Building an outdoor storage shed is an achievable project even if you only have basic woodworking skills and tools. Building your own DIY shed will be a learning experience that will help you to gain valuable knowledge about the construction of buildings and the process of creating a sound, functional space for storage.
Although you have the option of purchasing a professionally fabricated shed, you’ll enjoy building your own shed for storing garden supplies and simple tools while feeling a sense of accomplishment. Before you start building your shed, make sure to carry out all the necessary preliminary works.
The Keys to Success
The keys to building a high-quality structure are good materials, careful planning and accurate measuring. With some basic know-how and a building guide, you can produce a functional shed for your storage needs. At salvage and scrap yards, many new materials and large construction scraps are brand new and perfectly good, but they can be purchased for a discount. When you are building your first shed, you will feel more confident about cutting into materials if you purchase them inexpensively.
Although a foundation can be constructed of a poured concrete slab, it is the most expensive option. Creating a foundation from concrete footings or stumps will allow the wooden joists to sit up off the ground and provide your shed with a firm base. In areas where moisture is a concern, setting a gravel base helps ground moisture to drain and will contribute to the longevity of your structure.
Assembling the walls should start with a center stud and marking additional studs at evenly spaced locations along the wall. With small storage sheds, you are not typically required to build to standard code; however, you should check the building regulations for your area prior to beginning your work. Building right on the foundation or deck and using a chalk line will help you to accurately measure and mark you work as you progress. Don’t forget to leave adequate space for your door and window openings.
Although plywood can be used for siding, pre-primed particleboard siding has a finished look and an excellent price. These panels are designed specifically for home siding, and they provide structural support as well as solid weatherproofing. The corners can be finished with trim pieces to create a solid structure that will provide weather protection for your storage needs.
A door for your shed can be purchased prehung for weather tight construction and a finished look. However, purchasing a new door can be expensive, unless you can find one in a salvage yard. Building your own door for your shed is a simple and inexpensive option, and you can customize it to include the size and features you need. Be sure to measure the items you plan to store in your shed to ensure that your door opening will be adequate to easily move them in and out. Interior hinges and a locking hasp will ensure that your stored items are safely secured.
Adding windows to your shed may seem like a luxury, but it is a critical feature so you have natural lighting inside your shed. Adding one window can mean you won’t need to use a flashlight or add electric lighting to your shed, so it is a good investment as you plan your shed’s design.
The shape of your shed roof will determine the complexity of your project. A peaked roof requires a series of uniform trusses which you can build from lumber or purchase as a fabricated product. The size and pitch of your roof are based on the trusses, and they will create the eaves and soffits for your shed as well. A flat roof is simple to build but may not offer the longevity, wind resistance and ability to shed moisture as a well-constructed pitched roof.
Although you can choose from a variety of roofing materials, when building your shed yourself you should consider the weight of the materials and ease of installation. Even with lightweight roofing, you may need assistance to hoist the materials to the roof. Metal roofing is a high-quality material that will last for many years in a variety of weather extremes, and it can be installed in the absence of decking. Tile or asphalt shingle roofing requires wooden decking and underlayment which requires more steps in the construction process.
The tools you will need are fairly simple, but you will benefit from having hand tools and several power tools available for your use. A table saw, circular saw and a cordless drill will ensure that you can work efficiently. A miter saw will help you to achieve precise angles for building trusses and trim pieces.
Finishing and Weatherproofing
When the final structure of your storage shed is complete, turn your attention to finish work that will provide weatherproofing protection to the wooden structures. Caulking around the windows and seams will keep wind and water out of your shed. Paint adds color, but it also provides a layer of weatherproofing that protects the wood from moisture and sun damage. The wood should be primed, and a high-quality exterior paint should be used.
With careful planning and a willingness to trust your own skills, you can create a useful DIY storage shed for your home that would, as stated by Wide Span Sheds, be a perfect place for storing anything from toys to lawn mowers and workbenches. Although you may make some mistakes in the learning process, you’ll learn many new building skills and gain a space for storage as well.
What tips would you add for building your own storage shed?