Choosing the right plans for your wooden shed is a real challenge for most of us, taking into account the large variety of designs and shapes. Moreover, choosing a design that fits your needs and suits the terrain is one of the hardest parts when building a shed. There are many types of sheds, starting with simple ones, such as lean to sheds, gambrel sheds, up to complex shapes, such as barn sheds sheds with loft.
Before starting the actual project, you should ask yourself several questions, such as: How will you use the shed? What’s the best place to build the shed? Will it be on a single level or do you need a multilevel design? Afterwards, study these alternatives and choose the shape and design that fits your needs perfectly. Pay attention to the materials and carpentry skills required by each design, otherwise you might not have the budget or the time to get the job done.
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There are many reasons for adding a shed to your backyard. Most of the people want to enhance the look of their gardens, while other just want a large storage space for objects they don’t use on the regular basis. A shed will expand the storage space of your home and increase the value of your property significantly, so the investment will pay off sooner than you might imagine.
A well-planned shed has to harmonize with the house and garden, meaning that it should have an appropriate design and size. In other words, you should ensure a smooth transition between the style of your backyard and your wooden shed. Before choosing the plans for the garden shed, you also have to study attentively the local building codes, as the legal requirements vary extensively. Therefore, you should focus on the technical aspects of the project, such as the size and the structure of the construction, as well on its location.
Generally speaking, building a shed should be a straight forward job, therefore any amateur handyman with basic woodworking skills should be able to get the job done in a professional manner, especially if the plans are detailed and come with instructions and a list with the size of the needed components. Nevertheless, like any construction of this scale, building a wooden shed is time consuming, so you should assess teh opportunity of a diy project.
In the initial stages of the planning, you should involve the rest of your family in the process. After you have a short list with the features you have to include in your project, then you need to draw the plans, obtain the permits, choose the framing techniques and select proper materials. From our experience, we recommend you to build a lean to or a gable shed, if you want to get the job done quickly and to prevent possible complications during the process.
Before building a shed, you have to know the legal regulations, regarding the size and the location of your storage shed. The size and shape of your shed will influence the depth of the footings or the distance you have to leave from the property line. A 8×10′ shed with a gable roof is a good compromise, as it is large enough to store a lot of tools, while being compact enough to fit in any backyard.
After you have determined the exact location of your shed, you have to lay it out in a professional manner, using batter boards and string. Check the corners for squareness, before digging the footings. Afterwards, you should dig several 2′ deep holes, install tube forms, pour concrete and install metal anchors. Let the concrete dry out for several days and install the 4×4 posts, by inserting lag screws. Pre-drill the lumber, to prevent the wood from splitting.
Next, install the rim joist and the regular joists. Place the joists every 16” on center, as to obtain a rigid structure. Pre-drill holes in the rim joists before inserting the 3” screws and check the corners for squareness. Afterwards, install the 3/4” plywood flooring, making sure you connect the groove and tongue sheets properly. Pay attention to the joints between the sheets, as they should be placed on a joist.
Next, you should build the wall frames on the ground, using 2×4 lumber and 3” screws or nails. Leave enough space for a door and several windows. Use a carpentry square, to make sure the corners of the frame are right angled. Secure the walls to the floor joists with 3” wood screws and and attach the exterior siding.
Build the trusses out of 2×4 lumber, making sure they are all equal in size and shape. Use plywood gussets to reinforce the joints of the trusses, before fitting them into place, every 24” on center. Drill pilot holes trough the rafters and insert the 3” screws into the top plates. Afterwards, install the the roofing sheets (3/4” tongue and groove plywood), the roofing felt and the asphalt shingles into place and secure them with appropriate nails. We recommend you to snap chalk lines on the roof, to guide you when installing the rest of the shingles.
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As you probably imagine, building a garden shed on your own will decrease significantly the total costs of the project (more than 50%). Nevertheless, if you don’t plan everything from the very beginning, the project could take more time than you could imagine, therefore increasing the total expenditures. Therefore, we recommend you to choose the right storage shed plans for your needs, and follow the instruction, to save time and money.
After you have a complete list of components required, you should go to the lumber store and ask for a price estimate. Choose the lowest price, making sure you buy everything you need from the first time, otherwise you will waste a lot of time making trips to the diy store. Before cutting the lumber with a miter saw, measure the components several times, otherwise they might not fit together properly.
If you don’t have the experience or the time to undertake such a complex project, we recommend you to buy a shed kit. In most of the cases the kits come at affordable prices, therefore you don’t have to spend more than planned. Moreover, the kit comes with all the parts pre-cut and with step by step instructions. If you ask a friend to hold the components into place while you drive in the nails, you can assemble the kit in just an afternoon.