Shed building plans for constructing your personal backyard storage structure
Have you run out of storage space in your garage? It comes as a surprise to most homeowners when they discover that their garage is overflowing with all kinds of tools and equipment
That is when they usually decide it is time to build a shed in the backyard.
You can craft a basic outbuilding with some simple shed building plans, cedar lumber, and a few weekends of construction work. Here are the main steps involved in constructing a garden shed.
Create the shed base
A concrete slab base is the most durable form of shed foundation. You can also use concrete blocks and timber skids to create the foundation of your shed.
To build a concrete slab base, first dig out a 6-inch-deep ditch that is one foot bigger in dimension than the shed. Next, place a four-inch-thick layer of gravel into the ditch and pat it down tightly. Place lumber forms along the perimeter of the ditch and then pour concrete mixture over the gravel. Let the concrete cure overnight and then even the edges with a trowel.
While a concrete slab foundation is extremely sturdy, it can also be very expensive. If you want to keep costs low, then you can use concrete blocks for making the base. Place the blocks in equidistant rows and columns along the locations where you will lay the floor joists. Keep two feet distance between two blocks.
A foundation built with skids is the cheapest and is also the most prone to water damage. It is created by arranging pressure-treated timber beams in parallel rows on the ground.
Construct framework for the floor
The floor framework for your shed will be constructed using interconnected rim joists and floor joists. Create the joists from pressure-treated wood by cutting to appropriate lengths using a circular saw. The length of each joist will be described in your shed blueprints.
Create the 2 main band boards by cutting 4x4 lumber to the shed's length specified in the plans and lay them out on the floor. Next, craft the 2 rim joists and lay them perpendicular to the band boards. This will form the outer perimeter of the shed floor. Use galvanized nails to fasten the band boards to the rim joists.
Now build the joists and skids as mentioned in your plans and nail them inside the outer frame. Check that each skid and joist are accurately square and toenail them at intervals of two feet.
Lastly, cover the floor frame with half-inch thick plywood sheathing. Nail the sheathing to the outer frame as well as to the skids at 6-inch intervals. It is recommended to use pressure-treated sheathing to increase the durability of your shed's floor.
Craft and hoist the shed walls
Your shed wall will be constructed using plates and studs. The horizontal members that run along the top and bottom of the wall frame are known as plates, and the vertical members that run along the height of the wall are known as studs. Studs are usually installed between the top and bottom wall plates at intervals of 16 inches.
Mark the positions for the bottom plates of the four walls on the shed floor with chalk. Create the wall plates by cutting 2x4 timber boards to the dimensions mentioned in the blueprints.
Align the bottom plates over the floor markings and position them such that the adjoining walls are accurately perpendicular to each other.
Mark the locations for installing studs on each wall plate with chalk. Leave an extra gap in the front wall that will contain the door.
Create studs by cutting 2x4 timber with a circular saw. Fasten them to the wall plate by driving two galvanized nails at either end of each stud.
Sandwich a plywood board between two timber boards to create the headers for the doors and windows. Secure the pieces with galvanized 12d nails. Install headers into the door and window openings.
Raise the completed wall framework over the chalk tracings drawn on the floor. Drive 12d nails through the bottom plate into the floor frame at six-inch intervals. Secure adjoining walls by nailing at one-foot intervals.
Build the roof framework
Start by creating a common rafter template based on the design in your shed plans. Use a speed square to make the birdsmouth cut in the rafter. Extend the rafter tail about 6 inches beyond the walls to create the overhang eaves.
Create the ridge board using weather-proof lumber and mark the position for each rafter on it. Fasten one end of each rafter to the ridge board and install the birdsmouth on the wall plate. Secure both the rafter ends with 16d nails. Once all rafters have been attached to both ends of the ridge board, you can install the roof sheathing.
First, attach plywood sheathing to the ridge beam and then work your way downwards. Cover the sheathing with roofing paper and then install asphalt shingles.
Add finishing touches to your shed by sanding off any rough surfaces and painting it with wood stain.
Keep up with the top stories from Reader’s Digest by subscribing to our weekly newsletter.