Once you’ve figured out what you need the shed for, it’s easy to go forward with planning. Keep in mind that sheds, no matter how small in their size, are not exactly the best projects for beginner woodworkers. Sheds are one of the most complex woodworking items to build. Some bigger sheds resemble houses so it’s not a surprise a shed is a project for a skillful hand.
The slanted roof of a modern house in the San Francisco Bay Area is echoed in this small wooden tool shed. Conceived by Astrid Gaiser Garden Design, the shed becomes an interesting part of the landscape design instead of something tucked or hidden in a corner or side yard. Gaiser even added a chalkboard for kids and adults to draw and write messages.
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.
Don’t assume that you’re missing something if you have a question that cannot be answered within the guidelines of the shed plans. Builders at all levels will always have questions and it is better to ask the question than miss something important in the process. Go online and find a forum or a video if you have a question. Better yet, read all the little print that you skipped over in your shed plan and see if the answer is there, it might be.
• Stagnant waters — As much as the wood is coated to protect it from water, it would still be advisable to keep the wood away from stagnant waters. This is as the wood coating is not a permanent coat and so is the wood is exposed to water it will get damaged over time. The best way to avoid water paddles near the shed is building gutter systems on its roof which directs the water to a tank or a pool.

We built the Colonial-style garden shed shown here from a set of mail-order building plans. The 10 x 16-ft. outbuilding has easy-to-install plywood siding, three large windows and two pairs of doors. The entire building could be used for storage, but we decided to divide the interior space into two separate areas: a 4 x 10-ft. tool-storage area and a 10 x 12-ft. children's playroom.

• 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 isn’t a requirement that this shed be built against a wall—but the structure is designed to take advantage of the wall for strength. So if you modify it to be a freestanding shed, you’ll need to build a conventional stud wall across the back and face it with the same type of plywood siding used on the rest of the shed. For information on how to mark, cut, and fasten wall studs, see How to Frame an Interior Wall (ignore the part about working with drywall because you’ll be using exterior-rated T1-11 siding instead).
The plan features not only a cutting list and project diagram. There are also clear instructions starting from building the base and ending with installing the windows and doing the trims. Once you’ve built a small shed like this, you’ll have enough experience to build a bigger one that fits all the garden equipment as well. A tiny shed like this though is a necessary item for every home!

For strength, plan to build the front and back layers so the corners overlap each other. Then, to accommodate inset panels, make the front pieces a little wider to create a lip for the panels to rest against. Use plywood or tongue-and-groove boards for the panels, and hold them in with stops nailed on the back. You can assemble the two frames with pocket screws before gluing and screwing them together, but it’s not necessary. After the glue dries, plane or sand the edges to hide the fact that there are two layers.


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.[5]

how to build a shed

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