The question of how to build a 8×8 storage shed starts with a good set of plans. Characteristics of good shed plans include a clear materials list and a comprehensive nailing schedule. The choice of materials, however, is often left up to the builder.
For instance, it is common for a set of shed plans to call for any number of 2x4s to frame the floor or serve as wall studs. The type of wood that makes up those boards is often not specified. Here is what you need to know to make the right choice.
Spruce, a light colored wood with a straight grain, is the wood of choice for most framing tasks such as rafters, trusses, studs and floor boards. It is ideal for these components because it can take a nail with relative ease and without splitting. It is lightweight yet very strong, so it is a standard material used throughout the construction industry.
Like spruce, southern yellow pine is as familiar to building professionals as hammers and nails. It is also light in color but slightly darker than spruce. Where spruce is typically white, pine can range from a light straw yellow to a richer honey color.
Builders like pine because it has very few knots and gives off very little resin. It is also fairly resistant to expansion in humid weather. Pine is most often found in roof boards like trusses and rafters as well as in the floors and some doors.
Cedar is a beautiful wood prized for its natural resistance to moisture, insects and overall decay. This material is a good choice for siding, shingles and door and window trim. It can also be used for wall studs and roof rafters, though this is rare as cedar is more expensive than spruce and pine.
If you have ever opened a cedar chest, you are familiar with the appealing yet pungent odor of cedar. Other characteristics of cedar include a rich red color and beautiful wood grain that weathers quite well. It is a light weight wood that is very stable and therefore suitable for construction. Cedar boards are not prone to warping, and it cuts both cleanly and evenly.
Unfortunately, the cost of the other components of the shed construction process prices many people out of the cedar market. For instance, applying for a building permit can run up to $100 depending on the municipality.
The silver lining to this cost is that the local building inspector is a good source for wood design values and other resources such as where to purchase boards sourced from area tree farms. The inspector will have no trouble provide regulations for an auxiliary structure like a shed.
Regardless of the wood chosen for a shed, it should be of a fine grain and free of open or loose knots in the boards. Keep that rule in mind when considering the best way how to build a 8×8 storage shed, and you will be on your way to success.