Don’t you just hate it when you run out of storage space in your garage and basement or have to deal with sharp gardening tools and heavy equipment lying around in your backyard? Perhaps, it’s time to upgrade your property with a garden shed for proper or extra storage. However, before you splash out your cash spend on an expensive pre-made shed design, you should consider making one yourself.
Although building a DIY garden shed can be a challenge, it can be incredibly rewarding, especially for homeowners with sufficient handyman skills and tools. With some research on types of cladding, roofing, and framing, you can build one from scratch according to your design, material, and size requirements.
So, if you’re up for it, keep reading our detailed guide on how to build a garden shed. In case you’re on the fence regarding whether or not you need a shed, we’ll also share the top benefits and uses of a garden shed so you can make a more informed decision.
Benefits of a Garden Shed
If you’re not convinced you need a garden shed, consider the following benefits of having one:
Better Equipment Organization and Access
Most garden sheds are equipped with shelves and storage areas designed specifically for storing and organizing tools and equipment for easy retrieval when you need them. Apart from storing fertilizers, soil, and a lawnmower, you can also store other items, such as power tools, outdoor furniture, recreation items, and seasonal décor. A shed also enables quick access to anything you need since most items are at arm’s length, and you don’t need to recall where you kept them.
Improved Overall Curb Appeal
With a garden shed, you can do more than just put sharp and pointy things away. By providing common storage space, you can reduce clutter significantly and boost your home’s curb appeal. You can also paint your shed to match your home or complement your flowers, greenery, stepping stones, and other aspects.
Freeing Up Space
If you don’t have a garden shed, chances are your tools and equipment are lying somewhere in the yard, your garage, or worse, your front porch. By building a shed, you can avoid overcrowding your living space and improve your gardening proficiency and cleanliness in the process. This way, your porch furniture won’t have to share space with your lawnmower.
Uses of a Garden Shed
There’s more to a garden shed than a place to put away your gardening tools and equipment. There are so many clever ways you can utilize this space. Here’s a list of some of the most trending use cases:
Depending on your shed’s size, you can build an ideal space to set up basic gym equipment without cluttering up your living space. This is perfect for urban dwellers that don’t want to commute long distances to get to the nearest fitness center.
With remote work here to stay, perhaps you’re looking for a way to separate your home from your office without heading to a Starbucks or local park every time. A garden shed makes an excellent home office where you can organize your peripherals, important documents, and everything related to your work in one place.
If you own a bike or motorcycle but don’t have any space left in your garage to park it, you can use a garden shed to protect it from inclement weather and theft. You can also use it to store a jet ski, kayak, or any other water vessel.
A garden shed can make an excellent spare bedroom if you have guests coming over. Depending on your location and local regulations, you can also rent out your shed as a tiny home for interested tenants. Of course, a shed designed for this purpose will look nothing like a typical tool shed. You can look for ideas on Pinterest and other home improvement sites.
In case you’re looking for more ideas, here are a few more ideas:
- Hobby/DIY shed
- Art studio
- Gaming room
- Pet shed
- Backyard barn storage
- Tiny living room
- Winter wood storage
- Camping shed
- Potting shed, etc.
How to Build a DIY Garden Shed from Scratch
If you’re intrigued by the benefits and uses of a garden shed mentioned above and ready to take on this challenge, the first thing you need to do is learn whether you need a building permit by calling the local building office in your area. In most cases, if your shed stands less than 2.5 meters from the ground, you don’t need a permit. However, you need to confirm before getting started. Once you’ve got the permit sorted, you’re all set. So, without further ado, here’s how to build a garden shed from scratch:
- Tape measure
- Set square
- Long ruler or straight edge
- Drill driver
- Spirit level
- Staple gun
- Hand saw
- Safety equipment (gloves, boots, goggles, mask, etc.)
- Step ladder
- Deck piers
- 16d nails for the frame
- 8d nails for the sheeting
- 4×6-inch beams for support
- 2×6-inch beams for blocking, rafters, and joists
- 3/4 inch plywood for flooring and 1/2 inch for roofing (waterproof)
- 2×4-inch beams for studs and plates
- 4×4-inch beams for frame headers
- Roof felt or tar paper
Site the Shed
The first step in building a DIY garden shed is identifying the perfect spot for placing it on your property. This may sound simple, but there’s a lot you have to consider apart from the building regulations. For instance, you should avoid building one on a slope or surround it completely with trees and ground cover. Lastly, your shed should be away from property lines, driveways, sidewalks, septic tanks, and leach fields.
Start with a Solid Foundation
If you want a durable shed, you need to make a strong base. So, start by leveling the ground if necessary and installing deck piers along the boundary to hold your shed in place. You can also add a cement bed to hold the piers permanently in place, especially if you’re building a shed larger than 8×10 ft. Once your deck piers are installed, attach string support beams lengthwise using metal staps with 16d nails.
Attach the Frame Support Beams, and Floor Joists then Complete the Floor
Once you’ve attached the support beams, you need to attach a rim joist along the outer edge of the outermost support beams, followed by the floor joists. You can use a tape measure to determine how many you’ll need by dividing the frame’s length into 8-10 smaller lengths. Once you’ve installed the joists, the last step is to install a piece of wood between every gap to hold the joists firmly with the central support beam. Next, measure, cut, and nail your plywood sheeting to the joists to complete the floor using 8d nails and a hammer.
Build the Four Walls
Once the floor is ready, the next step is to build the walls. This should be relatively easy since you’ll be using the same length and width measurements of your base and incorporating the height parameter of your shed. The only tricky part would be the front wall since you’ll need to leave some space for the door and/or window. To build the back wall frame, you need to attach vertical studs to the top and bottom beams with the same length and spacing as your floor joists. You can adjust the height according to your requirement. For the sidewalls, repeat the same process, but this time, you’ll be using the width (distance between the bottom beams. For the front wall, you simply need to repeat the same steps for the back wall frame but without 3-4 floor joists, depending on your door’s dimensions. To accommodate the door’s height, you can measure and add a smaller beam on top of the door along with joists to hold it together. Once you have the four structures, you simply need to attach them using 16d nails.
Build the Roof
Next, you need to build rafters across the roof and separate them with blocking for better weather protection. This should be fairly simple in contrast to the previous steps. All you’ll need is a step ladder, some rafters, a box of nails, and a hammer. Once your roof’s frame is ready, nail waterproof plywood sheeting. You can also add tar paper or roof felt for additional protection.
Cover the Walls and Attach the Door
Finally, all that’s left to do is cover the inside and outside walls with a hammer and nails. For the cover, you can stick with plywood sheets or opt for a different material, such as siding, textured wood, or any wooden material that gives it a better-finished look. To finish, attach the door using the door hinges, and you’re all set to customize your garden shed according to your use case and design requirements.
And there you have it – a simple guide on how to build a garden shed from scratch. Whether you plan on using it for extra storage, a home office, or a place to toss away your garden equipment and tools, a garden shed will make a valuable addition to your property. Moreover, taking the DIY route to building one will help save a fortune in terms of design and labor costs. So, if you feel you have the skills, tools, and time required to take on this challenging project, then you can get started right away by getting the supplies you need from a local hardware store or online. However, make sure you call your local building office to learn if you need a building permit, so you don’t risk having to see your hard work torn down.