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Understanding the Complexities of Building a 12x16 Shed


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Building a 12x16 shed is a more complex undertaking than building a smaller shed. Understanding the challenges associated with building a large shed is helpful for project planning and building. By knowing what you are getting into you may be more prepared to take on the greater challenge of building a 12x16 shed. The things that will require a little extra effort when building a larger shed involve building the foundation, floor, roof, and the possibility of acquiring a building permit.


Bigger sheds like the 12x16 shed require a foundation that is large enough and heavy enough to hold the larger floor, wall and roof structure. This often involves increasing the amount of foundation bearing points. The shed foundation is the first thing you will build. Before purchasing 12x16 shed plans it is worth your time to find out how the foundation and floor are constructed. Every shed plan is different. Review the foundation details to get a better understanding of the floor construction method. The easiest way to build a shed foundation is to use wood skids that bear directly on a bed of gravel. 12x16 shed plans will vary depending on whether or not the floor system spans the whole 12 feet. If the floor spans that far then there will only be two wood skids. If the floor is framed using lighter framing materials then the foundation will need three or more wood skids to bear the floor weight. If you are building a skid foundation it will be easier, and cheaper, to construct the floor using more skids. If you are building another type of foundation like concrete pier then you will find it easier to have a heavier floor framing system and fewer piers. Verify with the shed designer before purchasing the 12x16 shed plans the design of the foundation and floor system.


Roof trusses for larger sheds like a 12 foot deep by 16 foot wide shed require a stronger construction method than that of a smaller design. Special consideration needs to be given to the assembly of the truss. When shed trusses are 10 or 12 feet wide they will need a post installed in the center of the truss going from the ridge of the truss straight down to the truss bottom chord. All the truss connections need to be sandwiched with a gusset on both sides of the truss. Make sure that the nails holding the gussets on are 8d and that they are far enough from the edges and ends of the board to not split the wood. It is very helpful to draw the truss design on the ground before starting work and then laying the truss members on the design while installing the gussets. This type of jig will help you build all the shed trusses the same size.

Shed Building Permits

A 12x16 shed plan often requires a building permit because of its size. It is common for building departments to ask for building permits when a shed is over 150 square feet. If you do not need a building permit you will find it helpful to contact the local building department to ask them about any restrictions on shed construction. They often have information on required setbacks, utility easements and building heights.

The construction of a larger shed will be an enjoyable experience when you know how to deal with the problems associated with its bigger size. Applying these shed building tips will help smooth out your shed building.


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