How to build a garden shed

Written by april kohl
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How to build a garden shed
Taking the time to prepare a level concrete base will prevent subsidence. (shed image by michael langley from

A garden shed is an excellent place to store garden furniture or build a small workshop for household projects. With electrical points installed, a garden shed can also be used as an office or the workshop of a small business. Many excellent prefabricated sheds can now be bought for a low price at garden centres and do-it-yourself shops.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Concrete slabs at least 4in thick, or concrete mix
  • Shovel
  • Rake
  • Spirit level
  • Prefabricated shed
  • Wood preserve
  • Paintbrush
  • Rubber hammer
  • Hammer and nails
  • Stepladder
  • Felt tacks

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  1. 1

    Clear the area where the shed is to be built and remove the topsoil with the shovel, plus enough soil to allow the concrete slabs to be placed level, or almost level, with the ground. Level out the soil with the rake and pat it down flat with the shovel. Lay your concrete slabs to form a solid base. Use the spirit level and the rubber hammer to ensure everything is flat. Alternatively, mix and pour your own concrete base.

  2. 2

    Paint the underside of the wooden base of your prefabricated shed with two or more coats of wood preserve, allowing time for each coat to dry before moving on. This will ensure the wood does not rot. Place the wooden base in the centre of the concrete base and fasten it down. Follow the specific instructions that came with your prefabricated shed for details on how to do this without damaging the base.

  3. 3

    Position the back panel of the shed and fasten it in place using the hammer and nails. Again, follow the instructions that came with your shed for precise details on how to do this safely. Position and attach one side of the shed in the same manner, then attach the front panel. Attach the final side panel in the same manner. If the front panel does not have a door already attached, hang the door according to the instructions.

  4. 4

    Position your stepladder so you can raise each roofing panel and fasten it to the shed. Roll the roofing felt across the roof only when all roofing panels are in place. If the shed has an apex roof, fix the felt onto one side at a time and then cover the apex with another overlapping piece. Allow at least half an inch of overhang at the edges and secure it with the tacks.

Tips and warnings

  • To avoid grass and other weeds growing through the gaps between the concrete slabs, consider laying a plastic ground sheet before placing the slabs. If you choose to do this, remember to pierce the sheet beneath each slab before it is placed to allow for drainage. Otherwise, water build-up could damage your new shed.
  • Raising the walls of the shed can be difficult on your own. If there is nobody who can hold the panels as you fix them in place, consider bracing the panels with wood or bricks so they don't move while you're hammering in the nails. When using the stepladder, ensure it is braced firmly so it does not slip while you're working on the roof.

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