It can take a fair amount of equipment to care for your yard, landscaping, flower beds and garden. And when you’ve amassed a collection of rakes, shovels and other tools as well as bags of potting soil, mulch and fertilizer, you may find that you don’t have a convenient place to store it all.
That’s why a small shed or garden storage locker deditacated to storing your yard tools comes in handy. Built under the overhanging eaves of your home, it creates an ideal space for long-handled tools as well as a great place to stack bags of soil amendments and mulch.
This easy-to-build structure utilizes simple framing techniques, and because of its relatively small size and the fact that it doesn’t need a roof, it goes together quickly. No special skills or tools are required – a pneumatic nailer will speed the process, but an old-fashioned hammer and nails work just as well.
Download this plan: Click here to download the complete plan for this shed project.
Shed construction details
This locker can be built to almost any size you need. The main determining factor is where your home’s roof trusses fall in relation to where you want to build the locker, as you’ll need to attach the top plates of the locker’s side walls to the trusses.
Another advantage of the design is that the structure does not penetrate the house’s siding. This is beneficial because if your storage needs change, you can easily disassemble the locker without needing to repair the siding. Leaving the siding intact also eliminates the risk of any water infiltration into your home’s wall structure. And depending on local building codes, you may not need to file for a building permit as long as you don’t attach the locker directly to your home’s exterior walls. (Always check with local code authorities before beginning construction to learn what’s required in your area.)
You can build the locker on a number of surfaces. I covered an old existing raised bed with decking, but you could install paver stones to create a stable base, pour a small pad of concrete or even use treated 6x6 timbers buried flush with the grade as a surface on which to attach the walls’ sole plates. Just make sure to use the appropriate fasteners (nails, masonry screws, expansion bolts or landscape timber screws, depending on your flooring choice) to secure the sole plates.
Framing the shed side walls
Begin construction by marking the location of the trusses above the soffits and then screw the side-wall top plates to their undersides. (Bear in mind that truss location will dictate the width of the locker.) In some situations, such as when aluminum or vinyl soffit panels have been installed directly below the trusses with no intervening sheathing, you’ll have direct access to the trusses once you’ve removed the soffit panels. In other cases, such as when plywood or hardboard has been used as a soffit material, you’ll need to use a stud finder to locate the trusses.
To determine the position of the side-wall sole plates, strike a plumb line from the outer edge of the top plates to the surface upon which you’re building the locker. Mark that position and use it as a register to properly locate the sole plates; then screw the sole plates to the surface.
Cut the side-wall studs to the appropriate length and toescrew them between the top and sole plates. Remember to position the studs no more than 16 in. OC.
Framing the shed front wall
To frame the front wall partition and door opening, start by nailing a top plate across the front between the two stud walls, just inside of your home’s fascia board (see drawing). Face-screw an additional full-length stud (running from the flooring surface to the top plate of the front partition) to the inside of each of the side walls (see drawing). Although they’re technically not true king studs, these two framing members serve a similar fashion by providing additional rigidity for the door opening.
Cut three 2x4 cripples. Face-screw one each against both of the king studs; then screw a 2x4 that serves as a flat header to the cripples. Finally, screw the third cripple so that it evenly divides the space between the two others.
Attaching the shed sheathing, trim and siding
Use ½-in.-thick exterior-rated plywood to sheathe the structure and 1x4 cedar to trim it as shown in the drawing. Because my house had 12-in.-wide lap siding, I chose to use a matching fiber-cement product to integrate the shed with the house.
To attach the laps to the sheathing, I used a pneumatic-coil utility nailer loaded with nails appropriate for fiber-cement siding. Though these nailers are available for rent, you can also use siding nails and a hammer.
To fill the voids where the side walls meet the siding of the house, I simply used caulk (applied from inside the locker). As another option, you can scribe a trim board to match the profile of your home’s siding and fasten it to the cedar trim flush against the siding.
Building and hanging the shed doors
Constructing the doors for the locker is very easy. Simply cut two equal panels of ½-in.-thick exterior-rated plywood. (Each of my door panels measured 82-1/4 x 19-3/4 in.). Use 1-in.-long stainless steel screws driven through the backs of the panels to attach 1x4 cedar trim around the perimeter.
Attach two hinges to each of the doors; then lay a scrap of ½-in.-thick plywood across the shed’s threshold to serve as a spacer. Place the door on top of the spacer and then secure the hinges to the locker’s framework. All that’s left is to attach the door handles and hasps, paint the locker and customize it with various hooks and shelves that will keep your yard-care tools and supplies organized and accessible but out of sight.