lumber storage shed questions

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Forum topic by BobD posted 10-20-2011 04:16 PM 1555 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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52 posts in 3437 days

10-20-2011 04:16 PM

I want to build a lumber storage shed to store longer pieces of lumber probably no longer than 8 ft. the design I have in mind, due to space limitations, is a 10 ft long by 4 ft high x 20” deep. The shed will be built on 8 concrete piers using 2×4 lumber for framing (walls, roof, floor). The outside walls will be built with 3/4” 4” o.c. T111 plywood, The following is the troublesome part of the design….I would like the front of the shed to have an 8 ft. opening without vertical studs from bottom plate to top plate. This would facilitate the storing and retrieval of longer pieces of lumber. The opening will be covered by a canvas flap secured on the top by sandwiching between a 2×4 and 2×3. The bottom will be secured to the bottom plate using industrial velcro. Using doors (hinged, or sliding is not currently an option because of the limited space . The lumber shed will be only 24” behind my workshop. A very tight space indeed. For that reason, I want the front opening to be very accessible and not have any vertical stud supports if possible. The front will have two stub wall on each end about 1 ft long leaving an 8 ft opening.

Q1: Will an 8 ft top plate unsupported by vertical stubs eventually sag and or break? Or is this unsupported space a problem?

Q2. Can I reinforce the top plate by placing two 2×4s on edge and nail them together?

Q3/ Should I make the entire top plate out of 4×4 lumber in the first place to support the roof structure and the front opening?

-- Bob, San Diego

7 replies so far

View interpim's profile


1170 posts in 3483 days

#1 posted 10-20-2011 04:29 PM

there are going to be two different groups that respond here… one is going to tell you about code and what is required… the other is going to tell you that the area that the wall is going to support isn’t supporting people walking or storage above… only the 8 ft. section of roof. I am in the second group, and if you make a beefy enough header for the open end, I think you’ll be fine as long as your not using slate or tile for the roof LOL.

far as about what to use for the header, I would definitely use laminated 2x stock, not the 4×4.

-- San Diego, CA

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52 posts in 3437 days

#2 posted 10-21-2011 04:45 PM

Why a laminated 2x stock vs a 4×4?

-- Bob, San Diego

View a1Jim's profile


117115 posts in 3601 days

#3 posted 10-21-2011 05:35 PM

I would use a doubled up 2×6 this will not meet code but should do the job. 4×4s are not meant to be horizontal members.the advantage of using a doubled up 2×6 is you have 2 sets of grain. It wouldn’t hurt to put some Construction adhesive in between them before you screw or nail them together. Remember to nail in a zig zag pattern so all your nails don’t fall in the same line . All said and done I would build storage so you could stand you material on end even though wood stays flatter stored horizontally it’s much easier to sort through wood stored on it’s end. This would mean you need a much taller wood storage shed.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

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1170 posts in 3483 days

#4 posted 10-22-2011 04:37 PM

Jim nailed it with the laminated 2×6… for the same reason plywood is stronger than a solid piece of wood the same size.

-- San Diego, CA

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 3333 days

#5 posted 10-22-2011 04:49 PM

I also agree with the laminated 2×6’s. I used this method to build a carport that spanned 20 ft and laminated 2×6’s with a 1/2” of plywood sandwiched in between. Has not sagged at all.

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896 posts in 2461 days

#6 posted 10-24-2011 03:54 AM

Greg nailed it with the 1/2” plywood sandwich. Generally speaking I’d say 10’ is a little of a stretch for a 6” header. But you’re only 20” deep so it’s not like you’re going to have that much of a load. Just to make myself feel better, I’d probably put corner braces out about a foot just to cut the span down to 8’.

-- Visualize whirled peas

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1531 posts in 2718 days

#7 posted 10-26-2011 11:06 PM

Just thought I’d add.. this sounds like a great multi-purpose shed.. the other purpose being a solar kiln :)

-- Dan, Rochester, NY

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