The Putter Shed
A putter shed is a great way to increase your outdoor storage area. We built ours using a plan we saw in a magazine, but most lumberyards and home centers will have plans and kits available.
Our style of shed comes with a couple of different options. One option is to divide the shed into two rooms; one for storage and one for a workshop area. We chose a one-room version with a long work bench inside and one double-door entrance.
Make sure to check building codes in your area before you build so you don't find out later that you've violated one and have to move your shed or make it smaller. Also check to see if you're required to obtain a permit to build a shed structure.
Platform & Wall Framing
In our climate you usually need to build a structure like this on frost footings, but the ground here is too rocky to dig that deep. We used concrete blocks instead, and are counting on the shed to absorb a little ground heaving as the frosts come and go.
If you have to do some digging, have the locations of your underground pipes and gas and electrical lines marked clearly by your utility companies.
We used treated beams and joists to frame our 6-foot by 10-foot platform, and then covered them with treated 3/4-inch plywood. It's pretty critical that this platform is level and square.
Our walls are basic 2x4 stud walls, framed 16" on center. We also added some extra nailers for the siding.
The door header is a pair of 2x4's with some half-inch plywood sandwiched in between to make it the same width as a 2x4. It rests on two trimmers between the king studs which brace the door framing.
We framed all the walls first and then raised them one at a time starting with the back wall. We made all of the walls 7 feet high, but our plan called for windows across the top of the front wall. That added another 18 inches to the front wall and created the angle for the shed roof.
With the walls up we made sure they were all plumb and square and then braced them in place with 2x4's. Then we put plywood cap plates on top of the walls to overlap the ends and give the corners extra strength.
We also made a frame for the clerestory windows that span across the top of the front wall. The top plate of the front wall serves as the bottom frame for the windows. We put the glass in these after the roof was done.
For the roof, we used 2x4 rafters spaced 16 inches on center. These ran between the front and back walls and were notched to rest on each wall.
These notches are called "bird mouth" notches, and they're made to match the pitch of the roof. You need a framing square to figure out this cut, and it can get pretty complicated, but once you have one done you can just trace the cuts on to the other rafters. We toenailed these rafters to the top plates of the walls.
2x4 sub-fascia boards were nailed across the front and back ends of the rafters to support the roof sheathing and trim. They also support the fly rafters which frame in the 6-inch overhangs on the sides.
The roof sheathing is thicker than usual, 1 1/4", so the roofing nails don't show through to the inside. First we put on a 3/4" A-C grade plywood. This went on with the "A" side down since it's visible from inside. And then we put some oriented strand board (OSB) over that.
TIP: Snap chalklines on your sheathing where your rafters fall so you know where to nail or staple them.
We put the fascia boards on before the shingles to give us a finished edge to nail the shingles to. Usually when you put on fascia boards you're worried about plumb cuts and mitered corners, but our shed style was so informal that we used regular square cuts and butt joints at the corners.