How to Build the Gambrel Garage - Part 3 of 3
Following classic barn designs, this 12 x 12-ft. garage-size storage shed has several features that make it a versatile storage shed or workshop. The garage’s 144-square-foot floor is a poured concrete slab with a thickened edge that allows it to serve as the building’s foundation.
Following classic barn designs, this 12 x 12-ft. garage-size storage shed has several features that make it a versatile storage shed or workshop. The garage’s 144-square-foot floor is a poured concrete slab with a thickened edge that allows it to serve as the building’s foundation. Designed for economy and durability, the floor can easily support heavy machinery, woodworking tools, and recreational vehicles.
The garage’s sectional overhead door makes for quick access to equipment and supplies and provides plenty of air and natural light for working inside. The door opening is sized for an 8-ft.-wide x 7-ft.-tall door, but you can buy any size or style of door you like—just make your door selection before you start framing the garage.
Another important design feature of this building is its gambrel roof, which maximizes the usable interior space (see The Gambrel Roof). Beneath the roof is a sizeable storage attic with 315 cubic feet of space and its own double doors above the garage door. Note: we added a patio section to the front of this shed. This optional slab will appear throughout the how-to photos.
The Gambrel Roof
The gambrel roof is the defining feature of two structures in American architecture: the barn and the Dutch Colonial house. Adopted from earlier English buildings, the gambrel style became popular in America during the early 17th century and was used on homes and farm buildings throughout the Atlantic region. Today, the gambrel roof remains a favorite detail for designers of sheds, garages, and carriage houses.
The basic gambrel shape has two flat planes on each side, with the lower plane sloped much more steeply than the upper. More elaborate versions incorporate a flared eave, known as a “Dutch kick,” that was often extended to shelter the front and rear facades of the building. Barns typically feature an extended peak at the front, sheltering the doors of the hayloft. The main advantage of the gambrel roof is the increased space underneath the roof, providing additional headroom for upper floors in homes or extra storage space in outbuildings.
How to Build the Gambrel Garage - Step 1
Install the garage door in the door opening, following the manufacturer’s directions.
How to Build the Gambrel Garage - Step 2
Build the window frame, which should be 1⁄2" narrower and shorter than the rough opening. Install the frame using shims and 10d galvanized casing nails, as shown in the WINDOW JAMB DETAIL. Cut eight 1 x 2 stop pieces to fit the frame. Bevel the outer sill stop for drainage. Order glass to fit, or cut your own plastic panel. Install the glazing and stops, using glazing tape for a watertight seal. Add the window trim.
How to Build the Gambrel Garage - Step 3
For the attic doorframe, rip 1 x 6s to match the depth of the opening and cut the head jamb and side jambs. Cut the sill from full-width 1 x 6 stock; then cut a kerf for a drip edge (see the ATTIC DOOR SILL DETAIL). Fasten the head jamb to the side jambs and install the sill at a 5° slope between the side jambs. Install the doorframe using shims and 10d casing nails. Add shims or cedar shingles along the length of the sill to provide support underneath. The front edge of the frame should be flush with the face of the siding. Add 1 x 2 stops at the frame sides and top, 3⁄4" from the front edges.
How to Build the Gambrel Garage - Step 4
Build the attic doors as shown in the ATTIC DOOR ELEVATION, using glue and 11⁄4" screws. Each door measures 28 5⁄8" x 38", including the panel braces. Cut the 1 x 8 panel boards about 1⁄8" short along the bottom to compensate for the sloping sill. Install the door with two hinges each. Add 1 x 4 horizontal trim on the front wall, up against the doorsill; then trim around both sides of the doorframe. Prime and paint as desired.