Learn How to Build a Shed

11 Simple Steps to Creating Your Own Backyard Oasis


Building something you are proud of in your backyard is as easy as 1,2,3....

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THERE ARE MANY reasons why people build a shed in their backyard. Some need more storage, others need a workshop or a place where they can simply go to get away from everyone else and enjoy a little peace and quiet.

A good garden shed is not only a great place to store your tools, bikes, and gear, it is a wonderful way to keep everything organized, you know the old saying," a place for everything and everything in its place."

Whether you are building a pool house, a little extra outdoor living space, or simply a storage unit, you will find everything you need to know about building your new shed right here.

And to make it simpler, we've divided up the process into 11 easy questions that need answering. (the answers are below the infographic (image).

The 11 Questions You Need to Answer Before You Can Build a Shed

Planning Your Shed

#1 - What is the Right Size for Your Shed?

ZG- Working on images 'How to build a shed page'

Use the Shed Size Calculator App to discover how much space you need in your shed

Just many things, when it comes to building a shed, size really does matter.

The last thing you want to have to do is add on to your new shed or worse yet tear it down and start all over because you ended up making it too small.

So, before you get started looking at the different shed plans, kits, and ready to go sheds, you need to decide what the main purpose behind building your shed is.

Are you looking to create a workshop where you can store your motorcycle and work on it? A place to hide away from the world and indulge in your favorite hobby? Perhaps you are just looking for a storage space for your lawn mower and garden tools.

Take a good look at our shed size calculator, we created it to help take some of the guesswork out of choosing the right size shed for you.

The best part about our shed calculator is that it is completely free and lets you compare the various sizes of shed side by side to determine which one is right for your needs.

#2 - Do You Need a Permit?


Use the Shed Permit Map to discover the regulations regarding sheds in your local area

Do you know if you need a permit for your shed?

Long before you purchase the plans for your new shed, buy a single stick or lumber, or a pound of nails, you need to know if you are allowed to build a shed in your backyard.

Bear in mind, most municipalities require you to have some form of building permit anytime you plan to add a structure to your property.

Typically, you will need to have certain information that you can provide to the appropriate government official before they will issue you a building permit.

This information may include exactly where on your property you plan to build the shed, how big it will be, and whether or not it will have power and water.

You may also need to provide information regarding what materials will be used to build your shed.

The municipality may then need to survey the site and the neighbors to make sure they don't object to your shed and where it is to be located. Only once all of the questions have been answered will they issue a permit.

Use our Free map to locate your local government and find out what their requirements are for issuing a permit. Or read about what you need to know when dealing with your local government here.

Designing Your Shed

#3 - Building Your Shed from Plans?


A good set of shed plans to guide you from start to finish.

Trying to build a shed without a set of plans is a lot like trying to make a cake without a recipe. The only possible outcome is a complete disaster and a lot of wasted money.

Not only will a good set of garden shed plans help to guide you to completion of a successful project, they are likely to be required by your local planning commission.

Before you settle on a particular design, you should take the time to browse our selection of shed designs and ideas.

You will find we have an amazing range of styles, sizes, and designs to choose from. Each of our shed plans has been carefully chosen for its accuracy, ease of construction, and structural integrity.

We want you to be able to enjoy building your shed, not end up stressed out with a mountain of useless cut lumber that doesn't all fit together.

#4 - Buying a Shed Kit?


Learn how a shed kit can be the simple and cost effective way of building your shed here

There is an unlimited supply of shed kits on the market ranging from small garden sheds that are perfect for storing a lawn mower and a few garden tools to some that are big enough to be considered small garages and will fit your motorcycle, kids' bikes, an ATV or two, and all of your tools.

The good news is that if you buy the right shed kit, you should find it comes with just about everything you need except the tools to build it and the time and patience to put it all together.

The even better news is that we have already done all of the homework for you and offer you our list of the best shed kits all in one place.

Simply browse our selection of helpful resources to answer your questions, then order the shed that best fits your needs and budget.

Building Your Shed

#5 - About that Shed Foundation


Learn more detail about shed foundations here

Now that you have finally decided on the size and type of shed that best suits your needs, the next thing you need to give serious consideration to is your shed's foundation.

You can't simply put your shed together and leave it sitting on the bare ground, this is a recipe for disaster and a sure way to ensure your shed won't last for more than a couple of years if you are lucky.

You need to decide what your shed is going to sit on long before you start building.

If you are not sure whether you need to pour a concrete foundation, build a wooden one, or create one from cinder blocks, we can help.

We have put together a list of the top 6 types of foundation along with a ton of information about each of them. We have also listed the pros and cons of each to help you decide which one will best suit your budget and your needs.

#6 - Assembling Your New Shed


Information on shed assembly including videos and walk-thru guides is here

Now that you have got the basics out of the way, it's time to start building your shed.

If you already have construction experience, this stage should be relatively easy, if time-consuming. But, what about those who have never built anything like a shed or any other type of building? This is not a problem and is certainly no reason for you to not be able to build your own shed as long as you can swing a hammer, tighten a screw, and use a power saw.

We have created a number of step-by-step guides designed to take you through the entire process of building your shed.

Not only do we have guides to help, we also have several videos that walk you through every facet of building your shed.

If you are new to construction, you should plan to spend a fair amount of time reading these guides and watching the videos before getting started. They will save you a lot of time, aggravation, and money.

#7 - Building Your Shed Roof

A Nice shingled Shed roof

Shed roofs done right don't only look great, but also keep your stuff protected from the elements

At ZacsGarden.com I get quite a few questions about sheds. And a lot of them are about building the shed roof

It's easy to see why, ​it's got to look good as well as keep everything dry and stabilize the shed. So to help answer all those questions there is a detailed section on 'how to build a shed roof' here

It contains everything you need to know from which materials are best in your location, to how to deal with snow loads and how to frame the thing yourself

So you can have a beautiful working shed roof

Securing Your Shed

#8 - Shed Security


Stop worrying about security by using a few of these suggestions

Now that you have chosen the right shed, laid the foundation, and completed construction, you are ready to start filling it up with everything you built it to store or are you?

If you live in a neighborhood like mine, chances are pretty good your neighbors have had their sheds broken into and things were stolen out of them.

So before you start loading your shed up with tools, your motorcycle, your kids' bikes, or whatever, you need to take a moment to think about shed security.

Here we go over a number of shed security options such as how to buy the right type of lock for your shed.

We also go over shed alarms and review a number of the top alarms on the market for under $100.

No one ever said you had to spend a fortune to protect your shed from would-be thieves, you just have to be smart in how you go about it.

Our guide offers all the information you need to turn your shed into a virtual Fort Knox.

Customizing Your Shed

#9 - Need to Run Power to Your Shed?


Learn more about running power to your shed here

Do you plan to work in your shed after the sun has gone down?

Are you creating a workshop where power tools are going to be used on a regular basis?

If so, you should plan to bring electricity out to your shed.

This, of course, means you will need to wire your shed for electric lights and outlets unless you plan to run several extension cords out to it. Not only is this not a good idea, it is very unsafe.

What might surprise you, is that wiring your shed is not as hard as you might think.

In fact, with our step-by-step guide to wiring your shed, it is so easy anyone can do it.

The one thing you do need to be sure of, however, is what regulations your local municipality has regarding doing your own wiring.

You may need a separate permit or to have your handiwork inspected by a certified electrician once it is done.

#10 - All the 'Necessary' Shed Accessories


Turn your outdoor building into a shed with these shed accessories

Without the right shed accessories, your shed is not much more than an empty box with a roof.

From garden tool organizers to skylights and windows, it is up to you to create the perfect storage/work space.

The best way to decide how you are going to accessorize your shed is to determine what it will be used for.

One thing to keep in mind is that no matter how you plan to use your shed, you should install plenty of storage options, including shelving, workbenches, cabinets, toolboxes, and hangers.

Here we take a good look at a wide range of different shed accessories, along with detailed information about a number of different products in each category.

Browse our collection of shed accessories, you might be surprised at the number of options available to you and the fact that many of them can be had for under $100 or can be built for even less.

Maintaining Your Shed

#11 - The Maintenance of Your Shed


Learn how to take care of your new pride and joy here

Now that you have invested a fair amount of time and money in choosing the right shed and building it, the last thing you want to do is to have to replace it anytime in the near future.

However, if you don't follow this up by investing a little time and effort in shed maintenance, your shed is not going to last.

Whether you have a stick built shed, a metal one from a kit, or a pre-built plastic shed, they all need a little TLC from time to time if you want them to last.

We took the time to seek out the most commonly asked questions about shed maintenance and assembled them all into one place for you.

Here you can learn all about what it takes to maintain the various shed types. Most of the techniques are very easy to implement and as long as you stay on top of maintaining your shed, these simple tips can virtually double the lifespan of your shed or more.

In Summary...

how to build a shed - finished rustic yard shed

While you could go out and buy a pre-built shed or pay a construction company to build one for you, where's the fun in that?

There is nothing like the feeling you will get once you have completed building your own shed.

When you build your own shed, you can count on it being built to meet your exact needs, something no pre-built shed can ever hope to achieve.

Even though the idea of building a shed by yourself might seem a bit daunting at first, you will be surprised at just how easy it really is thanks to the wealth of information offered here.

If you are still not sure about this project, we suggest you start at the top of the page and work your way down until your shed is standing tall in the backyard and ready to be used.

Thank you for reading this

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Go out there and build the perfect shed to fit your needs!