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Thread: Backyard shed/structure

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    Default Backyard shed/structure

    Well, Mrs. RW has been asking me to build a shed for a bit...20 years or so...and I've been putting it off, as our extra garage bay has been able to handle the storage duties. She recently threw a new twist at me...indoor potting bench, garden supply area, etc. So, I'm starting to get a bit more serious about the project and with this craziness going on in the world, it might be a good project to help one blow off some steam and practice some social distancing, as I can assure you that my friends and brothers in law will avoid my house like the plague, if there is work going on.

    I'm initially thinking about a 12' x 16' footprint and I'm going to match the roofline and trim details of our house (9/12) and although the structure would sit about 100' or so from the house, I'm as picky as any VSalonista about details...siding, windows, paint, etc. Post some photos if you don't mind and your insight about what you would do or not do again. I built a 16' x 20' structure years ago at our old house so although I'm 20 years older, I'm ok with the technical and physical sides of the project. I just want to be smarter about the details and super efficient about the use of materials and design features. Thanks...image attached as an example.

    rw saunders
    everything is connected

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    Default Re: Backyard shed/structure

    way too much detail in that house to be cost effective at that size

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    Default Re: Backyard shed/structure

    Well for starters, why does that shed double door open to a 1 foot drop? I have nothing else to add...
    Jason Babcock

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    Default Re: Backyard shed/structure

    Slab on grade or wood floor?

    I’m guessing that this is a project where you aren’t necessarily wanting ‘bang for the buck?’
    ‘The Earth is not dying, it is being killed, and those that are killing it have names and addresses-‘ Utah Phillips

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    Default Re: Backyard shed/structure

    I get it, a place for Mrs. to contemplate worms and life. I've got very little to add wrt structure however I grew up in a house which included an attached greenhouse. My bedroom window opened into the greenhouse. Waking to the smells of blooming cataleyas, cymbidiums haunts me to this day.

    Suggestions for inside: work benches designed to accommodate specific large rubbermaid containers for holding potting mixtures etc, one small growing table (basically a waffle slab thin set concrete base with redwood sides) for starts, deep utility sink, let in as much light as possible and add a few glass shelves for "pet" plants.

    That's all.

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    Default Re: Backyard shed/structure

    My neighbor built a "modern shed," lots of glass, sloping roof, etc. for under $1500. 10x10 flies just under the radar of building codes. It's nice. Can do yoga in it, or play guitar, or what have you. It does not look ornate like that, but it's a nice compliment to all the old cottages in the neighborhood. Lots of plans for stuff like that out there. I kinda want one. There are prefabs out there if you want to get spendy.

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    Default Re: Backyard shed/structure

    In my work I deal with commercial shed manufacturers. This company in NH is top notch and doesn't cut corners. Shed Styles | Reeds Ferry Sheds

    They have some nice designs and a display yard at their factory if you can make it there.

    Thoughts, low maintenance, metal roof (if the style fits) , hardy plank and Azek trim boards. If you do a cupola, Azek trim and PVC lumber are your friends. Make sure you clear enough trees so moss and growth don't make cleaning it a regular thing. Think ahead 10 years, would you want to paint it?

    Don't skimp on the hardware, stainless steel if you can get it, especially if you're near the ocean. If you're not rural, security, translucent windows and solid locks.

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    Default Re: Backyard shed/structure

    Thanks for the insight folks...very helpful. Rowdy...the floor structure is projected to be wood framing with treated lumber built on treated posts. A concrete slab triggers the next level of building plan submission around here, as the building code officials are afraid that one's Mother-in-law might take up residence or that a shed turns into an Airbnb. That Reeds Ferry site will keep me occupied for a bit.
    rw saunders
    everything is connected

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    Default Re: Backyard shed/structure

    RW,
    As you may remember I’m recently retired. I will offer my limited superintendent skills in trade for bread, pizza, grilled meat and Mrs. RW’s great meals. If done right this could be a great stop over on my way to up state NY where I will be caretaking Jorn’s property.

    Mike

    PS I need hot water and AC.
    Mike Noble

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    Default Re: Backyard shed/structure

    Quote Originally Posted by rwsaunders View Post
    Thanks for the insight folks...very helpful. Rowdy...the floor structure is projected to be wood framing with treated lumber built on treated posts. A concrete slab triggers the next level of building plan submission around here, as the building code officials are afraid that one's Mother-in-law might take up residence or that a shed turns into an Airbnb. That Reeds Ferry site will keep me occupied for a bit.
    While you're playing at with their design tool, whip up a 6' x 10' American Classic and you'll see mine.

    20180815_174820.jpg

    My only advice is to upsize. I wish we had!
    GO!

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    Default Re: Backyard shed/structure

    Quote Originally Posted by mnoble485 View Post
    RW,
    As you may remember I’m recently retired. I will offer my limited superintendent skills in trade for bread, pizza, grilled meat and Mrs. RW’s great meals. If done right this could be a great stop over on my way to up state NY where I will be caretaking Jorn’s property.

    Mike

    PS I need hot water and AC.
    Would you accept cold water and a paper fan? I might have some leftover sterno canisters from my trout fishing days as a teenager. I am sure they are still okay. I only used them a couple times in 1978.

    My sister-in-law built a lean-to off the back of her garage. The garage back faced east, so the lean-to's longest wall faced east as well. Long rectangle with the upper half of the east wall windows all the way across - what appears to be called "awning windows" by manufacturers. Across the back wall (the garage) long tools (rakes etc.,) storage, sink, hose, fertilizer, etc. with a long work bench. The window side had the potting bench and shelves for seedling flats. Their garage was slightly bigger than a 1.5 car garage, so a decent length lean-to. All those windows gave it some green house function. The floor was wood slats over gravel. Roof was tin.

    Might be too rustic for what you are planning. I think one of the advantages was their garage already had water and power. I think they put in a heater but can't remember any insulation. Could be too cold for PA.
    Last edited by j44ke; 03-25-2020 at 12:27 PM.
    Jorn Ake
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    Default Re: Backyard shed/structure

    Quote Originally Posted by mnoble485 View Post
    PS I need hot water and AC.
    Mike...you Prima Donna you.
    rw saunders
    everything is connected

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    Default Re: Backyard shed/structure

    Quote Originally Posted by rwsaunders View Post
    Thanks for the insight folks...very helpful. Rowdy...the floor structure is projected to be wood framing with treated lumber built on treated posts. A concrete slab triggers the next level of building plan submission around here, as the building code officials are afraid that one's Mother-in-law might take up residence or that a shed turns into an Airbnb. That Reeds Ferry site will keep me occupied for a bit.
    If you are in an IBC location(most incorporated locals/cities/towns are) then chances are keep is under 200' sqr and out of the setback, no permit required. Just hold off on electrical till the dust settles.
    Nick Crumpton
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    Default Re: Backyard shed/structure

    Quote Originally Posted by Markco View Post
    In my work I deal with commercial shed manufacturers. This company in NH is top notch and doesn't cut corners. Shed Styles | Reeds Ferry Sheds

    They have some nice designs and a display yard at their factory if you can make it there.

    Thoughts, low maintenance, metal roof (if the style fits) , hardy plank and Azek trim boards. If you do a cupola, Azek trim and PVC lumber are your friends. Make sure you clear enough trees so moss and growth don't make cleaning it a regular thing. Think ahead 10 years, would you want to paint it?

    Don't skimp on the hardware, stainless steel if you can get it, especially if you're near the ocean. If you're not rural, security, translucent windows and solid locks.
    Marko...any experience with, or opinion on these folks? Thanks

    Amish Sheds, Barns, Garages, Homes, Cabins & Pavilions | Weaver BarnsWeaver Barns | Amish Barns, Sheds, Cabins, & Homes
    rw saunders
    everything is connected

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    Default Re: Backyard shed/structure

    A word on alternate building materials. Hardie board and plank seems waterproof but it ain’t. It starts to assplode after a few years of freeze/thaw. PVC is poison, and it wanders like mad and expands beyond control in longer lengths. However, Boral which is made from fly ash, has served as a ramp to my homemade bog bridge and is still solid after a few years of ground contact in an actual bog.

    Like any structure, study and mind your details. Corners, flashing, window surrounds, base of wall. I wouldn’t just walk away from that cupola, I’d run. It’s those details, that if you get wrong, will turn the shed into food for carpenter ants (or whatever eats wet wood in your neighborhood). Keep it simple, Saunders.
    Last edited by thollandpe; 04-18-2020 at 07:53 PM.
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    Default Re: Backyard shed/structure

    Quote Originally Posted by thollandpe View Post
    A word on alternate building materials. Hardie board and plank seems waterproof but it ain’t. It starts to assplode after a few years of freeze/thaw. PVC is poison, and it wanders like mad and expands beyond control in longer lengths. However, Boral which is made from fly ash, has served as a ramp to my homemade bog bridge and is still solid after a few years of ground contact in an actual bog.

    Like any structure, study and mind your details. Corners, flashing, window surrounds, base of wall. I wouldn’t just walk away from that cupola, I’d run. It’s those details, that if you get wrong, will turn the shed into food for carpenter ants (or whatever eats wet wood in your neighborhood). Keep it simple, Saunders.
    I will second that.
    Jay Dwight

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    Default Re: Backyard shed/structure

    My head tells me: find a basic prefab that you can update with desired modifications. Then you could have a shed on the ground fast, for less (reward yourself with a cocktail and the afternoon off) in which you tack up your plans (reward yourself again for being a forward thinker) and then execute your plans one mod at a time (reward each time).

    Might only take 10 more years?

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    Default Re: Backyard shed/structure

    Quote Originally Posted by thollandpe View Post
    Hardie board and plank seems waterproof but it ain’t.... However, Boral which is made from fly ash, has served as a ramp to my homemade bog bridge and is still solid after a few years of ground contact in an actual bog.
    Funny thing: both Hardie and Boral are Australian companies. Hardie board used to contain a lot of asbestos, its absence may be why the new formulation doesn't withstand freeze thaw.

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    Default Re: Backyard shed/structure

    Quote Originally Posted by rwsaunders View Post
    Thanks for the insight folks...very helpful. Rowdy...the floor structure is projected to be wood framing with treated lumber built on treated posts. A concrete slab triggers the next level of building plan submission around here, as the building code officials are afraid that one's Mother-in-law might take up residence or that a shed turns into an Airbnb. That Reeds Ferry site will keep me occupied for a bit.
    If you are thinking of a wood framed floor on posts I would recommend steel ground screws (assuming ground screws do not put it up a level of Building Planning). We had a shed built two years ago and, although we had someone else build it, I watched the process and ground screws seemed much easier to set in place and get level than wooden posts. The pictures illustrate the progression. The wood framed floor was pre-fabricated to fit the ground space and then used as a template to mark the location of the ground screws (two of which are shown partially inserted with a pile on the ground ready to go in).

    I appreciate the finished shed in our case is not quite what you want but the wood framed floor has worked well for us and should be good for many decades.


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    Default Re: Backyard shed/structure

    Quote Originally Posted by rwsaunders View Post
    Well, Mrs. RW has been asking me to build a shed for a bit...20 years or so...and I've been putting it off, as our extra garage bay has been able to handle the storage duties. She recently threw a new twist at me...indoor potting bench, garden supply area, etc. So, I'm starting to get a bit more serious about the project and with this craziness going on in the world, it might be a good project to help one blow off some steam and practice some social distancing, as I can assure you that my friends and brothers in law will avoid my house like the plague, if there is work going on.

    I'm initially thinking about a 12' x 16' footprint and I'm going to match the roofline and trim details of our house (9/12) and although the structure would sit about 100' or so from the house, I'm as picky as any VSalonista about details...siding, windows, paint, etc. Post some photos if you don't mind and your insight about what you would do or not do again. I built a 16' x 20' structure years ago at our old house so although I'm 20 years older, I'm ok with the technical and physical sides of the project. I just want to be smarter about the details and super efficient about the use of materials and design features. Thanks...image attached as an example.

    Things to consider:

    In plan you’re on a 4’ module and so are being efficient with sheet siding materials there. Eight foot wall height will help maintain the sheet goods efficiency. 45 degree roof pitch minimizes sheet siding goods waste.

    Does a wooden floor make sense for potting duties? Might a gravel (angular, not round rock) floor contained by a CMU perimeter stem-wall make more sense? I’m not a fan of wooden ground floor structures. If it’s going to be air conditioned you’re just making a flat plate condenser out of wood, which = rot. If you do use wood I’d use PT throughout floor, including 5/4 PT floorboards (not plywood), screwed, all allowed to dry well before construction.

    Freeze/know window and door rough openings against whatever is most common (on sale?) in your area.

    Consider installing a couple of bona fide hard points at the peak for connection of fall protection lines for when you need to replace shingles, paint the cupola (that I'd run away from as someone else noted) or otherwise work on the roof. Easy and cheap at framing time.

    And mind the flashing and other details as someone else noted.

    Extra roof overhang (like a foot and a half) adds weather protection to the siding and can prevent water from being blown into the roof/show-siding gable end junction (like on the pic). It also reduces roof run-off splash on lower reaches of siding. Might not be architecturally consistent but something to consider.

    Is natural light wanted from the roof?

    Want a meaningful exhaust fan to scavenge pesticide/rodenticide/herbicide/other fumes?

    Window boxes look like an invitation to rot. Space them away from the wall or do something so it isn't a problem for the siding.

    Frame doors, windows & sill plates in PT.

    Attic trusses afford an….attic floor(!) for storing the junk that you’ll just end up selling later.

    Ground contact PT lumber, assuming there’s still a diff.

    Let any PT columns dry thoroughly before use (order well in advance) and tar buried ends to, say, 6” above grade.

    Wire for stereo?

    Set elevation so sheet flow water isn’t a problem. Err high.

    More deadwood installed in walls, for attaching stuff later, is better than less. The trick is guessing where.

    Steps up to doors will bounce rain up and weather that area more quickly; maybe a little roof at the entry. It's also nice when you dash out there after the deluge and lightening start, because you just remembered that you forgot to unplug your nice stereo.

    Round river rock paths/driveways suck to walk/drive on. Angular rock keys in to form a vastly more stable and supportive surface.
    John Clay
    Tallahassee, FL
    My Framebuilding: https://www.flickr.com/photos/21624415@N04/sets

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