Oh, to have a shed....!


Old 06-24-08, 01:04 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 117
Oh, to have a shed....!

I've officially been a homeowner for six months now and have done a number of projects indoors and out. Lately most of my projects have been outdoors; I power washed, repaired and sealed a deck and fence that hasn't been touched in about ten years, patched and sealed several holes and cracks in my driveway, cut down surprisingly large numbers of dead branches from a number of trees, and did all that other good gardening stuff that everyone is so fond of.

Now I find that half of my two-car garage is filled with garden tools and related bits; lawn mower, fertilizer spreader, pump sprayer, assorted hand tools, bags of fertilizer and lime, etc. I could really use a shed. A quick visit to Lowes shows me a number of nice wood sheds....that are priced north of $1000 for even a small (8x10) one. Egads. (The vinyl and plastic ones are ugly as sin.)

So I'm thinking about building one. Although I've found a number of plans and instructables online for how to do this, the two things that they all seem to neglect to mention are (a) how much the materials cost and (b) how capable with tools you have to be. I'm no slouch with hand or power tools so I'm pretty sure I could do this, but since I've never done it before I'm naturally cautious. Can anyone fill in those blanks?

Any tips, leads or advice for me? One thing that must be mentioned: The shed cannot be put on a concrete foundation or even concrete posts. There is a natural gas line that runs behind my house. I've gotten permission to put a shed there provided there's no permanent foundation for it. The best I can do is to clear out an area, cover it with a few inches of gravel and set the shed on top of that.
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Old 06-24-08, 01:18 PM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Maryland
Posts: 298
half of my two-car garage is filled with. . .

Watch out for


It sneaks up on you.
Old 06-24-08, 02:15 PM
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Go to some of the places that build sheds on site or to spec. You can find a design you can adapt. Basically, you'll be building it on skids (8x8 PT, maybe 6x6, timbers) and leveling it on site. There were plenty of places back in VA who would build a shed to spec, put it on a tilting flatbed, then bring it out and level it using concrete (not cement) paver or cap blocks. My lazy (ok, and much older) neighbors had theirs done that way.

You just have to build the "platform", then the rest is standard stick construction.

Don't fool yourself though. They buy mat'l wholesale and in bulk. You will be paying retail, culling, and loading and unloading yourself (assuming you don't have it delivered, another expense).

Take the size you think you need, then add 2' both directions.

Tools are pretty simple. Skilsaw, framing square, speed square, hammer, jigsaw, miter saw (maybe), drill, snips, etc.

You CAN DO IT!!! Just not overnight.
Old 06-24-08, 02:28 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 6,126
Oh, to have a shed....!

Whatever you do, make sure it is anchored to some significant mass.

You have no idea what a good wind can do to a shed, not matter how heavy you think the contents weigh.

There are many people that have huge problems (personal and insurance) when their shed tips/rolls and hits a home. It does not take as much wind as you expect without some anchor to concrete (even if is not permanently in the ground).

You may not have much coverage for a temporarily sited shed.
Old 06-24-08, 03:31 PM
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What Mr Concrete said w/o a doubt. One neighbor did a cool thing as opposed to using straps or cables. He ran 36" earth anchors in, then bolted thru the skids. City inspector (his shed was over 100 sf) thought it was great. Very clean too.

Check with your city/county office on sizes that require permits. They are your best friends before the job, and yer non-friends after its done wrong.
Old 06-25-08, 11:22 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 6,349

Shed plans usually include a bill of material. Take this list to the lumber yard and price each item. Then multiply and add.

If there is no bill of material, make one. Start at the ground and list each component:

Blocks for support
Framing for floor
Floor material
Wall framing
Door hardware
Extra framing for doors(s)
Wall siding material
Roof framing
Roof sheathing
Roofing material(felt and shingles)
Trim boards
Old 06-25-08, 02:50 PM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: USA
Posts: 3
built our own

We were in the same boat as you, even after we added additional storage in the garage.
We also looked at our local building chain stores and found them to be expensive and cheaply made. We drove by an auto place that had some Amish made buildings on display. We ended up buying one (10x16), it came from TN (we live in IA)and was delivered and set up (leveled) for $2300.00. We liked it so much, we decided to buy another one. This one was going to be Dad's smokehouse/Mom's summer kitchen. One Sunday while we were looking at the other models on display another couple showed up, only they weren't shopping. They were taking digital pictures and measurements and were going to build one themselves. We looked at each other and it dawned on us, we had a template already sitting in our backyard. We wanted to work in easy measurements so we made ours 8x16 with 6 foot walls. Our biggest hurdle, since we only have a small pickup were the skids. We ended up sandwiching, glueing and overlapping treated 2x4's with another one on top to end up with aprox. 4x6's 16 feet long. We built the floor in the garage and with the help of our grown kids moved it out into place on some solid concrete blocks we had already leveled and placed on the ground. We even built our own trusses with some help we found on the internet. We love it. We roll the grill or one of the smokers out into the screened area and cook everyday. First thing we've ever built, besides a dog house.
Old 06-26-08, 12:36 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 117
Thanks all for the tips. Looks like I'll be "window shopping" this weekend.

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