How to Build a Garden Shed

Garden Shed

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If you love gardening, you know the value of having a weathertight garden shed to protect your tools and to keep soil, fertilizer, and other materials dry. Storing these items under tarps or out in the open cannot compare to the security and ease of access provided by a solidly built garden shed.

In classic red and white barn colors with a whitewashed interior, this charming shed will be both an aesthetic and a functional asset to your yard. Double barn-style doors allow easy access, and you can add an optional ramp to roll in a lawnmower. Install hooks and shelves inside to store your gardening implements.

When to Build Your Garden Shed

You will find it more comfortable to build your garden shed from spring to early fall. However, since the interior is not especially weather-sensitive, you can build the shed in nearly any conditions. Painting is the chief limitation since exterior paint cannot be applied in wet or freezing conditions. Alternatively, you can construct the garden shed in an off-season but leave it unpainted until drier, warmer months arrive.

Codes, Permits, and Utilities

Check your local permitting and zoning departments about permits, codes, zoning, and easements. Also, call your local utilities marking hotline. They will mark your property to indicate electric, sewer, water, gas, and other service lines.

Project Metrics

  • Working Time: 5 days
  • Total Time: 6 days
  • Skill Level: Expert
  • Material Cost: $500 to $1,000

What You’ll Need

Equipment/Tools

  • Speed Square
  • Circular saw
  • Cordless drill
  • Six-foot step ladder
  • Laser level
  • Electric miter saw
  • Bubble level or rotary level
  • Framing hammer
  • Shovel
  • Tape measure

Materials

  • Tongue and groove siding, 6 inches wide by 8 feet long
  • Utility-grade tongue and groove wood flooring, 56 square feet
  • Concrete deck blocks, each 7-3/4 inch by 10-3/4 inch by 10-3/4 inch
  • Bagged landscape gravel
  • Two-by-fours, each 8-foot
  • 16d galvanized nails, 3 1/2-inch
  • Roofing nails
  • Carpenter's pencil
  • Composite shingles
  • Roofing paper
  • Wood stakes and twine
  • Hinges
  • Exterior-grade paint
  • Painting supplies

Instructions

  1. Stake and Level the Intended Shed Area

    Pound the four wood stakes into level ground to indicate the intended building area and run the twine around the stakes.

  2. Build the Floor Frame and Flooring

    Lay five two-by-fours parallel to each other, 18 inches apart. Cut two two-by-fours to 6 feet long, each. Nail the 6-foot two-by-fours at the ends of the other boards. Install the utility- or cabin-grade flooring to these joists, running the floorboards width-wise.

  3. Install the Footers

    If you are building on a concrete slab patio, additional footers should not be necessary. If building on soil, dig nine holes for the concrete blocks, fill with landscape gravel, then place a block in each hole. The footers should be placed equidistantly, with three on each of the two outer joists and three running down the center joist. Tip the floor frame onto the concrete blocks.

  4. Frame the Long Walls

    Cut four of the two-by-fours to 7 feet long, each. Lay out two 8-foot two-by-fours about 7 feet apart. Attach two of the 7-foot two-by-fours to the ends to form a rectangle. Repeat for the second long side.

  5. Attach Siding and Braces to the Long Sides

    Nail siding boards horizontally along one of the frames. Turn the wall over. Position two two-by-fours in a V-shape for cross-bracing. With the miter saw, cut the ends at an angle to fit the space. Tack into place with a couple of nails, then turn the wall over and nail it firmly into place at several points. Repeat for the other wall.

  6. Build the Back Wall

    Cut three of the two-by-fours to 7 feet long and two at 6 feet long. Frame the wall, with the three 7-foot boards running vertically and the two 6-foot boards running horizontally. Cut siding boards at 6 feet long and nail them to the wall frame.

  7. Build the Front Wall

    Cut two of the two-by-fours to 7 feet long and two at 6 feet long. Similar to the back wall, build a frame with the two 7-foot boards running vertically and the two 6-foot boards running horizontally. Cut siding boards each 6 feet long and nail them to the frame.

  8. Build the Door Frames

    The barn-style doors will each be 2 feet wide and 6 feet high with vertical facing boards. For each door, cut two two-by-fours at 6 feet long and two two-by-fours at 2 feet long. Form a rectangle with the two long boards 2 feet apart and the short boards between the two at top and bottom.

  9. Add Siding to the Doors

    Cut siding boards at 6-foot each, then nail them lengthwise (vertically) on the door frames. Turn the doors over and add two two-by-four cross-braces to the back of the doors. Cut the ends of the boards at angles to fit. First tack into place, then flip over and nail each cross-brace into place with one nail per siding board.

  10. Frame the Front Door Opening

    Lay down the doors as a template and outline with the carpenter's pencil. Remove the doors, then build a frame of that size out of two-by-fours. Nail the frame to the back of siding boards. Attach the doors with hinges.

  11. Mount the Walls

    Attach the walls to the flooring structure with nails driven down into the frame. Attach walls to each other at the corners.

  12. Create Gables and Rafters

    Cut and attach two-by-fours to create the triangular gables at each end of the structure. Run a single two-by-four from front to back as a ridge board.

  13. Attach the Roof

    Create the roof from tongue-and-groove siding boards installed lengthwise up each end of the structure.

  14. Add Shingles

    Add shingles of your choice such as composite, or asphalt, shingles. Use roofing nails to add the shingles from the lower end upward to the ridge.

  15. Paint the Shed

Paint the shed in any color scheme. Red as the field color with white trim is a classic farmhouse or barn look. Use exterior-grade acrylic-latex paint.