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Things to Know About Garden Buildings Framing Size

When starting an exciting project like building a garden shed or structure, the strength of its bones—namely, the timber framing—truly can’t be overlooked. When it comes to choosing the right size timber for your shed frame, it’s not just about ensuring your gardening building stands up. Oh no, there’s more to it than just that. It’s about creating a space that lasts, functions effectively, and looks great in your garden.

It doesn’t matter what the purpose is, like an area to relax, a space for garden tools, or even a sturdy workshop, but what matters is understanding the basics of the timber framing size. Seriously, it’s crucial! That said, we should dive into timber-framed garden buildings. This will help you understand what’s needed, like the framing sizes, the timber sizes, and so much more!

Crucial Things to Know About Garden Buildings Framing Size

Shows image of shed framing

To help you make the right decision, we highlight what you should look out for, what you should avoid, and – as importantly, WHY. Whilst we all want the lowest price for our garden shed, it’s essential that you ensure you buy a building which will fill all your needs and very importantly, will stand the test of time. This is why you need to do a little homework beforehand. Yes, I know we were all not keen on doing ‘homework’, but this homework is vital to ensure you are happy when your new building is delivered.

Garden Shed Frame Size
The framing or frame on a garden shed or workshop is where the main strength comes from, so it must be of adequate size, bearing in mind the conditions under which it will have to endure. From howling gales in winter, possibly heavy snowfall to torrential rain and the beating down of the sun on those hotter days.

This is why you should ensure that the vertical framing of your proposed shed is at least 2 inches x 1½ inches (nominal size), which equates to approximately 44mm x 34mm. This size will give the shed the strength to serve its purpose.

You will find that many of the cheap shed manufacturers use timber framing as low as 1 inch x 1 inch (25mm x 25mm) This is ¼ of the recommended size for long life. Take a look at a tape measure to see how small that is. Some sheds are made using 1½ inches x 1½ inches, which is better but not really strong enough.

Gaps Between Framing
Another thing to remember is the space between the timber uprights on any garden shed. Ideally, they should be approximately 2ft (60cm) apart. On cheap sheds, you are likely to find one in each corner and one in the middle, which will allow the building to sway from side to side after a short while. So combine thin wooden framing and a lack of vertical timber, creating the ‘perfect storm’ that nobody wants in their garden.

Ensure you choose the correct garden shed with strong framing—don’t be misled. If in doubt, ask beforehand.

Looking into the Basics of Timber Framing in Garden Buildings

Like the previous point, the framing is the bones of your garden building. Understanding this fundamental aspect of construction is key to ensuring the durability and functionality of your outdoor structure.

Key Terms You Need to Know

  • Timber frame: This provides a strong and sturdy structure to its larger pieces of wood, which can support greater loads and span wider distances without the need for intermediate columns or supports.
  • Shed Frame: The shed frame includes all the structural parts of the shed, including the posts, beams, rafters, and joists, all of which are essential for maintaining the shape and integrity of the building itself.

What Makes Timber Framing So Relevant in Garden Building Construction?

So, you need to remember that timber framing isn’t just about building a structure; it’s about crafting a space that integrates beautifully with its natural surroundings while standing strong against the elements. The main benefits are:

  • Aesthetic appeal
  • Strength and durability
  • Flexibility and design of timber framing
  • Sustainability

It’s best to keep these in mind, as they can help guide you in constructing your robust garden building.

Factors Influencing the Choice of Timber Size for Shed Frames

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Choosing the right timber size for shed frame construction is a decision that should be made with seriousness. You’ll want to consider some factors for all of this to be safe, functional, and, of course, aesthetically pleasing. So, with that said, here are some critical factors that influence timber size.

Weather Conditions and Environmental Impact
The local climate plays a significant role in deciding the appropriate timber size. Areas prone to heavy snowfall, strong winds, or severe weather conditions require sturdier, larger timber frame sizes to withstand the additional stress. For example, a shed frame in a snowy region might need thicker and more robust timber to support the weight of the snow.
Intended Use of the Building
What you plan to use the garden shed for will significantly influence your select timber sizes. Small timber may suffice if the shed is to be used to store light garden tools. However, larger and stronger timber-framed sheds are necessary to support the additional weight and usage demands if the structure is intended for heavier use, such as a workshop with heavy machinery or a home office with furniture and books.
Structural Requirements
The overall design and size of the shed will dictate specific structural requirements, which can include the necessary time frame dimensions. The span of the roof, height of the walls, and type of roofing material all impact the size and type of timber needed.
Weight Load and Span Considerations
This is getting a little more technically involved, but it’s still one of the basics you’ll need to know! The amount of weight the timber-framed sheds need to bear and the span between supports have to be considered. Heavier loads and longer spans generally require thicker and more durable timber. Proper calculation and understanding of load distribution, span capabilities, and the strength properties of different timber sizes are essential to creating a stable and durable garden building.

Standard Timber Sizes for Shed Frames

You must pick the right timber size for your shed frame, or it will fail in the slightest storm. This will affect the overall strength, functionality, and aesthetics of your garden building. Of course, understanding the standard timber sizes used in shed frames and knowing when to use each can help you build a gorgeous and durable structure.

Common Timber Sizes Used in Shed Frames

  • 50×38 mm: This is usually used for walls of lighter and smaller sheds and is suitable for storing garden tools or something seasonal. If you need something affordable, this is the way to go. However, this can’t carry heavy loads.
  • 50x75mm: This would be the thicker and sturdier option, especially if you need to support heavier loads, such as a hobby space, a workshop, or large garden equipment (like a riding lawn mover). Plus, you can easily add insulation to it, too.
  • 50x100mm: Do you need something more durable? Do you need something that can hold considerable weight, such as snow on the roof or heavy machinery? This is the best. It’s ideal for environmental factors.

Please note the above sizes are before machining, which means the sawmill would cut the timber into 50×38 or 50×50, etc lengths of timber. These timbers would then go through a planing machine to give a smooth finish to the wall. This action would reduce the actual finished size by about 5mm. So 50 x 38mm would become 44mm x 34mm, etc. Always ask for the actual finished size when comparing specifications.

1st Choice Leisure Buildings framing size is as follows. There are all actual finished sizes and not nominal (before machining sizes, which many manufacturers quote)
Sapphire Sheds 44mm x 34mm
Sapphire Summerhouses 44mm x 34mmm
Platinum Workshops – Winchester, Portsmouth, Fareham & Southampton 70mm x 34mm
Platinum Summerhouses Kingsclere, Highclere & Twyford 70mm x 34mm // Bursledon & Hamble 44mm x 34mm
Platinum Potting Sheds 44mm x 34mm
Diamond Sheds 45mm x 45mm vertical framing
Diamond Summerhouses 45mm x 45mm vertical framing
Diamond Barnham workshops 45mm x 45mm throughout
Diamond Potting Shed 45mm x 45mm vertical framing

Additional Considerations
When planning your shed frame, it’s essential to consider the spacing between each piece of timber. Closer spacing can compensate for smaller timber sizes and increase strength overall. But in general, it’s still best to look into articles about sheds or even hire a professional to do the job—that way, it meets all safety regulations.

Maintaining Your Timber Frame Shed

Shows image of factory with timber framing

Once you have your timber framed shed and staging, it will be about properly maintaining it to look great over the years!
Conduct Regular Inspections
It’s a good idea to schedule routine inspections of your shed at least twice a year, preferably in the spring and fall. You’ll want to look for signs of wear and tear, such as loose joints, damage to the timber, or signs of water infiltration. Pay special attention to the roof and base of the shed, as these areas are particularly vulnerable to damage.
Keep the Timber Treated
Another thing to consider is protecting your timber frame and garden building from moisture, pests, and decay. Depending on the type of treatment and your local climate conditions, reapply the preservative every few years or as the product manufacturer recommends. This not only prolongs the life of the timber but also maintains its aesthetic appeal.
Ensure Good Ventilation
Proper ventilation is absolutely essential! Moisture can build up inside your shed, leading to destruction due to wood rot and mould. So, you have to ensure enough ventilation.
Repair Damage Promptly
If you notice any damage during your inspections, such as cracked timber or a leaking roof, address these issues promptly. If you decide to delay any repairs, this can lead to more significant problems, potentially compromising the structural integrity of the shed.
Keep Debris Away
Keep the exterior of your shed clean by washing it down occasionally to remove dirt and grime. Also, clear leaves, twigs, and other debris from the roof and gutters. This keeps the shed looking good and prevents organic material from decomposing on the wood, which can cause moisture retention and decay.
Check for Pest Infestation
This goes with what was said above: debris is inviting for a pest infestation, particularly termites and carpenter ants, which can cause severe damage to timber. If you spot signs of pests, treat the area with appropriate pest control methods or consult a professional for more severe infestations.
Keep an Eye on Surrounding Vegetation
So, you’ll want to ensure that trees and shrubs around your shed are trimmed back to prevent branches from rubbing against the timber, which can cause severe damage. Trimming also helps reduce the risk of moisture trapped against the shed’s surfaces, leading to wood rot.

Ensuring Longevity for Your Lovely Timber Framed Shed

Choosing the right timber size and maintaining your shed is obvious, but at the end of the day, this is all needed to have a gorgeous and durable garden structure. Larger timbers offer strength and durability for more extreme conditions, while the smaller ones are ideal for lighter use and easier handling. Of course, you’ll still need proper installation and regular maintenance, or you can expect this to fail sometime.

Like any other structure, you should take care of this and know precisely why it needs to be done. If done correctly, it can be a valuable and lasting addition to your outdoor space!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Garden Buildings Framing Sizes

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  • How thick should a shed frame be?

    The thickness of a shed frame should be determined based on the size and design of the shed. For smaller sheds, such as those measuring 6x8 feet, a frame with 2x½ inch timber is typically sufficient. Larger sheds, like a 12x16 foot structure, may require a thicker frame using 2x3 or 2x4 inch timber for added stability and strength. It is crucial to consider the weight of the roof, local weather conditions, and any potential snow load when determining the appropriate thickness for a shed frame to ensure durability and longevity.
  • What size timber for shed frame?

    When choosing timber for a shed frame, opt for 2x2 or 2x3 boards, depending on the shed size and load-bearing requirements. Larger sheds or those supporting heavy equipment may benefit from 2x4 timbers for added strength. Ensure the wood is pressure-treated to resist rot and decay, extending the shed's lifespan. The spacing between the timber studs should also be considered to provide ample support for the shed walls and roof. Selecting the appropriate timber size is crucial for a durable and stable shed structure.
  • What size timber should I use for a shed frame?

    For a shed frame, the size of timber to use depends on the shed's dimensions and the load it will bear. Typically, for smaller sheds, 2x1½ timber is sufficient for framing walls and roof. Larger sheds may require 2x2 or even 2x3 timber for added strength and stability. Ensure that you check that the size is the actual FINISHED thickness.

About Author:

Robin Antill is an established authority in the field of quality garden building manufacturing, boasting over four decades of experience. Having founded Titan Garden Buildings in 1979, he demonstrated a commitment to excellence from the outset by moving away from subpar materials and embarking on crafting buildings of superior quality.


His lineage of craftsmanship, traced back to his father and grandfather's business in Cleethorpes, underscores his dedication to quality and customer satisfaction. Robin's son, Craig, who joined the business in 1990, brings additional expertise, having honed his skills at Guildford College in joinery.


Together, they elevated Titan Garden Buildings, which eventually evolved into 1st Choice Leisure Buildings. Their enduring focus on premium materials, top-notch manufacturing, and unparalleled customer service, along with Craig's digital acumen in creating the company's online presence, showcase their expertise and reliability in the industry.


Robin’s expertise was featured in Realtor.com, Homes&Gardens, The London Economic, and dozens other publications.


Woking Show Site
1st Choice Leisure Buildings
Woking Garden Buildings Show Site
Sutton Green Garden Centre,
Whitmoor Ln, Sutton Green,
Guildford,
GU4 7QA
Phone 01483 237550