Cheap but durable shed design

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Lucky C
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Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2016 6:09 am

Cheap but durable shed design

Post by Lucky C » Wed Jun 12, 2019 6:51 pm

I'm looking to build a shed that's cheap and easy but initial search results show designs that I think are more complex/pricy than needed. Any good ERE-level sheds plans out there? Looking to make one 8' x 8' or under to avoid it being taxed.

A cheap and easy roof solution for the roof could be clear/translucent polycarbonate panels to get light in without the need for an electric light or windows. I would think this would be a more appealing than asphalt shingles to let the light in, but I'm not sure if it will be tough to prevent leaks or other issues?

It doesn't need to be anything fancy so a lean-to roof works. I'm told T1-11 is a good cheap siding option. Maybe something like this but with the polycarbonate roof? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bfKYvRRw8bI

George the original one
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Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2010 3:28 am
Location: Wettest corner of Orygun

Re: Cheap but durable shed design

Post by George the original one » Wed Jun 12, 2019 7:17 pm

I've built a few sheds like shown in the video over the years. Some items to consider:
1) Ventilation & insulation to prevent cooking the contents. Shading under a tree helps that, but then you have to deal with tree debris. Make sure the venting is well-screened to discourage insects from taking up residence.
2) Skylight or polycarbonate might expose the contents to UV damage. It will definitely increase heat buildup if not shaded.
3) North-facing windows are desirable for lighting. You don't need big ones and they don't need to be double-paned.
4) Anchor the damn thing to the ground! Wind is a powerful force and climate change is gradually making winds stronger.

George the original one
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Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2010 3:28 am
Location: Wettest corner of Orygun

Re: Cheap but durable shed design

Post by George the original one » Wed Jun 12, 2019 7:20 pm

And a tip: birds-mouth rafters can be cut in one go if you clamp the rafters together.

Gilberto de Piento
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Re: Cheap but durable shed design

Post by Gilberto de Piento » Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:11 pm

Maybe corrugated tin or corrugated polycarbonate?

Or whatever you can get for free? There are a lot of building materials on Craigslist, etc. if you have more time than money.

chenda
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Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2011 1:17 pm

Re: Cheap but durable shed design

Post by chenda » Thu Jun 13, 2019 3:01 am

Yes corrugated iron is worth looking at especially for durability. If it's an attached lean-to you'll need good drainage to avoid risk of penetrating damp into the house.

Lucky C
Posts: 350
Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2016 6:09 am

Re: Cheap but durable shed design

Post by Lucky C » Thu Jun 13, 2019 5:45 am

Thanks for the tips!
For the polycarbonate I was thinking this which blocks UV and the gray has only 35% light transmission. Could make it north facing to avoid overheating but of course would still add venting.
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Suntuf-26-i ... /100096441

Of course the door would let in light when open too. It would be facing north or west.

Gilberto de Piento
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Re: Cheap but durable shed design

Post by Gilberto de Piento » Thu Jun 13, 2019 6:06 am

That's what I was thinking of, though I always see it in green. The gray will look nice. How do you seal the area between the high part of the "waves" and the structure itself? As in, is there a puzzle piece you can but that interlocks? Otherwise I'd be worried about birds or other animals getting in.

Lucky C
Posts: 350
Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2016 6:09 am

Re: Cheap but durable shed design

Post by Lucky C » Thu Jun 13, 2019 7:15 am

Yes, they have closure strips available for the corrugated ends so that would be easy. Also they have plastic supports to run the other way for 16" or 24" spaced rafters.
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Suntuf-24-i ... /100067957

Campitor
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Re: Cheap but durable shed design

Post by Campitor » Thu Jun 13, 2019 8:54 am

If I was designing my own shed and was looking to optimize its longevity, I would do the following.
  • I would install a metal roof. Metal will outlast any other roofing material you use including polycarbonate.
  • The roof would have 6/12 or 8/12 pitch to its rear to help shed water in 1 direction
  • The roof overhang would be larger than typical to keep water away from the shed walls and foundation as much as possible. Studies show that houses with the greatest life span are those with significant roof overhangs that keep water away from the foundation.
  • I would install a long strip of polycarbonate windows, with bug screens, on the high side of the shed to allow in light and for extra ventilation during summer months; this is in addition to the rafter vents I would install in the soffits. You can put windows at eye level but it subtracts from the available wall space that can be used to hang equipment.
  • The foundation would be elevated to keep the shed away from ground and a vapor barrier put underneath to keep moisture and bugs out from the ground joists.
  • I would use pressure treated wood.
  • Lastly I would surround the shed with a material that helps reduce rain splatter against the lower shed walls and drain water away from the foundation.

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