Do you ever find yourself facing down a pile of gardening tools, a lawnmower, a weed whacker, and spare flower bed edging and wondering where to put it all? Does one of your cars live on the driveway because your garage is overrun with tools? If this is sounding a familiar, you may need a shed.
But wait, you say, aren’t sheds really expensive to build? They don’t have to be! Read on to learn how to build a cheap shed the easy way and start reclaiming your home storage space.
Table of Contents
Pick the Right Materials
The key to getting a cheap shed is to choose the right materials or to shop at a place like Sheds for Less. For instance, pouring a concrete foundation for your shed could cost you upwards of $1,000. But building a wood foundation for this shed will only cost you about $250 and is easier to manage with uneven areas.
You may want to use an oriented strand board for your siding instead of solid wood or plywood panels. Building your own door will cost you about $140, compared to more than $1,000 for a similar prehung door. Composite trim will save you time and money, and these easy arch-top windows will only cost you about $60 each.
Build the Platform and Walls
Step one to building your shed is to put together your wood foundation. Start by digging two trenches sixteen inches wide, twelve inches deep, thirteen feet long, and sixty-six inches apart. Put down a layer of gravel to level the base, put in twelve-foot 6×6 boards, add treated 2×6 boards to build the platform, and cover the whole thing with treated ¾-inch plywood.
With the platform in place, nail together end walls with 2x4s, framing the perimeter and then adding a center stud. Add siding to the outside walls and then put flashing over the horizontal seam to keep out water. Assemble the front walls using the same method, leaving holes for the arched windows and the door.
Build the Roof
Building the roof in two pieces upside-down on the platform will help you avoid a lot of upside-down nailing and climbing up and down a ladder. Start by framing up the roof, being careful to make sure everything is completely straight and square. Then cut 2x4s for the ridge and subfascia to length and mark the rafter positions on them.
Line up the rafters and nail them to the ridge and subfascia, and then make sure the whole frame is square. You may want to tack the roof down to the platform while you install the soffits to ensure nothing shifts. Once the first half of the roof is put together, set it aside and assemble the second half of the roof the same way.
Nail the Walls In
With all the pieces put together, it’s time to start assembling your shed. Start with one of the end panels, moving them into place and securing them with a few screws driven through the bottom plate of the wall and into the platform. Then stand the back wall up, align the corners, and nail them together.
Have a friend push on the bottom part of the back wall as needed to get it into place, and then nail it down to the platform. Add the second end panel and the front wall using the same technique, making sure everything is square and nailing the corners together. Finish by making sure the top plates of adjoining walls are flush with each other.
Put on the Roof
The walls are up, and now it’s time to put the roof in place. Since the roof is heavy, it’s a good idea to have three strong helpers around for this job. Move the panels into place, sliding the panel up until the birds-mouths drop over the top plate of the wall.
Make sure the 2×4 ridge is perfectly aligned with the peak of the wall, and then secure the roof with a pair of toenails through each birds-mouth. Finish by nailing the 2×4 ridges together and adding 2×4 collar ties.
Build the Door and Windows
To make the door, start by ripping 1×6 boards down to 4 ½ inches wide for your outside frame. Assemble the frame using pocket holes or, if you don’t have a kreg jig, screw through the overlapping layers to hold the frame together instead. Then you’re going to cut plywood to fit in the lower recess of the door and a piece of plexiglass to fit in the upper gap, nail them in with trim, and hang the door.
For your arched windows, you can nail a piece of string tied to a pencil into your workbench and use that as a guide to draw the arches. Mark the angles to miter the tops of the windows to the sides, and attach them using pocket holes. Add window frames, mount plexiglass cut to fit the gaps, and mount the windows in the front of your shed.
Finish the Shed
At this point, your shed should be assembled, so it’s time to do the finish work. Install the exterior trim, and paint or stain the shed the color you want it to be. Install shingles on the roof, caulk and fill all nail holes, and paint the inside of the shed whatever color you’d like it to be.
Learn How to Build a Cheap Shed
Building a cheap shed is a fairly straightforward process that can save you a ton of money. Make sure you double-check that everything is square as you go so you end up with a shed that will fit together at the end of the process.
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