I am planning a 12x8 shed and looking at frame designs on the web. I see a mix of ideas out there that are all presumably just as good as the next. One inconsistency I see is that some roofs have a ridge beam while others have the rafters standing alone.

For a shed this small does it really matter? I plan on using tin on top of OSB for the roof so I imagine it would be sturdy enough anyway.

1 Answer 1


A ridge board isn't a "beam", per se. It's often just a nice way to bring the rafters together. A proper beam would have a supporting post at each end.

You don't need a ridge beam, but you do need a way to keep the walls from spreading. This can be accomplished with "collar ties", boards spanning the shed at ceiling height, or with large gussets further up the rafter slope. One collar tie would be enough in your case.

I built my 12x10 shed by using 4' by ~18" OSB gussets at the peak of each 2x4 rafter set, essentially resulting in a truss, which proved very solid:

enter image description here

Source: http://halbergengineering.blogspot.com/2010/10/structural-engineering-for-minnesota.html

  • 1
    I have plenty of OSB lying around so that should work nicely. Thanks for helping me move forward.
    – Matt
    Aug 16, 2016 at 15:02
  • You're welcome. I'd suggest gussets on both sides of each rafter pair, and fastening with sheathing staples, screws, and possibly construction adhesive. You want them very rigidly anchored.
    – isherwood
    Aug 16, 2016 at 15:04
  • I depends what weight you expect the roof to have on it (or more specifically the load). If there will be heavy roofing materials, snow and wind load then the force needed to keep the walls from spreading will be higher. My kit 12x8 shed is spreading a bit with its design being similar to the proposed. I only have flimsy 1.5" fames and 1/4" board though. (And the willow tree growing over it might not help :-P)
    – TafT
    Aug 16, 2016 at 17:13
  • Ended up using gussets with 3/4" OSB for that and the roof just like you show here. Thing is holding strong after winter. Thanks again.
    – Matt
    Sep 26, 2017 at 0:44

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