Introduction: Toolshed

Last year I started building a tool shed in my garden. I needed a storage place for my lumber, wastecontainers, lawnmower and other stuff like that. After some planning and drawing (in google sketchup) I came up with a typical Dutch design called a 'kapschuur' that features a little overhang. I made it in stages and hopefully this instructable with give you the rough idea on how to do this without any help.

Step 1: Foundation and Support Pillars

For the skeleton of the shed I used FRC wood from a local store. It is pressure treated wood so it's not prone to rot anytime soon. To be on the safe side I coated the ends of support pillars with anti-rot-stuff. (The end that will disappear into the ground) Per pillar I used half a bag of quick drying concrete. (thats 25kg per bag, so about 12,5kg per pillar) Everytime a pillar went into the ground I checked if the pillar was aligned and level. I braced the pillars with bricks so when I pored in the cement the pillars couldn't move.

Step 2: Support Beams and Trusses

And now the real reason I'm making a shed: now I'm allowed to buy a new powertool! Yeah! Check out my new circle saw! Okay just kidding, but this tool does make light work of things.

To make the ring of beams ontop of the pillars I tried to interlock the beams by cutting U-shaped notches into the beams so they fit neatly into eachother. I traced out te exact spot with a pencil and then I made a dozen small cuts at the right depth with my circle saw. These little slabs where pretty easy to chisle out. There is probably a fancy name for it or some other beter method but this worked for me.

Besides stainless steel screws I also used woodglue since that realy makes for a strong connection. Notice that I made the 'ring beams' stick out a bit to make for a little overhang.

To make the trusses (those triangle shapes) I just freehanded the first one and then copied that 5 times. This involved a bit of diagonal cutting and didn't go right in the first go. But eventually it came out rather nice. You just gotta take your time. I also did a mockup on my garage floor and since the floor is perfectly level this worked pretty good.

Step 3: Roofing

For the roofing I used tiles that are very common in Holland. Back when my house was being build the contractor was about to jug 400+ tiles into the garbage skip because he had ordered to much. Geuss who payed for that? Yeah me, so I saved them and now they come in handy.

Before the tiles went on I needed to install the battens to hold the tiles in place. I eyeballed where I wanted the tiles to be and then marked the spot where the battens needed to be screwed down. Then it was just a matter of putting on the tiles. These tiles are not fixed in place because they are heavy enough and interlock in eachother to form 1 single roof.

Step 4: Walls and Trimming

For the walls I also ordered pressure treated wood. These are pre-made planks that interlock so water cannot get in the inside. I don't know the english word for it. For the trimming I used the same wood. To get the top waterproof I installed a PVC L-profile that any hardware store has. For the overhang I also used the same planks and while I was bussy I put in 2 LED spotlights. Now Mr. Binky the bunny is not only dry but he also can see what he eats at night!

Step 5: Doors and Pull-mechanism

Okay this is where it gets a bit MacGyver. I wanted to be able to use that storage space on the 'first floor' so to speak. That is the space in the top part of the shed. But I couldn't get any long shaped lumber in or out there. It was a closed off space, only reachable from the inside. Thats why I made the front facade of the shed on a few hinges so it could open up. It's a bit of a weird shape but it works just perfectly. You can see in the pictures it opens up to one side and up. It's much like a piano opening up. I made it so that I can open it by pulling a cord on the inside of the shed. The cord handle can be fixed in a holder so the facadedoor stays open. Hopefully the pictures explain what I cannot.

For the door I just used the same wood and made a crossbeam on the inside for strenght. A piece of scrap wood makes for a handle and lock.



  • Oil Contest

    Oil Contest
  • Creative Misuse Contest

    Creative Misuse Contest
  • Water Contest

    Water Contest

27 Discussions

The English word for the type of hand cut joinery you used is called a "half-lap joint". Thanks for posting good job! Now I know what those kind of sheds and barns are called and where they're from. I'm thinking I'll make my wife's chicken coop in a similar style. I recently moved to the Gold Country (near Angle's Camp, CA USA) and I've been seeing lot of sheds made in this style, old sheds too, probably near 100 years old so it makes sense that they're from the Netherlands as there were a lot of Dutch miners that came during the Gold Rush (1850's).

I'm not entirely sure everybody understands is the scaled down(and revised) version of a traditional type of shed here in the Netherlands, mainly built in rural area's for storing large farming machinery.

In my "Kapschuur" the bunny would face the constant danger of being overrun by a tractor of combine. Personally I think it turned out great, The workmanship seems good enough or better then pictures allow to show.

Also its a neat idea to turn a traditional shed design into something for the smaller garden instead of copying some more 'typical' garden shed, which would be very boring, to build and to live with.

De Groeten.

"View All Steps" is non-functional. ( iPad 3,Verizon )

Wonderful instructional, however.

1 reply

CANCELL " View All Steps" problem. My cookies were not turned on!!!!!!!

My Deepest Apology.

Sweet saw. You definitely earned it! Your english is much better than any dutch, our name, I could somehow come up with. Great shed, great instructable. I look forward to more.

1 reply

The saw is now one of my most used tools! A very good buy indeed. If you want to see more I invite you to check out my other instructables. I just started this week but I already have 11 projects documented, all of the last year and a half. Have fun!


2 years ago

That is an outstanding shed. The quality of the work is better than what I have seen some so called " professional" builders do, ( I am so sick of having to go along and tidy up the bad work tradies do). As with all things that I look at on this site my brain goes into 'adapt for me' mode the only thing I will change (other than dimensions to fit in my yard) would be the door at the top to access your long timber storage, I will just do 2 triangle shaped doors that hinged from the vertical center post, mainly because it will be easier to hang the hinged doors for me to do it that way

1 reply

That is actually
a better solution than mine. The trap door is pretty bulky and heavy. I need to
pull the cord pretty hard to get the door opened up. Making the trap door out
of two sections should improve this! Especially when you hinge them on the vertical
post like you mentioned. That way you don’t have to pull the door ‘up’ against
gravity. Great idea!

Nice shed, outstanding presentation.. my pump house needs replacing so this design is a likely candidate.

The siding appears to be "ship lap" rather than "tongue and groove". Either works fine, as long as its installed "properly". (so that rain sheds off an isn't invited to come through the joints.

I dislike buying expensive lumber and cutting half of it away to make a connection, so I like to use "simpson connectors" an minimize the notching when its possible. Having said that, your notched connections are proper and may be stronger.

Like the shed nice fit in the yard without being an eyesore especially the like the little "porch" with the over hung roof and paving. The only thing I would change where I live because of termites and earthquakes is I would use gal.steel post brackets set in concrete instead of just the wooden posts in concrete.

the hinged end great idea, more room more stuff!

uncle frogy

This looks great!! I would like to try to do this in my own yard, but I think the height may need to be smaller so that it doesn't stick up above my fenceline.

By the way, the interlocking boards are called tongue and groove. :o)

1 reply

In Holland we have alot of rules we have to follow. Fencing is allowed 1.8m in heigh max. Little sheds like mine are permit free but only up to 3m in height. Then you'll need to get a permit. Luckely mine is about 2.8 meters so no permit here.

I looked up the interlocking translation but google gave me some weird stuff on that. It's called 'Zweeds rabat' here in Holland. 'Zweeds' means Swedisch and rabat could be rabbet or rebate which seems to be a groove of some sort... Tongue and groove sounds alot better!


2 years ago

I want to replace my old shed some time. Shall use yours as a guide. That wood you used for the walls is called SHIPLAP in English.

1 reply

Shiplap! Never knew that and google gave me such weird translations. Thanks!

Gorgeous shed and i love the led lighting. Did you seal the bottom board to the ground somehow to stop groundwater coming in when it rains ?

1 reply

I left a little gap between the ground and the bottom board. Water cannot run in my shed because the pavement slopes down towards the grass. (and up towards the shed) I made the pavement that way because then I won't have any puddles of water on my pavement when it rains. I did the same with my terras pavement connected to my house. Everything slopes towards the grass so rain will disappear in the ground. The slope is barely noticeable, just about 1cm per meter of pavement.


2 years ago

Now that is a beautiful bit of construction work! We have chickens in our back yard and this would make tbe Cadillac of chicken living. Might even say it was a "Coop Deville".

Nice job with the shed! This is a very clean and reproduce able project and very easy to follow throughout the process. I love the clean looking appearance of the shed and your patio and yard where it is built. And the guard Bunny!

I love this shed. I love that you have your wood planks stored at the top of what is usually wasted space. Also, having this open on both ends is brilliant!

Great job! Pet Mr. Binky for me! He is a cutie!