Introduction: Storage Shed

About: Retired Command Sergeants Major and served in the U.S. Army for 32 years. I am retired retired and just work around the house on projects for the house and holidays. I like to set a good example and inspire my…

The 10'x20' storage building project was a multi-phase project con sieved from a picture my wife saw on the internet. I added a second floor, cathedral porch, interior and exterior lights, Hardie board sheathing, Proslat storage wall covering, laminated floor covering, vented roof cap, second floor windows, window crowns, vinyl gutters, vinyl lattice skirting, 110 and 210 outlets, attic stairs, water storage tanks, french door, single door, window flower beds, lava rock landscaping with stone edging, tractor loading ramp, and plants. I tackled this project by myself and had my wife and son help me when I needed to balance large placements of lumber or to hold something that was a safety concern. I had electricians come in and add panel box due to building code. The project is a two person work load at a minimum and should not be tackled like I did, working by myself 95 percent of the time as seen in photographs. I got a building and electrical permit from the county by submitting my drawing and picture idea. I built the frame for the floor out of 6"x8"x10' pressure treated beams with footers every 10 feet. A 2"x6" pressure treated wood floor frame with blocking every 24 inches on center and joist hangers for support. I used hammer and 12d nails for the 3/4" plywood floor staggering the plywood for structural strength. I used 2"x4" wood frame construction 24 inches on center with hammer and 16d nails on all walls. Both baring and non-baring walls were built to code. Used hammer and 10d galvanized nails and 1/4 inch plywood for sub-sheathing around exterior wall frame for structural strength, staggering plywood for structural strength. Second floor was built with 2"x4" frame 24 inches on center, 1/2" plywood staggered, 22 inch attic wood access latter, hammer and 12d nails. Used hammer stapler with 1/4" staples and plastic construction weather wrapping 360 degrees around storage building. Used hammer and 16d nails for porch frame construction and used decking screws for porch and ramp. Deck and porch are all pressure treated lumber and covered with deck paint. I used red Hardie board for the exterior of the storage building with white 1"x4" trim. Used hammer and 12d galvanized nails on 1/2" pressure treated plywood for roof and 3/4 inch shingle nails on roof shingles along with rope and harness for safety. Roof plywood was also staggered for structural strength. Used joist hangers for gabble roof joists and also used hurricane straps on roof frame. Roof over hang in front and back have five vents each for second floor ventilation. Roof trim is 1"x8" boards attached with hammer and 10d finishing nails. I worked with the electricians to install all electrical in storage building which includes four fluorescent fixtures, one on second floor and three on first floor; eight interior outlets, two on second floor and six on first floor with an additional 210 outlet for large equipment; two exterior outlets and three exterior lights. Panel box has room to run swimming pool area, green house, and additional breakers for future projects. Hope my storage building is inspiring to you as it is to my family, friends, and neighborhood.

Step 1: Foundation, Wall Framing and Vinyl Floor Covering

What I do not have is pictures of the floor construction. Basically it was built out of 6x8x10 pressure treated lumber with footers every 10 feet on center for the 10x20 foot structure. Gusset plates were used for butt joints and around footers and cross beams. A 2x6 pressure treated floor frame with 24 inch on center floor joist/blocking and bracing was constructed and placed on top of the beam foundation and was covered with 3/4 inch pressure treated plywood. I used pressure treated to ensure long lasting and to help prevent termites and carpenter ants from feasting on the wood. Termite spray and ant killer was placed in, on, and around all lumber as I built the structure. Walls were framed up with 2x4x10 lumber at 24 inches on center. Basic frame construction with front and back walls being the bearing walls. 16d nails were used to fasten the boards together. Window and door framing was done at the time the wall frames were built. Attention to detail for rough openings is very important so that doors and windows can be installed, plumbed and secured properly. I went by Lowes and got the sizes from the windows and doors I wanted to buy but did not purchase them due to shortage in storage space at my home. I also did not want to risk the glass panes from getting damaged. Walls were built and then stood up, leveled and plumbed. Walls were held with diagonal bracing until the plywood sheathing was added. I ensured I was always thinking forward and ensured blocking was placed for future wall covering both inside and outside of building. I ordered the vinyl floor for the storage building a few months before the project started because the item was on back order. Floor covering is made for garages and is a heavy traffic vinyl flooring that has it's own adhesive. Just peel and place on the floor.

Step 2: More Blocking, Outside Sheathing and Attic Ladder Purchase

Blocking and bracing in corners was very important as I needed to ensure that I had something to screw into when I got to placing the interior wall covering. Proslat wall covering is what I planned on using along with peg board. Some wall openings were not covered in order to build in storage space and for electrical boxes and future add-ins. I was a one man crew for most of the project so I bounced around completing tasks as weather permitted. Lumber was cut with cordless circular saw and hand saw when batteries ran out. Hammer and nails were used as I do not own air guns. Window frames were built with spacing for plumbing and shimming. Headers and trimmers were used as if I was building a house to live in. Access to 2nd floor was by an attic ladder that I purchased at Lowes. I bought a 22.5 inch ladder so that it would not interfere with the parking of my riding mower when I needed to pull it down and go upstairs. The mower will sit right in front of the French doors that will open out. Fire alarms and fire extinguishers were purchased after all construction was complete for safety.

Step 3: Structural Sheathing and Roof Shingles

I used 1/4 inch thick plywood for outside sheathing. I did not want to waste money on pressure treated plywood because I am going to cover the entire building in construction vapor bearier. Plywood was fastened using 10d nails every 6 inches. Care was taken to mark all studs and blocking for future phases of the project on the outside of the plywood. This takes the guess work out of finding the studs when placing exterior sheathing and trim work. Roof shingles were purchased ahead of time to ensure type and cost would not change or run out. 10 year warranty was also taken into account so that I don't have to repair the roof anytime soon. Ridge cap and ridge vents were bought at the same time as well for the same reason. Storage of roofing material is critical as it was 100 plus degrees in Georgia when I started this project and I had to ensure that the shingles would not stick to each other due to the heat.

Step 4: Second Floor

The second floor of my storage building was fairly easy to build. Since I used 10 foot studs I placed the 2x4 floor frame at the 8 foot level. This gave me an 8 foot ceiling in the first floor and a six foot ceiling in the second floor at the ridge point. Frame was all 2x4 construction since the span was only going to be 10 feet from outside wall to outside wall and the live/dead load was not going to be much weight. 1/2 inch plywood was used for flooring leaving the rough opening for the attic door uncovered for future use. I used 16d nails for frame and 12d nails for plywood. All nails were put in at an angle to ensure they would not creep up. I could of used construction screws but that was more expensive. I did not put the attic door on till after roof was constructed to ensure I would not damage the ladder carrying lumber and roofing materials up and down the stairs. Storage on top was for outdoor holiday decorations and for other small items that do not get used frequently or are seasonally items. I can buy seasonal stuff and store it till its time to use. Spare parts for lawn equipment can also be stored for future use. In the future I can place an air compressor on the second floor and feed the air hose down to clear space on the first floor and to muffle the noise from the compressor. I would buy a reel like you see in maintenance garages to ensure everything stays neat and organized.

Step 5: Roof Framing

Roof framing was built using a ridge board and then working off that to construct the gable roof. There were no valley jacks because the center front roof was a lean to type for the front window. I built the left and right gables first and then built the frame for the window followed by the center roof. The back of the roof was built right after the two front gables were done to ensure that the roof stayed straight, plumb, and level. I used some ingenuity for bracing the material up in order to secure boards. Since I was working alone this was needed. Thinking two steps ahead also comes in handy to ensure a smooth build from framing to sheathing to roofing, etc.... Roof had hurricane straps and truss hangers to hold boards in place. String line was used to keep ridge line straight. Temporary center bracing was used as well to keep everything level and plumb.

Step 6: Special Order Items

Some things needed to be special ordered ahead of time but not to early so that a smooth project would proceed on schedule. I had to special order the Hardie board that I was going to use for the outside sheathing. I had to special order it so I could get it in red. The lumber store only carried yellow. The windows I went and bought at the store and special ordered the French and side door at the same time. The French door was special ordered because I wanted it to open out for two reasons. First was so that I would not lose any space on the inside. Second, because my riding lawn mower was going to be parked right in front of the doors. Third, was for emergency exit, I could kick the door out if I needed to! The side door I also ordered because I wanted a 9 pane glass door to match the French door pane pattern and it was also opened out for the same reasons as the French door. Door handles and digital locks I had the wife get off the internet as she could find a good bargain online. Exterior lights in front were recycled exterior lights from the main house and the porch light was a bargain online.

Step 7: Roof Framing Continued

The center roof construction was slow because I could not make up my mind as to the pitch I wanted. It had to be just right so that the window at the center would look right and the fascia of the roof trim would not block the view in and out of the window. I had my son come and help me move the boards up and down as I looked at it and made up my mind. Once that was done I continued placing roof cords and started bracing the front cords with 2x4 blocking and hurricane straps. I used 16d nails throughout the construction and 10d nails on the hurricane staps.

Step 8: End and Roof Sheathing

It was nice to finish the wall sheathing and concentrate on the roof sheathing. I used the attic stairwell rough opening to bring up the 1/2 inch plywood to the second floor with the help of my son. I left some blocking out of the back roof framing so that I could slide the plywood from the second floor to the gable roof by myself. I also placed stop blocks at the end of the roof joist so that I could slide the plywood on to the roof and it would lay on the edge with out falling off. I would then secure the plywood to the joist and brace the next sheet on the edge of the first sheet. I worked my way up from the bottom edge to the top staggering the plywood in back and using full sheets in front. I secured the front plywood first and then the back. I left the center ridge line open in order to fasten the last of the full sheets and then from the outside I closed the opening leaving a 3 inch gap in three different places for the roof vents. I kept an eye on my string line at the ridge board to ensure the roof stayed level and plumb. 12d galvanized nails were used on the roof. I placed 2x4 bracing for the over hang framing on the front and back walls. In future pictures you will see where these come into play as I build the overhangs and place the vents. 1/4 inch plywood was used to cover the overhangs with small strips of wood for trim work. Trim on over hang was 1/8x1/2x4 strips of wood that I ripped from 1 inch wood scraps.

Step 9: Roofing Paper and End Gables

I started to put some roofing paper with 1/2 in staples and my hammer stapler in the front portion of the roof since we started to have some bad weather. I did not want the plywood to start warping and did not want the inside to get wet to much since I still had to put deck paint on the second floor and the vinyl floor covering on the first floor. I practice placing the corner gable roof to see what work it took and to get my angles for the other three. Once I got the wood pattern for the first corner I could cut out the other three corner which made life easier. I had to take that first corner off later in order to put in my porch roof for the side door. I finished blocking and sheathing the back of the roof and prepared for more roofing paper and shingles. Weather started turning for the worst so I had some rain delays for a few days.

Step 10: Roofing Paper

Weather forced me to replace all my roofing paper which took me a day to clean up and remove all the staples and ripped paper. I placed the new roofing paper and drip edge on the roof. Drip edge was two colors, white and stainless steel because Lowe's ran out of the white. So future painting of the drip edge was necessary. I started the second floor front window vapor bearier and I took the time to get my angles measured for future siding and trim. The roof pitch is close to a 45 degree angle on the gables so rope and harness were used to ensure I did not fall. Fascia board was left off on purpose so it would not interfere with the siding and trim work.

Step 11: Vapor Bearier

The vapor barrier went on with the help of my wife rolling out the 10 foot plastic. We rolled the plastic around the building in a counter clockwise direction in order to get the Lowe's emblem facing the right direction. If you can read it, then your placing it on correctly. I used 1/4 inch staples and the hammer stapler to fasten the vapor barrier on the plywood. I then cut and "x" at the windows and doors and folded the edges in and stapled it down. I did the top half of the building myself since I do not have scaffolding. I used two latter to get the work done. I transferred the stud markings on the plywood to the outside of the vapor barrier so that it was easy to place the Hardie board, trim, and porch roof frame.

Step 12: Shingles and Windows

I started putting up shingles in the front part of the roof to protect the roofing paper from the strong winds. I finish placing the drip edging and started framing the end caps for the gable roof in order to place the fascia board. I also started placing the windows on the first and second floors. I framed around the outside of the windows with 1x2 lumber which gave me support and depth later when I put the actual 1x4 trim and window crowns. The 1x2 also gave me a nailer board since you can not put nails in the Hardie board. Not all fascia was placed to leave room to screw on the Hardie board on the second floor front window as well as the trim. Shingling went slow due to the weather and my age being on the roof that has a 45 degree pitch. I had to take it slow going up and down the latter carrying the shingles and placing them as well. Overall the shingle style came up real nice and the windows also came out real nice.

Step 13: Night Operations

Some night operations was necessary in order to finish the project. I only have two good pictures that came out where you can see me working, but throughout the project I took advantage of starting early and working late due to the cooler temperatures. I still had to balance yard maintenance and other duties around the house as well as start three other projects around the house.

Step 14: Doors

Finally the doors were placed. I made some temporary bracing in order to hold the French doors in place and be able to slide them up and down as needed to get them plumb and level. The bracing was done at each top corner with some spare 2x2 I had. I had my son help me move it into the door opening and then I put the bracing on the corners. I did this to both doors and then my son could leave and I could go to work setting them into position. Doors came with there own hardware to mount but I also put some construction screws into the frame for added support. Shims were used to level and plumb but not to many since my framing was square. Knock on wood!!! As mentioned before, all doors opened out for three good reasons, space, equipment usage, and safety. Windows also are the type that can be cleaned easily as well.

Step 15: Hardie Board

Hardie board is cement siding that you hang with screws and comes in different colors. The boards were cut with a diamond blade and my circular saw. Hardie boards were then fastened to every stud as you go up the wall which was made easy due to studs being marked out on vapor bearier. A starting strip of about an inch was placed on the bottom edge to ensure the board is placed at an angle. I used masonry screws which are stronger than normal screws and can drill through the cement boards and into the studs. I bought some used Geico fasteners that help hold the Hardie board in place. This was important because I was working by my self doing all the siding and the Geico holders let me place 12 foot long boards quickly and easily. I also placed the bottom trim and corner trims in order to get my edges for the Hardie board. Trim was painted glossy white first and then the Hardie board went on. Top trim was placed after last Hardie board was placed on wall and I cut out a lap joint on the trim so it would overhang over the Hardie board hiding the screws. A safety mask was worn due to the dust that comes when you cut the board. Gloves are optional for me as I am use to working construction without gloves. My military ballistic glasses are what I use for safety glasses and I also use my ballistic ear plugs for the noise of the saw. My 18 volt cordless drill was strong enough to put the screws into the Hardie board and studs.

Step 16: Hardie Board Continued and Door Locks

Once the Hardie board is cut you can use a small piece of waste to sand the edge clean before you touch it up with touch up paint that comes with the boards. Ensure when you buy the Hardie board that you have the sales person get you the touch up paint especially if you have to special order due to a color that you want. I used my ballistic eye wear from the Army in stead of safety glasses and they worked fine as well as my ballistic ear plugs. I started on the west wall and worked my way clock wise. I staggered the joints so the boards would look better in some places and in other places I could use a single board to span the length of the wall I was covering. Hardie boards come in 12 foot lengths so there were not to many joints on the side walls. For the door handles and hardware we bought some used digital security locks and reset the combinations with new ones and I placed them on the doors. We saved a lot of money buying used locks in very good condition. We used the same type of handles that we have in our home as well so that it would aesthetically look better. Don't have to worry about keys or light in the dark as the key pad lights up once you start putting in your combination.

Step 17: Deck, Ramp, and Electrical Wiring

Once the hardy board was done I moved to make the small porch where the single door is and the ramp in front of the French doors. The porch was made of 4x6 pressure treated lumber with 2x6 frame joists 16 inches on center. The ramp was made of the same material butt the joists were cut at an angle so that the riding lawn mower could drive out without scraping the door threshold or the ramp. Decking lumber was primed and painted before placing down on frame. Decking was secured with construction screws 3 inches long. As you look at the picture of the porch deck you can see I painted the bottom frame as well for added protection and so you do not see bear wood between the deck boards. I helped out the electricians when they arrived, running wire from the house panel box to the storage building panel box. We placed a small panel box that runs the above ground swimming pool, the storage building, and future green house project. Extra breakers were added for any other additional power I want to run from the storage building. Once wire was connected we buried it 18 inches below ground. The storage building got its own grounding rod as well.

Step 18: Vinyl Flooring and Proslat Wall Covering

The vinyl floor covering and Proslat wall covering arrived before I needed it which was great. Once it was time to place it, it just took one day for the vinyl flooring to go down and two days for the Proslat. Proslat came in grey and white colors to make the inside look differently. Both products are great and should last a long time. Proslat and the vinyl floor covering can be purchased though Home Depot on line. Both are a little expensive but in the long run it will save you money. Proslat is what you see in department stores especially sports stores and clothing stores which they use to present there items to the customers. Both are easy to clean and maintain and hold 75 pounds of weight per square foot. Proslat gets mounted to every stud as it gets laid on the wall which is what makes it strong and why it can hold a lot of weight. Hacksaw and metal shears cut the PVC material like butter if you need to cut the length.

Step 19: Foundation Skirt and Landscaping

I had some 10 year old vinyl lattice sheets that I cleaned and cut to make the skirting around the storage building. I did not want to be able to see the underneath frame and ground through the lattice so I first skirted the building with black landscaping cloth. I then placed the lattice over the cloth and frame of the building and used left over lumber to edge the lattice. I also built lattice doors so I could store long pieces of lumber, pipe, and left over Hardie board under the building. This worked out nicely and gave me more storage space. I used edging stone and placed black landscaping cloth on the ground. I then place red lava rock on top of the cloth to make everything look good. I don't like using wood chips or pine needles because the wind or water washes them all over the place or they tend to fade quickly. Lava rock works the best and looks the best as well. Vinyl lattice was cut with my cordless saw and finish blade. A hand saw can also be used to cut the lattice if need be.

Step 20: Storage Skirting

Some of the skirting needed framing up before I could put it down. This I did with spare 2x4s which I first cut an angle and drove them into the ground like stakes and then nailed them to the 6x8 frame flush to the outside. The skirt goes all around the building to ensure it looks good from all angles. It also provides ventilation due to the landscaping cloth and lattice which let the floor breath. For the trap doors I stapled the cloth to the vinyl lattice and then trimmed the excess. I used PVC cement to cement PVC edging all around the trap doors. The last picture shows the storage building without the porch roof and unfinished siding. It took me awhile to decide what type of porch I wanted to build.

Step 21: Close Up Views of the Landscaping

Landscaping is a critical part of the presentation so I take my time deciding what I want to use. Edge stone, lava rock, white rocks around porch, water collecting tanks, and the plants. I used white and red flowers and then just went with the red flowers in the box planters. The greenery is also important. The collection tanks are used to water the plants around the storage building and for my future green house project.

Step 22: Porch Framing

I decided to go with square pillars/columns and a cathedral type ceiling for my porch. My house has 12x12 inch square column posts on the back patio so I thought it would blend in having 4x4 square column post on the storage building. I used pressure treated 4x4 posts and framed the roof with 2x6 boards. I used 3 inch construction screws to fasten everything together. I painted the post and frame glossy white. The post took about 5 coats to paint and keep white because of the pressure treatment. I used wood putty to cover all screws and blemishes in the wood and sanded everything before painting.

Step 23: Cathedral Porch

When building the frame I ensured all five of the roof trusses were evenly spaced and aligned. Spot painted all screws and filled in with wood putty and to cover the flaws in the wood. The frame was painted glossy white and the interior of the plywood was painted red. When put together you get a nice color blend.

Step 24: Decorative Carvings

I cut out some decorative carvings for the posts. I sanded, primed, and painted them glossy white to match the frame. I used 1x12 spare boards that I had lying around. On two edges I made holes for screws in order to mount them on to the post and frame. I used a heat gun to speed up the drying process of the three coats of paint. The heat gun worked well since the coats were thin. In the first picture you will see in the back ground my next project already started. Its a 10x12 green house that sits on a 14x12 red deck. Green house will have power and sprinkler system. Waiting on green house to arrive.

Step 25: More Landscaping

More landscaping after I finished the skirting. First pulled all the weeds and killed all the grass. Then I placed the landscaping cloth down and then the red lava rock. I also had some old water collection tanks which I mentioned before that I repaired and placed on the corners of the building. Both tanks work and collect enough water to use on the plants or to wash my hands or clean off tools. Tanks are filled by the gutter system I installed. Front gutter fills front tank and back gutter fills back tanks. Tanks have faucet and separate hose that you can use as needed. The tanks also have a planter on top that we use as a bird bath.

Step 26: Deck Painting

Since the roof was painted red I decided to paint the deck red so it would match. First I had to sand it and then put tape and newspaper on all the white areas. Then I had to wait for a good day with the sun shining so I could put 3 coats of deck paint all in one day. The three coats of paint was an over kill but I use the storage building a lot so I considered it as a high traffic area. In fact I can spend the entire day inside working on projects or other things. I do have cable for TV and WiFi in there!

Step 27: Final Touch Ups

I placed PVC/vinyl gutters around the storage building. The gutters run into the water storage tanks on both sides. The PVC/vinyl gutters I purchased at Lowe's and it took me less than a day to place on each side. Notice the down spout at the top is a little fancy. It matches the storage building look better. The last thing I had to add was the exterior porch light that my wife purchased at a bargain price. Used but in great condition and it compliments the porch. The electrical was run off the front lights so that the same switch would turn all three lights at the same time. Two other switches turn the top and bottom lights respectively. There are some small improvements for the inside that I still want to make and a guard rail on the outside next to the tree but I am still looking for that right design or idea. Possibly a sun ray design in the top of the porch roof opening. Well this was my 2x4 project on steroids. I hope it gives you ideas for future projects. Please vote for me. Thank you and enjoy.

2x4 Contest

First Prize in the
2x4 Contest