A reader's General Construction question: Shed lumber sizes?

Barry L.   from   Trinity, United States   had this Shed lumber sizes question.

I'm building a shed 30'(wide)x36'(long, and was planning on making rafter span 15'3", and peak at 5'. Is this enough peak?
And what kind of weight can 2"x6"x14' roughly support?
I'll actually be using 2"x6"x16' boards cut to 15'3" for 3" overhang each side, supported on each end and the middle by 2"x8"x12' boards carriage bolted to 6"x6"x12' posts buried 2' in the ground.

Bill's reply

Hi Barry,

Regarding your shed, here we don't often build like what you are suggesting any more. For us the cost of timber is just a lot more expensive than the alternatives.

For instance we would be using maybe 4"x4" RHS steel columns, set in concrete, steel beams and maybe gang nail roof trusses. Or we would use just steel wall frames, depending on your layout.

Your sizes seem OK to me, but I am not an engineer. I don't know what your location is, so don't know if you will be subjected to snow loads, if you are, raise the pitch and close up the rafter spacings.

If you are in a high wind area then definitely use bolted connection for the main joints and use nail plate type connectors elsewhere.

You don't mention any ceiling joists or collar ties. You are going to need something to stop the roof/walls spreading at the eaves.

There are so many variables, that it is hard to give advice from a distance, so the best advice I can give is for you to contact local experts in your area.

Best of luck with it and if you need more, get back to me with more details.


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