What Size Shed? Please Help! - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 05-09-2016, 02:07 AM Thread Starter
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What Size Shed? Please Help!

I'm embarrassed to even ask, but I am apparently extremely mathematically challenged! Here's what I need: totally enclosed storage for my firewood (not a pole shed, not an open front, etc as it may eventually be used as a goat barn, dry storage for other things, etc), but a regular, rectangular gable roof fully enclosed shed with double doors at the side. I know that much for sure.

I need to store 4 cords of firewood, that I get split & delivered in "12 inch" lengths for my small stove. I put that in "quotes" because it's often 14 or so inches but never a full 16". I can usually stack three rows deep on a typical pallet if that helps. I would like to fit all 4 cords in the shed AND I would like a little additional space for random other things... not a lot extra, just a couple extra feet to walk in front of the wood pile and maybe a little space at one side/end for garden tools and a few boxes, say a few empty feet at one end for some smaller items.

I do realize that a stacked standard cord is 8' long x 4' tall and 4' deep and I also know that's 128 cubic feet. But here's where I'm getting confused. For one thing, sheds are advertised as cubic feet 'they hold' but I don't know if they are referring to filling it to the roof, to the side walls, or what. I would obviously not stack wood to the rafters so I'm not sure exactly how they figure the USABLE cubic feet available for my type of purpose. Additionally, I don't need to stack my wood in exact 8x4x4 size cord-size rows. In fact, I generally stack 5 feet high, which is about as high as I'll go because I'm 5'5" tall and don't want it above my head.

SO: The question is: What's a good shed size that will fit 4 cords of wood, plus a little extra space for a small amount of junk? And please be specific, as in how high the side walls should be for example? Say I have a shed built with 6' side walls.... then what would the foot print need to be IF I stack the wood 5' high? IE; 16' Long x 10' Wide with 6' side walls... that's the type of spelling-out I need. I don't really care what size I make the piles (length and depth) as long as they aren't over 5 feet tall, I guess that's the bottom line.

I've been doodling on paper and looking at tons of sheds online trying to figure this out.... even used a wood calculator website... but can't manage to work out what shed size I need. Please don't laugh at me, I'm struggling here!!

Any help is most appreciated.
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post #2 of 19 Old 05-09-2016, 03:32 AM
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Stop with the crazy over analysis. Screw how they advertise a shed. Determine how much space you want or need for your wood. Determine how much space you want around it. Use square footage as your measure. After you have that information determine final square footage based on sheets of plywood as a floor. The wall height will take care of itself. That is how big a shed you will need.

That said, for 512 cubic feet of space (4 cords) you will need appx 10' wide X 10' long X 5' high space for the wood. 10' X 10' of floor space for the wood. Based on the additional room you want, do you want or need 2 feet around it, 4 feet around it or some other measure? Remember think sheets of plywood as a floor.

This is one way to think about it.
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post #3 of 19 Old 05-09-2016, 06:05 AM
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If the cord of wood is 4x8 why not make the shed 8x16. Going 5' high will just give you a little extra space to be able to get in the shed.

One other note, I would use all pressure treated wood for the shed in case some of your fire wood has termites.
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post #4 of 19 Old 05-09-2016, 07:30 AM
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For your information, what you are calling a "chord" is in actuality a "face" cord.

From what you are writing it seems that what you have is in actual full cord of wood plus however much the length of each piece of wood exceeds 12 inches.

Therefore I calculate that approximately 8' long by 5' deep b 4' high is the volume you need. That makes the footprint 8' by 4'. Add to that whatever you want your floor space to be and build that.

George

You also want to realize that this pile of wood is going to be a bug heaven.

Last edited by GeorgeC; 05-09-2016 at 07:33 AM.
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post #5 of 19 Old 05-09-2016, 07:45 AM
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Whatever size outdoor shed you decide will fit your needs NOW, it will not IMO be big enough! Always something else to store away, and the shed will be the place of choice. Have seen others build a "small" shed, then add to it again and again until it becomes as big as a two car garage. Be safe.
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post #6 of 19 Old 05-09-2016, 09:02 AM
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I heat with wood and use about 4 true cords/yr. A cord of firewood is measured by volume, 128 cubic feet/cord. That's roughly 4'x4'x8'. I use one of those portable garages, 12'x12' and completely fill it as high as I can safely stack it, about 6'.
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post #7 of 19 Old 05-09-2016, 11:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeC View Post
For your information, what you are calling a "chord" is in actuality a "face" cord.

From what you are writing it seems that what you have is in actual full cord of wood plus however much the length of each piece of wood exceeds 12 inches.

Therefore I calculate that approximately 8' long by 5' deep b 4' high is the volume you need. That makes the footprint 8' by 4'. Add to that whatever you want your floor space to be and build that.

George

You also want to realize that this pile of wood is going to be a bug heaven.
Too bad we cannot edit after 5 minutes. Makes for a lot of errors in a post that are just not worth making an entire new post to correct. this is the only forum with this limitation that I use.

There is an error in the above. The footprint is 8' by 5'. Still assuming that each piece is slightly over 12".

George
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post #8 of 19 Old 05-09-2016, 01:28 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by GeorgeC View Post
Too bad we cannot edit after 5 minutes. Makes for a lot of errors in a post that are just not worth making an entire new post to correct. this is the only forum with this limitation that I use.

There is an error in the above. The footprint is 8' by 5'. Still assuming that each piece is slightly over 12".

George
Hi George, A little confused by your first post and your second, but let me clarify from my end at least. I described a full cord as 4'h x 4'd x 8'l = 128 cubic feet. I believe that IS a full cord, not a face cord.

I may have confused the matter by mentioning the 12-14" log length and mentioning '3 deep on a pallet', but I did NOT mean that that's what I stack and call a cord. I have a large platform of pallets setup and I meant that three logs deep will usually fit onto a pallet before extending onto the next pallet (to complete the 4'deep part). I probably should not have even included that part.

So put it more simply, each year I have a large square stack of wood on a large platform of pallets, and the pile measures about 16' x 8' and 4' high (this is after deducting a few overall inches for the spaces between the piles). This totals apprx 512 cubic feet, or 4 full cords.

When I mentioned stacking 5 feet high, I was referring to my indoor wood rack, where I am comfortable stacking 5 feet high. So based on that, I was imagining that should I have a shed, I could stack 5 feet high in there as well, in order to be able to have a smaller shed footprint. I guess my thinking was that I don't necessarily need a shed 16' x 8' (the current length and width of my outdoor pile) if I am willing to stack higher.

Last edited by ljhaze; 05-09-2016 at 01:31 PM.
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post #9 of 19 Old 05-09-2016, 01:50 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by woodchux View Post
Whatever size outdoor shed you decide will fit your needs NOW, it will not IMO be big enough! Always something else to store away, and the shed will be the place of choice. Have seen others build a "small" shed, then add to it again and again until it becomes as big as a two car garage. Be safe.
Well, the good news is that I already have a storage shed, which pretty much suits my needs for non-wood items. All my garden, yard, chicken feed, etc go into that one. So this will be pretty much dedicated to wood. I would just like a little extra space to walk around it or toss a snow shovel or that sort of thing. I just didn't want the size advice to be too literal, with it going wall-to-wall with zero room to move, that's all. Good advice though, thank you!
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post #10 of 19 Old 05-09-2016, 02:14 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by subroc View Post
Stop with the crazy over analysis. Screw how they advertise a shed. Determine how much space you want or need for your wood. Determine how much space you want around it. Use square footage as your measure. After you have that information determine final square footage based on sheets of plywood as a floor. The wall height will take care of itself. That is how big a shed you will need.

That said, for 512 cubic feet of space (4 cords) you will need appx 10' wide X 10' long X 5' high space for the wood. 10' X 10' of floor space for the wood. Based on the additional room you want, do you want or need 2 feet around it, 4 feet around it or some other measure? Remember think sheets of plywood as a floor.

This is one way to think about it.
I'm really not trying to do a "crazy over-analysis". I'm simply a woman who lives alone with cognitive disabilities and who has NO idea about any of this stuff. It's all confusing to me. I'm just doing the best I can to give as much information as people here might need to give me some advice, so when I call the guy to build the shed, I can be firm on what size I need and not be taken advantage of.

To your second comment, I appreciate the size example. That does help, thank you.
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post #11 of 19 Old 05-09-2016, 03:19 PM
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Originally Posted by ljhaze View Post
Hi George, A little confused by your first post and your second, but let me clarify from my end at least. I described a full cord as 4'h x 4'd x 8'l = 128 cubic feet. I believe that IS a full cord, not a face cord.

I may have confused the matter by mentioning the 12-14" log length and mentioning '3 deep on a pallet', but I did NOT mean that that's what I stack and call a cord. I have a large platform of pallets setup and I meant that three logs deep will usually fit onto a pallet before extending onto the next pallet (to complete the 4'deep part). I probably should not have even included that part.

So put it more simply, each year I have a large square stack of wood on a large platform of pallets, and the pile measures about 16' x 8' and 4' high (this is after deducting a few overall inches for the spaces between the piles). This totals apprx 512 cubic feet, or 4 full cords.

When I mentioned stacking 5 feet high, I was referring to my indoor wood rack, where I am comfortable stacking 5 feet high. So based on that, I was imagining that should I have a shed, I could stack 5 feet high in there as well, in order to be able to have a smaller shed footprint. I guess my thinking was that I don't necessarily need a shed 16' x 8' (the current length and width of my outdoor pile) if I am willing to stack higher.
OK you have now provides the correct dimensions.

When you referred to 12" logs you did not say you had 4 piles of these that made up the full cord. It read like you were writing about a face cord.

I think you have pretty much stated the size of the shed you want.

George
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post #12 of 19 Old 05-09-2016, 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted by ljhaze View Post
I'm really not trying to do a "crazy over-analysis". I'm simply a woman who lives alone with cognitive disabilities and who has NO idea about any of this stuff. It's all confusing to me. I'm just doing the best I can to give as much information as people here might need to give me some advice, so when I call the guy to build the shed, I can be firm on what size I need and not be taken advantage of.

To your second comment, I appreciate the size example. That does help, thank you.
Clearly, the tone and tenor of the first 2 sentences could have come off a bit harsh. Not meant that way.

I hope something I said helps you make a sound, informed decision.
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post #13 of 19 Old 05-09-2016, 04:48 PM Thread Starter
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Clearly, the tone and tenor of the first 2 sentences could have come off a bit harsh. Not meant that way.

I hope something I said helps you make a sound, informed decision.
That's quite alright, I only felt the need to explain why I am struggling to understand (and describe) something that probably comes fairly easy for most of you in this area of life. Your measurement example definitely helped. I appreciate everyone's input, thanks so much.
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post #14 of 19 Old 05-09-2016, 08:52 PM
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If you can stack the wood 6 feet high, you should be able to store 4 cords of wood in a 10'x12' shed and have room on one end for a small walkway. Higher stacking saves a lot of floor space. (10'x10'x6' = 600 cu. ft, more than the 512 cu. ft. for four cords.) Even counting for the reduced space on the interior because of a 2x4 wall, you should still be able to get 4 cords in there.
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post #15 of 19 Old 05-10-2016, 01:32 PM Thread Starter
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If you can stack the wood 6 feet high, you should be able to store 4 cords of wood in a 10'x12' shed and have room on one end for a small walkway. Higher stacking saves a lot of floor space. (10'x10'x6' = 600 cu. ft, more than the 512 cu. ft. for four cords.) Even counting for the reduced space on the interior because of a 2x4 wall, you should still be able to get 4 cords in there.
Oh, that's interesting, I hadn't even thought of the reduced interior because of the 2x4's, I'm glad you mentioned that. I would prefer it to be rectangular in shape simply because it fits the spot better visually, so 10' x 12' sounds pretty good and not too huge. I'm a little unsure about stacking it 6' high though, that's a foot and a half above my head. But maybe supported stacks inside walls wouldn't topple as easily as it might when stacked outside free-standing. (I've never actually had wood topple on my head, but living alone these are the things I think about). Good food for thought, thank you.
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post #16 of 19 Old 05-10-2016, 08:30 PM
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The shed will never be large enough. Best advice I heard was take everything you want to put in the shed and put it all in an area and measure it, that is the minimum size shed you need.
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post #17 of 19 Old 05-10-2016, 08:52 PM Thread Starter
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The shed will never be large enough. Best advice I heard was take everything you want to put in the shed and put it all in an area and measure it, that is the minimum size shed you need.
I plan to use it exclusively for wood (4 cords, specifically). I already have another shed that I store various items and yard stuff in. I actually don't have much "shed stuff", so my current shed is plenty for those other things. I'm just sick of covering my wood pile with a tarp and digging through snow each year. The only additional space I want inside the shed is really just enough to move in front of the pile and maybe stand a snow shovel or two at one side, that's it. The only reason I want it to be a fully enclosed shed rather than a pole shed (for example) is because I want the versatility to use it as a goat barn or that type of thing in the future should I change my priorities.

But the way I stack my wood currently ends up being a large footprint, so I'm just trying to do the math on a smaller footprint shed, with it stacked to say, 5 feet.
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post #18 of 19 Old 05-10-2016, 09:06 PM
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If you are only 4 1/2' all I would not try to stack the wood 6' tall.

George
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post #19 of 19 Old 05-10-2016, 11:27 PM Thread Starter
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If you are only 4 1/2' all I would not try to stack the wood 6' tall.

George
I'm 5 1/2 feet tall. In my original post I wrote: "I generally stack 5 feet high, which is about as high as I'll go because I'm 5'5" tall and don't want it above my head...."

and then later my comment that: "When I mentioned stacking 5 feet high, I was referring to my indoor wood rack, where I am comfortable stacking 5 feet high. So based on that, I was imagining that should I have a shed, I could stack 5 feet high in there as well..."

My later comment about 6 feet being "a foot and a half above my head" was a typo, but even that was in the context that I was uncomfortable with stacking it 6' high. As you yourself remarked regarding your own post error, you can't go back and make corrections after a few minutes. The point is, I'd rather keep the stack at 5 feet, which is what I've said more than once is the height I'm comfortable with.
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