gthomas785 Massive Wood Shed Build (progress thread)

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gthomas785

Minister of Fire
Feb 8, 2020
714
Central MA
I'm finally making good progress on building my wood shed, with the help of my wife. I'm posting this thread just to share the process and design, in case anyone is interested.

The woodshed was designed entirely by me, in my head, and I have minimal drawings. Here are a couple sketches of the front & side elevation to give you a general idea. Building code in my area specifies that "single story, accessory buildings under 200 square feet" do not require a building permit, and I do not want to deal with permitting so I factored that into my design and made it 8' x 24' = 192 square feet.
20220328_102839_HDR.jpg
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This will be a post and beam structure with no floor. My plan is to grade the surface under the structure for good drainage, then put down a plastic vapor barrier with crushed stone on top and build my stacks on that. So, the only foundation I need is the footings for the posts.

Also, I don't have a plan for walls either. I want to allow good air flow through the sides so I may just put some horizontal slats, or I might just build the walls out of firewood. We'll see. My main priority is creating a roof that I can stack my wood under.

I started out last fall, laying out the foundation with string and batter boards (actually used one of my wood stacks as a tie off point, why not) then marked the locations for the holes. I rented an 18" auger mounted to a skidsteer for a day and went to town. Frost depth is 48 inches here so these are some serious holes.
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The auger actually leaves quite a bit of loose dirt in the bottom of the hole. I used a post hole digger to remove it (after briefly experimenting with a shop vac) to get down to undisturbed soil.

Then, we mixed concrete by hand for what felt like a week. I poured about 2 bags of concrete into each open hole as a "foot", and then used a 10"
sonotube to reach the grade level. In this picture you can see the sonotubes after they were poured with a 1/2" anchor bolt in each. I put the string line back up and positioned the anchor bolts as close to exact as possible.
20210918_142039_HDR.jpg


That was all we accomplished last fall before the snow & cold set in. Starting in about late February, I reached out to a local sawmill (actually right down the street from me) to get a quote for the framing lumber. They delivered it on 3/19.

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Great. Now I guess I have to actually build this thing. I'm using notch or half lap and carriage bolted joints for all the big framing members. Don't want it falling down on me!

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The building inspector showed up..
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The full length of the main carrying beams is too long to handle so I made them in two pieces. Spliced with an "under-squinted half lap joint" which is bolted together vertically and will end up being supported by one of the angle braces.

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This is how far we got by Sunday afternoon
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The next steps will be to plumb up the front posts and finish adding all the angle braces. Then I can remove the temporary bracing and bolt the front beam in place and after that I can start setting the roof rafters. I'll update with additional posts as the build progresses.
 
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DonTee

Minister of Fire
Dec 1, 2021
647
Upstate NY
Nice! I’m building a woodshed right now also. Mine is much smaller at 7x14. The max size allowed in my area is 140 sq ft. My inspector doesn’t care though. He was at my house recently and just kind of glanced at my outbuildings.

Your shed looks really nice though. You’re building it the right way. Mine is kind of backwoods style.
 

clancey

Minister of Fire
Feb 26, 2021
2,390
Colorado
Give that inspector some cat food...maybe he will let you used the 8 inch difference if the man cat has a full belly..Everything is looking wonderful and what building skills you all have--wonderful. Very nice pictures..I love pictures...clancey
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
6,153
Long Island NY
Watching; mine was built last spring (18*8), and it's all good to see another one come together.
 
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GreenMountainBoy

New Member
Aug 17, 2020
28
Western MA
This is one of those things that gets under my skin, even though in my town any size "non-permanent" "movable in theory" structure is okay. Our only restriction is you need a building permit, and I'm okay with that. Given the average American's skills these days, half of their builds would be falling or burning down sans an inspector.

Anyway, to make my point, whose business is it what size YOU build YOUR structure on YOUR property? Do whatever the heck you want to do. If the neighbors aren't happy with it, let them settle it in court. That's what courts are for. But I wouldn't think there would be a problem if you discuss your plans with the neighbors beforehand and don't build anything that looks out of place.

We need to start keeping government out of our business.
 

vbu

Burning Hunk
Mar 3, 2019
150
MS
What kind of brackets did you use on the concrete and are you happy with them? I ordered some from amazon that looked really good and they were indeed heavy, but turned out they weren't very sturdy.
 

gthomas785

Minister of Fire
Feb 8, 2020
714
Central MA
What kind of brackets did you use on the concrete and are you happy with them? I ordered some from amazon that looked really good and they were indeed heavy, but turned out they weren't very sturdy.
I used these
 
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gthomas785

Minister of Fire
Feb 8, 2020
714
Central MA
Quick update:
Last weekend we were away so didn't make any progress. This past Friday afternoon, we got a visit from the Historic commissioner. Apparently "someone" reported that we were building "a structure" in the Historic District, and he had to come check it out. Once he saw it he seemed totally unconcerned given how far back from the street it is. Since it's under 200 sqft I don't think he could have stopped us anyway, but he just wished us a good day and left.

Saturday morning I finished up the last 6 diagonal braces and started in on the roof. I had just gotten the first section of ridge beam temporarily supported when we got a surprise hail storm so I had to dash inside rescuing all my tools, and spent the afternoon in the shop with my wife cutting the rest of the rafters. Sunday we got about 2/3 of them put up.

Since this is such an open structure at the bottom I have been paranoid about the roof catching the wind and blowing apart. So I used 6" timberloks to secure the rafters where they meet the plate beam, and put 3-4 toe nails at the ridge and there will also be collar ties on every other rafter pair.

20220410_141834_HDR.jpg
 

Osage

Feeling the Heat
Nov 3, 2011
336
kansas
Very nice shed, I'm jealous.
 

Caw

Minister of Fire
May 26, 2020
1,331
Massachusetts
Looks awesome! I live nearby and am thinking of doing something very similar. I came up with some rough numbers but am curious...may I ask a ballpark what this project is going to run you?

I was thinking about doing it this year but we have some other stuff that will take priority like rebuilding our side entry stairs and fixing up the deck with new posts and railings. With high material costs im not sure ill be able to swing it all in one year. Also these smaller projdcts are more manageable with my bum shoulder. I think im likely stuck with tarps for another year or two.
 

gthomas785

Minister of Fire
Feb 8, 2020
714
Central MA
Looks awesome! I live nearby and am thinking of doing something very similar. I came up with some rough numbers but am curious...may I ask a ballpark what this project is going to run you?

I was thinking about doing it this year but we have some other stuff that will take priority like rebuilding our side entry stairs and fixing up the deck with new posts and railings. With high material costs im not sure ill be able to swing it all in one year. Also these smaller projdcts are more manageable with my bum shoulder. I think im likely stuck with tarps for another year or two.
At today's lumber prices for all of the rough sawn, PT posts, $$$ hardware, plywood for the roof, shingles, concrete, and the equipment rental for digging the footings I have about $3500 invested so far. I may buy some more 1x for siding but I'm not committed to that. It's not the cheapest design, that's for sure. My hope is that it will outlast me and then some.
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
6,153
Long Island NY
For another datapoint:

Mine was about $2500.

Deck blocks (for $1 a piece on CL) on 18"x18" concrete pads. 2x10 joists. For the gapped floor I used some new, but mostly repurposed 2x8 and 2x10 old deck joists (free, also from CL) . I do recommend scouring CL (or if you're on facebook, they have a marketplace too) for old decking beams. Not the top boards but the beams - they are often good, and it gives a sturdy flooring - you won't see it anyway if they are discolored. Folks have to get rid of them when they tear down old decks. For some nail pulling you get quite good lumber.

4x4 posts in the deck blocks. That (floor+posts) is all PT.

The roof is 2x4 rafters + OSB + (feltpaper and) shingles. Drip edge, fascia. Did use hurricane ties and joist hangers from Simpson.

(And yes, I have diagonal 2x4 braces in the middle of the bays - allows me to access the full face of the wood bays (on both sides) and provides additional support perpendicular to the stacks in the middle of the bay.
And no, the roof is not sagging - I did put a laser along it, and it's straight. This is some camera deformation.)


IMG_20211212_151409274.jpg
 

Caw

Minister of Fire
May 26, 2020
1,331
Massachusetts
Thanks doe sharing! Those are about the price points I was anticipating. I tough calculated around $2,500 for my project.

@stoveliker Where do you age your wood? That's some wonderful stacking but surely the stuff in the middle isn't seeing much air.
 

DonTee

Minister of Fire
Dec 1, 2021
647
Upstate NY
I just built a 7x14’ (usable area) woodshed with 7’ high roof in the back and 9’ high roof in the front. I got the wood (hemlock) from the Amish, and metal roof from Home Depot.

I have about 400$ into it.

I didn’t use any PT wood on mine. I figure if there are 100+ year old barns with their original posts and beams still around, my woodshed should last at least the rest of my life :)
Obviously using PT lumber for the posts is the best way to go. And if my building had been big enough to need a permit I would have had to use it.

Just as an example of how cheap Amish lumber is here, a 4x4x16 hemlock post is 14$.

Here’s a pic of mine. I still need to trim the rafters on the front side. And I’m thinking about adding more slats on the side. I have some extra lumber.

81DE3600-E48B-46EC-A3B1-2E3591AFDC18.jpeg
 
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stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
6,153
Long Island NY
@stoveliker Where do you age your wood? That's some wonderful stacking but surely the stuff in the middle isn't seeing much air.

In my backyard. I do have 4-5" between the stacks, and the wind blows thru that coming from the North, i.e. the Sound, at least every evening. The sun is baking the roof also, and there are 3" gaps between the floor boards. So the hot air under the roof convects out and is replenished by air from the side or from under the shed - it's off the ground after all due to the deck blocks.

But, in the end I read that @Highbeam stacks his shed (that I more or less copied) tightly and does not have an issue with inside wood not being dry. And he is not off the ground (except for plastic pallets I believe).

We'll see.
 
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Caw

Minister of Fire
May 26, 2020
1,331
Massachusetts
I just built a 7x14’ (usable area) woodshed with 7’ high roof in the back and 9’ high roof in the front. I got the wood (hemlock) from the Amish, and metal roof from Home Depot.

I have about 400$ into it.

I didn’t use any PT wood on mine. I figure if there are 100+ year old barns with their original posts and beams still around, my woodshed should last at least the rest of my life :)
Obviously using PT lumber for the posts is the best way to go. And if my building had been big enough to need a permit I would have had to use it.

Just as an example of how cheap Amish lumber is here, a 4x4x16 hemlock post is 14$.

Here’s a pic of mine. I still need to trim the rafters on the front side. And I’m thinking about adding more slats on the side. I have some extra lumber.

View attachment 294677

I agree that you really don't need to use much PT lumber. Posts only, if any. It's typically more expensive and crappy quality wood anyways. I hate using it. I've spend 45 min finding good straight posts at home depot. Sometimes a whole pallet will only have 2 or 3 good ones. We have a local reclaimed lumber yard that im goint to check first though. Some 100 year old 6x6 or 8x8 beams would be ideal!

All this shed talk makes me want to get started! Patience Caw, patience. ::-)
 
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brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
7,505
NE Ohio
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Caw

Minister of Fire
May 26, 2020
1,331
Massachusetts
There's your problem, don't buy lumber from Home Depot it's terrible

Oh I totally agree. We have a good local lumber yard I usually go to and another reclaimed lumber place about 45 min away for anything fancy/exotic. Home Depot suited my point though lol...regardless of where you get it I still think most PT is crap. I only use it when necessary for ground contact or exposed posts.
 

hedge wood

Feeling the Heat
Mar 1, 2009
311
Eastern NE
Every ones areas are different. But I would look for some used telephone of electric poles to use to put up some wood sheds. I have many equipment and cattle sheds that been been holding up with used poles for forty years. I have built a lot of sheds with used lumber and then put new metal on to make it look like a new shed.
 
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stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
6,153
Long Island NY
I would. Warmer there. Airflow between rafters is good. As long as it doesn't fall over it should be fine.

I put unstackable knotty pieces there. Warmer means dry when the rest is dry, and nothing going on top of oddly shaped pieces