Hi, I'm Dave Osborne. With over 50 years experience as a journeyman carpenter, foreman and contractor in heavy construction I enjoyed working with apprentices and sharing the tricks of the trade that others shared with me. Now I get emails from Members all over the world and we include many of my answers in our Free Monthly Newsletters. Some of my answers include drawings and instructions specific to a project, but may also answer your questions. I use correct construction terminology, so you can confidently inform your building supply dealers or contractors exactly what you need.
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The plans include the following drawings:
The instructions include the following topics:
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Referring to the drawings, the wood floor is typically 5/8" tongue and groove plywood on pressure treated wood (PTW), 2x6s at 16" centers on 6x6s, pressure treated to last for 40 years. Put these 6x6s on a bed of about 6" deep compacted gravel to help in drainage. The 6x6s are 8' long and placed 6' apart to the outside. Cut 2 - 2x6s 8'-0" and lay them both out together for the box joists. Start at the left end, measure 15 1/4" and place a mark with an X on the right of the mark. Now move the tape to this mark and continue to mark and place an X in the same manner at every 16" mark on your tape, until you run off the 2x6. Cut the 7 - 2x6s to 5'-9" to allow for the combined 3" for the box joists on each end, as shown in the Side Elevation drawing. When you nail the joists onto this box joist the left edge of the joist will be on the mark covering up the X. Use 2 - 3 1/4" nails through the box or rim joist into the ends of each joist.
After nailing on all the joists you should be able to place your tape on the outside of the first joist and read a multiple of 16" at the center of all the joists. Toe-nail the box joist and each joist to the 6x6 under it, making sure the end and sides of the 6x6 and the end and sides of the box joists are flush with each other. When the joists are all nailed on, measure their diagonals to be sure the floor is square, by hooking your measuring tape to the corner of the box joist and reading the measurement at the opposite diagonal corner. Bump one 6x6 to the left or right until the diagonals are the same length, making the floor square. Go ahead and nail the plywood on. When using 5/8" tongue and groove (T & G), start with the tongue flush with the outside of the floor and the groove towards the inside of the floor. Notice the stamp on the plywood, it usually says place this side down (the tongue is thicker on the bottom). Nail on the first sheet. Just use a few nails to keep the plywood in place and mark where the centers of the joists are on the edge of the sheet. Keep the nails back from the groove side by at least 6" to allow the next sheet to slip into the groove easier. Cut the second sheet lengthwise to 25" wide, leaving the tongue on. Place the tongue up to the existing groove get your helper to stand on the tongue and groove together while you hammer lightly with a sledge hammer against a 2x4 against the cut side of this sheet. The sheet should slip into the groove of the one nailed on, evenly along the joint. Nail or screw on the plywood securely: use 2" nails spaced 6" apart on all joints and 12" apart in the middle. Trim off any excess plywood flush with the outside of the box joists and floor joists.
After the foundation and floor are assembled, layout the 8' long right hand side wall on the floor. Refer to the Side Elevation drawing. Cut 2 – 2x4 plates 8' long. Orient the bottom plate along the side where it will be erected, with the top plate 8' away. This ensures the wall sheeting is fastened to the outside of the frame. Cut the 5 - 2x4 studs 91 3/4" long and fastened into position between the top and bottom plates at 24" centers. The top and bottom plate are nailed with 2 - 3 1/4" nails to the studs. The walls have a double plate added on top of the top plate. These double plates are overlapped in the corners on the intersecting walls. You may want to nail the double plates on after the walls are standing up.
Notice the corner stud detail in this drawing: Nail the corner studs in an L shape, using 5 - 3¼" nails, spread out, before nailing to the plates. Configure the corner stud's position on the plates, by referring to the floor plan. Just the long walls have the corner studs, the short walls just have studs nailed at the ends of the plates. Center the frame on the floor and sheet the walls while they are laying down. Make sure they are square by measuring their diagonals, as you did with the floor. The OSB should go across the studs, start at the bottom plate flush on the bottom. Leave a 1/8" space between sheets by temporarily placing a 3 1/4" nail between sheets. When the two sheets are nailed down, the temporary nail is removed leaving an even gap, for expansion, between the sheets. Don't worry about the OSB overhanging the top plate. When the double plate is nailed on, the sheeting should be flush or about 1/8" under.
Next layout the wall opposite this one, the left hand 8' long wall. Build it right on top of the other wall. Orient the bottom plate to be over the right hand wall's top plate. With the bottom plate against the side of the floor, where it will go, will make sure it is configured for the sheeting to be on the outside. Frame and sheet this wall the same as you did for the other wall, except the length of studs will be 6" less or 85 3/4". The sheeting is flush on the bottom and cut off to be flush, or just below, with the top of the double plate, so allow for this if nailing the double plates on after.
The back end wall is laid out next, on top of the other two walls. Cut the bottom plate to 64" and the top plate to 64 1/4". Since the top is on a slope it is longer than the bottom. Put the bottom plate oriented next to the back side and the top plate away from it. Layout the plates with the first stud flush on the right flush with the end of the plate. Mark a line for the second stud by measuring 19 1/4" from the right hand end to the side of the stud. Place an X on the far side of the mark. Measure from this mark another 24" with an X for the third stud and the fourth flush on the left end of the plate. Cut the first stud on the right hand side to 85 5/8", the 2nd stud at 87 11/16", the 3rd stud at 89 15/16" and the end stud at 91 5/8". The measurements for these studs are cut to the lower side of the stud at a 90 degree rather than tapering each stud. Nail the frame up, square it and apply the sheeting. To square up this wall, measuring the diagonals is not going to work since the top is sloped. You can either measure up from the bottom plate at each end of the wall and scribe equal distance reference marks on the outside studs, then measure the diagonals to these marks, or for a short wall like this, square it up with the OSB. We assume the plywood or OSB is square, which it usually is, so as we nail the OSB into position move the frame to fit the sheeting, keeping the frame square with the sheeting, flush along the bottom and side. The sheeting on this wall will overhang the plates and end stud by 3 7/8". To square the frame with the sheet, keep an even 3 7/8" margin of sheeting on each end. It is better to be a bit shy with the sheeting rather than proud. (Shy and proud are construction terms referring to measurements under or over a particular point) Trim off the excess sheeting above the top plate, extending it about 1¼", allowing for the double plate to be added later. Also, trim off the other end of the wall, extending the sheeting at this end by 3 7/8", as well. The overall measurement length for sheeting should be between 71¾" to 72". Move this wall to the area behind the shed, leaving room on the long walls to build the remaining front wall. To make it easier to stand the wall up into position, later, place the bottom of the wall against the back of the floor upside down. The sheeting should be on the underside, then when standing up the wall, from the outside, it will be in the correct position.
The front wall is now laid out to conform to the Front Elevation drawing. (I chose to place the door centered in the wall so that shelves can be put on each side wall. You may want to have a bench on one side, so having the door on the other side may be a better choice, for you.) Orient the bottom plate against the front of the shed and layout the two plates together. The plates are the same lengths as the back wall – 64" for the bottom and 64¼" for the top. Notice the double studs on each side and the double header above the door. This is for backing for the trim or casing around the door. Cut the end stud for the right hand side, facing the front of the shed from the outside, the higher wall, to 91 5/8". The second pair of studs are cut 1/8" shorter than each other. The longer being 90 5/8", the shorter 90½". Nail these two studs together with 5 – 3¼" nails staggered and spread out. When we say to stagger the nails we mean to nail on one side of the grain then the other. According to the Building Code, when nailing studs together, we always keep our nails within 4" of the bottom and the top and space the other 3 nails out evenly. The rough opening for the door, as shown, is 38" x 82" with threshold. Square up the wall similar to the back wall. When framing a wall, like this with a door. we leave the bottom plate intact, through the door, until the wall is stood into position and nailed down. Then we get a handsaw or reciprocating saw and cut out the plate flush with the studs. In this case, when trying to square the wall, we run the sheeting through the door and nail it into position. After the sheeting is nailed up, we cut out the door. As is with the back wall, we extend the sheeting 3 7/8" past the end studs to allow for the overlap onto the end stud of the long walls. When the wall is completed, move it into place outside the shed at the front with the sheeting on the bottom of the wall. Now you can stand the long walls up into their correct position on top of the plywood floor. The bottom plate is nailed down to the rim joist, flush on each end and along the side. Nail a 3¼" nail at the ends of the bottom plates (remember the 4" rule) and in every stud space, about 2' centers is good. Brace each wall up temporarily to a stake driven into the ground, so they won't fall over. Then lift up the back wall into position between the long walls. There are 3 points where the outside corners are tied together.
Don't forget to install the double plates on the long walls between the overlapping double plates of the end walls and stagger the nails at 24" centers, maximum. Remove the temporary wall bracing.
Usually, a brace in the middle of the 8' walls are enough to keep them straight if you notice a slight bow. If not, don't bother. Notice the Side Elevation drawing and the layout of the roof joists to enable the OSB ends to rest on the center of the joist. On the top of the walls layout the joists as shown on this drawing. Extend your tape out 6" from the end of the wall and mark a point at 23 1/4". Place an "X" next to this point so that this point represents the edge of the joist and the joist sits on top of the X, centered on 24". From the mark continue marking points along the wall at 24" and an X where the joist will sit. The X's should be on the same side of all the points.
Cut 6 – 2x6 roof joists at 6'-9" long and 2 – 2x6 box joists at 9'-0" long. Place a box joist on top of the double plate that you just laid out. Have the ends extended out 6" and transfer the marks from the plate to the box joist. Place a large F on the front end of the box joist, then transfer it over to the double plate on the other long wall. Extend the ends out 6" again, making sure the F is over the front end. Transfer the marks from the box joist to the double plate. Now go down to the floor and place the sides of the two box joists tight together and with a combination square transfer the marks from one to the other, marking the F on the opposite 2x6, as well. This ensures that the 2 double plates and the 2 box joists are all laid out the same way.
Start with the second roof joist in from the end and extend it out 4½" from outside of the sheeting on the long wall. Nail it over the X, lined up with the mark on the plate with its side. Use 2 – 3¼" nails toenailed from the joist into the double plate at a 45 degree angle. Continue until all the joists are fastened in over the wall. Help from a friend or family member or hired hand is needed here. Nail the box joist to these roof joists with 2 – 3¼" nails per joist. Line up the marks on the box joist with the joists, particularly the end joist so the overhang will be 6" each way. Notice the backing on the Side Elevation drawing. This is a 2x4 nailed on the flat half overhanging the wall to create backing for the soffit material to be added later. If you don't install soffits, the birds will thank you for building them a nice house. This 2x4 backing is cut 6'-9", the same as the joists. Now the roof sheeting can be installed with 2" nails, as was done with the floor. Where the OSB sheets butt up to each other, keep a 1/8" space. Along this joint, between the joists, a 2x4 on the flat should be used to help strengthen the OSB edges or use H-clips to match the thickness of OSB for this purpose.
After the sheeting is finished install the 1x8 fascia boards flush with the top of the sheeting. These will drop down below the joist hiding the edges of the soffit material, which is left over OSB. There is no need to vent the soffit, unless the shed is heated and has a ceiling installed with insulation and vapor barrier. The soffit is ripped pieces of OSB, nailed to the overhanging roof joists, box joist and backing.
The roofing should overhang the fascia at the eaves by 1 1/2" and at the ends (the rakes) by 1". The roofing is a 90 pound, 36" wide rolled roofing. Measure the width of the roll and deduct 1½". Measure up the roof and mark this measurement on each end. Snap a line between these 2 marks. Start at the lower eaves and roll the roofing out across the slope, with the top of the roofing along this line. Nail every 3' or so along the top to keep the sheet in place. Most roofing has a 4" space with a line marking it, already on it. If not, measure down 4" from the top of the roofing, at each end. Snap a line along the roofing. Now apply lap cement to the roofing above the line. Roll out the next sheet of roofing, carefully, along this line. Nail, with 1¼" galvanized roofing nails, through the face of the top sheet through the two layers of roofing into the OSB including every joist, as you come to them. Space these nails at about 3" apart. Continue this procedure for the third lap. Trim the top side and ends neatly. Nail through the first and last sheets down at the eaves through the face of the roofing and into the OSB and rim joist and along the ends. Cover these nail heads with a bit of lap cement to protect them from the weather. You have a few options for rolled roofing suitable for this shed roof. Some have mineral attached to the surface for better protection, depending on where you live. Most rolls of roofing have the manufacturers instructions included on the paper wrapping. Shingles are not suitable for this slope of roof, so choose a type of rolled roofing or torch-on material, if the weather is extreme.
I've made exterior doors for buildings and garden sheds before without a problem. The door framing shown is for a 3' x 6'-8" door, perfect for your shed. I found that the thickness should not go more than 1 3/4" if you are going to use standard locksets. One thing to watch is to rip nice straight boards. I use spruce 2x4s and rip them down to 1 1/4" x 1 3/4" (in half). Pick out nice straight ones with very few knots. Spruce is one of the strongest woods for its weight. For the outer skin use 1/4" plywood G1S, pick two sheets that are not warped, that are laying flat on the pile. Drill for fasteners, one 3" x #8 flat head wood screws, countersunk in each frame intersection. Use glue, as well.
Add the backing for the lockset, as shown, layout for the lockset to avoid placing screws in the drilling spot.
Cut your plywood to size. Apply wood glue all over the frame and fasten the plywood to the door frame with small galvanized nails, such as shingle nails, set fill and paint.
Drill for the lockset or use a hasp and padlock and dado out for the hinges, as shown, with the middle hinge centered between the top and bottom hinges. Use 3 1/2" butt hinges for the door.
If the door thickness when finished is 1 3/4" you can purchase a standard door jamb or construct that, as well. Check out the thickness of wall including sheathing and siding on the outside and drywall or inside finish on the inside. Make the door jamb out of 1x6 or 1x8 depending on the studs and finish used. For this shed, without inside finish, a 1x6 jamb is good. This gives about 1½" protruding outside the sheeting, perfect for bevel or lap siding. If you want casing around the door, the jamb should be ripped down to fit flush with the top of the siding. Then the casing can go over the jamb, leaving about 3/16" reveal. I suggest for a shed the casing be made from flat 1x3 or 1x4. After the door is hung, fasten a 1/2x1¼ door stop lightly against the shut door, on the sides and header. For the bottom, to keep out rain and vermin, make up a threshold out of plywood as shown in this drawing.
Fasten the threshold onto the jamb with screws from the side. When installed fasten the threshold to the floor with screws.
Apply tar paper to the perimeter of the door opening, so a good overlap of 4" can be applied when the wall is papered. Install the pre-hung door unit into the opening, flush up the inside of the jamb with the inside of the stud or finish, as maybe the case, with the unit resting on the subfloor. If a threshold is attached to the bottom of the jamb, apply a bead of caulking under the threshold, before installing. With shims or wood shingles split about 1 1/2" wide, shim the sides at the top so the door unit is centered in the opening, as shown:
These top shims are temporary just to position the pre-hung door and hold it in place. Notice the margin around the door should be the same. Plumb the hinge side of the door first. Shim up the low side of the jamb if the top margin above the jamb is not the same or tapered. Check the plumb on the hinge side, with the door closed and shim opposite the hinges. Screw a 3" x #8 flathead wood screw in through the stop of the jamb through the shims and into the cripple, countersinking them a bit below the surface to be filled later. Do the same at the other hinges, maintaining an equal margin. Now shim and screw the latch side of the jamb into the cripple, keeping the margin the same. Three screws on each side is sufficient, none is required on the top. Shimming the jamb with the door in place makes it easier than installing the jamb first then the door after.
Remove any excess shim sticking out past the jamb with a sharp utility knife or hand saw. Install the lock set as per instructions in the package or attach a hasp and padlock for security or simply a barrel bolt.
My choice of exterior finish is 1x8 Hardi plank siding with 1x4 corner boards on the corners and around the door. Hardi plank is very durable and easy to install. Prime the plank first on both sides and edges. This is a must. Start at the bottom of the floor joists and apply 30 minute tarpaper to the entire surface of the shed, overlapping at least 4", each sheet and around the corners. Mark the center of each stud on the tarpaper, using a level. This helps nailing during the siding installation. The siding must be attached to the studs, not to the sheeting. Start at the bottom of the floor joist, overlapping the 6x6 about ½" with a ripping off a 2x4 of 5/16". This sets the angle of the plank. The first course of plank is fastened ¼" below the bottom of this strip to form a drip edge. The planks are nailed with 2" galvanized roofing nails at their top and left to hang. The following course is overlapped, at least 1", covering up the nails of the course below it. The planks are butted together with a bead of good quality latex with silicon exterior caulking. Remove any excess that ooses out, immediately. This caulking is paintable, so will be covered, later. The joints of the plank should come over the center of a stud. Cut the plank to length leaving the cut end at the corner to be covered by the corner board. For cutting this plank, I prefer using a 4½" angle cutter with a diamond blade. If you butt a short piece to an existing length, the cut can be done very neatly with experience and care. Wear a dust mask when cutting this product, as well as safety glasses. If the butt joint is not even, nail a galvanized finish nail through the face on each side of the joint to keep it flush. A bit of caulking will fill the hole, nicely. After completing the siding, give the entire surface another two coats of finish color paint.
When the siding installation is complete, attach the corner boards and door casing. Rip one side of each corner down by the thickness of the board. That is for a 1x4 corner board, one side is 3½" and the other is 2¾". The wider board overlaps the narrower to give the same measurement for both sides. Nail the two boards together with a bead of caulking before fastening in place.
Build a little ramp to the door to wheel the mower in and you are all set.
Enjoy your new shed!
Dave(Ask Dave) (About Dave)