Build This Potting Shed




Here's an attractive addition to your farmstead or land. What's more, you get space to pursue your gardening dreams.

The Progressive Farmer designed this 8- x 10-foot potting shed. We built one, minus the overhang, in three days. The 6-foot overhang extends the working area outside. Three windows let in natural light. A Dutch door lets in fresh air, while keeping the dog out of the shed. There are three countertops - two inside and one under the overhang. The shed cost approx. $1,100 to build.

This instructable will provide you with a general overview of this shed. For more detailed instructions you can click here to download the plans we designed for free.

A materials guide is listed in step #11.

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

Step 1: Base and Corner Posts

Here's a good method for setting the corner posts. Nail together four lengths of lumber mirroring the footprint of the shed. Square the frame. Then use the corners of the footprint to mark locations for the corner posts. Here, crushed limestone is the base. Spread a 3-inch layer before building begins.

Step 2: Posts

This potting shed is anchored by a half-dozen, concreted 6- x 6-inch posts (four corners and two for the overhang). The shed walls are 8 feet tall. Add additional length equalling the depth of your holes. Remember to sink them below the frost line. The holes should be twice as wide as the post.

Step 3: Walls

Stud walls are made from 2- x 4-inch treated lumber on 16-inch centers. Frame in rough openings for windows and the door. The walls are attached to the posts and level across the bottom. Space under the bottom of the wall is filled with crushed limestone. T-111 siding is used to cover the shed.

Step 4: Windows

The potting shed includes three aluminum-clad, double-hung windows. These windows bring in plenty of light to help you work. When open, they allow for great cross ventilation. The inexpensive windows we used also have an attractive, two-over-two style.

Step 5: Roof Rafters

A 2- x 6-inch ridge beam is used to support the roof rafters. The 2- x 6-inch rafters are installed 16 inches on center. Use birdsmouth cuts to attach the rafters to the side walls. And remember to let the rafters run at least a foot past the edge of the wall.

Step 6: Rafter Ends

The rafter ends here extend past the edge of the shed's overhang. We used decorative cuts to fashion those ends and add an attractive touch. Supporting these rafter ends are 2- x 8-inch boards that are attached to the overhang support posts

Step 7: Roofing

Because this potting shed is covered with metal roofing, nailing boards are installed perpendicular to the roof rafters on 12-inch centers. If you use regular shingles, you'll want to attach 3/4-inch sheets of treated plywood and roofing paper. Don't use roofing paper with cedar shingles.

Step 8: Roofing

Two- x 8-inch facia boards are attached to the edges of the roof. Notice that there is some unevenness of the seams where pieces of T-111 join. This is not unusual. The seams are covered later with pieces of 1- x 4-inch trim boards.

Step 9: Doors

These Dutch doors are simple to build. First, build a 2- x 4-inch frame that matches the dimensions of the door opening. Square it. Then attach a piece of siding to this half-door frame. See next step for detailed info. on these doors.

Step 10: More Door Information

On the back side of the door half, sandwich a second 2- x 4-inch frame.
We installed a center piece for additional support.

Use an X-shaped decorative trick to install the heavy-duty hinges. Make arrow-shaped cuts in the ends of 1- x 4-inch boards so they fit tightly into the door corners. Where the second board crosses the first, use a speed square to make tight-fitting cuts.

The X-detail creates extra space to attach the hinges. A simple lock connects the door halves.

Step 11: Materials

The materials necessary to complete this potting shed depend on the size shed you build. (See guide to choosing the size right for you at the bottom of this page) Here are some tips to help you plan your materials list:

Build the side walls from 2- x 4-inch lumber. To reduce cutoffs, build the walls 8 feet tall. You will need two additional 2 x 4s for each wall at the top of the stud frame and two for the ground plate at the bottom. Make sure any material that comes into contact with the ground is treated.

Attach sidewalls to four 6- x 6-foot posts. The posts are set into the ground with concrete. You'll need at least two 80-pound bags for each hole (more for deeper holes to account for frost). Remember, there are six holes, including two for support posts for the overhang.

Make rafters from 2- x 6-inch lumber, attached on 16-inch centers. If the shed is 10 feet long, you'll need sixteen 2- x 6-inch boards that are 10 feet long (to account for the rafters overhanging the side walls).

Use two, 2- x 8-inch boards to support the overhang. These are attached to the two posts.

Use eleven to twelve 4- x 8-foot sheets for the T-111 siding on an 8 x 10 shed. You'll need five 3/4-inch, 4- x 8-foot sheets of treated plywood and roofing paper for a shingled roof.

Get 3-inch and 1 1/4-inch screws and roofing nails for fasteners.

Talk to your gravel supplier for an estimate on the crushed limestone you'll need.

Circular Saw
Battery-Powered Drills
General assortment of John Deere hand tools
Extension Cords

How big should your potting shed be? Before you build, lay onto the ground the tools, equipment and storage you'll actually include in the shed. Include additional work space for yourself and a second person. The space between a shelf and sidewall should measure about the width of your outstretched arms.

Thank You for viewing this instructable. We hope you enjoyed it!

Step 12: Pictures

Here are some more pictures of the potting shed:

Be the First to Share


    • Made with Math Contest

      Made with Math Contest
    • Cardboard Speed Challenge

      Cardboard Speed Challenge
    • Multi-Discipline Contest

      Multi-Discipline Contest

    30 Discussions


    2 years ago

    thanks for taking the time to share this...I am moving out to Montana and love everything simple these days...I find I'm much happier. So im thinking this is a great mini home prospect..Just add more space. I love the potting spot on the side of it since I love planting and gardening so much. I've always wanted to do this and create long wood planters and line them around outside of building!!:)


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Beautiful, how much did it cost? In Oz I would estimate about $20,000,,,


    6 years ago on Step 2

    Frost line? What's a frost line? I live in Texas ;)


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    You could ask in a local DIY store, I guess. Your local contractors also should have a good idea.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Just a Potting Shed? My house looks worse than this!


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Great job, awesome idea not for potting shed only but as garden storage and tool warehouse :)


    7 years ago on Introduction

    This shed is sooooooooooooo beautiful! Thanks so much for sharing. Have a Happy Spring.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    cool i might use this as a workshop qusiton how could i add the post if i allready have a slab

    Howdy! I like the old style look of the dark" 2 over 2" windows with aluminum cladding. Can't make out name on sticker. Can you supply mfg. name ,style ,and /or supplier,please? Thanks!


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Thank you so much for the pdf! I so wanted to build this last summer but passed because I didn't have the information! Next summer I will be ready!


    9 years ago on Introduction

    If anyone needs the plans I have it on a pdf, I found from another connection today


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Apparently the full plans are subscriber-only content on the website. Somewhat vexing.

    Reminder to anyone planning to build a shed: Check local zoning laws before you finalize your plans and start spending money. You may need a construction permit, or there may be flood-control rules you have to meet. The size of the shed may affect which, if any, of these rules kick in. Always check with your Local Authority Having Jurisdiction.


    10 years ago on Step 12

    Plenty solid ! good instructable Thanks


    10 years ago on Step 12

    What a lovely, sweet little shed! It looks like a lot of hard work went into making it. Fantastic! :D