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Frank Hagan

New Shed

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I'm embarking on a new project, building a sorely needed backyard shed to replace the 6' x 6' Rubbermaid plastic shed that we have.

Plans are loosely based on the Black & Decker Basic Shed and the Casita House (.pdf link) from Baja Christian Ministries.  The Black & Decker Basic Shed meets all building requirements, but in one respect, its overkill for my needs.  The shed will be positioned on a concrete slab, but on a "skid" so it qualifies as a shed and not a building (avoiding the need for permits and inspections).  The Casita House has both a cheaper flooring plan using 2 x 4's that I'm using -- since the load is transferred directly to the huge slab, I don't need 4 x 6 runners and 2 x 6 floor joists.  The Casita House also has an alternate low-profile roof line that I might use (but probably not).

Like the Basic Shed, my shed will be 8 x 12, but with double doors (5' opening) along the long side.  A single door will be provided on one of the short sides to help with lumber storage (don't tell my wife).   Yard equipment as well as Christmas decorations, etc. will be stored in the shed.

I'm making the rounds of the Habitat for Humanity ReStore salvage shops this week to find the doors and any windows I could use ... ReStore has a ton of very cheap building materials donated to them, and Habitat clears enough from each store to build an additional 10 - 12 houses each year. 

Casita House:

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I have finished the floor framing, put the subfloor on, and framed out the west wall of the shed (still lying on the subfloor).  Now I have a question to ask!

The slab the shed is on has a slope to it, and at first I thought I would just allow the floor to slope also.  I figured that if I was buying a shed, it would end up that way.  But as I get ready to raise the walls, I realize I'll either have to have the walls square with the flooring (using the 3-4-5 trick) or make the shed "crooked" if I decide to make the walls plumb.

Would it be best to go ahead and shim the floor so its level?  Over the 12' of slope, that's probably 1 1/2" or so.

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I suspect in the long run you'll be happier if you level the floor now, while you can do it easily. That will save you untold headaches in the future when you try to do things and nothing is square in the walls.

If it was mine, I'd sure level it

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As the owner of an ancient house (hovel) I strongly recommend that you level it now.  There is nothing plumb or level in my house and it causes me no end to headaches.

Bill

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I suspect you guys are right.  The more I think about trying to build it "not level" the more problems I see ... from not having siding meet at the corners to building the storage shelves on the inside. 

Another question:  I'm using pressure treated lumber for the skid (floor joists) that I now have to level out.  The floor joists run at 90

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As far as I know it doesn't make any difference.  That wood is supposed to be treated all the way through.  You could probably make a point of putting it mill side down, but I think you'd be safe either way.

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uh- I must be missing something here- why not just block up under one of the skids you mentioned? Then use standard precut joists? Or am I not understanding your use of the term "skid"?

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Treated lumber is not actually rated for "ground contact" (even treated landscaping timbers).  The treatment does not penetrate the wood all the way so I'd shy away from putting the fresh cut edge in contact with the slab.  Have you thought about laying one course of cinderblocks to raise the wood off the slab?  That might not be needed in your area...

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uh- I must be missing something here- why not just block up under one of the skids you mentioned? Then use standard precut joists? Or am I not understanding your use of the term "skid"?

Well, "skid" in this case is a little deceptive ... if its built on a "skid" I don't need a permit, but really what I have is 2 x 4 floor joists laid directly on the concrete.  Normally you would use a 2 x 6 for a floor joist up off the ground, but with each of the 2 x 4s in contact with the concrete, they don't have to be a 2 x 6. 

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I'm thinking that you just shim up one end of your joists.  Dont' bother cutting them.   How uneven is your slab? 

I checked tonight; the far end in the picture has to come up 1 1/2" to make the floor level.  I'll rip that from a pressure treated 2 x 4, and place it under it.  Then I have three more of the joists unsupported that, because they are only 2 x 4's, I'll have to support.  I may be able to cut tapered wedges and slide them in from that far end (I put the subfloor on already, and I'd rather not tear that off.) 

Here's a picture of how it looks now, with the subfloor on (and the west wall framed up on top of it).  The "far end" I'm talking about in the picture up above is on the left in this picture (taken from my deck).

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I shimmed the floor joists level, even though it required removing some of the subfloor.  I was dreading the job, but it went pretty easily and it was done in 2 hours. 

I have two more of the walls framed, with just the front wall to do.  I have to allow for the double doors and an old Navy porthole we're going to incorporate into the wall somehow.  The porthole has bolt holes 16" on center, so I'm thinking I'll position it at about 5' centered between two studs.  Not sure how to incorporate it, but we'll be doing some drawings over the week. 

Has anyone here ever made a weathervane?  I'm thinking of adding a cupola with a weathervane.

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You are doing it right...I built a shed last February or so and cheated by buying it in a kit. The wood they sent was absolute crap.

you can see in this picture that the 2x4s they sent for the walls were in terrible shape.

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it turned out ok - but I sacrificed quality for quick.

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It would have been cheaper by far to use a set of plans and build the way you are doing it.

a.

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I think you will be spending much less and getting much more shed. The kit was a fast way to build, but the quality of the material was really shoddy. It would have been a much better shed if I had picked the 2x4s and the siding. And in the end, the kit doesn't come with the roofing tiles, so there was more money to be spent on that. I did spend a lot of time on the base. I filled the bottom with boric acid before I put the floor in, and then sealed the material really well.

Look forward to seeing your project proceed.

a.

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