How to Build a Shed
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11 Steps to Creating Your Own Backyard Workshop or Storage Space
THERE ARE MANY reasons why people build a shed or a workshop 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 workshop is not only a great place to store your tools, bikes, and gear. It is also a wonderful way to keep everything organized, you know the old saying," a place for everything and everything in its place."
Whether you want to know how to build a shed for a little extra outdoor living space, a workshop or simply a storage unit. You will find everything there is to know about building one right here.
And to make it simpler, we've divided up the process into 11 easy questions that need answering.
To see the 11 questions in infographic form, download here.
The 11 Questions You Need to Answer Before You Can Build
1. What is the Right Size?
Just many things, when it comes to building a shed, size really does matter.
The last thing you want to have to do is extend or even tearing it down and start all over because you ended up making it too small.
So, before you get started looking at the different plans, or kits, 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 size calculator, we created it to help take some of the guesswork out of choosing the right size space for you.
The best part about our the calculator is that it is completely free and lets you compare the various sizes side by side to determine which one is right for your needs.
2. Do You Need a Permit?
Do you know if you need a permit? Use the Shed Permit Map to discover the regulations in your local area
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 anything 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, how big the structure 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 it.
The municipality may then need to survey the site and the neighbors to make sure they don't object to your new construction. Not just what it is but also where it is to be located on your property. Only once all of the questions have been answered will they issue a permit.
3. Building from Plans?
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 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 designs and ideas.
You will find we have an amazing range of styles, sizes, and designs to choose from. Each of the plans has been carefully chosen for its accuracy, ease of construction, and structural integrity.
You don't want to end up stressed out with a mountain of useless cut lumber that doesn't all fit together.
4. Buying a Kit?
There is an unlimited supply of ready to go 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.
The good news is that if you buy the right kit, you should find it comes with just about everything you need. With the exception 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 some of the homework for you and offer you our list of the best kits all in one place.
Simply browse our selection of helpful resources to answer your questions, then order the one that best fits your needs and budget.
5. About that Foundation
Now that you have finally decided on the size and type that best suits your needs, the next thing 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 it won't last for more than a couple of years if you are lucky.
You need to decide what it's going to sit on long before you start building.
If you are not sure whether you should pour a concrete foundation, build a wooden one, or even how to build a shed foundation, we can help.
We have put together a FREE guide. 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
Now that you have got the basics out of the way, it's time to start construction.
If you already have some building or home improvement experience, this stage should be straight forward. 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 maybe use a power saw.
For those who need some assistance, here are a number of step-by-step guides. They are designed to take you through the entire process, whatever material your new pride and joy is made out of.
There are several videos that walk you through every facet of the construction phase.
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 Roof
At ZacsGarden.com I get quite a few questions about sheds. And a lot of them are about building the roof
It's easy to see why, it's got to look good as well as keep everything dry and stabilize the building. So to help answer all those questions there is a detailed section on how to build a shed roof here
It contains everything there is to know from which materials are best in your location. Including how to deal with snow loads and how to frame it yourself
So far you have chosen the right shed, laid the foundation, and completed construction. Almost ready to put your stuff in. But now is the best time to think about security.
If you live in a neighborhood like mine, chances are pretty good your neighbors have had their sheds broken into. And had their possessions stolen.
So before you start loading your shed up with tools, your motorcycle, your kids' bikes, lets talk security.
In this guide 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 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 yourself from would-be thieves, you just have to be smart in how you go about it.
Our guide offers all the information needed to turn your outdoor storage space or workshop into a virtual Fort Knox.
9. Need to Run Lights & Power?
Do you plan to work in your new workshop after the sun has gone down? Or maybe you want to use your power tools in there?
If you answered yes to either of the questions, this means you will need to wire your shed for electric lights and outlets. We don't recommend to run several extension cords out to a shed due to safety reasons.
What might surprise you, is that wiring your shed is not as hard as you might think.
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.
If you think your up for it, here is our step-by-step guide.
10. All the 'Necessary' Shed Accessories
Without the right shed accessories, it 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 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 accessories. Along with detailed information about a number of different products in each category.
Browse our collection of 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.
Sheds are an investment. An investment of both time and money. Because this is the case, the last thing you want to do is to have to replace it anytime in the near future.
If you don't follow your build up by investing a little time and effort in some maintenance, your shed may not last.
Whether you have a wooden, metal, 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 maintenance and assembled them all into one place for you.
Here you can learn all about what it takes to maintain the various 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 or more.
You could go out and buy a pre-built shed or pay a construction company to build one for you. But where's the fun in that?
There is nothing like the feeling you will get once you have completed building your own.
This way you can count on it being built to meet your exact needs, something no pre-built can ever hope to achieve.
The idea of building by yourself might seem a bit daunting at first. However, you will be surprised at how easy it is thanks to the wealth of information offered here and other places. For some more information try 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. It's a simple way to follow through with your shed build.
Thank you for reading this
To see the 11 questions in infographic form, download here.
If you have any other ideas about how to build a shed, feel free to contact us here
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