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How thick should shed framing be?

I’m constantly amazed by how little information you get online from shed companies. You have a look at some sheds. You find one that you think might fit the bill, click on the bit that says “Full Specification”, and you quickly realise that they’ve not given you any of the information you actually needed.

Shed framing thickness is a key piece of information often missing in your shed search. And of course, this is vitally important. 

In case you’ve never wondered about the anatomy of a shed, here’s a quick summary.

You lay bearers on the base. Then the frame of the floor is laid on top of that. Next, the wall framing is assembled and fixed to the floor. The panels of cladding are attached to the frame, before finally, the roof is attached to the frame.

See how important the frame is? It literally holds the building up!

The thicker the framing, the more sturdy the shed. If you want to know how solid a shed is, give it a shove. It shouldn’t move if it’s been built with thick framing and cladding.

What is thick enough framing for a shed?

Our Shed Buyer’s Checklist makes it very clear: 40mm x 50mm is as thin as you should go.

Now, use some common sense around this statement. If the framing is 38mm x 50mm, then it’s going to be fine. 35mm x 50mm is getting skimpy, though. 

Some shed companies use thicker framing than this – they’re building seriously solid sheds. Anything over 40mm by 50mm will definitely pass the shove test.

It’s worth noting that larger buildings may well need thicker framing than this. Big beast sheds need big beast framing to hold up their walls and roof! If the gable end of your shed is longer than 4m, it’s going to need a framing upgrade.

But at the other end of the spectrum, some sheds have framing that is only 28mm x 28mm. At least that’s what I assume from this specification. Try giving a shed like that a shove, and you might well knock it over!

Should shed framing be pressure-treated?

Pressure-treated framing is stronger and more durable than untreated framing.

Pressure-treating involves forcing a chemical solution into the timber under high pressure. It protects the framing from insects, fungus and rot. As well as keeping all these nasties away, it also strengthens the timber.

Pressure-treated wood will have a slightly greenish tinge to it, which allows you to tell if it’s been treated or not.

A strong, insect and fungus-resistant timber frame will keep your shed standing tall for years!

Long story short, when it comes to framing, pressure treatment ensures the foundations of your building stand the test of time. If the framing goes, so does the shed. 

Is the same framing thickness used throughout the shed?

One more thing to note. Sometimes shed makers save money by using different thicknesses of framing for the floor, roof and walls. Most people are unlikely to check out what’s UNDER their shed.

Your floor joists and roofing timbers should be just as thick as the frame of the walls. Ask your supplier or manufacturer about this, and for a really sturdy shed, don’t go below our suggested minimum for any part of the framing. 

How do I find out about the frame of a shed?

If your shed supplier or manufacturer doesn’t provide this information on their website, ask before you buy! 

The thickness and quality of shed framing mean the difference between a decent building and a shonky wreck.

Your key questions are:

  • How thick is the framing used?
  • Is the framing pressure-treated?
  • Is the same thickness of framing used throughout the building? 

Don’t buy a shed without finding out the answers to these questions first!

If you’re looking for more inside knowledge on all things shed-related, have a look at our Learning Centre. Or come and see us at our Show Area.

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