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How To Pour A Concrete Slab For A Shed

How to Pour A Concrete Slab For A Shed - Finished Slab

A CONCRETE SLAB is one of the more expensive ways to prepare your site. However, if done correctly it can also be the best. A slab will keep the shed level and prevent grass and weeds from growing both under and around your shed.

It's also the best to work on, the strongest and longest lasting foundation for a shed. So if you like to only do something once, then this is the foundation for you.

If your still unsure, we have compared the different shed foundations against each other here. Otherwise let's get started!

 

Disclaimer

You will need to check with your local government about pouring your slab, regarding your local laws.

 

Tools You'll Need

Tape MeasureMarker PenHardwood Pegs
Mallet/HammerLengths of TimberScrews & Drill/Nails & Hammer
Wheelbarrow(s)Spade/Shovel72 Inch Level/Straightedge
Masonry String LineString Line Level/Laser-LevelHose Connector & Hose
Concrete Hand Tools

 

Materials You'll Need

Steel MeshBar-Chairs
GravelConcrete
Builders Plastic (Maybe)

 

Planning for your Slab

The first step is to mark out the size of your slab. Measure off something (the fence or side of your house) and use that as a reference point.

Once you have the size, grab your hardwood pegs and stick them into the ground at the corners. Put them in firmly because you'll be digging around them later.

When you have the size, you need to get the desired height. The two most popular ways to do this are:

1. Run some stakes and a string-line at your desired height. Then use a level string level to get the height right the rest of the way around (Note mark the stakes with a marker after you have got everything where you want it. Just in case someone steps on the string)

2. A laser level – You still need to use pegs with a laser level to have something to mark. When you've marked all your pegs, grab out your string-line and run it around all of your marks.

 

How Much Concrete?

At this stage it's a good idea to work out how much concrete your going to need. A few simple calculations will help here. LxWxH. Seeing you know your Length and Width, you can adjust your height if you need to, to match how much concrete you are ordering.

In my experience, ordering concrete from a mini-mix comes in a minimum of 1 cubic meter. The size of my slab is approx 3.4m x 2.3m.  Multiplying this by .125 (12.5cm) gave me .9775 cubic meters which is very close. A little too close for my liking. We ended up digging the hole 14cm deep, added 2cm of gravel and only had a spadeful of concrete left at the end!

It's always best to have more and not want it than the other way around, so keep playing with the figures until you have 5-10% extra, just in case.

If your slab is large then you shouldn't have this problem. Just add 10% onto whatever your cubic meter figure came in as, then order that.

 

Mark Out The Slab

It's almost time to dig your hole.

But first we need to work out how deep to dig your hole. Your concrete slab should be at least 4 inches deep (100mm). But you should also allow some room for the gravel.

The gravel will help the concrete sit on something a bit firmer than dirt and the gravel will compress to make a base that is quite hard.

Depending on how much gravel you have/order you might want to leave 1/2inch to 1 inch (10-25mm)

For my example, we had about 1/5th of a cubic meter in gravel. This gave us the 2cm across the bottom that we wanted.

So far you should know how deep you need your hole to be for the concrete (LxWxH= the amount of concrete you have – 5-10%)

& the extra depth you need in your hole to allow for the gravel.

 

Dig Your Hole

Make sure the bottom is flat and the height is all uniform all the way around.

Dig a little outside your perimeter, this will give you room to place your form-work later.

After you have dug your hole, water it. This will help the dirt settle.

 

Form-work

String-Line and Form-WorkThe form-work here is in place and screwed together. The back fence acts as the form-work at the back, while the builders plastic holds the concrete in

Next step is to ‘box off' or make some form-work.

Form-work is the container for your concrete slab. Kind of like how a glass keeps water in it, the form-work keeps the concrete in it.

If your slab is going to be 4 inches (100mm) then it helps to have at 4 inch timber for your formwork. If you don't you will need to use the builders plastic on the inside and run some dirt up to the form-work so the concrete doesn't spill out. It also helps to staple the builders plastic to the form-work so it doesn't move.

Screw or nail your formwork together at the edges, then use your hardwood pegs to keep it in place. Over long stretches the timber might bow, so use the pegs on either side to keep it straight. (When you are pouring your slab, the concrete will try to push the form-work out. That's when you take the inside pegs out.)

Once the form-work is in, then you can remove the string-line. The top of the form-work should be the top of your slab, where the string-line was. If your timber is straight and true, then you can remove the string-line before you put the form-work down.

 

Gravel

Once the form-work is down and secured its time to put the gravel in.

Put it in as even as you can, while keep watching your heights around your form-work.

TIP – after the gravel is down, water it. This will help the gravel condense and stop the dust from blowing everywhere. It is also a good idea to water the gravel just before you put the slab down.

 

Steel Mesh

Steel MeshThe steel mesh covers almost all of the area of the slab. The bar-chairs are in place and need to be stood up.

Before the concrete comes, or gets made we need to have the mesh ready to go.

The mesh is going to be different depending on your use for the shed. If your shed is like mine (just a tool shed) then you wont need any heavy steel. Standard (thick mesh) will do.

However, if you want to put your car in here then you will need some stronger steel. 1/4 inch bar run where you are going to park your car, and anywhere the car is going to get driven over (like a driveway) is a must. And you will also need some mesh to cover the rest of the slab.

The easiest way to cut this is with special cutters, but you can use an angle grinder (recommended) or a hacksaw (not recommended) if you are really stuck.

When cutting the steel mesh you want to leave it at least 4 inches from any side. Having steel poking out of a slab is bad. It will rust and get into the concrete which will cause concrete cancer (your slab will slowly crumble from the inside.)

The mesh also shouldn't sit on the ground. it should be suspended in the slab, and the easiest way to do this is ‘bar chairs'. You could also get some old bricks or something else concrete and put them under the slab, but the bar chairs are quite cheap, and wherever you got the mesh will sell them. You can also set them at different heights which can come in handy

 

Checklist so far

☑ Form-work level, and at correct height.

☑ Form-work is strong

☑ No gaps in form-work for concrete to escape

☑ Mesh in and at least 4 inches in from form-work around all sides

☑ Mesh raised to about the center height of slab

 

Concrete Pouring Day

TIP – Don't do this on your own if you can avoid it. On a hot day time can be against you so having two people means the job gets done a lot faster.

TIP – Wet everything you are going to use in the concrete first. Your level, shovel, etc. this will make cleaning up a lot easier, the concrete doesn't stick as much to wet items.

The easiest way is to get concrete delivered. That way you just run your wheelbarrows to and from the mixer truck and dump them as evenly as possible.

If you have hired a small mixer and bought the materials you will need to get the mix correct, and there are other things you have to worry about. And I don't think its any cheaper

As of writing this, the concrete for my slab cost me $225 AUD delivered. I'm sure if you Googled concrete mini mix in your area you could get some quotes.

 

Preparation

1st thing, get out and water that gravel – you'll also need a hose nearby for later.

It's also a good time to get all your tools ready for later on so there's no mucking around. Like your hand tools, straightedge/level etc.

 

Spread The Concrete

Start dumping your concrete as evenly as you can. Make sure that the form-work doesn't get damaged. (We used an old board and a few bricks to create a ramp that went over the form-work)

Firstly use your shovels to move the concrete around. Don't be afraid to poke and prod, because that will help get any air bubbles out. The pros use vibration tools on big sites to do the same job.

 

This video shows how they pour and level a concrete slab on a commercial scale

 

Leveling Your Concrete Slab

Then get in and start evening it out.

Serious landscapers have a huge straight edge which they use to level off concrete. You can get away with a long level (2m)

The best way I've seen to even out concrete is start at the back and work your way forward. With the level or straight edge, rock it forward and back in your hands until you can sit it on the concrete and get a flat surface. This may take a couple of times so be patient!

It's important to get the bit you are working on right, then move on.

 

Once It's Flat and Level

Once the slab is flat, and you are happy with it it's time to clean your tools that you have used.

As your working, you will see the water start to rise to the top of the slab, this means it is starting to dry.

 

Concrete Finishes

Concrete finishes should be applied when the top of the concrete is semi dry. After you pour the slab and level it the water will rise to the top. This gives a glossy type look to the concrete. After this has died down, and the water has evaporated a little then it's time to put on your finishes. The time it takes for this to happen varies on the temperature, and how much sunlight is on the concrete. On a coolish day with shade over the concrete it can take a few hours to get to this stage.

Finished Slab

The slab in the picture is finished with a screet finish. This isn't necessary, you do need a trowel to be able to do this, (something like this) however the corners are rounded off, which i recommend. (will save the edges from chipping later)

To do this you go around the end with a special tool. If your half decent with metal work you could make one yourself, or you can just get one from your local hardware store or online here. To use it just stick it in between the slab and the form-work and let the tool do the rest. You need to go up and down a few times. As you can see on my slab the corners are a little indented on the slab. It looks nice in my opinion.

There's one more thing we need to cover before the concrete starts drying and that is dummy joints.

How to pour a concrete slab for a shed - Dummy JointsOver time this concrete has moved, but still looks good because any cracks are concealed by the dummy joints

If you have a slab that is an L shape for example, you will want to put in a dummy joint. To put one in, you use a tool like this. It's a ‘Concrete Groover' and puts a groove in the concrete. To get a straight line, when you are doing your finishes put your level on the concrete and run the Groover along the level, like you draw a line with a ruler.

Running these dummy joints means if the concrete is going to crack, the crack will be restricted to the dummy joint. You can see where we put dummy joins in our driveway slab for reference.

TIP – If your slab is too big and you can't finish it by standing on the side and reaching in, you might need to invest in some kneeler board pads (like these). They displace your weight over the concrete keeping it flat and level whilst it hasn't dried. This way you can reach over and put your finish and dummy joints in.

 

24 Hours After Pouring

You want to be pouring on a nice day, but sometimes rain can be forecast. If rain is forecast on your day, then it's a good idea to cover your slab with something. We used builders plastic and stapled it to the fence.

You could use tent poles or anyhting that you have as a makeshift shelter. It is best of course to try and avoid these days.

After 24 hours you can walk on your slab, although it will take about 1 month for your slab to ‘fully harden' (apparently it took the hoover dam 2 years to fully harden).

If your just building a shed on it, you can start doing that in 2 weeks. Although i would keep my car off of it for the full month.

 

Thanks for reading,. Any questions, comments or queries on how to pour a concrete slab for a shed then please use the contact us page!

How to Wire a Shed

SO YOU HAVE A nice new shed to store all of your power tools and outdoor equipment. You decide to go out late in the evening in the middle of winter. It is dark. It is cold. It would be REALLY nice to have some overhead lights or a portable heater out there.

It is time to wire the shed up to your home's electrical system.

How to wire a shed

This article will give you the basics on how to go about wiring an outdoor shed. Every wiring project is different. This is general advice that might not apply to your situation. It is not a substitute for expert advice and if you are ever in doubt about what you should do it is time to talk to a professional electrician.

Wiring a shed is more complicated than most DIY home improvement projects. It requires planning and will likely take two weekends at least, more if you end up having to dig a long trench.

That said, in most cases wiring an outdoor shed is a project that a homeowner with some basic electrical knowledge can tackle on their own if they are willing to put in the work planning. We won't be talking about general wiring principles in this article; if you are in need of “wiring 101” help then you probably will want to tackle an easier project first.

 

Wiring a shed can be divided into the following stages:

1) Planning – this is the most important and will take the longest

2) Digging the trenches

3) Shed receptacle wiring (including sub-panel if installed)

4) Laying underground cable

5) Internal home wiring

6) Final connections

 

There are several options at each stage depending on your needs and your local electrical codes.

Speaking of electrical codes, the first part of planning is…

 

Know your Local Codes

The basic document for electrical wiring in the United States is the National Electric Code (NEC). The NEC is a living document and is updated every 3 years.

However, the actual rules that you are subject to are defined locally. Each locality will choose the elements of the NEC that apply to it.  The National Electric Code is a minimal standard. Some jurisdictions will have more stringent requirements based on local conditions like weather or soil type. The most recent version is the 2014 NEC, but most places have not adopted it yet. Many places are still using the 2008 version.

NECThe NEC is available through the National Fire Protection Association. Copies of the local electric code are usually available at the local library, or you can purchase one through Amazon.

You will also need to talk to the local electrical inspector at some point, so you might as well get it out of the way now. Many localities have procedures for homeowners that want to do their own work. Some will allow a homeowner to get a permit and do work on their own house but the inspections will be extra tough.

I really have to emphasize that you need to find out your local codes, because it will affect all of the subsequent plans. Some local codes require conduit for all underground wires, some do not. Some local codes allow PVC plastic receptacles but others require cast aluminum.

It may not seem important now, but doing everything to code will save you trouble in the long run. When you go to sell your house these are the type of things the inspector will be looking for. Having to dig up all of the electrical wire you ran years ago will be the last thing you want to do when you are in the process of moving.

 

Decide on your Needs

First, know why you want to have electricity in the shed. What you you want to run? How many lights? How many receptacles? A standard shed wiring project like a receptacle or two and some lights doesn't require a lot of power. What about power equipment or a welder?

If you want to be able to run a heater then we could be talking about 240V and a lot more power. Rather than running two or more circuits to the shed it may be more economical to run one larger circuit to the shed and install a sub-panel. From the sub-panel then you can run the two or three circuits that you need inside the shed.

 

Plan the Circuit

Circuit_diagram_–_pictorial_and_schematic

An example Circuit Diagram

The first decision you need to make is whether to extend an existing circuit or create a new one. If an existing circuit just powers one or two outdoor receptacles and the shed is only going to have a light and a receptacle or two then it may be fine to extend the existing circuit.

On the other hand, if you are looking for multiple receptacles in the shed plus lights then you will need to run a dedicated circuit to the shed.

Things get more complicated if you have more advanced power needs or if you want to have heating or air conditioning in the shed. If you want to run equipment like a welder that requires 240 V service then you will need to run 240V to the shed.

At this point you will likely be looking at installing a separate sub-panel in the shed. You will run a single 250 V, 60A line to the subpanel and then break it out into multiple circuits from there.

 

Lay out your circuit:

The details of laying out your circuit are beyond the scope of this article. They are unique to your individual plan. Here's one good article on planning electrical circuits for your home: http://www.diyadvice.com/diy/electrical/new-install/check-service/

 

However, there are a few things I want to mention that are specific to outdoor circuits and sheds.

1) Receptacles attached to a structure must be at least 1 foot off the ground and no more than 6.5 feet off the ground.

2) If you have any freestanding receptacles outside then the receptacle should stand between 12 and 18 inches off the ground, although some local codes vary.

3) Even more so than in homes, you should try to plan the circuit to minimize the length of cable runs. This will save you money (buying less wire), effort (less trench to dig), and safety(less wire means less potential for damage).

 

Which Wire?

An important feature of most outdoor wiring projects are the distances involved. The distance from the house to the shed could be longer than the entire run of the house.

For all residential wiring the wiring has to be a MINIMUM OF 12 GAUGE THICKNESS (remember, smaller numbers means thicker wire).  In previous versions of the NEC 14 gauge wire was acceptable for 15 Amp circuits and in some local codes it may still be acceptable. But for best practices, it will be best to use the thicker wire.

For external structures you may be running wire a longer distance than usual. This could call for a thicker wire or a larger breaker. Longer wire means a greater voltage drop which the greater resistance in the thicker wire will protect against.

 

If the run is going to be greater than 50 feet then some electricians will recommend going up a wire size or two.

amps 25ft 50ft 100ft 150ft 200ft
15 14 12 8 6 6
20 12 10 8 6 4
30 10 8 6 4 3

Source: http://www.cerrowire.com/voltage-drop-table

 

Your diagram:

If you are drawing a diagram for the local permitting office, follow their procedures and guidelines. Otherwise, mark on your diagram:

1)The main service panel

2)Utility lines (if known – otherwise discover them before digging)

3)Label the types of wire – Outdoor wire needs to either be UF wire or in an external conduit.

4)The receptacles and switches

 

Dig the Trenches

Before you begin to dig the trench, call the local utility companies and have them mark on your property where the lines are. You don't want to be digging and then find the kids screaming because you hit the cable TV line. Or even worse, hit a power line.

 

The national program is called “Call Before You Dig”. DIAL 811 (NOT 911) and you will be connected to the local program that handles marking utility lines, including power lines, telephone lines, and cable TV.

The burial depth varies by location and the type of conduit that you use to hold the wires. Don't be tempted to skimp on trench depth, even if you have hard clay soil that is difficult to dig.

The trench should be a straight line. No turns if you can manage it. The NEC limits the total number of turns in a conduit to 360 degrees total over the course of the whole run. In the local code it may be less.

According to the NEC, the minimum burial depth for PVC conduit is 18 inches.  The depth for direct burial UF wire is 24 inches. The depth for metal conduit is 6 inches. Again, these are the minimums set by the NEC. The local minimums may be different.

http://www.doityourself.com/stry/calculating-how-deep-to-bury-outdoor-electrical-wire

 

Install Boxes and Conduit

All switch and receptacle boxes should be rated for outdoor use. This means watertight. Water and electricity do not mix.  The type of receptacle boxes that you can use depends on the local code. Some allow PVC boxes but others will require cast aluminum.

Start by doing the word inside the house. Install retrofit boxes and the cables between them if extending an existing circuit. Cut a hole to run cable to an outdoor GFCI receptacle. The receptacle needs to be right above the trench you dug. Run IMC conduit from the GFCI receptacle to 4 inches above the bottom of the trench, and then install a sweep fitting to the bottom of the trench.

Do the same thing on the shed.

 

This is also the point where you will install a sub-panel in the shed if you need to.

 

The video gives excellent instructions for installing a sub-panel next to the main panel. The main difference in installing a sub-panel in an external building is that an additional grounding rod is required.

 

Install Underground Wire

Exactly what you do at this stage depends on local code and personal preference. If the code allows, some people like to lay UF cable directly in the ground. Make sure that you dug to the proper depth for laying UF cable.  The UF stands for “Underground Feeder” and is a cable that is designed to be watertight and resist the elements under the ground. NM wire, the standard cable inside homes, cannot be used.

UF wire only needs to be used in the outdoor portions of the circuit. The part in the shed and in the house can use the standard NM wire.

 

If you are using conduit, pulling the electrical cable through the conduit will be the second least fun part of the project (after digging the trench). This video, though over 10 minutes long, is a good video on pulling wire through conduit using string and rope.

 

Extension Cord… Just Say No

This looks like hard work so far. At some point it could become tempting to use a male to male extension cord to connect the shed to the house power. Please resist this temptation. Some people claim that this can last for years, but the extension cord is not rated for continual use. Especially not in the elements. It will turn into a fire hazard, if not for you then for the next owner.

 

Making the Final Connections

Make sure you know what the electrical inspector needs to see. Different locales will require inspections at different points in the process. Before you close everything up the inspector will need to take a look at it.

 

Wire up the switches and the outlets. Make the final connection to the main circuit breaker. If you made it through the rest of the steps, then you can get through this one without any problem.

 

When to Call an Electrician

Most of these components can be installed by a homeowner with a basic knowledge of electrical wiring. You may need to call an electrician if:

  1. You want a sub-panel and are not comfortable installing one yourself.
  2. You do not see a good way of making a single straight line from the house to the shed. This is especially true if you are using conduit to run the wires. Bending conduit properly is hard, but do-able if you take your time.
  3. You are not sure how to do proper load analysis.
  4. Or your load analysis shows that that you do not have adequate capacity in your main breaker. It may be time for an upgrade.
  5. You cannot acquire or cannot understand the local building code

 

Thanks for reading. I hope you go something out of this.

Please be safe, and if you are unsure, call an electrician!

 

Attributes:

“Circuit diagram – pictorial and schematic” by United States. Dept. of the Air Force – Operation and Maintenance of Diesel-electric Locomotives. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Circuit_diagram_%E2%80%93_pictorial_and_schematic.png#mediaviewer/File:Circuit_diagram_%E2%80%93_pictorial_and_schematic.png

ZacsGarden – How to Build a Shed

Learn how the Pro’s do Shed Roof Repairs

It's simpler than you think…

Man Examining his Shed roof repairShed roof repair jobs can get a bit messy. They can be hard to trace and see where the problem is and where the water is getting in.

So we did some homework and found how the professionals did it.

Needless to say they make it look easy, but the information they gave us, was very helpful.

We hope that it helps you too.

 

Replacing Roof Shingles

Shingles are long lasting but they can break or become unstuck leaving holes for water to get into your shed. If you want to have a go at fixing it yourself here is what to do…

How to Replace a Shingle

 

Tube

A roof sealer for sealing shingles. Available at Amazon

It's easier than it looks!

  1. Break the seals and pull out the nails on the single you want to replace and the two above it (two rows up)
  2. If you are replacing a decent size area, you will have to break the seals and pull the nails of that area and the ones around it.
  3. If you are just replacing one, then use a knife to cut it out.
  4. Slide in your new shingle and nail it. Start at the bottom and work your way up the roof.
  5. If its cold, then use some tar to seal the shingles down. This will stop them from blowing around before they seal.

Trade tips

  1. If your flat bar has square edges, round them so they don't cut into the shingle.
  2. You can use a tar or roof patch in a tube to get an instant seal. Shingles are designed to seal in warm weather, but in cold they can use some assistance.

 

Repairing a Metal Shed Roof

Many metal shed roofs are repaired with few tubes of silicone, but there are cleaner and more efficient ways of patching any holes.

We like the Cofair Aluminum Quick Roof Tape for its speed, durability and it is a much cleaner job. You also don't have to paint it. Once its stuck down, your done!

How to use Cofair Aluminum Quick Roof Tape

 

Cofair Aluminium quick roof tape

Available at a discount from Amazon

It's as easy as 1-2-3

  1. Clean the area
  2. Cut a piece and roll it out
  3. Then roll it to get all the bubbles out

When the tape is adhesive, and when it heats up a little it is stuck for good.

 

How to Re-Roof Your Shed

If you are looking to pull your shingles or other roof covering off and start again, then first start with some underlay

How to Lay Underlay on Your Shed Roof

 

A good underlay goes a long way to a waterproof shed

TYPAR roof underlay

This is good quality roof underlay, available cheap at Amazon

  1. Pull all your old roofing off and inspect your roof. You may want to replace some of your roof decking if it has been water damaged.
  2. Measure your roof, allowing for some overhang. (the guy in the video allows 75mm (3 inches)
  3. Mark lines where your overlay edges will go. Then cut your underlay to size
  4. Put the underlay on, start at the bottom of the roof and work your way to the top. The top piece should go on last.
  5. Nail it in and secure it around all edges.
  6. Now you are ready for shingles, metal roof or something else!

 

Trade Tips

  1. Get yourself a sharp knife and a straightedge to make the best cuts.
  2. 3/8 inch flat head nails are appropriate for attaching underlay to your roof
  3. When applying cladding on a roof, work from the bottom up
  4. Schedule a job for a nice calm day

 

Thanks for reading. Good luck with your Shed Roof Repairs.

You can see more on shed roofs here

Answering YOUR Shed Repairs Questions

Here are the most frequently asked questions about shed repairs, and our answer in how to go about fixing them.

Got Shed Roof Repair Questions? We've answered them here

Got pest questions, they have been answered here

 

“How Do I Replace my Shed Siding?”

Siding is an easy job that you don't need to pay someone else to do. It shouldn't take long and with these tips, you'll be done in an afternoon.

 

A good amateur video with some handy tips

Tools You Need

  1. Hammer
  2. Flatbar – crowbar
  3. Stanley knife
  4. Wedge
  5. Sawzall (if your only replacing half a board)
  6. Handsaw

 

Step-by-Step

  1. Use a hammer to hit the nails in the weatherboards around the area you want to replace.
  2. Use your Stanley knife to scour around the area, this is to stop paint chipping away at the edges
  3. Stick your flatbar underneath the the weatherboard you want to replace, and the one above it, jarring it out a little
  4. Use your flatbar and hammer to take the nails out of the weatherboards.
  5. If your only replacing a section of board, then cut it, otherwise just pull it out.
  6. Replace the weatherboard with a new, pre-primed board and hammer it in, then hammer the one above it in.

 

“What about fixing rot in smaller areas?”

This video goes into specific detail about repairing small areas, like window frames. He uses;

  1. Builders bog
  2. A sharp chisel
  3. Putty knife

Trade Tips

  1. It's better to start with too little bog, than too much. You can always mix up more.
  2. Do not overfill the hole with bog. It is harder to chisel it away than add more.
  3. Filling the last 20% of your hole with an outside rated wood putty is a good idea. Bog sets very hard and is difficult to sand when patching old wood.

 

“My Door is Busted, How Do I Fix it?”

You can patch a door with some masonite or plywood, but other times doors aren't worth fixing. So here is a quick video of a classic shed door being made from scratch.

Trade Tips

  1. Make the door a little oversize, that way you can square up all the edges with a saw later on.
  2. Check your door opening for square and make your door appropriately.
  3. Paint the top and bottom of your door before you put it in, its easier this way and the door does need to be sealed there.
  4. If you need to start again, here are some shed door plans

Any more questions, please contact me. I'd love to hear from you.

Building a Metal Storage Shed in 6 Steps

Metal sheds can be tough to install…

Arrow Hamlet Shed

The Arrow Hamlet is a standard metal shed. See more info here.

They don't forgive mistakes well. A slip with the drill can leave a hole in your shed. The panels are also thin and flimsy, and are hard to hold when assembling.

It can really help to see an example of one being built. It helps answer simple questions like how did they hold that panel there. What part goes first, etc.

So without any more babble, here is our guide to….

(This guide does not involve building a shed foundation)

 

Building a Metal Storage Shed in 6 Easy Steps

1/ Install the floor frame

The floor frame is where all of the wall panels slot in. So after you have built your foundation, , this is your first job.

Make sure that it is square by measuring diagonally from corner to corner. The measurements should be the same for the frame to be square. You can then fix the floor frame into your foundation.

 

2/ Put the walls up

Put the walls up and secure them together.

This can be fiddly because the panels are flimsy until they are all held together. It does help to have another person help you with this.

 

3/ Secure the walls

There will be braces that secure the walls so they stay together. This includes the door trim which will make the area around the door much stronger.

 

4/ Put the roof on

Install the gables (which are at the front and back of the shed), then install the roof beams. The roof beams will give you a strong foundation to install the roof panels on. They are also where you will screw your roof panels into.

5/ Make the roof watertight

The roof on metal storage sheds have center and side coverings. These need to be on to keep the water out successfully, and secure the roof.

 

6/ Install the doors and windows

The last thing you do is install the doors and any windows.

An homeowner time lapse video that shows all the running around that you do building a shed!

 

Tips for building a metal shed

  1. Use a drill. If you have a helper, get them a drill to. Because there are a lot of screws.
  2.  You will at a minimum need a drill, measuring tape, and ladder to complete this instillation.
  3. Make sure the surface/foundation is flat and level. The holes wont line up during assembly if you don't and it can lead to water entering the shed
  4. If you are finding water in your shed, its because something has not been put up properly. For a quick fix you can use silicone to plug the hole.

 

Thanks for reading. If you have any comments or constructive criticism, please leave a comment.

 

Assembling a Plastic Shed Kit

PLASTIC SHEDS CAN BE TOUGH to assemble with bad instructions. So to make it easier we have found videos about assembling plastic sheds about the 4 large manufacturers.

If you are having trouble building a plastic shed, then look below for your manufacturer, and watch the video.

 

By the way if you haven't got a plastic shed to put in your backyard yet, take a look at the best picks of cheap plastic sheds and the most popular 6×4 plastic sheds and 8×6 plastic sheds

Lifetime

 

Rubbermaid

 

Keter

 

Suncast

 

Plastic sheds are a great easy solution. They are easy to own and easy to assemble.

Building a plastic shed should take you and a helper less than one day to construct. It also doesn't require many tools, and is non-DIY friendly.

 

Tips for building your plastic shed kit

  • Use your own, or borrow an electric drill. Many manufacturers say to use a screwdriver only, but electric drills with clutches are safe, and save a lot of time.
  • Count your pieces as soon as you get them. It's not uncommon for some kits to go without enough screws or bolts.
  • Use dish soap or WD40 to help stubborn joins go together
  • Sometimes using a block of wood under the wall joins can help them go in easier
  • Don't leave your plastic panels around in the sun. The heat can make them expand so they wont fit when you try to assemble them. On hot days leave the shed parts in the shade.
  • Plastic can also contract in the cold. So do not install the shed in very cold weather.
  • You will need to fasten plastic sheds to their foundation if you expect windy conditions. If they are tall, they can blow over. The best way to anchor them is drill them into the concrete or timber base. If your shed is sitting on gravel or sand, then a few large stakes pushed through holes in the floor will hold the shed.

 

Thanks for reading.

If you have any comments then please leave us a message!

 

How To Build A Fabric Shed

The 6 step process…

Fabric Shed

Just like building anything, building a fabric shed can be fun or a pain depending on how you do it.

Fabric sheds can be built in approximately 1-2 hours, and the smaller ones can be built by just one person.

And there is enough information here to make building your fabric shed is simple.

We've included videos and a simple guide because seeing others do it and knowing what to expect can save your shed building experience from turning into a frustration!

 

Building a Fabric Shed in 6 Steps

 

1/ Count your pieces

Make sure you have everything. Many homeowners end up running off to home depot to get a few bolts that are missing, save yourself the trouble first!

The ShelterLogic company video that shows the complete assembly process

 

2/ Make the frame

Building the frame is quite easy if you lay out all the parts first. This way you make sure they are all there, but it also helps you see how they go together.

 

3/ Then anchor the frame

Once you have the frame together, measure it to make sure its square, then fix it to the ground with the provided anchors. You can also purchase heavy duty anchors, which although annoying, is a good idea if you plan on leaving the shed up permanently.

To make sure its square, diagonally measure from one corner to the other. Both measurements should equal the same.

 

4/ Add the cover

Once your shed frame isn’t moving its time to add the cover. You add the front and back first (in the ShelterLogic models) then put the top cover over the top.

An unhappy customer who didn't get his cover exactly right

 

5/ Then anchor the cover

Do up all the latches, ratchets and tie downs. It's best just to do them up lightly for now, just in case you need to make adjustments later.

A company video with many close ups of the anchoring process

 

6/ Double check everything is tight

Make sure that everything is tight including your ratchets, tie downs and any bolts used to hold the frame together.

Because the shed is fabric is it important to check your cover is held tightly onto the frame. To give you an indication with the ShelterLogic sheds, you shouldn't be able to slide your hand between the frame and the cover. If you can, your cover is too loose.

 

Done!

Thanks for reading. If you know of any other tips for building a fabric shed, the please leave a comment and let us know!

Building A Wood Shed In 6 Easy Steps

Want to see what your in for?

Building a wood shedThere's nothing worse than a project that turns into a frustration. Something that doesn't work, isn't included or wasn't thought of.

That's why we have simplified the steps of building a wood shed. And there are plenty of videos explaining how to build the shed.

 

**Note – We covered the foundation in previous page. If you have not put a foundation down yet please revert to that page. (See that page here)

 

Building A Wood Shed

We have found that building a wood shed takes 6 steps.

 

1/ Build the panels

The first step is to put the frame together. If you have a kit, then find the pieces and put them together, you can use your foundation for somewhere level and flat to help you build it.

If your building from scratch then measure and cut the pieces for the frame and put them together.

It can save time having a nailgun to do this step, but you can get away with just a hammer and nails.

It also helps to build your trusses here too. Use the flat foundation to make sure that they are together and hold strong.

The builder builds the wall panels before putting them up

 

2/ Put up the walls

Next is to put the walls up. You want to erect them on your foundation. It can help to have two people do this, although you can use props and spare pieces of wood to brace the walls individually.

If you erect two walls that go next to each other, then screw or nail them together they will hold.

A great example of putting up and lining a roof

 

3/ Put up the roof

The roof is the third part of the shed to be assembled. Put your trusses on top of the walls and fix them in. You need to measure the distance to make sure that they are evenly spread.

For this part, you can cut pieces of wood to the size of the gap and then attach those pieces to the trusses. This will give the roof some rigidness.

Trusses are usually fixed to the top of the walls with nails or screws

 

4/ Cladding

If you haven’t yet clad your walls or roof, now is the time. But before you get started, you can insulate your shed with sarking if you need. It can help keep out water, if it were to sneak past your panel.

Clad the walls and the roof. This will help strengthen your shed. The easiest way, depending on what your cladding yoru shed with, is to use a nailgun, or a hammer and nails.

When cladding the roof, it is best to put some board down for lining, before you attach your outside material (shingles, corrugated iron, etc.) You will also want to add some drip edge to your roof to stop and water running down the roof and inside the shed.

 

5/ Doors and windows

It’s time for the fiddly stuff. The doors, trim, windows, shutters, vents and other accessories tend to go on last. This way they don’t get in the way while your building the structural stuff. This step can take as long as all of the previous steps combined, so be patient!

From 6.20. The video shows the attachment of accessories and trim

 

6/ Paint

Paint the thing! Wood sheds look nice with a two tone color scheme, but as long as its all covered then its all protected! It can be a good idea to paint the inside a light color, to help keep it bright in there and make it easy to see.

 

Done!

A quick video that shows the overall process

 

That’s your shed assembled. If you have any questions or want to share your experience building a wood shed, then please leave a comment!

 

Assembling Your Shed

Assembling a shed can be an adventure or an ordeal…

Heimwerker Held

From what we've seen, it comes down to experience. Having done it, or something like it before makes assembling a shed easy.

So for those who haven't had that experience, we've got the next best thing. We've broken down and simplified the process, including the best videos so you can see sheds being built.

It’s all here. All you need to do is get started.

 

Assembling Metal, Plastic, Wood and Fabric Sheds

(We have covered shed foundations here)

What You Need Before Assembly

Just so you don't overlook anything, we've put together a list so your shed build will go smoothly.

  1. Nice weather – Nobody really wants to build their shed in the rain or a 100 degree day do they?
  2. Tools – Typically an electric drill, mallet, tape measure, and a ladder. You may need more depending on what type of shed your building.
  3. A flat level foundation – This cannot be understated. It will make your life so much easier putting the shed on a level base, and save you time too.
  4. A helper – At least on standby its helpful to have someone around. They can help discipher the instructions, or give you a hand putting the roof on.
  5. A strong light – Just in case the shed build goes a bit longer than first thought, and you run out of natural light

 

Thanks for reading. If you have some comments or constructive criticisms then please leave a message below!

Shed Size Calculator App

*Disclaimer – The sizes used in the shed size calculator app are approximate sizes. The application is designed to give you an approximate size. Please measure your items before making decisions on the size of your next shed.

 

So, how do you know what size shed to buy?

We heard stories of people getting all of their equipment out and measuring it. Sounds like a long day!

There are also calculators available online that work like old love testers. You put in all of your information and it matches you with a shed size. It's not a very visual process though.

To make it easier, we have measured everything and put it online. Now you can move the items around to see what size shed you need, all from the comfort of your arm chair!

 

Instructions

We've tried to make it as easy as possible.

  1. Select the size shed you want
  2. Move the items in and out of the shed to see what fits
  3. If you need a custom item, fill in the custom sized item area

It’s that easy!

 

You can see the sizes we have used for the App here

Item Length (ft) Width (ft) Length (px) Width (px)
Riding lawn mower 6 3 69 34.5
Push lawn mower 4.5 1.8 52 20.7
Trailer 11.3 6.3 130 72
ATV 6 4 69 46
Sedan car 10 6 115 69
Patio furniture 2.5 2 29 23
Work bench 5 2 58 23
Shelving 4 1.5 46 17
Ladder 2 1 23 12
Bicycle 6 2 69 23
Motorbike 6 3 69 34.5
Pick-up Truck 18 8 207 92
Wheelbarrow 4.1 2.3 48 27

Px (Pixel) sizes worked off 11.5px per foot

 

Can you think of a way we can improve our App?

We welcome constructive feedback, please contact us here.

You can also learn everything you need to know about building a shed on our how to build a shed resource page