Over the course of about a month of periodically building I have been working on this shed. It could have been finished in a shorter amount of time although ordering materials, scheduling for certain deliveries, and relying on good weather make it last longer. So for being primarily one person assembling a shed in a months time is actually kind of a fast build. I started with the anticipation of getting it done over the course of one weekend. I was very wrong about that since I have never done a project to this extent in the past. The time that was spent building, on average lasted three hours to five hours up to even nine hours per day.
The whole reason I wanted to do this project was so I can begin projects that I have been putting off for years. The reasons for putting those other projects off was because living in an apartment, using certain tools and machinery to do the smaller projects would cause way too much noise. I didn't want to risk safety and health of anyone adjacent to my residence. If I would have had my own property or at least my own backyard it would have been fine to do those projects. Anyway after some saving we managed to get some property and buy the materials for the shed. It took around a year to gradually buy the tools I used to assemble the shed.
During that time of saving up I had done some research on building a per-fabricated shed versus building a shed from my own ideas. I came up with a model using Google Sketch-up to determine how many components were needed and what the cost would be. By doing this I could consider if the better route was to assemble my own design or buy a kit and build that instead. Shed kits from Homedepot go for about $2000 and up. That is for about the same size that I have made mine.
My design cost's around $1,700 for all the materials needed. It could be significantly cheaper if you do some research and can find cheaper alternatives. For example I could have substituted the corrugated steel siding if I would have used wood strand panels as the walls then just painted over them. This would have allowed me to save around $450 although I admired the look of steel panels for a siding as well as the roof. It is common for sheds to have a single layer for walls, mine has two layers. If you are wanting to have a single layer you could get the cost down to around $1,000. Want to see a time-lapsed video? Copy and paste the link:
I am going to often refer to wall farming anatomy so I drew an illustration to label what is what exactly on a section of a wall frame:
A: Top Plate
B: Bottom Plate
C: Window Sill
D: Window Header
E: Cripple Stud
G: King Stud
H: Jack Stud
The next illustration demonstrates what standard stud spacing is for framing a house. That number is usually 16'' on center or 24'' on center. For the shed I designed it to be 24'' on center. The reason why they are these numbers are so that when you go to mount the panels of drywall, plywood, etc. the panels can be secured in at least tree points across the width of the board and still have room to secure the next panel on that stud you just ended on.
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Step 1: Considerations
Before you say ''yeah I would love to build this same shed'', you should really do some quick research and consider the options listed below:
1. What kind of space do I have to work with?
I didn't question this myself since we have a good size chunk of land, although the county you reside in may still restrict how the distance from property lines which structures can be built.
2. Are building permits needed for this size of shed in my region? (160 foot squared)
In the county that the shed is located I did not need to fill out any permits to build this shed. The county's regulations were for any structure over 200 square feet would need a permit before building.
3. Do I really want or need a large shed or would a smaller one do just fine for me?
For me this was large enough to act as what some may call a machine shed or workshop to do smaller projects.
4. Do I want to or need to have a proper drainage below the shed or would it be fine without?
I wanted a good drainage underneath the shed in order to avoid the ground from eroding over time so the structure could stay level and not sink down. Most sheds just sit right on the ground although where my shed is located on the property is at a lower elevation compared to the rest of the acreage. If you choose to do the same I would encourage getting a hold of an excavating machine. It took us around six hours to dig up the 17' X 11' area with two people and two shovels. May have been easier if it had at least been tilled up first. Also would like to note that the total project cost will go up if you do want to have a proper drainage.
5. If I do decide to build this where would the best location be in regards to building codes or accessibility?
Make sure that where you want it because it would be difficult to try to move it.
6. What style and material of siding do I prefer?
I ask this question because I chose to use two layers as a siding. The first being oriented strand board (OSB) and the second being steel corrugated panels. If you chose to use one layer, which is normal, then use something other than OSB but definitely not MDF.
Step 2: Preparations
When I list these tools they are simply what I ended up using. You may be able to substitute some of these items with tools that you prefer in order to make it work better for yourself. Work smart not hard. I have also included the Sketchup Model if you have Sketchup to be able to veiw it yourself.
Tools Needed For Excavation: (OPTIONAL)
If you are choosing to simply assemble the structure on the ground then you shouldn't need any of these tools.
- Metal rake with short fingers if your spreading/leveling out gravel manually
- Spade shovel if your digging manually
- Square shovel if your moving gravel manually
- Hammer to hammer in the stakes and batter boards
- 500' of Construction Line for marking the area
- Line Level or two
- Landscaping spray paint for marking the area
- One pound box of nails or screws to assemble batter-boards
- 18'' or longer stakes to assemble batter-boards, usually come in a dozen so I suggest getting a couple packs.
- Measuring Wheel
- Excavation Equipment/Machinery if you can and want to work smarter rather than harder, I don't blame you.
Tools Needed For Assembling Shed:
- Cordless Drill or Drills
- Circular Saw
- Miter Saw to cut angles into studs
- Angle Grinder for cutting metal corrugated panels (Optional)
- Generator for power
- Gas Can to refill generator
- Measuring Tape or two
- Rafters Square or Speed Square
- Pens or Pencils and many of them to make marks. They are easy to loose.
- Table saw
- Reciprocating Saw
- Nail Gun
- Air Compressor
- Clamps (4 at least)
Materials And Prices:
For the materials and prices list I have done that separately so it can be printed off. The program I use to do all of my work with typing or spreadsheets is called Kingsoft WPS and is free. By using another program it normally saves files at a different file type than what Microsoft Word uses. I have used WPS for years and have never had any issues with it. So if you would like to be able to view it you might need to install that program to be able to save and print it off.
Step 3: Excavation (Optional)
If you had already made the decision to have it be built right on on the ground then you can skip this step, otherwise continue reading. To prepare the site for excavation I used methods from a book called ''The Homedepot Outdoor Projects 1-2-3". If you are really concerned with precision and it all being completely level, then I recommend getting the book and following those instructions. It seemed more complicated and time consuming than it needed to be although it was helpful. I am going to save you some trouble and time by excluding some steps. Begin by driving one stake in where you think the center of the structure might be. Then go outward in all four directions. Use the measuring wheel to travel out eight feet for the length of the shed both ways from center. Do the same but out five feet to get the width roughly. You will need measure the length and width roughly with a measuring wheel and marking the corners with a some stakes. You would then tie off construction line at the bottom of those stakes creating the outline of that rectangle. Make sure that all lines are very taught. An even easier method would be to buy some a couple 16' and couple 10' boards and lay them down to meet the corners creating a rectangular shape then mark the corners off with stakes and repeat the steps after that. To check the squareness of the 17' X 11' rectangle on the ground simply measure the distance from one corner to the opposing corner (furthest corner from the one you started at diagonally across). Then do the same for the other two corners.
If the distance or measurement is the same or very close to it, then it it square enough. After you are satisfied with the shape of your rectangle you can spray directly onto the construction line tied off to the corner stakes. This draws the borderline that you will be digging inside. Its up to you to leave the stakes and line in place. At this point I took it out of the ground and begun digging. Once the excavation within that perimeter is completed you will need to dig a littler deeper down along the inside edge the entire rectangle and out through the lowest end, side, or corner (past the borderline) of the shed, to allow the tile to direct rain water out and away. The book I referred to states that you should dig down four inches for every foot that you plan to have the tile traveling outward. It wasn't too clear if it should come back out of the ground eventually so I ended the drainage pipe below ground level. Once you have dug out that trench for the pipe you should lay down landscape fabric and then drain tile then gravel to hold it down in the trench. I wrapped the fabric around the pipe and laid it in the trench. Later that day we had a gravel delivery truck dump the gravel into the pit and the rest off to the side. I leveled it out using the metal rake and shovels.
Step 4: Base Frame and Floor
Before I could start nailing boards together I had to ensure that every board was cut to dimension. This means before and after every cut I tried to remember to measure the boards. For any dimensions of what the boards should be cut to, those are in the Sketchup model images. The base frame was done by laying down the (2) 2X6X192'' and (2) 2X6X117'' pressure treated boards into a rectangular shape and nailed together. I checked to assure that the squareness was correct. If it is off this can cause many problems in any future steps, make sure all frames are squared up before nailing in more than one nail into the ends. Once the perpendicular boards are at a guaranteed 90 degree angle then you should nail in a couple more nails right in line with each single nail.
After I had the frame squared I measured out to the center of both sides and made marks to places a floor joist in the center of the frame to secure the squareness of the frame. At this point I had laid the concrete blocks on the gravel at the four corners and then the frame on top of them. I adjusted it using a level and landscaping tools so the frame on all out edges were leveled out. I made the remaining marks along the two sides again at every 24'' to know where to nail in the remaining floor joists. If you are wanting extra strength you could add floor joist hangers and smaller cuts of lumber running the length down center between the floor joists.
If you are doing the same I advise you to try place in your footings first which would be the 10''X10''X10'' concrete deck blocks (in the model but not under my own shed). Afterward have the frame setting in all of those blocks. The spacing for me was centered under every other joist, just like how the model shows. Once those blocks are all evenly distributed and the frame is squared off on top of those blocks, I would recommend pouring the gravel in and spreading it around.
After all (9) floor joists were mounted to the sides of the frame I had begun laying down the OSB sheathing. When I designed this model I made it so that the least amount of cutting would be done on the sheathing since it is heavy and awkward. Instead the most cutting would be done on the studs a.k.a. 2X4's. So laying the sheathing down for the floor was a breeze. Starting at one corner of the frame nail in one nail then assure the squareness of the sheet of plywood compared to the edges of the frame and nail in one nail in the opposing side or corner. Just about every piece of lumber was done this way. After laying down four sheets it should cover most of the floor. Simply cut (1) 48''X96'' plywood sheet right in half and that will fill in the remaining area. I did this by nailing it in place first and cutting right on the frame with a circular saw since my table saw was unworthy of doing the job. This design consists of two layers being assembled like this but for the second layer try to make sure that the seems don't overlap. It will cause weak spots in the floor. The one seem that will inevitably be overlapping are going to be supported by the center joist.
Step 5: Wall Framing
Measure, cut, and measure again. The dimensions for all cuts to be made at, are in the Sketchup model image. You may notice a difference between what the model image shows and what my shed turned out with. The differences are things that I wish I would have constituted into my final product. These differences are in the Sketchup model so that if and when you build your own, it will be far better structurally. For example in the model it includes a double top and double bottom plate compared to my single top and bottom plates. I have accounted for all costs to be according to the model so you should not be short on anything if you have followed the materials and prices spreadsheet. This spreadsheet will be presented in the Preparations section of the instructable.
When I assembled a section of the wall frame I had someone help me hold it up until I could screw in short excess cutoff to secure to the inside and used long boards to screw them to a different stud to hold it up from the outside. I did not take these temporary supports down until I nailed in the wall studs that met at the four corners vertically as the last picture in this step shows.
Step 6: Rafters
The rafters were easy to cut and assemble. I set up a temporary jig to have them all cut to the same length and angle. They were not easy to put up on the top plates alone. I recommend that you have two people and two ladders for this step. The wind was my worst enemy and I could only secure it to one side then hurry over with the ladder to the other side to secure it in the proper place before the wind blew it back over. If you can get a couple ladders and another person to help, they can hold it in place and you can be on the opposing end of the rafter screwing it down, then secure the other end in place. In the model I didn't include what I have done in mine because the model is already structurally better.
What I did was screw in two 8' boards across the bottom of the rafters because I then realized it needed more reinforcement. In the materials and price spreadsheet I accounted for the mending brackets that you will need to assemble the rafters and the brackets to secure them to the top plates. Those brackets should be far better than what I have used to you shouldn't have to do what I have done in the images above.
Step 7: Doors
The doors are assembled much like everything else. Measure, make your marks, measure again, and cut. Then assemble into a rectangular fashion and nail into place. Test fit the rectangle in the place it is supposed to go before nailing too many nails. I recommend giving 1/4'' spacing to the vertical stud on the door adjacent to the king studs. Consider do this all the way around so the doors can move more freely when opening or closing them. If the frame seems to fit in place with ease then continue otherwise dis-assemble and trim off 1/4'' off of each board until it does work. After I got mine to fit in place I nailed a sheet of plywood to each of the frames and trimmed off the excess with the circular saw.
I mounted the hinges by measure up 30'' from the bottom and measuring down 30'' from the top along the side for both doors and mounted the hinges onto the doors before I put them back into place. I used clamps to hold the doors up one at a time and a helping had to give some resistance when putting in the screws. I undid the clamps and it held up wonderfully without catching on any of the sides.
Step 8: Siding and Roofing
I advise you not to have anybody inside the structure when your are nailing in the sheets of plywood. Several times I would miss the stud behind the sheet. The nail would fly right through and we could hear it hit the wall or the floor. Luckily no one had been in there to get injured. Another really helpful idea I came up with was to screw in a 2X4 horizontally across just underneath where the bottom plate begins. The will help hold up the panels of plywood until they become fastened in place.
Not as many pictures could be taken of me doing this because I needed the other persons help for holding them in place until I could nail in. It is the same concept as laying the floor, start your first nail at one corner and then get it squared up with the side/edge of the framing. Nail in the opposing corner and it should be enough to hold itself for a little bit until you get it nailed all the way around. The first sheet along a wall is the one that matters for this step, because then you can mount the remaining by sliding them up to the previous sheet and nail those sheets in. If you notice in some of my photos that just above the top of the walls in the front of the shed, there is a gap. I have chosen not to fill that in since the corrugated panels will be longer and cover this up anyway. Although I did account for it in the model so you wont have to worry about it. I designed the updated version to be so that when you have to put up the sheet of plywood it will have no gap and should fit perfectly on the wall frame.
When it comes to the roofing panels it was again the same method just a different direction with the placement of the OSB sheets. Before I took any up to the roof I used screwed in small L shaped brackets to temporarily hold the plywood sheets up there without worrying about them siding off before I could nail those in. I built a temporary contraption to be able to move the panels from the ground up to the roof as shown in the pictures. It was much of a work out having to go up and down the ladder but it can be done alone if it has to be. When I got to filling in the remaining hole in the roof I had cut a couple sheets down until I had (4) 20''X96'' sheets. I then secured them using more nails.
I chose to avoid shingling. I never did compare the cost of steel panels versus the the cost of shingling but I assumed that it would be easier to place a lightweight panel that covers a far greater amount of square footage compared to one shingle. It turned out to be the better choice. Since I had the steel panels for a roof I knew I would want them as a siding as well. The method I came up with for placing all panels were to again make certain that the first one is as square with the plywood sheets as possible and screwing them down into place. When that first on is done the rest are easy because you simply lay the first deep groove directly on top of the last groove of the previous panel. It pretty much lines itself up from that point on. If there is any cutting involved I did it by making the marks where they were needed and subtracting 5/8'' to make a second marks on both sides or ends of the panels depending on what type of cut was needed.
This 5/8'' mark is the distance from the cut off wheel on my angle grinder to the edge of the guard on my grinding wheel. I clamped a 2X4 onto the panel at the second marks to create the straight edge so I could let my angle grinder guard run along while cutting. This made the wheel be right in line with the first marks. Whenever I had to make a cut length-wise on the panels I did it pretty much free hand but you could do it similar to how I explained.
Step 9: Final Product
Now that the shed is built other projects can begin. I hope the information was helpful. If it did help favorite and download this instructable. Forgive my low vocabulary and repetitive use of certain words. It is a big project but worth it. If I had to do it all over again knowing that I was going to spend around $1,700, I think I would have rather spent that on a 20' shipping container and called it good. This is partially because of the problems that I ran into every day I worked on it. Working on it by yourself is not easy but is an accomplishment. I am not sure if I would have needed a special permit for a shipping container or not but all well its done now.
Have any questions or comments feel free to type them below. Thanks for your time and have a good day.