Picture of Build a Garden Shed
Not everyone needs a garden shed.  But, if you’ve no more space on your garage wall for that new leaf rake, if you can’t find your potting trowel because it fell behind the kids’ bikes, and if your car has that forlorn, neglected look since the brand-new snowthrower moved in last fall, it’s time to face the undeniable truth—your outdoor tools need a home of their own. 
The design of your garden shed can take any form, from a simple lean-to to a large free-standing building. Ours occupies a modest 6 x 6 x 8-ft. area - enough for a variety of tools, but not so large that it dominates a backyard landscape. The straightforward design is easy to expand—up to about 8 x 12 ft.—to suit your storage needs. Before you begin work, contact your local building codes office and find out about necessary permits or other requirements for this type of building. 

Our shed uses standard framing techniques and materials. It’s sheathed with 1⁄2-in. C/D plywood and sided with 1 x 6 tongue-and-groove cedar boards. The exterior trim is rough-sawn cedar. 

In most cases, a shed of this size will not require an elaborate foundation—it’s fine to simply rest the structure on four corner blocks that sit on the ground. Some excavation is inevitable to provide a level and firm base, but there's really no need to dig below the frost line. If the building settles unevenly, simply jack up a low corner and place cedar shims between the corner block and floor framing. We used 71⁄2 x 12 x 16-in. solid concrete blocks at the corners. 

To bring light into our shed, we installed 24 x 32-in barn-sash windows.  If you can't find these stocked by a local supplier, something similar can usually be ordered.

This project was originally published in the January 2001 issue of Popular Mechanics.  You can find more great projects at Popular Mechanics DIY Central.
Mielameri1 year ago
Really handsome build and design
MacCupcake1 year ago
I'd love to get an idea of the cost of materials. I don't know if it would be would be worth the labor or if I could just buy one and paint it to look nice. Or could I hire you?
We built a very similar small structure for our treehouse. It's rainy here in the San Jose area in the winter, so we built it four pieces in the garage, then hoisted it into the tree on Cinco de Mayo, and bolted it together up there.
We used mostly recycled materials, the only structural difference being we used 2 x 3's instead of 2 x 4's, ripped from 2 x 6's.
A lovely little building.
Got any trees handy?
foobear1 year ago
That's beautiful - and cute!
Great tutorial, i love working outdoor.
kaazorro1 year ago
I can't see any photo, a part from.the first 2 or 3...
jhawkins141 year ago
HollyMann1 year ago
Great project! Love it!