How to Build the Timber-frame Shed Part 2 of 2

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Timber-framing is a traditional style of building that uses a simple framework of heavy timber posts and beams connected with hand-carved joints.


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Timber-framing is a traditional style of building that uses a simple framework of heavy timber posts and beams connected with hand-carved joints. From the outside, a timber-frame building looks like a standard stick-frame structure, but on the inside, the stout, rough-sawn framing members evoke the look and feel of an 18th-century workshop. This 8 x 10-ft. shed has the same basic design used in traditional timber-frame structures but with joints that are easy to make.
In addition to the framing, some notable features of this shed are its simplicity and proportions. It’s a nicely symmetrical building with full-height walls and an attractively steep-pitched roof, something you seldom find on manufactured kit sheds. The clean styling gives it a traditional, rustic look, but also makes the shed ideal for adding custom details. Install a skylight or windows to brighten the interior, or perhaps cut a crescent moon into the door in the style of old-fashioned backyard privies.
The materials for this project were carefully chosen to enhance the traditional styling. The 1 x 8 tongue-and-groove siding and all exterior trim boards are made from rough-sawn cedar, giving the shed a natural, rustic quality. The door is hand-built from rough cedar boards and includes exposed Z-bracing, a classic outbuilding detail. As shown here, the roof frame is made with standard 2 x 4s, but if you’re willing to pay a little more to improve the appearance, you can use rough-cut 2 x 4s or 4 x 4s for the roof framing.
Another option to consider is traditional spaced sheathing instead of plywood for the roof deck. Spaced sheathing consists of 1 x 4 boards nailed perpendicular to the roof frame, with a 1 1⁄2" gap between boards. The roof shingles are nailed directly to the sheathing without building paper in between, creating an attractive ceiling of exposed boards and shingles inside the shed.

What You'll Need


circular saw



Drainage material 1 cu. yard Compactible gravel

Skids 3 @ 10' 6 x 6 treated timbers

Floor Framing

Rim joists 2 @ 10' 2 x 6 pressure-treated

Joists 9 @ 8' 2 x 6 pressure-treated

Joist clip angles 18 3 x 3 x 3" x 18-gauge galvanized

Floor sheathing 3 sheets @ 4 x 8' 3⁄4" tongue-&-groove ext.-grade plywood

Wall Framing

Posts 6 @ 8' 4 x 4 rough-sawn cedar

Window posts 2 @ 4' 4 x 4 rough-sawn cedar

Girts 2 @ 10',2 @ 8' 4 x 4 rough-sawn cedar

Beams 2 @ 10',2 @ 8' 4 x 6 rough-sawn cedar

Braces 8 @ 2' 4 x 4 rough-sawn cedar

Post bases 6, with nails Simpson BC40

Post-beam connectors 8 pieces, with nails Simpson LCE

L-connectors 4, with nails Simpson A34

Additional posts 6 @ 8' 4 x 4 rough-sawn cedar

Roof Framing

Rafters 12 @ 7' 2 x 4

Collar ties 2 @ 10' 2 x 4

Ridge board 1 @ 10' 2 x 6

Metal anchors—rafters 8, with nails Simpson H1

Gable-end blocking 4 @ 7' 2 x 2

Exterior Finishes

Siding 2 @ 14'
8 @ 12'
10 @ 10'
29 @ 9' 1 x 8 V-joint rough-sawn cedar

Corner trim 8 @ 9' 1 x 4 rough-sawn cedar

Fascia 4 @ 7', 2 @ 12' 1 x 6 rough-sawn cedar

Fascia trim 4 @ 7', 2 @ 12' 1 x 2 rough-sawn cedar

Subfascia 2 @ 12' 1 x 4 pine

Plywood soffits 1 sheet 4 x 8' 3⁄8" cedar or fir plywood


Soffit vents (optional) 4 @ 4 x 12" Louver with bug screen

Flashing (door) 4 linear ft. Galvanized—18 gauge


Roof sheathing 6 sheets @ 4 x 8' 1⁄2" ext.-grade plywood

Cedar shingles 1.7 squares

15# building paper 140 sq. ft.

Roof vents (optional) 2 units


Frame 2 @ 7', 1 @ 4' 3⁄4 x 41⁄4" (actual) S4S cedar

Stops 2 @ 7', 1 @ 4' 1 x 2 S4S cedar

Panel material 7 @ 7' 1 x 6 T&G V-joint
rough-sawn cedar

Z-brace 1 @ 8' to 2 @ 8' 1 x 6 rough-sawn cedar

Strap hinges 3

Trim 5 @ 7' 1 x 3 rough-sawn cedar

Flashing 42" metal flashing


60d common nails 16 nails

20d common nails 32 nails

16d galvanized common nails 31⁄2 lbs.

10d common nails 1 lb.

10d galvanized casing nails 1⁄2 lb.

8d galvanized box nails 11⁄2 lbs.

8d galvanized finish nails 7 lbs.

8d box nails 1⁄4 lb.

6d galvanized finish nails 40 nails

3d galvanized finish nails 50 nails

11⁄2" joist hanger nails 72 nails

21⁄2" deck screws 25 screws

11⁄2" wood screws 50 screws

7⁄8" galvanized roofing nails 2 lbs.

3⁄8" x 6" lag screws, w/washers 16 screws

1⁄4" x 6" lag screws, w/washers

Construction adhesive 4 tubes


Step 1

How to Build the Timber-frame Shed - Step 1

Cut eight 4 x 4 corner braces (20"), mitering the ends at 45°. Install the braces flush with the outsides of the beams and corner posts, using two 3⁄8" x 6" lag screws (with washers) driven through counterbored pilot holes.

Step 2

How to Build the Timber-frame Shed - Step 2

Measure between the posts at the notches, and cut the 4 x 4 girts to fit. To allow the girts to meet at the corner posts, make a 11⁄2" x 11⁄2" notch at both ends of the rear wall girts and the outside ends of the front wall girts. Install the girts with construction adhesive and two 20d nails driven through the outsides of the posts (make pilot holes). Cut and install the 4 x 4 door header in the same fashion.

Step 3

How to Build the Timber-frame Shed - Step 3

Frame the roof: Cut two pattern rafters using the RAFTER TEMPLATE. Test-fit the patterns, and then cut the remaining ten rafters. Cut the 2 x 6 ridge (120"). Install the rafters and ridge using 24" on-center spacing. Cut four 2 x 2s to extend from the roof peak to the rafter ends, and install them flush with the tops of the rafters; see the GABLE OVERHANG DETAIL. Add framing connectors at the rafter-beam connections (except the outer rafters). Note: if desired, you can add framing for a skylight.

Step 4

How to Build the Timber-frame Shed - Step 4

Cut four 2 x 4 collar ties (58"), mitering the tops of the ends at 45°. Install the ties 1⁄2" below the tops of the rafters, as shown in the FRAMING ELEVATIONS.

Step 5

How to Build the Timber-frame Shed - Step 5

Install the 1 x 8 siding on the front and rear walls so it runs from the 2 x 2s down to 3⁄4" below the bottom of the floor frame. Fasten the siding with 8d corrosion-resistant finish nails or siding nails. Don’t nail the siding to the door header in this step.

Step 6

How to Build the Timber-frame Shed - Step 6

Cover the rafter ends along the eaves with 1 x 4 subfascia, flush with the tops of the rafters; see the EAVE DETAIL. Install the 1 x 6 fascia and 1 x 2 trim at the gable ends, then along the eaves, mitering the corner joints. Keep the fascia and trim 1⁄2" above the rafters so it will be flush with the roof sheathing.

Step 7

How to Build the Timber-frame Shed - Step 7

Rip the plywood soffit panels to fit between the wall framing and the fascia, and install them with 3d galvanized box nails; see the EAVE DETAIL.

Step 8

How to Build the Timber-frame Shed - Step 8

Deck the roof with 1⁄2" plywood sheathing, starting at the bottom corners. Cover the sheathing with building paper, overhanging the 1 x 2 fascia trim by 3⁄4". Install the cedar shingle roofing or asphalt shingles. Include roof vents, if desired (they’re a good idea). Finish the roof at the peak with a 1x ridge cap.

Step 9

How to Build the Timber-frame Shed - Step 9

Construct the door frame from 3⁄4" x 41⁄4" stock. Cut the head jamb at 373⁄4" and the side jambs at 81". Fasten the head jamb over the ends of the side jambs with 21⁄2" deck screws. Install the frame in the door opening, using shims and 10d galvanized casing nails. Add 1 x 2 stops to the jambs, 3⁄4" from the outside edges.

Step 10

How to Build the Timber-frame Shed - Step 10

Build the door with seven pieces of 1 x 6 siding cut at 803⁄4". Fit the boards together, then mark and trim the outer pieces so the door is 36" wide. Install the 1 x 6 Z-bracing with adhesive and 11⁄4" wood screws, as shown in the DOOR DETAIL. Install flashing over the outside of the door, then add 1 x 3 trim around both sides of the door opening, as shown in the DOOR JAMB DETAIL. Hang the door with three strap hinges.



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