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Old 11-06-2019, 05:22 PM   #1
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Overbuilt "Shed"


Summary: I'm building a detached workshop (not sure what to call it... not a garage, and too big to be a shed). This is by far the biggest "DIY" project I've ever attempted. As I predicted, I've bitten off more than I can chew. I'm okay with that because that's how you learn and I'm having fun (and I'm the only one who gets hurt if this thing falls down...). Updates may be few and far between because my day job keeps me busy and because my only "help" lives in a different part of the country.

I started two other threads a while ago regarding this project: one soliciting input regarding the concrete floor, and the other seeking non-wood options for sheathing. For the concrete, I ended up biting the bullet and going with the full code-compliant (even though, per the county, I can do "whatever I want" for a building this size) pad with a footer down to the frost line. For the sheathing, I've given up on my goal of not using wood and plan on using 5/8" CDX. I appreciate everyone's input.

Some details:
-The building sits on a 12'x20' concrete pad.
-I'm using structural light gauge steel, and all of the pieces are at least slightly in excess of what's required by code. Studs are 24" on center.
-The walls are 9' high.
-I'm planning for a 3:12 pitch roof, but I haven't cut my rafters yet so I could make it steeper if presented with a compelling reason to do so.
-The main (regular) door is 7'x36", steel.
-I'm also planning on a 5'6" wide roll-up door (not yet in my possession).
-I'm planning on two windows on the long wall opposite the doors.

My dad and brother flew in and helped me start the framing this last weekend.

The steel unloaded and ready to get started. Apparently for an order this size the building supply company would have given me free delivery. The salesman I worked with did not bother to tell me that. I'm still a bit pissed.


This is after two days of work. I'm aware we're slow. I just put the conduit in because there's really no way to get it through the holes later. I'll let the electrician worry about the details (when it comes to electrical, I refuse to DIY anything larger than a light switch).


And after three days... yeah, we're really slow. Jack/king studs at the doors aren't attached at the top yet, which is why they're leaning.

The reason we accomplished so little on the third day is because we discovered the whole building has a twist to it. I'm not sure how to fix this, and I'm hoping people here can give me some ideas.

The whole assembly still racks easily, so I can push on one corner to get that area plumb, but then that obviously screws with the rest of the structure. So, what I'm thinking is that I should un-couple the corners of one wall, at the top, so that I can adjust it independently of the others. Then, once I've got it squared back up, I'd "lock" it in place by putting on at least some of the sheathing, rinse and repeat to get one "good" corner, and so on adjusting the rest of the structure relative to the "good" sections. Thoughts?

Criticism appreciated. The constructive variety would be nice, but I'll take what I can get.
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Old 11-06-2019, 05:55 PM   #2
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Re: Overbuilt "Shed"


Love it. Love the steel framing. Thinking of doing my shed of the same stuff.
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Old 11-06-2019, 06:21 PM   #3
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Re: Overbuilt "Shed"


Looks great so far.

I really like the sit down and look at it chair.
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Old 11-06-2019, 06:29 PM   #4
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Re: Overbuilt "Shed"


I have learned to use the Scotty method of estimating when working on a project. Whatever you think it will take in time and effort... multiply it by four.

This is derived from a small joke in Star Trek - The Search for Spock.

Kirk wants to take a heavily damaged Enterprise back out and is asking Scotty about how long it will take to get the ship operational.

Kirk: How much refit time before we can take her out again?
Scott: Eight weeks, Sir, [Kirk opens his mouth] but ya don't have eight weeks, so I'll do it for ya in two.
Kirk: Mr.Scott. Have you always multiplied your repair estimates by a factor of four?
Scott: Certainly, Sir. How else can I keep my reputation as a miracle worker?

In my case, sometimes it does take four times longer.
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Old 11-06-2019, 06:52 PM   #5
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Re: Overbuilt "Shed"


I think there was a question in there, how do we stop the racking?
Easy. You need temp cross bracing. Pick up some 1x4x12 pine boards to use as cross braces. You may need to loosen up the corners to get the movement you need.
Attach the cross bracing on the inside, attaching a screw in every stud. Try to leave the braces in place until after your exterior sheathing is up.
With your sheathing up and corners tied together it should stay plumb.
This may help,
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Old 11-06-2019, 07:02 PM   #6
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Re: Overbuilt "Shed"


Quote:
Originally Posted by Yodaman View Post
I think there was a question in there, how do we stop the racking?
Easy. You need temp cross bracing. Pick up some 1x4x12 pine boards to use as cross braces. You may need to loosen up the corners to get the movement you need.
Attach the cross bracing on inside, and leave it there until after your exterior sheathing is up.
It's not just that I want to stop the racking (my understanding is that's what the sheathing does), it's that I want to stop the racking AFTER I've deliberately "racked" it to eliminate the twist in the structure. Sorry if that wasn't clear.

Anyway, that seems similar to my approach of loosen the corners, adjust one part so it's good, secure with sheathing, and so on... So good to know I wasn't completely off base.

I tried using diagonal steel strapping but couldn't get it sufficiently taught. My understanding is that diagonal strapping is what they use in commercial construction, but there must be some trick to it, or special tool, that I'm not aware of.
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Old 11-06-2019, 07:09 PM   #7
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Re: Overbuilt "Shed"


Forget the strapping. It only works in tension. Use solid boards. Get the cross braces attached, and the building plumb before you attempt to install sheathing.
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Old 11-07-2019, 11:45 AM   #8
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Re: Overbuilt "Shed"


Don't forget to run a 1x diagonal on two adjacent wall's top plate to keep them square at the top.
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Old 11-07-2019, 11:56 AM   #9
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Re: Overbuilt "Shed"


Quote:
Originally Posted by Yodaman View Post
Forget the strapping. It only works in tension. Use solid boards. Get the cross braces attached, and the building plumb before you attempt to install sheathing.
No matter how tight we pulled them, as soon as we fastened them and let go they went slack. I don't get it, but I've given up on that approach.

I'll get some boards this weekend and try to get everything squared up.
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Old 11-07-2019, 12:06 PM   #10
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Re: Overbuilt "Shed"


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Originally Posted by PatentPending View Post
No matter how tight we pulled them, as soon as we fastened them and let go they went slack. I don't get it, but I've given up on that approach.

I'll get some boards this weekend and try to get everything squared up.
14 ft 2x4s screwed to the bottom and top plates on an angle , keep them low enough to be out of the way for roof members.



An X brace in the center of the wall to the opposing wall will hold them plumb and straight when you work on the roof.
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Old 11-07-2019, 12:08 PM   #11
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Re: Overbuilt "Shed"


Ping me if you need an extra set of hands. I'm around this weekend.
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Old 11-12-2019, 03:49 PM   #12
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Re: Overbuilt "Shed"


Weekend of November 9-November 11 Update
I went with the suggested method of decoupling the corners, squaring the walls, securing with dimensional lumber, and then re-attaching the corners. It's not perfect, but it's gotten to the point that anything I do to try to make it better only seems to make it worse. So, I'm left wondering is it close enough? That's not a rhetorical question. My actual measurements come later in this post, and I'd like to know what people think.

I was able to gradually square the walls individually using ratchet straps until the corner-to-corner diagonal measurements matched (so probably +/- .125", limited by the precision of my tape and measuring technique).



More squaring. Who needs natural light anyway? I ended up having to tweak the small ends, even after doing this, because the bubble in the level was touching the line. I don't understand why, since if the corner-to-corner measurements are the same geometry says it should be perfectly square. Anyway, after adjusting to make the level happy, the corner-to-corner measurements were within 1/2".



My non-door long wall appears to not be "flat" by 1/8" or so. The picture below shows the gap between one of the studs and the chalk line I ran. I decided to let that be, figuring that it could be down to warping of the stabilizing wood*.




The measurements
I measured the flat hypotenuses on the floor and the ceiling as well as the compound hypotenuses. I figured these would give me the best indication of overall "squareness." Please let me know if there was something else I should have measured. The accuracy of these measurements is limited by my measuring technique (see photo below), the 1/8" resolution of the tape, and the fact that I had to kinda "fold" the tape to get to the inside corners. I also haven't corrected these numbers to account for the length of the clip at the end of the tape, because I figure what matters is the differences between the numbers, not the numbers themselves.



Notation: NW(floor)<->SE(ceiling) = Northwest corner at the floor to the southeast corner at the ceiling, etc.

NW(floor)<->SE(floor): 21' 10"
NW(ceiling)<->SE(ceiling): 21' 10.875"

SW(floor)<->NE(floor): 21' 10.75"
SW(ceiling)<->NE(ceiling): 21' 11.125"

NW(floor)<->SE(ceiling): 23' 6.75"
NW(ceiling)<->SE(floor): 23' 8"

SW(floor)<->NE(ceiling): 23' 7"
SW(ceiling)<->NE(floor): 23' 8"

So, after all that, the overall structure seems square to within 1" or so. I honestly don't know if that's any good or not. On the one hand, an error of 1" over 20+ feet is less than half a percent. On the other hand, 1" seems huge considering how carefully I squared up the walls with the ratchet straps. Opinions appreciated.


*Seriously, how do people build houses from dimensional lumber? Does Home Depot keep a secret stack of usable stock that I'm unaware of? I spent hours going through the stacks to find somewhat straight pieces (even resorting to using some 2x6s), but 99% of what was there had some serious Peyronie's disease (I know... it's a serious medical condition and I shouldn't joke, but I think it gets the point across).
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Old 11-12-2019, 04:18 PM   #13
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Re: Overbuilt "Shed"


If you square corner to corner both ways and the end is not plumb, the floor is lot leve, go with the plumb corners

Use the 345 method for checking the building square
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Old 11-12-2019, 04:34 PM   #14
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Re: Overbuilt "Shed"


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If you square corner to corner both ways and the end is not plumb, the floor is lot leve, go with the plumb corners

Use the 345 method for checking the building square
Except for a 3/8" low spot and the relief cuts, the floor is almost perfectly flat and level (according to a regular 6' spirit level; I don't have anything to measure levelness more precisely), so I must have screwed up somewhere. (I'll check the floor again at some point, maybe it sunk or something but I doubt it).

When I last checked yesterday, all of the corners, on both of their sides, had the bubble between the lines. Not always absolutely dead center, but not touching the lines either. Why I had to slightly depart from my matching diagonal measurements to achieve this is beyond me. Maybe my level is slightly off?
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Old 11-12-2019, 04:37 PM   #15
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Re: Overbuilt "Shed"


Quote:
Originally Posted by PatentPending View Post
Except for a 3/8" low spot and the relief cuts, the floor is almost perfectly flat and level (according to a regular 6' spirit level; I don't have anything to measure levelness more precisely), so I must have screwed up somewhere. (I'll check the floor again at some point, maybe it sunk or something but I doubt it).

When I last checked yesterday, all of the corners, on both of their sides, had the bubble between the lines. Not always absolutely dead center, but not touching the lines either. Why I had to slightly depart from my matching diagonal measurements to achieve this is beyond me. Maybe my level is slightly off?
Assuming the top and bottom plates are exactly the same length in each wall.
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