I’m going to explain the benefit of and how to build your own backyard wooden shed. You might think it is complicated, like building a house. Some aspects of it are like building a house but that
does not mean it is complicated. Above all you want to make sure you use straight lumber and your floors and walls are straight and level. The shed roof is easier than you think. You don’t have to be an engineer to get it done.
You probably already know where the shed is going to go. Depending on where you live you may need a permit to build a shed. In most cases if your shed is 10’x12′ you won’t need a permit unless you are pouring a cement floor. The reason behind this is a 10×12 shed is considered movable and easement areas on your property can be accessed by moving the shed if need be.
Some neighborhoods HOAs require approval no matter the size. When I built mine I had to draw out plans and explain the exterior features and colors I was planning. The designs can be drawn on paper. Just draw up what you want the shed to look like and include the size and the total height of the roof. If you don’t know how to figure how high the roof will be a quick online search should provide easy roof calculators.
Before you start constructing your shed you want to make sure the ground around the area is flat. This includes about two feet around the outside of the shed. Next you want to place some decorative rock or paving stones on top of the ground which the shed will sit on. This keeps moisture away so your posts won’t be soaking wet all the time and lead to rot. I put a couple inches of decorative rock down and then used paver stones on top of that.
Once the ground is flat and you’ve placed the rock you want to get four 4×4 or 6×4 posts that are 10 feet or 12 feet depending on which way you want them to run under the shed floor. Lay posts across the rock or stones. Place them equally apart with two of the posts outer edges measured to the width or length of the shed. This picture will give a visual about what I am trying to explain.
After the posts are laid you will need to put 4 2×6’s around the exterior of the beams, these are the rim joists. After the rim joists are on we will place the floor joists. Before you start the floor joists you need to measure diagonally from corner to corner on both sides. This will help you square up the floor. Your diagonal measurements should measure the same. You will need 8 – 2x6x12 to run across the beams on a 16-inch center measuring from the outer edge of the rim joist. OSB and tongue and groove flooring come in 4×8 sheets. They conveniently have lines drawn on them for 16 inch centers to make it easy to attach screws or nails without being able to see the board.
Once the flooring is done you need to lay down some 3/4″ tongue and groove partical board. Start by laying it on the edge of a rim joist going along your floor joist. Attach one edge and you will be able to see if your frame is square by looking at the short edge of the partical board. The edge of the partical board should end up in the middle of one of the floor joists. If the outside edges don’t line up with the two edges of the partical board you will need to tweak the frame until it does. This will square up the frame.
Once the floor is completely covered you are done, Next is framing the walls.
You’ve accomplished a lot at this point. In my view the hard work is done. When framing the walls I recommend using 2×4’s also known as studs. Depending on your height requirements you may need to cut your studs. Your walls will have a bottom and a top plate which will add 3 inches to your overall height so if there is a target height you are going for this will come into play with your stud lengths.
When framing the wall use the 16 on center rule again. When you make the second wall, realized that if you mark 16 on center for the studs and then put it up against the first wall your 16 on centers will be off. This is because when you put the sheet of plywood on the walls you start from the edge. Add the thickness of the first wall when you start marking the placement of the second, third and forth walls. Confused? Instead of placing your tape measure on the board to mark 16 inch centers, allow the tape measure to hang off the wall by 4″. This will simulate the wall thickness and a piece of OSB plywood on the wall. It’ll make more sense as you move forward. Get all four walls up, hopefully you framed in a doorway and a window if you want one.
When it comes to the roof you need to determine what slope you want. I’m not going to go into detail about that. Let’s just say you want a 4-12 roof. You will build rafters at a 4-12 pitch, which means for every 12 inches horizontally the roof will rise 4 inches. I have included some pictures how to strengthen the rafter joints with particle board. I laid out my rafters on 24 inch centers. Except for snow there isn’t much load or weight on the roof.
You will want to lay out the rafters on the floor and cut the peak angle so they match up together….look at the picture and you can see the peak. Place a stringer in the middle for support. I like the roof to hang over the walls to so it has a soffit. There will be some measuring to figure out the length of each rafter from peak to soffit but that shouldn’t be too hard.
Make sure you attach your roof securely to the top of the walls with clips, sometimes known as hurricane clips. You will also want to drive a nail or screw into each side of the rafter where it meets the roof. The last thing is to put OSB onto the roof.
Your shed should look pretty solid and like a big house of particle board. I opted to use the same siding and shingles as I have on my house with 1×4 trim. For the doors I bought two 4×8 sheets of siding board and added the trim to give a good look.
Paint and you are done!
All in all the shed is pretty much stick built like a house. I have built several of these and they have stood the test of time….and some pretty bad storms. The quality of materials used will ensure it will not look tattered two years down the road and you won’t be having to worry about maintenance on it.
Congratulations! You built your shed and it’s something the neighbors will see and you can be proud of that.
I realize this is not every step in the process. I am assuming I don’t need to explain how to build a wall, what screw or nails are required or how to do shingles. Shingles is a whole other topic on it’s own.
Please follow any and all regulations in your area. If you need a permit for a shed please get one. If you are unsure of the roof structure and design please get outside help. You may have load requirements in your area and these need to be followed for safety.
Thank you for reading this article and I hope I have inspired you to build your own backyard wooden shed.