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Sheds speak to your practicality and organisation. They can express your unique taste and provide much needed storage.
Shed’s say to your neighbours: “Yes, I do have tools you can borrow.”
With so many exciting options, even an old hand at shed buying would marvel at today’s selection. With a level head, level ground, and a level temper, you can finally be united with your perfect shed.
What is a Garden Shed Used For?
A shed is a small structure with a base, walls and a roof, mean for outdoor garden and backyard spaces. It’s usually used for storage, hobbies and as a workshop.
They can vary in size, building material and just about anything else. They may have windows and even electricity. It all depends how much time, effort and money you can invest in the making of one.
So, this is how to build a garden shed yourself.
How to Build a Garden Shed Step by Step
- Check the building codes. There could be any number of zoning issues, property lines, or deed restrictions that could derail your effort. Administration always comes first when it comes to building new things.
- Make sure there’s enough space. It’s not just the area of a shed, it’s how the doors open and where it is in relation to other yard essentials like the garden, fence, woodpile, etc. If you need some guidance regarding size, you can use this shed size calculator app.
- Gather the proper materials. Consider the type of materials you would like to use. It’s a good idea to decide on the material you’ll be using for the base, since this will be… well, the base of your whole project.
- Make a plan. Find a way to match the landscape with the shed. Plant a few flowers around the unit, line it with some trellises, put your own signature on it, but don’t let your shed become an eyesore.
- Ask questions. Even if this isn’t your first time building something of this scale, don’t hesitate to ask people about their preferences. Every building project is different in itself, so the more ideas, the better.
How to Build a Garden Shed Base
Like we said before, the whole project depends on how you make your base. You can choose different materials to make it – wood, cement, gravel, even use the natural ground (last one not recommended though).
The Fantastic Handyman team’s favourite option is using a concrete slab. Make sure you use protective gloves, goggles and rigged boots at all time.
- Mix one part cement with five parts ballast in a cement mixer. Calculate the amount you need, by multiplying the length by the width. And, then multiply by the depth. Know that you’ll need to round the figure as you add 10% for wastage. It’s better to have more than less.
- Start pouring the cement from one corner of the framework. Use a rake or a shovel to spread the cement evenly.
- Use a tamping board to even the surface. Start at one end steadily, until you have an even surface. You’ll need to remove excess concrete. For that, go back to where you started and slide the tamping board backwards and forwards.
- Fill any depressions. Make cosmetic touch ups with any leftover concrete, until you’re satisfied with what you see.
- Cover the concrete with a polythene sheet. This will prevent the surface from cracking while drying.
- Wait about a month for the concrete to dry, before continuing with the wall of your shed.
How to Build a Storage Shed Wall
Let’s say that your shed is a rectangular shape. This means you need one wall framework for the back, one wall framework for the front, but with a door opening in the middle, and two identical frameworks for the side.
- Place the back framework first. Assemble the wooden framework and place it on the edge of the concrete slab. The back wall should be lower than the front, in order to redirect rain away from the door.
- Place the framework for the front wall. Same as with the back wall, only taller and making sure you have enough space for the door you’ve chosen for your shed.
- Place the side frameworks.
- Assemble the four walls. Nail the wall structures (you can pre-order them online with the right measurements) to the frameworks. You might need another helper to hold the walls in place while you attack them to the frameworks.
- Mount the door. It’s a good idea to place a lock there as well.
How to Build a Garden Shed Roof
- Frame the roof. This will serve as the skeleton of your roof. Join two rafters together at an angle of the roof slope, which will outline the shape of your roof. Make sure the joint is stable.
- Make a “bird’s mouth” at the ends of the rafters and attach. A “bird’s mouth” is a cut at the end of the rafters in a triangular shape (much like a bird’s beak), which will be used for attacking the frame to the walls of the shed.
- Attach pieces of blocking between each pair of rafters. For an even better stability, nail wooden blocks between the rafters.
- Nail plywood sheeting to the rafters. Hopefully, you were able to attach the frame firmly. If your frame is unstable, nailing the plywood would be quite troublesome. Once you’re done with this, your basic structure of the garden shed is complete.