In this article we’ll look at how we installed the sheathing on the modern work shed build. You’ll see what materials are needed, tips for a successful install and some of the tricks I figured out along the way to help. Our video is a good place to start.
- 11 full sheets of 15/32 inch OSB or CDX Sheathing
- 2” galvanized nails – I’m using a 21 degree framing nail gun. I bought 2000 nails and ended up using 1000.
Tips For A Successful Install
When we’re installing the sheathing, there are a couple things we need to keep in mind.
Keep A Space At The Top
There needs to be a gap at the top of the back and front walls. When you install the roof joists, they need to sit on the top of the walls without interference.
Leave A Gap Between Sheathing
No matter if you use plywood or OSB, you’ll need to allow for expansion and contraction in the wood. Leave an expansion gap of 1/16 inch between panel ends and 1/8 inch between panel edges.
Panels Should Meet Half Way On Framing Members
One of the reasons we’re installing the sheathing vertically is to minimize the air gaps. When you install the sheeting half way on a stud
- The 1/8 inch gap is cover by the stud reducing your air gaps
- You’ll have almost ¾ inch surface to nail your sheathing to
Use 6d (2-inch) galvanized nails, spacing nails 6 inches apart along the panels’ edges and 12 inches apart mid-panel.
Measure Each Piece
There are measurements on the plans, but your structure will not be perfect to the plan. The lumber will move as it dries.
Make sure you measure to the structure and don’t assume the plans will match the structure exactly.
Overview Of Installing Panels
We’ll be using the information provided in the video below as a guide for installing our panels.
Now that we’ve covered that stuff, let’s install some panels.
Installing Part Of The Front Wall Sheathing
We’re only going to install the two side panels for the front for now. They are the only panels that are made from full sheets, and we’ll use them as a reference for installing the side panels.
Measure each panel area. Remember to leave 1/8” gap on each side for expansion.
Cut 2 sheets 8’ length to the widths you just measured.
Paint the edges of the panels that aren’t already painted.
Measure 8’ ¾” from the top wall plate that spans across the top of the door header. We’re adding 3/4″ so the top of the panel will sit half way on the top wall plate.
Use these marks to snap a line across the floor joist.
Install Guides For Panels
We’re going to set the guides on the bottom. At first I used nails, but then figured out that layering two scraps of wood as a guide worked out best.
Put your panel on the guide and use a clamp to hold it in place.
Square Up The Walls and Level Panels
Level the wall you’re going to attach the panel to.
Align the panel, and remember to leave a 1/8” gap on the outside edge of the frame.
Tack the bottom outside corner in place.
Make sure the outside edge of the panel is plumb. Make any adjustments necessary to the guides to make the panel plumb.
Tack the other bottom corner of the panel. This will ensure when you align the outside edge of the frame to the panel, it’s plumb and straight.
Tack the top corners of the panels.
Nail the boards in place with the pattern we described at the start of the article.
Now that we have the two front panels installed, we know where to set the panel guides for the other walls.
Installing Sheathing On The Back Wall
We’re going to need 3 sheets.
Measure from the top of the wall to the chalk line. Subtract ½” to get the length we’ll cut all 3 sheets.
Measure the two outside edge panels. These should be close to 3’ 11 ¾”. This will give us an 1/8 inch on each side of the panels.
Take two of those sheets and cut them to width.
Start With A Side
We’re going to start by installing one of the sides. You start with the side first because we’re going to square up the wall frame with this install.
Grab yourself a side panel and set it on the guides. Just like when we’re installing panels next to each other, we need to leave a 1/8 inch gap on the corner for expansion.
Before we get crazy with nailing everything up, now’s the time to make sure you have a ½ inch gap at the top.
Just like in the video above, we’re going to nail the left side first and work our way from left to right.
Put in a couple of nails to use as spacers between the panels.
Now we’re going to grab the 4 foot width panel and install that one.
Only thing left for the back wall is to install the last edge panel.
Just like before, use some nails as a spacer between the panels, and do a test fit to make sure the width is correct.
Nail up the panel just like we did before.
Installing Sheathing On The Side Walls
We’ve got some experience now. Let’s install the side panels. If you look at the side wall sheathing dimensions, you’ll see there is a ¾” gap at the top instead of ½” like the front and back walls. Once we get the roof frame installed, we’re going to build out that area between the current top wall and bottom of the roof frame.
We’re going to take what we learned in the previous walls
- Start with an edge
- Double check the measurements and cut the panels
- Install our guides
- Set the first nail
- Square everything up
- Nail away
Installing The Rest Of The Sheathing On The Front Wall
We installed the front and back first because the side panels extend to them.
Let’s finish the upper area of the front. I’m writing this article the order I installed the panel, but you could easily do this part with the other front panels.
You’ll install the panels just like the previous ones. The only difference is we only need a 1/16″ gap where the panels meet horizontally.
Sheathing The Bottom
Only thing left before cutting out the windows is use the scraps and sheath the rest of the joist area.
Cutting Out The Windows
If you use a reciprocating saw like I did you’re going to want to start some pilot holes. I ended up putting in 3 holes using a 1/2 inch bit.
Just like when you cut the OSB to put up the walls, paint the edges of the areas you’re cutting out for the windows.
Hopefully this article helped you get started on building your shed. If you found this interesting please think about signing up for our email list and get content sent straight to your email when it gets released. Also, we are on the social media sites above and YouTube.