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Old 03-18-2011, 09:30 PM   #1
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Building a shed on blocks


I recently got a bunch of dunage from work. Mostly 4x4 and 4x6's. Its a mixture of oak and fir. I got enough that im going to build the majority of a tool shed out of it. I plan to set some concrete blocks and then run horizontal 4x6's on the block. This is where the bulk of my questions about the shed are, since ive never built anything on blocks. I got 2 16' 4x6's that i plan to use, and then run an 8' in between them on 2' centers. How many blocks would i need? I was originally thinking of putting a block at every joint. But by my count that would be 27 blocks. I would imagine that is totally overkill. Also, do they make blocks that accept a 4x horizontally? Another thing im wondering. Will oak rot faster than fir? I know its harder to work with, but i don't mind that (just have to predrill everything), im just wondering how it will hold up.

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Old 03-19-2011, 06:07 AM   #2
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Building a shed on blocks


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I recently got a bunch of dunage from work. Mostly 4x4 and 4x6's. Its a mixture of oak and fir. I got enough that im going to build the majority of a tool shed out of it. I plan to set some concrete blocks and then run horizontal 4x6's on the block. This is where the bulk of my questions about the shed are, since ive never built anything on blocks. I got 2 16' 4x6's that i plan to use, and then run an 8' in between them on 2' centers. How many blocks would i need? I was originally thinking of putting a block at every joint. But by my count that would be 27 blocks. I would imagine that is totally overkill. Also, do they make blocks that accept a 4x horizontally? Another thing im wondering. Will oak rot faster than fir? I know its harder to work with, but i don't mind that (just have to predrill everything), im just wondering how it will hold up.
If the shed is 8' x16', I would use 3 blocks on the short side and 5 blocks on the long side or 12 blocks all together.
The issue with surface blocks is that they can be subjected to frost heave or movement due to expansive soils. You want to check this out before you build this structure.
Ron

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Old 03-19-2011, 07:37 AM   #3
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Building a shed on blocks


Understand your local codes on sheds to make sure you've setbacks from property lines and any anchoring issues so you can design these into your work plan before you get to far. Blocks may not be acceptable as a foundation since you will have difficulty anchoring to them.
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Old 03-19-2011, 08:05 AM   #4
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Building a shed on blocks


I suggest a bed of gravel under the shed and the blocks go on top of the gravel. (In my case I did not have a complete bed but instead dug pads about 2 x 1 x 1 foot deep which I filled with gravel and put the blocks on these.)

I would use the skid method, that is, for the 8x16 shed, three pieces of dunage on four blocks each going lengthwise (one down the middle) or four pieces of dunage on three blocks each going crosswise. With 2x6 floor joists you can get away with an 8' span using the skids as the rim joists and no skid down the middle lengthwise, but 4x4 floor joists would need support in the middle of an 8' span.
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Old 03-19-2011, 11:44 AM   #5
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Building a shed on blocks


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If the shed is 8' x16', I would use 3 blocks on the short side and 5 blocks on the long side or 12 blocks all together.
The issue with surface blocks is that they can be subjected to frost heave or movement due to expansive soils. You want to check this out before you build this structure.
Ron
no blocks would be needed in the middle of the joists?

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Understand your local codes on sheds to make sure you've setbacks from property lines and any anchoring issues so you can design these into your work plan before you get to far. Blocks may not be acceptable as a foundation since you will have difficulty anchoring to them.
local codes is the reason for using blocks. No permit on a small building on blocks and i can put it wherever i want.


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I suggest a bed of gravel under the shed and the blocks go on top of the gravel. (In my case I did not have a complete bed but instead dug pads about 2 x 1 x 1 foot deep which I filled with gravel and put the blocks on these.)

I would use the skid method, that is, for the 8x16 shed, three pieces of dunage on four blocks each going lengthwise (one down the middle) or four pieces of dunage on three blocks each going crosswise. With 2x6 floor joists you can get away with an 8' span using the skids as the rim joists and no skid down the middle lengthwise, but 4x4 floor joists would need support in the middle of an 8' span.
i hadn't really thought of using skids, im starting to lean towards that method. I'm planning 4x6's not 4x4's.



nobody answered my question about using oak. Does oak rot any faster than fir, or do they rot the same?
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Old 03-19-2011, 01:25 PM   #6
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Building a shed on blocks


If the dunage is used as skids and also put on top of blocks then the dunage can also be the rim joists. For skids directly on the ground you will want the joist assembly, rim joists and all, to be a separate structure on top.

I would think that 2x4 or even 4x4 (regular) joists would sag if subjected to an 8 foot span with no blocks or supports in the middle. Hence my idea of a third skid if not individual blocks under the middle of each joist.
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Old 03-19-2011, 01:31 PM   #7
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Building a shed on blocks


Oak and fir will rot relatively quickly (less than five years) if they are subject to alternate wet/dry cycles, and will rot remarkably fast if they are touching soil. In your case, the wood will be off the ground, which is a big plus. I have a shed out back that has lasted at least from 1959. It is on stones and blocks in the corners and midpoints only, untreated pine lumber for the floors, joists and beams, and it has done quite well because the roof is good, and the framing never gets wet.
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Old 03-19-2011, 02:26 PM   #8
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Building a shed on blocks


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If the dunage is used as skids and also put on top of blocks then the dunage can also be the rim joists. For skids directly on the ground you will want the joist assembly, rim joists and all, to be a separate structure on top.

I would think that 2x4 or even 4x4 (regular) joists would sag if subjected to an 8 foot span with no blocks or supports in the middle. Hence my idea of a third skid if not individual blocks under the middle of each joist.
i plan to use 4x6 as the floor joist/rim joist. im planing to either put blocks down then 4x6's then plywood or skids then 4x6 then plywood. So you guys don't think an 8' 4x6 needs supported in the middle?

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Oak and fir will rot relatively quickly (less than five years) if they are subject to alternate wet/dry cycles, and will rot remarkably fast if they are touching soil. In your case, the wood will be off the ground, which is a big plus. I have a shed out back that has lasted at least from 1959. It is on stones and blocks in the corners and midpoints only, untreated pine lumber for the floors, joists and beams, and it has done quite well because the roof is good, and the framing never gets wet.
so your saying oak rots at the same rate as fir? im well aware of how fir rots but for reason i always though oak rots way easier
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Old 03-19-2011, 03:32 PM   #9
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Building a shed on blocks


Jimmy -Since you have not mentioned where you are, the nit-picking details on the number of blocks lumber size is really not all that important if it blows away and damages a neighbor's home (or yours).

Is it going to be anchored sufficiently to prevent that and is it structurally sound above the foundation?

If you are in never-never land somewhere, all you have to worry about is what you control and the effects. If you are in a wind area, you could be responsible for damage above the neighbor's insurance coverage. Many people have been responsible because of the lack of anchor bolts having nuts on the structure that are intended to anchor it down. - "The Wizard of Oz" is not as rediculous as it seems when you look at the forces of Mother Nature (frost and wind).

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Old 03-19-2011, 06:02 PM   #10
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Jimmy -Since you have not mentioned where you are, the nit-picking details on the number of blocks lumber size is really not all that important if it blows away and damages a neighbor's home (or yours).

Is it going to be anchored sufficiently to prevent that and is it structurally sound above the foundation?

If you are in never-never land somewhere, all you have to worry about is what you control and the effects. If you are in a wind area, you could be responsible for damage above the neighbor's insurance coverage. Many people have been responsible because of the lack of anchor bolts having nuts on the structure that are intended to anchor it down. - "The Wizard of Oz" is not as rediculous as it seems when you look at the forces of Mother Nature (frost and wind).

Dick
im on the oregon coast. It doesn't snow and barely freezes here. As far as wind, we have to worry about our roofing shingles blowing off in a big storm, but thats about it
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Old 03-19-2011, 06:23 PM   #11
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Building a shed on blocks


Jimmy21 -

That sounds like the "Garden of Eden" in Oregon with the great climate and conditions. I hope you do not have any variations or new neighbors and are not too close and you are not too close to the coast.

You sure have a very friendly area, beautiful scenery and some sekected great fishing areas.

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Old 03-19-2011, 08:24 PM   #12
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Building a shed on blocks


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Jimmy21 -

That sounds like the "Garden of Eden" in Oregon with the great climate and conditions. I hope you do not have any variations or new neighbors and are not too close and you are not too close to the coast.

You sure have a very friendly area, beautiful scenery and some sekected great fishing areas.

Dick
eh, it is pretty compared to areas with nothing but fields. But the weather sucks here. 10 day weather forcast is 10 days of rain. Im right on the coast, im maybe 5 miles from the bay, and its another mile or two to the ocean.



To give you more of background story of location of the shed. I'm putting the shed back where an existing "shed" used to be. 5' from the property line. Right next to my garage, which is on the property line, where an alleyway runs behind my house. The buildings on the other side of the alley are commercial properties. I talked to the building inspector when i remodeled my house, and he told me i couldn't rebuild the shed where it is, unless it was on blocks. So i plan to build it on blocks and then a few years down the road jack it up and pour a foundation under it.



heres some pics, pic of where i tore down the old wood shed thing. I plan to put up a fence and then build a shed 5' from the fence. The reason for the little nook, is that to the left of that is where you pull into the garage from the alleyway
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Building a shed on blocks-img00671-20110319-1826.jpg   Building a shed on blocks-img00672-20110319-1826.jpg  

Last edited by jimmy21; 03-19-2011 at 08:41 PM.
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Old 03-19-2011, 10:15 PM   #13
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Building a shed on blocks


It sound like you have a long term plan that will be O.K. as you and the area change together. - Good plan!!

Just don't get lost in the details.

It would be nice to be where there were just fields, but the trees and 10,000 lakes break things up too much, so we have thousands of miles of highly priced lake shore land (some lakes up to 500 ot 1000 miles of shore) paid for by people that can for it as a second home.

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