Adding a backyard shed to your property can give you limitless storage options, as well as other creative uses of the space. Having an outdoor shed can also increase the value of your home when it’s time to sell your house, giving you a great return on investment. Building your own wooden shed can save you money over buying a pre-built model, and give you endless customization options too. You can even order shed plans online that include all the instructions you need to complete your project. Read on for more ideas for building your shed and the many ways you can use your new shed.
How to Build a Shed
Building a shed can be a relatively easy, and affordable project. If you’re ready to build a shed in your yard, here are the steps you should follow:
- Getting started: Buy the shed plans and gather materials. Before you start in on your shed project, make sure to order plans to make construction as easy as possible. Shed plans are available at Family Home Plans in a wide variety of sizes, shapes and styles, and come complete with materials lists and instructions. Know what you want to use the shed for so you can choose the perfect design for your purposes. Order your plans well in advance of your project to be sure you have plenty of time. You should also check for any local or HOA ordinances or permit requirements, and check with 811 for any underground utility lines before digging. Gather all the necessary materials from your list, and be sure to have all of the right tools on hand.
- Set the foundation and build a platform. When you’re ready to start building, you’ll begin the project by making a foundation for your shed to stand on. You can install a traditional poured concrete foundation, but to make things easier for a shed, you can also just dig two trenches, and fill with gravel for the platform to sit on. Make sure that the ground is level and the gravel is compacted and firm, and then construct a platform using treated wood. Cover your platform with plywood, which will essentially serve as the floor to your shed.
- Build the walls and roof. You can now use your floor platform as a surface to lay out your walls, and construct them before putting them in place. You can also use this method to build the roof pieces. Use chalk lines on the platform to keep everything even and level. Build each wall and roof piece separately, and set aside for later as you finish each piece. Constructing the walls and roof in this way means that you can easily install the soffits and any other extras on a flat surface, instead of upside down or in cramped quarters, after putting them in the right place.
- Place the walls and roof pieces. Once you’ve constructed all of the wall and roof pieces, it’s time to stand them up and secure them into place. Start with the back wall, then the sides, finishing with the front wall and then the roof pieces. Align the walls as you go, nailing them into the correct position. Make sure you have some helpers on hand for this step, to help stand the walls and hoist the roof pieces into place, as each piece will be heavy and bulky.
- Install a door and windows. Depending on the design you’ve chosen, follow the instructions for constructing any doors and windows. You can buy these items pre-made, or build them yourself. Alternatively, you can save this step until after you finish the roof, and then construct the windows and doors inside your new shed, even on a rainy day. Be sure to caulk or seal all the edges to keep the elements out of your shed.
- Finish the exterior and interior. Install any exterior trim, and any roofing materials or shingles. Prime and paint, or stain the exterior to your preferences. Add in any other desired decorative elements, landscaping or other finishing touches. The interior finishing is optional, but you may wish to paint the interior, install shelving units or add personal details and touches to the inside.
Now, your shed is complete and ready to use. You can start moving in any other furnishings or fill with items for storage.
5 Shed Plans to Check Out
Family Home Plans has many different shed styles to choose from, so you’re sure to find one that fits your yard and personal style. Check out these five storage shed plans for inspiration:
- Gardener’s shed: For the avid gardener who needs a little extra room, this charming garden shed plan is perfect. With plenty of room for potting projects, as well as storage for extra pots and garden supplies, the gardener’s shed includes instructions for a built-in potting workbench inside. Exterior features include a generously sized covered firewood storage area in the back, and beautiful trellises near the doorway, perfect for climbing plants and flowers to adorn your shed. Two different sizes are available, to accommodate different yard sizes and personal storage needs.
- Fancy storage shed: Using a simple, yet charming design, this all-purpose shed is great for extra backyard storage. The design for this fancy storage shed comes in three different sizes, so you can choose the one that’s best for your storage needs and the size of your yard space. The truss-supported sheltered entrance provides both architectural interest and protection from the elements as you go in and out of your shed.
- Gambrel shed: For a shed with a decidedly country feel, this shed delivers lots of cozy style. The gambrel-style roof on this shed gives the appearance of a miniature barn, adding tons of country character to your backyard. With a door on the front, and a double door on the side, this multi-purpose design has plenty of flexibility and extra access to your storage areas. The gambrel shed plan comes in five different sizes to accommodate all sorts of uses and has an optional window on the side for added charm.
- Gable shed: This classic, simple design for a backyard shed features lots of storage space and flexible functionality. The gable shed also has a side door and double front door, giving you maximum access to your stored items. An optional window and five different sizes for your backyard shed plans allow you to customize the shed to your needs. This plan is perfect for meeting no-nonsense storage needs in any backyard.
- Saltbox shed: Another classic, simple design with lots of versatility, this saltbox shed fits in perfectly in both modern and more rustic home and landscape designs. The asymmetrical roofline reflects New England Colonial architectural styles, and works well in snowy climates, easily allowing snow to fall from the roof. With a double door in the front, five plan sizes available and two optional windows, this shed offers plenty of storage space and flexibility of use.
Benefits of Having a Shed
A backyard shed can provide many different benefits for homeowners. For a gardener or hobbyist, it provides a safe place to store tools and special equipment. Store extra lawn furniture, seasonal items and outdoor toys to keep the lawn looking clutter-free, or use the shed as a place for working on hobbies and projects. Here are some of the main benefits of having a shed in your yard:
- Storage space: One of the most popular uses for a backyard shed is for extra storage. It can be used for gardening tools, extra pots and planters, lawnmowers and other lawn and garden equipment. Store the kids’ outdoor toys and sports equipment, holiday decorations and any excess clutter you want to clear out from the home or garage. Enjoy having extra space in your closets and garage after you’ve moved clutter to your shed, and improve the appearance of your yard and garage. Wood shed plans can also include space for dry, organized firewood storage, so you’re always ready for the next bonfire.
- Organized access: Enjoy the convenience of having lawn care tools and gardening supplies right where you need them — in the garden or backyard. Keeping tools and supplies organized in your shed means quick, convenient access to what you need, and always knowing where things are. No more hunting around the house and garage for your tools.
- Safety: Lawnmowers and power tools can pose safety hazards when left out, as can piles of rakes, shovels and other sharp instruments around the yard. Keep everything safely stowed and locked in your shed to avoid tripping over gardening tools or the kids and pets getting into something they shouldn’t. You can also safely store paints, fertilizers and any other chemicals that could be dangerous to leave out. Reduce the risk of accidents in your home with safe, organized storage of these potentially harmful items.
- Added home value: Adding a shed to your backyard is an affordable and relatively easy way to add some resale value to your home. Extra storage space is very attractive to homebuyers, so having a shed is a plus for anyone looking to buy. When you decide to sell your home, you’ll generally see a return on the investment in your backyard shed.
- Versatile creative space: If you don’t need the extra storage, a shed can also make a great workspace, hangout area and more. Install a potting bench for a gardening shed or turn it into a workshop for woodworking or other hobbies. Redecorate as a home office, kids’ playhouse or get creative and use the space however you like!
Creative Uses for a Shed
Backyard wood sheds are not just for storing firewood and garden tools anymore. Small shed plans can be used for just about anything today. Check out these creative ideas for ways to use a shed that you may not have thought of before. With all of these great ideas, you might want more than one shed in your yard!
- Hobby area: For the avid gardener, a shed can be more than just a place to store tools and supplies — have a potting bench with a space to work or turn the shed into a greenhouse for year-round growing. Turn the shed into a workshop full of woodworking tools or a repair shop to work on bicycles or motorcycles. The shed can be a place to work on arts and crafts too — just add tables or easels and comfy chairs. Paint, knit and craft in your own peaceful little art studio. Whatever hobbies you like to do, you can customize your shed into the ideal workspace.
- Man cave or she shed: If you just need an area to get away, turn your shed into a man cave or she shed — or have one of each! Make the shed a comfy, relaxing place to hang out, full of personality and whatever things you love. Or share the shed and make it into a little outdoor pub, with a well-stocked bar. All your friends will want to hang out here!
- For the kids: Use your shed as a family game room, and storage area for games and extra toys. DIY shed plans are also really easy to turn into playhouse plans that the kids will love. Add in some small furniture and decorate the interior. Sheds make great clubhouses, playhouses and places for the kids to play and hang out.
- Bonus room: Building a shed is a great way to add an extra room to your living space without the huge expense of adding on. If you sometimes work from home, a shed can make a great little home office. Or use your shed as a home gym. Keep exercise equipment in your shed to grab a quick workout anytime. Turn the shed into a home spa area or meditation room — make a space to relax and decorate with plush rugs, pillows and scented candles.
- Guest house: The tiny house movement has made smaller living spaces popular, as well as hip. There are tons of ideas for making the most out of small spaces and squeezing in everything you’d need. Add a bed and some other amenities to make a guest house out of your shed, and have an extra space for company or a rentable room for extra income.
Browse Shed Plans at Family Home Plans
If all of these great ideas have you wanting to build your own shed, take a look at all the amazing outdoor shed plans available at Family Home Plans. Whether you need a simple storage shed or a creative hobby space in your backyard, you’ll find the design for your needs. Many of the shed building plans are customizable to several different sizes, with options like extra windows, and are can serve any purpose. Start your shed project today by ordering plans from Family Home Plans. All plans come with a complete materials list and detailed instructions to make your shed construction as easy as possible.