Building a shed????????

Page 1 of 2  
I want to build a shed for an allotment but I have no idea where to start. As the allotment is council rented I have to stick to rules about it. Like sizes, shape of roof etc etc.
Firstly how easy is it? If you've read previous post then you know my experinces with wood are small toys, puzzles and games and I'm limited to hand tools plus a few minor power tools.
Is it cheaper than just going out and buying a shed?
Can it be placed straight onto soil because I am not allowed a concrete foundation.
And are there any free plans for sheds because most I've seen need money and don't have a plan for an 8 x 4 foot apex roof shed (6 foot at the apex).
Many thanks for any advice
Nick
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I would not put post directly into the soil. Put them in concrete....unless the rules are it must be portable, then I's put cement pads of about 1 foot in diameter and let the struct rest on it. Maybe have something that screws it down tight but will come apart.
Is there a wind problem in your area? If so, make sure it's well anchored. Heavy snow? If so, follow the roof slope code. Lots of rain? If so,the botton structure must be welll drained and treated. My guess is that building your own will save you about half.....
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I built a 'temporary' shed on a pair of PT 6x6s each laid in a trench filled with gravel (saw Norm do this for a greenhouse I think). It has been there for years and is still good as new.
I would also use PT lumber for 'floor joists' and the floor if the shed will have a floor. PT plywood lasts a long time if it is not in direct contact with the ground and doesn't get standing water. If you do use PT plywood, glue it, screw it and nail it (then more screws) as soon as you get it home; if you don't get it down right away it will curl up.
For the walls I used T-111 plywood. It is 1/2" exterior plywood with grooves every 6 or 8 inches. Painted, it looks ok, some people even stain with deck stain.
My neighbor gave me some oval headed nails to install the T-111. He said they were the correct 'decorative' fastners for installing it. I think they were the correct fastners for him to laugh his ass off as I tried to drive them in. I still have a half a box of them left as a reminder not to ever buy them.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I used deck blocks for mine. They're cheap, heavy, and seem to do the trick. I agree with the advice to avoid putting it directly on soil. Even having grass underneath (around the edges) canl transpire enough moisture to give you grief. I put exterior paint on the underside around the edges of my shed. It's too early to tell (2 1/2 years so far) but no sign of trouble so far.

I agree with this, too. Almost exactly half. I built the biggest shed I could without a permit (8' x 13' 6") for $1200Cdn, and that included a new Porter Cable circular saw. I was also able to build it higher than store bought kits, so the volume of storage is much greater.
My father and I built it in less than 2 weeks from start to finish including painting 3 coats. We'd design the day's work before breakfast, then work until we'd finished a modular task.
If you've got the time I highly recommend giving it a go. You'll save a lot of money, you'll have something you'll be very proud of when you're finished, and you'll appreciate of it every time you see those minimal structures on sale at stores. If you don't have the time, definitely don't do it, or you'll cut too many corners and end up frustrated.
I wrote a long letter to my uncle after I was done, describing the experience in much more detail. If you or anyone else is interested send me email (change my e-mail username from nospam to owen) and I'll send it to you.
Good luck with it!
- Owen -
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

Not overly hard. It's mostly rough carpentry and doesn't require the precision of, say, furniture making. And you don't need a lot of tools beyond a circular saw and a hammer.

I you look at what you would pay to have someone come and build you a shed of comparable size and quality, yes, it's considerably cheaper to build your own. And a lot more satisfying.

You probably want to get it up off the soil to protect it from rot. I built my shed using post and beam construction, comparable to what is typically done for a deck. The floor is probably about 6" off the ground and it's still rock solid after about 15 years. If that's not allowed (and it sounds like it might not be if you're on rented property) then at a minimum consider setting it on concrete blocks or treated-lumber beams resting on the ground.

Check with local lumberyards. I got my plans there for free. They have an obvious interest in selling you shed materials, and they give away free plans to encourage you. You might also check the local library for home-and-garden books that might have shed plans.
-- jc Published e-mail address is strictly for spam collection. If e-mailing me, please use jc631 at optonline dot net
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I built a shed a couple of years back. In our little hamlet, we can't build a shed any larger than 100 sq. ft. without pouring a concrete foundation, so that's how big mine is. If I'm reading your post correctly, you want a shed with a 8 ft x 4 ft floor where the highest point is 6 feet off the ground. Honestly, if this was my requirement, I'd have to have a really good reason not to purchase a prefab shed from the local Home Depot, Lowes, etc. My little shed is about 3 times the square footage and about twice as high, so Rubbermaid doesn't make something in my range, but they do in yours. They have a Big Max Jr. that is about the size you're looking for.
If you're set on building one, building the shed is not rocket science, but I wouldn't say it's a cake walk either. Mine was probably made additionally difficult because I chose a gambrel roof. I also used a steel rollup door, but I think that was actually easier than building wooden doors. Rather than laying it directly on the soil, I suggest you check out using a precast concrete footing that rests on the ground and has slots that accept a 2x joist. Home Depot carries such a thing. If you need a plan, for God's sake, buy one. The $7 I spent on mine was lost in the total cost. As for cost, it's hard to compare. The wood shed kits that the big box stores carry are extremely crappy. 2x3 studs, 2/4 floor joists...basically think the lowest-end material that can be found for every element. So, I wouldn't build one because I thought I would save a lot of money. Rather, I'd build one because I'd end up with the design I wanted with the quality I had in mind.
todd
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Circular saw, hammer, not much more.

Depends. On a square foot basis, you can buy the metal sheds for less than you can build a good wood one. But you can build a good wood one for much less than a pre-fab. There are some kits though, that may be worth checking out.

You set some concrete blocks at the corners to get things level. The shed must be anchored though.

Then part with ten bucks to get what you want. Thee are plenty of books at Home Depot with shed plands and ideas. If you plan to spend $500 for materials, spending a few dollars to get what you want is just common sense. If I knew you were such a cheap prick when I started reading this, I would not have bothered answering this much.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
vaguely proposed a theory ......and in reply I say!:
remove ns from my header address to reply via email

Try the local hardware stores etc. They have pre-fab kits for sheds this big. Built to specs. Easy to put up. Cheap. Easy to remove from your rented lot when you move.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Nick...
One thing you don't want to do is put any wood on/in the ground. I believe the guarantee of the wood is voided if it is in contact with the ground. The PT content will leech out over time and the "protection" you might've had would be lost. Termites will eat older or leeched-out PT wood, and carpenter ants... well they don't eat wood, but they will carve out nesting areas so make sure you have good drainage. Termites will build mud tunnels over/past "untasty" areas to get to regular lumber, so inspect on a regular basis. Don't put up any walls in the interior because you won't be able to see any termite or carpenter ant activity in the studs. A shed, even though its off the ground, creates a thermal image with a ground temperature change as a result. This is what termites zero in on. I'm in the biz, I do bank inspections for home mortgages.
If you can't use sonotubes with concrete, then get the pyramid blocks they have at HD and Lowes as suggested by another poster. It might not be a bad idea to put down some crushed stone under the shed for drainage purposes. Using PT plywood and joists is a good idea and it's not that much more expensive. If at all possible, don't have tree branches overhanging the shed... carpenter ants are normally feeding on aphids on trees and they will fall off onto the roof. Once there they will explore and if there is _any_ significant moisture content in the wood, they will consider the shed for a sub-colony nest.
My gut instinct would be to build the shed. Gotta'be cheaper. Go to HD and get one of those Sunset books... they have plan outlines or maybe some plans, if nothing else, they have plans in those books for cheap.
wrote:

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Thank you for all of the advice so far.
I should have mention I'm in the UK but I'm sure a I'll find Home Depot substitute. I can't build a prefab shed as it has to be all wooden construction. The door has to be in the gable end and glass free windows down at least one side. Shiplap boards have to make up the walls.
Thank you edwin for that cheap prick comment. It's not that I'm tightfisted, I'm just on a self sufficienty kick at the moment and I have to justify costs. And from all you comments buying plans are justified.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Glad I could be of help. Since you want/need to pinch pennies, it is even more important that you invest properly in getting the knowledge to avoid costly errors. Much cheaper to read a book and get proper advice than to have to tear out and waste materials.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Pressure treated wood is guanteed for 40 years or whatever... in the ground.
--

-Mike-
snipped-for-privacy@alltel.net
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
For "ConRAD Forest Products Wolmanized Natural SelectTM Wood...
http://www.conradfp.com/ns.htm
They have a few "qualifiers" on the warranty.
"Warrantor shall not be liable hereunder for damage to Natural Select wood resulting from any cause other than termites or fungal decay, or for any damage to wood which has been used in a structure outside of the U.S.; used in foundation systems (such as the Permanent Wood Foundation, and piling, pole or heavy timber type residential construction); used in swimming pool sidewalls; used as fence posts, vineyard stakes or tree supports in agricultural applications; used where immersed in salt water; used for commercial or industrial projects; used in commonly owned property and structures such as condominiums; or used for an application or in a way that is not consistent with the end use identified on its original label or stamp."
Then there's another qualifier.
"For hem-fir, Douglas fir, and western hemlock, this warranty is null and void unless all cut ends and bore holes were properly coated at the time of construction with a suitable wood preservative, such as Wolmanized Wood End Cut Solution, containing a minimum of 1% copper. Proof of purchase of the preservative is also required. These species are covered by this warranty only when used in the states of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming, and Hawaii (except for unincised decking which does not meet AWPA recommended standards, which is specifically not warranted by Warrantor in Hawaii)."
There's also plenty written about the leeching I've mentioned. We find eastern subterranean termites all the time under/in PT landscape timber, and the next stop... you guessed it, the tasty pile of wood you call your home. If you care about what you're building, you don't bury PT wood and hope for the best. The concrete pyramids are quick and cheap footings/supports.
Mike
On Mon, 10 Jan 2005 13:19:05 -0500, "Mike Marlow"

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@alltel.net says...

Probably varies by manufacturer. The stuff I used for my shed foundation said 10 years.
But after 15 it's still going strong :-).
--
Homo sapiens is a goal, not a description

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Larry Blanchard wrote:

Dear Larry, Check yer system clock.....
Philski
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I thought the good stuff was outlawed. I helped a friend build a 36x36' deck this summer and all of the tags on the PTL read "not for ground contact". It also called for Z rated brackets. All of the Borgs were giving away galvanized brackets, joist hangers, etc. for 10 cents a piece to get rid of the non-Z rated stuff.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

to
Geeze - maybe you're right. I don't use a lot of PT these days and I might be well out of date with my information. I'll take the correction.
--

-Mike-
snipped-for-privacy@alltel.net
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Mike...
One of the reasons the "good stuff" was outlawed a few years ago was that the arsenic actually rubs off on contact with human skin. Many abitious dads and grandpops were building jungle gyms, swings, and tree houses out of it and the EPA got involved because of all the medical problems that arose. I believe a Children's safety group was also involved, and there was a big article in Time or Newsweek exposing the hazards. It actually made me worry because there are plenty of decks out there that have kids playing on them. It was pointed out in the article that homeowners should seal their decks on a regular basis to keep the arsenic in the wood and not on bare feet or kids hands and knees.
All that being said, many towns have adopted a change in building codes that _requires_ the sill plate on all new construction to be PT. It's kind of ironic because while the sill plate isn't tasty to a termite, he can walk 2" and go right for the box plate/rim joist which is regular kiln-dried lumber.
Mike
On Mon, 10 Jan 2005 22:56:27 -0500, "Mike Marlow"

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
My local lumber yard did say the good stuff with the arsenic has be outlawed. He also mentioned that they upped the copper content to make up for the loss of the arsenic. The copper when it gets wet, now reacts with the zinc in the hangers and causes corrosion which affects the iron in the hanger and eventually hanger failure. The wood probably has a lesser life span because it has less bug killer built in. He further stated that the new hangers have an extra heavy coating of zinc, so the iron inside will be further protected, and should last longer. He also suggested using stainless screws to hold the deck planks. Boy an I glad I built my deck two years ago. I don't know how many pounds of epoxy coated screws I went through, but I would have needed a second mortgage if they were stainless. This years project is a storage shed. This thread has given me lots of good idea's. I'll be going with the concrete footings.

to
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
"TrailRat" you asked

Recycle lumber from solid pallets.If you know a place that uses rolled aluminum see if you can get the solid pallets for free. I built a good size shed (larger than 10x10)for under $400.All the exterior sheathing was from recylced solid pallets. I had to denail the pallets but the wood was well worth it.The cost savings is huge verses buying new lumber.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.