Introduction: Building a Shed

Why build your own shed?
Well, I just don't like the ones you see for sale in shops, they are flimsy and expensive, my DIY shed is neither of these things.
Additionally it is exactly the size I want, and built to my spec.
...and I think it looks nice - if you like the cube look.

You'll find additional info here: http://www.yourmissus.com/shed/

Step 1: Preparation

I wanted a shed for my garden, I also wanted a hot-tub and/or a ride on lawnmower.
Both of these are big, so I'll be needing a shed with wide doors. I also wanted a square shed, most sheds in the DIY shops are rectangular.
I also wanted a shed with a reasonably high door, so I don't have to duck to get in - a reasonably high door also means a reasonably high ceiling. I wanted a pavillion type roof because they look cool, and because flat roofs are generally boring and are a leak just waiting to happen.
Don't you just hate sheds that wobble or worse move in the wind? Mine doesn't wobble!
It doesn't wobble because the shed has four four inch corner posts that are integral to the shed, but are also sunk 2 feet into the ground at all 4 corners. This makes for a very secure and stable shed.
It is this idea that really sets my shed design apart from other people's.

The first step of building a shed is to choose the location, I used a few lengths of wood to mark it out full size and also to get an idea of level.
Once I had decided where the shed was going I spent a few minutes viewing the location from various parts of the house and garden to make sure I was happy with it.

Step 2: Build

Once I was happy with the location, I cleared the area of grass and weeds, gave it a good dose of weedkiller so they don't come back and then dug the holes for the corner posts, concreted them in and then cracked on with the studwork and floor supports.
As always you need to be as accurate as you can be, I was planning on using 3mm ply to line the sides, so I spaced the posts out so they were exactly one sheet of plywood apart (which is 8 feet)

I wanted a shed for my garden, I also wanted a hot-tub and/or a ride on lawnmower.
Both of these are big, so I'll be needing a shed with wide doors. I also wanted a square shed, most sheds in the DIY shops are rectangular.
I also wanted a shed with a reasonably high door, so I don't have to duck to get in - a reasonably high door also means a reasonably high ceiling. I wanted a pavillion type roof because they look cool, and because flat roofs are generally boring and are a leak just waiting to happen.
Don't you just hate sheds that wobble or worse move in the wind? Mine doesn't wobble!
It doesn't wobble because the shed has four four inch corner posts that are integral to the shed, but are also sunk 2 feet into the ground at all 4 corners. This makes for a very secure and stable shed.
It is this idea that really sets my shed design apart from other people's.

The first step of building a shed is to choose the location, I used a few lengths of wood to mark it out full size and also to get an idea of level.
Once I had decided where the shed was going I spent a few minutes viewing the location from various parts of the house and garden to make sure I was happy with it.

Once I was happy with the location, I cleared the area of grass and weeds, gave it a good dose of weedkiller so they don't come back and then dug the holes for the corner posts, concreted them in and then cracked on with the studwork and floor supports.
As always you need to be as accurate as you can be, I was planning on using 3mm ply to line the sides, so I spaced the posts out so they were exactly one sheet of plywood apart (which is 8 feet)

You can see that the four inch square fence post is well concreted into the ground, but also well fixed to both the floor and walls, this really does make for a nice strong join - and ultimately a strong shed. As some of this wood will be in contact with the earth, I gave it a good soak in wood preservative to help it last - It's already tanalised, but I reckon a bit more preservative can't hurt!!
The actual floor supports float above the ground slightly, by about 3 inches, I thought this would keep the wood and the floor nice and dry, before covering the floor joists with OSB I will pour in clean gravel to fill the gap between the floor and the ground to add extra strength.

Step 3: Finishing Touches

The walls are just stardard 2x4 timber on 16inch centres with noggins half way up. Pretty standard studwork really, here are some pictures

The strength and stability of this shed really does come from the way the corner posts form an integral part of the shed, the picture below shows how the posts form part of the wall.

The roof is made of 18mm OSB board cut into 4 triangles to make a pointy pavillion roof. Calculating the triange sizes is fairly complicated and calculating the angle of the edge cuts is even more so. So I checked my calcs with a carboard scale model as 4 full sheets of OSB is a lot to throw away if you make a mistake!!

Like the rest of the shed, I wanted the roof to be strong, so I've reinforced all the joints and long expanses with extra timber.

The shed is finished in featheredge boards, but I was a little concerned as to how weatherproof they would be, I also wanted the shed to be really sturdy so I actually clad the whole shed in sheets of 3mm plywood first. This also has an added bonus of giving a much nicer finish inside. The pictures below show that the shed is lined with ply, then featheredged..

I had opted for a pavillion style roof, the picture below shows the completed walls and the wall plate in place ready to take the roof.

Rather than a fairly boring felt roof, I decided to use felt shingles which look a bit more attractive.

Here are a few shots of the completed shed, the rest of the garden is still a bit of a state at this point

A shot of the shed with the huge doors open, these really do make getting stuff in and out very easy

My good lady wife made me a nice sign for the shed, I think it finishes it off nicely

Here is the shed shortly after it was finished, and once the new turf had been laid. (The temporary OSB wall behind is just to close off the garden, this is now replaced with a garage)

Step 4: Finally

There is a small electrical installation to my shed, nothing major just a short run of 6mm2 from the RCD side of the garage consumer unit, it powers my compressor and a small ceiling light - I just used a simple 2 gang consumer unit.

Additionally it is tied into the garage alarm system (which is tied into the house system)
Both of the doors can be opened, so I simply put a reed switch on one and the corresponding magnet on the other. A bit of flexy conduit protects the cable where it is clipped to the door.

The shed has had quite a bit of time to settle in now. I actually completed it over 3 years ago, and it's had regular use over that time (and resisted some pretty foul weather)

Well, I hope you've enjoyed what I've done, I'm really pleased with my shed - so much so that I actually went on to build a large garage along similar lines.
Good luck if you decide to do something similar, my shed cost me about £300, I don't think you'll find a decent shed for that little money in the shops.
All the best,
-Dan

If you really enjoyed my project and want a little more information then you'll find more on my homepage http://www.yourmissus.com/shed

Comments

author
DonnH1 (author)2016-09-13

Nice shed and I like the idea of no wobble. There is a problem where most of us live though and that's to do with how long a structure will last if embedded in the soil. Fence posts tend to rot after a very few years. I have taken to making a hole, inserting a cardboard tube into the hole and filling in aroundn the tube, then pouring it full of concrete. Last of all and before the concrete sets I put in a steel post holder. Later the post gets inserted into the holder and bolted together. The fence posts last a lot longer and if they ever do rot its easy to unbolt them and put in another. I would think that may be a better way to go with this little shed. Just a thought. I hate building stuff only to have the weather and bugs rot it away.

author
nickdabrams (author)2015-08-11

"I'm planning on using these anchors to build a foundation for a shed

without concrete. Would appreciate any feedback, pros/cons etc..

Thanks!"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LN7JE6EEd3I

author
GrimRipper1080 (author)2014-10-15

Here in the US, pre-made sheds aren't that bad. My father has one in his backyard he uses as a work shed that is pretty well made. The FIRST Robotics Team (#1095!!!) at my school has a very large shed behind the main building. It is pretty sturdy as well. It might just be the difference between countries and how its made.

author
ralcorn2 (author)2013-06-14

Nice

author
MD_Willington (author)2008-05-22

One thing to keep in mind, in some locales, I know it true for my place in WA State USA, if you permanently anchor the building to the property, then it will increase the your property taxes and you'll need a building permit before building it. If you build the shed on pads then you're not on the hook, since it is non permanent structure, i.e. you can sell it to bob down the street without the dirt it is sitting on. Also, some places have inspectors that show up to measure the size of an out building, thanks to nosy busy body neighbours, so watch out. Good job toastyboy !

author
toastyboy (author)MD_Willington2008-05-23

Thanks! Sheds aren't considered permanent here in the UK. Regarding size, you are allowed 15square metres of floor area for a shed before you need permission. This one is less than 6 square metres. Nice to hear from you. -Dan

author
MD_Willington (author)toastyboy2008-05-23

That's cool. I have a shed in my yard, quite old, 15'x13', needs to be replaced, the original house structure was built in 1893 at my place, the shed is probably half that age and it shows. LOL.
here's the URL to my very old shed: http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v155/MDWillington1976/Broadway/?action=view&current=Whitman9934584h.jpg

Cheers!

author
mr.space (author)MD_Willington2009-05-23

grrr... you people with your modern homes, whats wrong with a little wattle + dorbe?

author
toastyboy (author)mr.space2009-05-25

My house is from the 1930's... Hardly modern.. No wattle and dorbe here though, but we do have plaster and lath

author
mr.space (author)toastyboy2009-05-27

haha, mine was build in the 1700's... it's build with wook from an old ship... and lots of oak

author
syco123 (author)mr.space2012-03-22

I don't have any wook from an old ship, but I did once know a wookie and he had an old ship. It didn't look much but it could make the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs.

author
syco123 (author)mr.space2012-03-22

"whats wrong with a little wattle + dorbe?"
The spelling?
.
.
.
.
:p

author
toastyboy (author)MD_Willington2008-05-23

15'x13' is a big shed!! My garage is 18'x8' at one end and x 13' at the other, so similar sized to your shed, and that was built with the same technique. Thanks for your interest, and good luck with your build. -Dan

author
l96470fps (author)toastyboy2009-03-07

where abouts in the uk? if in dorset could you give me advice on where to find a cheap (under 180 pounds) 8 x 6 shed

author
toastyboy (author)l96470fps2009-03-08

I'm in bristol. This shed cost about £400, you just won't get a decent shed for 180quid. But building one will be better than buying a prefabbed one. Good luck

author
l96470fps (author)toastyboy2009-03-08

i forgot to put that i didnt mind second hand/used, but thanks anyway, i live in bournemouth, and ive seen new ones for 199 but it was the wrong layout for my workshop, so just as long as its sturdy, thanks alot, l96470fps

author
jeff.pdx (author)MD_Willington2009-01-29

In Oregon you don't need a permit for buildings smaller than 200 sq ft that are uninhabited. Other states have similar guidelines.

author
foobear (author)MD_Willington2008-07-02

Thanks for this tip. What are pads?

author
MD_Willington (author)foobear2008-07-02

A pad is generally a block of concrete, either bought or mixed and poured by the builder, not a permanent foundation.

author
foobear (author)MD_Willington2008-07-03

ah cool, ic, thx

author
koubain (author)2012-03-05

good and straightforward steps to build a chicken coop or a shed if you like

author
Planner Dude (author)2011-04-28

how much did it cost to build?

author
iceberg742 (author)2011-04-11

Hiya i'm just wondering did you use swa cable or ensured that the cable had any outter protection.

author
ctrlaltdelete (author)2010-02-07

How'd you screw in those horizonal bits between the veritical shenanigans.
ps. i don't know builders jargon.

author

Yes, that's the bit that always seems to get left out. What is actually holding the thing together.

author
courtney825 (author)2010-03-27

thanks for this!

author
Turnip123 (author)2009-10-23

Awesome guide, going to get started on my shed tomorrow.

Just a little FYI though, your intro was pasted into the middle of your Build page making it kind of confusing.

author
toastyboy (author)Turnip1232009-11-19

 Thanks Turnip123.

Jolly good luck with your shed, let me know how it goes!

Dan

author
andyrak (author)2009-03-24

It's coming along great but you might want to add some image-by-image instructions... Is the floor floating? What are you painting onto the wood? I thought the grid might be metal for the floor but it could be wood, hard to tell. Is the floor floating off the ground or resting on it... etc... Cool work though!

author
andyrak (author)andyrak2009-03-24

Sorry, noticed that instructions for these pictures are on the next page... it might be helpful to pull relevant instructions onto this page so they clarify the images rather than having people jump back and forth between the pages to read and view...

author
nrepak (author)andyrak2009-05-25

Just view them all on one page

author
andyrak (author)2009-03-24

It's a sweet design. Might you add some detail of the roofing structure? I think there was one shot from the outside that showed it a bit but no detail of any of the framing... Thanks for posting it!

author
aholgate (author)2008-10-08

That is a very nice (built like a brick %$@% house!) shed..

author
toastyboy (author)aholgate2008-11-01

Thanks! It's certainly sturdy, I think it'll outlive me!! ;-)

author
DrBlind (author)2008-05-22

what did you do for the door? and a ramp?

author
toastyboy (author)DrBlind2008-05-23

Hi, This shed has two opening doors, I just made them the same way as the walls, only with a bit of diagonal bracing for strengh. No ramp yet... Cheers for your interest -Dan

author
pacey_waring (author)2008-05-19

are you planning on staining or painting it?

author
toastyboy (author)pacey_waring2008-05-20

Actually, no. The wood is already treated (it's tanalised) and after a few years it starts to go a nice silvery colour. So I'll just leave it like that I think, plus my climatus plants are really starting to cover it now. Thanks for your interest -Dan

author
GorillazMiko (author)2008-05-17

Dang it, I really want to do this, like, really really bad, but it's too hard for me.

Wait!

Maybe my dad could help.
And pay.

+5/5 stars.
(added to favorites)

author
toastyboy (author)GorillazMiko2008-05-18

Go for it Gorillaz!! It's not that hard, just take your time and measure everything twice. The key is getting the 4 posts level, square and the same distance apart (use your ply wood to space them out) Once you get started the build won't take long. Good luck, let me know how you get on. -Dan

author
waylonis (author)2008-05-15

Nice design and implementation. With respect to footings, I've read about (but not used) ones with a plastic base and 4"-Schedule 40 PVC as the riser out of the ground with no need to pour concrete to stabilize. The company is RediFooting: http://www.redifooting.com

author
toastyboy (author)waylonis2008-05-15

Hi Waylonis, That's an interesting footing system, to be honest digging the holes for my shed and then levelling the posts and pouring the concrete was a bit of a drag, that system looks much easier. Thanks for posting (get it? POSTing!!!) -Dan

author
darkmuskrat (author)2008-05-15

good job :P

author
toastyboy (author)darkmuskrat2008-05-15

Hi DarkMuskrat, Glad you enjoyed it :p

author
Mr. Rig It (author)2008-05-14

This is a very nice job and looks great. I think you may need to add more detail in to parts, sketches and such. Good Job.

author
toastyboy (author)Mr. Rig It2008-05-15

Thanks Mr Rig It, Glad you like my shed. -Dan

author
caitlinsdad (author)2008-05-14

Nice shed but I would have someone in the construction trade check your roof design out. The timbers for the roof supports seem like they were installed flat so you lose the strength of a beam stood upright. I would worry if you have a heavy snow or wind load on the roof to cause it to buckle. Usually metal hurricane clips or strapping is applied for additional safety.

author
toastyboy (author)caitlinsdad2008-05-15

Thanks for your comments, it's a very small roof, the timbers are probably total overkill anyway. One of the reasons for going for a sloped roof was to stop snow buildup. It just slides off ;-)
Thanks for your comments and concerns, glad you liked the shed.
=Dan

author
jtcrules (author)2008-05-14

That is pretty cool. The last shed I had always fell over when a storm came in.(I used it for doing hobbys, so it wasn't that heavy.) Thanks for the instructable, I might build one.

author
toastyboy (author)jtcrules2008-05-14

Yeah, go on build one Jtcrules, it's very rewarding. Mine is heavy but of course the thing that keeps it on the ground is the fact that it is buried in the ground!! It's a pretty cool shed. Glad you like it too. -Dan

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