Building a Shed

Here’s the thing. I have a bunch of garden stuff in the garage. Lawn mower, shovels, rakes, bags of various fertilizers, weed killer, and of course bug killers of various sorts. It’s a bit annoying especially since I do woodworking in the garage in addition to working on the vehicles. Something has to give.

A year ago (or so), I started looking on line at various sheds looking for an idea. There are quite a few plans of course and even some pretty good ones. But I had a specific bit of space I wanted to put the shed in. I didn’t want to overwhelm the yard but I also didn’t want to get a metal or wooden box. No imagination.

I had an idea that the shed should be around 8′ x 10′. I was at Home Depot checking out the line of sheds they had in the parking lot. From the box size on up to one large enough to hold horses 🙂 In the first barn was a bunch of brochures. As I browsed through it, I found this one:

And an example of the interior:

This actually was interesting. It fit in with being a little different but it also was interesting in that it could be used as a workshop as well. Either I can get further into gardening or in the event I sell the house, the next person will find the shed much more appealing than a box. And of course I think it enhances the curb appeal 🙂

I broke out the rake and cleaned up the space I had for it. This is next to the neighbors (no fence between us) and that’s his garden. I chatted with Gordon because I also didn’t want to impact his garden. I showed him the brochure and my plan. I also watched the sun and didn’t see that the shed would be much, if any issue with his garden.

I staked out the spot just so I’d have an idea where it should be and to make sure it’d fit.

I went in a few weeks back and ordered the shed from Home Depot. It comes as a kit with everything precut but you have to do all the assembly. Hammering nails, screwing in the screws, painting, etc.

I checked with the city just to make sure I was following ordinances. They gave me a pamphlet of the materials I needed. It said that since it was under 120sqft, I didn’t need a permit. It did say I needed a Plot Plan with street, sidewalk, power lines, drainage, and of course the location of the shed (it said ‘shed’ in the paperwork), an electrical plan, a green plan, an architectural plan with elevations, and a framing plan with wood designations. Plus it had to be stamped by a Colorado Engineer. Well, I figured I could at least get a plot plan going, plus I’ve been wanting one for myself so I could lay out the garden. Since I took Architectural Drafting in high school and was a draftsman in the military, I still had all my gear (I’m not a packrat 🙂 ).

I actually kind of enjoyed it. But finally on Friday I stopped in at the city office again with the pamphlet from Home Depot and the paperwork from the City and confirmed again that I needed all this. She said I did but after showing her the brochure, she stepped into the back and when she returned, she said that as long as it’s under the 120sqft limit, I didn’t need any of the paperwork. I suggested that information be put into the brochure for the next guy.

Looking at this from completion, there are three suggestions to improve the experience.

1. List all the extra components necessary for completion up front.
2. Make sure all the pieces are properly marked. It took a bit to figure out the trim pieces for either side of the door.
3. Paint all the pieces before assembly. There are only a couple of pieces that are glued in addition to being nailed in place. The rest are just nailed in. It makes it a lot easier in the long run and a cleaner looking job when done.

It said in the brochure that you’d need to provide the shingles and paint with a suggestion of 3 bundles of shingles and a gallon and a half of paint. Technically you need to buy:

1. If you have the floor piece and want extra support (the default is 24″ between joists), that is boards every 12″ instead of the default of 24″, you need to buy extra 3″ galvanized nails and the 5 extra treated 2×4’s.
2. Purchase 1/2″ copper or PVC pipe (approximately 8′ long but it’ll be trimmed a tad).
3. Roofing nails aren’t supplied either.
4. Drip trim isn’t supplied and will need to be purchased.

I do note that the panels next to the door weren’t flush with the 2×4’s on either side of the door. I wasn’t comfortable leaving a gap so I trimmed a couple of pieces of scrap approximately 1/2″ wide to put under the left and right door trim so they’d be sturdy.

On the 23rd, the bundle arrived. The delivery guy backed it into my garage, dropped it off, and was on his way.

Once he was gone, I of course started taking things apart. The top smaller “box” was the floor. But it’s a bunch of precut, primed wood with things cut at the correct angle (which is generally the hardest part).

I used the book and lined up all the pieces in order. There were a few pieces I was unable to find but I felt that I’d discover them when needed vs hunting the down.

With the pieces lined up, I started in on the instructions. I figured I’d build the walls in the garage and just move them out to the yard on the following day (Saturday). Honestly, it’s very very simple. The pieces were marked on the sides to match the instructions. So you knew which pieces went where. For the bigger pieces, it was pretty obvious.

Nailed together

After adding the paneling

It’s just that simple.

I spent the night looking over the instruction booklet (it’s on the wall of that last picture) just to see what I needed. One of the reviews suggested the PVC or copper before putting the shed together. Fortunately I had a piece already from a gardening project a year or so ago. The floor plan suggested using additional pretreated wood if you wanted support to park a motorcycle or heavier lawn mower. Since it’s easier to put the pieces in now than later, I thought it’d be a good idea to do this.

Saturday morning dawned and since I’m an early riser, I headed over to Home Depot to get the additional support beams and nails. I also got some weed blocker to go under the shed. No point if having some weed grow through the floor 🙂

When I got home, I put together the right side of the shed. One of the problems with the left side is it was too heavy for one person or two if one is small (like Rita 🙂 ). So I decided to put the frames together and move them out to the back yard and then put the panels on. That worked a lot better. I also put down the weed blocker and the pieces for the floor.

I put the front wall and back wall frames together next

I snagged the neighbor (John from the other side) and we moved the assembled left side out.

Since he was there and I’d put the panels on the front and rear walls, I went ahead and nailed in the left side and front wall

Then put in the back wall and put up the right side wall.

I assembled the ceiling joists in the garage and brought them out to the shed but it was getting late and looked like it was going to rain so I put a tarp over the front. Rita assembled a larger tarp from the two smaller ones and put them over the back.

I was bleeding exhausted. I was so tired I had a hard time just picking up the trash and other bits from the yard before going inside to shower and take a quick nap on the couch. We did head over to the new Thai place for dinner after I woke up. Very very good food.

Sunday morning dawned and we were ready to put the roof up. Rita held each one up and basically steady while I screwed in the base of each one. They were 3″ screws and could have used some wax to ease the way. As it was, I had a hard time getting the screws in but eventually they all were all in place. There were spacers to make sure they were in the right place. We put the joists up from outside in and it turned out the spacers were just a tiny bit wide so I had to trim them down 3 or 4 skoshes 🙂

Rita put the top piece into the slots on the joists.

There were spacers for these as well to make sure the top was properly spread apart. I screwed them into place and it’s ready for the roof.

I was going to get help from John in putting the sheet of plywood up for the roof but he was unavailable and I found it easier to just nail in some nails at the base of each of the joists and heave the board up myself.

Rita helped me steady the board while I nailed in the center piece. Then I finished nailing the board up across the joists. Note that the side pieces are up and the 1/2″ PVC is running through the support pieces. This will be used for hanging plants (as seen in the picture).

Next was the smaller piece lower than the main piece.

Then the piece on the other side above where the windows go. It looks like I have a shed firming up here 🙂

I put the windows in for a fit check. Turns out the lower board was a bit warped. I had to pop it out and give it a good push down before nailing it back in and the windows fit after that. You can see the right most window at the top isn’t seated in the opening and you can barely see the curve to the bottom board under the windows.

Rita had to bail and she took the truck with her. Unfortunately I didn’t realize I needed to get drip trim until after she left. I even went over on the bike because I thought the trim was in a roll but no such luck. Upon return, I decided to just paint. It took 4 hours (roughly) to get the outside done.

I pulled the windows out but it looked like rain again so I covered the shed with some painters tarp (really really thin) and put the tarp on the back. Rita put the extended tarp on the front.

Tuesday and the carpet guys are coming out. I worked for a few hours until they showed up and then spent the rest of the time working on the shed. First I put the windows in. They needed strips of foam for a weather seal and the drip trim put in place before the windows can be mounted.

It was a bit precarious but I got it done. The windows aren’t screwed in but are held in by the foam strips and a strip of metal that’s screwed in over the top. I had to use the big ladder to screw in the top center part.

Once they were in, I started putting the shingles in. The boards already had lines so it was pretty easy to put the shingles up. It was a bit satisfying as well as the windows and shingles were the two main pieces needed so I didn’t need to put tarps on again.

I had to fight the needles and trim a branch because it was just too low. I didn’t want to trim the tree too much as I wanted the shed to look natural.

I had to trim the top pieces and put them in place for the last bit. The black bit at the left end bothers me so I’ll eventually fix it. There’s nothing wrong, it’s just the tail end of one of the pieces.

Wednesday I simply put in the vents. It was a bit of a pain but not horrible. Just a bunch of screwing this time. My arm was fairly sore the next day though.

Thursday and Friday I painted. It was suggested that if I wanted to actually use the shed as a greenhouse, I would need to paint the interior. Since I had two cans of the exterior paint, I figured to use it up inside. Since no one will actually be living in it, I didn’t see a problem using exterior on the inside. But I wanted to get the inside finished before Saturday since I had a door to mount and the floor to do along with various accessories once the shed was done.

I didn’t quite get the painting done Friday but I was close enough. I still had a few bits left for touch up but the biggest bits were done.

Saturday after shopping, with Rita’s help I got the door mounted. I had to mount the strip pieces first and Rita actually screwed in the two bottom screws but it was in and ready for use.

Since all the hammering was done, I mounted the sun medallion Rita picked up somewhere and left behind.

And put the wind medallion we received as a wedding present years ago. Both look good in my opinion 🙂

Finished painting the inside too.

Looking a lot better now, eh?

Sunday I got the door painted and the hardware mounted. It was actually incorrectly placed so I filled in the hole and lowered it a bit moving it a bit closer to the door jam.

I finished touching up the inside pieces.

I put the door supports on the inside as directed. They firm up the door so it doesn’t flop or warp.

Next I created a workbench from the scrap 4×8 sheet used for protection.

Then I removed one of the shelves from the garage and added a few mounts here, trimmed the board and mounted it.

Next, the floor. Rita suggested a vinyl floor vs a painted one. Excellent idea. At Home Depot, I picked up a roll suitable for a hot shed (lots of vinyl is very soft and would deform in such a hot place). I bought a spreader and adhesive. Sunday I spread it out and using a 2×4 and a straight edge plus a knife with a brand new blade (I cut my hand on the silly thing), I placed the vinyl and trimmed it to fit. I left it overnight to settle.

Monday I spread the adhesive. It turns out I needed more than one container. The floor (like the rest of the walls) is made of the pressed scraps vs particle board so there are lots of pits and dips to collect adhesive so I needed more. I rolled half of the vinyl back and put the first container of adhesive down.

Then positioned the vinyl and rolled it down. Then I zipped over to Home Depot for the second container plus a putty knife and more of the green paint. I had just enough to almost finish the workbench. I laid down the other half of adhesive.

Then rolled it down as well.

I trimmed the kick piece I wanted to protect the doorway so it would fit and put it in place.

And it’s done! Well, actually I have a couple of tiny things to do but in general the shed is done. I want to put up a small piece of pegboard and some mounting boards for the shovel and other long tools but it’s basically done.

This entry was posted in Building a Shed, Home Improvement and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Building a Shed

  1. Eileen says:

    Done, and looks really nice!

  2. Pingback: Building A Shed For My Motorcycle - Woodworking Videos & Images

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *