Begin With the End in Mind: Shed Layout and Floor Framing
Beginning at the End:
To accomplish the goal of building a simple, sturdy, practical, and useful shed, a few design and material choices need to be made. Begin by imagining the shed you want to end up with and work back from there to know where to start. Fir siding was chosen for this project for its durability, appearance, and high value. Its high value comes from its durability which allows sturdy construction without the need for a sheathing layer which would be necessary with horizontal lap siding. Preplanning wall layout so vertical siding seams land on studs is an important consideration. Fir siding is available in 9-ft.-long sheets, which works well for this practical design too. The shed needed to be 8 ft. square and 8 ft. high for adequate storage volume, so planning starts from there.
This video will illustrate layout principles to optimize use of 4×9 siding panels. Even though this shed is 8 ft. square, the principles apply to framing in general and could be adapted to a shed of any size. While doing this screen-capture video it became clear that I’m trying to pack a lot of information into this blog post. Like a real carpentry apprenticeship, it can be difficult to grasp too many new concepts all at once. There are bound to be gaps in my presentation, so help fill them in with questions and comments.
A Work in Progress:
I continue to get comments about “jittering” and “jiggling” cursor movements during these screen-capture video recordings. It’s embarrassing, like visual stuttering that I’m not conscious of until after-the-fact. I completely understand how annoying it is for viewers to try to learn from the tutorial while being constantly distracted by cursor movement. I didn’t learn much in sophomore algebra class because my attention was riveted on counting how many times the teacher bobbed up and down on his toes trying to emphasize key points in his lectures. Video production, for me, is a work in progress. I’m focused on continual improvement and fully expect to overcome annoying production issues like JMS (Jittery Mouse Syndrome) and frequent “UMMs” and “UUHHs” as part of the process
Floor Framing Process:
With clear understanding of the shed size, function, and design, it’s time to start building. Here I give an overview of assembling floor joists on 4×4 support beams and discuss principles of getting the assembly squared up. Two other shed-building series (a Garden Shed and a Tool Shed) have additional information for setup and framing methods for shed floors that you might find helpful to understand this phase. The good thing is that here you can learn a lot about shed-building without getting muddy, cold, or wet…
If you watched “A Step Ahead to Build a Shed” prior to seeing this blog post, you’ll remember that it can be an interactive process. I’m open to design, material, and tutorial content input from viewers to enhance your learning experience, so feel free to post comments or questions as this series develops. I’ll try to incorporate answers and responses into future installments. As a reminder, the shed model used for this tutorial series is available at the SketchUp Component Warehouse by clicking HERE.