How to Build a Shed – Part 1 – The Plan

Being a big fan of any kind of do it yourself project of course I was facing the task of building a shed more than once in my life. So, how do you approach that? And should you really so it yourself? Here I want to share with you some of my experience on how to build a garden shed by yourself.

My answer would be YES any day of the week. Building a shed yourself is not only going to save you a bunch of cash but it’s also a very rewarding experience. As is building anything nice with your own hands!

If you do not have a ton of construction experience it may seem a bit daunting at first and you might be a little unsure on how to start. Even if you do everything yourself you still have to buy the materials and you don’t want your project to fail. But let me tell you this: If you are passionate about it and willing to learn a thing or two you will succeed and you might even impress some of your peers.

After all building a shed is not rocket science and pretty much everything you need can be learned rather quickly. Not that in some states, depending on what you want to do, you will need to apply for a construction permit.

At fist you should make a plan of what you want. First in your mind and then on paper. Is it gonna be just a wood shed to keep firewood dry or do you want a full-blown garden shed with windows in it where you can hide in case your wife throws you out?

As soon as you have the general idea, try to think about the materials you want to use. Wood is definitely a good idea of course. It is affordable, easy to work with and it looks nice. But what about roofing? A door? Windows?

Make a drawing of your plan how it is going to look from the sides. An architect would call this drawing an elevation. It shows you the dimensions of your walls and which materials are used. That is important to then create a list of stuff you need to buy at your local hardware store. It is definitely worth it to invest some time in the planning and at least make an estimate on the costs. If you see then, for example, that an additional window is going to greatly inflate the costs you still have time to change something. Later in the process it is going to get harder to change stuff like that because you already bought the materials.

Architects always say that a house can only be as good as its plans and although we are talking about a smaller scale here it is somewhat true for your shed. Every little error and optimization you can work out in advance is going to save you a lot of sweat later.

Think about the details. There are a lot of things we take for granted and never think about up to the point where we actually have to figure it out. How high is a door? How much space should I have  between a door and a window? All such things are very important in construction and the standards have been established over hundreds of years.

Don’t worry if it takes you some time to figure everything out on paper. It is going to save you a lot of time later.

Another option that is actually going make it way easier for you is buying some ready made plans from people who have done all that before. There is a great variety of professional plans on how to build a shed available online for the price of two bags of cement really.

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