Building a Shed -- Flooring and other questions

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Hi all,
Before starting my question, let me say I've never tackled a project as grandious as building a shed, but now that I'm a home owner I'm really eager to start learning these building skills. I grew-up watching home repair shows on television, so though I've never done these tasks, I'd like to think these years of observation may come into good use.
Anyway, I'm looking at building a small shed, mainly for my riding mower, weed eater, and other yard tools -- and also to keep the garage open for me to work on my '55 Chevy :) I'll admit I want to build it as inexpensively as possible, but not cheap! My first major delimma is what flooring to use. I've looked at sheads who use plywood or some type of treated flooring instead of concrete, but what are the pro's and con's of this? I don't think i can afford a slab right now. I live in Central Texas, where it does get humid at times, and it rains -- but mild to hot weather for the most part year round.
In addition to yard equipment i want to build a small loft for boxes and other storage. I don't mind insulating it and making it as tight from the eliments as possible, but the flooring is something I'm concerned about. Also if I do use wood over concrete what do I put on the ground under the shed? I'm thinking some type of gravel or something to prevent too many things from growing or living. This I'd guess would also help me level the ground since my yard is rather hilly.
I'm looking at a barn-style roof for extra storage, and I'm guessing maybe 10'x10' or something similar - not sure until i get out and actually measure the area i want to use.
Thanks for any information, tips, or insight from those who do this more often then I :) I've lived in my home for 2 years now, and I'm hoping this'll be my first step towards making the home and yard truly my own :)
Take care,
Ringo
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I built a 10x10 shed a couple of years back. The first thing I would check is whether your design will be influenced by any local authorities. Here in suburban Chicago, if I built anything larger than 100 sq. ft, I would have had to pour a concrete foundation the same as if I was building a full-size garage. YMMV. I would also imagine that a riding mower would be a cozy fit in my 10x10 shed. If I didn't have the restrictions I had, I probably would have opted for something more along the lines of 16x12. I used 4x6 treated lumber sitting directly on bare ground. If I had it to do over again, I'd probably go with a gravel pad with the 4x6s sitting on concrete blocks. I also went with a rollup door, which I'm happy with. And I also used a gambrel roof to increase my storage space above.
todd
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Like Todd said, check your local ordinances... My (current) shed floor is 2X8 pressure treated with 5/8 pressure treated plywoo (did I mention that I tend to overbuild). The floor sits on two 6X6 sleepers that rest on short sleepers set in gravel. This shed is 8X12 and, like all sheds, it is too small.

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Have you thought about using a gravel bed and railroad ties. I have a friend in NM who did this for the entrance to his barn, he even drives his big trucks up on with little effect. Locally (Wichita Falls TX) the ties are about $10 each, one of the landscaping supply companies in town sells them. I think the added mass of the ties will serve better in your application, added bonus, they are already treated. You could even pour a concrete frame to contain the ties, and this would act as the foundation for your walls.
John C

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Snip
My first major delimma is

I built a shed about a year ago and used 3/4" Treated plywood for the floor with treated 2x8 and 2x8 floor joists. I laid 30lb felt between the joists and the plywood. I used untreated materials on top of the floor. I painted the floor with a garage floor paint. So far everything is fine. I am in Humid Houston.
A few more suggestions. I used Tyvek to wrap the building and covered that with Hardi Plank. No leaks. For the roof I used Radiant Barrier 1/2" plywood decking and premium quality asphalt shingles over 30lb felt paper. This combination with a 2" wide soffit vent running the length of the front and back side of the building for ventilation results in a shed that does not get any hotter on the inside than it is on the outside. I wanted the Tyvek to reflect more light inside the building and to prevent the tar smell that results from using the felt paper. More than anything the Radiant Barrier decking IMHO keeps the building a decent temperature. this product was about $4 more per sheet than regular plywood decking.
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Leon wrote:

Very helpful comments.
I am refurbishing, expanding a shed and was wondering what sort of foundation did you use to support the 2x8 joists?
Ray
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I agree.. thanks for all the comments and replies to my initial question. I also found this gallery on webshots, and this is pretty much exactly the type of shed I hope to build -- http://community.webshots.com/album/222480334NwIPgc
Though I might go a different route on some of the techniques used in these photos, this is the type of roof and about the size I'm aiming at.
Some people commented on city ordinances. I live way outside the city limits, so other then some very liberal land restrictions I'm pretty much free to build anything I want -- within reason. As long as I don't build anything that sticks out or looks really weird I'm good.
Also, cost is a MAJOR concern for me. I have no idea what the cost will be until I get some plans drawn-up and price the material, but my target budget is around $800-$1000 tops. Another project seperate from this is a detached garage I hope to build in about 2-3 years, and the shed will be kind of my 'learning' ground since I've never tackled such a project. With any luck it'll turnout just as I planned, and I'll walk away with more understanding of woodwork, building construction, and abit more confidence in my work :)
Also, some other things for the shed.. I do want it as water tight and clear of the elements as possible since this will also double as storage for household items. As Leon suggested I'll probably wrap the building in something to keep it tight.
Thanks again for everything,
Ringo
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Good luck with the $800 to $1000 range. My shed is 10'x12'. 2 or 3 years ago when I initially decided to build this shed My estimate was in the same range as you have indicated. BUT in the last year or two material costs have gone up significantly. That said, my shed is build much like a house with studs 16" oc and the same for the roof and floor joists. Mine is nothing like the sheds you find at Home Depot. Also, keep in mind that the shed will be quite a bit of work and I felt that scrimping on materials would end up biting me you know where. I suspect that my shed will come in at about $1500. I still have decorative trim to add + paint. That is a lot but I do keep items from the house out there also and I have not seen any hint of a leak or moisture after 30+ inches of rain in the last year. I also went with a regular steel exterior door.
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Hi Leon and everyone else,
Once again thanks for the great replies. If the cost goes up to $1500, that's no biggie -- it'll just take me a bit longer to build it. My goal to complete the shed is by this summer, so I have at least 3-4 months before summer heat starts pounding away :)
I would like this to be more then just a shed I guess. Not only for storage and lawn items, but also a get-away for me when family is visiting or maybe even a small workshop. For this reason I want it as sealed as possible from moister and such -- and even the 10x12 size might go up abit... still not sure.
Leon, I liked your idea of Tyvek and siding, which I'm already getting prices on. I'm also looking at Sturdifloor for the flooring -- anyone have comments about this? I'll paint the flooring with a garage floor paint or something to make cleaning-up oil drips and spills easier. I'm still toying around with the idea of concrete flooring, but I think that's still abit out of my budget range and skillset. Plus I've been told by two people at work who said if it's concrete then the county will look at it as added floorspace for storage -- wood floor it's considered a temporary structure and won't count. Not sure about this.
As for the interior walls, I'm still not sure if I'll insulate it, but if so I'll just use plywood or something cheap - drywall seems overkill for a shed :) If I do spend any time out there during the winter or summer, I want the A/C or heater to hold the temperature in.
I know my goals for the shed are abit more then your average shed, and heck 10x12 might not be big enough -- but I'll spend some time working this out on paper and I'll draw it out in the yard to get a better idea of spacing and layout. Since I've never done this type of project I'm just trying to invision the methods and materials I'll be using.
Take care,
Ringo
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LOL.. The foundation is what will kill you.. all that bending over.

Might I also add, when I built my building I was planing on letting the siding stiffen the walls. Using 12" wide Hardiplank with 2 nails at each stud per panel seemed reasonable. Before putting the siding on and to prevent rain from getting between the siding and the Tyvek, I put the roof on. That building wiggled quite a bit with myself and my son putting down the shingles but I really did not think much of it since the siding had not been added yet. I had the temporary 1x4 diagonal bracing nailed on the inside walls. The lumber yard however suggested not counting on the Hardi plank being the only thing to stiffen the walls. With their advice I added 1x4 diagonal bracing across each wall. I put them on the out side of the walls and cut the studs to accept the diagonal 1x4's. That simple addition of 4, 1x4 's inset into each stud on each wall really made the structure rigid before the siding went up.
I'm also looking at Sturdifloor for the flooring -- anyone

Look carefully at the paint that you buy. The first 2 graage floor paints that I looked at indicated not to use on wood.

Drywall may seem like over kill but it is much cheaper than plywood, not as durable but cheaper.
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Ringo Langly wrote:

If you want this space to be *anything* more than storage, you definitely need to upscale your size. I absolutely guarantee you'll fill the area with crap before you know it and there'll be no more room for you. It might still happen with a bigger space but at least it'll take longer.
Last summer I bought a lawn tractor. After housing it in the garage for about a week, I decided I needed to get it out of there. So I bought an 8 X 12 shed. After parking all the yard tools out there, there's sure no room out there to work. It's a storage area pure and simple. Of course, I never wanted more than that: I still have my two car garage for a workshop.
Thing bigger... you won't regret it.
--
Mortimer Schnerd, RN

snipped-for-privacy@carolina.rr.com.REMOVE
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One way to cut costs is by buying good used lumber or finding building sites with leftovers, or going to a Habitat for Humanity Restore.
The more time you have to look for bargains the better you luck will be.
RonT
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Ringo:
My very first project of this type was my own shed - took several years to build and I learned a lot.
I suggest that your budget will depend upon the siding materials - I used redwood and cedar beveled siding that shot my budget up to about $1200. If you use T-111 ply (which is very good) or someother sheet goods you'll be within that budget of $1000. I might have gone with HardyPlank as an alternative for mine. I wanted that beveled siding look.
As to a floor - pouring a slab is a lot of work - I don't think your shed will need it - a simple pier/pressure treated lumber sleepers combo will be sufficient. If you have any pooling of water were the shed will be, dig french drains. I used ACX tongue and groove plywood for my floor and it was very solid. I sort of "over engineered" my perimeter joists- 2x8 PT lumber (my plan said 2x4 which added alot to the the stability.
Keep things simple. I tended to fuss over a lot of the details and as such, never really finished the shed before I moved. Oh well. Such is life.
I will say, that depending upon what you want to do, a kit shed is quite reasonable. I got a cedar shed kit right now that cost me UNDER $600 and I figured that the wood would have cost me at least that much. Look into it.
Good luck! There a pleanty of plans on sheds on the Internet. Family Handyman magazine has been running shed plans very Summer for the last several years. A good place to begin. Your local library might have them.
Oh, you will need help. I had a "crew" of friends helping on the walls and roof and it made that go a lot faster! Good time to get acquainted with your neighbors or local clubs!
MJ Wallace
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I went with 15 treated 4x4 posts cut to about 24" and set about 12" deep. In the bottom of the holes I packed in a layer of golf ball sized stones and tamped pea gravel around the posts to fill the space around the posts. The posts are attached to the sides of the joists with 2 lag bolts per post.
I dug the holes and put a post in each corner after building the outside 2x8 frame. then I lifted the 10'x12' frame, leveled it, and attached it to those posts. Then added all the inside joists. After adding the inside joists I dug 11 more holes and added the 11 posts.

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Ringo,

To make the most efficient use of materials, you should plan your shed on a four foot "module". In other words, 8'x8', 8'x12', or 12'x12'. Plywood sheets are 4' wide, so this will allow you to use full width sheets for the walls. Otherwise you'll have to cut sheets down and potentially have more waste.
Plan you wall height accordingly too so that the single sheet of plywood will overlap the floor and go all the way to the roof. Again, this will eliminate having to cut the sheets into small pieces to fit the gaps. This would also eliminate the need for blocking where the edges of the sheets meet.
If you're not going to insulate, go with 2x4 studs instead of 2x6. And, if the shed is small, you might want to consider 24" stud spacing instead of 16" spacing. You can save about 9 studs on an 8x12 shed that way. But, you'll need thicker plywood with 24" spacing, so again, you'll have to compare costs.
Also consider using textured plywood that can double as sheathing and siding. I like to use a rough sawn plywood and apply an semi-opaque stain.

You might want to calculate the costs of each option locally and compare. Around here, a yard of concrete is cheaper than the lumber it takes to build an equivalent wood floor. Especially if you factor in gravel for drainage, support blocks, etc.
The concrete floor would also be stronger, and won't rot like a wood floor.
But, your local prices and building codes may dictate which option is better.

Lay down a sheet of 6mil plastic before you pour your slab to keep ground moisture out of the shed. I'd probably try to do something similar if I built a wood floor.
Anthony
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Hi,
Wouldn't it be nice if everyone who participates in this thread, post pic of their shed in abpw? Also include size and estimate cost, including highlight important features, tips etc.
Thanks you.

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WD wrote:

Hi WD,
I was just thinking the same thing :) I use Google Groups, and they don't allow file attachments -- but I'd love an email from folks with photos of their shed projects. I found this one on webshots, which is about what I'm looking at -[http://community.webshots.com/user/galwayn2 ]- but I'd love to see other ideas.
Right now the main two things I'm trying to draft out are the footings on the ground and the roof. I'm still unsure whether I want to do a gambrel or gable roof, plus I'm not sure exactly how to setup the ground to make it level and secure so the shed won't move around or contort over time. I want it as secure as possible.
If anyone doesn't mind sending photos with some detail to how you setup your shed on the ground and maybe roofing, I'd sure appriciate it. Heck I might even get a website going (I'm a web designer by profession) and with permission given of course post some info on my project along with anyone else who wants to particiate :) Just a thought --
Ringo
Oh, my email is rlangly at gmail.com :)
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Somthing to consider:
Many roof trusses are built incorrectly....The company or lumber company "desperately" needs to get rid of them. (too long or too short)
The "get rid of them" usually means "fire sale" prices.
If you are patient and lucky, you might be able to get a set for very little money and plan your shed around them.
Ringo Langly wrote:

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Search archives for alt.home.repair for shed info.
wrote:

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Well after seeing all this shed commentary I thought I would chime in as well. I had an old shed in my back yard that suffered a big hit from a falling tree. I re-built it and chopped the size in half or so, but a few years later, I needed something better, so I took the old shed apart and built a new one, using many of the parts from the old shed (treated 2x4's and siding). I also had a bunch of materials lying around that I used as well, so that the cost was only around $400. My shed is about 6x9, which isn't very larg, but that's what I had space for. (At least it's pretty tall--11' in the back.) Here's a link where you can see the old shed and a sequence of construction photos of the new one, along with some commentary on the materials used.
http://www.gallerytungsten.com/shed-sequence/shed.html
Just a note to the OP, it helps greatly if you make some basic drawings of your shed. In my case, I drew a plot of the base, and elevations for each of the walls. These drawings were just slightly more detailed than the proverbial sketch on the napkin, but even so, they were very helpful in keeping on track with the construction.
--
Jedd Haas - Artist
http://www.gallerytungsten.com
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