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How 2 Build A Shed

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Learn how to build your own shed online with my step by step guide

So here we go, how I built my DIY shed in detail…

The shed size I decided to go for is 12×10 ft. or 3×3.6m and 2.4m tall. (To the top of the eaves.)

Shed Build 1

How I built the wooden shed base

  1. Measuring and clearing the space.  The first task was to clear debris and begin to level the ground.  I marked out the size of the shed (12×10 ft. or 3×3.6m) to start just using a tape measure and four stones.  I then began to shift soil and dirt manually from one side to the other until it looked level-ish.
  2. With a relatively flat area to work on I began to mark out the ground using a tape measure, 4 sticks and string.  To make the rectangle equal and evenly square I measured from corner to corner until each length was the same.  It was at this point I had some further levelling to complete.  Using a long piece of wood and large spirit level I was able to shift more soil to make a nice even surface to work with.Shed Build 2.JPG
  3. Using reclaimed slabs from a friend I placed one in each corner and one in between each of these.  These slabs would form the main support for the base and shed.  To ensure a solid surface that wouldn’t shift I dug a 6 – 10 inch square hole under each slab.  This hole was then filled with hardcore, sand and then topped with cement before gently laying the slab on top.
  4. Mixing cement – this is quite simple.  You can mix this in a wheel barrowcement mixing tray or a cement mixer if you have access to one.  You’ll need some cement, sharp sand and water to complete the mix.  Start by mixing the cement and sand. (Look for about 1 part cement to 4 parts sand, this doesn’t have to be an exact science, just roughly)  Finally start adding bits of water whilst mixing until you have just enough for a wet mix.  Too much water will weaken the mix.  Google it if unsure.  For this build and enough cement to secure 8 slabs I used 1 X 25kg bag of cement and 4 X 25kg of sharp sand.Shed Build 4
  5. I used the 3m & 3.6m C16 timber and a spirit level whilst laying the slabs to ensure an good level frame for the base.Shed Build 5
  6. Leave the cement to go off for 24 hours before adding any additional weight.
  7. I then added an additional 6 slabs for further support but didn’t cement these in. Just laid on a nice level hard surface (some spare sand I had lying around mostly).Shed Build 6
  8. The next task was to screw all the lengths of wood together with 75mm x 5mm screws.  As you can see above I have used two of the 3.6m C16 and five of the 3m C16 construction timber to build the base frame.
  9. I then worked into the night to strengthen the base support even further with some of the CLS timber.Shed Build 8Shed build 7
  10. I had to ensure the cross supports were in the right place to fit along the edges of the OSB board I was laying as the floor.  These measure 2440mm x 1220mm and are 18mm thick.  I went for 18mm rather than a thinner 12mm board for extra stability.

I used a circular saw to cut the OSB board to the correct size.

So that’s pretty much it for the base.  Before installing the walls ensure you cover the base with a waterproof covering. Wrap it around the edges and tuck it under the base to provide a water tight seal.

How to build your own shed – Step by step guide

  1. The first step was to create the wall frames using the 3m and 3.6m C16 and CLS 2.4m timber.  I also used the 90mm square posts for the corners (2.4m in length).  These frames were simple to create and will act as the supports for the log lap cladding.  My walls measure 2m tall so simply measure, cut and screw the parts together.  Each baton will be spaced roughly 600mm apart.shed1shed2shed3shed4My little helpers.  Couldn’t have done it without them.shed5
  2. I also stapled waterproof sheeting over the frame to add that extra level of protection from the elements.  You may choose to add a breathable membrane but this will add about £80 to the final price.shed6The reason I used 90mm posts for the corners was so that I could mount the walls about 19mm in to allow for the cladding to be mounted flush.  The four corner posts are not secured to the floor.  Stability for the frame will come from the stud walls which are screwed into the floor and posts.  You could also add some 9mm plywood to the frame to add some stability.  To do this I would mount the corner posts with a 2-5mm overhang on each corner, mount the walls 9mm in from each edge and when adding the cladding you can overlap the base to add a little more protection around the bottom of the walls.
  3. On with the cladding.  I purchased my log lap cladding from a company on eBay.  Click here to go to the listing. (Remember to get cash back by clicking here when shopping on eBay to save money on your eBay purchases!) Each piece had to be cut to length using a mitre saw. For the eaves section at the top of the walls I used a jigsaw to cut out notches where the rafters came down.  The great thing about this stuff is it just slots together and it’s then screwed to the frame in 3 locations on each board. 40mm x 4mm screws.  You can also consider going for the thicker 38mm loglap which can be found here.cladding1cladding 2
  4. The roof was next and shaping the rafters the first challenge.  I decided on a 15 degree angle on a dual pitched roof so had to make a suitable join to span a 3m space.  This pitched roof not only needed to support the weight of the roof but also my body weight as I climbed up to attach the felt.  to strengthen the rafter join I cut some triangle shapes out of the off cuts of the 18mm OSB flooring.  Additionally I used the off cuts of the 2×3 batons to further strengthen.  I tested each one of the rafters by hanging from it before continuing. I completed 7 of these in total and cut out grooves either end to sit into the top of the wall frame, screwed in with 75mm x 5mm screws.roof1roof2roof3roof4roof5
  5. At this point I was running out of time.  I had one day before some heavy rain was due so I decided to crack on with the rest of the roof to ensure protection of the rest of the untreated wood.  I decided to extend the roof 600mm out the front to add a small element of protection from the weather. this was a straight forward process, as pictured.  This was also time to cut the top off the 90mm square posts.  I used 11mm OSB board for the sheet materials on the roof and required 6 of these to cover the lot. Once all these had been cut a screwed into place it was time to add the felt.  I required 2 x 10m rolls to cover the roof and this was cutting it fine.  In hindsight I would have shortened the eaves on either side to allow a greater overlap on the felt.  Used 10mm tacks to secure.

Building the front part was the next step, having to make a slightly different frame to support the window and doors.  To save money on a window I searched locally on Facebook Marketplace and found something suitable for £30.  However, you can also consider an insulated glass panel for extra insulation from temperature and sound.

The Window is simply screwed in from the side.  Open the window and drill some pilot holes before setting in the screws.front1front2front3front4front5front6front7front8

  • I’m almost there with the final step being the doors.  I kept this simple with a frame and some vertical mounted log lap. Easy!

 

Almost there… final steps!

The final steps to build your own shed were to add some trim (facia) to the sides of the roof, fit a handle, lock, motion sensor light and paint the whole shed.  Finishing the shed with exterior wood paint will add a professional finish to the shed and ensure its protected from the elements and long lasting. You can choose a stain to enjoy the natural beauty of the wood, or a coloured paint if your garden has a coloured theme.

As you can see I started with a stained shed in a natural colour, but you’ll see in this later post that I painted the shed black when I later extended it and turned it into a large home garden office. This helped it blend into the fences around the garden and match our black and grey theme. Check out some of our later garden transformation here.

Now all that’s left to do is add paving, a path or some decking.

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Note – If you are planning to add significant weight to the sides of the shed, inside or out, it’s worth adding some diagonal supports to some of the wall to prevent the shed from leaning to one side.  To do this simply cut a 45 degree angle on the 3×2 wood and cut to size in-between the horizontal wall posts.

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