DIY: Build a shed plan

Building a shed from scratch using your own materials is not easy, but it’s also not impossible as we would like to think it is. You just have to use a few brain matter and energy and you could have a dream shed right on your back yard and not using a flat-pack is totally achievable. 

Garden shed door

This is the great appeal of a self-built garden shed. You can build it to the exact size you require and you’re not limited by pre-made sized sheds.

After researching thoroughly will help prevent silly mistakes and wasting money.  It’s also handy to learn about different types of the shed, the types of cladding, roofing, and framing so you can choose how you want your bespoke shed to look.  

Unlike a house, a shed is simple enough that you can probably manage all or most of the job by yourself. Follow these tips to make sure that your shed is solid now and for years to come.

Tips to build a good shed

1.  All good things are built on a solid foundation

First of all, make sure you’ve selected the right location to build your shed. Water is the mortal enemy of wood, and since you probably plan to build your shed out of wood, it’s important that you choose a location that is dry and ideally a little bit above the immediately surrounding area.

2. Ensure good air circulation

As we said above, water will erode wood in no time, so make sure that your shed will have good airflow. Build your mudsill the lowest wood member of your shed – at least half a foot above ground level.

3. Make your floor frame sturdy and weather-resistant

Your floor frame is going to take a beating. No matter what you do, it will definitely get wet from time to time, plus you’ll be walking on it every time you go into your shed. That means that your floor frame has to be up to the task. 

Use pressure-treated lumber at least two inches thick for your floor frame, because anything else will eventually fall apart from exposure. For the floor deck, Truini recommends that you use ¾-in. exterior-grade plywood, because anything thinner will flex in between your joints.

4. Use roof trusses

The roof is one of the most complicated parts of building a shed. Every other element from the walls to the floor and door are pretty easy to get your head around, but how do you build a roof that won’t leak?

Grey Garden shed with a brown bench

Popular Mechanics suggests roof trusses, which you can build on your shed deck and simply raise up when your walls are finished. Each truss is installed above a stud, and you can put the shingling on afterward with significantly less hassle.

5. Consider low-maintenance alternatives

Because a shed is going to stay in your backyard and isn’t as permanent as your home, you can get away with a few things that would look ugly on your house to save money and time spent on repair later on.

Using PVC trim boards will save you time painting and will virtually never need attention. The same is true for faux-slate roof shingles, a fiberglass door, and composite decking for the steps leading up to the shed’s door.

6. Get a property inspection

Once you’ve completed your shed, consider getting a qualified property inspection professional to make sure that everything is in order.

A property inspector will be able to ensure that your deck isn’t going to collapse on you – which is very important – and see any problems that will become apparent down the road. He or she can even suggest ways that you can save time and money the next time you have to repair your shed.

How to build your own shed from scratch

Assuming that your shed isn’t going to be massive, you can probably build an ‘on-grade’ foundation. This is made either with solid concrete or skids, which are pressure-treated wood timbers. You can set your foundation directly on leveled ground. If you are going with concrete, it’s important that you remember not to use standard cinder blocks. 

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Steps to be taken prior

1. Views of all Angles & Details

At this stage, you should see exactly how everything should look before you build them. This is mostly because most plans don’t. You end up building a part of your shed that looks like the drawing but isn’t like the expressed image. Sadly the only way you find out is at the end when you’ve wasted all that time, money, and sweat, and nothing fit well with your initial plan.

2. Step By Step Instructions

Detailed instructions should be so simple that a kid could do it. Your plan should be very detailed. So detailed that you know exactly what you’re doing every step of the way. No complicated instructions that will have you scratching your head or confusing technical jargon.

3. Complete and Precise Materials and Cutting Lists

Complete “materials and cutting lists” that actually make sense. By complete, they should be complete from top to bottom. Your shed is only as good as the materials you use to buy them. It allows you to buy exact amounts. And also what you don’t need to buy right now.

It saves time and cuts down waste. It saves money. Because you only buy exactly what you need and when you need it. Most shed plans don’t tell you everything you need or what a piece of material is going to be used for.  They also don’t give you exact measurements to cut your lumber. Hence the perfect plan will do all those 

4. 3 Dimensional Drawings

Most plans show you only 1-sided views. Which clearly is not enough. With a one-sided view, you will still be wondering if you put a “joint” or a “frame” together in the right way because you didn’t view it in 3D.

5. CAD-Designed Drawings

Most plans will show you completely wrong dimensions

CAD designed drawings, however, show your exact proportions. CAD allows you to make alterations to see how a certain design will fit or move about. 

6. “Used For” Labels

Just to make things easier for you. Your materials list should show what each item is used for. That way you won’t waste any materials doing the wrong thing. This will help you save costs and all. 

7.Building your shed

When all the above is said and done, pick and site and you can start construction. With or without professional help from others in the case that you are a professional yourself. If all steps are considered, your shed is going to be an amazing building in your yard. 

Uses of sheds

Storage

A backyard shed is a great way to free up storage space in your home. Store your tools and lawn equipment in a backyard shed and keep them out of the garage.

Stash your holiday decorations out of the way until you need them. Clear out your closets and make room for your clothes and accessories. You might be surprised at how much extra room you’ll have in your house.

Reduce Clutter

A backyard shed is a great way to cut down on clutter in your house and your yard. Use your backyard shed to store lawn equipment, gardening tools, or the kids’ toys and sports gear.

You’ll have convenient access to them when you need them, while still keeping your house and backyard clutter-free. You’ll enjoy more space and a cleaner, more organized home.

Safety

A backyard shed will keep your home safer by giving you a place to store potentially hazardous materials away from children and pets. Weed killers, fertilizers, or other household chemicals can be stored in your backyard shed and kept secure.

You can also store potentially dangerous items such as lawn equipment or power tools. By keeping these products outside your home, you reduce the risk of an accident.

Add Value to Your Home

A secure, well-built shed is an attractive feature to many prospective homebuyers. Adding a backyard shed is an inexpensive way to increase the curb appeal and potential resale value of your home.

Room for Work and Play

A shed doesn’t have to be just for storage. Use your shed for a workshop, a playhouse for your kids, or a home office. The possibilities are literally endless.

Final Thoughts 

If you want to get started and do thing right, you should check out our recommended Ryan’s Perfect Shed Plans.

With a shed, you know that your yard is always going to be top-notch in order, unlike cramming everything up in the garage and putting your car wheels in danger. A shed can be used for a number of things as stated above so you don’t have to worry about monopolizing the shed.

Just follow through with the guide, work to precision and perfection and you will have one of the best sheds ever seen in any backyard. Be sure to wear protective clothing and be careful while working, things can get dangerous if you are not careful.