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How to Build a Shed

An outdoor shed can be built from scratch, but it takes some planning.


  • Step 1: Construct the frame for the front wall, leaving room for the doorway frame. Each side of the doorway frame consists of two 2-by-4s nailed together. Use a 4-by-6 for the door header. Fill in the front wall frame with 2-by-4s and nail in the three door pieces.
  • TIP: The walls can be heavy and unstable. Ask a friend for help with this part.
  • Step 2: Stand the frames up and nail them to the foundation.
  • Step 3: Make a door. Cut enough 2-by-4s to span the opening of the door -- these will form the door. Then cut three 2-by-4s to match the width of the door. Nail them to the door, one across the top, one across the middle, and one across the bottom. This side will be the inside of the door. When you install hinges and a door latch, the door will be ready to hang.
  • Step 4: Construct a roof. Nail a 2-by-6 board that is the length of your shed to the top of the front wall as the front portion of the frame. Cut three 2-by-4s for the sides and back of the frame, and nail them to the tops of the side and back walls to complete the frame. Fill in the frame with 2-by-4s spaced about 8 inches apart. Then nail down a sheet of plywood to cover the frame. Cover the plywood with tar paper and shingles.
  • FACT: An early professional carpenter's association was established in England in 1271.
  • Step 5: Attach plywood sheeting to the exterior walls, and you're now ready to give your new shed a paint job!
  • Step 6: Construct the wall frames for the side and back walls from four 2-by-4s. Fill in the frame with additional 2-by-4s, at a spacing of about 8 inches.
  • Step 7: Nail a precut plywood sheet across the top of the floor frame.
  • Step 8: Stake out the shed to the dimensions desired. Place stakes in the ground at the four corners and attach string to the corners to outline the shed's boundaries.
  • TIP: Clear away any rocks, trees, or shrubs.
  • Step 9: Choose a location that is flat with good drainage for the shed.
  • Step 10: Place 4 6-by-8 wood planks inside the stakes. Remove the stakes and nail the planks together at the corners.
  • TIP: The planks should stand on edge.
  • TIP: Use wood glue along with the penny nails for added support.
  • Step 11: Construct a floor frame by nailing four 2-by-8s to the 6-by-8s using 16 penny nails. Complete the inside of the frame with 2-by-8s, spaced about 8 inches apart.
  • : You may need a permit to build a shed on your property. Be sure to check with your local government officials for any restrictions.

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