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Building a Wood Shed Part 2

Lets continue our last article about building a wood shed! Our free article center was formed to help you build, plan, and execute your wood working project as smoothly as possible.


Building A Wood Shed, Part 2
In this article, lets continue where we left off.

Step 9 - Frame Rough Openings

If the wall section that you're building includes windows or doors, you'll need to frame rough openings.  Cut king, jack, and cripple studs per your shed plans along with a header for each opening.  Attach the king studs between the top and bottom plate and secure the jack studs to these.  Place the header on top of the jack studs and toenail it to the jack and king studs.  Complete the rough opening by installing a sill and cripple studs as needed.

Step 10 - Raise the Wall Section

Before you raise a wall, temporarily attach a pair of scrap wood braces to the rim joists adjacent to the wall you're raising.  Then, with the aid of a helper or two, lift the wall section up and set it into place so the bottom plate is flush along the entire front edge of the flooring and so the end of the wall aligns with the end of the floor.  (On a slab foundation, make sure all of the anchors pass through the mudsill.)

Step 11 - Level and Brace Wall

Use a level to adjust the wall section as needed to bring it into plumb.  When everything looks good, have a helper secure the other end of the scrap wood braces to the wall section with nails or screws.  After you've done this, take the time to double check for plumb before moving on to the next wall.  Quite often the act of securing the wall to the brace will shift it out of plumb; so readjust it if necessary.

Step 12 - Secure Wall Section to Floor

Attach the wall section to the floor by driving nails or screws every 16 inches or so through the bottom plate and into the floor.  About half of the fasteners should penetrate into rim joists, and the other half go into the floor joists.  (for a slab foundation, add washers and thread on nuts - don't tighten until all the walls are in placed and leveled).  Frame the next wall and continue until all walls are raised.  Don't drive nails through the bottom plate in a doorway -- this piece will be cut away when the framing of your shed is complete.

Step 13 - Secure Corners
When all the walls for your shed are in place, you'll need to add extra studs at the corners so that you can securely attach the wall sections to each other.  Space these studs away from the end stud with filler blocks.  Then start at one corner and nail together the end studs with 16d nails.  Repeat at the next corner of the shed.  Its a good idea here to check for level and plumb one more time, as the walls may have shifted slightly.  Remove the temporary scrap wood braces.

Step 14 - Install the Double Top Plate

The tops of the walls are fixed together by adding another top plate.  This double top plate creates a rigid structure that will help support the roof of your shed.  Cut the double top plates to length so that they overlap the top plate joints.  Secure the double top plate to the top plate with 10d nails every 16 inches or so.  Also, drive in 2 nails at the ends of the plates that overlap intersecting walls.  Use a hand saw or reciprocating saw to remove the bottom plate in any door openings.

Depending on your shed plans, you may or may not need to add ceiling joists to span the alls.  If you do, cut them to length and install them at this time in construction.  Small shed plans may not call for ceiling joists at all, or they may use collar ties.  Most roof framing is based on the gable roof, where rafters are spaced at 16 or 24 inch increments and secured to the double top plate at their bottom and to the ridge board at the top.

Step 15 - Make a Rafter Template
The most precise and efficient way to cut rafters for your shed is to make a rafter template from a piece of rafter stick (typically 2x4s or 2x6s for sheds).  Consult your shed plans and carefully lay out the top and bottom plumb cuts along hte bird's mouth - a notch that's cut so the angle rafter can rest on the double top plate.  After you've made the template, cut two rafters and test the fit by holding them temporarily in position with a scrap of 2-by material in between to serve as a ridge board.  If everything looks good, cut the remaining rafters you need for your shed.

Step 16 - Lay Out the Rafters

Starting at one end of the shed, measure and mark the position of the rafters on the double top plates, making sure to start at the same end on both sides that you used to layout the wall studs; this ensures that the rafters will be installed directly over the studs.  Mark an X on the appropriate side of each line.  Trim the ridge board to length and transfer the rafter layout from the double top plates to the ridge board.

Step 17 - Install Rafters

End-nail the first rafter to the ridge board and toenail the second rafter to this.  Lift this assembly into place so the bird's mouth notches fit over the double top plates.  Have a helper support the opposite end of the ridge board, check to make sure the ridge board is level, and add a brace to keep it in place.  Align the bottom of the rafters with the marks on the double top plate.  Attach them with 16d nails.  Add the end rafters at the opposite end.  Then continue adding rafters until the shed roof framing is complete.

Step 18 - Add Fascia

Once the rafters are in place, you can then add the fascia to your shed.  Fascia covers the end of the rafters to protect them and provide a more finished look; a common fascia material is 1x4 or 1x6 primed pine.  Depending on your shed plans, you may want to cover the end rafters with fascia as well.  If so, cut these to length now and attach them with 8d galvanized finish nails.  You can butt of the fascia together at the corners or miter cut them.  Secure the fascia wit two 8d galvanized nails.

Step 19 - Attach Sheathing

Once the shed roof framing is in place, you can add the roof sheathing.  The thickness and type of sheathing you use will depend on local codes.  Even if the code allows for thin sheathing, try to avoid anything less than 1/2 thick, as this doesn't provide as solid a nailing base as thicker sheathing offers.  In preparation for the asphalt shingles apply 15 pound roofing felt.  This type of roofing is easy to apply, very cheap, and will last for years.  Exterior grade 5/8 inch thick tongue and groove sheathing is an excellent choice for most shed roofs.  Start at the bottom and work your way to the top, making sure the end of each panel falls over the center of a rafter; trim it if necessary.  Also, make sure that you stagger the panels so that the joints don't align.  This will make your shed roof stronger.  Leave a 1/8 inch expansion gap between the panels, and secure them to the rafters with 8d roofing nails every 6 inches or so.  Add panels until the entire roof is sheathed.

Step 20 - Attach Roofing Felt to your Shed

Adding a layer of roofing felt on the top of the sheathing and fascia protects the roofing from moisture.   To align the rows of roofing felt, measure 33 5/8 inches above the eaves and snap a chalk line.  Then allowing for a 2 inch overlap between the strips, snap each succeeding line at 34 inches.  Start applying the strips from the bottom up, taking care to align them with the chalk lines.  Where two strips meet at a vertical line, over lap them at elast 4 inches.  Use only enough staples or nails to hold the felt in place until the shingles are installed on your shed.

Step 21 - Add a Drip Edge

Before adding the asphalt shingles, protect the edges of the roof with a drip edge.  A drip edge is malleable aluminum that's performed into a right angle with a slight lip along one edge to help direct water runoff away from the fascia and exterior siding of the shed.  Cut a 45 degree miter at each end with metal snips.  Press the drip edge in place so it butts firmly up against the fascia, and secure it every 12 inches or so with roofing nails.

Step 22 - Install Shingles

Asphalt shingles use a self-sealing mastic to fasten the shingles together once they're heated by the sun.  In order for the first course of shingles to fasten to the front edge of the roof, a special starter row is installed.  The starter row is 7 inch strips cut from full shingles and installed upside down along the eaves to position the mastic near the edge, where it will stick to the first full row installed.  Secure the starter row with roofing nails 3 inches above the eaves.  Install the first course of shingles, allowing 1/2 inch overhang.  Snap a chalk line 10 inches up from the bottom of the first course, offsetting horizontally by a half tab.  Continue snapping reference lines and adding courses until you reach the ridge.

Step 23 - Attach the Ridge Cap

Use ready made ridge shingles or cut your own 12 inch squares from standard shingles.  On the most visible side of the shed, snap a line parallel to and 6 inches down from the ridge.  Starting at the end opposite the prevailing wind, apply the singles, leaving a 5 inch exposure; align the edges with the chalk makes.  Nail on each side, 5 1/2 inches from the butt and 1 inch from the outside edge.

Step 24 - Install Exterior Siding

Plywood siding is the least expensive and easiest to install siding for a shed.  T1-11 exterior tongue-and-groove siding is a good choice for any shed.  Start by positioning the first sheet vertically at one corner so its edge is lush with the corner framing.  Check that the opposite edge reaches the center of the wall stud; shift the panel and trim as necessary.  Attach the siding to the wall studs using 8d galvanized finish nails every 6 inches around the perimeter and every 12 inches elsewhere.  Install the remaining sheets, leaving a 1/8 inch expansion gap between the sheets.  When possible, apply siding over window and door openings, then cut out the siding with a saber or reciprocating saw.

Step 25 - Add Windows and Doors

Position the prehung window or door in the rough opening and insert pairs of shims around the perimeter.  Adjust the shims as necessary to make the unit plumb and level.  To secure the window or door, drive galvanized casing nails through the jamb and shims and into the jack studs, sill, and header.  Trim off any protruding shims.  Secure windows with nailing flanges or pre-installed brick molding to the exterior siding, using galvanized nails driven through the siding and into the framing of the shed.

Step 26 - Finish off with Trim

All that's left to complete your shed is to install trim around the windows and doors, and along the top and/or bottom of the exterior walls, if desired.  Just make sure to use galvanized finish nails.  Pre-primed trim is available that makes painting your trim a quick and easy task.  Trim can be minimal or fanciful.

We hope you find our articles helpful and educational with it comes to build a shed from a set of shed plans.  If you want to build a shed in a few days that will last, visit our shed plans pages to browse through our plans. All of our shed plans are available for immediate download. Here you can buy our whole package, or just one of our plans as a sampler. Our categories are always available on the left of your screen on any page of our site.