Building a Shed

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About: I'm fairly mint most of the time I'm a firm advocate of treating people how you would like to be treated yourself. People are always nice to me, so it must work! Try it!

Intro: Building a Shed

Why build your own shed?
Well, I just don't like the ones you see for sale in shops, they are flimsy and expensive, my DIY shed is neither of these things.
Additionally it is exactly the size I want, and built to my spec.
...and I think it looks nice - if you like the cube look.

You'll find additional info here: http://www.yourmissus.com/shed/

Step 1: Preparation

I wanted a shed for my garden, I also wanted a hot-tub and/or a ride on lawnmower.
Both of these are big, so I'll be needing a shed with wide doors. I also wanted a square shed, most sheds in the DIY shops are rectangular.
I also wanted a shed with a reasonably high door, so I don't have to duck to get in - a reasonably high door also means a reasonably high ceiling. I wanted a pavillion type roof because they look cool, and because flat roofs are generally boring and are a leak just waiting to happen.
Don't you just hate sheds that wobble or worse move in the wind? Mine doesn't wobble!
It doesn't wobble because the shed has four four inch corner posts that are integral to the shed, but are also sunk 2 feet into the ground at all 4 corners. This makes for a very secure and stable shed.
It is this idea that really sets my shed design apart from other people's.

The first step of building a shed is to choose the location, I used a few lengths of wood to mark it out full size and also to get an idea of level.
Once I had decided where the shed was going I spent a few minutes viewing the location from various parts of the house and garden to make sure I was happy with it.

Step 2: Build

Once I was happy with the location, I cleared the area of grass and weeds, gave it a good dose of weedkiller so they don't come back and then dug the holes for the corner posts, concreted them in and then cracked on with the studwork and floor supports.
As always you need to be as accurate as you can be, I was planning on using 3mm ply to line the sides, so I spaced the posts out so they were exactly one sheet of plywood apart (which is 8 feet)

I wanted a shed for my garden, I also wanted a hot-tub and/or a ride on lawnmower.
Both of these are big, so I'll be needing a shed with wide doors. I also wanted a square shed, most sheds in the DIY shops are rectangular.
I also wanted a shed with a reasonably high door, so I don't have to duck to get in - a reasonably high door also means a reasonably high ceiling. I wanted a pavillion type roof because they look cool, and because flat roofs are generally boring and are a leak just waiting to happen.
Don't you just hate sheds that wobble or worse move in the wind? Mine doesn't wobble!
It doesn't wobble because the shed has four four inch corner posts that are integral to the shed, but are also sunk 2 feet into the ground at all 4 corners. This makes for a very secure and stable shed.
It is this idea that really sets my shed design apart from other people's.

The first step of building a shed is to choose the location, I used a few lengths of wood to mark it out full size and also to get an idea of level.
Once I had decided where the shed was going I spent a few minutes viewing the location from various parts of the house and garden to make sure I was happy with it.

Once I was happy with the location, I cleared the area of grass and weeds, gave it a good dose of weedkiller so they don't come back and then dug the holes for the corner posts, concreted them in and then cracked on with the studwork and floor supports.
As always you need to be as accurate as you can be, I was planning on using 3mm ply to line the sides, so I spaced the posts out so they were exactly one sheet of plywood apart (which is 8 feet)

You can see that the four inch square fence post is well concreted into the ground, but also well fixed to both the floor and walls, this really does make for a nice strong join - and ultimately a strong shed. As some of this wood will be in contact with the earth, I gave it a good soak in wood preservative to help it last - It's already tanalised, but I reckon a bit more preservative can't hurt!!
The actual floor supports float above the ground slightly, by about 3 inches, I thought this would keep the wood and the floor nice and dry, before covering the floor joists with OSB I will pour in clean gravel to fill the gap between the floor and the ground to add extra strength.

Step 3: Finishing Touches

The walls are just stardard 2x4 timber on 16inch centres with noggins half way up. Pretty standard studwork really, here are some pictures

The strength and stability of this shed really does come from the way the corner posts form an integral part of the shed, the picture below shows how the posts form part of the wall.

The roof is made of 18mm OSB board cut into 4 triangles to make a pointy pavillion roof. Calculating the triange sizes is fairly complicated and calculating the angle of the edge cuts is even more so. So I checked my calcs with a carboard scale model as 4 full sheets of OSB is a lot to throw away if you make a mistake!!

Like the rest of the shed, I wanted the roof to be strong, so I've reinforced all the joints and long expanses with extra timber.

The shed is finished in featheredge boards, but I was a little concerned as to how weatherproof they would be, I also wanted the shed to be really sturdy so I actually clad the whole shed in sheets of 3mm plywood first. This also has an added bonus of giving a much nicer finish inside. The pictures below show that the shed is lined with ply, then featheredged..

I had opted for a pavillion style roof, the picture below shows the completed walls and the wall plate in place ready to take the roof.

Rather than a fairly boring felt roof, I decided to use felt shingles which look a bit more attractive.

Here are a few shots of the completed shed, the rest of the garden is still a bit of a state at this point

A shot of the shed with the huge doors open, these really do make getting stuff in and out very easy

My good lady wife made me a nice sign for the shed, I think it finishes it off nicely

Here is the shed shortly after it was finished, and once the new turf had been laid. (The temporary OSB wall behind is just to close off the garden, this is now replaced with a garage)

Step 4: Finally

There is a small electrical installation to my shed, nothing major just a short run of 6mm2 from the RCD side of the garage consumer unit, it powers my compressor and a small ceiling light - I just used a simple 2 gang consumer unit.

Additionally it is tied into the garage alarm system (which is tied into the house system)
Both of the doors can be opened, so I simply put a reed switch on one and the corresponding magnet on the other. A bit of flexy conduit protects the cable where it is clipped to the door.

The shed has had quite a bit of time to settle in now. I actually completed it over 3 years ago, and it's had regular use over that time (and resisted some pretty foul weather)

Well, I hope you've enjoyed what I've done, I'm really pleased with my shed - so much so that I actually went on to build a large garage along similar lines.
Good luck if you decide to do something similar, my shed cost me about £300, I don't think you'll find a decent shed for that little money in the shops.
All the best,
-Dan

If you really enjoyed my project and want a little more information then you'll find more on my homepage http://www.yourmissus.com/shed

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    50 Discussions

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    DonnH1

    2 years ago

    Nice shed and I like the idea of no wobble. There is a problem where most of us live though and that's to do with how long a structure will last if embedded in the soil. Fence posts tend to rot after a very few years. I have taken to making a hole, inserting a cardboard tube into the hole and filling in aroundn the tube, then pouring it full of concrete. Last of all and before the concrete sets I put in a steel post holder. Later the post gets inserted into the holder and bolted together. The fence posts last a lot longer and if they ever do rot its easy to unbolt them and put in another. I would think that may be a better way to go with this little shed. Just a thought. I hate building stuff only to have the weather and bugs rot it away.

    Here in the US, pre-made sheds aren't that bad. My father has one in his backyard he uses as a work shed that is pretty well made. The FIRST Robotics Team (#1095!!!) at my school has a very large shed behind the main building. It is pretty sturdy as well. It might just be the difference between countries and how its made.

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    MD_Willington

    10 years ago on Introduction

    One thing to keep in mind, in some locales, I know it true for my place in WA State USA, if you permanently anchor the building to the property, then it will increase the your property taxes and you'll need a building permit before building it. If you build the shed on pads then you're not on the hook, since it is non permanent structure, i.e. you can sell it to bob down the street without the dirt it is sitting on. Also, some places have inspectors that show up to measure the size of an out building, thanks to nosy busy body neighbours, so watch out. Good job toastyboy !

    15 replies
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    toastyboyMD_Willington

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks! Sheds aren't considered permanent here in the UK. Regarding size, you are allowed 15square metres of floor area for a shed before you need permission. This one is less than 6 square metres. Nice to hear from you. -Dan

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    toastyboymr.space

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    My house is from the 1930's... Hardly modern.. No wattle and dorbe here though, but we do have plaster and lath

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    mr.spacetoastyboy

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    haha, mine was build in the 1700's... it's build with wook from an old ship... and lots of oak

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    syco123mr.space

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    I don't have any wook from an old ship, but I did once know a wookie and he had an old ship. It didn't look much but it could make the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs.

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    toastyboyMD_Willington

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    15'x13' is a big shed!! My garage is 18'x8' at one end and x 13' at the other, so similar sized to your shed, and that was built with the same technique. Thanks for your interest, and good luck with your build. -Dan

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    l96470fpstoastyboy

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    where abouts in the uk? if in dorset could you give me advice on where to find a cheap (under 180 pounds) 8 x 6 shed

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    toastyboyl96470fps

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    I'm in bristol. This shed cost about £400, you just won't get a decent shed for 180quid. But building one will be better than buying a prefabbed one. Good luck

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    l96470fpstoastyboy

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    i forgot to put that i didnt mind second hand/used, but thanks anyway, i live in bournemouth, and ive seen new ones for 199 but it was the wrong layout for my workshop, so just as long as its sturdy, thanks alot, l96470fps

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    jeff.pdxMD_Willington

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    In Oregon you don't need a permit for buildings smaller than 200 sq ft that are uninhabited. Other states have similar guidelines.

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    MD_Willingtonfoobear

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    A pad is generally a block of concrete, either bought or mixed and poured by the builder, not a permanent foundation.