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Forum topic by AaronL posted 11-13-2015 02:57 AM 659 views 0 times favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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AaronL

24 posts in 1554 days


11-13-2015 02:57 AM

I apologize if this is an inappropriate topic for this forum. I am going to build a firewood shed, and I would like to get more feedback on my design. I’ll post a sketchup of my design – my image size is not displaying, so just right click and tell it to open in a new tab. Sorry.

Particulars:

place six 4×4 pressure treated posts down 4’ and pack with limestone/gravel.
front posts are currently 9’ (may change that now that I’m going down 4’ and can buy 12’ long 4×4)
back posts are currently 7’
braces are about 2’ 8” long at 45 degrees
headers is resting in a notch cut into all of the 4×4 posts at the top and will be bolted in or screwed in
roof has 16” OC rafters with 5/8” plywood sheathing and shingles (i want it strong in case a branch falls onto it!)
pressure treated 2×4s will be screwed onto the bases on the posts so i can fill the inside with gravel to stack the wood

Can you give me any advice on whether this is strong structure, how to attach any of the boards, what fasteners to use, ideas for anything to change?

I think I’ll have to hire someone to auger out the 6 post holes for me. I’m afraid a small rental tool won’t cut it in my root-prone and rock-prone yard. I could try it, but it might be a waste of money compared with just having someone with a bobcat come in and auger them out and be done.


20 replies so far

View TheGermanJoiner's profile

TheGermanJoiner

847 posts in 1097 days


#1 posted 11-13-2015 04:07 AM

Sounds good to me. You may want to drop a little concrete in the holes for each post. You can just dump one bag of dry powder in each hole. What I usually do is about a quarter bag in the hole first then a post then the rest of the concrete. Natural ground water will harden the mix enough to stabilize the post. the roof sounds plenty strong against debris. As long as it’s not to big of a branch that is. I can’t see the plans you came up with but sounds plenty strong.

-- Greg - Ferdinand and Son Construction: Do it right the first time. Like us on Facebook

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BurlyBob

3644 posts in 1725 days


#2 posted 11-13-2015 04:08 AM

Depending on where/how your going to stack your firewood. A small ramp might be a good idea. That way you could use a wheel barrow to move the wood from the shed to the house or shop with ease. Also depending on where you live might be closing off two sides to avoid snow accumulation and to keep your wood dry.

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AaronL

24 posts in 1554 days


#3 posted 11-13-2015 12:52 PM

I just found this great document last night, very informative:

http://www.deckmagazine.com/Images/StrongPostToBeamConnections_tcm122-2048568.pdf

I like the idea of the structural screws and the self-tapping “lag bolt replacments.”

It also says I shouldn’t notch 4×4s, so I guess I should use 6×6s. BurlyBob also recommended looking into Simpson Strong-Tie fittings for the connection points. I will do that as well. If I go with the 6×6s, is it way over-kill to use two headers sistered to each other for the rafters to rest on?

Good idea on the ramp too. I want to try leaving it an open structure at first to increase air movement. If snow is an issue, I can modify.

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Pezking7p

3097 posts in 1111 days


#4 posted 11-13-2015 12:58 PM

Instead of sinking posts, why not build it on skids? Then you can move it if you ever decide to change things up. Save yourself the pain of digging holes and a few bags of crete.

-- -Dan

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AaronL

24 posts in 1554 days


#5 posted 11-13-2015 01:00 PM

I had been debating that for awhile too. I’ll have to see what is up to code as far as building it that way. How would I have to modify the post support if I built it on skids?

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

3925 posts in 1952 days


#6 posted 11-13-2015 01:09 PM

The skid idea is really good (IMHO), but in an open structure you will need some kind of diagonal bracing on all sides to keep the thing from leaning in strong winds. But besides being portable, it makes the problems with the holes go away.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View dhazelton's profile

dhazelton

2322 posts in 1756 days


#7 posted 11-13-2015 01:46 PM

You can dig those holes by hand in no time. I put up a shed a couple of years ago and dug to about 36 inches, only hit a couple of big rocks. Just put some large rock in the bottom of the hole for drainage, skip the concrete it’s total overkill. My roof joists were just set on the horizontals like your design, toenailed and then I put a hurricane tie on each one. Shed is open on the front and back so I can access wood from both sides, and enclosed on the ends. I just laid pallets on the ground, no floor.

View Wildwood's profile

Wildwood

1879 posts in 1594 days


#8 posted 11-13-2015 01:59 PM

Like your design, but not sure how will keep wood from being so closed to the ground or keep weather off your fire wood.

Might look at using deck blocks that site on top of the ground verus drilling or digging. Yes, can be a P.I.T.A getting all blocks level but not impossible.

Helped a friend build his two cord wood shed using deck blocks & different size (thickness) blocks like this to get things level!

http://www.lowes.com/pd_560913-215-403216___

http://www.lowes.com/pd_149060-15001-402040000300_1z0udaj__?productId=3444522&pl=1

He used 2×4’s for framing, fence boards for 3 sides, particle board sheeting for roof, tar paper & rolled roofing, with drip edge. Front of his shed left open, just hung a tarp to keep weather out.

I had already built a smaller version only holds little over a cord of wood. My shed sits on metal pallets. Fence board walls nailed up tight have shrunk across the grain leaving gaps with wood off the ground get plenty of air circulation and keeps weather out!

-- Bill

View AaronL's profile

AaronL

24 posts in 1554 days


#9 posted 11-13-2015 03:57 PM



Like your design, but not sure how will keep wood from being so closed to the ground or keep weather off your fire wood.

I think the 3.5” of gravel will be enough, don’t you? There is an overhang on the roof of at least 1’ on all sides, so rain shouldn’t be a problem. snow might get on the sides. that is true. I haven’t had a ton of problems with that with my tarp-covered stacks now though. i guess it would be ideal to have it completely open most of the year and then be able to close it in during the winter! I really want to maximize air flow, as i am using it for seasoning and storage. i know that is not ideal, but i’m not going to season and then move to the shed, then move to my house!


Might look at using deck blocks that site on top of the ground verus drilling or digging. Yes, can be a P.I.T.A getting all blocks level but not impossible.

i thought about that. it seems the structure will be a lot weaker not having the posts buried in the ground though, unless i use a lot more wood with the concrete block “floating” foundation.

i can always add some sides i suppose, if i find that the snow is becoming a problem.

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AaronL

24 posts in 1554 days


#10 posted 11-13-2015 04:01 PM



You can dig those holes by hand in no time. I put up a shed a couple of years ago and dug to about 36 inches, only hit a couple of big rocks. Just put some large rock in the bottom of the hole for drainage, skip the concrete it s total overkill. My roof joists were just set on the horizontals like your design, toenailed and then I put a hurricane tie on each one. Shed is open on the front and back so I can access wood from both sides, and enclosed on the ends. I just laid pallets on the ground, no floor.

- dhazelton

I don’t know about that. I have quite a few tree and other roots in my yard, especially at the perfect site for this structure, unfortunately! We also have some pretty good rocks around here. i need to go to at least 42” i think to get to the frost line here.

i’ve been reading that a lot of people don’t advise putting concrete, as it can deteriorate the posts. sounds like a bit of an over-rated worry, but who am i to judge with no experience! i know it’s been done on several structures and seems to work ok. piers are a good idea, but i don’t know how strong of a connection can be made at the base. it seems posts buried in gravel are a compromise. it would be really strong, drain well, not deteriorate the posts as fast.

i could think about hurricane ties as well. they look nice and will make it a lot stronger.

i thought about pallets on the floor at first, but i hate the pallets i have now. i’m always stumbling around them, and they do rot. i can always put nicer pallets on the gravel if i want more height, or air circulation. i can be more selective with my pallets if i slowly add them. i think i’d fill in the gaps with smaller pieces too to prevent all of the tripping.

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AaronL

24 posts in 1554 days


#11 posted 11-13-2015 04:03 PM



The skid idea is really good (IMHO), but in an open structure you will need some kind of diagonal bracing on all sides to keep the thing from leaning in strong winds. But besides being portable, it makes the problems with the holes go away.

- Fred Hargis

i looked up some stuff on skids. looks like it has been done for centuries, very fast, easy and lasts long if you have some big ol’ hunks of wood under the structure. this will of course entail building a floor for the structure, no? that is an added expense. a floor would be nice though. as you say, if i’m not building into the ground with piers or posts, it makes the structure seem a lot less strong.

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AaronL

24 posts in 1554 days


#12 posted 11-13-2015 04:03 PM

by the way, thanks for everyone chiming in on this. it is good to get ideas and mull it over.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

3925 posts in 1952 days


#13 posted 11-13-2015 05:54 PM


this will of course entail building a floor for the structure, no? that is an added expense. a floor would be nice though.

- AaronL

Sorry, I thought that was a floor in the drawing. Your plan is to just sit the wood on gravel? (Which I think is just fine, I’ve stored wood on the ground with sheet metal covering for years.) If that’s the plan (gravel) I’d stay with the plan as drawn and do whatever it takes to get the holes dug. If you really think it will take a Bobcat with an auger, renting one might be cheaper than subcontracting.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

4202 posts in 1658 days


#14 posted 11-13-2015 06:27 PM

I used old railroad ties as the ‘floor’, run lengthwise with a foot or so between them. Keeps the wood off the ground and allows air to circulate. The last thing you want is for the wood to be sitting on the ground with no air movement. As for the post holes, I’ve always been told not to use concrete around them as it holds moisture and will cause the bottoms to rot quicker. Every pole barn I’ve made have the posts just stuck in the ground (some with gravel in the bottom, some not). I have a couple that are at least 20 years old and no sign of rot or wobble yet, and another pole barn on my property was built by my BIL about 30 years ago with similar results.

Your design, to me, seems like considerable over-kill… but I guess it’s better to be over-built than under-built! I’ve just used simple designs… 4×4 posts (larger ones use telephone poles) with 2×6 or 2×8 headers through bolted to them, 2×4 rafters on top with 1×4 stringers that the roof panels get nailed into. All of ours have metal roofs (those 3 foot wide panels you can get at the BORG) and live under a lot of trees. Makes it a lot easier as there isn’t a lot of weight, so you can get by with fewer supports needed. Some pretty large branches have come down on them (oak trees mainly), but no damage yet. But… this is in Florida… so we don’t have to deal with snow, just rain and falling trees – with the occasional hurricane every few years :)

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - To be old and wise, you must first be young and stupid

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AaronL

24 posts in 1554 days


#15 posted 11-13-2015 07:27 PM


Sorry, I thought that was a floor in the drawing. Your plan is to just sit the wood on gravel? (Which I think is just fine, I ve stored wood on the ground with sheet metal covering for years.) If that s the plan (gravel) I d stay with the plan as drawn and do whatever it takes to get the holes dug. If you really think it will take a Bobcat with an auger, renting one might be cheaper than subcontracting.

- Fred Hargis

Yeah, my crappy looking gravel in that sketchup is just some 2×4s attached to my posts and then the volume filled with some kind of gravel to get the wood off of the ground. I’m definitely thinking it will be a hard dig. I need to just try digging one hole by hand and see how it goes. If it’s a nightmare, I’ll adapt.

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