How to build your own shed

Updated February 21, 2017

Garden sheds come in all shapes and sizes, to suit every need, be it somewhere to store tools or a place to work from home. Although a wide variety of prefabricated sheds are now available, they will not suit all tastes and occasions. In these situations, knowing how to design and build your own shed is a key to making a garden home away from home that caters to your exact needs.

Sketch your shed design and decide on measurements for height, width and length. Determine the ground area the shed will take up. Dig this area of ground to at least 4 inches deep and rake it flat. Mix your concrete and pour a solid concrete base. Use the rake and spirit level to ensure the surface is completely flat and then leave the concrete to set.

Cut the wood planks to the lengths needed to build the front, back and both sides of your shed; referring to the measurements on your sketch plan. Arrange the planks for the back panel into the shape of the panel on a large, flat area. The planks should be “lapped” so that rainwater flows off the shed rather that soaking into the building. Fasten a wooden support to the planks at each side and in the middle of the panel using the hammer and nails.

Attach supports diagonally between the main supports for stability. Repeat for the door, front and side panels. Create a pallet base by arranging wooden planks in a square or rectangle, depending on the shape of your shed. Attach five equidistant supports and add another set of planks on top. Tack felt to the underside of the pallet to prevent rot. In high-wind areas, fasten the pallet to the concrete using rawl bolts and bracing joints.

Raise each panel wall and fasten it in place using the hammer and nails. Start with the rear, then one side, then the front and finally the other side. Use bracing joints to add strength to the corners of the shed. Using the stepladder, attach wooden planks to the shed to form a roof. Double coat the roof with wood preserve and then roll on the felt and tack it in place. Attach the door using the hinges.


To avoid problems with damp and mould growth on your new shed, consider coating each face of your shed's individual panels with wood preserve before you assemble the shed. This will then mean even the surfaces you will not be able to access easily will have a layer of protection.


As with all assembly work, there is a risk of the panels falling over and causing injury or damage to you or your surroundings. Get help with the assembly if you can, or brace the panels while you assemble the shed, to avoid injury. Using spare planks as bracing agents is a good way of doing this.

Things You'll Need

  • Pen and paper
  • Sand and concrete mix
  • Shovel
  • Rake
  • Spirit level
  • Wooden planks and supports
  • Hinges
  • Bracing joints
  • Rawl bolts
  • Wood preserve
  • Paintbrush
  • Rubber hammer
  • Hammer and nails
  • Stepladder
  • Roll of outdoor felt
  • Felt tacks
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About the Author

Based in the United Kingdom, April Kohl has been writing since 1992, specializing in science and legal topics. Her work has appeared on the Second Life News Network website and in British Mensa's "LSQ" magazine. Kohl holds a Bachelor of Science in physics from Durham University and a diploma in English law from the Open University.