Author Topic: 12x18 with 12 ft walls Possible? Electirc service to a Shed?  (Read 15224 times)

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Offline Lorangerlife

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12x18 with 12 ft walls Possible? Electirc service to a Shed?
« on: September 26, 2008, 07:50:54 AM »
Sorry to keep posting what might be silly questions to others.

Originally I wanted to do 10ft walls using 2x4 construction and now I am contemplating a 12ft wall height.  Is this possible using the 2x4 construction sheathing the exterior with osb (I'm going to be doing vinyl ceder shingle style siding)?

The main purpose is so that I can stick with the low slope shed roof design that I really like but still be able to add a sleeping loft in an effort to maximize living space.  I am estimating 18-24 months that I will be living in my "shed" while I am building my house.

Also has anyone in the northeast gone through the process of getting electric service up here in NH?  I was hoping to explain it as a "tool shed"  needs power and at the same time being able to run the rough in to where the house will be at the same time.  Is this something that needs to wait until I pull a permit for the house or can I do it before hand?

Lastly based on the electric service.... Can someone point me in the direction of what the best method is to go with underground electric service?

Thanks so much for everyones help.  I have the sonatubes in and ordered all the wood for the decking and subfloor so the build forum will soon be the new home to my project.

Offline MountainDon

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Re: 12x18 with 12 ft walls Possible? Electirc service to a Shed?
« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2008, 08:19:45 AM »
Depending on how regulated your area is, building a shed first may not be allowed. We have heard of members here running into that wall. And there are some who have been allowed to build a garage first. No way to know for sure without asking the local permitting dept. You may find info online. We have some info available online here in NM.

I can't comment with authority on 12 foot walls, but 2x6 wall studs would be advised for something of that height (anything over 10 ft I believe).


To the question of power, different locales have different rules. In some all you need is the desire (and the cash) to have power and the power company will plant a power pole, temporary or permanent. That's what I have in my mountains of NM.

In some other jurisdictions I've heard the power company won't put in power until a building permit has been issued.

So the best answer is going to be the one you get from the local power company. If you have a fair sized parcel of land ask if they will put power in to a pole at your property line and place the meter there. That way they don't have to enter the property for meter reading.

Requirements for underground service can also vary some by location.

Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn’t mean it is good design.


Offline Lorangerlife

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Re: 12x18 with 12 ft walls Possible? Electirc service to a Shed?
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2008, 08:37:59 AM »
Ok great...

Shed permit took but a portion of the morning and it was approved.  I really luck out being in the rural zoning in my town as it is far less strict than inside the town center.  Permits are required for just about everything but its easy to get them pushed through.

We built a 1500 sq ft addition on my brothers house in town and the only people that ever came out were the inspectors from the bank who financed the job.

2x6 walls it will be then.  Where it is such a small space the cost isn't going to be a huge factor anyhow.

I'm hoping to stay under $12k for the project once completed, doing all of the work minus the electrical hookup myself.

Do the Power companies usually put a pole on the property line for free?  or is there a huge charge to that as well?  It would be great to have it tied into the grid as far as power and cable are concerned.

Offline MountainDon

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Re: 12x18 with 12 ft walls Possible? Electirc service to a Shed?
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2008, 08:59:12 AM »

Do the Power companies usually put a pole on the property line for free?  or is there a huge charge to that as well?  It would be great to have it tied into the grid as far as power and cable are concerned.

In a word, NO. But that can vary. If they have lines on your road it might be a minimal charge. In my mountain location the mile and a quarter or so has a price tag of $55K, all underground.
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn’t mean it is good design.

Offline Lorangerlife

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Re: 12x18 with 12 ft walls Possible? Electirc service to a Shed?
« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2008, 09:19:00 AM »
55k??? WoWzers....

Thats a lot of dough to shell out.  There is a pole across the street at my closest neighbors house so I'm thinking its just a line,pole, and meter needed on their end.  The trench, piping, cable and power line I will do myself and then have one of my electrician pals tie into the meter and then to the panel on my end.

There was someone else in NH on here that tossed up a 10x14 and had the electric put in with the meter on the pole as you described. 


Offline MountainDon

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Re: 12x18 with 12 ft walls Possible? Electirc service to a Shed?
« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2008, 01:23:46 PM »
Well, it is very rocky ground, one steep hill and some through National Forest land where they have to be careful to leave the ground looking as much as possible as it was before doing the deed.
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn’t mean it is good design.

Offline muldoon

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Re: 12x18 with 12 ft walls Possible? Electirc service to a Shed?
« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2008, 02:01:13 PM »
When I had power installed they put in new equipment and cut a 20' swath of trees for about 100 yard to my main pole.  They did not charge me, in fact they even waived the $300 "connect" fee because I showed them 1 year of paid bills with my existing light company.  I paid about 900 for the 200amp service panel, weatherhead, meter loop, a few gfci temp outlets and ground rods installed.  They are a co-op- it varies. 

If I had to pay out 50k just to pay for power I would then (and probably only then) begin looking at the solar setups that can be done in the 30k range. 

They may or may not let you go underground, depends on their "standards".  There may be a significantly higher charge for it.  I did hear of one guy who got them to change it, when he called and asked them they said no.  When he explained his giraffe was causing problems they came out, saw this situation, and changed it.  Point being - call them and ask. 

Offline MountainDon

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Re: 12x18 with 12 ft walls Possible? Electirc service to a Shed?
« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2008, 02:27:26 PM »


If I had to pay out 50k just to pay for power I would then (and probably only then) begin looking at the solar setups that can be done in the 30k range. 



 :)  That's the reason we're going solar PV.   :)
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn’t mean it is good design.

Offline Lorangerlife

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Re: 12x18 with 12 ft walls Possible? Electirc service to a Shed?
« Reply #8 on: September 28, 2008, 11:29:54 AM »
I plan on calling them within the next month or so to get some type of estimate to bring electric in.  Hopefully I don't end up waiting until spring to get it installed where winter is going to be coming on fast, that would be a huge letdown at this point in the game.

Lowes just called and will be delivering all the material for the beams, floor joists and subfloor this coming Saturday which is also when I will order all the 2x6 wall framing as well so I can get that loft in there while still keeping the shed roof style that I like.

I think by next weekend I will finally be able to post in the build forum with some pictures at last!

Thanks again for all of the help and examples guys!


Offline ScottA

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Re: 12x18 with 12 ft walls Possible? Electirc service to a Shed?
« Reply #9 on: September 28, 2008, 11:35:42 AM »
Looking forward to seeing it. Is it just me or are there alot of projects going on right now?  ???

Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: 12x18 with 12 ft walls Possible? Electirc service to a Shed?
« Reply #10 on: September 28, 2008, 11:51:32 AM »
I think more people are figuring out that if they are ever going to be able to have anything they are going to have to do it themselves...at least the ones in our class.  ::)
"Always work from the general to the specific." J. Raabe

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Offline Lorangerlife

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Re: 12x18 with 12 ft walls Possible? Electirc service to a Shed?
« Reply #11 on: September 29, 2008, 12:17:57 PM »
That's exactly where I am at.

I am 29 and work in technology.  With all of the outsourcing that is going on right now I can't imagine having an $1600-2500 a month home loan and being laid off again.  I've seen too many of my friends and even family struggle but as a result I am making the decision to put myself in a better situation.  Even rent for a decent place is $1000 and up here in the Northeast. 

I realized that if I do things this way I will be able to work so I can enjoy life and not work just to survive.  Shell out a years worth of rent at once and I have my "shed" that I can stay in until the house is built and have a nice office or guest house later.

Still crossing my fingers that i can get electric to it before the winter without too much hassle.

Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: 12x18 with 12 ft walls Possible? Electirc service to a Shed?
« Reply #12 on: September 29, 2008, 07:50:30 PM »
Good way to do it.
"Always work from the general to the specific." J. Raabe

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Offline ToddSInGA

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Re: 12x18 with 12 ft walls Possible? Electirc service to a Shed?
« Reply #13 on: December 19, 2008, 08:38:32 AM »
That's exactly where I am at.

I am 29 and work in technology.  With all of the outsourcing that is going on right now I can't imagine having an $1600-2500 a month home loan and being laid off again.  I've seen too many of my friends and even family struggle but as a result I am making the decision to put myself in a better situation.  Even rent for a decent place is $1000 and up here in the Northeast. 

I realized that if I do things this way I will be able to work so I can enjoy life and not work just to survive.  Shell out a years worth of rent at once and I have my "shed" that I can stay in until the house is built and have a nice office or guest house later.

Still crossing my fingers that i can get electric to it before the winter without too much hassle.

I'm in a similar situation except that I rent and to live in a decent (a.k.a. safe) area the rent is pretty steep, higher than a mortgage. If I can build something that can be expanded in the future for less than what the average new house would cost me then I'm ahead of the game. I'm willing to make sacrafices to do it, I just need to get my foot in the door.

With the economy the way it is I think there's going to be a new wave of folks downsizing, and this site has literally came to my life at the perfect time :)



Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: 12x18 with 12 ft walls Possible? Electirc service to a Shed?
« Reply #14 on: December 19, 2008, 08:44:38 AM »

Gotta admit, you have come to the right place, Todd.  We are the best and have no egos to get in the way. ::)
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Offline John Raabe

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Re: 12x18 with 12 ft walls Possible? Electirc service to a Shed?
« Reply #15 on: December 22, 2008, 05:44:37 PM »
I think there must be lots of folks wanting to downsize, scale back their house projects and get into a more sustainable situation.

As we all know, the bottom has fallen out of the new home building market. Because of this lots of builders, subs and materials suppliers are lowering their prices.

In many ways this is an ideal time to be building an owner-managed project.

I know that many of the companies that sell standard development house plans are really hurting with some closing up shop. The CountryPlans plan sales are down a bit from last year but not as much as I would have expected. Looks like we will just have to stick around and get everyone through this...  :D
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Offline JulieC

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Re: 12x18 with 12 ft walls Possible? Electirc service to a Shed?
« Reply #16 on: March 06, 2009, 11:24:08 AM »
Thanks for this thread!  I just received my Little House plans yesterday.  We are planning to do the 12'x18' with higher walls (with steep gable roof for extra headroom in the loft space, full length of structure) as a weekend house on our inherited land (21 acres) in southern Ohio.  The 2x6's for studs makes sense, would you still recommend that with the full loft as a stablizing factor?

P.S.  I asked a question of the state building department regarding ladders to lofts.  I was told the question was academic as there wasn't any entity in the county we are building in with the authority to enforce the residential code.  If the "shed" is under 200sf, you don't need a building permit at all.  With nobody to come check... we want it to be safe but no need to sweat small deviations like 16 extra sf, cottage or alternating tread stairs, etc.

We aren't putting in full plumbing (composting toilet and some sort of rainwater collection/gray water handling.  Electricity will be some sort of solar roof collector into a battery bank.  The only thing that would be running on electricity 24x7 would be a small fridge.  We'll be choosing a "second choice" spot not too hard to 4-wheel drive to in the snow.  Our primary spot will be reserved for an actual house, for our retirement/economy goes totally to pot place. ;)

Offline John Raabe

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Re: 12x18 with 12 ft walls Possible? Electirc service to a Shed?
« Reply #17 on: March 07, 2009, 09:29:20 AM »
If your side walls are over 10' high it would be a good idea to tie the tops of these walls together in the cathedral areas. This can be as simple as double 2x6 or 2x8 ties at the bottom of every OTHER rafter pair (4' o/c).



This from the Builder's Cottage built behind Victoria's cottage (http://www.countryplans.com/vc.html).
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Offline JulieC

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Re: 12x18 with 12 ft walls Possible? Electirc service to a Shed?
« Reply #18 on: March 07, 2009, 01:04:47 PM »
How about 12' stud walls with 2"x8" ties 16"oc the entire length of the building, minus one so we can get up the ladder.  Plus rafter ties every 4" at 3' under the ridge like this?



(I use Punch Platinum to design).



ED: modified link to display image in message post - MD
« Last Edit: March 07, 2009, 09:36:50 PM by MountainDon »

Offline John Raabe

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Re: 12x18 with 12 ft walls Possible? Electirc service to a Shed?
« Reply #19 on: March 07, 2009, 09:26:45 PM »
The rule of thumb for collar ties is that they must be in the bottom 1/3 of the distance between the wall plate and the ridge. That is too low for your design concept.

I'm not saying what you show may not hold up - builders have done worse. :P (If you do build it as shown I would suggest sturdy metal rafter clips to hold each rafter to the top of the wall).

To be safe I would either have a truss company make up a truss to give you a flat ceiling where you show the bottom of the ties, or check your design with an engineer who knows your local wind and snow loads.
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Offline JulieC

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Re: 12x18 with 12 ft walls Possible? Electirc service to a Shed?
« Reply #20 on: March 09, 2009, 02:32:49 AM »
Sound advice.  I am an engineer, but not a structural one (computer), but all of us nerds studied statics (in a nutshell: trusses) as part of our base education.  I found a full, free copy of  "ASCE STANDARD ASCE/SEI 7-05: American Society of Civil Engineers Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and Other Structures" online last night (http://www.scribd.com/doc/5477173/ASCE-705-Minimum-Design-Loads-for-Buildings-and-Other-Structures, had to create a free account to download).  This stuff is interesting to me, but I'm not sure I'm geared up enough to go through the whole document and all the rust in my head!

I'm having problems finding information about snow loads, wind loads, frost line information for where we're building.  Part of not having a real building department down there, I suppose.  But yeah, builders have done worse.  Especially in the foothills of the Appalachians, which is what we're talking here.   ;)

Offline John Raabe

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Re: 12x18 with 12 ft walls Possible? Electirc service to a Shed?
« Reply #21 on: March 09, 2009, 06:54:07 AM »
Some of those local loads are probably known at the lumber yard, or at least the practical application of them. ;)
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Offline poppy

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Re: 12x18 with 12 ft walls Possible? Electirc service to a Shed?
« Reply #22 on: March 11, 2009, 09:06:42 AM »
JulieC,  I too, began cabin planning based on 12' wide, and decided that loft space was not adequate, so ended up with a 16'x16' and 10' side walls, yielding 8' at the peak of the loft with a 9/12 roof.

As far as design loads in S. Ohio, here is what I have found:

Frost depth; ave. 10" with some codes at 24". 
Snow loads: 20 lbs/sf
Wind loads: 100 mph

I plan to use hurricane type design methods, in an attempt to avoid tornado distruction. Hope this helps.

Offline JulieC

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Re: 12x18 with 12 ft walls Possible? Electirc service to a Shed?
« Reply #23 on: March 17, 2009, 08:08:38 AM »
Thanks Poppy :)  Our cabin property is a 3 hour drive from our main residence, so the info is much appreciated! The climates are totally different here and there, so asking locally (snowbelt) does not help.

I did find a snowload map.  Our property is around the 15/20  lbs/sf line which jives with what you said.  I don't want to go any bigger, because as my husband said "don't make it any more complicated and we might actually finish it".

I was looking at the pics on the main site and might look for the details for the 20' wide two-story house as it has about the same shape.  If I go with the dimensional lumber sizes there, it should be well above the over-kill line ;)  I'm also going through some tutorials on the strong-tie site (connectors).  Though that adds a little cost, it might speed things up as well as adding some strength.

Offline John Raabe

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Re: 12x18 with 12 ft walls Possible? Electirc service to a Shed?
« Reply #24 on: March 17, 2009, 06:32:06 PM »
Your snow loads are well below the limits of the 20' wide two story. No problem there. Your potential winds are a bit high so hurricane clips would be a good idea on the roof to wall connection.
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