My first time building a shed by myself and it's been a lot of work, since it is on a slope. I got the piers and columns in, had it squared, and put cut plywood in the corners.

I cut all the joists, and I guess exhaustion and rushing, I didn't double check the squareness and I put all the joist hangers on and anchors from the rim joist to the 6x6 posts.. with 16d galvanized nails that are not coming out. Some how it shifted even with the corner braces. Guess plywood was a bad choice for holding square.

It was originally one inch off, but I got it down to 3/4.. knocking it with a 4lb sledge hammer..

What are my options? If I start framing how much will this effect the walls?

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  • I'd use an 8 pound sledge, a board to take the hit, and nice long screws. The wood, even 6X6" should bend over time if you secure it well. Nails are likely not your friend where it's out of true that much. Jun 27, 2018 at 22:46
  • @WayfaringStranger Do i need to worry about cracking any joist with all the hangers in already? Or cracking the 6x6 posts?
    – eaglei22
    Jun 27, 2018 at 23:00
  • Hitting with an 8lb sledge that is..
    – eaglei22
    Jun 27, 2018 at 23:29
  • 2
    Why worry about this small screw up. Before my dad died he used to say that is what caulking and paint are for! I have worked on some 1940 era houses that were 3" out of square on a 1100 ad home, trying to add a new bed and bath was tough. Some modern 90's and newer homes have been just as bad if not worse. Funny many of the late 1800 and early 1900 homes were closer to square on the outside walls but the internal walls were worse.
    – Ed Beal
    Jun 28, 2018 at 0:10
  • @eaglei22 4Lb sledge sounds to small, but yes, you could damage if you got overenthusiastic with an 8 Lb hammer. Jun 28, 2018 at 0:24

1 Answer 1


Use a ratchet strap or a come-along to pull the corners together on the diagonal that measures longer than the other, then, before removing this, secure a sheet or two of plywood down to the floor joists.

You can use some big eye bolts through the rim joists to give your ratcheting device something to hook into at either end.

You shouldn’t need to worry about damaging anything. 3/4” out of square means you’re compressing the long diagonal only 3/8”, and nails allow for some wiggle and play in the framing before it is sheathed with ply or boards.

I don’t recommend beating on the thing you’re building. It’s hard on your body, and doesn’t hold things precisely square for you while you do the other work to sustain the squareness once achieved, like laying plywood on the floor.

  • Thanks paul. Can you give me some more guidance on attaching the ratchet strap? I have some small ones that i can use, but what size eye bolts, and where would i put them? Want to avoid anything flying out at me.
    – eaglei22
    Jun 27, 2018 at 23:39
  • Don't worry about 3/4" inch in a structure that is already built unless all wood. If all wood it can be corrected but expect your pier blocks to need adjustment
    – Ed Beal
    Jun 28, 2018 at 0:18
  • 2
    I would recommend using a larger strap like you might see in use on big trucks. There is no harm in trying the small one you have, but it may not have the strength to pull things square. I would use eye bolts at least 1/2” in diameter, long enough to be installed through the face of the rim joist near the corner, secured with a nut. Washers on both sides would help, especially if you end up having to pull really hard. Don’t use those lag screw eye bolts...
    – paul
    Jun 28, 2018 at 11:28

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