Do it yourself!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

How To Build A Small Out Building

Tools Needed:

The following example is for a portable building 8 feet by 8 feet.

Steps To Take:

  1. The first thing you will need will be the runners or stringers, which serve as the foundation. They will be 4” by 6” treated lumber and will extend 4” past both sides of the building making them 8ft 8inches.Make sure the 6 side is standing up. Cut a 2” triangle out of the bottom end of both of the timbers to prevent the building from digging into the dirt if the building is moved.
  2. The next step will be the floor. It will be built out of 2”by 4” lumber. Take 2 of these and cut them 8ft long. Start at one end, put marks at 16”,32”,48”,64”, and 80”. Transfer these marks to both of the boards using a square. Set these boards about 8ft apart on a flat surface.
  3. Next cut 7- 2”by 4”‘s 7’9” long and lay them the opposite direction from the boards that you made the marks on. Center these boards on the marks and nail them in place giving you a frame that is 16” on center.
  4. Next you measure in from the out side of the frame 1’ and pop a line from one end to the other. Lay the 4 by 6 beams on this line and nail them in place.
  5. Next you pick up the frame and beams and flip it over making the runners on the bottom.
  6. Next you take 2 sheets of 4f’ x 8’ x ¾” plywood and lay one of them on the frame. Line up the edge with the edge of the frame and nail it. This will square up the floor. Then nail the other piece to the 2’x4’s
  7. Next you build the walls.  Cut 2- 2”x 4”s 8’ long and lay them side by side. Mark 16”,32”,48,”64” and 80”. Transfer the marks to both of them using a square. Set these boards on the floor of the building about 7ft apart. Now cut 7-2”x 4”‘s 6"9” long and lay them the opposite direction on the plywood. Center them on the marks on the other 2 boards and nail them in place. Repeat this on one more of the walls.
  8. Now cut the siding that you have chosen for the building 7” 3 1/2” tall making sure that it is laid square with the walls that you have framed on the floor. This will let the siding hang over the bottom of the wall 3 1/2”. Nail it in place.
  9. Now stand these 2 walls up on opposite ends of the floor making sure they are lined up on each end of the building and tight against the floor. Nail them in place.
  10. Now cut 2-2”x 4”“s 6"5” and lay them between the walls you have up. Put marks at 12”1/2”, 28”1/2”, 44”1/2”,60”1/2”, and 76”1/2”. Transfer the marks to both of them using a square.

  11. At this point your will have to decide what size door or window you want in the building and where to install them.


    If you are using a standard size door unit you will need to make the door opening ½” bigger than the door unit. Standard windows are usually pre sized and can be framed the size of the window.

    • Mark the door and windows where you want them on the 2 boards and leave out the studs in this area. Cut the 2” x 4” studs 6” 9” long and lay them the opposite direction on the floor. Nail them in place.
    • Now select the height of the window if any and cut 2-2”by4”‘s the size of the window and nail them in place. For the door opening you will need to cut 1-2”x 4” for the header or top of the door frame ½” bigger than the door unit you have picked out. Nail it in place ½” taller than the door unit. Repeat this on both of the walls.
    • Now cut the siding as before and nail in place leaving out the door or window. The siding will be hanging over the side of the building frame 3”1/2” on both of these walls. Stand them up and nail them in place as before.
    • Now you need to decide what roof you want to install on the buildin; hip, gable, or flat.  The most common roof is the gable roof. This roof can be cut with any pitch you desire. Lets say you want a 4 and 12 pitch. This means for every foot the roof goes across it comes up 4”. A speed square will tell you how to cut this roof.
    • Install the desired decking on the roof (usually 1/2” exterior plywood) and cover with shingles or tin. Put 1"x 4” pine trim on the corners and your just about done.
    • Depending on the kind of sideing you used and how well you want to preserve your building you may need to paint.

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