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Shed Building Tips

Updated on July 8, 2013

Tips For Building A Shed

Welcome to this Squidoo Lens on the subject of shed building tips. You will discover some very useful tips for build a shed using shed plans. You will find other links to other websites with more in depth information about shed designs, foundations, siding option, doors, flooring, and materials. Check out our information about building the foundation, walls, roof, flooring, and ramp.

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Tips To Consider When Building An Outdoor Shed

Are you looking for some advice related to constructing an outdoor shed for your backyard? Then you have come to the right place. This article is going to provide answers to questions you may be asking about constructing a shed related to shed design, foundations, siding option, doors, flooring, and materials.

So let's look at some tips and tricks with customizing and building your outdoor shed.

Shed Building Tip #1 - Foundation

First item to consider is the design and construction of a foundation that is sturdy and sound.

No shed will last very long if it is placed on a foundation that forms a weak base.

Most wood and steel sheds can be supported by solid concrete blocks that are leveled and spaced to properly support the shed's weight. Pressure treated 4 x 4 lumber laid directly on a bed of level stone gravel spaced closely together will provide an adequate support based for a shed's floor frame.

Another point is never place a shed in an area that is low-laying and retains water. For this type of area you want to set the concrete blocks or lumber on gravel that is 2 to 4 inches thick. This will help to prevent erosion and dampness from entering the shed.

For larger sheds over 200 square feet you need a foundation that is permanent and runs down the winter frost line. This type of foundation can be constructed with poured cement or pressure treated posts that are buried. Make sure you check and adhere to your area building code requirements and the depth of the frost line in your region.

The pressure treated lumber needs to be rated for "ground contact."

Shed Building Tip #2 - Proper Air Circulation

Second item to plan for is proper circulation of air under the shed.

By far the worst enemy of wood is water. Over time to much moisture can cause the floor to warp, doors to warp, framing to rot, hinges to corrode, and mold and mildew to grow within the shed.

To prevent these problems you should lay the lowest wood member at least six inches above the level of the gravel. This amount of air space should be enough to allow for circulation of fresh air under the shed.

Shed Building Tip #3 - Space Around The Shed

Third item to plan for is space around all sides of the shed. You should plan to leave more that 2 to 3 feet of space around all the sides. This will allow for adequate sunlight to hit the shed and allow wind to hit the shed helping to keep it dry.

Keep trees, fences, shrubs, and other structure from the shed. This will make it a lot easier to clean the shed, paint it, and repair it when required.

Shed Building Tip #4 - Build A Sound Floor

Fourth item is to build the floor so it is sound and weather-resistant. You never want to skimp on the floor material. If you skimp on floor material the floor over time will dangerously become spongy and it may even become badly rotted.

You should use 2 x 6 or 2 x 8 pressure-treated joists when building the floor frame including the mudsill. You always want to use treated lumber because over time and exposure to moisture untreated lumber will rot and deteriorate.

For the floor deck you want to install 3/4 inch exterior-grade plywood. Plywood thinner will flex when you walk on it.

For sheds that will be used to store heavy equipment like a lawn tractor you may want to use 3/4 inch tongue-and-groove plywood. This will cost a little more but it creates a rock solid floor.

In areas where there are wood-boring bugs and high moisture content like Alabama and Florida you want to use pressure-treated plywood for the deck.

Shed Building Tip #5 - Use Low Maintenance Materials

Fifth item to consider is the use of low-maintenance materials for the shed. Most of us do not have enough time is our busy schedule to keep a shed clean and maintained. That is the biggest reason to select materials that are low-maintenance for the shed. It may cost you a little more for the materials but it should save time and trouble in the years to come.

Low-maintenance materials include PVC trim boards, new plastic lumber impervious to bugs, splitting, warping, decay, and never needs to be painted. Other materials include aluminum and vinyl windows, fiberglass or steel doors, faux-slate roof shingles, and fiber-cement siding.

Shed Building Tip #6 - Shed Door Placement

Sixth item is to give some thought to the shed door placement and it's size. Think about what is going to be stored now and in the future. If a lawn tractor or wide wheelbarrow is going into the shed you may want to think about installing a double-wide door.

Both the hinged door and the sliding door will work find for outdoor sheds.

The advantage of the hinged door is that it requires less space and closes more securely and tightly.

The sliding door is much easier to install and will glide out of the way. These doors do require more wall space when you slide them open.

You next want to give some thought to where to place the door. Doors placed on the gable side of the shed makes it hard to get to items that are stored at the back of the shed.

Installing the door in the long side of the shed makes items more accessible on the right side, left side, and in the back of the shed.

A third option is to install a door in the gable end and the long side wall making it easier to get to everything in the shed.

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    • JosephRo profile image

      JosephRo 4 years ago

      @LadyDuck: Thanks for visiting my Lens and commenting.

    • profile image

      LadyDuck 4 years ago

      Very useful tips to build a wooden shed.

    • ljr1422 profile image

      ljr1422 5 years ago

      Thanks for providing all these great tips for building an outdoor shed.