Introduction: Build This Potting Shed
Here's an attractive addition to your farmstead or land. What's more, you get space to pursue your gardening dreams.
The Progressive Farmer designed this 8- x 10-foot potting shed. We built one, minus the overhang, in three days. The 6-foot overhang extends the working area outside. Three windows let in natural light. A Dutch door lets in fresh air, while keeping the dog out of the shed. There are three countertops - two inside and one under the overhang. The shed cost approx. $1,100 to build.
This instructable will provide you with a general overview of this shed. For more detailed instructions you can click here to download the plans we designed for free.
A materials guide is listed in step #11.
Step 1: Base and Corner Posts
Here's a good method for setting the corner posts. Nail together four lengths of lumber mirroring the footprint of the shed. Square the frame. Then use the corners of the footprint to mark locations for the corner posts. Here, crushed limestone is the base. Spread a 3-inch layer before building begins.
Step 2: Posts
This potting shed is anchored by a half-dozen, concreted 6- x 6-inch posts (four corners and two for the overhang). The shed walls are 8 feet tall. Add additional length equalling the depth of your holes. Remember to sink them below the frost line. The holes should be twice as wide as the post.
Step 3: Walls
Stud walls are made from 2- x 4-inch treated lumber on 16-inch centers. Frame in rough openings for windows and the door. The walls are attached to the posts and level across the bottom. Space under the bottom of the wall is filled with crushed limestone. T-111 siding is used to cover the shed.
Step 4: Windows
The potting shed includes three aluminum-clad, double-hung windows. These windows bring in plenty of light to help you work. When open, they allow for great cross ventilation. The inexpensive windows we used also have an attractive, two-over-two style.
Step 5: Roof Rafters
A 2- x 6-inch ridge beam is used to support the roof rafters. The 2- x 6-inch rafters are installed 16 inches on center. Use birdsmouth cuts to attach the rafters to the side walls. And remember to let the rafters run at least a foot past the edge of the wall.
Step 6: Rafter Ends
The rafter ends here extend past the edge of the shed's overhang. We used decorative cuts to fashion those ends and add an attractive touch. Supporting these rafter ends are 2- x 8-inch boards that are attached to the overhang support posts
Step 7: Roofing
Because this potting shed is covered with metal roofing, nailing boards are installed perpendicular to the roof rafters on 12-inch centers. If you use regular shingles, you'll want to attach 3/4-inch sheets of treated plywood and roofing paper. Don't use roofing paper with cedar shingles.
Step 8: Roofing
Two- x 8-inch facia boards are attached to the edges of the roof. Notice that there is some unevenness of the seams where pieces of T-111 join. This is not unusual. The seams are covered later with pieces of 1- x 4-inch trim boards.
Step 9: Doors
These Dutch doors are simple to build. First, build a 2- x 4-inch frame that matches the dimensions of the door opening. Square it. Then attach a piece of siding to this half-door frame. See next step for detailed info. on these doors.
Step 10: More Door Information
On the back side of the door half, sandwich a second 2- x 4-inch frame.
We installed a center piece for additional support.
Use an X-shaped decorative trick to install the heavy-duty hinges. Make arrow-shaped cuts in the ends of 1- x 4-inch boards so they fit tightly into the door corners. Where the second board crosses the first, use a speed square to make tight-fitting cuts.
The X-detail creates extra space to attach the hinges. A simple lock connects the door halves.
Step 11: Materials
The materials necessary to complete this potting shed depend on the size shed you build. (See guide to choosing the size right for you at the bottom of this page) Here are some tips to help you plan your materials list:
Build the side walls from 2- x 4-inch lumber. To reduce cutoffs, build the walls 8 feet tall. You will need two additional 2 x 4s for each wall at the top of the stud frame and two for the ground plate at the bottom. Make sure any material that comes into contact with the ground is treated.
Attach sidewalls to four 6- x 6-foot posts. The posts are set into the ground with concrete. You'll need at least two 80-pound bags for each hole (more for deeper holes to account for frost). Remember, there are six holes, including two for support posts for the overhang.
Make rafters from 2- x 6-inch lumber, attached on 16-inch centers. If the shed is 10 feet long, you'll need sixteen 2- x 6-inch boards that are 10 feet long (to account for the rafters overhanging the side walls).
Use two, 2- x 8-inch boards to support the overhang. These are attached to the two posts.
Use eleven to twelve 4- x 8-foot sheets for the T-111 siding on an 8 x 10 shed. You'll need five 3/4-inch, 4- x 8-foot sheets of treated plywood and roofing paper for a shingled roof.
Get 3-inch and 1 1/4-inch screws and roofing nails for fasteners.
Talk to your gravel supplier for an estimate on the crushed limestone you'll need.
General assortment of John Deere hand tools
How big should your potting shed be? Before you build, lay onto the ground the tools, equipment and storage you'll actually include in the shed. Include additional work space for yourself and a second person. The space between a shelf and sidewall should measure about the width of your outstretched arms.
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Step 12: Pictures
Here are some more pictures of the potting shed:
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