Keeping yard-and-garden equipment clean, organized and accessible makes lawn care less of a chore. But finding adequate storage in your garage (if you’re lucky enough to have one) can be a challenge. My husband and I knew a shed was the solution, so we created a custom design that serves our purposes.
To avoid the need for a building permit, we made the shed relatively small: less than 100 sq. ft. (Always check with your local code authority for building requirements in your area.) Its appearance mirrors the look of our rural contemporary saltbox house, and the clerestory windows above the door let in plenty of light while leaving adequate wall space for shelving and hanging equipment. The construction is straightforward; here are the basic steps.
CLICK HERE to down load the complete shed plans as a pdf
Foundation and floor
Start by laying out the perimeter. Drive 2x4 stakes at each corner; then measure the layout diagonally to ensure that it’s square. Dig 6-in.-deep holes for 8 x 12-in. concrete footing blocks. Fill the holes with pea gravel, set the blocks in place and check that they are level.
Use only pressure-treated lumber for the floor. Cut the inside 2x6 headers 3 in. shorter than those on the outside. Assemble the 2x6s so there is a 1-1/2-in. notch at each end of the header joist. Mark the locations for the joist hangers 16 in. OC; then install the hangers. Position the floor frame on the foundation blocks and check that the assembly is square and level. Cut the 2x6 joists and nail them into the joist hangers. Fasten the 3/4-in. pressure-treated plywood floor with 2-in. deck screws.
You can use the shed floor as a surface on which to build the walls before raising them into place. The front wall is framed with 2x4 studs 16 in. OC and has a double-2x6 window header and a double-2x8 door header. Assemble the headers with 1/2-in. plywood spacers.
Cut a full-length sole plate (the door opening is cut later), the top plates, the studs and the window-cripple studs and blocking. To assemble the front wall, nail the corner trimmers to the corner studs. Mark the stud positions on the sole plate and the first top plate. Working on the floor, assemble the studs for the lower wall section.
Nail the second top plate to the first top plate; then nail the end window cripples in place. Cut and nail the short blocks to the top plate. Toenail the cripple studs to the top plate with 8d nails; then nail the 2x4 top plate to the cripple studs.
To install the top 2x6 header, nail up through the plate with 10d nails and through the corner studs with 16d nails. Nail the upper window blocking in place.
Nail a long brace to the face of the front wall diagonally to keep the wall square. Nail two short 2x4 blocks to the front of the floor to hold the front wall in place and to keep it from slipping off as you raise it. Fasten the sole plate to the floor except along the door opening.
Refer to the drawing to lay out and assemble the rear wall. Note that short blocks are used to form a triple-2x4 end stud. Mark the stud positions on the sole plate; then nail the studs in place. Fasten both top plates.
As with the front and rear walls, cut and assemble the side walls on the floor; then raise them into position. Tack a 2x4 where the rear wall will be placed, and build the side walls within the space between the front wall and rear 2x4.
With a helper, raise the side walls into position and clamp them to the front wall. Raise the rear wall and clamp it to the side walls. Fasten the side walls to the floor, the front wall and the rear wall.
Framing the roof
Because the rafters overhang the siding on the back wall, you’ll need to install the siding before you begin framing the roof. We installed the 5/8-in.-thick T1-11 siding with 8d galvanized nails. The back requires three 4x8 sheets, nailed evenly at the top of the wall. All of the siding overhangs the floor 3-1/2 in.
Mark and cut one 2x6 rafter (see drawing, front and rear details) and check the fit. Cut the remaining rafters and toenail them in place with 8d nails. Cut and install the 2x4 blocking at the front and back. Attach metal rafter anchors to the rafters and to the walls.
Install the remainder of the siding. The sides take two full sheets with the top edges centered on the 2x4 nailer. Nail Z-flashing on top of these sheets; then cut the angled top side pieces to fit. Remember to cut and remove the sole plate at the door opening.
Cut siding to fit between the windows and install Z-flashing on top of them; then install siding over to the header over the windows. Now you can cut the door opening. Save the scrap pieces to make the door.
Fascia, vents and roofing
Sheath the roof with 1/2-in. plywood and fasten it to the rafters with 6d ring-shank nails. Nail two spacers to the top of the side; then add the 1x6 fascia (see drawing, side detail). Tack the soffit vents to the bottom of the rafter overhang. Nail or screw 1x2s to the top of the wall and against the vent.
Nail the fascia board to the rafter ends and install the second 1x2 vent support. Clamp it to the fascia tightly against the vent; then fasten it in place.
Nail a drip cap to the rear roof edge; then apply 15-pound roofing felt (full width), starting along the bottom edge. Use 2-in. top laps for the successive sheets. Install the drip cap over the felt along the side edges of the roof; then install shingles. To seal the roof peak, use 8-in. metal flashing bent over the fascia; then add a drip cap.
We made our own clerestory windows. The frames are 1/4 in. smaller than the rough openings. Cut the jambs and sill to length. The sill has a 15-degree bevel2-3/4 in. along the front edge. Mark and cut the 3/4-in.-deep rabbets at the sill ends for the side jambs. Then cut 3/8-in.-deep rabbets in the ends of the head jamb for the sides. Assemble the frames with glue and nails. Cut 1x1 stops and nail them in place. Install the mounting flanges; then prime and paint.
We used 1/4-in. clear acrylic for the window glazing. Bevel the back edges of the inside window stops to make it easier to fasten them in place. Prime and paint the stops; then insert the acrylic and screw in the stops. Apply a bead of caulk along the face of the siding and insert the windows; then nail or screw the flanges to the framing.
To build the doors, first rip the doorjambs from 1x6 stock. Cut 3/8 x 3/4-in. rabbets in the side jambs for the top jamb. Nail the top jamb in place. Nail stops 2-3/8 in. back from the front edge of the jambs. Install 4-in. butt hinges on the side jambs.
Shim the door-frame assembly as required; then nail it to the studs through the shims. Use a 4-ft. level to keep the jambs plumb and flush with the face of the siding. Nail the top jamb to the header through the shims.
The double doors should have1/4-in. clearance all around. Make a door out of 2x4s laid flat and half-lapped at the corners. Assemble the frame with glue and 1-1/4-in. plywood on the front. Cut the backs from 1/4-in. lauan plywood.
Install 1x4 door trim with a 1/8-in. reveal; then hang the doors. Install a 1x2 stop along the inside edge of the left door. Install a barrel bolt on the left door and add a hasp on the outside.
The ramp is framed with 2x4s and then covered with 2x4 decking attached with3-in. deck screws. Attach a 2x4 ledger to the floor header joist under the door opening. Dig a 6-in.-deep area for the ramp and fill it with pea gravel.
L-shape cane bolts are inserted into pipes on the sides of the ramp to hold the doors open. We installed 1x6 trim around the bottom of the shed to protect the plywood siding from snow and added 1x4 corner boards with 3/4-in. quarter-round to finish the corners.
Finally, we finished the shed’s exterior with solid-color stain and white trim and primed and painted the interior. The last step was to install 1/4-in. perforated hardboard and shelving to help us make the most of our small yet sufficient addition.