How To Build a Garden Shed

Without Buying a Pre-built Shed Kit

Photo of garden shed

What's the best way to gain extra storage space, a summer house or a green office in your garden without spending much? The answer of course is a garden shed, but that's not the full answer. If you really want to save money and have a nice shed, do not purchase it, but build it yourself.

Building a garden shed is relatively straightforward do-it-yourself project especially if you have some experience with woodworking. Even if you are inexperienced, this article is here to help you get started.

This article explains how to build your shed completely from scratch. It's not very hard, but it's not very easy too. If you don't want to risk your time and money, building the shed using shed kit is another valuable and much easier option.

Step 1

Choose location and design. It's important the shed to be at a dry and not too sunny place, easy accessible and visible. When choosing your shed design, have in mind that narrow and tall sheds can store a lot more stuff than wide and low ones. Of course if you are planning your shed to be your summer house, you'll need a wider one. Here you have two options: you can buy professional shed plans or design your shed yourself. If you are designing yourself, stick to a simple construction - essentially all you need is a box with rectangle foundations.

Step 2

Build the foundations. The foundation should be designed as square or rectangle. Install 9 deck piers - one on each corner, one on the center of each side and one of the center of the entire rectangle. Then attach 3 joists to the piers parallel to each other. Attach smaller joists perpendicular to the beams and above them so the entire thing form a lattice. Fill the empty spaces with gravel and sand (optional). Attach sheets of plywood over the construction to form the floor. Your foundations is ready.

Step 3

Cut the walls. You can make the walls either from boards or using a similar to the floor construction from joists and plywood. In the first case you need to cut the boards in equal size and grind them very well on the sides so they fit to each other without holes. Then attach three perpendicular joists to the boars - one on each end and one in the middle. This will make the walls more stable. If you choose the plywood method, follow the same "lattice" construction that you used for the floor. In this case you won't need any gravel and sand, neither deck piers of course, because the wall will have plywood on both sides of the lattice.

Step 4

Join everything together. If you have followed the instrcutions from the shed plan correctly or have designed your own plan well, all the parts should compose a box without any gaps. Use nails, screws and triangle boards to fix the walls more stable.

Step 5

Finally build and install the roof. The simplest roof is horisontal - just make sure that it's robust enough to sustain water and snow. To do this you need 2 or 4 support beams under the cover. The cover can be made of iron sheets installed at a little slope.

If you are building a large shed that will be used as a summer house, you may need to create a better sloped roof similar to the one that your house probably has. Such a construction is more complex and needs at least 4 support beams, plywood or boards and solid plastic, metal or ceramic roof tiles.

You can learn more about all these general requirements and recommendations on this how to build a shed e-course. If building from scratch seems too complicated, check out how to build a shed using a shed kit.

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