How to Make Your Own Gardening Shed
Pouring the Foundation
- 1). Spray paint the ground where the shed is being built to mark the perimeter, adding 1 foot to the length and width of the shed. For instance, for an 8-foot by 14-foot shed, spray paint an area that measures 9 feet by 15 feet.
- 2). Excavate the ground inside the marked-off area, digging deeply enough to go beneath the frost line. Your local zoning board can provide you with this information.
- 3). Lay a vapor barrier over the bare soil in the hole. This is a plastic sheet which protects the foundation from moisture in the ground.
- 4). Construct a frame around the outer edge of the hole by driving wooden stakes into the ground every 3 feet and nailing 2-by-4 boards to them.
- 5). Cover the vapor barrier with sand or gravel. Follow local building codes regarding which material to use and how deep the layer needs to be.
- 6). Lay wire mesh or rebar on top of the gravel or sand, again following local building codes.
- 7). Mix a batch of concrete, following the instructions on the packaging.
- 8). Fill the hole with concrete until it is slightly above the top of the wooden form.
- 9). Screed the surface of the form by dragging a 2-by-4 board back and forth across it. This smooths the concrete and exposes low spots in the pour. Add concrete to the low spots and screed the surface again. Allow the concrete to set for the time specified on the packaging.
Building the Shed
- 1). Mark the location of the sill plates on the concrete and drill pilot holes into the concrete with a masonry drill bit. Sill plates are pressure-treated 2-by-4 boards which connect the wooden frame of the shed and the concrete foundation.
- 2). Cut the sill plates and attach them to the concrete with masonry screws spaced 6 inches apart. Lay the boards flat on the concrete, with the ends of the boards butted against each other.
- 3). Measure and cut a standard 2-by-4 board to match the length of the sill plate on the first wall. This is called the bottom plate. It is the bottom of the wall frame.
- 4). Nail a 2-by-4 to each end of the bottom plate. These boards are the end studs. Nail more studs into the 2-by-4 between the 2 end studs. The general rule of thumb for spacing studs is 16 inches on center, but follow your local building codes.
- 5). Nail another 2-by-4 (the top plate) to the tops of the studs.
- 6). Construct the frames for the other 3 walls using the same method. Follow local building codes regarding the framing for the doors and any windows you are installing.
- 7). Lift the frames into position on the sill plates with the help of a friend. Check the frames for plumb (vertically straight) and level (horizontally straight) and nail them to the sill plates.
- 8). Nail the corners of the wall frames together by driving nails through the end studs every 12 inches.
- 9). Nail prefabricated roof trusses to the top of the walls, following local building codes. You can order the trusses to meet your specific dimensions.
Cover the walls and roof with 3/4-inch plywood sheathing, attached with the long edges horizontal. Nail the sheathing to the roof rafters and wall studs. Stagger each row of sheathing so that 4 corners do not meet up at any point. This helps strengthen the walls.
Cover the sheathing with roofing paper. Begin installing the paper at the bottom of the shed, laying it flat against the sheathing and stapling it to the plywood with a hammer stapler every 6 to 8 inches. Overlap the top edge of the previous row by 1 inch.
Install wooden shingles on the shed. Place the first shingle into the bottom corner of 1 of the walls. Nail it to the shed with 2 nails located an inch from each edge and 4 inches from the bottom. Attach shingles along the rest of the bottom edge, leaving an expansion gap of about 1/4 inch between the shingles.
Begin setting the next row of shingles by cutting 1 in half and using that on the end. Position it along the edge of the wall, covering the top half of the shingle in the first row, and nail it to the wall. Finish installing the shingles in the rest of the row.
Continue installing shingles until the walls are complete. Keep the shingles in every other row staggered to help strengthen the walls.
Nail drip-edge flashing along the bottom edges of the roof. Flashing is metal used to cover gaps in roofing to prevent water leaks.
Lay the first row of roofing shingles, positioning them so they hang over the edge by 1/4 inch and nailing them to the roof.
Lay the next row of shingles. Place them so they hang over the top half of the shingles in the first row and are staggered over the shingles in the first row. Continue installing shingles until you reach the peak of the roof.
Install the ridge cap over the peak of the roof. Do this by cutting the tabs off of the shingles, then folding the top half of the shingles over the peak and nailing them to the roof.
Install the windows (if necessary) and door.