Did you know that you can build a garden shed on your own on much less cost? Well, now, you know!
A garden shed serves you as storage for garden tools and equipment. Or, you can even modify the shed into your own personal space and use it as a man cave instead. Here, we’ll discuss various tools needed and step-by-step guidelines on how to build a wooden garden shed.
Tools and materials for building a shed
Now, let’s look at some of the tools and materials you might have to gather prior to starting on this project. Remember that this list is very general and you can undoubtedly tweak the list as per your requirements.
- Wall claddings
- Electric drill/driver
- Measuring tape
- Spirit level
- Long ruler
- Work gloves and goggles
- Roofing felt
- Waterproof sheeting/ breathable membrane
- Paving slabs/ Concrete blocks
Step-by-step Guide on building Your Own Garden Shed
If you’ve your supplies ready, let’s get on to the real work, shall we? Here’s a detailed guide on how to build a wooden garden shed.
Step 1. Planning the project
First and foremost, make sure that you’re complying with your local planning department’s rules and regulations. Are there any building restrictions? If your answer is ‘I don’t know!’, you might want to check guidelines regarding outbuildings before starting this project.
Step 2. Prepare the ground
Now, once you’ve ensured that it’s okay to build a garden shed in your garden, start by measuring and clearing the space. Mark the size of the shed on the ground using a measuring tape. To make things easier, you can hammer four sticks in the four corners.
You can also consider tieing a string on to the sticks such that you border the workspace nice and tight. Doing so also helps you while building the shed as it ensures that the frames are perfectly placed.
The next thing you must do is to clear the space. Also, make sure that the surface is perfectly levelled. You can use a spirit level for this purpose and move sand around until you’re happy with the surface level and ready to perform the next step.
Step 3. Build the shed base
Start by building the shed base. You can use paving slabs as the primary support for base and shed. Many also prefer using concrete blocks for this purpose, but the choice is totally up to you.
You can decide on the number of slabs you want to use depending upon the size of the shed you want to build.
To place the slabs, dig a square hole on to the ground and fill them with hardcore, sand and finally, top the holes with cement. The size of the holes must be big enough to accommodate the slabs. Finally, place the slabs gently on top of the cemented layer.
Once the concrete is set, you can start adding layers on top of the slabs. You shall begin by laying mudsill. Measure and cut the boards and start by framing your shed base.
Determine the appropriate spacing between your joists and lay them accordingly. It would be best if you also lay smaller studs between the joists in order to connect them and strengthen your shed base.
Once you fix all the joist in place using nails and hangers, you’re ready to add floor sheet on top of them. Nail everything in place before you begin making walls. You can consider adding 2-3 small wooden braces on each side to secure your shed base.
Pro tip: Draw chalk lines over the board to know where to nail.
Step 4. Build the side and back walls
In order to build the walls for your shed, you shall start by making a wall frame that supports your wall claddings. Space the studs equally inside the frame.
To ensure that enough light enters your shed, you can consider screwing some acrylic windows to your shed as well. If that’s what you want to do, make sure you fix a few horizontal wood places accordingly and insert your windows.
You can repeat this procedure for remaining walls, except for the front one, as it needs extra attention.
Pro tip: Handling these large frames can be quite challenging for one person. So, if you want to build your shed at ease, a pair of helper hands will make a lot of difference.
Step 5. Build the front wall
Your front wall features a door and windows. So, prior to framing the wall, be clear of your requirements. You shall leave the space for a door and windows and fix the studs accordingly. To compensate for the lost stud, consider adding a header peace immediately above your door.
Step 6. Fix the walls in place
Once you’ve built all the four walls, you shall fix them all in place. An easier way of ensuring that the shed base and the walls are perfectly aligned is to mark all the walls and the floor edges at their centre before fixing them.
Now, align the marks for each wall and fix them to your shed base by driving appropriate screws between each vertical studs.
Step 7. Build the roof
Building the roof is comparatively tough as shaping the rafters for the roof can be quite challenging. To make things easier, consider adding a roof ridge board on your roof. Decide on the angle of your roof and cut the rafters accordingly.
Nail two wooden boards on top of the walls where you want the length of your roof to rest on. Mark these boards depending on where you want to add the rafters and make notches on them.
Attach two rafters on the front and two on the back of the ridge board at first. Then, fix the board on top of your shed. You can attach the free end of the rafters onto the notches on the walls. Hurricane ties shall serve your best purpose for this.
Once the front and back rafters are in place, add the remaining rafters similarly. Now, nail the roof boards in place. Roll out roofing felt from front to back and cover the roof and repeat the process to overlap the initial layer.
You can fix the felt in place using roofing staples or tacks. To seal the felt in outside corners of your shed, you can use a sealant gun.
Step 8. Finish the wood works
Once you add claddings, a door, and windows to your wall frame, you’ll almost be done. Start by adding cladding to the walls and watch how everything comes together.
Now, make a door if you haven’t already, or you can even opt for ready-made ones. Secure the door to the wall using hinges and add appropriate door lock and handle. Likewise, fix the windows in place. And remember, don’t forget to add lights!
Step 9. Paint the shed
You can stain the shed for a natural finish or opt for outdoor latex paint to give the shed a colourful flush. Always remember that painting the wood in the direction of the grain provides the best results.
By now, you might’ve figured out that we love giving you tips. Well, here are a few more.
1. Add waterproof sheeting/breathable membrane to your shed walls
Before applying wall cladding, adding a layer of waterproof sheeting helps keep out the moisture. If you’re not on a tight budget, you can opt for breathable membranes instead.
2. Add gutters to the roof
If you want to protect your shed from run-off water, you can add rain gutters and downspouts to your roof. Doing so prevents your shed from rotting, and you’ll also be recycling the rainwater at the same time.
However, there’s no hard and fast rule to this and thus, depends entirely on your personal preference.
3. Be careful while mixing cement
You can generally mix 1-part cement to 4 part-sand and add enough water to form a wet mix. However, remember that too much water in the cement mix can decrease its strength. If you’re not good at estimation, always go through the internet for an exact recipe.
4. Treat with wood preservative
Before you start building the shed, you might as well treat the wood pieces with a preservative. Use safety gloves and glasses and treat the wooden parts with at least two coats of a quality wood preservative.
5. Consider adding insulation
If you’re looking forward to spending some time on the shed you’ve built; you might as well consider adding insulation to the shed. Even if you’re using the shed just for storage purpose, your tools and equipment might benefit from insulation.
Building a garden shed on your own is cheaper but is painstakingly labour-intensive. If you’re not in your best of health or not used to doing such hectic work, you should definitely buy a shed instead.
However, if you’re confident that you can pull this off, this project can be incredibly satisfying. You can personalize the shed on your own, and once it’s done, you shall be very proud of yourself.