Garden Sheds 101: How to Build on a Budget

Building a garden shed can be a great project that improves your backyard’s aesthetics and usefulness. Here’s what you need to know before you build your new garden shed.

What Is the Purpose of Your Shed?

One of the first steps in building a garden shed is to determine how you will use it. The functions will get you thinking about what size shed will meet your needs. You may plan to store small garden tools or larger appliances and furniture, or you may want to create a small workspace. If you are thinking of a larger space that you can use for living and entertaining, you should consider a larger building that may need wiring for lighting and other electronics.

What About Security?

If you plan to store expensive or valuable equipment—like a new lawnmower or a plasma TV—you need more than just a simple hook-and-eye nailed to the door. A steel-lined door, sturdy lock system and solid construction are all key elements to your shed's security. Also, when building the shed, consider the size of the items you plan to store inside. If you want to put your motorcycle in your shed, make sure the door is wide enough that it will fit through.

Where Should You Put Your Shed?

When planning to use natural light, let your eyes be the judge. Place the shed where the sun won't be obstructed by trees or other constructions.

Additionally, all sheds will need to be placed on some sort of flooring. The best option for longevity and versatility is a concrete slab, which you can lay yourself or have professionals install for you. Other options include paving, gravel and brick.

To Build or Buy a Kit?

There are many kits available that provide easy-to-assemble parts for your garden shed. Many companies will deliver the walls and roof pre-assembled so that all that you need to do is screw them together. Some companies will even put the parts together for you. Kits from hardware stores are generally packaged in a set of boxes, which make them easy to get home, but require more work in assembly. Though these are easy to erect, you may not get the same control of materials and design as if you construct a garden shed yourself.

Constructing a shed yourself can be quite rewarding, though it will take a lot more time to complete. To get started, stop by your local hardware store or purchase a shed plan online. This will provide measurements and a list of materials you will need.

For quicker, more efficient, but more expensive results, select your own plan and hire a builder to complete the project for you.