Long Term Home Remodel Project

Phase VII - The Shed / Replacing an Existing Shed


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The old shed It's October 2013 and I am starting on a backyard storage shed. A couple of years ago, I saw an interesting shed at the state fair. It was about the size of mine or a bit larger but it had a gambrel roof and a loft. I decided that would be a good addition to mine that my father and I built shortly after we bought this house. It was 8x12 feet with a little over 6 foot walls and a slightly sloping shed roof. The siding was 1x12 rough cedar board and batten. It was bolted down to a concrete block foundation that rested on a shallow concrete footing. It had survived over 40 years.

The first thought was to remove the shed roof and construct a gambrel roof in its place. The problem was its location on the lot. One corner sat firmly on 4 feet of the rear easement. I did not want to go to the expense and work of the expansion when I could be forced to tear it down at any time. I considered attempting to move it off the easement which proved later to be a daunting task. In discussing the situation with my building inspector, I learned that the rules had changed and I could now have a building up to 160 square feet. That helped make the final decision. I would build a new one to the maximum allowable specifications, 160 square feet, no slab and no more than 12 feet high.

The platform and skids I did the research, shopped around for turn-key sheds as well as kits. In every case, it looked like I could buy materials and build a better shed at less or at least no more money than buying one. The footprint is 10x16 feet. The foundation is three rows of pressure treated 4x6 timbers, certified for actual ground contact, run the long way. The platform is treated 2x6s on 16 inch centers covered by 3/4 inch OSB, tongue and groove sub flooring. The studs are 2x4s 6 feet long on 16 inch centers with typical bottom and double top plates making the walls 6 feet 4-1/2 inches. The trusses are 2x4s with 2x6 bottom cords for loft joists. All joints are reinforced by glued and nailed 1/2 inch plywood gussets. The siding is LP Smart Side, an OSB product that resembles T1-11 Stack of trusses plywood but appears much more robust. The roof decking is OSB with the foil reflector on the under side. The shingles are Timberline Ultra HD, lifetime shingles. For all this construction, I had the help of my oldest son as well as the middle one for most of it.

We first made level runs for the 4x6 skids. As you can see, there was not much excavation required. We then built the platform, in place, being very careful to keep it square and 10 feet wide by 15 feet 9 inches long. With a good platform, we painted the under side of the flooring and installed it. Next was the trusses. I had precut all the plywood gussets; all angles are a multiple of 22-1/2. That was a lot of sawing. I laid out the width and the centerline of the trusses on the floor then cut 2x4s to fit one side and matched them for the other side and assembled the first truss. We then added 2x4 blocks around the truss as a jig for aligning and building the remaining ones.

Back wall from east end Front wall from east end With the trusses built and laid aside, it was time for the walls. We also built them on the floor then stood them up and fastened the corners. Here are two views of the long walls braced in place, waiting for the ends. With the walls in place, we started installing the trusses on 2 foot centers. They are held down by a hurricane strap on each end. The photos below show the trusses in place on the walls. The first is an end view through the opening for the double doors, more later. It also shows the rough in for a loft door, also to be installed later. Next is from the front showing both the boys working or inspecting. The close up is a detail of the attachment with the hurricane straps.

Trusses end view Trusses front view Trusses attachment

Loft bridge The center truss does not have a bottom cord in order to provide access to the loft, or lofts. There is a 6 foot loft area at each end with a 4 foot opening in the middle. I later bridged the back 4 feet of the opening with a loft bridge, tying the two together. That still leaves a 4x6 foot opening for access. This photo is that bridge viewed through the front door.

We built double doors and a smaller loft door for the east end. They all open only from the inside. While the older son, the carpenter, finished the roof, I added the trim and painted the building. Now it is time to move in, at least for the winter. I will add a lumber rack and several shelves as time allows and the need arises. I have three windows that came out of the old shed and will add them next spring. The framing is already in place so just have to open the siding and add a little hardware. I also plan to add a work bench across the west end and will probably have some cabinets associated with it. The rest of these photos are of the finished building as it stands now, late 2013.

Back corner view East end showing shop-built doors Front corner view Front view Other front corner corner view

Finished Front w/ windows Finished End w/ window Sometime later, I remembered that this page never showed the shed finished, including its windows. So I took these photos on a slightly overcast day. Remember, these are the windows salvaged from the old shed. Currently, the double doors I put on the other end are currently not working. We had to do some ground fill under the foundation timbers at that end and it seems they have settled a little, and not quite evenly so that the doors bind. At some time I will have to find a way to jack it up and add a more solid fill. Right now that is fairly low priority though. Also, I added a gable vent in the loft door at the other end and have another to add to the gable shown. That will have to wait until I can empty that loft in order to get at it. I really like the new look and, of course, the capacity when compared to the old one.