Shed Building Masterclass

Building things from scratch is never as easy as it looks when you are still on the drawing "board". It's sometimes a bit scary to leave the computer and the drawings, get the tools and start working on a project with nothing, but few planks, nails and screws. Certainly the introductory course and the other articles on this site have given you the initial idea what to do and hopefully some confidence in your knowledge. The visual guides like the one about building a shed roof are the next good starting point.

And even with all this I know most people need further instructables, preferably with pictures and videos that can guide them into every little step of the building process.

Look no further: I've built a collection of resources that will do this for you. I've tried to include the best ones that can be found and to cover each of the sub-steps of the shed building process. Sure, I'll be glad if you can point out a missing step.

And don't forget that a shed is much simpler than a house - there's nothing to worry about. You don't need to study and memorize all the resources before you start. On the contrary - once you have chosen the shed design, go ahead and start building. You can refer at this resource collection at any time.

Planning and Preparation

We've all been there: not having an idea where to start, what kind of shed we need, where should we place it, do we need shed at all. This collection of resources may help you choose:

How to Choose the Perfect Shed
This is a short article that introduces the most common types of sheds, styles of roofs etc. It's very short so you can get into the matter quickly without reading many articles.

Choosing The Right Location for Your Shed
Location is important because moving a shed is not always easy. The post gives some basic ideas, for more look here.

Choosing and Erecting a Shed
A bit different look into the preparation process considering your needs at first place.

The most complete shed types list, period!
This is really the most complete list explaining the difference of shed types depending on various categorizations. A must read before buying or building a shed.

Design solutions: Choosing a shed
This article will give you some ideas about the green roofs/hiding sheds, showpiece sheds etc.

Do i need building regulations for a garden shed?
Local zoning regulations should also be considered when planning an outdoor shed. This discussion is from UK, if you are located elsewhere, you may need to look for further information.

How to Select a Shed
If you prefer watching videos to reading, this short one will give you ideas about selecting your shed.

Plans and Designs

Drawing Plans
Photo Credit

Building a shed always goes through using plans. Even if you design them yourself, you should have drawings before you start work - otherwise you may end up with nothing usable.

Storage Shed Plans
This site has a good variety of shed plans. They are not free, but the prices are low enough. For even more plans, including free, check here.

Free shed plans
Few free plans are available in PDF format on this site (click on the large shed picture at right). The site also offers a lot of commercial plans with instant download.

Basic Shed
A very detailed free plan for building a basic wooden shed. If you don't need anything fancy you can manage without buying any plans.

Back Yard Projects Storage Shed
This is another basic but free plan in PDF format. The quality is a bit low because it's scanned file, but you can print it out.

Another free plan
This one is not very detailed but also free.

I recommend you however if you really want to build a good shed to spend $5 - $25 for good clear plans. Unless you can design them yourself of course.

Base (Foundation) Building

Building Shed Base
Photo Credit

The first step of the real work is preparing the shed base (foundation). We have a short visual guide on the topic, but there are different ways to build the foundation. So here are several guides showing other foundations, or more detailed ones for the same type:

Building Concrete or Slab Base
This is a guide with very nice pictures. If you believe your shed is there to stay for long time these options look great.

How to build a shed base
This is a free PDF which shows foundation built with cement and timber. Very nice and easy to understand guide.

Three methods to build a shed base
Concrete Base Method, Paving Slab Method and Timber Bearers Method. Each of them has its advantages and disadvantages. This guide lets you choose and gives you pictures and short instructions.

Recommendations for building a base for a garden building
Going into a bit more details about the same 3 methods of building a shed base. Worth viewing as well.

Building Foundation
Here you can find detailed frame drawings depending on the size of the slab.

Gambrel storage shed foundation
Another good guide with many pictures. This is one of the easy foundation frames you can build.

How to build a Portabase / Foundation with Waltons
Although it's a kind of commercial, this 2 minutes video is very helpful in showing the little details.

Foundation for 8x10 Vinyl Shed
Most of the cases we discuss wooden sheds here. The foundations don't need to differ much, but still if you are planning to buy or build a vinyl one, this is a great discussion thread to check.

Building The Wall

Sample Shed Wall
Photo Credit

How To Build Storage Shed Walls
Shedking's guide to building a wall is short but shows an easy way to do it.

Building a Wall 1 - Introduction
If you prefer more detailed instructions, check out this one - it's 4 pages and has a lot of detailed drawings.

Build Storage Shed Front Wall With Door
An interesting approach to building a front wall with door - entirely of wood.

Build Your Shed Walls To Suit The Use Of The Shed
An article that reviews the types of wood cladding and multi-layer walls. Very interesting read especially if you are looking to build a long lasting shed.

Rail Vehicle Shed
I bet you aren't interested to build exactly this, however it will be very useful and interesting to people who want to build or repair a metal shed.

Aspen 12' x 8 Wood Shed Kit
Few drawings here show in nice details parts of the building process when using a shed kit.

Shed wall construction
Discussion forums always offer another view point, so I recommend you check this one.

Build Your Outdoor Shed: Step 2 -Walls & Window Kit
This is a video that shows building walls from a kit. It's pretty easy with the only disadvantage that you need to buy a kit.

Building The Door and Windows

B/W Photo Of Shed Door And Tree
Photo Credit

Windows are not always necessary but make sheds look better. At least one door is of course required.

5 Secrets to Building a Better Shed: DIY Guy
For an introduction you can start with this article on Popular Mechanics.

How to Build a Shed Door
Straight to the point step by step guide, short and sweet.

Building a Shed
This excellent guide from Instructables also covers the entire process of building a shed.

How to make a window
This illustrated article deals with building a horizontal window in details. Such type of windows are very appropriate for sheds.

Shed Windows Have A Big Influence On The Style Of Your Shed - Choose Wisely
This is more an article introduction the different materials and frames of shed windows. Highly recommended if you don't have an exact idea about the window yet.

How to Build a Door
Massive door building here: good for houses or large wooden sheds.

Garden Shed - Door Frame Assembly
A quick short video showing how to make a vinyl door.

Building The Roof

Man on a shed roof
Photo Credit

My own shed roof guide is quite popular because it's easy to understand and follow. There are other roof options however:

Shed Roof Design Involves Two Separate Stages
Types of shed roofs explained and pictures.

Gable/Shed Roofs
This site offers detailed drawings of the different shed rafters. Use the arrows to navigate between the pages.

Repairing Shed Roof Felt
A short guide to repairing - we need to think about this as well.

Building a shed-roof canopy
It's a good idea to build an entrance roof canopy, this page shows how.

How to Make a Green Roof for Your Shed
This is a very exciting idea and accordingly to the guide it looks relatively simple to do.

Steel shed roof insulation ideas
For those who prefer metal sheds.

Roofing of a potting shed
One more good guide from Instructables.

Assembling and Finishing

Most wooden sheds need some form of finishing and painting after being assembled. Here are the guides that you need:

How to Build a Cheap Storage Shed
Step-by-step guide from start to end - assembling a shed from kit of from parts you have built yourself.

How to Assemble a Garden Shed
Another well illustrated guide to the assembling process.

How to Assemble a Shed
If you prefer even simpler explanation, these drawings will match your likes.

Assembling a Garden Shed
Same thing shown in 20 steps - with photos!

Wood finishing and weatherproofing tips for garden sheds, arbors, and other wood garden structures
Few short ideas about finishing wooden constructions.

Painting Garden Sheds
Short instructions how to paint your shed, mostly applicable to wooden ones.

Which paint to use on garden shed...please help!!
This forum discussion gives several ideas about painting as well.

Building Ramp, Shelves and Other Stuff Inside

Shed Ramp
Photo Credit

To get the maximum of your outdoor shed, install shelves, ramp and other improvements. Here is how:

Shed Ramps
Good explanation how and why your wooden shed needs a ramp.

How To Build A Shed Ramp
Several different types of shed ramps are shown here.

Shed Ramp Discussion
A forum thread from DIYChatroom giving some further details.

Charming Potting Shelves
This is not exactly a guide and not exactly about sheds - but you'll get some great inspiration!

HowTo – Organizing Your Shed With Shelves And Tool Racks
Showing how to build very stable racks. You can do this at home too.

Project Shed: Shelving - You need plenty.
Another illustrated project, this time made in metal shed.

A Quick Guide On How To Build Shelving In Your Shed
"Secrets of shed building" again spends some time explaining the general concepts.

How to make garden shed corner shelves
Corner shelves can be very useful and are easy to build.

How to Build Storage Shelves
Here is also a good video guide about building shelves.

Building a shed ramp
Back on ramps: this discussion on Lawnsmarts provides insights and pictures.

Repair and Maintenance

You need to think about maintenance and repair no matter if you've built or bought your garden shed - especially in the winter.

Garden shed maintenance
A good article informing about the maintenance of wooden and metal sheds.

Metal Shed Roof Maintenance
Pay special attention to the roof.

Metal Sheds: Buying and Maintenance Tips
And more about metal sheds - sounds like they need more maintenance, don't you think?

Roof Replacement
Roofs are one of the most common source of problems. Here is how to replace old roof.

Garden shed wood treatment questions...
Discussion about wooden sheds and their treatment.

Other General Resources

My Garden Shed, she is finished!
A lovely personal shed project as shown by the blog author.

Create a Solar Powered Shed
An interesting DIY project - maybe you can think about something similar as well.

Steel Sheds - Plans, DIY?
Who said you can only build wooden sheds? There are entusiasts who build steel ones themselves. Is it worth it? Check the discussion.

How To Build A Garden Shed in 10 Minutes
No, you aren't going to build your shed in 10 minutes, but this 10 minutes long video will show you everything you need to know about building a shed.

Did you like this collection? Bookmark it and share it with friends! Do you think something is missing? Let me know!

User comments:

Deana O'Hara at Jun, 27 '10 17:33
oh my gosh! Thank you so much for including my personal shed story in your article.I'm flattered. I really like this piece, it's very informative and covers all the bases. I'm working on the inside of the shed now. I'll check out some of your links for ideas!
Reply to this comment

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