I love irony. Instead of building a garden shed from scratch, many people go to the DIY store and purchase a “shed kit” that they bring home, unpack and spend hours to days assembling it from scratch.
This simple 4 foot by 10 foot shed is large enough to store the lawnmower and all the garden tools. That means having space in the garage big enough to put the car in.
Modify the plans to suit your needs. Check first with the local building code inspector to see if a permit is needed. If so, obtain one before building.
This article assumes the reader has a knowledge of woodworking and basic framing skills. If not, a plethora of books, ebooks and websites are available. It also helps to enlist the help of a skilled friend and learn while you build.
You will need:
· Four each 4-by-6 boards, 10 feet long · Ten each 5/4″ decking boards, 6 feet long · 20 each 2-by-4 pressure treated boards, 8 feet long · 15 each 1-by-4 pressure treated boards, 8 feet long · Five sheets T1-11 siding, or exterior siding of your choice · Two sheets of CDX plywood, ½” thick · One bundle of shingles- these can match or contrast with the house · One roll roofing paper- (15#. is fine for a shed, but if using architectural shingles, use 30# instead) · Four each cement foundation blocks · One each pre-hung exterior door and lockset · Shims · One box 3″ long 3/8″ lag screws · One or two boxes framing nails · Two or three boxes 2″ galvanized nails or screws
· Utility knife · Level · Tape Measure · Marking tools · Circular saw or table saw · Miter gauge · Appropriate safety gear- glasses, ear protection, etc. · Hammer and galvanized nails- or · Drill with decking screws at least 2″ long- or · Pneumatic or electric nailer with galvanized nails · Primer and paint or stain/sealer · Landscaping paint · Jigsaw · Hammer stapler and 5/8″ staples
Choose a fairly level spot to build the shed. Level the ground and remove tree roots and large rocks. Check for level by placing a board across the diagonal on its side and place the level on it.
Mark the rectangle for the shed with landscaping paint.
Dig four holes in each of the corners and insert the foundation blocks. Check for level diagonally, horizontally and on the sides. Do not skip this step- if the foundation isn’t level, the shed will fail.
Cut two 4-by-6 boards each 4 feet long and two ten foot boards will not be shortened.
Miter cut (45-degree angle) the 4-by-6 boards to make the foundation beams. These will sit on the foundation blocks. Attach the boards with the 3″ lag screws. Pre-drill the holes first. It will help to have a second pair of hands.
With the tape measure, check for square. Measure the diagonals, and if they don’t match, the rectangle is off. Remove the screws and adjust.
Measure and mark the inside center of the rectangle along the length. Cut a 4-by-6 to just fit inside at the center. This provides more stability for the shed floor. Attach with the lag screws. Ensure the boards are level.
Cover the frame with the decking. Cut each board 47 and 6/8″ and center on the frame. Do not nail yet. Lay all boards across the frame, making sure all board ends are even and there is an equal overhang all the way around.
Pre-drill holes and attach with decking screws.
Frame the back wall with 16″ on center studs. The back wall will be 6 feet tall, and the front wall will be higher.
Frame the front wall at a height of 6’6″ (or your choice), and include door framing for the door.
Frame the side walls, adjusting the top rail for the pitch. Both side walls need to be the same height, so work carefully and slowly.
Attach the walls to the floor and at the sides with 3″ lag screws.
For more information on framing, follow this link.
Decide if you want the roof to have an overhang. Cut the rafter lengths so that 1 ½ feet extends over the front, and six inches over the back. The rafters need to be notched so they will lay on end across the roof.
This is where having a friend or good book on framing comes in handy.
Mark each rafter with the appropriate notch, and cut out with a jigsaw. Once the notches are made, it will sit securely in place while screwed or nailed into place.
Measure the roof area, and cut the ½” plywood to fit. Secure with nails or screws. Cover with roofing paper beginning at the bottom, leaving a half inch overhang. Attach with the hammer stapler. Make sure there are no wrinkles in the paper.
Attach a second sheet, if needed, above the first and allowing it to overlap. This allows water to slide down off the roof and not into the shed if it gets past the shingles.
Beginning with the bottom of the shed, attach the shingles.
Here is a link to roofing tips.
Cut the siding to fit, and attach using the 2″ nails or screws. Do not cover the door frame space.
Insert the door, making sure it is level. Use the shims to ensure proper distance all the way around the door, and secure with the decking screws or nails.
Using the 1-by-4’s, trim the door frame, the corners and the edge under the roof. Trim across the rafters across the front and back, and along the sides.
Paint or stain in your choice of colors.
Attach the door lock set and handles.
Move things into the shed.
Attach as many shelves, hooks, etc. as the shed will hold.
Windows may be included in the plans, but they require special framing. This is a basic shed that can be modified in any number of ways.
If adding electrical outlets and lighting, hire a licensed electrician and be sure to have the work inspected before using.
Source: Staff Article, “How to Build a Storage Shed for Garden Tools,” HGTV website, no date given