There are many, many sites out there that provide hints and tips for building a shed, so I cannot claim all of this information as my own! I would not build a shed – I would go to the Forestrall Timber and Fencing yard and purchase a pre-built shed…. Yet I know that many a budding DIY enthusiast will want to build a shed from scratch. You will find links to all the information taken from other sites scattered throughout this blog.
1. Start With A Solid Foundation
A shed will not last if it isn’t built on a solid base. Most sheds can be supported by a base of solid concrete blocks or pressure-treated wood timbers set directly on the ground. The concrete blocks or timbers (aka skids) must be levelled and spaced closely enough to properly support the shed’s floor frame. It’s important to use solid concrete blocks, not hollow wall blocks, which can easily crack.
You should never build a shed in a wet, low-lying area, and if the site is exposed to occasional rainwater runoff, set the blocks or timbers on two to four inches of gravel which will help to protect the foundation from erosion.
2. Allow for Air Circulation
In the right circumstance and with enough time, excessive moisture can rot framing, warp floors and doors, corrode hinges and breed mold and mildew. In general, water is wood’s worst enemy. However there is an easy remedy. First, be sure that the lowest wood member, the mudsill, is at least 6 inches above the ground. That’s sufficient space to allow fresh air to circulate under the shed.
Leave at least 2 to 3 feet around all sides of the shed. If you build too close to trees, shrubs, fences or other structures then they will block out sunlight and wind that help to keep your shed dry. Plus, having clearance space around a shed makes it much easier when it comes time to paint or make repairs.
3. Build a Weather-Resistant Floor Frame
Don’t ever skimp on the building materials used for the floor frame or plywood floor deck. When building the floor frame, which includes the mudsill, floor joists and perimeter band joists, use 2 x 6 or 2 x 8 pressure-treated lumber. Many prefab sheds use untreated construction-grade lumber for the floor frame, which is fine, if you plan to keep your shed indoors! Even in ideal conditions on the perfect site, a shed floor will be exposed to some moisture, and in time untreated lumber will rot.
4. Use Low-Maintenance Materials
It’s sensible to choose low-maintenance materials for your shed. Whilst you may pay a bit extra for these, they’ll save you time and trouble in the long run.
Low-maintenance options include: vinyl or aluminium windows, faux-slate roof shingles, fibreglass or steel doors and composite decking for steps.
5. Get Smart About Door Size and Placement
Generally, little forethought goes into shed doors. However there’s no sense in building a shed to store a particular item, such as a lawn mower or a wheelbarrow, then finding you can’t fit it through the door.
The two types of doors most commonly used on outbuildings are hinged and sliding, and both work well. Hinged doors take up less space and close more tightly and securely. Sliding doors are easier to install and glide completely out of the way. They require additional wall space, however, to slide over when opened.
Door placement is also important. You often see doors placed on the gable end of the building, which looks nice, but makes it virtually impossible to reach items stored at the rear of the shed. A better alternative is to put the door on the long side wall, so that you’ll be able to access items to the right, left and back. Another option is to install doors on both gable-end walls, so that you’ll be able to easily reach items from either end of the shed.
If you’re thinking that this is all well and good, but how do I ACTUALLY go about building a shed, then I should direct you to the site How To Build A Shed which includes plans and detailed instructions.
Forestrall can supply your general timber requirements for a shed…
12mm Shuttering ply @ £15.00+VAT per sheet (8ft x 4ft)
10m x 1m shed roof felt £23.00+VAT per roll
13mm Galvanised Clout Nails 500g pack £3.80+VAT each
5” Shiplap £1.10+VAT/£1.30+VAT per metre (untreated/treated)
6” shiplap £1.75+VAT/£1.85+VAT per metre (untreated/treated)
Planed all round softwood framing with eased corners 33x45mm @ £1.05+VAT per metre
They also stock par flooring, ply or TGV depending on your personal choice for the floor
As I said at the start, Forestrall also stock sheds…. That’s the easiest path to follow!