Building Details: Sectional Construction (DIY Small Buildings)

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Even if the building you are making will never be taken apart and moved, you might find it advantageous to make some prefabricated parts. This type construction allows you to take them to the site and have little to do except join them together. If you have the space to assemble sides and ends on the shop floor, you can do squaring, accurate laying out, and cutting joints more easily than in position while erecting the building. If size for transport is a problem, it might be possible to make a side in two parts and bolt them together at the jobsite.

You will have to use a little more wood when you are using prefabricated sections. For instance, if you make everything as you assemble on site, one corner post will take the covering in both directions (figr. 2-6A). If you wish to prefabricate, there must be an upright on both assemblies. They might nail together for a permanent assembly, or there could be carriage bolts (figr. 2-6B). The extra strength from double corner posts might be worth having, but you could reduce sections and still have them as strong as a single post.

figr. 2-6. For the simplest corners, nail them on one post. Others might bolt through two posts, with the skin overlapping or with a filler in the corner.

The covering boards could merely overlap at a corner (figr. 2-6C), but you will protect end grain and improve the appearance when you nail in a covering strip (figr. 2-6D).

If you have framed and boarded the roof, you might attach it in a sectional building with carriage bolts, if you arrange strips to come over the gable framing. Although you might drill holes for bolts in the roof framing, or position bolts under the outer boarding, you might leave drilling the gables or trusses until the first assembly, to allow for slight variations, particularly with a ridged roof. Subsequent disassembly and re-erection will be helped if you mark all meeting parts.

When prefabricating, it's easy to accurately square door and window openings and make the fitting parts, but you might have to plane for accurate fitting after the building is in position. Even if you intend a door to reach the floor, it's advisable to make the side or end which will contain it with the bottom strip going across the opening, to keep the assembly free from twist. Cut through it after you attach the wood on each side to the floor or foundation.

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Updated: Sunday, December 12, 2010 17:42