Building a shed by yourself
Designed with a cottage look, this small shed has clapboard siding on the front, a double door, a ramp to
allow access for motorized yard equipment, a window to provide light, and a flower box for decoration.
The two gable-end walls look nearly identical with white-cedar shingles, an overhanging eave, and PVC
corner-board trim. One wall (below left) incorporates a metal utility door instead of a window and has a
stone-paver landing outside the door. While the walls may look similar, they were constructed using
different methods. See the gable-wall framing detail for more information.
Foundation and Floor Framing
The foundation is made with patio pavers set on compacted crushed stone. The floor framing is placed directly on the blocks flush to the outside edge. Sheathing is nailed and glued to framing.
Floor and Roof Framing Detail
The floor-joist framing and the roof-truss framing are nearly identical when looked at from plan view, and both have an outside perimeter of 8 ft. by 10 ft. Both have infill framing 24 in. on center.
Rear Wall Construction
The back wall is framed with 2×4 framing 16 in. on center. There are now windows or doors to interrupt the framing layout. There is a double top plate to help support the roof load and a single bottom plate to connect the wall to the floor framing. Studs are 85 in. to allow wall panels to extend from the top plate to 1/4 in. below floor framing.
The rear siding consists 3/8-in.-thick OSB (oriented strand board) panels. The panels help to give the shed its shear strength while the exterior of the panel is textured with a barn-style rustic channel and is primed for painting.
Front Wall Framing Detail
Framing for the front wall has to accommodate an opening for the double doors and a window. The double-door opening gets a bearing header (see detail lower left). The window is sized to fit between studs 24 in. on center. This allows the window opening to use a non-load-bearing header and sill.
Gable-Wall Framing Detail
While the exterior of these gable walls looks similar, the framing varies considerably. The traditionally framed wall on the left incorporates a double top plate that overlaps the adjacent walls. Studs are 16 in. on center, and there is a non-load-bearing header above the door. The gable will eventually be made from a
truss as part of the roof framing. The gable wall on the left uses a balloonframed approach; the studs are continuous from the bottom plate to the rake of the gable at the top plate. For a small shed like this, the structural attributes are nearly identical.
Truss Framing Detail
The roof trusses are constructed with 2×4 lumber to make up the bottom chord and two top chords (drawing right). The vertical blocking is necessary for the gable-end trusses to allow blocking for the wall sheathing. Plywood or OSB gussets (drawing lower right) are screwed to the 2x chords at the joints. To construct
the trusses, draw the shape on the shed floor before the walls go up. Cut the pieces to fit on the shape, then fasten the gussets to make each truss rigid.
With traditional 2x framing, plywood or OSB (oriented strand
board) panels provide most of the strength to resist shear forces
such as wind or the weight of the structure itself. To maximize the
the strength, panels are staggered at the seams, fastened
to the framing lumber at regular intervals such as 12 in. to 16 in.,
and are glued to the framing under the floor panels.