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Thread: Lean-to Bike Shed

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    Question Lean-to Bike Shed

    Re-purposing this thread into a build thread Will keep the questions coming but this should save everything being spread around multiple posts!

    The space & base:


    This is the rear garden behind the garage, got a gate behind where the photo was taken to get the bikes in and out. Garage is 'up' with the floor line where the power socket is. Weed matting and stones have been put down on the left and rear (from photo) edge where the drainage ditch was kept (original level was a bit lower).

    The space (including wood surround) is 2.77m x 1.755m. The intention is to hang bikes on the garage wall, and a pent roof running down to the left fence.




    Will obviously lose some length due to cuts so expect the door to be slightly large to make up for it.

    Shopping list:
    Bought:

    Decided:

    Unknown:
    • Felt tacks: think I have some in garage
    • Exterior paint (colour...)


    Running cost: £95.08

    Original post:

    Hello,

    I've got a shed base (poured concrete, wood surround) behind our garage ready for a bike shed. I'm hoping to use the garage wall as one of the shed walls to maximise space rather than just dropping in an off the shelf shed with gaps around.

    I've been trying to read around on the job but most of the instructions for building a shed are on a wooden base, e.g. https://thecarpentersdaughter.co.uk/...e-a-shed-base/

    Part of me just wants to build the 3 walls, fit them to each other, the base and the garage wall and be done with it (and the roof ). Does that make sense?

    I'm sure I'll be back with more questions, will look round the other shed posts on here as well. Cheers!
    Last edited by jimbouk; Yesterday at 08:09 PM. Reason: Re-purposed original post

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    Re: Shed floor needed on concrete base?

    Just seen this one from https://forums.hexus.net/home-garden...new-shed.html:

    Quote Originally Posted by Saracen999 View Post
    I'm not expert, but my approach to a concretebase was to get the shed clear of touching it. A good base, which essentially decent quality (as in outdoor-rated, properly treated base of 2x4, with the 4" side vertical (i.e. givig a 4" ground gap) and then a heavy sheet of watrproof ply (I think it was 3/4" or about 18-20mm,might have even beem a inch thick) provide the base on which the whole shed sits. The actual shed skin was about 1/2" or 15mm (yeah, I know 30mm <> 1 inch) thick, whick pretty much ensures it won't warp/shrink and therefore leak.
    So I guess the intention is that the treated 2x4 wood makes contact with the ground and deals with the moisture so the floor and the bottom of the walls do not? And air can flow under the floor (although inside the actual shed it's still as sealed/ventilated as you make it). The wall cladding would then not touch the floor either even if it was slightly proud of the wall frame at the bottom to cover the base (is that a good idea?).

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    Re: Shed floor needed on concrete base?

    It makes sense to me.
    I think the bigger issue would be ensuring you have a weatherproof seal all around the sides and roof, as it's right against the house wall. We have a similar entry-way thing* on the side of our house, but whoever built it forgot to include lead cladding over the roof joint!

    I like The Carpenter's Daughter site, though. Very good find!


    *No idea what it should be called - Wooden house extension in front of the front door, bigger than a porch, it's basically another full-size room with a second room and toilet off to the side. Most fitting term I could find was a barbican!
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    Re: Shed floor needed on concrete base?

    The major thing to think about with a wooden structure is moisture.

    If wood surround means the formers used when pouring the concrete slab, which are in contact with the soil and potentially your shed, then they will wick moisture. Placing your shed timber in contact isn't the greatest idea. You can remove those and simply deal with the concrete base.

    In the US, timber framing on a concrete slab is the normal method of house construction. Typically there is a purpose designed membrane between the wood and concrete for air, moisture and insect sealing. For a shed, you probably don't need to worry about any of those things.

    What you should focus on is thinking about where the water will go. Use overhangs, so that your pressure treated bottom plate doesn't end up sitting in a pool of water. Ideally your sheathing can overhang the edge of the concrete preventing that surface from collecting water.

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    Re: Shed floor needed on concrete base?

    Cheers both.

    Yes I've considered the roof to wall join - might need to call in the builder for that one. Not sure I want the cost of lead but after a bit of reading it seems you can just chip out some mortar, feed in the felt and re-mortar on the join. Won't be the prettiest thing in the world but I won't be able to see it!

    Re the floor. The wood looks a bit more sturdy than just throw away boards and are round all 4 sides including against the wall. But on two sides it goes down to drainage space so wouldn't want to rely on them for load bearing. One side is level with and butting up against decking and the other is against the garage wall. Will take another look at the two exposed edges and decide whether to keep our remove or just to treat and try and keep the water off.

    Aiming for a single slope away from the garage wall for the roof. Will have some overhang all round and is a fairly sheltered space so hopefully all the water will stay away! Guess I could gutter if feeling keen and feed it down into the ditch.

    Will try and grab a decent picture on the space on the weekend

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    Re: Shed floor needed on concrete base?

    rain splash zone IIRC is typically taken as 150mm above concrete. If you can tolerate a step-up into your shed use driveway paviors/frost resistant bricks to raise the timbers off the ground. This allows under-floor ventilation so the floor panels should last longer too without worries about damp going underneath and not being able to dry out. Set back the supports so the shed overhang shelters the bearings of the shed onto its supports and prevents direct wetting.

    Treat all exposed timbers ideally start with pressure treated wood and then give all cut ends with 2x coatings (or a good soaking) of end grain preservative such as ensele (others are available)

    After that has dried coat all the wood with decent preservative-finish coat for external use. Some include stains too if you want a particular colour etc. Depending how long you want the thing to last consider only using fixings that are suitable for external use - these will be more expensive. You probably don't need stainless, hot-dip galv is probably sufficient, just be consistent and match the fixing materials to the brackets etc.

    NB to allow for mastic joints between the timbers and your brick wall, and use some slotted galv or stainless tie brackets to restrain the panels back to the masonry but allow it to move vertically as the timbers and brickwork will want to expand/contract at different rates. Any roof flashing should similarly be lapped and jointed to allow for movement.

    Any panelling you use should ideally be OSB3/OSB4 and ply to BS-EN636-3 to deal with external conditions. Note you still need to add surface treatment to the panels, the specs deal more with the glues used in the panels to make sure they can handle the humidity. The sort of tropical hardwood that could also resist external exposure without treatment generally isn't available (and rarely sustainable ergo illegal if anyone tried to do it).
    Last edited by ik9000; 19-03-2022 at 04:00 PM.

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    Re: Lean-to Bike Shed

    Updated the first post, will use that as a build tracker and keep the questions coming here. Thanks everyone for the information so far. There is no fixed budget, but obviously I've not just handed a blank cheque to the local builder so not looking to 'waste' money. One of the reason we moved to this house was because it has a garage for my car - but it's been 8 months now and I still can't get it in due to the bikes (and some other crud I'm still to cull!).

    I'm going to start from the bottom so I don't overload myself. So:

    Floor bearers: "2 by 4" (45 x 95mm), 4" upright as advised sounds the best. Do I need C16 treated for this or is ordinary treated enough? 400mm spacing seems to be the norm so will go with that.

    Floor: Will need to look in details at the options. Sounds like the grading is as important as the specific material though!

    Floor covering: As bikes will be coming in and out then it's probably worth having something on top - I got a bunch of children's interlocking play mats which were put to good use keeping me off the ground when I used to work on my car on the drive so something similar might do the trick, else I can see if anyone is getting rid of old flooring - we put the old kitchen floor

    Will get an end grain preservative and then a general preservative for the rest of it. I'm guessing taking the time and doing it all carefully before construction will be time well spent - you can pop another coat on the outside in a couple of years but complete reassembly will be a job and a half!

    Re the step up - ideally this won't be too big so a bike can wheel in and out without being carried so I won't go too crazy on the floor height.

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    Re: Lean-to Bike Shed

    Have you considered just using the existing concrete for the floor and building a dwarf wall 2-3 courses high in brick to support the timber sides? Or do the levels not work?

    I imagine this lean to will fall under some kind of permitted development clause but do check with your local planning authority whether you're going to need any permission. Emphasise it's for bike storage and I think that helps motivate them to help you under their green targets etc. Don't mention it's so you can get car in garage. It's so your family can access bikes and do more journeys that way to reduce your use of the car.

    Also never underestimate a fussy mortgage surveyor or future solicitor wanting to see building regs for lean-tos that rely on the main building. Pita for something so basic but not unknown for mortgages to be refused- seen it happen (though that was for a conservatory rather than a bike store)! Deal with it as % change in load onto the wall. I imagine the % will be small enough to be considered acceptable. That assumes you put vertical load onto the wall, if you frame it right you could probably avoid having to do that.

    Re timbers I wouldn't use ungraded timber for this.* Not when it adjoins the house. Treated c16 minimum or c24 depending on what your local merchants stock..c24 is better timber both strength and appearance (fewer knots etc) 4*2 will probably suffice for the dimensions you give if you span the short dimension with it. If you want to go the long dimension I might use 5*2, but tbh it's the connection details that can sometimes govern depth required depending on how you want to joint everything together, and it all depends how much load you want it to carry.

    Walls and roof typically need 4*2 c16 at 400-600mm centres with 11mm-12mm panelling screwed to each timber at 150mm centres or thereabouts.

    *graded timber C16 etc has been assessed as suitable for structural use and assigned a strength class, with corresponding tabulated engineering properties. You can therefore use it with confidence knowing what it is good for, and if needs be an engineer can apply a full design to it. Ungraded is a lottery. It could be ok, but isn't the likelihood that it fails grading in some ways (otherwise why not sell it as the better stuff?) and at that point wouldn't you think twice about trying to use it structurally, particularly for anything intended to carry people?! I guess the flip argument is that grading assessment incurs cost and some suppliers might seek to avoid that by selling it ungraded... but then it's a gamble as to what you actually receive. Without a classification you have no comeback if it's not what you were hoping for assuming there is no set preformance/quality standard mentioned.
    Last edited by ik9000; 21-03-2022 at 12:05 PM. Reason: see edit.

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    Re: Lean-to Bike Shed

    Quote Originally Posted by jimbouk View Post
    Updated the first post, will use that as a build tracker and keep the questions coming here. Thanks everyone for the information so far. There is no fixed budget, but obviously I've not just handed a blank cheque to the local builder so not looking to 'waste' money. One of the reason we moved to this house was because it has a garage for my car - but it's been 8 months now and I still can't get it in due to the bikes (and some other crud I'm still to cull!).

    I'm going to start from the bottom so I don't overload myself. So:
    Are you building it yourself? If you have reasonable DIY competency it is probably achievable. You will know your own ability/limitations though.

    Quote Originally Posted by jimbouk View Post
    Floor bearers: "2 by 4" (45 x 95mm), 4" upright as advised sounds the best. Do I need C16 treated for this or is ordinary treated enough? 400mm spacing seems to be the norm so will go with that.
    as above c16 or c24 treated. min 4x2" but it depends on the arrangement and span, and how much humidity/wetting is anticipated (external exposure weakens everything by approx 1/3)

    Quote Originally Posted by jimbouk View Post
    Floor: Will need to look in details at the options. Sounds like the grading is as important as the specific material though!
    Yup. Be fussy and it will pay dividends long term vs trying to go cheap and simple and the hassle of changing/repairing things later/sooner.

    Quote Originally Posted by jimbouk View Post
    Floor covering: As bikes will be coming in and out then it's probably worth having something on top - I got a bunch of children's interlocking play mats which were put to good use keeping me off the ground when I used to work on my car on the drive so something similar might do the trick, else I can see if anyone is getting rid of old flooring - we put the old kitchen floor
    If you do use the concrete you could just apply a surface sealer and avoid wider hassle.

    Quote Originally Posted by jimbouk View Post
    Will get an end grain preservative and then a general preservative for the rest of it. I'm guessing taking the time and doing it all carefully before construction will be time well spent - you can pop another coat on the outside in a couple of years but complete reassembly will be a job and a half!
    Bingo. Done once and thoroughly is usually the best way if you want it to last. Obviously if it's a just a short-term temporary stop-gap you can relax things

    Quote Originally Posted by jimbouk View Post
    Re the step up - ideally this won't be too big so a bike can wheel in and out without being carried so I won't go too crazy on the floor height.
    as above can you use the concrete base? your OP hints at this and it sounds like it could help simplify things.

    Lastly, and I can't find it now, you mention the garage floor being at the socket height!? Is there some weird level change going on somewhere as that seems pretty high!
    Last edited by ik9000; 21-03-2022 at 11:26 AM.

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    Re: Shed floor needed on concrete base?

    Quote Originally Posted by jimbouk View Post
    Aiming for a single slope away from the garage wall for the roof. Will have some overhang all round and is a fairly sheltered space so hopefully all the water will stay away! Guess I could gutter if feeling keen and feed it down into the ditch.

    Will try and grab a decent picture on the space on the weekend
    One thought on water path, and this is not my area of expertise so this is simply a wondering for consideration by someone who actually knows about this stuff:

    If the roof slopes down away from the garage wall then having a gutter along the side edge above the fence will stop it gushing water onto the fence and rotting that. =Happier neighbour. Yey! Rather than send it via downpipe into the drainage trench, (does that risk softening the ground locally and affect the garage concrete base/fence base?), why not pipe the gutter into a water butt at one side of the lean-to and get some eco-points for harvesting water to use in the garden/help wash the car or whatever? I can't see any benefit in guttering the two sloping short sides, and I imagine it would look odd too.

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    Re: Lean-to Bike Shed

    On phone so will have s proper read and reply later. The garage is already and outbuilding, and yes it's in a weird level! The garden is down right a floor below the house/drive/garage, we did wonder what was under the garage floor but digging that out without it falling down isn't a DIY job!

    I've done various DIY before, I guess this would be the biggest thing as it's outside. Redone a bathroom, cut loft beams to fit a ladder and cross laid beams to raise the level before boarding. Will treat myself to a decent saw for this!

    And yeah, happy for opinions on just using the concrete base as the floor again!

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    Re: Lean-to Bike Shed

    Thanks again, just having another read through.

    A brick bottom few rows on the walls would be nice but I think that's going to move me into 'actual building' territory as you say with all the associated issues. I only intended to put a single horizontal beam on the garage wall for the end of the roof but actually, thinking about the movement of the wood as you've mentioned, this is probably a bad idea. The shed walls with be attached in a non-load bearing way (re your mastic comments as well) just to keep them upright. Just the bikes that will be hanging on the wall!

    So if I do forgo the wooden floor and put the walls directly on the concrete I lose the layer of damp/rot protection and airflow underneath. I'd want them just to the edge the concrete and not the wooden frame. I could 'skirt' the bottom of the wall to mean water doesn't splash on the wood edge (back and left in picture). At the front I'm actually pondering having the wall slightly recessed from the line of the garage wall but with the roof to the line for a little canopy. I could put a membrane down but I'm not sure if that would really add anything.

    And yes re guttering, I was thinking about that as well yesterday when I was in the garden. Would make a right old mess of the fence running onto it! The fence is mine at least but don't want to ruin it. A slimline butt could work at the front, else just down into the gravel in the 'best' place I can find (away from fence posts). There's more gravel the other side of the fence so it shouldn't cause any issues. Hoping the builders made the base under the concrete reasonably - they knew it was for a shed and it is above the old floor level.

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    Re: Lean-to Bike Shed

    April Wilkerson has done pretty much what you want on a concrete base.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Mar52-tEAs

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    jimbouk (22-03-2022)

  18. #14
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    Re: Lean-to Bike Shed

    Damn she has some fine power-tools! Will have a watch through the series.

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    Re: Lean-to Bike Shed

    Was out poking the raised beds at lunch, and now it's got me thinking would a row or two of sleepers be a sensible alternative to the bricks at the bottom? Maybe I'm just over thinking it and should just buy some wood and more power tools and crack on...

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    Re: Lean-to Bike Shed

    Well I didn't get to sleep very quickly last night - too busy thinking about sheds

    I'm definitely leaning towards a 2 row sleeper bottom to the walls. Seems a very good compromise on making the best use of the concrete base but stopping the more vulnerable wood from sitting on the ground. Will need to treat them as well of course.

    I had a another look around the space at lunch, including taking a bike and a tape measure down for reference. The wooden surround isn't particularly attached to anything so going to go 'inside' of it. I'll probably leave it on for the foreseeable as it's useful to have the wood to attach some weed matting to.

    The bike and tape measure was good - whilst I do have up-to 2.7m to play with I ran the tape out to 2.4 metres and still had some wiggle room. It was tight in the old 5'x7' shed so this gives that bit extra. This means I can get away with standard length wood which will fit in the car (so long as I don't buy too much at once!). Would still like to extend the roof out to the wall level which does rather ruin the plan but I'll figure that out later!

    First steps are going to be seal the concrete and buy, cut and treat the sleepers and buy some fixings. Won't put anything into the ground until I'm pretty much sorted as I don't want to end up with a tarp on it for weeks. Will probably take a few days off to try and blast through the assembly and will hopefully be able to call on someone to assist.

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