How To Frame A Corner (2×6)
In order to make it easier for you to follow along, I have included pictures of the steps involved in framing a 2×6 wall. If you are not familiar with the basic building construction principles, then please refer back to my previous post on how do you build a house. You will see that there are some similarities between those two projects. Let’s get started!
Step 1: Choose Your Framing Material
There are many different types of wood available. These include: hardwood, softwood, pine, cedar, oak and other species such as cherry or ash. All these materials have their own advantages and disadvantages when it comes to strength and durability. Hardwoods tend to be stronger than softwoods but they require more time to dry out before being used in construction so they may take longer to finish building your home. Pine tends to be lighter weight and less expensive than hardwoods but it is susceptible to rot and insects.
Oak is relatively inexpensive but it is very heavy and brittle making it prone to cracking if dropped from high places. Cedar is a combination of both hardwood and softwood which makes it strong, light, durable, easy to work with and cheap.
The type of wood you choose depends upon the size of your project. For example, if you want to build a small cottage, then you would need a strong material like cedar because it is very heavy and requires lots of space. On the other hand, if you are planning to build a large house where weight is no object, then hardwoods would be better since they are lighter and less expensive. These are all factors which you may want to consider when deciding what materials to use.
Step 2: Stake Out the Corner
The first step is to stake out where your corners will be. This can be done by hammering in a series of nails at each of the corners. Alternatively you can use string and tie it at each corner. In this case I am using string since I want my corners to be exactly square. If you are on a tight budget then softwoods like pine are the best option; Just make sure that you use lots of exterior glue and screws.
The framing material we used was SPF (spruce,pine,fir) which is a mix of different types of wood with no distinguishable grain pattern. It tends to be heavy,but strong and fairly inexpensive. White wood is another popular option since it is easy to paint and looks nice. I really like the appearance of oak but it tends to be very heavy. You may want to do a bit of research about different types of wood and the benefits they provide before you decide on what to use.
Step 3: Build the Base
This step is fairly easy since all you need to do is build a box with the dimensions that you’ve already decided upon. In my case I wanted the dimensions of my wall to be 8 feet by 8 feet.
Step 4: Marking Out the Beams
The next step is to mark out where the beams will go. The standard location for these beams is 16 inches from the top and bottom and 48 inches from each side. Once you have marked out these locations then you can start cutting the wood to size. Don’t forget to cut notches in the ends of the beams where they will fit into the corners.
Step 5: Fit the Beams
Once you have all the beams cut to size then you can start fitting them into place. The easiest way is to lay all the beams into position first and then start nailing and screwing them into each of the corners first, and then the sides. In my case I used 3inch wood screws and a impact driver.
Step 6: Sheathing the Walls
Next we can fit the sheets of OSB (Oriented Strand Board) to the wall. I had the guys at the supply store cut 4 sheets of 4 foot by 8 foot OSB in half so that I could use them for the walls and the ceiling. Start by screwing or nailing the Sheets into the sides of the wall. Then using a Simpson Holder clip the sheet into place between the beams. Make sure that you leave a little bit of a gap (about an inch) between the sheets to allow for ventilation.
Continue this process for the ceiling.
Step 7: Framing the Roof
The next step is to frame the roof. The easiest way is to get some more 2 by 6 beams and notch them into the top of the wall frames. You can then lay more 2 by 4 beams across the top and screw them into place. Once this is done, then you can lay the sheets of plywood across the top and screw them into place. I had the guys at the supply store cut these sheets of plywood in half so that I only needed one piece for the roof rather than trying to carry a 4 foot by 8 foot sheet up a ladder.
Step 8: Installing the Door
The door is very simple. All you need to do is frame it with 2 by 4 boards and then use hinges to hang it on the wall. I used a bathroom door that I had salvaged since it already had a nice frame. For the door knob I just bought a handle and drilled a hole into the door for the latch to go through.
Step 9: Installing the Windows
The windows are probably the most complex part of this project. You will need to build a frame for them that is the same size as the window. I built mine out of 2 by 4’s but you could also use plywood and cut out the window frames. You will also need to build a sill that goes around the bottom of the window. This needs to overhang the wall by about an inch and a half so that it rests on the beam below it.
You will also need to build ‘J’ shaped pieces of wood that go from the window sill to the horizontal framing members in the wall. These are what will hold the window in place and allow you to open and close it. The ‘J’ shaped pieces will rest on the window sill and be wedged in place under the bottom horizontal piece. This will hold the window in place and allow you to open it.
I had a lot of the scrap wood left over from building the beds so I used that. If you haven’t yet built the bed then you will need to buy some 4 by 4 wooden posts to use for these pieces. I would also recommend using plywood for the window frames rather than the 2 by 4’s. It might make the window a bit more expensive but it will be sturdier and you won’t have to deal with screws popping out and nails giving way.
Once the windows are installed then you can fill in the rest of the wall space with some more wood (2 by 4’s or plywood will work).
Step 10: Electrical Wiring
Installing the wiring for the lights is another complex step. I wired my shed so that there is a plug just inside the door next to the light switch. There is a plug on the opposite side of the room on the inside wall by the wood stove. You can choose to run the wiring for just one set of lights or both. To do just one set you would run the line from the plug along the top of the wall to where the lights are.
You then fish it through the framing members to the center of the wall and then down to the bottom (the space between the bottom and top plates). I only did this for one side since I was conserving money so I have a line running just over half way down the wall on one side and not on the other.
The wire itself is pretty cheap. You should be able to get all that you need for less than ten dollars. The most expensive part of the wiring is going to be hiring an electrician to do the work. This cost me about $50 for the visit and then another $40 or so to actually do the work. If you are technically inclined and can do this yourself it will be a lot cheaper.
Step 11: Getting Your Permits
Before doing anything you are going to need to contact your city hall and determine what, if any, permits you need. In my city you don’t need a permit to build a shed but you do need one to run a electrical line. This is especially important if you plan on running more than just a few lights.
In my case I had an electrician come out and install a dedicated 15 Amp circuit just for the shed. The cost for this was around $250 but it is good for as long as I own the house.
Note: Be careful when following advice found online. Much of it is outdated and doesn’t account for changes in code and standards. Use it as a starting point but always confirm anything you find online with your local government officials.
Step 12: Framing and Floor
The floor isn’t too hard to frame. The biggest issue you are going to have is making sure that the walls are square and plumb (meaning straight up and down). If they aren’t then your floor is going to go out of square and this will lead to obvious problems later on.
If you are using treated lumber for the floor make sure that you note which side is supposed to be facing down. It should be pretty obvious but if you aren’t sure just give it a quick once over with a magnet. If the magnet sticks then that side should be facing down.
Step 13: Building the Walls
As I mentioned before I decided to add an extra window on the south wall of the shed. This actually added quite a bit of work since I had to notch out the studs for the window casing and that added a bunch of time to build the walls. Since I didn’t take any notes on what exactly I did it will be up to you whether or not you want to include a window like this.
If you decide not to add the extra window then the building of the walls will be very straightforward. Just make sure that your top plate and bottom plate are level and plumb and then carefully measure out and build your studs to fit in-between.
Step 14: The Roof
The roof was probably the trickiest part of this project for me. I wanted the roof to be metal so that it would match the rest of the buildings on my property but I also wanted it to look nice. This meant getting some flexible metal so that it could easily curve and then making sure it had a nice decorative piece across the center. I got lucky and found a place not too far from me that dealt with selling salvaged materials. They had all the metal I needed at a reasonable price.
I started by building the frame for the roof. This was just built using 2x4s. I made sure to pay attention to where the high and low points were going to be so that the roof would cup slightly toward the walls of the building.
Next I put on the sheeting. I started at the bottom and slowly worked my way up using roofing nails. I made sure to put a nice overhang so that water would run off the eave’s into gutters that I would build later.
Next I put on the cap-sheet. This is what gave it that nice finished look. It also meant that I didn’t have to paint the roof since the metal was already galvanized and pre-primed.
While putting up the gutters I had a moment of brilliance. Some of you might not need this step but I’m older and my memory is starting to go so I figured I would write it down while it’s still fresh in my mind.
I had a bunch of scrap metal from when I was building the roof so I decided to use it for the gutters. This stuff was super thick and heavy duty so it wouldn’t collapse when water filled it up. I still needed a way to securely mount it though. What I did was drill holes in the corners of the gutters and used bolts with some washers and lockwashers on them and nuts on the inside to secure them. This way they were nice and sturdy.
Even if you are using “normal” gutters it might be a good idea to do this because the factory seams always seem to leak a little bit no matter what.
Step 15: Electricity and Plumbing
This step was fairly easy for me since I had already ran the power and water to the other buildings on my land. If you haven’t done that yet then you will probably want to do that before building your new shed.
If you are going to be running new lines then you will need to do some planning. You are going to have to find the right location for your shed so that you will be able to reach some power and a water supply. Just keep in mind that your gutter’s down-spouts are going to have to go some place so you will want to find a location that will accommodate that as well.
I ran my lines the exact same way I did for my house. Since I was on the side of a hill I just used some scrap 2x4s and made a shelf for the water to run off of. This, of course is much easier if you are building your shed on flat ground but it can be done no matter what the ground-level is like.
The wiring was also fairly easy since I just needed power for a few lights and the outlet for the air compressor.
Step 16: Building the Floor
The sheet-floor was the part that I was most worried about. It needed to be able to support the weight of a lot of equipment and machines but it also had to be comfortable enough for people to walk around and work on their vehicles. It also needed to be water proof.
I decided to use the same flooring I used in my workshop but you can use whatever tickles your fancy. Just make sure it is strong and waterproof.
I had 4″ of Smooth-Stone installed which worked perfectly since that left me with a 2″ rim around the top of the floor for the walls.
I had some scraps left over so I decided to rip those in half so they would fit better in some of the tighter areas around the equipment.
Step 17: Sheet-Metal (Painted and Installed)
Like I stated before, you can use whatever you want for the walls but this is what I went with since it was cheap and I didn’t feel like painting anymore than I had to.
The only thing that gave me any trouble was the doors.
Sources & references used in this article:
- Drywall construction (FD Greenwood, K Kobielski – US Patent 5,146,723, 1992 – Google Patents)
- Drywall corner-finishing accessory (JM Koenig Jr – US Patent 5,313,755, 1994 – Google Patents)
- Drywall corner finishing device (PE Stibolt, RE Judy – US Patent 5,531,050, 1996 – Google Patents)