Has anybody tried the EPA's Burnwise woodshed plan or similar plan?

mar13

Member
Nov 5, 2018
161
Humboldt coast, California
I've gotten very effective at tarping my wood to handle the wet winters and dry summers of the Pacific coast (near Oregon/CA border), but I'm tired of tarping and should get around to learning (i.e. I'm a wood working novice) and implementing the skills to build a shed.

At the bottom of this EPA webpage ( https://www.epa.gov/burnwise/best-wood-burning-practices ) is a picture and link to plans for building a small (1 cord) modular woodshed. Have any of you tried this or a similar plan? It'd eventually just supplement a more permanent larger shed once I burn the wood away from where that'd be built.

My biggest doubt about this shed design is it's potential inability to keep wind driven rain off the wood. An attractive part is that it's not permanent to one spot and I don't have to mess with cementing piers into the ground. It also might be a good training for building a bigger and better shed.

Thanks.
 

peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
4,628
Northern NH
I just skip the full length uprights and screw some shorter ones directly to the stack. The weight of the wood in the stack keeps thr roof from going anywhere. The trade off is I try not to actively pull wood out of the stack. I use it for seasoning for two years and then transfer to my wood shed in the fall. In my town I would get hit with property taxes if I have a base but they don't tax it if it just has a roof.

Wind driven rain is not an issue for me. It may get wet until the next time the sun is out but as long as I have a roof with some overhangs I think the loss in air flow through the stacks by covering the sides is worse then occasional wind driven rain. That said my wood shed has a tarp on the side with the prevailing wind.
 

Sawset

Minister of Fire
Feb 14, 2015
506
Palmyra, WI
I have something similar. 4 x 14 x 9ft tall and holds about 3cord. The high end of the roof fits up under the eave of the garage, so that side is covered. This is in the Midwest. The exposed side does get some rain on it if I'm tapping into those stacks, and the wind is out of the right direction. It faces east though, so that hasn't been an issue to be concerned about, at least here. I used metal roofing which created a more permanent structure.
 

mar13

Member
Nov 5, 2018
161
Humboldt coast, California
Fortunately taxes aren't an issue for anything under 120 square feet that doesn't have electricity or plumbing.

I think I'd strengthen the roof structure so that I could replace the plywood roof with some type of corrugated fiberglass (clear?) or metal roofing. I do see "tarp doors" used around here on smaller lean-to sheds during the winter. Adding latice to the sides might be an option for some rain protection yet allow air. Once things get wet here in October, they don't really dry until April.
 

weatherguy

Minister of Fire
Feb 20, 2009
5,359
Central Mass
It's a good simple design, the only thing I would do different is have more if an overhang, the one I'm planning has a foot overhang all around. Cant tell you if it works yet as it's currently a pile of lumber and metal sheets;lol
 

FTG-05

Feeling the Heat
Feb 8, 2014
378
TN
It's a good simple design, the only thing I would do different is have more if an overhang, the one I'm planning has a foot overhang all around. Cant tell you if it works yet as it's currently a pile of lumber and metal sheets;lol

I agree. Plus make it bigger.
 

Knots

Minister of Fire
Mar 13, 2013
1,172
Alfred, Maine
Yup - I'm going to try it, only bigger and with more overhang.

Interesting that they put the 2x4 floor joists "sideways". I plan to put them in traditional joist orientation and use joist hanger to make them flush with the front and rear floor frames.

Probably just use metal or fiberglass roofing too.
 
Last edited:

mar13

Member
Nov 5, 2018
161
Humboldt coast, California
Yup - I'm going to try it, only bigger and with more overhang.

Interesting that they put the 2x4 floor joist "sideways". I plan to put them in traditional joist orientation and use joist hanger to make them flush with the front and rear floor frames.

Probably just use metal or fiberglass roofing too.
Once you do it, show us some pictures and details how it went. Thanks in advance.
 

Knots

Minister of Fire
Mar 13, 2013
1,172
Alfred, Maine
Will do. Probably won't happen until late summer. Should be entertaining - I'm not a carpenter...
 

webby3650

Master of Fire
Sep 2, 2008
10,279
Indiana
It’s pretty simple. Overbuild! You can’t skimp too much on the floor system, 2x4’s won’t cut it!
Here’s one I built at our last house. It held about 6 cords.
 

Attachments

mar13

Member
Nov 5, 2018
161
Humboldt coast, California
It’s pretty simple. Overbuild! You can’t skimp too much on the floor system, 2x4’s won’t cut it!
Here’s one I built at our last house. It held about 6 cords.
Nice. I'd have to learn some skills to do that. Perhaps version 2. What did you use for where it contacts the ground?

One of these summers I'll start a thread on pier vs hardware post vs vs pier in ground ,etc. I guess getting something going at all is the hardest
step!
 

webby3650

Master of Fire
Sep 2, 2008
10,279
Indiana
Nice. I'd have to learn some skills to do that. Perhaps version 2. What did you use for where it contacts the ground?

One of these summers I'll start a thread on pier vs hardware post vs vs pier in ground ,etc. I guess getting something going at all is the hardest
step!
6”x6” posts with 2x12 floor joists 16” on center. Then 5/4 treated deck boards with an inch and a half gap between them for air flow. It would be a lot easier to not use a floor system if you have flat ground. This terrain was too sloped where I wanted to build it and I also wanted air flow all the way around.
 

Woodsplitter67

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2017
1,061
Woolwich nj
Regarding the overhang... the longer the better.. my front is 18in and i could have gone bigger.. dont be afraid to do a nice overhang on the sides also. My back faces north and has protection on it so the overhang is not quite so big. The pics are what i have in my phone and dont show the overhangs super good
20190211_071554.jpg
20190211_071640.jpg
 

Dabster13

New Member
Nov 27, 2018
28
CT
Personally, looking at the design, it looks a little over engineered for firewood storage. Looks like it will do the job and keep the wood dry, but at quite the expense.

Built mine for free using scrap wood. 6 years later it's still standing, and I plan on expanding it again this year.

The plans look fine - but if you want to save yourself some cash - don't bother with the liquid roof. The roof of mine is just simple scrap plywood i grabbed from a construction site dumpster (with permission, was dumped as they were a bit bendy in the middle, and one had a cut on one side) 6 years later they are still blocking the rain, and have no issues with 18"+ of snow/ice on the roof.
 

webby3650

Master of Fire
Sep 2, 2008
10,279
Indiana
Personally, looking at the design, it looks a little over engineered for firewood storage. Looks like it will do the job and keep the wood dry, but at quite the expense.

Built mine for free using scrap wood. 6 years later it's still standing, and I plan on expanding it again this year.

The plans look fine - but if you want to save yourself some cash - don't bother with the liquid roof. The roof of mine is just simple scrap plywood i grabbed from a construction site dumpster (with permission, was dumped as they were a bit bendy in the middle, and one had a cut on one side) 6 years later they are still blocking the rain, and have no issues with 18"+ of snow/ice on the roof.
Since the shed is right in the yard in most cases, many people are concerned with how it looks. Why not spend the time and make it look nice? Just a plywood roof? No roofing?
I build thing to last, not just so it’s as cheap as possible.
 

Woodsplitter67

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2017
1,061
Woolwich nj
Since the shed is right in the yard in most cases, many people are concerned with how it looks. Why not spend the time and make it look nice? Just a plywood roof? No roofing?
I build thing to last, not just so it’s as cheap as possible.
I agree with you on this.. its sitting in your yard and not only do you and your family have to look at it but the people you envite over also will be seeing this. Over building is also a good idea.. this wood is heavy. I have 1 shed thats holding over 17,000 lbs of wood. Sometimes going cheap isn't worth it
 

Dabster13

New Member
Nov 27, 2018
28
CT
Since the shed is right in the yard in most cases, many people are concerned with how it looks. Why not spend the time and make it look nice? Just a plywood roof? No roofing?
I build thing to last, not just so it’s as cheap as possible.
It's right on the edge of my yard between the actual yard and the where the woods begin.

And yes, just the plywood roof, has lasted 6 years so far, and there are no issues with it.

Im going to browse my phone and see if i have a picture of it somewhere.
 

Dabster13

New Member
Nov 27, 2018
28
CT
I couldn't actually find a good picture of it, which was pretty shocking. Figured i'd have one of it full that i would have sent to one of my friends that also burns for heat.

Here are the two "best" pictures I have, you can ignore the plastic, that was put up in haste as a rainstorm was coming and I did not have time to finish the roof on that section. It's no longer there.


 

TradEddie

Minister of Fire
Jan 24, 2012
863
SE PA
I'm building almost that exact shed/rack, although I was following a slightly different plan that I downloaded years ago from the same site. I can see some minor changes, some of which I had already incorporated myself. I'm just waiting for the tree removal guys to clear up their mess then I'll be setting it in place and finishing it.

The hardest part I found was making sure the posts were vertical before attaching the 2x6, also I went with higher quality lag screws, the first ones I bought were just terrible, two sheared off when screwing them in and I had no confidence they would hold that weight.
I also added 45 degree braces on the two rear corner posts, without those, the play was too much for my liking. Once it's in place, I'll put on the floor slats and the plywood roof. I plan to top the roof with Onduraga roofing eventually, I keep an eye on my local store for some damaged panels going cheap. Those will also provide additional overhang.
Prices were similar to what's up there, although the plywood is $32 around here, and there's no way I'd pay $50 for liquid roofing when I've got old desk stain sitting around.

I'll post pics when it's done.

TE
 

webby3650

Master of Fire
Sep 2, 2008
10,279
Indiana
Sheet metal isn’t all that expensive guys. Plywood exposed to the elements won’t hold up well at all. You’re buying it once right? Why not protect it and it will last a lifetime.
 

TradEddie

Minister of Fire
Jan 24, 2012
863
SE PA
Sheet metal isn’t all that expensive guys. Plywood exposed to the elements won’t hold up well at all. You’re buying it once right? Why not protect it and it will last a lifetime.
I want something that looks a little nicer than plywood too, but I've had PT plywood covering some small stacks for 12 or 13 years and it looks as good (or as bad) as it did when new. Regular plywood would probably only last a year or two for sure. As I said, my idea is PT plywood to start, then some discounted Ondurago or sheet metal as the opportunity arises.

Cost does come into it, remember we're burning wood to save money (ha ha), weight matters too, a portable "shed" is desirable for me, putting joists at16" across the top to support a roof won't be too light.

TE
 
  • Like
Reactions: webby3650

webby3650

Master of Fire
Sep 2, 2008
10,279
Indiana
I want something that looks a little nicer than plywood too, but I've had PT plywood covering some small stacks for 12 or 13 years and it looks as good (or as bad) as it did when new. Regular plywood would probably only last a year or two for sure. As I said, my idea is PT plywood to start, then some discounted Ondurago or sheet metal as the opportunity arises.

Cost does come into it, remember we're burning wood to save money (ha ha), weight matters too, a portable "shed" is desirable for me, putting joists at16" across the top to support a roof won't be too light.

TE
I guess weight or cost hasn’t been a concern for me. An elaborate wood shed is still pretty cheap I’m my opinion. I save a ton of money burning wood, so I can afford to splurge on a shed that looks great while serving a purpose.
 

rowerwet

Minister of Fire
20190211_172326.jpg
20190212_172704.jpg
20171129_162718.jpg

It goes against my nature to spend big money on a firewood rack, when I scrounge my wood. I could never justify the cost of the materials in that design. My biggest cost is the steel roofing, but I visit the roofing at the big box store every time, any buckled, dented, cracked and scratched sheets go with me to the customer service desk, and home at a discount. The rest of it, besides screws, is free, even the 4x4 beams are a craigslist search I have going permanently.
video of the other stack covers I get for free by cutting up IBC totes tanks. Each rack of three pallets is a little over a cord, one tank covers 1 cord
20190211_172306.jpg