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Small Modern Shed Build

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murphy

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It's a long time since I heard (we don't want any half-crowns showing)
 

JSW

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It's a long time since I heard (we don't want any half-crowns showing)
The Joiner I served part of my apprenticeship under was the most bombastic, blunt, brutal man I think I've ever met, if he saw me make a half-crown, he'd snatch the hammer from me, threaten to do all sorts of nastiness with it, and finish off with shouting at the top of his considerable voice "THE NEXT TIME I SEE YOU . . ."

Hence the 'Ghost ran up my back' comment 😨
 

matkinitice

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I didn't have a nail gun for this build. I debated getting one earlier on, but given the small build and the fact I've not fencing projects or anything coming up soon it seemed like quite an expense.

From what I remember - the first few nails (that photo) were a bit rough, but once a few have been sunk the frame has a bit of rigidity to itself. Plus once you can kneel/stand on it it was much easier.

Hand nailing was fine, other than starting off of each frame. Sore hands after though.
 

TRITON

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I didn't have a nail gun for this build. I debated getting one earlier on, but given the small build and the fact I've not fencing projects or anything coming up soon it seemed like quite an expense.

From what I remember - the first few nails (that photo) were a bit rough, but once a few have been sunk the frame has a bit of rigidity to itself. Plus once you can kneel/stand on it it was much easier.

Hand nailing was fine, other than starting off of each frame. Sore hands after though.
There was a vid I saw a bit back showing the true differences between standard 'manual' nails and nail gun nails, and the suggestion on the vid was the proper nails were considerably superiour in application for putting together frames.
The nailgun nails were smooth and hardened, and the standard you could bend in putting them in(1/2 in, hammer to the side to create a bend) so when you hammered it fully in the internal route of the nail was cupped and so had considerably better holding strength, than the smooth shaft gun nails, which was shown to have more tendency to come out.
 

richard.selwyn

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I never use "smooth shaft" gun nails, but regularly regret it. That's how I know how difficult it is to pull out a gun fired ring shank nail! 90mm one are the most fun.
 

matkinitice

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The second day started slowly. The straps were connected to the plinth but before this I laid the DPC. This detail took a while but I only get one chance to do this. I'm sure this will more than pay off in the years to come. One piece of 150mm DPC was slid under the frame and wrapped around. On the outside I had this folded up and stapled on. The interior of the frame had a smaller overlap.

A second piece of DPC was then slid under this. This could be overkill in some people's eyes but I hope this will add to the longevity of the building. The bricks I used had holes in, as apposed to the "triangle cut out" that people turn upside down on the last course. This second piece of DPC is to prevent any creepy crawlies getting in and if any water was to run down the inside of the breathable membrane it would not pool here. I cut away of the excess of the DPC on the outer side of the plinth so it sat flush.

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The corner detail.

All four corners looked like this. I had to get some help from the wife as lifting the frame to slide this under was too hard on my own. If there was a way these could be in place before it would have been easier but I feared them sliding about as I got the frame in place. A dab of mortar before hand may have helped keep them in place.

After a speedy lunch I was back to it. This time the roof. It actually looks like some progress has been made now. I got more done the day before in this time but things were starting to take shape. The roof was in place fairly easily. Ignore the strapping on the first rafter - this was to aid with alignment. I realized that clamping was easier and didn't bother to remove it. There is a 420mm overhang on the front, with a small overhang on the rear for guttering.

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matkinitice

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The TS55 has been key to my recent wood working projects. This is my first time using it for DIY and it is brilliant. Sheet goods on the floor is ace. I dread to think how I would have cut these otherwise. Not that I care but the quality of the cut was perfect too.

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The end of the second day. I had to stop by this point as it was getting late and we had family over. Things were a bit of a rush towards the end due to the weather forecast. Monday is a bank holiday and we're due for heavy rain. I needed to get the sheathing finished by Sunday so I could get the breathable membrane on ready for the weather.

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The sofits haven't been fitted intentionally as while I had the track saw out it made sense to work through the OSB I had outside. The ceiling hasn't been fitted either. I plan on adding some insulation to the roof and getting the OSB on top took priority. I expected this to be a bit of a faff either way and will deal with it at the time. Right now the goal is to get waterproof.

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This panel was left open to provide easier access to the rear of the roof.
 

matkinitice

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This was a slight oversight that effected both the left and right panels. As I was framing at the top of my garden I opted to put the sheathing on after the fact. I was shocked by how heavy the OSB weighed, one panel was quite heavy and due to the awkward size quite tough to shift on your own. During the dry fit I realized I could attach three sheets without any cutting, this was wrong I could only attach the rear panel. This was due to the left/right panels being inset between the front/rear. The left/right had no fixing as the sheets were 70mm off (the width of a stud). This is the gap you see in the photo. There is no fixing point.

My original design had a second stud here - but to simplify the build and reduce costs I removed it. For a shed this size the stud spacing actually doesn't really matter, at most you would have three sheets to fit directly, the rest would need cutting. The track saw makes this light work and the height needed reducing anyway. If I was building a larger shed then the spacing matters and I would add the second studs or attach the sheathing first.

If I was to do this step again I'd attach the OSB first and lift into place - this is how I will tackled my workshop framing a few months later. This is the big cock up I encountered.

Jumping to the solution to my problem (day 3).

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I used the 500mm or so of scrap to provide a fixing point for the OSB. Fitting eight of these didn't take long and used up some wood that would otherwise end up in the dump. Depending on insulation this solution may be problematic - but in my case this was not an issue. Afterwards you have enough fixing points. Again, this is a shed so I had no concerns with this. For a workshop or garden room this is not the way forward, especially if you were to attach plasterboard.

An alternative solution here would have been to undo the frame, attach the panels then re-attach. I opted not to do this mainly due to working alone and the weight factor, while a bit more time consuming it was fairly quick to trim each panel in this manner thanks to the tracksaw.

It's worth noting the time period here too - the materials shortage had started so extra studs was both expensive and hard to source. So going back to my original design was off the table.

In summary - stick your sheathing on first, then stand up your walls. One regret was ditching the use of furring strips. Had I gone down this route (my local saw mill sold them I just wasn't aware) I would have gladly attached the OSB to the panels straight away as each panel would be square. Due to the gradient of the frame I was cautious to cut the panels until I could be sure the frame was ready to go.
 

matkinitice

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The third day started with the sofits. It wasn't possible to batch these out, there was small variations between each one. They were essentially a friction fit and hammered into place. I toe nailed some screws into place.

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The front two sheets were put in place and the sole plate cut away to form the door opening. This was satisfying work. By this point the whole structure was feeling very solid - the OSB adds a great deal of strength once screwed into place.

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Wrapping the building in the breathable membrane was quite fun, though it took some time. I started with the roof. This covering is only temporary until the EPDM rubber roof arrives, in a few weeks it will be removed. I used three sheets overlapped and tapped. The underside of the OSB was stapled and should hopefully hold down due to how tight I fitted it. Getting up and down onto the roof was fun - my wife helped again here.

The building was wrapped in three goes, which is a shame as I expected to do just two passes. My roll was 25m long and I used 24.9m easily. While expensive the membrane is great quality and I hope this detail will add to the longevity of the building. Some of these rolls come with tape included or tape on the roll itself - this one didn't. In the end I used some thermal tape I had from a previous job, it had plenty of length and is horribly sticky. There was no reason to use this other than it was all I had to hand. It did the job and I'll keep an eye on it over the next few weeks until the cladding can be started.
 

matkinitice

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By the end of the third day there was only two panels left to fit internally. I also had to fill some of the small gaps with expanding foam and caulk the corners of the shed. Both of these details are optional but should prevent any drafts and keep out any creepy crawlies.

At this point the building should be water proof and while the roof is short term it should hold up for a few weeks until I can proceed. At this time funds and resources are my only limitation.

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As expected the next week was awful for the weather. Given it was early May the amount of rain was pretty heavy. So far I had done well with avoiding the weather or having nice dry days but this week was a write off.

To prevent any driving rain from damping the edge of the slap and the near doorway I knocked together a small barrier. I could leave it in place and step over it but it was high enough to stop the rain. Once the doorway is in place this won't be an issue. This small barrier was a unsung hero - it was in place for several months due to the material/covid/brexit/driver/whatever problems!

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One job I could do inside was use expanding foam on the gaps where the joists and sofits were. The gaps were only small and came about from the variations of the wood as apposed to my build quality. It seems quite counter intuitive to do this given I'm going to be adding holes for ventilation, but this will prevent anything potentially getting inside. If I can make the shed spider proof the wife might actually go inside this one. Note here I used a foam can, not the gun/bottle. For my workshop build I invested in the gun and it makes a huge difference. Highly recommended - much more control, the can versions are hopeless and require a good amount of clean up afterwards.

I was able to address a minor cock up also. In my haste to get the roof on I aligned the OSB horizontally as they slid up easier. If I had aligned vertically I would have sat the joint across a joist. This was a minor fix by just adding some noggings between the joists. These aren't needed normally for this length of span - but in my case it means the joint is fixed. I will fix the OSB down from the roof once I work on the EPDM.

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The battens were nailed to each stud. I found half nailing then offering the batten up was easiest. This was especially true when working down the maintenance side of the shed.

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The small gap to the side of the door opening is to house the corner details. Note - I would recommend you fit the corners/edging before cladding. I didn't in this case due to material/wood prices of May 2021. It wasn't a problem, you just have to be careful with alignment. It's much easier to just offer up a board to an edge and measure/cut if the corner/end battens are present.

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matkinitice

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The next week was a pain. By the time I would head up stairs to get changed at lunchtime, the sky would go dark and begin pissing down before I even made it outside.

Two quick jobs I was able to do while getting wet was cutting the small wedges for the bottom of the cladding and attaching a final piece of DPC to stop the water seeping up the small gap on the right side of the shed.

I didn't appreciate the detail of the wedge for the cladding until on site. The wedge ensures the air gap at the bottom piece of the cladding is maintained. The wedge is also needed to ensure the cladding flairs out for the bottom row - this means any water that drips down should drip out and away from the brickwork. I cut these by ripping some of the batten offcuts down on the bandsaw and forming the wedge shape before screwing into the studwork.

The DPC was added after the heavy rain that pooled on the right side of the shed. The other three walls were fine but I added this to each side as well. The DPC is slightly flaired and stapled to the breathable membrane and the studwork behind. The staple does pierce the membrane but given the DPC behind that is lapped I have no concerns here. After this change the next heavy downpour had no leak internally - I was finally able to get rid of the tarpaulin on the side of the shed.

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Using scraps of batten I built two "holy crosses". These are used to ensure the spacing of the cladding is consistent. Once the first board is screwed into place using sprit levels I can use these crosses to very quickly clad up the rest of the walls. I've seen this on others builds and they are a great asset.

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The following day my next set of purchases arrived. I started with the insect mesh. This was stapled to the battens and folded up. The bottom piece of cladding will slightly push against this so there is no gap for anything to crawl up. This was a plastic mesh so easy to cut and handle.

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Another day - another complete wash out. This was late May at this point so I was getting annoyed with the weather at this point. One job I was able to complete was drilling 28mm holes in the sofits for airflow. These sit within the 50mm air space that will be framed up with insulation in the remaining 75mm below. I used the insect mesh to cover both the external and internal sofits. These holes are to allow air to vent across the roof to clear any condensation that may have built up.
 

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Sheptonphil

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Did you add insulation in the wall panels? There was no rush to put OSB on inside as you could have just put the membrane on the outside to weatherproof it in a couple of hours.
nice steady build though.
 

matkinitice

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Did you add insulation in the wall panels? There was no rush to put OSB on inside as you could have just put the membrane on the outside to weatherproof it in a couple of hours.
nice steady build though.
Nah, I decided not to do the walls in the end. Just the roof.

Yeah you're right, kinda but if I had put the sheathing on first it would have been easier/quicker anyway. Due to my cock up though I could have wrapped first, but I needed to get my roof on anyway for the temp covering. Just felt easier to do all this while I had the OSB stacked at the bottom of the garden, while the tracksaw was out. Then wrap everything.

Worked out in the end, got it all wrapped with several hours to spare before the rain hit.
 

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