Title:
Extruded plastic wall panel and door panel construction system
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A modular construction system that utilizes an extruded wall panel formed from rigid PVC to form either a door system, a wall system, or a storage building. The construction system includes an extruded wall panel defined by planar front and back surfaces that define a hollow interior. The wall panel can be configured to act as a door panel for a modular door system. A plurality of wall panels can be joined by a panel adapter to define a wall having a user selected configuration. Further, the wall panels can be joined to define the sidewalls of a storage building. An eave connector formed from extruded plastic supports a series of wall panels on the sidewalls and cooperates with a roof connector to form the roof of the storage building from the extruded wall panels.



Inventors:
Sheehy, Gregory R. (Reedsville, WI, US)
Application Number:
09/899310
Publication Date:
01/10/2002
Filing Date:
07/05/2001
Assignee:
SHEEHY GREGORY R.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
52/90.1, 52/92.1, 52/93.1, 52/93.2, 52/300, 52/783.1, 52/784.1, 52/784.13, 52/784.14, 52/79.1
International Classes:
E04B1/12; E04B7/04; E04B7/20; E04C2/20; E04C2/34; E06B1/18; E06B3/82; E06B3/86; E04B1/61; E06B3/70; (IPC1-7): E04H1/00; E04H3/00; E04H5/00; E04H6/00; E04H9/00; E04H14/00; E04B7/02; E04B7/04; E04B1/00; E04B5/00; E04B7/00; E04H12/00; E04C2/54
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
MORRISON, NASCHICA SANDERS
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ANDRUS INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LAW, LLP (MILWAUKEE, WI, US)
Claims:

I claim:



1. A modular construction system for forming a wall structure having a user configurable shape, the construction system comprising: a plurality of wall panels each being formed as a monolithic structure from extruded plastic, each wall panel having a width defined by a first side and a second side and having a planar first face surface and a planar second face surface that define a hollow interior, wherein the first side and the second side each include a recessed connector channel extending from a top of the wall panel to the bottom of the wall panel; and a panel adapter positionable between a pair of wall panels to connect the wall panels, the panel adapter being formed from extruded plastic and including at least two protruding connectors configured to be received in the recessed connector channels of the wall panel.

2. The construction system of claim 1 wherein each wall panel includes a plurality of center ribs extending between the first face surface and the second face surface of the wall panel, the center ribs being generally equally spaced from each other.

3. The construction system of claim 2 wherein at least one of the center ribs includes an integrally formed screw boss extending therefrom.

4. The construction system of claim 1 further comprising at least one end cap positionable along one of the wall panels, the end cap being formed from extruded plastic and having an end connector configured to be received in the connector channel of the wall panel, the end cap further including a planar trim wall integrally formed with the end connector.

5. The construction system of claim 1 wherein the recessed connector channel is a dovetail mortise and the connector of the panel adapter is a dovetail that mates with the dovetail mortise.

6. The construction system of claim 1 further comprising a corner connector positionable between a pair of wall panels to form a 90° corner, the corner connector including at least two protruding connectors configured to be received in the recessed connector channels of the wall panels.

7. The construction system of claim 1 wherein the wall panel further comprises a plurality of standoff ribs formed on both the first face surface and the second face surface of the wall panel, wherein the standoff ribs extend into the open interior of the wall panel.

8. The construction system of claim 1 wherein the wall panels and the panel adapters are formed from rigid PVC.

9. A modular door construction system, the system comprising: a monolithic door panel formed from extruded rigid PVC, the door panel extending between a first side and a second side and having a planar first face surface and a planar second face surface, wherein the first face surface and the second face surface define a hollow interior; wherein the first side and the second side of the door panel include a recessed connector channel extending from a top to a bottom of the door panel; and a door frame formed from a pair of side door jamb members and a top doorjamb member, wherein each of the doorjamb members is formed from extruded rigid PVC, wherein the door panel is mounted to the door frame.

10. The door construction system of claim 9 wherein the door panel includes a plurality of center ribs each extending across the hollow exterior of the door panel and integrally formed with the first face surface and the second face surface.

11. The door construction system of claim 10 wherein at least one of the center ribs includes an integrally formed screw boss extending therefrom.

12. The door construction system of claim 11 further comprising a top end cap and a bottom end cap attachable to the door panel to close the hollow interior of the door panel, wherein each of the end caps is attached to the door panel by at least one screw connector that is received in one of the screw bosses.

13. The door construction system of claim 12 wherein each of the top and bottom end cap caps includes at least one weather-strip channel sized to receive a resilient weather strip, wherein the resilient weather-strip contacts the top door jamb member when the door panel is mounted to the door frame and in a closed position.

14. The door construction system of claim 9 further comprising a pair of end caps each positionable along one side of the door panel, each end cap being formed from extruded rigid PVC and having an end connector configurable to be received in the connector channel of the door panel, the end cap further including a planar trim wall integrally formed with the end connector.

15. The door construction system of claim 9 wherein the recessed connector channel is a dovetail mortise.

16. The door construction system of claim 9 wherein the door jamb member includes a front face surface and a back face surface, the front face surface having a recessed snap groove formed therein, the snap groove being sized to receive a mating snap formed on a decorative molding such that the decorative molding can be attached to the door jamb member.

17. The door construction system of claim 16 wherein the door jamb member further includes a recessed snap groove formed along the back face surface, the snap groove formed along the back face surface being sized to receive a protruding snap formed on an extruded door jamb extension such that the door jamb extension can be attached to the door jamb member.

18. The door construction system of claim 17 further comprising a weather-strip channel formed in the door jamb member, the weather-strip channel being sized to receive a section of resilient weather-strip such that the door panel contacts the weather-strip when the door panel is mounted to the door frame and in a closed position.

19. The door construction system of claim 10 further comprising a stiffener positionable in the hollow interior of the door panel between a pair of center ribs.

20. The door construction system of claim 9 further comprising a door sill formed from extruded rigid PVC, the door sill being positionable between the side doorjamb members along the ground.

21. The door construction system of claim 20 wherein the door sill includes a pair of inclined, serrated contact surfaces.

22. A modular construction system for forming an enclosed storage building having a plurality of sidewalls and a roof, the construction system comprising: a plurality of wall panels each being a monolithic structure formed from extruded rigid PVC, each wall panel having a width defined by a first side and a second side and having a planar first face surface and a planar second face surface that define a generally hollow interior, wherein the plurality of wall panels are used to form the sidewalls and the roof of the building, wherein the first side and the second side of each wall panel includes a recessed connector channel extending along the side from a top of the wall panel to a bottom of the wall panel; a plurality of panel adapters positionable between a pair of wall panels to connect the wall panels, the panel adapter being formed from extruded rigid PVC and including at least two protruding connectors configured to be received in the recessed connector channels of the wall panel; a plurality of corner connectors positionable between a pair of wall panels to connect the wall panels at a 90° angle, the corner connectors being formed from extruded rigid PVC and including at least two protruding connectors configured to be received in the recessed connector channels of the wall panel; an eave connector sized to be received on a top end of the wall panel, the eave connector including a sloped panel support surface for receiving and supporting one of the wall panels used to form the roof, the eave connector being formed from extruded rigid PVC; and a peak connector including a pair of panel receptacles sized to receive an end of the wall panels used to form the roof, the peak connector being formed from extruded rigid PVC, wherein the peak connector extends along the peak of the roof to join the wall panels used to form the roof.

23. The construction system of claim 22 wherein the peak connector includes a hollow central opening positioned between the pair of wall panel receptacles, the central opening being sized to receive a stiffening element.

24. The construction system of claim 22 further comprising an eave cover cap formed from extruded rigid PVC, the eave cover cap being positionable to surround the eave end connector and an end of the wall panel used to form the roof.

25. The construction system of claim 22 further comprising a shed base positioned to define a perimeter of the storage building, the shed base having a generally planar bottom surface and a pair of opposed, upwardly extending side supports, wherein the pair of side supports are positioned on opposite sides of the wall panels that form the sidewalls of the storage building such that the shed base aids in supporting the wall panels.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

[0001] The present application is based on and claims priority to U.S. Provisional Patent application Ser. No. 60/216,272, filed Jul. 6, 2000.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] The present invention generally relates to a modular door and wall panel system that is formed from extruded rigid PVC. More specifically, the present invention relates to a modular door and wall system in which each of the components are formed from extruded rigid PVC such that the components can be used to construct a door, a wall partition system and a shed.

[0003] In many situations, such as an agricultural environment, a need exists for a door and wall system that is formed from a material that can be easily washed and sanitized. For example, in dairy, hog confinement, poultry and clean rooms, it is desirable to have a door and wall system that is formed from a material that will not stain, rot, peel or mildew and can be easily sanitized and cleaned. Currently, one such available material is stainless steel. Although stainless steel can be easily sanitized and cleaned, and is very durable, the cost of forming a door and wall system from stainless steel proves to be prohibitive. Further, the weight and general inflexibility of the material makes stainless steel generally unacceptable for such an agricultural setting.

[0004] In addition to the desire for a door and wall system that can be easily washed and sanitized, it is also desirable for a door and wall system that is easily expandable and configurable based on user requirements without requiring specially manufactured parts. The use of modular components without requiring specialized parts molded to a user requirement increases the flexibility of the system while dramatically reducing the cost.

[0005] As discussed above, it is desirable for a door and wall system that is formed from a material that can be easily washed and sanitized. Although one possible alternative is plastic, plastic doors and wall panels having widths up to 36 inches have presented a formidable challenge in the extruding and molding process.

[0006] As the above comments indicate, a need clearly exists for a modular door and wall system that is durable, inexpensive and can be sanitized. Further, a need exists for a modular door and wall system that is inexpensive, infinitely expandable and configurable, and easy to maintain and assemble.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0007] The present invention is a modular door, wall and shed construction system that is formed entirely from extruded rigid PVC. The door, wall and shed construction system of the present invention are all centered around an extruded wall panel. The extruded wall panel includes a first face surface and a second face surface that are separated from each other by a plurality of center ribs. The center ribs space the first face surface and the second face surface to define a generally hollow interior for the extruded wall panel.

[0008] The extruded wall panel includes a first side and a second side that define the width of the panel. In the preferred embodiment of the invention, the wall panel has a width of 36 inches. Both the first side and the second side of the wall panel include a recessed connector channel extending from the top of the wall panel to the bottom of the wall panel. The recess connector channel is formed during the extrusion of the wall panel.

[0009] The recessed connector channel preferably defines the shape of a dovetail mortise and can receive a dovetail end formed on other components of the construction system of the present invention. For example, an end cap can be attached to either side of the wall panel to cover the recessed connector channel.

[0010] In the door construction system of the present invention, the wall panel is used as the actual door. The wall panel is mounted between a door frame formed from a pair of side doorjamb members and a top doorjamb member In accordance with the present invention, each of the doorjamb members is formed from extruded rigid PVC. Each door jamb member includes an extended stopping section that contacts the door when the door is in the closed position. Each of the door jamb members includes a pair of snap grooves that allow various other components to be attached to the doorjamb. For example, a doorjamb extension and a decorative molding can be attached to the opposite snap grooves as desired. The door system further includes a end cap that can be attached to the recessed connector channels formed in each side of the door to provide a clean appearance for the door.

[0011] In addition to allowing for the formation of a door system, the extruded wall panels can be connected to each other to form various partitions and wall assemblies. Specifically, an extended panel adapter having a pair of connectors can be used to securely join a pair of wall panels. The panel adapter can be configured to allow the wall panels to be connected parallel to each other, or the panel adapter can be configured such that the wall panels are connected at any desired angle. Thus, the extruded wall panels of the invention can be used to form a wall partition system by simply joining the panels in an end-to-end configuration.

[0012] The wall panels of the present invention can also be connected end-to-end to form an enclosed shed or storage building. The enclosed shed can include the door assembly of the present invention to allow access to the interior of the enclosed area.

[0013] The shed assembly constructed in accordance with the present invention includes an eave connector mounted to the top end of each wall panel that forms the opposite sidewalls of the shed. The eave connector includes a sloped panel support surface that receives one of the wall panels used to form the roof of the shed. An eave end cap secures the outer end of the wall panel to the eave connector such that the wall panel is secured to the sidewalls to form the roof of the shed.

[0014] A peak connector is positioned between the ends of the wall panels that form the roof to define the peak of the roof. Preferably, the peak connector includes a pair of panel receptacles that are each sized to receive an end of the wall panels used to form the roof. In this manner, the roof connector defines the peak of the roof and secures the wall panels that form the roof.

[0015] In a proposed embodiment of the invention, the peak connector defines a hollow central opening positioned between the pair of the wall panel receptacles. The hollow, central opening is sized to receive an aluminum stiffener such that the aluminum stiffener acts to support the weight of the roof.

[0016] Various other features, objects and advantages of the invention will be made apparent from the following description taken together with the drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0017] The drawings illustrate the best mode presently contemplated of carrying out the invention.

[0018] In the drawings:

[0019] FIG. 1 is a partial perspective view illustrating a door formed from an extruded wall panel and extruded door jamb members constructed in accordance with the present invention;

[0020] FIG. 2 is a section view taken along line 2-2 of FIG. 1 illustrating the specific configuration of the door and the extruded doorjamb and trim components formed in accordance with the present invention;

[0021] FIG. 3 is a section view taken along line 3-3 of FIG. 1 illustrating the hinge, door knob and wall panel used to form the door of FIG. 1;

[0022] FIG. 4 is a magnified view illustrating the end configuration of the wall panel used to form the door of FIG. 1;

[0023] FIG. 5 is a magnified view of the hinge and mounting arrangement for the door of the present invention;

[0024] FIG. 6 is a top view of an extruded wall panel that forms a basis of the present invention;

[0025] FIG. 7 is a top view illustrating a doorjamb extension;

[0026] FIG. 8 is a top view of an extruded panel adapter used to join adjacent wall panels;

[0027] FIG. 9 is a top view of a door jamb including a smooth trim section;

[0028] FIG. 10 is a side view illustrating a molded door sill used in connection with one of the doors;

[0029] FIG. 11 is an exploded view taken a long line 11-11 of FIG. 10;

[0030] FIG. 12 is a front view and partial section view illustrating a storage shed formed from the wall panels and door assembly of the present invention;

[0031] FIG. 13 is a section view taken along line 13-13 of FIG. 12;

[0032] FIG. 14 is a section view taken along line 14-14 of FIG. 12 illustrating the peak connector used in forming the roof of the shed;

[0033] FIG. 15 is a section view taken along line 15-15 of FIG. 12 illustrating the eave connector used to secure the wall panels that form the roof of the shed illustrated in FIG. 12; and

[0034] FIG. 16 is a section view illustrating one corner of the shed of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0035] Referring first to FIG. 1, thereshown is a door assembly 10 that is formed exclusively from extruded plastic components that form the present invention. In FIG. 1, the door assembly 10 is shown mounted between a pair of conventional walls 12 that are formed from any one of numerous currently available materials, such as conventional wood support beams and drywall. The door assembly 10 of the present invention includes an extruded wall panel mounted to a door frame 15 formed from a pair of side door jamb sections 16 and a top section 17. In the preferred embodiment of the invention, both the wall panel 14 and the door jambs 16 and 17 are extruded from rigid PVC. The rigid PVC that forms the entire door assembly 16 provides the required durability and can be easily washed and sanitized.

[0036] Referring now to FIGS. 2 and 3, thereshown are detailed section views of the door assembly of the present invention. As can be seen in FIG. 3, the door itself is formed from a wall panel 14 that has a width extending between a first side 18 and a second side 20. In the preferred embodiment of the invention, the wall panel 14 has an overall width of approximately 36 inches, although other widths for the wall panel are contemplated.

[0037] As can be seen in FIG. 3, the wall panel 14 is a monolithic structure and includes a first face surface 22 and a second face surface 24 that create a generally open interior 25 and define the thickness of the wall panel 14. In the preferred embodiment of the invention, the wall panel 14 has a thickness of 1.75 inches, although it is contemplated that other thicknesses of the wall panel are possible.

[0038] As illustrated in FIG. 3, the first face surface 22 and the second face surface 24 are joined by a series of center ribs 26 that extend across the open interior 25 and provide the required rigidity for the wall panel 14. Several of the center ribs 26 include an integrally formed extruded screw boss 28 that extends along the entire length of the wall panel 14. The screw boss 28 provides for a point of attachment for various end caps and other components, such that these components can be secured to the top and bottom ends of a length of wall panel 14.

[0039] The wall panel 14 further includes a series of standoff ribs 30 that extend along the entire length of the extruded wall panel 14. The standoff ribs 30 are used to support a stiffening device, such as the wood stiffener 32 illustrated in FIG. 3. The standoff ribs 30 space the wood stiffener 32 away from both the first face surface 22 and the second race surface 24 as illustrated.

[0040] Referring now to FIGS. 3 and 6, both the first side 18 and the second side 20 of the wall panel 14 include a recessed connector channel 34 having a shape corresponding to a dovetail mortise. The connector channel 34 is defined by a pair of inwardly angled sidewalls 36 and a back wall 38. The connector channel 34 extends along the entire length of the wall panel 14, which allows various components to be slid down the length of the wall panel 14, the significance of which will be discussed in greater detail to follow.

[0041] Referring back to FIG. 3, the wall panel 14 used to form the door is mounted between a pair of vertical door jamb members 40, each of which are positioned in contact with a support stud 42. Each of the door jamb members 40 is formed from extruded rigid PVC and can be formed in any length desired. The extruded doorjamb member 40 provides the required mounting and contact points for opening and closing the door formed from the wall panel 14.

[0042] Referring now to FIG. 9, thereshown is a detailed view of the door jamb 40. The door jamb 40 generally includes an exterior wall 44 and an inner wall 46. The exterior wall 44 and the inner wall 46 are joined by a series of center ribs 48, several of which include extruded screw bosses 50. The screw bosses 50 allow various components to be selectively attached to the top and bottom ends of each doorjamb 40.

[0043] The door jamb 40 further includes a protruding stopping section 52 that includes a stop surface 54. The stopping section 52 includes a pair of angled weather-strip grooves 56 that receive a portion of a rubberized weather-strip 58. The weather-strip 58 contacts the door to provide a seal when the door is in its closed position.

[0044] As illustrated in FIG. 9, the inner end 60 of the door jamb member 40 includes at least one snap groove 62. The snap groove 62 is sized to receive a mating snap 64 formed on an accessory piece, such as the doorjamb extension 66 shown in FIG. 9. Doorjamb extension 66 allows the width of the doorjamb 40 to be extended in situations where the support stud 42 is wider than the door jamb member 40, such as is shown in FIG. 3.

[0045] Referring back to FIG. 9, the outer end 68 of the doorjamb member 40 also includes a snap groove 70 that receives a snap 72 formed on an exterior trim piece 74. The exterior trim piece provides for a smooth appearance of the door jamb when viewed from the front. As can be seen in FIG. 4, a decorative door jamb mold 76 including the snap 72 can be attached to the outer end 68 of the door jamb member 40. The decorative door jamb molding 76 includes a tacking strip 78 that allows the molding 76 to be secured to the wall formed from the support stud 42.

[0046] Referring back to FIG. 9, the connector channel 34 of the wall panel 14 can receive the protruding connector 80 of an end cap 82. As illustrated, the connector 80 has the shape of a dovetail such that the connector 80 mates with the dovetail mortise shape of the connector channel 34. The end cap 82 includes a generally flat trim portion 84 attached to the dovetail connector 80 such that the end cap provides a smooth, finished appearance for the side of the door when the end cap 82 is inserted into the connector channel 34.

[0047] In addition to receiving the end cap 82, the connector channel 34 can receive either of the dovetail connectors 86 of the extruded panel adapter 88 shown in FIG. 8. As can be understood in FIGS. 6 and 8, when the dovetail connector 86a of the panel adapter 88 is inserted into the connector channel 34 of the wall panel 14, another wall panel 14 can be connected to the opposite dovetail connector 86b of the panel adapter 88 such that successive wall panels can be attached to one another to form a wall structure. In addition to the panel adapter 88 shown in FIG. 8, it is also contemplated by the inventor that various panel adapters can be configured in accordance with the present invention. For example, a panel adapter in which the dovetail connectors 86 are 90° apart from each other would form a corner adapter, while an adapter having four dovetail connectors 86 would allow four panel sections 14 to be connected to each other at a common junction point. Additionally, it is contemplated by the inventor that numerous other angle configurations between the dovetail connectors 86 are possible while operating within the scope of the present invention.

[0048] Referring back to FIGS. 3 and 5, the wall panel 14 that forms the door is connected to the wood support stud 42 by a conventional hinge 90. The first plate 91 of the hinge 90 is connected to the wall panel 14 by an extended screw 92 that is received within the wood stiffener 32. A second screw 94 extends through the plate 91 and is received solely in the end cap 82 and the second side 20 of the wall panel 14.

[0049] The opposite plate 96 of the hinge 90 is connected to the wood stud 42 by a second extended screw 98 that passes through the doorjamb member 40. A second screw 100 also passes through the doorjamb member 40 and is secured solely to the door jamb member 40.

[0050] In the embodiment of the invention illustrated in FIG. 5, the door jamb member 40 includes an extruded aluminum stiffener 102 extending through the hollow interior between a pair of center ribs 48. The extruded aluminum stiffener 102 provides additional stability for the doorjamb member 40, especially when the door formed from the wall panel 14 is a significant height, which increases the weight of the door.

[0051] Referring now to FIG. 3, thereshown is a proposed configuration for a door handle 104 used in connection with the door of the present invention. The door handle 104 includes a pair of knobs 106 that are connected to an activation rod 108 including the movable plunger 110. The plunger 110 is received within a recess 112 formed in a latch plate 114. The latch plate 114 is mounted to the door jamb member 40 in a conventional manner.

[0052] As can be seen in FIG. 3, the activation rod 108 passes through an internal bore 116 formed in the wood stiffener 118. Further, the activation rod 108 passes through the connector channel of the wall panel 14 and the end plate attached to the connector channel.

[0053] Referring now to FIG. 2, thereshown is a lengthwise section view of the door assembly and illustrates the top end 120 and the bottom end 122 of the wall panel 14 used to form the door illustrated in FIG. 1. The wall panel 14 can be extruded to almost any length, depending upon the length requirement for the door formed from the wall panel 14.

[0054] As shown in FIG. 2, both the top end 120 and the bottom end 122 of the wall panel 14 include a weather-strip cap 124 that closes off the open hollow interior of the wall panel 14. As illustrated in FIG. 2, a series of screws 126 are received within the corresponding screw bosses 28 that are molded within the wall panel 14 and extend along the entire length of the wall panel 14.

[0055] As shown in FIG. 2, the extruded weather-strip cap 124 includes a pair of channels 128 that extend along the width of the wall panel 14 and each receive a resilient weather-strip 130. The weather-strip 130 provides a seal between the top end 120 of the wall panel 14 and the inner wall 46 of the door jamb member 40. In addition to the pair of weather-strips 130, the top doorjamb 40 also includes a similar weather-strip 58 to further seal the door upon closure.

[0056] As illustrated in FIG. 2, the bottom end 122 of the wall panel 14 that forms the door also includes a pair of lower weather-strips 130 that engage an extended door sill 132. Referring to FIGS. 10 and 11, the door sill 132 includes a pair of sloped, serrated surfaces 134 that angle upward to a flat top surface 136. The flat top surface 136 includes a protruding bead 138 that defines the center of the door sill 132. In the preferred embodiment of the invention, the entire door sill 132 is an extruded element formed from rigid PVC material.

[0057] Referring now to FIG. 12, thereshown is a shed 140 formed utilizing the extruded wall panels of the present invention. The shed 140 generally includes a pair of sidewalls 142 and 144, a front wall 146, and a back wall (not shown). As illustrated in FIG. 12, the walls of the shed 140 support a roof assembly 148 including a right roof panel 149 and a left roof panel 150. The right roof panel 149 and the left roof panel 150 are each formed from a series of wall panels 14 that are joined together side-to-side. As shown in FIG. 12, the right and left roof panels are joined to define a peak 151. The opposite sides of each roof panel 149 and 150 are supported on the spaced sidewalls 142 and 144 in a manner to be discussed in greater detail below.

[0058] As can be seen in FIG. 12, a door assembly 10 can be formed in the shed 140. The door assembly 10 includes a wall panel 14 that functions as the door, which supported between the door frame formed from extruded door jamb members. The door assembly 10 is generally identical to that shown in FIGS. 1-11.

[0059] Referring now to FIG. 13, the outer perimeter of the shed 140 is defined by a shed base 152 that is secured to the ground. The shed base 152 is preferably formed from extruded aluminum and includes a pair of sidewalls 154 and 156. The sidewalls 154 and 156 are spaced to receive one of the wall panels 14 that forms the walls of the shed 140.

[0060] Referring now to FIG. 16, each of the sidewalls is formed from a series of wall panels 14 joined to each other by panel adapters 145. As can be understood in FIG. 16, the length of each wall can be selected by joining together the desired number of wall panels.

[0061] As can be seen in FIG. 16, a corner adapter 158 is used to join a pair of walls at a 90° angle to define one of the corners of the shed. As discussed previously, the corner adapter 158 is formed from extruded rigid PVC and includes a pair of end connectors 160 that are received in the connector channels formed in each of the wall panels. In the embodiment of the invention illustrated in FIG. 16, an extruded aluminum stiffener 161 is positioned within the corner adapter 158 to provide the required rigidity for the shed 140.

[0062] Referring now to FIG. 15, thereshown is an eave connector 160 used to support the roof on either of the sidewalls 142 or 144. As shown in FIG. 15, the wall panel of the sidewall 142 is received within the lower portion of the eave connector 160. Specifically, a pair of spaced eave sidewalls 162 and 164 receive the sidewall 142.

[0063] The eave connector 160 includes a sloped panel support surface 166 that receives and supports the wall panel 14 used to construct the roof assembly 148. The panel support surface 166 terminates with an extended lip 168 that contacts an outer end 170 of the end portion 171 attached to the wall panel 14. The lip 168 prevents the panel 14 from sliding off of the roof.

[0064] In addition to the eave connector 160, the roof assembly includes an eave cover cap 172 that surrounds the combination of the eave connector 160 and the end portion 171 to provide a smooth, decorative trim and aid in holding the wall panel along the eave connector 160. The eave cover cap 172 includes a top panel 174 and an end panel 176 that combine to entrap the end 170 of the end portion 171 in contact with the sloped panel support surface 166. A bottom panel 178 of the eave cover cap 172 contacts the sidewall 164 of the eave connector 160 to further support the wall panel.

[0065] In addition to being supported along each of the sidewalls of the shed, each of the wall panels that form the roof are supported at their opposite end 180 by a peak connector 182, as illustrated in FIG. 14. The peak connector 182 is formed from extruded rigid PVC and generally defines a first panel receptacle 184 and a second panel receptacle 186 sized to receive the wall panels 14. The first and second panel receptacles 184 and 186 thus support the ends 180 of the pair of opposed wall panels used to form the roof assembly 148.

[0066] The peak connector further defines a hollow central opening 188 that is positioned between the pair of panel receptacles 184 and 186. The central opening 188 is sized to receive an aluminum stiffener 190, such as shown in FIG. 14. The aluminum stiffener 190 provides additional rigidity for the peak of the roof formed in accordance with the present invention.

[0067] Although not shown in FIG. 14, the peak connector 182 is supported on each of its ends by a support column 192, such as shown in FIG. 12. The support column 192 aids in supporting the weight of the roof along each of the front and back walls of the shed 140.

[0068] Various alternatives and embodiments are contemplated as being within the scope of the following claims particularly pointing out and distinctly claiming the subject matter regarded as the invention.