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Build a Shed Loft!

Here are some shed loft illustrations and pictures showing different framing options for adding a shed loft to increase your storage space. 

storage space added with a shed loftGambrel Roof Shed Loft

Huge shed lofts provide huge benefits for storage

A shed loft, or attic in your shed  can be used for a multitude of purposes!   Of course, the most obvious is using it for increased storage.  Another use is for sleeping quarters in tiny houses, cabins, and cottages.  Or it can be a play space in a children's playhouse. 

Whatever your need is,  you'll definitely find that having  a loft in your shed will come in very handy!

Allowable spans for shed loft joists

An important factor to consider is how much weight you are going to have on the floor of your loft.  More often than not I see shed loft floors typically framed with 2x6's spaced 24" on center as that is usually what the roof trusses or rafters are framed.  So I normally show a loft joists connected or nailed to the end of a roof truss/rafter.

A good deal of my plans show this size joist.  Of course the larger the 2x', the less space you are going to have in your loft.  But safety should be of primary concern.  If you are going to be storing a lot of heavy items in your loft, or it's going to be used for living space, you should use the appropriate size lumber for your floor joist.

Floor joists can be solid lumber such as 2x4's, 2x6's, 2x8's, 2x10's, or 2x12's.  They can also be framed with what's known as an 'I-joist'.  I would typically not use I-joists in a shed that's up to 12' wide but if I was building say a 16' wide or larger shed I would consider going with them.  The spans that I-joists can be used for are greater than regular nominal lumber. For more information on using I-joists here's a link you can follow:  Forest Products Supply Company.

Loft floor framed with tji joists.TJI Joists Used For a Loft FLoor

The picture above shows a 12' wide shed with TJI floor joists spaced 16" on center. 

If you were to go with nominal lumber for the floor joists, using the American Council Wood span calculator, you would have to have for the 12' span spaced 24" on center, 2x8's.

A 2-Story shed loft example

Here's an example of framing for a barn style shed that might be used for a livable shed or a shed to house.  The shed walls are framed with 2x4's at 16" on center with a double top plate. Then a floor is framed on top of the walls with nominal 2x10's.  This span was figured/calculated using the American Wood Council's span calculator.

Shed loft floor framing for a 2 story example.2x10 Floor Framed Loft Floor
2 story shed loft floor with 3/43/4" flooring added to framed loft floor.
Barn trusses added to the 2x10 loft floor framing.Barn Trusses Added to the Loft Floor

More examples...

shed loft for sleepingSo Many Uses For A Shed Loft!

The Best Shed Loft is....

gambrel roof sheds have lots of loft areaThis Shed Loft Offers Lots of Headroom

A shed with a gambrel style or barn roof offers the most storage space in the attic. This is because of the increased headroom provided with the gambrel truss. Maybe you want to keep the style of your shed roof to match your home which could be a gable style roof.  

Depending on the roof pitch, your gable style shed could offer up quite a bit of storage space in it's shed loft also.

a loft in a gable style shedHigh Roof Pitch Offers Good Loft Area In Gable Sheds

Not So Much Attic Space Here....

low shed loft space in saltbox shedsNot Much Loft Area In a Saltbox Style Shed

A saltbox style shed, and the lean to shed will not offer up as much storage space in the loft area, but there are still possibilities of utilizing some storage space up in their attic area.


Lean to shed with not much of a shed loftNot Much Loft Space In a Lean To Shed

Some Shed Loft Pictures....

gambrel roof shed loftAnother Example Of a Huge Loft In a Barn Style Shed
shed loft sleeping areaShed Loft In a 12x16 Barn Shed

The 12x16 barn shed shown above is one of my most popular shed plans that I sell.  It can be used for a multitude of storage purposes and even a shed home or tiny house can be built using the plans.

gable roof shed loft areaHigh Pitch Gable Roof Makes For A Good Shed Loft
small shed loftYou May Not Need A Big Shed Loft
my shed loftThis Shed Loft is Bigger Than It Looks

The shed pictured above is my wife's 12x16 gable style shed.  The attic here doesn't look that big, but the roof pitch is like an 8/12 pitch.  You could easily make a tiny house with this shed plan and have a nice sleeping area up in the attic.

adding a shed loft before sheeting your shed roofAdd Your Shed Loft Before Sheeting The Roof
a shed loft used for a playhouseA Playhouse Shed Loft
One Of My Favorite Shed Loft Pictures
a chicken coop shed loftShed Loft In a Chicken Coop

The big gambrel roof shed above is being used for a chicken coop.  The customer uses his loft for storing supplies for his chickens.  You can learn more about these plans here.

lighting being used for this shed loftAdd Electric and Light Up Your Loft Area

Check out all of my gambrel roof shed plans that have nice loft areas.

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