Gambrel roof truss prototype

Gambrel derives from the Latin word for leg. Also known as a hip roof, or in Britain a mansard roof.


Wall modules fit precisely!

We constructed this modular 12' x 16' shed off-site at our workshop in 8 modules, then transported it to the job site. Because the modules fit precisely, erecting the walls took less than half a day. Before the siding and trusses can be installed, some work still needs to be done. In the right foreground of this photo, you can see the first piece of the top plate has been installed.


Floor system complete

The next step, we will secure the sill boards.

Floor: 3/4" tongue and groove plywood, and glue

We used PL400 and similar glue designed for the purpose. The tongue and groove is designed to have a 1/8" gap to allow for expansion.

Elevation above soil

The sub-floor is elevated above the soil. Heavy duty ground cloth is followed by 3" of gravel. On the "low" side, two courses of 1" blocks. Then 4" x 6" pressure treated. Followed by 2" x 6" with two coats of Zinnser primer (or bones paint). For a total of 16" to 17" of separation between the soil and the floor. The underside of the floor is also treated.

Sub-floor: Joists

This floor is approximately 12' x 16'. The center is supported by a 4" x 6" x 16' pieces of pressure treated skids. The floor will eventually be tied to the skids with lag bolts design for pressure treated lumber.

Site selection for your shed

If you have a choice of sites for your shed, choose a site that is in a high spot and well-drained. This location is clayey.


Floor joists assembled

That's me, at the end of a day's work. The sun came out, but temps were chilly. My client did a great job of leveling the blocks for the pressure treated 4 x 6's. Pressure treated tends to warp a bit. I make sure the bow (if any) faces up. The plywood will be glued to the joists. Other surfaces will be primed before the plywood floor is installed.

Transporting the pre-fab modules to site

The pre-fab 8' x 8' modules stack nicely onto our rental truck. Having John's help was vital. Getting those modules onto the truck by myself would have been a struggle.


Humandalas Cards

I'm stoked to receive my deck of Humandalas Cards from Daniel Levy. "Make sacred geometry with your bodies! Create mandala patterns with connected hands, movement and visualization. Use this 52 hex-card deck to guide your group in a healing and transformational activity." http://www.humandalas.com/

Rear Wall Module "B"

The rear wall measures 11' 2". The first module is 8', so this module measures 3' 2" wide. Spacing of studs continues at 16" on-center.


Back Wall Module 1

The front and back walls of this shed measure 11' 9", but because they fit between the side walls, their actual length is 11' 2". The front and back walls must be symmetric, with a stud and a siding seam underneath the peak of the roof. The jig (gray plywood backing) has been modified with a 2" x 4" as a block on the left so that a stud falls at the center (of the wall, not the module) at 5' 7".
The 12' back wall is constructed in two modules, an 8' module and a 4' module. I decided not to use two 6'-wide modules. Although 6'-wide modules are easier to handle than 8' modules, modules of 8' & 4' make more efficient use of the materials.
The 8'-wide module hangs off the edge of the jig.

Barn-style door hardware: Handles

This "heavy duty gate pull" at Home Depot seems a nice heavy handle for the barn-style doors. One inside and one outside of each door.

Basic window included with shed.

Shed kits include a 'basic' window. Choose from 36" x 12", 24" x 24", or 24" x 36". Larger, and / or additional windows are an upgrade and cost extra.

Windows: availability varies, I may substitute comparable

Window: 36" x 12". Jeld-Wen brand shown. Availability varies, I may substitute comparable quality and size. Brand and vendor at my choice.
White vinyl, double glazed, argon. Translucent glass on this size window. Includes screen.
This shape window is generally placed high, it's sometimes used as a basement (or bathroom) window. From the top of the (7' 9") wall to the top of window measures approximately 10". This puts the bottom of the window at approximately 5' 11".

Cascade Windows are manufactured in Portland, Oregon. http://cascadewindows.com/


First "short" module

The third module is complete. The left and right side walls measure 15' 9". The side walls each consist of two modules. The first module measures 8' long, the second module measures 7' 9". The second module is designed so that the 16" on-center spacing of the studs continues. The siding panels have vertical grooves every 8", these grooves match the studs for nailing. In the right foreground you can see that the end of the wall has a "California corner" to strengthen the corner and to anticipate drywall.

Building to the measurement of 15' 9" is very cost-efficient. By cutting 3" off of multiples of 4' (8, 12, 16), very little waste is created. Only a couple inches is cut off each board. 8' lengths of trim are sufficient.

Shed floor: 3/4" Tongue and Groove exterior plywood

Six sheets of plywood will be enough for the floor of this 12' x 16' shed.

The plywood is marked with instructions to leave a 1/8" gap all around for expansion.

I treat the under side of the flooring with a "mis-tint" paint or stain. Most paint shops have a few cans around that are deeply discounted. My paint shop calls them "bone paint." Perhaps it's because of the bonehead who mixed the wrong color. More likely, because no one cares what color you paint the "bones," you can use any color; people only care about the color of the "skin."