Light weight storage shed design?

Discussion in 'All Things Boats & Boating' started by srimes, Oct 2, 2013.

  1. srimes
    Joined: Sep 2008
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    Location: Oregon

    srimes Senior Member

    Gonna need a storage shed or two. Seems like most of the wood ones are built like a house and way more substantial than needed. One built more like a boat could require a lot less material, and would be easier to move if needed. And could handle a move better.

    Main objectives would be: efficiency ($) of materials and efficiency of labor. I would have a material bias to use minimal framing, as I can get plywood cheap.

    I'm thinking 1/2" or 3/4" sheathing would surely handle a frame spacing of 24" in a medium sized shed, and possibly 48". Just look how flimsy the metal sheds are.

    Any ideas?
  2. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    SIP's . . . walls and roof . . .
  3. sprit
    Joined: Jul 2013
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    Location: Lexington, MA, USA

    sprit Junior Member

    Depends on the size you need...

    You can make a nifty shed out of two 5 x 10-foot sheets of 3/8th-inch marine plywood, attached at the 5-foot peak edges to a 2 x 2-inch square ridgepole 7 feet long. (The pole sticks out 1 foot at each end.) The bottoms of the plywood sheets are pulled to within 8 feet of each other, and held there on a frame of 2 x 4s on the ground. Use treated lumber for the 2 x 4s. The overall shape is a walk-in cathedral. Cover the whole with a plastic tarp 22 x 12 feet, held with 2 end stakes like a tent. The sheltered area is about 8 x 8 feet. Very sturdy, open at both ends, high capacity, easy to build, relatively cheap, and easy to move if necessary...
  4. Petros
    Joined: Oct 2007
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    Petros Senior Member

    how big a shed? what kind of wind and snow loads are you expecting?

    I have done this for snow loads up to about 20 lbs/sq:

    Use 2x2 or 2x3 stud grade 8' long framing and make a series of "bents" or frames where each frame is made like a truss with plywood gussets. The vertical leg is two members that meet at ground level and are about 18" apart at the eave about 8' height, the top chord is has a pitch of about 5/12, inside can be flat ceiling or if you want more head room a pitch of about 2/12, put diagonal members between the upper and lower cord with half inch plywood gussets at each joint. you do not even have to miter the joints since the plywood transfers the loads. each of these frames will be a max width of about 14', with eave height at about 8', over all height should end up about 11 ft at the ridge.

    Use bulk 1" or 1.25" long screws to install the gussets and it will be easy to dismantle later, put a min of three screws into each member, you will need about eight screws in each member where the vertical "wall" member meets the sloping roof "rafter" members at the eave (these are the highest loaded joints), and perhaps six screws each at the ridge. space the screws min of 1.5" or more to avoid splitting, and stay at least 2" back from the ends of the members to avoid splitting. this fastener spacing will determine the size of the gussets.

    You can space them at 2 ft spacing and use min 3/8" plywood or 7/16 OSB. Or to save material costs you can use 1x6 skip sheathing at 2 ft spacing horizontally and on the "roof" and than use a heavy tarp for your "skin" nailed or screwed to the frame with 1x2 battens to prevent tear out . Use as many of these frames as you need to make it as long as you want, you can make a 14' by 20 ft shed using 11 frames for example (two ft spacing plus one at each end). You can also frame in the ends and leave a "door" opening of course, or leave one or both ends open like a car port. If you use the 1x6 skip sheathing and tarp rather than the plywood you will need to put several diagonal bracing members on the inside of the frames to prevent racking of the building, the plywood serves that function if you sheath it in plywood or OSB so the diagonal braces are not necessary.

    If you have a concrete slab to put it on than you would want to use some metal angles to anchor the shed to the slab with concrete anchors at least on the corners if you have low wind exposure, in a high wind exposure area I would use one on the end of each frame. If you have a gravel or "earth" floor than buy some pressure treated 4x4 to lay along each edge as your foundation, and again use metal framing angles (the Simpson A23 or A34 type) to attach each frame to the 4x4 "foundation" beams. you can anchor these beams to the ground by driving 2' long lengths of 1/2" rebar into the ground through holes you drill through the 4x4s about every 4 ft.

    If you want it even studier you can use 2x4s, get the inexpensive "stud" grade framing lumber, about $3 each, the 2x2 will be about $2 each or less. CDX grade plywood is all you need for the gussets (just watch out for larege voids in the layers). use all screws and it will be fast and easy to dismantle when you are done with, you can even save the lumber to rebuild it somewhere else later.

    I have built a similar shed to store hay for the live stock we have and I used a heavy brown and silver tarp for walls and roof, it is still good after four years and even supported some modestly heavy snow loads.

    Also some building jurisdictions would require permits if it above a certain size, for most a permit is required if the shed is over 200 sq ft, where I live, in a rural areas, it can be 400 sq ft without a permit. so you can build several of these if kept to that size. If the property is "remote" in the woods, and the sheds will be more or less out of sight of public roads than most building departments will not care.

    there heavy tarp is the cheapest and fastest way to make it weather tight, make sure it is anchored well to the framing so wind does not tug at it and tear it up. If you use the OSB or Plywood sheathing than you would want to use roll roofing as the cheapest covering, plain tar paper will not hold up well, even on the sides. Sheat metal roofing and siding would also work of course but that is pretty costly unless you can find some used material from an old building or off of Craig's list (seach Craig's list and other local listings for surplus bulding materials you can often get studs and plywood and roofing cheap left over from other peoples projects, sometimes even free).

    good luck.
  5. El_Guero

    El_Guero Previous Member

    You are where it can get cold, but it would be even easier to drop drop cloth (vinyl) from your soffit (rafter). Roof over that with marine plywood with a layer of foam underneath the roofing. Two layers (inside and out) of vinyl 'walls' over foam insulation would give reasonable wind resistance and support with 2x8's on 18" or 24" centers. Only because it can get cold where you are at.

    Or, even Tyvex .... One layer inside, one outside. Or just start with the outside layer stapled in place.
  6. srimes
    Joined: Sep 2008
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    Location: Oregon

    srimes Senior Member

    This sounds interesting. I'm in southern Oregon, not much in the way of snow or wind. Not sure I'm picturing the frame geometry, could you do a quick sketch?
  7. daiquiri
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    Location: Italy (Garda Lake) and Croatia (Istria)

    daiquiri Engineering and Design

  8. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

  9. michael pierzga
    Joined: Dec 2008
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    Location: spain

    michael pierzga Senior Member

    Steel scafolding as the base with pvc pipe as the roof span ...covered in heat shrink plastic is very durable.

    The scafolding provides a work surface

    Ive seen these enclosures last two year and withstand hard winter gales
  10. mhowling
    Joined: Dec 2013
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    mhowling New Member

    I recently purchased a shed from I think they are great and easy to set up. It's not wood and they have a lot of extensions and accessories that are greta for fishing and other equipment. It's easy set up allows for easy take down if you needed to disassemble it later.

    I hope this helps
  11. goodwilltoall
    Joined: Jul 2010
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    goodwilltoall Senior Member

    Greenhouse hoops are great and they are in high demand once you are finished with them. The reinforced poly visqueen can work for 2-3 years and costs $250.00 for a 40'x100' roll.

    Suppose you can even make your own hoops by bending 1 1/4" steel pipe. Regular steel pipe would work well even if it rusts it wouldnt loose much strength. I have a friend who bought 50 year old frames with the paint completely off and left outdoors all the time that are still safe to use. Had one set that was old like that and painted them with regular latex paint 8 years ago and it amazes me that the paint is still on. No sanding,no primer, just one coat and they still look good. It would be easier to sell if they are galvanized steel.

  12. goodwilltoall
    Joined: Jul 2010
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    goodwilltoall Senior Member

    Look at greenhouses and what they use, what spacing, bracing, anchoring. Theres a company called bfg that sells them but probably plenty of others as well.
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