View Full Version : canvas sheds - comments before I buy one?

04-16-2011, 05:32 PM
I am looking at this one, the size is right for my slab and I need something to work in and keep stuff dry.

Any thoughts on this one?
Others I should look at?


04-16-2011, 06:09 PM
Do you have room for a shipping container?
8' x 20'

Just one idea



04-16-2011, 06:21 PM
I thought of that, have seen several for sale.
Trouble is I used to have a shed that was 10 x 20 and it just wasn't wide enough.

That one had plastic mounting 'feet' that were 1/2 inch thick.
I mounted it to the concrete.
The feet broke off in a windstorm, the whole shebang ended up in the trees.

This one has steel feet, and like the last one I will drill into the concrete and mount them solidly. Hopefully it wont end up blowing away.

04-16-2011, 10:38 PM
Guy down the street had one and the winter destroyed it (I have no idea if it was the same as the linked one or if it was something else).... Of course, we get constant winter winds and lots of snow here in ND.

04-17-2011, 03:08 AM
I have a 12x 20x8. It howls and storms here pretty good as well. Mine survived the winter. It might even do a couple of more winters. They need to be tied down well. Mine sits on some pressure treated 2x8's that are sitting on the ground. I placed bags of concrete at the four corners and screwed the legs to the lumber. It is not maintenance free! i went out several times and knocked the snow off the roof. The snow built up on the sides and the weight of that helped keep the tarp tight,and break the wind, an absolute necessity. I bought mine at Tractor supply and did not pay anywhere near that. of course mine is not canvas either. Placement should also be considered. Try to keep it out of the wind, tucked against some sort of wind break is helpful.

This would be what i would look for
https://www.amazon.com/ShelterLogic-72342...775&sr=1-17 (https://www.amazon.com/ShelterLogic-72342-Green-12x24x8-Shelter/dp/B004GKIE4Y/ref=sr_1_17?s=automotive&ie=UTF8&qid=1303027775&sr =1-17)

The round top would handle the snow better.


04-17-2011, 10:49 AM
You cannot be too careful about securing it to the ground and securing all the flapy parts to the frame. Extra padding on stressed pointy parts would be a good idea and don't rely on the grommets installed at the factory. If you ever have wind above 20 mph, I would give it a pass. My ex boss had about ten of them and lost nearly all of them during a big storm, and most landed on his and his customers classic pristine Jaguars, Rolls and Bentlys. I was going to be building my XK120 replica under one of them which I bought myself, and dismantled four of his parts cars as payment for the privilage, before he kicked me out, because he needed the space to store his cars for sale. My kit was stored in a rented warehouse/ shop with rare cars at the time the storm hit. Talk about car-ma...

04-17-2011, 11:58 AM
Before pulling the trigger I will go to the Home Despot and see how much lumber I can get for the same $700 or so.

The other plan has been to erect a wood structure, starting with the uprights and a roof then fill in the walls, doors, windows as funds allow.
Long term this is the best plan, short term it doesn't get me a dry spot in my backyard very soon.

I'll take my calculator and yellow pad and see if I can get enough materials to start the building for that kind of money.

BTW the windstorm that took the old Costco shed out had winds over 90mph. I think the thing would have stayed on the ground if the 1/2 inch plastic feet hadn't snapped at the bases. Kind of funny seeing the bottom flat parts still bolted to the concrete with the shed up in the trees.
Funny now anyway.

04-17-2011, 12:49 PM
4x4 post in the ground every 48" with concrete poured around in dirt, place slanted roof to rear on top of post with plywood sheathing and rolled roofing.

Then poly tarp the sides until able to afford to do the sides in wood. You will be able to those one at a time if needed.

Make sure you have plenty of overhang on your roof to protect weathering of sides

04-17-2011, 12:50 PM
Plus you can build it the size you really need

04-17-2011, 01:05 PM
Stop it, you're scaring me!! :jester:

It's like you can read my mind...

04-17-2011, 05:53 PM
I have a concrete pad that's about 13.5' x 28'.
The building I am planning is 12' x 24' with a significant overhang for additional storage.

I can anchor the uprights directly to the concrete.

My trip to HD showed me what I could build if money were no object.
I'd have well over $400 in galvanized post bases and caps if I went that way.
That's before I start in with joist hangars and more.

I've found some at auction for a bit less, but don't know if that's the way I want to go yet.

I could bolt pressure treated base to the concrete then fasten uprights to that.
Haven't explored all the options yet, but just buying all the galvanized goodies at the Hopeless Destination is a non starter.

Trevor Jessie
04-17-2011, 06:54 PM
You could be getting into some building code issues if you build a frame structure on a concrete pad without a foundation.

04-17-2011, 07:27 PM
I figure it's going to go one of three ways, one is "hey I'm just rebuilding my shed, it was damaged and old and needed a bit of updating" after all the county has taxed me for that "outbuilding" for the past 22 years. Maybe this way at most I need a "remodeling permit". I'll have to figure out how to best ask them about this.

According to the county there has been a building there for the past 85 years.

Another way is that I learn all the code that pertains to my situation and I submit plans that eventually get approved and then I build the structure and get it inspected and pay all the associated fees and make changes as they deem necessary and and and...

Finally I could get the tent building and put it up with "no strings attached".

04-17-2011, 08:15 PM
You are making this to complicated. "KIS" keep it simple
You have already decided you would be happy with a canvas building, but durability will be an issue.

If you have a slab it is so simple. Put the 4x4 treated poles in the ground beside the slab every 48". The length you want covered area. Then run 14' 2x8s from one pole to the pole on other side. Then put another 2x8 resting on a stringer down the poles on the side between the roof rafters on poles. that way you will have a roof rafter ever 24". cover in OSB, roofing felt roll roofing

For a 24 foot long building you will need:
17 4x4x10 poles(14 for the sides 3 for the end)buried 24"no concrete needed
6 2x6x14 to band the poles, giving 12" overhang each end
15 2x8x14 roof rafters, lay side to side (24" OC)
4 2x8x14 to band the ends of roof rafters
13 4x8 1/2" OSB for the roof
1 roll Felt paper (400 sq ft)
4sq Roll roofing or shingles
9 pieces of drip edge
5 lb 16 PTL nails
8 hour day
Use all treated wood NO PAINT needed
I figure roughly $625.00 plus tax
Then go buy Tractor supply and buy tarps for the sides.
You will have something that will last longer than the 3-4 years the other one will. plus you will be able to add on to it when no one is looking. No liability for a garage in a windstorm

04-18-2011, 10:41 AM
I think that you are on the right track visiting the building department. PLEASE DO THIS.

I should not be giving professional opinions here. But as a person who has agreed to protect the health, safety and welfare of the public as a condition of being granted a license to practice architecture I feel some obligation.

Far too often people like myself are called upon to clean up after an untrained person has attempted to do something without checking with an architect or engineer or their building department. Such a visit would have saved them a lot of time, money, and grief.

Your building department will be able to tell you:
1) if a tent like you are considering is considered a temporary structure, and therefore exempt from the regulations for permanent structures.

2) whether a tent would be permitted, and if so whether it is a good idea at all. An internet search shows 431 inches annual snowfall at Snoqualmie Pass, which is 30 miles from Snoqualmie WA. I doubt a tent such as the one you referred to on Amazon is designed for the kind of snow loads you folks get up there.

You can believe you will just push the snow off it, but there is always the chance you will not be around to do it--or that the structure will collapse while you are trying to do it.

3) Wind loads are likely a factor where you live. Personally, I think you will be much better off in the long run to build a permanent structure.

4) You need to find out what the zoning regulations are for structures on your lot. This varies greatly from place to place. Your old building--if there is one, it's not clear from your post--may be grandfathered in and if you remove it you may not be able to replace it.

5) If you put up a structure without a building permit you may be subject to fines, and if your building does not meet code you may have to demolish it.

Now to the practical advice part of the post, which applies to anyone building a permanent structure anywhere as far as I'm concerned.
Roofs that are improperly secured to sheds with open sides are particularly susceptible to uplift from the wind. Use hurricane clips here.

Exterior structures like decks and open sheds should be put together with metal connectors such as those manufactured by Simpson Strong Tie or cross-braced. These connectors are engineered to resist uplift and overturning from lateral forces. These are not just metal folded up by a guy in his garage--their structural design is supported by reams of test data.

Exposed nailed joints may be fine at the time of construction, but they can deteriorate after exposure to the weather, and are not good enough to resist lateral loads or uplift.

Where you are going to nail outdoors use double-dipped galvanized nails. Not ordinary steel nails. Not vinyl covered nails.

A couple of things about treated wood. A few years ago manufacturers stopped making the chromated copper arsenate (CCA) wood we grew up with. Today's treated wood is not as good and it is not intended for in-ground contact. Over time it WILL rot. It should not be buried in the earth. Creosote treated wood is still around but it is not sold to consumers.

If you use treated wood anywhere you MUST put it together with double-dipped galvanized fasteners. Galvanic action between steel and copper causes untreated nails to be destroyed at an accelerated rate. Use galvanized bolts washers and nuts. Not cadmium plated.

Now for the lecture part of the post which applies to anyone reading.

People flaunt the building codes and treat them as trivial and a nuisance. This is inexplicable to me. Forty-five people were killed by storms over the weekend, and it is likely most of those fatalities were caused by flying debris or progressive collapse.

Under those conditions an architect or carpenter's best work has little chance of survival. However I am absolutely certain some of the collapsed and flying structures that caused death, injuries, and property damage were not designed or constructed according to code. Personally, I don't want it on my head that I didn't do everything possible to make my work safe.

To set the record straight people like me as well as contractors absolutely get sued if structures we design fail for all sorts of reasons, including wind storms. I don't believe you are less liable if you haven't got any training, and are perhaps more culpable because you didn't take advantage of the professional help that is available.

Rick is not likely to get a tornado where he lives. But wind gusts far lower than those associated with a tornado can destroy an improperly designed structure. Even gravity can. People die in deck collapses every year.

Now I know somebody will probably write in citing a pole barn they know of that has been around forever and all that time has withstood the forces of nature. Or that they did it this way or that when they were a carpenter and there were no problems. That may be so and I'm not going to dispute anyone on that basis, because I cannot actually see the structure they are referring to and judge its fitness for myself. All I can say is, good luck and I hope things work out in the future.

Sorry for the long post

The Architect
38 years training and experience
Licensed to practice in Kansas, Colorado, and New York State

04-18-2011, 10:50 AM
Go to Costco, buy a "portable garage", save the reciept so that when the plastic roof dies in 3 years from UV exposure you will get a brand new on under their 100% satisfaction guarantee.

04-18-2011, 11:17 AM
Thanks guys,
Yes I plan to talk to the city, it's on the schedule today.
Did I mention I have a 14x28 concrete slab back there?
Yes I'm aware that having things put together right equals less risk.

Statistics are just that. Saying we get massive snow 30 miles from here doesn't mean we get any snow <span style="font-weight: bold">here</span>.
That's about elevation more than anything.
The pass is 30 miles from here, and several thousand feet higher in elevation.
We get some snow here once about every 8 to 10 years, the most I've ever seen (living in the same place for 22 years) was about 24 inches but it all melted away pretty quickly.
Most years we get nearly zero (statistically zero).
That being said planning for the worst is always best.

I like the Strongtie products, and I've been able to find them for a lot less than HD sells them on Ebay. They would certainly simplify things if I go that way.

Anyway, I'll see what is what after I talk with the city today.