Some good progress was made in the first article that took us through the basics of finding the best location for your outdoor storage shed and how to proceed after acquiring such information. The items below are important things to take care of at the beginning of your outdoor project.
If you start with a slab foundation or a wood deck, the process is still the same. Make it strong and level to provide the proper beginning for your shed. I don’t know about you, but I’m beginning to get excited about what it’s starting to look like. Next thing you know, you will be thinking about quitting your job and going into the construction business. Okay, okay, so maybe I’m getting a bit carried away but that is how it all started for me.
Things to do if not already done:
- checking zoning at your building department or town hall, see if permits are required
- determining the size
- clearing away vegetation
- staking the four corners
- pouring the concrete footings or columns
Assuming you have decided to build a wood deck versus digging trenches and pouring a concrete slab; the first thing we need to do is dig some holes for our footings. The information regarding footing depth and size can be acquired from the local building department. If frost is a major consideration, then follow the code as recommended for your area of the country.
If you are able to pour the footings making them level and approximately six inches above existing grade then we can proceed to anchor our six inch by six inch pressure treated beams on top of the footings or columns. Anchoring hardware can be purchased at any home improvement store and, depending on what part of the country you live in, anchoring the beams to the footings is sometimes required by code. Let’s talk a little about the floor system that we are about to build.
Once you have decided the use for your outdoor storage shed, then the floor system can be appropriately built. My experience has shown me to err on the side of caution regarding floor load. Many of the commercially built shed companies use two inch by four inch floor joists with half inch plywood or oriented strand board. This may be okay if you are not going to store anything heavier than a bicycle and a few lawn chairs. But, in my opinion, for a few more dollars I recommend using two inch by six inch floor joists with three quarter inch tongue and groove plywood. If the deck is wider than fourteen feet you may want to consider two inch by eight inch floor joists.
Next, set the floor joists on the beams and nail them in place every sixteen inches on center. If your floor joists are correctly set, level, and the diagonal measure from corner to corner is the same measurement, then you are now ready to lay the four foot by eight foot sheets of plywood on top of the floor joists and nail or screw securely in place.
Again, check for diagonal correctness after the plywood decking is securely fastened and make any minor adjustment necessary to get the correct diagonal measurement. Congratulate yourself, you have the beginning of your soon to be completed storage shed. Just like most things in life, if you start out with a good solid straight and level foundation to build upon, the rest becomes so much easier.
Article by: Richard Willis