Need to build a new workshop.

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Forum topic by Jofa posted 08-23-2013 03:53 AM 1437 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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272 posts in 1802 days

08-23-2013 03:53 AM

Hey LJ’s,

We currently rent and I have a pretty good setup right now but unfortunately we have to move in October because the house we’re in is going to be sold.

That said, the new place doesn’t have a garage or a shed. The owner is really cool and we were referred to him through our church. He’s ok with me constructing a workshop (shed) in the yard so that I can continue my business.

The current shop is 8×12 and I would like to go at least that size or a little larger. I’ve been looking at steel sheds which I know aren’t the sturdiest but I believe they’re cheaper than kits. However, I was thinking I could probably design something using all 2×4x8’s and that exterior panel board stuff. I would imagine it could be about the same cost as steel.

The good thing is I can make it so that it could be transported once we buy our own place.

Any direction on which way to go?

-- Thank you Lord for the passion and ability to make things from your creation.

14 replies so far

View GrandpaLen's profile


1650 posts in 2236 days

#1 posted 08-23-2013 10:32 AM

I have no personal experience with steel sheds but I would like to pass along a bit of advise that has been shared by those that have used them.

Imagine a cold glass of Iced Tea in the summer sitting on your table. The condensation forms on the outside of the glass and forms a puddle of water at the base of the glass. Now pour the Tea into an insulated container/glass and the condensation is now absent.

Inside a steel shed the humidity will condense on the inside surfaces of the steel as the temperatures heat up and cool down.
A steel building will indeed make a great Shop, but if you choose this option you should do little research on insulation and air movement inside, to prevent the condensation from forming and dripping on the surfaces of your tools and projects.

Whichever you choose, Work Safely and have Fun.

Best Regards. – Grandpa Len

-- Mother Nature should be proud of what you've done with her tree. - Len ...just north of a stone's throw from the oHIo, river that is, in So. Indiana.

View Sandra's profile


7207 posts in 2039 days

#2 posted 08-23-2013 11:21 AM

I’ve only ever built a shed in my imagination, but what Grandpa Len said makes sense. My two cents would be that if you plan on moving the shed, perhaps several times, build it as sturdy as possible. In my area, I can’t build one cheaper than I could by a wood frame one that’s decently built..

Good luck

-- No, I don't want to buy the pink hammer.

View crank49's profile


4030 posts in 2935 days

#3 posted 08-23-2013 02:33 PM

I once, many years ago, built a small barn style shop/shed in modules.
Had a bunch of plywood from import equipment crates and built a 12’ x 16’ barn on my carport floor.
The walls were made of ~4ft by 8ft panels. Then at assembly time I bolted the panels together.
In the back half, I dropped the ceiling height to 7ft and had enough headroom for an upstairs work area thanks to the barn shaped roof.

Wish I had some pictures, but I sold that house and a few years later my little yellow barn burned down.

You would have to scale your version down to be able to move it; probably would have to lose the upstairs option, but the barn style roof (gambrel) still allows for useful storage overhead.

View Kaleb the Swede's profile

Kaleb the Swede

1821 posts in 1933 days

#4 posted 08-23-2013 02:47 PM

Hi jofa. My cousin got a steel shed for a lot cheaper than any other option for his workshop and although it is working for him he has had his share of problems. On the whole he doesn’t care for it too much and he wishes he would have went with something else. That said he is making it work. He has had to put more money than he wished at first. Not trying to deter you just letting you know

-- Just trying to build something beautiful

View mummykicks's profile


109 posts in 1766 days

#5 posted 08-23-2013 03:10 PM

Take a look at Ron Paulks mobile workshop.
If I were renting I’d seriously consider buying a used trailer and doing something similar to what he has set up. His stuff is pretty well thought out and useful. I can’t say enough good things about the version of his workbench I built.
8.5’ x 20’ toy trailers look like they would work well. Probably more than you’d like to spend, but you might get lucky finding a cheap one that’s beat up. Maybe a flatbed trailer?

View Bluepine38's profile


3379 posts in 3049 days

#6 posted 08-23-2013 05:27 PM

Second Granpa Len on the condensation. Around here, there are usually trailer houses available for free, or
very low cost. You would have to pretty well demolish the trailer on the inside, if you could get a small
enough one. A good solid wooden shed, and considering your area, well insulated, would be the best idea
in my opinion. If you designed it right, it could be easily pulled onto an equipment trailer for moving to a
different site.

-- As ever, Gus-the 79 yr young apprentice carpenter

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

7932 posts in 2292 days

#7 posted 08-23-2013 05:55 PM

Making a stick built shed is incredibly easy….

I put up an 8×16 in 1992 made from 2×4 studs, 2×6 joists, 3/4 CDX deck and T-111 walls, I made 2×4 trusses and sheathed the roof with 1/2” CDX, tar paper and 3-tab shingles. I have one window and a 36” steel door from the BORG.

21 years later. the sheds not the prettiest structure you ever laid eyes on, but aside from putting down some ant traps, I’ve done zero maintenance to it, and it is still water tight.

If I was to build on rented property, I would want to ensure that I coult take it with me when I left. To do that, the shed has to be moveable. To move the shed, you’ll need a large trailer, such as used to move heavy construction equipment.

I’ve moved my shed to a different location on my property twice, using cinder blocks and a hydraulic car jack, and I did it all by my lonesome. Each time it took me a full day to get it on the trailer.

If you ever plan on moving the shed, I suggest that you make it 8’ wide, as then you can move it on a equipment trailer without going through the hastle and expense of getting a wide vehicle permit.

Finally, though my shed is not insulated, finishing the interior of a stick built structure is very simple. Just put in fiberglass batt insulation in the stud cavities and sheath the interior walls. I suggest using pine boards, so you can put a hook or mount a shelf or cabinet at any location.

8×16 makes for a VERY efficient use of materials, and I suggest making the walls a full 7’6” tall, so the T-111 can over lap the rim joists and still give you pretty generous head room.

Good luck with your shed.

-- It’s the knowledge in your head, skill in your hands and motivation to create in you heart that makes you a woodworker. - Mainiac Matt

View Jofa's profile


272 posts in 1802 days

#8 posted 08-23-2013 07:16 PM

Wow guys, thanks for the advice.

GrandpaLen, I think I may stay away from the steel shed based upon what you and others have said. They’re not cheap and I live about a mile from the bay so I wouldn’t expect it to last.

Ok, so I’m in the process of doing a mechanical drawing in Illustrator. I’m going for a finished size of 8×16, based upon the ability to move it when, God willing, we’re able to buy a house of our own.

ManiacMatt, if I go with T-111, I know it comes in 4×8 sheets. However it has an overlap joint where one piece meets the next. That joint is roughly 1/2” (I think). Is the actual dimension 4’ wide or do they take the overlap into account for the ability to hit 16” on center?

Thanks again everybody. I’ll post the drawing once completed.

-- Thank you Lord for the passion and ability to make things from your creation.

View JayT's profile


5587 posts in 2175 days

#9 posted 08-23-2013 07:31 PM

Take a look at Tuff Sheds website. Not that you need to buy one if you are capable of building, but they do show some of the detail of how theirs are built (like here for example), and they are made to be easily moved, as you have indicated you want.

T-111 takes overlap into account to hit on centers.

-- In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock. Thomas Jefferson

View jackthelab's profile


313 posts in 2657 days

#10 posted 08-23-2013 08:02 PM

I don’t know if you have a way to haul a larger trailer but if you are thinking of moving it, I would consider building the shed on a trailer frame much like we do up north with ice fishing houses. That way you would have the setup ready to move in a hurry with little or no time tearing things down and rebuilding in the next location. A while back I got a hold of a free travel trailer off of CL – the structure itself was junk but the frame was complete and solid. Off came the old camper shell – recycled the aluminum and burned the rest. I have a complete mobile 8’ by 14’ trailer deck out of the process. Could easily build a box on it for either storage or work area.

-- Dave in Minnesota - If it ain't broke, improve it!

View nailbanger2's profile


1041 posts in 3107 days

#11 posted 08-23-2013 08:09 PM

I don’t know how much rain you get where you are, but I tear out T-111 siding all the time because of water damage. Vertical seams just don’t work in Florida. Generally what I do is cut out the damage, install 5/8” CDX, cover with Tyvek or felt, and put Hardi-plank over it. I know this doesn’t help in the mobility aspect, but vinyl siding may be an option (horizontal seams).

-- Wish I were Norm's Nephew

View MT_Stringer's profile


3160 posts in 3195 days

#12 posted 08-23-2013 09:40 PM

I went to Home Depot and looked at their sample wooden buildings…even took a few pics. Them I went home and built the largest building my HOA would allow ( 120 sq feet). It is 10×12 and full of junk! Anf hot as the dickens, even though it is made of wood.

My suggestion would be to spend the time and effort to insulate it properly and add a small room AC with a heat strip.
You can thank me later. :-)

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

View Jofa's profile


272 posts in 1802 days

#13 posted 08-24-2013 12:06 AM

Ok, the ideas just keep coming! Awesome!

James101: Yes, whenever my wife’s family comes over to visit. (j/k)
nailbanger2: We get a fair amount but I would think less than Florida. I would think a bead of caulk in the seams? Although, if its humid all year round it probably wouldn’t help that much.
jackthelab: I actually have an old Grand Cherokee V8 which I believe can haul quite a bit. I’d love to build one on a trailer actually. The vid that mummykicks posted (thank you) is insane! The only question would be the size.

You know when I think about it, the shed I’m in now is only 8×12 and honestly I only use 1/2 of it. We have stuff like a washer, dryer and a lot of storage bins on the other side which take up a ton of space. If I could get a trailer on the cheap, I could probably make it work.

-- Thank you Lord for the passion and ability to make things from your creation.

View redSLED's profile


790 posts in 1856 days

#14 posted 08-24-2013 12:49 AM

How about building 2×4 framed walls INSIDE A SHED to hang stuff up and run lighting nicely. Best of both worlds. I’m assuming you’d have a concrete pad?

-- Perfection is the difference between too much and not enough.

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