Before starting my question, let me say I've never tackled a project as
grandious as building a shed, but now that I'm a home owner I'm really
eager to start learning these building skills. I grew-up watching home
repair shows on television, so though I've never done these tasks, I'd
like to think these years of observation may come into good use.
Anyway, I'm looking at building a small shed, mainly for my riding
mower, weed eater, and other yard tools -- and also to keep the garage
open for me to work on my '55 Chevy :) I'll admit I want to build it
as inexpensively as possible, but not cheap! My first major delimma is
what flooring to use. I've looked at sheads who use plywood or some
type of treated flooring instead of concrete, but what are the pro's
and con's of this? I don't think i can afford a slab right now. I
live in Central Texas, where it does get humid at times, and it rains
-- but mild to hot weather for the most part year round.
In addition to yard equipment i want to build a small loft for boxes
and other storage. I don't mind insulating it and making it as tight
from the eliments as possible, but the flooring is something I'm
concerned about. Also if I do use wood over concrete what do I put on
the ground under the shed? I'm thinking some type of gravel or
something to prevent too many things from growing or living. This I'd
guess would also help me level the ground since my yard is rather
I'm looking at a barn-style roof for extra storage, and I'm guessing
maybe 10'x10' or something similar - not sure until i get out and
actually measure the area i want to use.
Thanks for any information, tips, or insight from those who do this
more often then I :) I've lived in my home for 2 years now, and I'm
hoping this'll be my first step towards making the home and yard truly
my own :)
I built a 10x10 shed a couple of years back. The first thing I would check
is whether your design will be influenced by any local authorities. Here in
suburban Chicago, if I built anything larger than 100 sq. ft, I would have
had to pour a concrete foundation the same as if I was building a full-size
garage. YMMV. I would also imagine that a riding mower would be a cozy fit
in my 10x10 shed. If I didn't have the restrictions I had, I probably would
have opted for something more along the lines of 16x12. I used 4x6 treated
lumber sitting directly on bare ground. If I had it to do over again, I'd
probably go with a gravel pad with the 4x6s sitting on concrete blocks. I
also went with a rollup door, which I'm happy with. And I also used a
gambrel roof to increase my storage space above.
Like Todd said, check your local ordinances... My (current) shed floor is
2X8 pressure treated with 5/8 pressure treated plywoo (did I mention that I
tend to overbuild). The floor sits on two 6X6 sleepers that rest on short
sleepers set in gravel. This shed is 8X12 and, like all sheds, it is too
Have you thought about using a gravel bed and railroad ties. I have a
friend in NM who did this for the entrance to his barn, he even drives his
big trucks up on with little effect. Locally (Wichita Falls TX) the ties
are about $10 each, one of the landscaping supply companies in town sells
them. I think the added mass of the ties will serve better in your
application, added bonus, they are already treated. You could even pour a
concrete frame to contain the ties, and this would act as the foundation for
I built a shed about a year ago and used 3/4" Treated plywood for the floor
with treated 2x8 and 2x8 floor joists. I laid 30lb felt between the joists
and the plywood. I used untreated materials on top of the floor. I painted
the floor with a garage floor paint. So far everything is fine. I am in
A few more suggestions. I used Tyvek to wrap the building and covered that
with Hardi Plank. No leaks. For the roof I used Radiant Barrier 1/2"
plywood decking and premium quality asphalt shingles over 30lb felt paper.
This combination with a 2" wide soffit vent running the length of the front
and back side of the building for ventilation results in a shed that does
not get any hotter on the inside than it is on the outside. I wanted the
Tyvek to reflect more light inside the building and to prevent the tar smell
that results from using the felt paper. More than anything the Radiant
Barrier decking IMHO keeps the building a decent temperature. this product
was about $4 more per sheet than regular plywood decking.
I agree.. thanks for all the comments and replies to my initial
question. I also found this gallery on webshots, and this is pretty
much exactly the type of shed I hope to build --
Though I might go a different route on some of the techniques used in
these photos, this is the type of roof and about the size I'm aiming
Some people commented on city ordinances. I live way outside the city
limits, so other then some very liberal land restrictions I'm pretty
much free to build anything I want -- within reason. As long as I
don't build anything that sticks out or looks really weird I'm good.
Also, cost is a MAJOR concern for me. I have no idea what the cost
will be until I get some plans drawn-up and price the material, but my
target budget is around $800-$1000 tops. Another project seperate from
this is a detached garage I hope to build in about 2-3 years, and the
shed will be kind of my 'learning' ground since I've never tackled such
a project. With any luck it'll turnout just as I planned, and I'll
walk away with more understanding of woodwork, building construction,
and abit more confidence in my work :)
Also, some other things for the shed.. I do want it as water tight and
clear of the elements as possible since this will also double as
storage for household items. As Leon suggested I'll probably wrap the
building in something to keep it tight.
Thanks again for everything,
Good luck with the $800 to $1000 range. My shed is 10'x12'. 2 or 3 years
ago when I initially decided to build this shed My estimate was in the same
range as you have indicated. BUT in the last year or two material costs
have gone up significantly. That said, my shed is build much like a house
with studs 16" oc and the same for the roof and floor joists. Mine is
nothing like the sheds you find at Home Depot. Also, keep in mind that the
shed will be quite a bit of work and I felt that scrimping on materials
would end up biting me you know where. I suspect that my shed will come in
at about $1500. I still have decorative trim to add + paint. That is a lot
but I do keep items from the house out there also and I have not seen any
hint of a leak or moisture after 30+ inches of rain in the last year. I
also went with a regular steel exterior door.
Hi Leon and everyone else,
Once again thanks for the great replies. If the cost goes up to $1500,
that's no biggie -- it'll just take me a bit longer to build it. My
goal to complete the shed is by this summer, so I have at least 3-4
months before summer heat starts pounding away :)
I would like this to be more then just a shed I guess. Not only for
storage and lawn items, but also a get-away for me when family is
visiting or maybe even a small workshop. For this reason I want it as
sealed as possible from moister and such -- and even the 10x12 size
might go up abit... still not sure.
Leon, I liked your idea of Tyvek and siding, which I'm already getting
prices on. I'm also looking at Sturdifloor for the flooring -- anyone
have comments about this? I'll paint the flooring with a garage floor
paint or something to make cleaning-up oil drips and spills easier.
I'm still toying around with the idea of concrete flooring, but I think
that's still abit out of my budget range and skillset. Plus I've been
told by two people at work who said if it's concrete then the county
will look at it as added floorspace for storage -- wood floor it's
considered a temporary structure and won't count. Not sure about this.
As for the interior walls, I'm still not sure if I'll insulate it, but
if so I'll just use plywood or something cheap - drywall seems overkill
for a shed :) If I do spend any time out there during the winter or
summer, I want the A/C or heater to hold the temperature in.
I know my goals for the shed are abit more then your average shed, and
heck 10x12 might not be big enough -- but I'll spend some time working
this out on paper and I'll draw it out in the yard to get a better idea
of spacing and layout. Since I've never done this type of project I'm
just trying to invision the methods and materials I'll be using.
LOL.. The foundation is what will kill you.. all that bending over.
Might I also add, when I built my building I was planing on letting the
siding stiffen the walls. Using 12" wide Hardiplank with 2 nails at each
stud per panel seemed reasonable. Before putting the siding on and to
prevent rain from getting between the siding and the Tyvek, I put the roof
on. That building wiggled quite a bit with myself and my son putting down
the shingles but I really did not think much of it since the siding had not
been added yet. I had the temporary 1x4 diagonal bracing nailed on the
inside walls. The lumber yard however suggested not counting on the Hardi
plank being the only thing to stiffen the walls. With their advice I added
1x4 diagonal bracing across each wall. I put them on the out side of the
walls and cut the studs to accept the diagonal 1x4's. That simple addition
of 4, 1x4 's inset into each stud on each wall really made the structure
rigid before the siding went up.
I'm also looking at Sturdifloor for the flooring -- anyone
Look carefully at the paint that you buy. The first 2 graage floor paints
that I looked at indicated not to use on wood.
Drywall may seem like over kill but it is much cheaper than plywood, not as
durable but cheaper.
If you want this space to be *anything* more than storage, you definitely need
to upscale your size. I absolutely guarantee you'll fill the area with crap
before you know it and there'll be no more room for you. It might still happen
with a bigger space but at least it'll take longer.
Last summer I bought a lawn tractor. After housing it in the garage for about a
week, I decided I needed to get it out of there. So I bought an 8 X 12 shed.
After parking all the yard tools out there, there's sure no room out there to
work. It's a storage area pure and simple. Of course, I never wanted more than
that: I still have my two car garage for a workshop.
Thing bigger... you won't regret it.
One way to cut costs is by buying good used lumber or finding building
sites with leftovers, or going to a Habitat for Humanity Restore.
The more time you have to look for bargains the better you luck will be.
My very first project of this type was my own shed - took
several years to build and I learned a lot.
I suggest that your budget will depend upon the siding
materials - I used redwood and cedar beveled siding
that shot my budget up to about $1200. If you use
T-111 ply (which is very good) or someother sheet goods
you'll be within that budget of $1000. I might have gone
with HardyPlank as an alternative for mine. I wanted that
beveled siding look.
As to a floor - pouring a slab is a lot of work - I don't think
your shed will need it - a simple pier/pressure treated
lumber sleepers combo will be sufficient. If you have any pooling
of water were the shed will be, dig french drains. I
used ACX tongue and groove plywood for my floor and it
was very solid. I sort of "over engineered" my perimeter joists-
2x8 PT lumber (my plan said 2x4 which added alot to the
Keep things simple. I tended to fuss over a lot of the
details and as such, never really finished the shed before I
moved. Oh well. Such is life.
I will say, that depending upon what you want to do, a kit
shed is quite reasonable. I got a cedar shed kit right now that
cost me UNDER $600 and I figured that the wood would
have cost me at least that much. Look into it.
Good luck! There a pleanty of plans on sheds on the Internet.
Family Handyman magazine has been running shed plans
very Summer for the last several years. A good place to begin.
Your local library might have them.
Oh, you will need help. I had a "crew" of friends helping on
the walls and roof and it made that go a lot faster! Good time
to get acquainted with your neighbors or local clubs!
I went with 15 treated 4x4 posts cut to about 24" and set about 12" deep.
In the bottom of the holes I packed in a layer of golf ball sized stones and
tamped pea gravel around the posts to fill the space around the posts. The
posts are attached to the sides of the joists with 2 lag bolts per post.
I dug the holes and put a post in each corner after building the outside 2x8
frame. then I lifted the 10'x12' frame, leveled it, and attached it to
those posts. Then added all the inside joists. After adding the inside
joists I dug 11 more holes and added the 11 posts.
To make the most efficient use of materials, you should plan your shed on a
four foot "module". In other words, 8'x8', 8'x12', or 12'x12'. Plywood
sheets are 4' wide, so this will allow you to use full width sheets for the
walls. Otherwise you'll have to cut sheets down and potentially have more
Plan you wall height accordingly too so that the single sheet of plywood
will overlap the floor and go all the way to the roof. Again, this will
eliminate having to cut the sheets into small pieces to fit the gaps. This
would also eliminate the need for blocking where the edges of the sheets
If you're not going to insulate, go with 2x4 studs instead of 2x6. And, if
the shed is small, you might want to consider 24" stud spacing instead of
16" spacing. You can save about 9 studs on an 8x12 shed that way. But,
you'll need thicker plywood with 24" spacing, so again, you'll have to
Also consider using textured plywood that can double as sheathing and
siding. I like to use a rough sawn plywood and apply an semi-opaque stain.
You might want to calculate the costs of each option locally and compare.
Around here, a yard of concrete is cheaper than the lumber it takes to
build an equivalent wood floor. Especially if you factor in gravel for
drainage, support blocks, etc.
The concrete floor would also be stronger, and won't rot like a wood floor.
But, your local prices and building codes may dictate which option is
Lay down a sheet of 6mil plastic before you pour your slab to keep ground
moisture out of the shed. I'd probably try to do something similar if I
built a wood floor.
I was just thinking the same thing :) I use Google Groups, and they
don't allow file attachments -- but I'd love an email from folks with
photos of their shed projects. I found this one on webshots, which is
about what I'm looking at
-[http://community.webshots.com/user/galwayn2 ]- but I'd love to see
Right now the main two things I'm trying to draft out are the footings
on the ground and the roof. I'm still unsure whether I want to do a
gambrel or gable roof, plus I'm not sure exactly how to setup the
ground to make it level and secure so the shed won't move around or
contort over time. I want it as secure as possible.
If anyone doesn't mind sending photos with some detail to how you setup
your shed on the ground and maybe roofing, I'd sure appriciate it.
Heck I might even get a website going (I'm a web designer by
profession) and with permission given of course post some info on my
project along with anyone else who wants to particiate :) Just a
Oh, my email is rlangly at gmail.com :)
Somthing to consider:
Many roof trusses are built incorrectly....The company
or lumber company "desperately" needs to get rid of them.
(too long or too short)
The "get rid of them" usually means "fire sale" prices.
If you are patient and lucky, you might be able to get a
set for very little money and plan your shed around them.
Ringo Langly wrote:
Well after seeing all this shed commentary I thought I would chime in as
well. I had an old shed in my back yard that suffered a big hit from a
falling tree. I re-built it and chopped the size in half or so, but a few
years later, I needed something better, so I took the old shed apart and
built a new one, using many of the parts from the old shed (treated 2x4's
and siding). I also had a bunch of materials lying around that I used as
well, so that the cost was only around $400. My shed is about 6x9, which
isn't very larg, but that's what I had space for. (At least it's pretty
tall--11' in the back.) Here's a link where you can see the old shed and a
sequence of construction photos of the new one, along with some commentary
on the materials used.
Just a note to the OP, it helps greatly if you make some basic drawings of
your shed. In my case, I drew a plot of the base, and elevations for each
of the walls. These drawings were just slightly more detailed than the
proverbial sketch on the napkin, but even so, they were very helpful in
keeping on track with the construction.
Jedd Haas - Artist
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.