Building Tips For Sheds In Maine

With a few exceptions, building a storage shed in Maine, virtually regardless of size, has the same building tips as in any other state with any other kind of weather. Maine weather is not unique, but there are features to its weather that Southern California and Florida do not share. Building a shed, as with any other architecture, has requirements for a sturdy, long-lasting shed in Maine.

Again with little exception, just about any design for a shed is appropriate to build in Maine. There are exceptions that immediately come to mind for both design and construction of a shed, and both are related to the winter climate in Maine.

1. The shed roof must be able to withstand the snow pack. Winter typically brings 5 to 6 feet of snow and, unless you are able to clear the snow from the roof periodically through the winter, or have designed a shed with a roof pitch that will discourage snow build-up, the side walls and roof structure must be built to support the weight of that much snow.

2. The shed foundation should be either on-grade or a raised, frost-proof foundation. These options will be discussed later, but an original grade dirt floor shed is not recommended.

The first consideration for a shed in Maine, or anywhere else, after selection of an appropriate site is the foundation. Once the site has been established, level the site as best as possible, however, fine-tuning the foundation level will be done later. Clear the site of all vegetation. Allow a minimum 2 to 3-foot space around the shed.

A concrete or gravel grade-level foundation can be poured and will be adequate, but the winter climate in Maine would suggest that a raised, frost-proof foundation is best. The raised foundation is more difficult because the foundation joists, which should be pressure-treated lumber, must be mounted on poured concrete or solid concrete brick piers, with a minimum air gap of 4 to 6 inches between the ground and the foundation level. This will avoid damage to the shed due to ground movement that occurs with freeze/thaw cycles and provide three-season air circulation.

The floor frame and floor (pressure-treated 2×6 or 2×8 lumber for framing and 5/8 to ¾ plywood flooring) will be exposed potentially exposed to some moisture. Sealing the foundation plywood before laying it is a good preservative.

For the wall framing and roof trusses, use good 2x4s and make sure that the plywood sheathing leaves no gaps. Exterior siding over the plywood sheathing is recommended to prevent rot and to offer a cleaner, more appealing appearance. Low-maintenance vinyl siding is recommended along with plastic-framed windows and fiberglass doors. Use similar roofing shingles as on the house.

Even though winter protection is important, provide adequate weatherproof ventilation.

Provide an adequate-sized door for current and future planning regarding the descriptions of the shed. A narrow door for a shed large enough to eventually accommodate a riding mower or other large equipment that would require a wider door should be planned for in advance.

Following these tips will provide a long-lasting solidly-constructed sheds Maine

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