The Shed Project, 2

The odd sizes in lumber and plywood offered by second-hand sources creates a new challenge to this project, one I didn’t foresee. How do you buy odd sizes of things and minimize waste?

Saturday, we took another trip to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore for more lumber for The Shed Project. Total accounting so far has us at around $80 – a little less than half purchasing the lumber from Lowes or Home Depot. I’m still trying to figure out how to floor, side, and roof1 the thing cheaper than I can for retail. The ReStore rarely carries plywood, and when they do it’s either an odd size or priced close to (or higher than!) retail anyway.

3/4″, sized in some multiple of 2′ or only slightly over, that’s all I’m asking.

The whole point of this project is to build what I need in a way that wastes as little as possible, whether we’re talking about money or supplies. At this moment, we’re talking about supplies.

So, here’s a little math for you. Plywood comes 4′ wide. Studs and joists are placed, ideally, 16″ apart2. That’s four studs (or joists) across: 0, 16, 32, 48. With me so far?

Now, let’s say I find some plywood that’s 47″ wide. That spans to 32″, leaving me with 15″ of waste that, 1. I paid for, and 2. that I will now have to either find a use for or throw away.

Likewise, the dimensional pine I’m purchasing, while the right thickness and width, has to be judiciously sorted. The walls will be 7′ high: purchasing a 12′ board for that use would be wasteful.

If you’re within 60 miles of Kansas City and have some plywood to get rid of, please, let me know.


1 Yes, those are verbs. It’s okay, everyone reacts that way.

2 Some builders will tell your that for a shed you can economize and go 24″ apart, but I live in a house that’s underbuilt like that, and I’m not interested, even if it’s okay.

3 comments to The Shed Project, 2

  • avatar Frank Blair

    So, since it’s a shed… and if boards are available but plywood is scarce, why not lap roof and side? Or side to cut down on the plywood required.

    - F

  • avatar Jim

    Hello. This is kind of an “unconventional” question , but have other visitors asked you how get the menu bar to look like you’ve got it? I also have a blog and am really looking to alter around the theme, however am scared to death to mess with it for fear of the search engines punishing me. I am very new to all of this …so i am just not positive exactly how to try to to it all yet. I’ll just keep working on it one day at a time Thanks for any help you can offer here.

  • avatar William

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