How to Build Your Own Shed Designs

Updated February 21, 2017

Invest effort and time to design and build a shed, even if it will stand in a far corner of the backyard. Plan the roof line and colour scheme to blend with your house. You can construct a shed from inexpensive materials, yet build it to hold up well over time. Use sturdy lumber or metal framing material for the framework. Cover exterior walls for little cost with corrugated plastic, recycled sheets of metal or leftover housing siding.

Decide on a shape for the building. Choose a simple rectangular building with an A-frame roof, a tall A-frame building in which the side walls also serve as the roof, or a flat-roofed structure with the front roof pitched 12 inches higher than the back. You can even design a gambrel, or barn-shaped, roof if you want to invest more time in building the shed.

Sketch the building on graph paper. Include any doors or sliding windows. Install a double-door system to allow for a riding lawn mower to be stored inside. Sketch the roof rafters to be built from 2-by-6-inch or larger boards, since the roof must hold up well during windstorms. Create overhangs to protect the side walls from rain and snow. Trim the shed with wood or metal that will be painted a complementary colour to the main exterior walls.

Construct a concrete base for any shed, if your budget permits. Lay 2-by-6-inch boards in a perimeter box for the concrete pour. Roll out metal grid work to add strength to the concrete, if you plan to store a riding lawn mower or heavy items inside. Use concrete nails to lay perimeter boards on the poured concrete when you are ready to add framework. Build a wooden framework from 2-by-6-inch boards or metal strips designed especially for metal buildings.

Use exterior-grade plywood sheathing on the roof before laying metal sheets or asphalt shingles. Caulk the roof areas and overhangs well to prevent water leakage. Use metal trim to cover all sharp edges of any building or use wood trim at the corner areas to seal all seams. Paint the building in high-quality exterior paint to protect your investment.

Install the double-front doors with heavy-duty hinges that will hold up well with lots of use. Install two sets of hinges on the top and bottom halves of each door to keep the doors aligned. Construct a wooden or small concrete ramp at the front door in order to drive a riding lawn mower, easily move a snow blower or other equipment inside.


Insulate the roof area of the shed, if you plan to use it for a woodworking area. Insulation will keep the building cooler on hot days during summer months.

Things You'll Need

  • Graph paper
  • 2-by-6-inch lumber
  • Concrete
  • Metal grid for concrete base
  • Concrete nails
  • Exterior grade plywood
  • Asphalt shingles
  • Exterior siding
  • Sheets of metal
  • Wood trim
  • Paint
  • Heavy-duty hinges
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About the Author

Judi Light Hopson is a national columnist for McClatchy Newspapers. She is founder of Hopson Global Education and Training and co-author of the college textbook, Burnout to Balance: EMS Stress. She holds a degree in psychology from East Tennessee State University, and has been a professional writer for 25 years.