Storage Shed/Barn

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Project by harriw posted 10-15-2014 12:04 AM 2207 views 4 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I suppose this isn’t really a “woodworking” project in the strictest sense of the word, but it’s a project… made (mostly) of wood… Besides, it meets the primary definition of “woodworking project”: something you spend far too much time and money designing and building yourself out of wood instead of just buying “off the shelf” :) It’s main purpose for existing is to store the tractor, lawn mowers, and all the other garden/outdoor tools that were cluttering up my garage. Now that all that stuff is in the shed, I have more space for actual woodworking.

It’s 12×16 (largest the town will let me put on a 1/2 acre), and just a hair under 12 feet high. It sports a gambrel roof, but it’s pitched a bit shallower than you typically see because I had to keep it under 12 feet high to meet the town building codes. It still has the gambrel “sex appeal” and does buy me a bit more storage space up in the loft, but it would have been nice if I could go a foot or two higher. Oh well – it’s not like I’m hurting for storage space (for now at least…) I also added a loft door when I realized the main door on the long wall wasn’t going to allow me to load in my left-over 16ft. 2×4’s. They’re very easy to load using the loft door though.

I looked into having one built, but the prices were a bit high for my taste. I also looked at some of the shed kits from the big-box stores, and wasn’t terribly impressed (I built one of those for my parents one summer back when I was in High School, and remember it being a bit on the flimsy side). So then I went looking for plans, and really couldn’t find anything with a loft and gambrel roof that would fit under my 12-foot height restriction. So I bit the bullet and drew up my own plans, and built it myself with stick-lumber from the local lumber yard. All said-and-done, it probably cost about the same as one of the big-box store kits, but this will out-last any of those kits by a mile. All 16-on-center 2×4 construction with double top plate, and 2×6 rafters built on site (we built a stop-block jig on the floor to keep them all uniform). It’s built on 4 4×4 PT skids, with PT 2×6 floor joists also 16-on-center. I dug out trenches about 1’ deep and 1’ wide the whole length of the shed underneath each skid, and filled them with tamped crushed stone to allow drainage and hopefully minimize seasonal heaving/settling.

I started the foundation work this spring, and managed to get the foundation and base finished just in time for memorial day weekend. My Dad, Brother and I spent the 4-day memorial day weekend getting it framed, closed in, and weather tight. Then it took the rest of the summer (working an hour here, hour there) to get all the details finished up. I do still need to add soffits at some point, but probably won’t get to it until spring.

Really, it’s a pretty straight-forward residential construction project. Only other thing I should point out is the placement of the ceiling joists. Because I was so limited on vertical space between loft height and reasonable first-floor head clearance, I didn’t want to rest the ceiling joists on top of the top plate. And wasn’t too keen on using joist hangers, as I wasn’t sure how well they’d withstand the tension forces of the roof trying to push the walls apart. My solution was to tuck the joists down directly underneath the top plate, so that they occupy the same vertical space as the door and window headers that had to be there anyway. That way i could nail the joists directly into the wall studs so the nails are in shear. I also tucked a 2×4 ledger underneath the joists to help support the vertical load. This whole arrangement may be common practice for all I know, but I thought it was pretty clever :) Probably overkill, but it minimizes wasted space vertically, and didn’t require any structural sacrifices.

I also got to add a framing nailer and roofing nailer to my tool collection for this one (already had a finishing nailer, which also saw heavy use). My Dad, brother and I all agree they were worth their weight in gold.

-- Bill - Western NY

3 comments so far

View sras's profile


4969 posts in 3368 days

#1 posted 10-15-2014 02:55 AM

Definitely a woodworking project – and a good one at that!

You’re going to have some pampered garden tools with a shed that nice!

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View DaveGlx's profile


350 posts in 2683 days

#2 posted 10-15-2014 06:30 AM

That’s the way. Of the shelf looks like of the shelf and your shed looks extra classic and have a story too :)
You can come to my place and build as big as you like ;)

-- Dave -

View GerardoArg1's profile


988 posts in 2232 days

#3 posted 10-15-2014 05:03 PM

Beatiful work. Congratulations!

-- Disfruta tu trabajo (enjoy your work) (Bandera, Argentina)

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