There are thousands of outdoor sheds available at affordable price out there. Why would you want to build one yourself? Let’s see. Maybe because that’s a fun project to do, maybe because doing that is the only way to be sure that you have exactly the design, size and structure that fits your need, and maybe because you can save money. Maybe there are even more reasons because so many gardeners prefer to build their sheds themselves and from scratch regardless the fact that using a kit is much easier. This article will guide you through the most important steps needed to build your shed yourself.

Drawing or Buying Plans

The first step is to get your shed designed. If you are not experienced in CAD design, it’s highly recommended to buy ready plans – you can always add some small changes to them. But relying entirely on your imagination and working without plans will get you nowhere. Once you have the plans printed out (or staying on your PC screen) you need proper measuring tools to get the parts for your shed cut out.

Choose the Materials

When building yourself, it’s almost sure that you are going to build a wooden shed. Building a shed from steel would require more professional tools and skills than most gardeners have. The exact quantities and types of wood you need will depend on the plans – many of the plans that you can buy online will include a good list of what exactly you need. If you have drawn the plans yourself, you’ll need to decide on the materials on your own – you will most probably need large sheets of plywood for the walls, beams, screws and nails, tiles for the roof, concrete for the foundations… Let’s start step by step.

Build the Shed Foundations

There are several methods to do that – here is the easiest one. Measure a square area in your backyard and install 9 deck piers – one in every corner, one in the middle of each side and one in the geometrical center of the foundations. On the top of them install perpendicular joists at equal distance. Attach boards at the sides where the joists end to form a stable grating. Using nails attach a piece of plywood over the grating to form the floor of the shed.

Build the Shed Walls

An easy way to build a shed wall is to first create a main wall frame by using 4 studs for the 4 sides. Then add vertical studs between them at about 2 feet distance from each other. Reinforce the frame by attaching horizontal beams distributed between the studs. Cover both sides of the wall with cladding, hardboard, or plywood. You can add wadding in the wall or just leave air, it is also a good isolator.

Build the Shed Door

If you are not using a ready door, you can build one from timber boards. Place the boards on the long side (vertically) and connect them with ledges on the back of the door (the inner side). For better stability of the door add also diagonal braces on the back (between the horizontal ledges). Use thick boards for the ledges and braces.

Build the Shed Roof

The most popular style for shed roofs is the gable roof. To build such one you need first a bottom frame made of four beams. This frame will attach the roof to the walls. Then in the middle at the front side and at the back side of the shed, attach two vertical joists and connect their tops with one horizontal one. Reinforce the frame by attaching roof rafters to connect the top joist with the horizontal beams at the bottom of the roof. Further strengthening can be done by installing one more horizontal joist parallel to the roof bottom. Then you need isolation, thick plywood and possibly roof tiles for the top of the roof. Proper treatment and painting of the shed will ensure longer live and sustainability to rain and snow.

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