If you have the do-it-yourself skills and an open timeframe, check out the various plans available online or for purchase. Make sure you thoroughly understand the instructions and actually have the ability and tools to do the job. Other sources for sheds include prefabricated buildings that you would order from a reputable company and kits. Some include pre-cut lumber that is shipped to your house. Before ordering, find out if additional milling, drilling, or cutting will be needed, along with necessary tools.
It’s vital to build your shed on a stable, level location—and never in a wet, low-lying area or on a downward slope. And no matter how well a shed is constructed, it won’t hold up on a weak base. A proper foundation is key, one that sets the shed slightly off the ground to aid water drainage and reduce moisture transfer. There are different foundation options, depending on where you live and the size and intended use of the shed, so bone up on the fundamentals and assess your options with this advice from the LP Outdoor Building Solutions team.
Each truss is made up of two 2 x 4 rafters and one 2 x 4 ceiling joist. The three boards are joined together with 1/2-in. plywood gussets. To speed up the assembly process, build all the trusses on the shed floor before erecting the walls. Start by cutting all the rafters to length with a 40° angle at one end of each. Cut 2 x 4s to 10 ft. long for the bottom chords of the trusses. Also, cut all of the plywood gussets.
Build the framework for all four walls. To account for the fact that the front and back walls are different from each other (due to the doorframe in the front) and the side walls must both be sloped (to prevent rain from collecting on the roof), each of these will have to be tackled somewhat differently. It’s easiest to construct the back first, the front second, and the two sides last, as shown in the numbered image below. See How to Frame a Wall for more information before you read the instructions below.
When building the floor frame, which includes the mudsill, floor joists and perimeter band joists, use 2 x 6 or 2 x 8 pressure-treated lumber. Many prefab sheds use untreated construction-grade lumber for the floor frame, which is fine--if you plan to keep your shed indoors. Even in ideal conditions on the perfect site, a shed floor will be exposed to some moisture, and in time, untreated lumber will rot.
Building something yourself, especially something as big as a shed, is always rewarding, but not only will it feel good to have a self-made beauty in your backyard, it’s times lower in cost than buying a shed. In fact, building a small shed can cost as little as $100! That’s a pennysaver! And well, all proper DIY wood projects should be, ain’t that right?
Don Vandervort has developed his expertise for more than 30 years, as Building Editor for Sunset Books, Senior Editor at Home Magazine, author of more than 30 home improvement books, and writer of countless magazine articles. He appeared for 3 seasons on HGTV’s “The Fix,” and served as MSN’s home expert for several years. Don founded HomeTips in 1996.
• Purchase of two small sheds — it is dangerous to underspend just as it is to overspend. This is because you may underspend and the shed purchased may end up being of little use below your expectations. This will prompt you to build another shed and that will lead you to overspend. A shed may look simple on the outside but it is how you customize your shed that will determine the volume of goods your shed can hold. When building your shed it is important you identify each and every section of your shed, allocate the tools to each section and then modify the shed to hold each and every tool at its place. In that manner, you end up maximizing each and every space in your shed and also utilizing your shed to its maximum capability. It is also recommendable to have adequately spaced sheds where one can perform outdoor activities like car repairing in the shed when the weather is not favorable. Before starting your shed building, think of all its purposes and all the outdoor and semi-outdoor activities one could perform during unfavorable weather condition or any other related circumstances.
It's a work in progress and likely a labor of love for Rob, aka Weekend Shed Head, who chronicles the construction of his backyard man cave in Nottingham, England, on his Instagram account and YouTube channel. An experienced and enthusiastic do-it-yourselfer, he sort of makes things up as he goes along and seems to know what he's doing. Along the way, Rob posts photos of train stations, the curry dinners and full English breakfasts he cooks, and charming flowers and decor in the garden.
There are several ways to economize when building a shed: Install three-tab roof shingles instead of architectural shingles, or use grooved-plywood siding in place of cedar bevel siding. But don't ever skimp on the building materials used for the floor frame or plywood floor deck. I can't tell you how often I've walked into a shed and found the floor to be dangerously spongy. One building in particular had a floor so badly rotted it felt like one of those inflatable moonwalk attractions you see at carnivals.