500 with rebar,etc @ $90/yard which is should be close to the joists,beams and subfloor costs but you will have an excellent work space and be able to drive a car on it. Without leveling it would be easier (less breaking the back shoveling-I know) you would just place pier blocks every 4' around perimeter and down center, put verticle 4 by4 up to a 4by4 beam. If you get a lot of water (wet ground) the pier blocks (12" base) will sink and settle unless they sit on 2' square poured base. My point here is doing it easy and cheap would be graveling the ground and setting a steel pole carport w/tarp up. If you are going do all the wood frame stuff make it last, in the long run its best.
 
  #9  
Old 09-22-04, 02:21 PM
ukchris
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I agree that concrete would be better, but the time and cost concern me. It would probably take me a weekend to prepare and make a form, get it poured the week after then wait for it to dry. Also it's not easily accessible which doesn't help, that and the cost.

I'f I run five "beams" to support the floor then it gets up towards $500, running 3 would keep it lower but I prefer to spread the load if possible.

Time and access are my biggest concerns. I will head to the library though for sure!

Chris.
 
  #10  
Old 10-15-04, 01:58 PM
colpaarm
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I'm in the process of building a 10'x12' toolshed myself. I poured concrete piers into sono tubes as I wanted something a little sturdier. I don't know about other's experience, but it's a pain in the neck. I had to get a permit and the code is to put them down four feet. In the north east, the rocks are horrible. Actually, not rocks. More like huge sheets of rock glaciers. I'm an overkill kind of guy, so I put 12 footins down so my joists only have to span 5 feet (3 rows of four footings). In every one of the footings, I ran into solid rock at about 2 to 3 feet. I rented a small hand jackhammer and was getting rid of it (got them all to about three fee) when the building inspector told me to stop wasting my time and just pour the footings on the rock. So in most cases, my footings are 3 feet deep and are on top of solid rock. As he said, the rock is a heck of a lot stronger than any concrete I'll pour. I was worried about frost heave but he said that the frost won't get in between the concrete and rock. The reason I mention all of this is that if you're only working on your shed during the weekends (like I was) it's gonna take time to pour footings and you may run into problems that slow you down considerably. I took my time over the spring doing one or two (only once did I do three) footings a week. I also would NOT rent an auger. Too expensive to rent and you'll need it more than once.

2x6s are definitely the way to go for the joists. Having them span 8 feet is fine. Like I said, mine only span 5 feet 'cause I have extra posts in the middle. I've placed them on 4x6 pt beams. I go by the home depot book, then check and see what others do on the web. I'm not using pt plywood for the subfloor. Instead, I'm going with the home depot book and using exterior grade plywood. Where I live (westchester, ny) pt is $35 per 4'x8' sheet whereas the same in exterior grade plywood is only $24. From what I understand, exterior grade plywood is called that because the glue that bonds the veneers together is water resistant. Since my shed is off the ground everything I've read says that this is fine and there's no need for the pt plywood. Good, saves me $44.

I'm not insulating the walls. Why should I? I'm not going to put heat in there. If I need to work out there in the winter time, I'll just use my Kerosene heater. Heat will obviously escape quickly, but it's not like I'll be out there for so long that I'm gonna worry about wasting kerosene.

So far I've got all the footings down (the most important thing to beat the cold weather) and have framed the subfloor and put the joists in. This weekend, I'm going to put the plywood down and frame the walls the first week of november. I wanted the toolshed tucked in the corner of my 1/2 acre lot where there were a number of trees, so I had to borrow a pole saw from my neighbor to trim them. To me, the concrete footings were the most challenging (getting them level, making sure they were square, etc) and everything else should be a breeze.

Since I'm only doing 10'x12', I figured I should make my walls 8' high to take advantage of the exra height. Anyway, thought this might help you a bit.
 
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