Building a Shed : LUSENET : ACountryPlace : One Thread

Hello all.

My wife Ann and I will be buiding a resident friendly shed :< 0

Yes we will live in it for a couple of years.

I know that a square building will use the least materials, but I need to decide the most practical size to build.

We need one least 16' by 16', but would be more comfortable in one that was 20' by 20'. This size would also allow for the best solar gain. One consideration that I have, is keeping pests OUT! I will use screen and Hardware cloth to accomplish this where neccessary. We plan to build a slanted, flat roof, not a gable type.

My questions regard the placement of the posts, and type of floor/ foundation and post and beam sizes to use. We may well be getting our materials to the site by some primitive methods (dragging or pulling by winch on a sledge):<(

Are 2x4's strong enough for this (our city shed and house are built with them), and for a 20' by 20' size can 2, 10 foot beams be joined in a parallel run? Would/ can the beams be bolted to the posts? Are 2x4's strong enough for the beams, or are 2x6's or 2x8's a wiser choice?

I have a neighbor who sunk PT posts in concrete (we want to avoid PT as much as possible). It seems like I have heard of posts being set on top of a slab on metal "post rests" (Ann wanted me to call them "thingies" but I have my dignity).

Building a raised wooden platform seems like it would require hauling the least amount of weight up there, but also seems like it would entail more, and expensive beams, and I have a feeling that the gravel and concrete would cost considerably less. I'm thinking that renting an ATV to haul concrete materials might solve that problem.

If we go with a floating slab,( for a shed), does the gravel need to be below the frost line? If not how many inches of gravel are necessary, and is a 4" slab thick enough (there won't ever be a great amount of weight in this building). Would a 2" slab be way too thin?

Thank you for any thoughts you may offer.

-- Rick (, January 20, 2002


Rick, This may not be the answer you are looking for but there are many variables here and a great deal of unknowns. I do greatly admire you and your wife's spirit and guts to go forth with such a project, so I wish you the best of luck and can only say "go for it!" I'm not an engineer, but I do a lot of drafting and am familiar with building techniques "in general." It depends a great deal on where you are building this "shed" as to materials and foundation details, a shed in Florida, for example, would have very different requirements than a shed in North Dakota. I would highly suggest that you at least make a visit to the county building department and see what they have to offer in the way of local code requirements. Your nearest library may also have a great deal to offer in the way of standard building practice and local code requirements. It doesn't cost a thing to obtain this information, but it does take patients and a bit of research. Use your local resources to get this info. They are there to help you. Best of luck in all, Dave Brownscombe

-- Dave Brownscombe (, March 30, 2002.

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