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wombosi 11-24-2008 05:03 PM

how to frame shed?
will be building a 10X12 shed with my neighbor.
thinking either "floating" on cinder blocks, or on 4X4s just on the ground flat.

question is, how wold you guys frame the walls - 2X4, 4X4 posts, 2X6?
just build it like a regular house wall, 16OC, framed for doors and windows, then lay the rafters on the plates, and bing?

seems like 4X4s would need to be anchored, and a 2X4 might be easier with a bottom plate to connect to the 4X4s or lay on the cinder blocks.
also, in between 4X4s would need additional framing for doors and windows, anyway, right?

i'm thinking 2X4 walls, and X8 or X10 rafters.


(the shed will be the son's kind of "clubhouse," where he plans on camping out a bit, but presumably down the road it would be used for storing tools, bikes, etc...)

kevin211mvd 11-24-2008 05:13 PM

I would never build even a shed on just cinder blocks floating on the ground... For something as easy as a 10x12 shed I would build a small form and pour concrete for it..

curapa 11-24-2008 05:49 PM

Pouring a slab would be the best solution. You will probably end up saving time and money with a slab, then you don't have to deal with joists and plywood and it will be much easier to level.

I would use 2x4 walls, 2x6 ceiling joists, 2x6 rafters, 2x6 headers, 9/16 plywood.

There is no need for the larger dimensional lumber for such a small span, only use the larger joists if you are using the top for storage.

wombosi 11-24-2008 05:59 PM

thanks guys.

so, no need to dig down to pour the slab? just make a 2X6 form and fill it up?

so, you recommend framing a ceiling in addition to the roof? why not just the roof?

i don't think this space will be insulated.

thanks again.

curapa 11-24-2008 06:07 PM

Clear out the grass and then dig whatever is needed in order to get your form level. 3 1/2 inches should be a sufficient thickness for your needs unless you need the additional height to be above the surrounding grade.

I always like putting ceiling joists in to prevent the blowout of the walls, it is very doable to only install collar ties but I like having the additional storage space.

wombosi 11-24-2008 06:10 PM

thanks, bud.

so, for the traditional shed, one wall would be about a foot higher than the other, to slope the roof, right? then you're saying, from inside, just level some ceilings joists from the low wall across, then lay the rafters (with crow's mouth notching?) between the two plates?

or, the side wall plates would be at an angle. how do you deal with that?

as for walls, just tapcon the bottom plates into the slab?

thanks again. this is very helpful.

wombosi 11-24-2008 06:15 PM

one more question.
assuming 10X12 and 3.5" inches deep, roughly how many bags of concrete would i need?

here in the already freezing northeast, can concrete be poured/cured this time of year? cover it with hay or something?


curapa 11-24-2008 06:28 PM

Actually, I was referring to a gable roof for your shed which is more common in my area.

For the roof you are referring to, no ceiling joist would be needed.

A birds mouth would be needed on both ends of the rafter for best results.

Case-hard nails would be used to attach the plates to the floor.

Here is an online concrete calculator

I do not know about the curing of your slab, I would assume you would cover it with poly and let is sit a bit longer. I am in a warm climate.

kevin211mvd 11-24-2008 06:31 PM

Yea if it is extremly freezing you can add some antifreeze the the concrete.

wombosi 11-24-2008 06:40 PM

thanks. yeah, i want to convince my neighbor to do a gabled roof as i think it looks better and is more functional.

curapa 11-24-2008 06:43 PM


Originally Posted by schmolze (Post 189711)
thanks. yeah, i want to convince my neighbor to do a gabled roof as i think it looks better and is more functional.

I agree :thumbsup:

wombosi 11-24-2008 06:43 PM

while we're at it, how do you usually build gabled roof rafters without using pre-assembled trusses? somehow temporarily rig up the ridge board, then just attach the mitered rafters to it, with a bird's mouth at the bottom?

thanks guys. this is great.

curapa 11-24-2008 07:39 PM

Cut the rafters and install the gable end wall rafters. You can nail them at the birds mouth and have someone hold the top. Once the two opposing rafters are installed you can lean them against each other and move to the other gable to repeat the process.

When the 4 rafters are in place you can lift the ridge up from underneath and fasten the rafters to it. If necessary you can nail blocks on the top of the ridge where the rafters will go which will support the whole assembly while you nail the rafters.

I hope this is clear, it's kind of hard to explain here.

wombosi 11-24-2008 08:08 PM

that is perfectly clear, thanks.

any tips for how to know how to measure for length without the ridge piece installed first? in other words, how to know how long to cut each rafter so that they line up at the top, in the middle, with 1.5" between them?

to match the roof pitch of the house, do you essentially go up on the roof and hold a protractor to the ridge, or is there a simpler way?

also, how long do let the ridge board overhang the end walls? how do you build an overhang?

i noticed on my garage that the roof sheathing sticks about about a foot or so, and just has a "floating" rafter hanging from the sheathing, as far as i can tell (built in the early 1900s).

thanks man.

curapa 11-24-2008 08:55 PM

To cut the rafters you need to first figure your run.

Take your overall measurement from outside plywood to outside plywood, subtract 1 1/2 (ridge) and divide by 2, this will give you your run.

Example - overall building is 10' or 120", subtract 1 1/2 = 118 1/2",
divide by 2 = 59 1/4 run

To figure your rafter length you will need to know your pitch, lets say its a 6/12.

Easy method - buy a construction calculator and punch in the numbers.

Harder method - Take your framing square and hold the longer side of the square at 12" and the shorter side at 6", mark both ends of the square.
This will be done across the face of the rafter with 12" and 6" on the top or crown of the rafter. This translates that every 12" you move over it will rise 6".

Figure how many times that 12" will go into your run, in this case 12" will go into 59 1/4", 4 times with 11 1/4 left over.

This means you will have to mark the 6/12 pattern from the framing square 4 times on the rafter, repeating the process as you move up the rafter.

Once you have marked the pattern 4 times you will then need to measure over the remainder 11 1/4" and scribe a 6/12 where that mark is.

Those are the basics for laying out a rafter with a square, if its unclear, practice on some scrap wood and it may seem more obvious.

If you'd like you can let me know what your overall is after you have the frame up and I can give you the lengths. It is important to build the walls first and then measure your overall, do not assume it is what it's supposed to be.

To find your homes roof pitch you essentially do as you described. I usually check at the ridge where the two facia boards meet or you can use a level and make a plumb mark anywhere on the rafter then put your square on it to find the pitch.

I would make the overhang on a shed 12"

For the overhang on the gable ends - Let your ridge and ban board extend past the walls 12", then just insert a rafter without a bird mouth between the two and nail in place. With such a short span you shouldn't need any additional support.

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