Building a Garden Shed

Introduction: Building a Garden Shed

One solution for an overcrowded garage is a backyard storage shed where yard tools and garden equipment can find an organized home.

Step 1: Construct the Frame

Begin by clearing and excavating the area, making certain that the ground where the shed will be is flat and level. Lay down cinderblocks to support the foundation.Pressure-treated 4x4 posts, cut to the proper length, are used for the structural members that support the deck floors. Cut the posts to length using a compound miter saw. Once cut to length, cut the ends of each 4x4 at a 45-degree angle. With the supports cut this way, if the structure ever needs to be moved, it can be dragged along the ground with greater ease. Set the 4x4 posts in position on the cinderblocks and use a 4-foot level to ensure that the posts are level.

Step 2: Create the Deck

With the frame in place, create the deck using pressure-treated 2x6s set vertically and attached to the frame using a framing nailer. Install the two 9-foot side pieces first. Before installing the two 4-foot end pieces, lay the pieces side by side and mark the locations of the joists on each to ensure that the joists will be spaced evenly at 16 inches. Secure the end pieces. Then, with the 2" x 6" joists cut to length, begin securing the joists to the frame with the framing nailer.Tip: Lumber pieces are seldom perfectly straight. Frequently there is some amount of "bowing." When laying decking joists, if some pieces are slightly bowed, make sure to install them crown-side-up. In that way, the weight of the structure on top will tend to eventually cause the joists to settle to form a more even surface.Once the joists are all in place, begin installing the 5/4" decking, securing the decking boards to the joists using a screw gun. Inspect each piece of 5/4" decking and install each with the nicer side up. When installing the first decking board along the edge of the frame, allow it to overhang the frame edge by about half an inch.Tip: A screw gun with a long driver extension (available from rental or home centers) makes the job of installing decking easier since it allows you to install screws easily without bending over or kneeling.

Step 3: Build the Walls

Once the deck is complete, use it as a level work surface for building the walls. For each 8-foot-tall wall panel, lay out the pieces to form the sides, a top plate, bottom plate and studs spaced between at 16 inches. Secure the pieces together using a nail gun. Repeat the process until all the wall panels are complete.To raise the walls, nail each 8-foot wall panel to the decking below as well as to the wall panel adjacent to it. As you install the wall panels, check the overall structure for square using a framing square. For the wall that will hold the door, build two narrower panels. For these narrower panels, use two 2x4s on either side for additional strength.

Step 4: Strengthen the Framing

Once the two front wall panels are in place and the wall structure is essentially complete, add 2x4s across the top on the walls to form a double top-plate that will further strengthen the framing. Once all of the wall panels are up, hang 4" x 8" sheets of OSB siding for the exterior.

Step 5: Add the Roofing

The roof rafters, cut from 2x6 boards, are 13 inches tall at their center and are secured with cleats made of OSB. Raise the rafters and attach them to the headers. Add 1x6 strips across the top of the rafters to tie them together and to add support for the corrugated roofing sheets. Nail the roofing sheets on with the self-sealing nails and washers designed specifically for this type of roof.

Step 6: Add Window's and Siding

Once the roof is complete, cut holes for the windows and recessed storage boxes. Use a reciprocating saw to cut through the OSB, making certain to cut between the studs.Attach the vinyl siding to the shed exterior following the manufacturer's instructions. Start at the corners with the trim pieces and work your way in toward the middle, securing the siding to the OSB with nails

Step 7: Complete the Project

With the main structure completed, create the doors, storage cubbies and potting bench. The two doors are made from a single sheet of 3/4" plywood cut in half. Each is decorated with 1" x 4" wood trim for an outer frame and barn-style "X" braces. Recessed storage cubbies are fashioned from 1/2" plywood fastened using glue and nails and are secured inside the openings cut earlier. The doors for the storage compartments are painted in a contrasting shade. A ramp for the front entrance makes it easier to access the shed with mowers, wheelbarrows or other large items.

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