Have you ever stopped to think about why you build shed walls? Would it not be much simpler to just build an open framework with a roof? Yes, it may save you a bit of money on building supplies but you may lose out in the long run. Besides the obvious use of shed walls as a support for the roof, they perform many other functions; from keeping your painting supplies from drying out in the heat of the day to keeping your stored goods from ruining due to cold or moisture damage they can even prevent burglars from making off with your valuables!
The most basic type of wall comprises a single layer of plastic, metal, or wood. A single skin of opaque plastic, metal or wood is great for storing your garden tools, equipment, and machinery it keeps out the rain and wind and provides protection from the suns rays.
The sketches below show different types of wood cladding;
This picture shows match-boarding where the boards actually interlock, one into the next.
Of these three styles of wooden cladding the match boarding is the most weather tight as any distortion within a board is restrained by the connection to the board above/below. With the other two styles a gap opens up if the board warps which creates a draught when the wind blows or a leak when it rains and the wind blows!
For a shed that requires extra protection from the elements such as a garden office or outdoor recreation room, a different sort of wall is more appropriate. This type of wall is made up of an outer skin known as a “rain screen cladding” or simply “siding,” and functions as a water barrier for the rest of the structure, the weather board, ship-lap and match boards are perfect for this along with other types of metal, PVC and cement sheet cladding. If some rain penetrates the external screen then it is stopped by the breathable building paper which is fixed to the structure beneath. This layer also stops draughts getting in through panel joints.
An internal structural skin is nailed directly to the vertical timber studs that make up the shed's frame work (and carry the roof loads) which is known as sheathing. This sheathing helps to brace the overall structure against horizontal loads. This type of wall separates the structural and shielding functions of the wall.
Insulated shed walls are useful for sheds or buildings that are being used as garden offices or outdoor garden rooms. They allow you to comfortably enjoy the peace of your room without exposure to extremes of heat or cold. Non-insulated walls are good for sheds that are being used for storage, holding overflow from your house, holding camping equipment, storing Christmas decorations, or anything else you may have to find a space for.
When walls are added to a shed there are a couple more features that you need. Doors are necessary for entering the shed and windows allow fresh air and sunlight to penetrate into the interior. As the openings are created for the doors and windows the walls of the shed must be adapted to suit. Over each opening a lintel must be added to support the weight of the roof. A lintel is a small beam that runs horizontally across the top of the door or window. The wall studs on either side of the window or door are doubled up as with what is known as a cripple stud so that the weight of the wall is well supported.
If you have not stopped to think of the jobs performed by your shed walls then stop and do so. You just may be surprised at the number of functions they are handling. If you want to protect your property that you store in your shed, whether it is worth a little or a lot, then you need to choose the right wall construction to do so.