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Old 04-03-2013, 11:49 AM   #1
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Shed Building Advice


I am a fisrt time homeowner and I am looking to build a shed this spring/summer. I worked through HS and college as a cabinetmaker, but have little experience framing, so I figure this would be a good place to run my design ideas through.

Rough idea so far: 10'x12' Gambrel with 7' to 8' sidewalls and 4' door in gable end.


The spot I'm looking to put the shed slopes downhill (front to back) and I am wondering what the best method would be to build the shed floor on.

1. Build it like a deck. I would dig 9 (3 down each side and 3 down the centerline) post holes and set 4x4s on compacted gravel or sakrete. Then cut the posts off level and set the floor framing on the posts.


2. Use piers. I have seen precast concrete footings that sit on grade and accept a 4x4.


3. Option 3 is whatever you guys recommend, if either of my plans don't make sense.






I also have a question on floor framing. I want a nice sturdy floor. I was thinking of running 2x joists 16" OC 5' long with a doubled 2x in the middle to carry the joists, all hung with joist hangers. I know I am not explaining this well!! Basically i would build two 5'x12' floor frames and that would get me my 10'x12' floor area. I would sheet this with 3/4" treated ply. Does this plan sound sturdy? If so what 2x should I use 2x6, 2x8, 2x10, etc...

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Old 04-03-2013, 01:38 PM   #2
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You dont say where you live, so we dont know if you have to plan for frost.

Concrete filled Sonotube would probably be best.

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Old 04-03-2013, 01:52 PM   #3
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I live in SW Ohio.


Pole barn post-holes are required to be 36" deep around here, so I would assume the same for these holes.


With Sonotubes are you saying to dig holes and place Sonotubes in them and cut all the tubes off level with each other then pour concrete to the top of the tubes and set anchors in the concrete for floor framing?


If I am assuming correctly problem with Sonotubes and concrete is the cost, I haven't done the math but I am assuming that Sonotubes and concrete would be considerably more expensive than holes with footings and a 4x4 or 6x6.
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Old 04-03-2013, 03:40 PM   #4
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Ill give you an idea of how I built my deck. Mine as well had a grade difference from front to back (basically 8" difference). My shed is 16x16. I dug down basically as far as I could go (right around frost line as I live in PA) and sunk 4/4 PT posts in the corners and along the runs every 3 or 4 feet (forget which). I then took 2X10 PT lumber and used that as my parimeter. Bolted them fast to the 4x4 posts. In the back where the grade was low I stacked 2 2x10's ontop of eachother. I dug where I needed to so in the end my top was flat and level all the way around. I then fastened 2x4 to the inside of those 2x10's down 5 1/2" from the top (for my floor joists to then rest on). I went and dug down my ground where needed so ground level was below the top of those 2x4's. I then filled with b2 stone up flush with top of 2x4's to support my 2x6 floor joists. Might be alittle confusing the way I said it.
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Old 04-03-2013, 08:32 PM   #5
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Mine is poured concrete slab. Then some 2x4's bolted to concrete then carsiding for sheathing.
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Old 04-06-2013, 08:42 AM   #6
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Reason why I elected not to pour concrete is because then I would need to get a building permit. I only needed a zoning permit since mines not classified as a merminent structure. My permit was also free.
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Old 04-06-2013, 08:48 AM   #7
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A simple slab can also place the siding to close to grade and cause it to rot out.
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Old 04-06-2013, 09:47 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by j.robinson389 View Post
I live in SW Ohio.


Pole barn post-holes are required to be 36" deep around here, so I would assume the same for these holes.


With Sonotubes are you saying to dig holes and place Sonotubes in them and cut all the tubes off level with each other then pour concrete to the top of the tubes and set anchors in the concrete for floor framing?


If I am assuming correctly problem with Sonotubes and concrete is the cost, I haven't done the math but I am assuming that Sonotubes and concrete would be considerably more expensive than holes with footings and a 4x4 or 6x6.
Yes. Buried wood rots eventually, especially the stuff from the big box stores. If you can get real pressure treated where the treatment goes all the way through the wood, that's different. Its hard for you to not get a permit since you do not have level ground and cannot just buy a shed with runners, and make a stone base for it. I guess anything with footings is considered permanent?
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Old 04-06-2013, 10:07 AM   #9
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You are going to have to get a permit reguardless. But the permit needed depends on what kind of shed you will be building. In my area if you are pouring a concrete foundation you need a building permit. If you are building a shed with no concrete foundation (like I did) than you need a zoning permit. But permits are different from area to area.
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Old 04-06-2013, 10:51 AM   #10
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Jason, you mean a slab is not considered permanent? Just trying to clarify.

Thanks, JimA
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Old 04-06-2013, 11:00 AM   #11
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Concrete sonotubes below frost with Simpson brackets to hold the posts work very well. Floor design depends on the load you plan for, sheds can hold very heavy loads if you plan on storing concrete, or very light loads if you only plan to hold a few tools. Easiest way to design the floor is to select your load, then check your local building code for required size of joists and spacing for that load, for example design for 40 pounds per square foot would be about maximum for a room under most building codes.
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Old 04-06-2013, 11:48 AM   #12
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Need to check with your local code on permits.
Around here and other states I have worked, no permit required if 120 square feet or less.
I like the tough shed foundation system with heavy metal studs. And would set it on concrete pads or blocks.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MxrWqyZzosQ

I have not heard how much the ground slopes in 12'. If it is a couple feet, you will want a serious foundation under it to hold it up in the air.
If a foot or so, can probably just block it to level.

Also what type of soil and drainage. If the area gets muddy and swampy at times. setting it on blocks would be a bad idea. Something to consider.
Around here the ground unless watered often, is harder then cement and is no problem to use blocks.
Look at mobile homes, they are bigger then 10'x12' and sitting on blocks.

If you do plant it in the ground, you may now be liable to pay property tax on it.
Do not use 4"x4" post in concrete, they will rot out.
use the sonotube with simpson brackets.
I would stay with 8' walls because sheets come in 8' lengths and saves time cutting each sheet.
Not sure how tall you plan on building that roof. but is a good choice for extra storage.
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Old 04-06-2013, 01:58 PM   #13
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Jagens... what I mean is a slab is considered a perminent structure (in my area) and requires a building permit.
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Old 04-07-2013, 01:07 AM   #14
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I just built a shed last fall, and I don't know where I got this idea from but it seemed like a good idea at the time.

I was in a similar boat, anything larger than 10x12 required a building permit... anything smaller didn't need a concrete foundation. I really wanted to avoid concrete. The shed is 8x10, and as you can see in the picture is kind of more of a house than a shed. That was to please the neighbors, they're still worried about my landscaping.



A lot depends on how much the ground slopes, and then it also depends on where the door is going to face. In my case the ground sloped down about 1' in 10'. So what I did was dug into the hill and made a box with 4x4 PT lumber and then filled it with a combination of stuff. The bottom layer is rocks I found in the yard, busted up concrete that the builders didn't clean up... then on top of that is about a yard of 2" gravel I had from cleaning up a flower bed, followed by 2 yards of 3/4" gravel. Then I placed 6 concrete blocks on top of the gravel, leveled them out and built a foundation using 2x6 PT lumber, with 3/4" PT plywood for the floor, and then framed up from that.

The first layer of 4x4's were fastened down into the ground using 3' 1/2 rebar, then the next layers were screwed together using 6" timberlok screws. So it's pretty tight and it didn't shift over the winter. If I was doing it again though I'd have used 6x6's... I also would have built the pad larger with more than 1' on either side, but I think it's probably adequate... we'll see. It survived one winter.

The other option is to dig out the side of the hill and put in a retaining wall, if you need the door on the downhill side of the slope. My brother did that, but it's an awful lot of digging. You need to dig out an area quite a bit larger and factor in drainage. Keeping in mind the north side is going to be shaded and won't dry out as easily. In my case the north side is downhill which worked out nicely.

Oh, one of my concerns/fears was I didn't want any critters living under the shed. I'm still planning this spring to tack some wire mesh along the bottom and backfill with a bit more gravel. Last thing I needed was a skunk or something making it their home. That's why I didn't put it up on blocks alone.
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Old 04-07-2013, 06:59 AM   #15
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The only thing I did wrong with my shed was the floor. I should have used 3/4" PT plywood but instead I used 3/4" OSB. The osb was free so thats why I used it. But my snowblower is in the shed so when I am done using it for that storm the floor gets wet. I did apply some tompsons water sealer on some of the floor

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