Woodworking: Build a shed with your own hands! | homify

Woodworking: Build a shed with your own hands!

Izelle du Pisanie Izelle du Pisanie
Oak Timber Frame House Extension, Gatley, Cheshire, Manchester Grant Erskine Architects Garajes y galpones de estilo clásico
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DIY, woodworking and home improvement – not that hard, after all!

An outdoor shed can be the answer to many a question. What to do with all of the stuff cluttering up the garage but that you don't want to throw out? What can you do if you really want a home office space or craft room, but have no space available in your home? A shed can provide you with a free-standing storage unit or convenient space to be used as an additional room for whatever use. 

What's more, you can build your own shed! With the appropriate amount of planning and preparation, your very own DIY shed should be ready in no time at all. If this still seems like a bit of a daunting prospect, homify is here to help. Let's look at a step-by-step guide to building your very own garden shed.

1. A good foundation

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Before you do anything, planning is priority. As with any project, nothing can be done if effective planning has not taken place. Planning for your shed will include considerations such as whether your town requires a building permit before construction takes place, the dimensions of the shed, and its location. Once this has been pinned down, you should draw up a set of plans. Fortunately, there are many different shed plans freely available to you online.  

It might seem like the most basic of common sense, but the first thing to do after you have all your plans together, is to build the foundation of the shed. This also includes its floor frame. This is a very important step, since it will determine the stability of the entire structure. 

You will firstly need to excavate the site where the shed will be located. Then you must proceed to layer the site with gravel, but you must ensure that this is level. On top of this you will build the floor frame using timber skids and rim joists to lay down the floor outline. 

Tip: Use a spirit level to ensure you have the flat surface necessary for the foundation. 

2. Frame the walls and roof

When building a shed, you follow a simple pattern: start from the bottom and work up layer by layer. You execute the following pattern: 

1. Frame the back wall (no openings)

2. Frame the front wall (has a door and optional window opening in its design)

3. Frame the side walls.

The key here is just to follow your shed plan. Take into account where there is any particular formation of the walls or distinctive features. This is an easy process, but can be time-consuming, and even more so with larger plans. The best option is to get a buddy to help you out.

After this you will also have to frame the roof. This is also important, as it is the final glue that keeps the walls stable with the floor and foundation. Look at the rafter template of your shed plan to ensure you are cutting the patterns correctly. Now you can hang the rafters, but make sure to separate them with blocking, which will provide reinforcement. 

3. Build the gable overhangs

You will need to cut your gable wall plates yourself, unless you found some that will give a direct fit. Fortunately, a good shed plan would have had you done that by this point already. If not, go to your shed plan and look for the section on gable wall plates to cut them accordingly. 

After you have done this, you simply need to put the lookouts together with the overhang rafters and ensure that the nails are facing the same way. 

Tip: Use an automatic hammer, as this will speed up the nailing process considerably. 

4. Getting to the roof

Now you will have the skeleton of your shed completely finished. Next up, you'll have to install the fascia, sheathing and roofing. The fascia is simply the boards you will use to cover the ends of the rafters. Firstly, you will install sub-fascia where the roof overhangs meets the walls of the shed. Then you will install the fascia along the gable overhangs. This will be done just above the rafters. 

Moving on, you'll have to pay some attention to sheathing. You should start with this at the lowest portion of the roof. You can use many types of wood for these sections, but make sure that it is of a hardy kind. Naturally, you will not want to spend too much money on a garden shed, especially if it's just for storage purposes, but you also don't want it to fall apart in the next few months. 

5. Soffits and siding

So now we get to adding on the finishing touches of the shed structure. This step should not be left out, as it will ensure that your shed has a complete look, as well as play a valuable role in insulation. The soffits form a bridge between the exterior wall of the shed and the outer edge of the roof. You need to install this between the rafters, fascia and wall framing. If you would want vents in your shed, you can cut it into your soffits. 

After you have done this you can move on to installing the siding. It is important not to nail your siding to your window and door frames, as the door and windows have not been installed yet. You can use any colour for the siding, but it will be most stylish to have neutral colours which blend into its surroundings. 

If you really want as quick a fix as possible, you can leave out this step, but it will really go a long way in providing a finished-off look and in insulating your shed. If you need some help, take a look at the professionals on homify who can provide some guidance. 

6. Build and install the doors

Getting to the doors of your shed, if you had not bought a pre-built kit for it, you will have to cut the wood yourself and build the doors. If you are a novice at DIY building, we recommend having a door pre-made at your local hardware store or timber shop according to your shed plans. This will save you a lot of time and abbreviate the margin of error for which you are responsible. It is well-known in the business that doors can often times prove harder to build than the rest of the shed together. 

Cut the frame and door jambs in order that the door may swing freely without scraping the top or bottom of the door frame. Make sure to install the hinges properly before attempting to hang the door. 

7. Install the windows and trim

Can you believe you are almost finished with building your own shed?! Well, it is as simple as that, and now we get to the last simple step. Once again your quickest and easiest route would be to buy pre-fabricated windows which you simply need to install. 

If you are brave enough to build the windows yourself, a little more effort will be required. You will need to cut the frame stocks into just the right shape. Measuring is of utmost importance, and it will help to always keep a measuring tape close at hand during the entire shed building process. The windows need to be cut just slightly narrower and shorter than the rough openings, otherwise you will be unable to insert them. 

Make sure the windows are level before you get to the glazing and trim. Caulk a little along the joints where the windows meet the siding, and voilà! You have completed your very own shed!

Check out these beautiful sheds for inspiration: 5 Beautiful Bespoke Garden Sheds.

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