A glossary of terms frequently encountered when looking to buy a shed. This section is to further help you describe the shed you want to design or understand what you are purchasing. Pass comment below if you have a question about a term that’s not listed or you wish to suggest an addition or edit to the glossary.

What is:

Accredited, ShedSafe = an accreditation program managed by the Australian Steel Institute, designed to assist shed buyers in making an informed purchase decision.

SHEDSAFE accreditation cannot be purchased it has to be earned.

If your Shed supplier isn’t SHEDSAFE accredited you should ask yourself, why not?

Apex = the point where the two slopes of the roof meet at the ridge. The tallest point of the shed.

Apex bracket or apex cleat = the part of your shed that connects the opposing rafters at the middle of your shed.

A.S.I. = Australian Steel Institute. The Australian Steel Institute was formed as a representative group for the shed industry. Membership consists of a broad range of shed manufacturers, roll forming companies and industry suppliers.

Barge = fabricated Colorbond or Zincalume flashing that seals the gap between the top of your wall sheets and side of the roof sheets at the gable ends of your building.

Bay = the area of shed between two main support columns on the side walls often where the Roller doors are located. For example, a 3 bay shed might have in the side walls 2 x roller doors and a PA door with the section with the PA door referred to as a workshop area. 

BCA = Building Codes of Australia.

Bill of Materials = in the Shed Industry, a bill of materials or BOM is a list of the components, parts and the quantities of each needed to construct the end product, in this case, a Shed, Garage or Carport.

BMT = Base Metal Thickness is a term to describe the thickness of the metal used not including coatings or paint. The thickness of your sheeting will affect the price of your shed. Thicker sheeting costs more.

BOM = Bill of Materials, In the Shed Industry a bill of materials or B.O.M is a list of the components, parts and the quantities of each needed to construct the end product, in this case, a Shed, Garage or Carport.

Cee section = steel purlin that is shaped in a C. Portal Frames are often constructed with them. Wall Girts and Roof Purlins often use Cee section.

Cladding = another term for the wall and roof sheeting.

Class 10a Building = is the BCA code for a building if it is a non-habitable building or structure like a domestic garage, carport or shed.

Cleats = come in all shapes and sizes and are used to connect sections of the shed together with either nuts and bolts or tek screws.

Colorbond = COLORBOND® steel is a registered trademark of BlueScope Steel Limited and is the only type of sheeting/cladding and rainwater goods you should consider for Australian conditions apart from Zincalume.

Column = vertical steel post usually a Cee section that is part of the main shed frame and supports the rafters and eave purlins.

Cross Bracing = steel strap or threaded rod bracing used on larger sheds or buildings in higher wind.

Custom-orb = LYSAGHT CUSTOM ORB® is the famous BlueScope Lysaght corrugated profile suitable for the roof or walls.

Diaphragm Bracing = refers to the bracing effect that the roof and wall sheeting have on the building. Smaller sheds only require the bracing effect of the sheeting in certain regions.

Downpipes = usually supplied with most shed kits in the form of rectangular Colorbond or Zincalume pipes. If you are planning to run your rainwater from the shed to a tank straight away then you may consider asking for these to be taken out of the kit and use Poly pipe instead.

Eave = found at the lower edge of the roof slope usually at the top of the sheds side walls and where the gutters are normally located. Eave height is another method to describe the height of the shed.

End wall = the walls usually located at the Gable end of a shed.

Engineering = when purchasing a shed you should be issued with documents that certify the structural integrity of your shed. This engineering should be generated specifically for your shed, based on your site conditions and use of your shed and are required for certification processes by council or a private certifier.

Engineering Step = changing a sheds span, bay size and wall height affects the required engineering. As these change in size so does the engineering and therefore the size and thickness of structural materials. The change from one thickness or size of a structural member to another is referred to as a step or engineering step. Read more.

Facia Batten =  also known as eave batten , located at the eaves of the shed, often awnings are attached to the Facia Batten.

Fly Brace = a brace from the bottom flange of a rafter to a roof purlin that restrains the rafter laterally. Read more

Frame = the main structure of your shed to which the cladding/sheeting and the doors and windows are attached to.

Gable or Gable End = a gable is generally the triangular portion of a wall between the edges of a sloping roof. The end walls to most sheds are referred to as the gable ends.

Garage = a building for sheltering a motor vehicle or vehicles.
Or an establishment where motor vehicles are repaired, fuel is sold, etc.

Girt = a horizontal structural member that is in the walls to support wall sheeting. Usually a Cee or Zed section or Topspan.

Gutters = run just under the eaves of your shed to collect rain water and divert it away from your building. Different shed manufacturers supply different size gutters and in various profiles. I recommend that you get full size gutters, as the small gutters can overflow in very heavy rainfall and potentially flow back inside your building.

Haunch = some people call the Knee cleats or brackets a haunch or haunch connection.

Height = in most circumstances, when discussing a shed size, the height of the shed refers to the vertical measurement of the side walls to the eave which is generally where the gutters are. The measurement is usually from the floor level to the top of the eave.

Importance Level = the level of consequences in the event of a building failure.  More about importance levels.

Insulation = various types from foil backed fibre type blanket to high tech bubble wrap styles that are becoming a standard item in sheds these days. More and more people are requesting roof insulation be quoted in the kit for their shed.

Knee bracket (cleat or brace) = the part of your shed that connects the Column to the Rafter. Brace being additional support at this connection point.

Larnec = a company that supplies high quality, pre-hung PA doors for sheds, garages, commercial and industrial buildings. Easy to install, strong and durable.

Length = in shed talk this usually refers to the measurement of the side walls of the shed. For example, a shed with 3 x 3 metre bays will have a length of 9 metres.

Multiclad = LYSAGHT MULTICLAD® is a low profile multi-ribbed wall sheeting product.  MULTICLAD® is usually used where an inexpensive, quick to install cladding is desirable like on garages and sheds.

Multi-span = type of shed that uses additional structural columns to support the roof/rafters so that roof may cover/span a greater area. 

Open Fronted, Open Bays = Usually found on farm sheds.

PA door = Personal Access door.

Portal Frame = the section of your shed consisting of your 2 columns, 2 rafters, 1 apex and 2 knee brackets. The area between two portal frames is called a bay.

Purlin = a horizontal structural member that supports the roof sheeting. In sheds they are usually a Cee or Zed section.

Pitch = see roof pitch.

Rafter = a rafter is a sloped beam, usually Cee section, that extend from the ridge or apex down to the eave and connects to the column usually at the eave, designed to support the roof deck and purlins and its associated loads.

Region = where will you build your shed. The location is important to the seller as they need to consider the wind speeds your building might encounter. Australia is basically broken up into 4 regions. Region A, B, C or D.  More

Ridge Cap = the fabricated Colorbond or Zincalume steel sheet that runs along the ridge line forming the waterproof seal between the two sides of your roof.

Roof Pitch = The angle or slope of the roof sheeting, 10 and 15 degree roof pitches are the most common in Domestic garages. Your shed supplier will likely have more options available.

Roof wire = should be installed when using foil backed blanket insulation to help support it in the longer term.

Shed = an outbuilding, usually for a specific purpose, as storage, work area, etc.: a tractor shed or a small building in the backyard of a family home, often of light construction, used for storage of tools, lawnmower, workbench, etc.

ShedSafe = an accreditation scheme managed by the Australian Steel Institute, designed to assist shed buyers in making an informed purchase decision.

SHEDSAFE accreditation cannot be purchased it has to be earned.

If your Shed supplier isn’t SHEDSAFE accredited you should ask yourself, why not?

Side wall = the side of the shed that has the gutters, usually consisting of 2 or more bays.

Size of shed = is usually the Span x Length x Eave Height. For example, a 3 bay domestic shed might be described as a
“6 x 9 x 2.7 “.  A standard double garage is often described as a “6 x 6 x 2.4”.

Skillion = single low pitch roofed structure.

Slab = concrete base on which your shed is constructed.

Span = in shed talk it’s usually the distance between two main columns and is most often referenced as the width of the shed across the end wall (gable end of shed). Also refers to covering the distance between 2 points.

TCT = Total Coating Thickness is a term used to describe the overall thickness of a coloured or coated sheet steel like Colorbond. This figure includes the Base Metal Thickness plus the paints or coatings.

Tek screw = usually a self tapping self drilling screw with a Hex head. They come in various sizes and are used in various situations on your shed. You should ensure that the ones that are used on the walling and roofing and flashings have a neoprene washer for waterproofing. 

Terrain = refers to the surroundings where you will build your shed. Is it wide open terrain, partly sheltered terrain or terrain sheltered by houses and other sheds?

Terrain Category 3 : is usually found in the built up areas around town like a back yard where there are existing buildings to shelter the new shed from storms. Often referred to as sheltered or Suburban. 

Terrain Category 2.5 : is often found in rural residential estate situations where there maybe shelter from wind and storms gained by a few existing buildings. Often referred to as Semi-Open or Semi-Sheltered.

Terrain Category 2 : is often found in rural areas where there is very little shelter from wind and storms. Waterfront and lakeside land should be considered for this category as well. Often referred to as open or fully exposed.

Topspan or Top Hat = light steel sections that are an economical lightweight solution to affix roofing and walling sheets, usually used in domestic sheds and garages instead of Cee or Zed sections purlins and girts. Due to the smaller spans in domestic sheds Topspan or Top Hat is used. Topspan is a Lysaght Product and Top Hat is a Stramit product.

Trimdek = LYSAGHT TRIMDEK® is a square-fluted steel cladding high profile suitable for the wall and the roof. 

Vermaseal / Vermin seal = this product does 2 things, deters vermin, rats, mice, lizards, snakes etc from coming up between the wall sheeting and the concrete slab and it also isolates the wall sheet from the concrete slab which should add to the longevity of the base of your wall sheeting.

Wind Speed = Wind speed is a common factor in the design of structures and buildings around the world. The wind speed is a governing factor in the design of a structure and is used by professional engineers and designers. More…

Zed section = Z shaped profile steel purlin often used as roof purlins and wall girts due to their ability to lap.