How to Build a Shed in Time for Spring
by Robert Ferguson
Jump-start your spring cleaning by building a simple shed to help reduce household clutter.
This small, do-it-yourself project is an inexpensive option for your storage needs. Keep in mind: the larger the shed, the more time and money required to construct it.
First you'll need to decide on an area suitable for the structure.
Choosing a level area is ideal, since it will reduce the amount of labor required to prepare the ground. Placing the structure in close proximity to your home will make it easier to transfer items from your abode.
Simple sheds do not require an elaborate foundation.
Construct a support system by placing concrete cinder blocks on a level surface. The blocks should be spaced no more than 4 feet apart to provide adequate support for the structure.
To construct a solid floor, use 2-by-6-inch floor joists covered by 3/4-inch plywood. Since there will be lots of moisture outside, we recommend using pressure-treated lumber.
The extra money spent is well worth it, as the building will last longer.
Assemble the floor joists on top of the cinder blocks to form a square.
Place additional joists between the two sides of the square every 2 feet for additional support.
Join the floor joists by using 16D nails or securing with 3-inch exterior wood screws.
Cover the floor joists with pressure-treated plywood, and secure using 8D nails or 1 1/2-inch exterior wood screws.
Keep these things in mind as you construct your wall:
- Use 2-by-4 pressure-treated lumber to construct the shed walls.
- Plan for door and window dimensions.
- To drain properly, the roof must be sloped. A common method used to achieve the slope is to build the front wall 4 to 5 inches higher than the back wall.
5. Rafters and Roof Deck
Install the rafters across the roof -- spaced 2 feet apart on center -- using 2-by-6-inch lumber.
Place additional blocking in between the rafters over the front and back walls.
Cover the rafters with pressure-treated plywood, secured with exterior wood screws.
6. Wall Exterior
Use pressure-treated plywood, textured plywood or siding to cover the wall exterior.
Install the material square across the bottom while following the angle of the roof at the top.
Secure the siding with 1- to 1 1/4-inch exterior wood screws.
7. Dry in the Shed
Prevent the shed from leaking by installing asphalt roofing.
Cover the roof area with tarpaper, starting from the lower end and working your way to the top while overlapping each row by 6 inches.
Complete the roof by installing asphalt shingles or rolled roofing over the tarpaper.
Rolled roofing is the least expensive and easiest-to-install roofing material.
And there you have it! A simple, space-efficient shed that'll save you a lot of hassle. Job well done.
Robert Ferguson is a state-certified contractor and has more than 30 years of experience in residential home improvement, which he shares with writing clients across the U.S. Robert is also a frequent contributor to The Workbench Life
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