Building a Shed

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Need some extra storage space? Having a storage unit is one way to go, but a shed is your best option for those things you want to have on hand, but not in the house: for example a lawn mover, leaf blower, shovels, gardening tools, etc. If you want, you can pretty easily go to your local home improvement store and purchase a premade shed or a shed-building kit. However, building your own from scratch isn’t too difficult of a project for most do-it-yourselfers. This guide will tell you how to build a simple 8’x8’ shed.

Location

First, you’ll need a place to put your shed. Decide on a convenient spot on your property. For an 8x8 shed, you should prepare an area of about 10 feet by 10 feet. You’ll need room to work around the shed, so plan accordingly if you build it near any other objects (i.e., house, fence, etc.). Ideally, the spot will already be nice and level, but if it’s not, you’ll have either have to level the land itself or use leveling blocks under the shed’s foundation. The shed will need a level foundation if it is to be structurally sound. You’ll also need to make sure the area is cleared of any interfering plant life, rocks, etc. (anything big and in the way).

Foundation

If you want to go all out, you can pour a concrete foundation, but building a wood platform is an easier and perfectly acceptable, alternative. Since the shed is going to be 8x8, so that platform must be also. Purchase eight 8-foot, pressure-treated, 2”x6” boards, so you won’t have to do any cutting. You’ll also need 2-inch deck screws, 16 penny galvanized nails, and two sheets of 3/4-inch plywood (these should come in 8’x4’ sheets). Lay two of the 8x6s parallel to each other and eight feet apart. The other 6 boards will go perpendicularly between them on 16-inch centers, meaning that the measurement is marked at the center of each board. Nail all of these together.

Lay the two sheets of plywood on top of this frame, make sure they’re correctly aligned, and nail down the corners. Use the deck screws, at intervals along the length of the frame, to more firmly attach the plywood to the frame.

Walls

The method for creating the wall frames is similar to that of creating the foundation frame, but instead of using 2x6s you’ll be using 2x4s. The two side walls should be identical, with the front and back walls being a bit smaller in width so that they can sit inside the side walls. In the front wall, you’ll need to leave an opening in the frame for a door. The easiest thing to do is leave an opening of 37 ½ inches wide by 84 inches tall, which will easily fit a 36 inch pre-hung door.

Also, purchase a 2x4x8 foot top cap that will join all the walls together. It should slightly overlap all four walls.

Secure 4x8’ sheets of exterior siding to the wall frames with 8 penny galvanized nails to complete the walls.

Roof

First, nail together two 8-foot-long 2x6s to form a center beam for the roof. This should be attached between the top of the back and front walls, exactly in the center. Use 2x4s as rafters. They should be on 16-inch centers and extend from the beam past the sidewalls however far you want the overhang to be. Toe-nail these into place or use hurricane clips.

Use ½ thick OSB (oriented strand board) as the surface of the roof. You’ll need four 4x8-foot sheets. Coat the sheets (every edge) in exterior grade primer and then nail them to the roof rafters.

Next use 3/8-inch staples and a staple hammer to attach a layer of tarpaper to the roof. Then, nail a Rain Drip edge around the perimeter of the roof. Finish off the roof by attaching roll roofing to the entire surface. This should extend about 1 inch past all edges of the roof (you’ll need a utility knife for cutting this).

The last things you need to do are install your door and paint your new shed!

Adam Mandelbaum  Posted by Adam Mandelbaum on January 7, 2013

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