Introduction: How to Build a Durable Storage Shed

I wanted some extra storage to get my lawn mower and other tools out of the garage and also give me some extra room for my stuff. I chose to go ahead and construct it myself instead of a pre-fab one as I just didn't like the pre-fab quality or for that matter the price of those offered at the retail big stores, I noticed a similar sized shed for nearly $4k at a big-box store, I won't name them but the color orange is part of their logo ;).

When I was younger I was a part-time framing carpenter so I decided to strike out on my own and see what I could come up with.  I chose a shed size of 10' X 12'. I did a LOT of research online, went over a LOT of plans and in the end I wound up combining many ideas into this shed. I also decided that I wanted a cement floor.  In most cases this would increase the cost of your building by up to $1000 depending on if you pour it yourself and do all of the work or if you have a contractor do it for you.  I decided to talk with a local cement company and they put me in contact with someone that would do the work for me and since I also like to do things the easiest way I chose this route so my flooring cost me a total of $400 total!  Yeah I and my wife was quite happy about this.  I also chose not to include rebar in the concrete, I instead went with the fiber system that I discussed with the concrete company, it made the cost a little more but it is "supposed" to work just as well so I guess I'll find out in a few years.

In this first picture I have let the slab dry about two weeks as it had been rainy anyways and I began this on a Saturday and would do something to it most every weekend.  I completed the shed on July 4th weekend and the only help I had was my oldest daughter helping me hold up a wall or hand something up to me on occasion.

The first thing I did was to measure and pop a chalk line of where my bottom plate would sit so that I could drill holes for the anchors to go through.  A vandal who shall remain anonymous (wife) decided to commemorate the new construction project.  While I know it's not "required" I did use "sill seal" (I think that's what it's called) on the bottom plate to help keep out water/bugs etc.  It was pink and is the same width as the lumber.

Lastly, I also chose to have the anchor bolts put in the concrete while it was being poured so I wouldn't have to drill them later on which I always recommend.  The one caveat that I didn't do at the time was install a french drain system around the concrete slab, After 2 years I have noticed that water does tend to gather near the slab, also this gives weeds a chance to grow up inside the building but and I will be installing this type of drainage soon to solve this issue.

The final cost of building this shed was under $1500 including the floor.  Taking into consideration I didn't shell out the money all at once and built it in pieces it wasn't too traumatic to the wallet.  The next thing I want to do is run electricity to the shed but that will be in a different instructable.

Step 1: The First Wall...

Most of the framing that I did was from wood that I purchased from a "seconds" store.  The wood itself had nothing really wrong with it, it just hadn't been completely dried before being sold.  I also bought the studs in standard 8' lengths and just cut them down to standard 92 5/8" length.

I made a window hole that I will keep covered up with siding for now but later on I will just use my router to just cut out the hole and already have the window frame ready to go.

The last pic in this step shows that you need to be sure and have your wall anchored or have someone help hold it up.  I did both ;)  You should have yourself some extra stakes driven into the ground pretty well so they can help hold up the walls whenever you are ready to raise them and nail them together.

Step 2: Walls Two and Three and Four

These went up pretty easy just like the first.  As usual you should make sure you have some good anchors in place to the wind or gravity wont help bring them down.

When you are ready to install the top plate, it will make it MUCH easier if you have someone to help you with leveling the walls.  Once you install a header board in the way it can increase the weight quite a bit so be careful when raising the wall.

Step 3: Ready to Frame the Roof!

This part should really be done by two people if at all possible,, I didn't have that option so I cheated but YMMV if you do it solo, you have been warned...

Whenever you install the ridge you will find it difficult as I said with only one person.  Fortunately for me I on occasion "wing-it" and just get it done.  I happened to have some good clamps and so I was able to get the ridge board installed without too much trouble or too many bruises for that matter.

I will say that I didn't fall or for that matter have anything fall on me but you should be careful.

What I did was cut my board the needed height and made it into a slotted board with two smaller pieces of wood to keep the ridge from swaying or falling off to one side.  I then used my clamp to hold them tightly in place while I finished the other side.  This worked quite well for me.  I also nailed a board to the front and back so it wouldn't sway those ways either.

Step 4: Rafters 'o Fun

Because I live in a hurricane zone local code requires the use of hurricane clips.  I like to over engineer and will tell you that every one of these rafters has a hurricane clip at the base and also has the metal clips at the ridge.  I nailed the ridge into the rafters where I could and in the end I think this will make for a very solid structure.  It has yet to experience a hurricane but I guess I'll have to update this after we get our next storm.

I want to give a shout out to my buddy Richard S. who let me use his folding ladder which made this a breeze.

As you will also be able to see in a couple of these pictures I have also build in a workbench in the back and added storage joists for storage up top.  To give you an idea of the room up there I still have a bit of room after storing the LARGE dog crates.

I decided to go ahead with 2x6 rafters again for some extra strength.

Step 5: Siding Is Fun, No Really...

By this point it was beginning to look like a real shed and I was looking forward to being done.

Step 6: The Doors and Trim

I really wish I had taken pictures of the doors as I made them but this is the best I can do.

I just took the width of the opening and divided by two for the size I needed.  I then just framed 2x4's and cut the center boards after I had the frame in place to give it the style that I like.

We wanted the shed to look like an old barn so I also installed trim work all around the shed.

Now it's ready for shingles and primer!

Step 7:

I found leftover shingles that were being offered by an individual in the area instead of buying them new from a bigbox store so they were much cheaper. I chose gray and black and mixed them up while installing them.  I also installed a ridge vent so the place can breathe.  After I primed the building I also cut holes in the front and back and installed vents.  I want to give a shout out to my friend Steve A. who let me borrow his spray painter which made this part SO much easier than rolling...

The last four pictures are nearing then end of painting and touch-ups.  I then built a tool rack which was so easy.  I just took a 1x4 board and took a 2" hole saw and made it so that part of the hole would extend outside the edge of the board so I can now just slip in my hanging tools from the front and they sit there waiting for their next use.  I also did the same thing for my weed whacker.

You can also see in this picture the hurricane clips that are in place on the top plate.

The only thing I have left to do is run electricity to the building, but that is another instructable to come.

Thank you for reading my instructable!

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