Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Design for a storage shed


I was hoping never to need a storage shed, but one will definitely be needed. The real reason is that it's also become clear that getting a riding lawn mower would be money well-spent (I've spent an inordinate amount of time mowing the lawn this year, and it's just too much time away from the family). Our hydroseeded lawn has grown in nicely, and with all the rain this year it's needed mowing every 4-5 days, and it takes about 2 hours to mow with a walk-behind mower. We'll likely have enough money to buy a riding lawn tractor in next Spring, and it's just not going to fit on our two-car garage. So, a storage shed will be needed. 

I'll admit, I wasn't too excited about a shed once I realized I needed one. Lots of sheds are eye-sores, and I'd want something that goes well with our house. But, after finishing the design, now I am excited about it. I think we'll end up with a shed that goes nicely with our house and will solve our storage problems in the garage. 

I'm planning to build the shed myself, and in order to do it right, minimize cost, and have a cool design, I've designed it ahead of time on Google Sketch-Up (the freely available CAD software from Google). Designing the shed in Sketch-Up allows me to actually go through the entire assembly process and solve any problems along the way. I also can figure out exactly how much lumber and siding I'll need so that when I order it, I won't order any excess.

Here's a pic of the design (click any picture to enlarge):

And here it is with some dimensions:

It's a little on the small side, but the City of Ham Lake allows sheds to be built up to 10'x12' without a permit, so that's what I went with. 

The siding and roof is galvanized corrugated steel, and the windows are corrugated translucent plastic that fits with the steel siding. I've sourced all the materials from local hardware stores. All the wood, whether board lumber or flooring or OSB, is to be treated wood. In case you are wondering, there will be a gravel path to the shed with an incline to the bottom of the door so the mower can be driven in.

I've chosen to build the shed on concrete footings, partly to give it a solid foundation, and partly to avoid having any wood touching the ground in order to prevent premature rotting. In Minnesota footings have to go down at least 48" in order to be below the frost line in winter.

Here's a view with the doors removed:

The interior:


And here's what the framing looks like, with the metal siding, windows, and OSB on the walls removed.

A view of the floor framing:

And here's how the wood posts interface with the concrete footings:

I think the best place for the shed is the wooded area to the southeast of the home; here a quick sketch of location:

Sketch-Up has some fun styles you can apply to your model to make it look kind of sketchy. Here's a few of my favorite styles.