Wood shed design brainstorming, low volume, on a slope

Poindexter

Minister of Fire
Jun 28, 2014
2,185
Fairbanks, Alaska
Friend of mine bought a house, closed Dec 2019. He is on a bit of a slope, burnt about about a cord and half in his new wood stove between Christmas and spring.

He is wanting to store 4 cords. He has multiple young children at home, a full time job, a wife and a time consuming commitment to his church.

4 cords sounds about right to me, but he needs to be able to buy green splits in the spring, fill up his wood storage, and be able to forget about it until burn season.

For cheap he could do cinder blocks and pallets with tarps on top. He does have some budget. Tarps suck. Pallets suck.

I would like to get him setup with a solid floor, no boot catching gaps in it, and a fixed roof.

My best idea so far is to put 2x6 PT floor framing on cinderblocks to hold a 48 x 96 full sheet of plywood, and then put a rim of 2x lumber around the edge so he could have a 1.5" gap on both sides of the stack in the center of the plywood floor. Justify the back layer (16 " splits) to the rim band, 1.5" space, splits in the middle, 1.5" space, splits justified to the front edge.

Make sense? I have a bad drawing.

The good news is he can reach high enough for me to fit one full cord on each floor footprint, the layer in the middle should dry fine, and I am minimizing dirt work since each cord would only have to be leveled to itself. If I try to build one roof and fit four cords under it he will need to hire a bulldozer.

Snow load and rain drift are other problems, we are at 55psf ground snow load here and blowing rain can be a problem in some areas. I visit the site tomorrow, never seen it without snow on it. If I evaluated/anticipated correctly building 5 small sheds to hold four cords is going to need a bulldozer.

If I have to go bananas with side curtains to keep blowing rain out I will have a problem to solve, I think I have the snow load under control.

Ideas welcome. Is a 1.5" gap on each side enough, given a solid floor, enough for the stack in the middle to dry? I think I will be enough, but I would have all my green wood for next year stacked under cover in March.
 

snaple4

Feeling the Heat
Dec 18, 2017
262
AR
I tried to follow your description but I need a drawling and picture of the location. I have drawn up the plans for what I will eventually build and I had to forgo the floor. Those 2x6 or 2x8 floor joists are expensive when all they are doing is holding up firewood. I also like no floor for better airflow as long as you have runners under your stacks.
 

Poindexter

Minister of Fire
Jun 28, 2014
2,185
Fairbanks, Alaska
Local I can get wood dry pretty easy in one summer with a solid floor, and my boots never get caught in the floor gaps, because there aren't any gaps in the floor. Working on a drawing.

Starting point is the local design approved by the Air Quality Police. If you build these you get the box checked on your waiver application. If you build something else you have to go in to the office in person with pictures and supporting documentation.

If you were to internet search 'fairbanks alaska wood shed" this would be one of your first search results:

http://www.fnsb.us/transportation/AQDocs/FNSB woodshed plans 2017.pdf .

I don't love that they have upright PT 4x4 in contact with the cordwood fuel, and the swanky cedar floor is too rich for my blood. Also, local snow load is 55psf ground.

I did my first site visit with bare ground this afternoon, on a 32 foot run the proposed ground only slopes about a foot, but my friend and his wife are both in favor of one cord units that can be repositioned while empty by two adults. It will be a lot easier to level 4 eight foot sections rather than 1 thirty two foot section. There isn't as much slope on the proposed site as I expected, but it would be a difficult croquet field for sure.

I'll get cracking on a drawing. I hope for the finished design to look enough like the one at the top of the .pdf that no questions are asked.
 

Poindexter

Minister of Fire
Jun 28, 2014
2,185
Fairbanks, Alaska
I have drawings for the floor and walls. I need to go back to the BORG (Big Orange Retail Giant) to price 2x6x12 to cut in half for six foot rafters, and I will price strong ties to get out of birdsmouthing the rafters. And bracing. I am planning for one diagonal at each end and two along the back from the middle to the ends. I will probably end up birdsmouthing the rafters to save the two dollars and increase the contact area between posts and rafters.

For the floor, imagine a complete 4x8 sheet of plywood, with the edge of a 2x4 flush with the plywood surface on both 8 foot edges. So the floor is eight feet long and 52" nominal (51 inches actual) deep. That allows a 1.5" air gap on the front and rear faces of the stack down the middle since I am planning to stack left to right in there. - no overhang out into the weather, standard 16 inch splits.

FWIW pricing is Fairbanks, AK, second highest cost of living in the USA after Honolulu, HI. I know a $100 floor for one cord is worth it. Mine have lasted five years and going strong with no more twisted ankles, and no more cussing about trapped feet.

20200518_202501[1].jpg 20200518_202518[1].jpg
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
17,255
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
I don’t like walking on pallets either! But you can set pallets down and lay your plywood on top to avoid the huge cost of a structural floor.

Price out the proper 5 cord shed. Economies of scale. I think it’s silly to have 5 little bogie sheds all over the place like some kind of shanty town.

Tip: the floor does not need to be level.
 

Simonkenton

Minister of Fire
Feb 27, 2014
1,632
Marshall NC

If you want to dry wood fast you need to build a woodshed like the one I invented. The non ventilated wood shed. It works on the principle that water vapor will pass through unstained, unpainted wood walls.
This woodshed relies on heat rather than ventilation. It sets in the sun all day, the sun hits the roof and drives heat into the wood, and the sun keeps the pine walls dry. Also 3 foot roof overhangs all the way around.
This shed is also built on quite a slope. Floor 16 inches off the ground, we want the warm dry air to circulate under the floor.

8x12 feet. Floor of pt 2x12, 16 inch OC, built way in excess of code to take the tremendous weight. Floor of pt 2x6 pine, walls of rough sawn white pine. I get hickory to 17 percent in 8 months.
 
Last edited:

Chris Cringle

New Member
May 11, 2020
5
Virginia
Friend of mine bought a house, closed Dec 2019. He is on a bit of a slope, burnt about about a cord and half in his new wood stove between Christmas and spring.

He is wanting to store 4 cords. He has multiple young children at home, a full time job, a wife and a time consuming commitment to his church.

4 cords sounds about right to me, but he needs to be able to buy green splits in the spring, fill up his wood storage, and be able to forget about it until burn season.

For cheap he could do cinder blocks and pallets with tarps on top. He does have some budget. Tarps suck. Pallets suck.

I would like to get him setup with a solid floor, no boot catching gaps in it, and a fixed roof.

My best idea so far is to put 2x6 PT floor framing on cinderblocks to hold a 48 x 96 full sheet of plywood, and then put a rim of 2x lumber around the edge so he could have a 1.5" gap on both sides of the stack in the center of the plywood floor. Justify the back layer (16 " splits) to the rim band, 1.5" space, splits in the middle, 1.5" space, splits justified to the front edge.

Make sense? I have a bad drawing.

The good news is he can reach high enough for me to fit one full cord on each floor footprint, the layer in the middle should dry fine, and I am minimizing dirt work since each cord would only have to be leveled to itself. If I try to build one roof and fit four cords under it he will need to hire a bulldozer.

Snow load and rain drift are other problems, we are at 55psf ground snow load here and blowing rain can be a problem in some areas. I visit the site tomorrow, never seen it without snow on it. If I evaluated/anticipated correctly building 5 small sheds to hold four cords is going to need a bulldozer.

If I have to go bananas with side curtains to keep blowing rain out I will have a problem to solve, I think I have the snow load under control.

Ideas welcome. Is a 1.5" gap on each side enough, given a solid floor, enough for the stack in the middle to dry? I think I will be enough, but I would have all my green wood for next year stacked under cover in March.
How about this? Built a few years ago. These days it has 2-1/2 cord of Northern red oak. It is 16 ft long, 4ft wide, low end is 6ft floor to under ceiling. Inner wood dries slow but that is ok since I’m 4-5 years ahead now.
 

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kennyp2339

Minister of Fire
Feb 16, 2014
4,900
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Poindexter

Minister of Fire
Jun 28, 2014
2,185
Fairbanks, Alaska
The preliminary decision is to go with four small sheds that hold one cord each and can be moved (while empty) by two adults.

The place for the sheds closest to the stove is inside the horseshoe of the driveway, but there is some concern the children (youngest is five years old) may choose to play behind the wood shed next to the road where Mom can't see them from the house. So mobile sheds for now, move those around the property as needed while the children are small, maybe build in a larger single shed when the kids are a bit older.

I do appreciate the shantytown comment, it is a valid point to have made. I hope I get to build these, I think my thing will work pretty well.

Thanks for the input y'all.
 

max384

Member
Nov 28, 2015
92
Eagle Rock, PA
Here's what I built, it's an 8x12 shed that holds just about 5 cords if stacked to the ceiling. It cost me just about $600, built all with pressure treated wood. It would be half that cost using plain wood.

 
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Poindexter

Minister of Fire
Jun 28, 2014
2,185
Fairbanks, Alaska
Here's what I built, it's an 8x12 shed that holds just about 5 cords if stacked to the ceiling. It cost me just about $600, built all with pressure treated wood. It would be half that cost using plain wood.
Do you have a picture from the side? I am nervous about seasoning quick if airflow between each layer in the stack is to limited.
 

max384

Member
Nov 28, 2015
92
Eagle Rock, PA
Do you have a picture from the side? I am nervous about seasoning quick if airflow between each layer in the stack is to limited.
I don't have a picture, but there is about 2" between each stack, there is 3.5" between each 1x6 side slat, and 1.5" between each floor slat. I don't suspect there will be airflow problems. Too early to tell how well it truly seasons though, as I just built it.