Galvanized steel stanchions, stainless steel wire, and a hardwood cap were used for the railing of this modern shed built by J. C. Stoneman Construction. Located in Port Townsend, Washington, the modern shed features a sliding glass door, clerestory windows, and a pitched roof that overhangs the porch and provides shade. The siding is made of Western red cedar.
Because the shed is designed to abut to another structure, the foundation need only be pressure-treated skids, the roof pitched in only one direction to shed water, and the back wall sheathed with 1/2-inch CDX plywood, which withstands indirect exposure to moisture. See Anatomy of an Outdoor Shed or Playhouse for more about typical shed construction.
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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.
A shed-like companion residence was built adjacent to the existing house on this property in Austin, Texas. Designed and constructed by Moontower, the structure features exposed plywood, blackened steel, clear sealed cedar, and pine, exposed structural elements, and utilitarian lighting fixtures. A balcony gives the building a treehouse feel and offers views of the Austin skyline and a nearby college bell tower.
Once you’ve received the package and all it entails, you can begin creating your own outdoor shed whenever you feel ready. The only time you need to exert the effort is when you’ve begun construction. When you do decide to start, make sure that you have a decent amount of time as well as motivation to carry through the whole project. You don’t want to be left with an unfinished shed out in the yard, a constant reminder that you tried and failed.
We’ve simplified the door-hanging process by mounting the door to a 1-1/2-in.-thick trim piece and then screwing the trim to the wall. An easy way to mark and cut matching hinge recesses in both the door and the trim is to clamp the trim alongside the door, making sure it extends 1/8 in. beyond the top of the door. Then mark the hinge cutout on both the door and the trim at the same time.
The roof trusses support the plywood and shingles that make the roof waterproof. They are very important to plan carefully because they require strange angles and they have to fit the structure below them. We gave our shed a slight awning and this had to be accompanied by the trusses, which overhang the walls of the shed by about a foot on each side. When constructing your joists it is important to use joist plates otherwise the angles that you so carefully planned will not remain true for very long. We used a 2x4 to support the joists while we were attaching them to the walls.
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.
Remember that anything you build will either add or detract from your property's appearance and may impact your property value. Metal and vinyl materials may be easier to maintain, but are the least expensive options and tend to look cheap. Natural wood and prefinished wood products will add character and value, but are typically more expensive to buy and maintain.