If you're a homeowner, especially the kind of homeowner who likes to tackle projects around the house yourself, you need a certain amount of tools, equipment and materials to maintain your home and yard. You can keep some of your tools in your garage or basement, but a lack of storage space can still be a problem. One way to alleviate this is to build a 6-foot by 10-foot shed in your yard. This shed can provide you with the needed space to store larger equipment, like your lawnmower and gardening tools, as well as a space to safely store dangerous chemicals that you use around your home.
Mark out the area where the shed will be built by driving stakes into the ground around the perimeter. For a 6-foot by 10-foot shed, mark off an area 7 feet by 11 feet.
Dig out the area inside the stakes, going beneath the frost line. Your zoning board can provide you with information about the location of the frost line.
Build a wooden frame for the concrete around the hole by driving wooden stakes into the ground and nailing 2-by-4s to them.
Place a vapour barrier over the dirt in the hole. This is a plastic sheet which prevents moisture from seeping up from the ground and damaging the foundation.
Pour sand or gravel on top of the vapour barrier. Your local building codes will dictate which material that you need to use and how deep the layer needs to be.
Lay rebar or wire mesh on top of the sand or gravel, again following local building codes.
Mix a batch of concrete, following the instructions on the packaging, and pour it into the hole.
Screed the concrete by dragging a 2-by-4 across the top of the frame with a side-by-side motion. Screeding removes excess concrete from the pour, smooths out the surface and exposes low spots in the pour. Fill in any low spots with more concrete and screed the surface again.
Allow the concrete to cure for at least 4 days.
Mark the spots on the concrete where you will attach the sill plates, and drill pilot holes in the concrete. The sill plates are pressure-treated 2-by-4s used to attach the wooden frame to the concrete.
Measure and cut the sill plates, then attach them to the concrete with masonry screws.
Nail a 2-by-4 into the end of another 2-by-4 so that they create an L-shape. The bottom board, called the bottom plate, will be nailed into the sill plate when the frame is complete; the other board is one of the end studs. Nail the other end stud into the bottom plate.
Nail 2-by-4s to the bottom plate between the end studs. Follow local building codes regarding the spacing between the studs and the framing for the door and windows that you might install. Nail another 2-by-4 into the top of the studs (this is the top plate).
Lift the frame into position on top of the sill plate (you will want the help of a friend for this). Make sure that the frame is vertically straight (plumb) and horizontally straight (level). Nail the frame into the sill plate. Repeat this process to frame and raise the other three walls.
Nail prefabricated roof trusses into the top plates of the wall frame, following local building codes.
Cover the walls and roof (except where the doorway is) with plywood sheathing. Set a plywood board against the outside of the frame so that it covers one of the end studs. Go to the last stud that the board covers, and mark the midpoint of the stud on the plywood board. Cut the board at this spot and nail it to the studs. Cover the outside of the frame using this method, staggering the boards (similar to how bricks are laid) to strengthen the walls.
Cover the sheathing with roofing paper. Make sure that the paper is flat against the sheathing and that you overlap the edges of the different strips to prevent leaks. Attach the paper to the sheathing by driving staples in every 6 to 8 inches with a hammer stapler.
Start at one of the bottom corners of the shed, and nail a wooden shingle into place (the thinner edge goes on top). Drive two nails into the shingle, positioning them about 4 inches from the bottom of the shingle and 1 inch in from the sides. Finish nailing shingles into the first row, keeping a ¼-inch gap between shingles.
Line a shingle up so that it covers the gap between two shingles in the first row, covering half the height of the shingles, and nail it into place. Continue to install wooden shingles until the shed is covered, cutting the shingles in half when necessary for the corners.
Nail flashing into place along the edges of the roof. This is a piece of metal which prevents water from seeping up under the shingles.
Nail the first row of roofing shingles into the roof. Hang the shingles ¼-inch over the edge of the roof and drive three evenly spaced nails into the shingle 1 inch above the tabs. Lay the next row of shingles so that they are staggered with the first row and cover the top half of the shingles in the first row. Continue laying shingles until you reach the top of the roof, cutting shingles as needed with a utility knife.
Install the ridge cap on the peak of the roof by cutting the tabs off of the shingles. Fold the top part of the shingles over the peak of the roof and drive two nails into each side. Continue this until the entire peak is covered.
Put the door in the door frame and mark the spots on the door and the frame where you will drive in the screws for the hinges.
Drill the holes for the hinges in the door and the door frame.
Attach the hinges to the door. Put the door into the door frame, and screw the hinges into the door frame.
Always follow local building codes when building the shed. These codes are designed to ensure that structures are safely constructed and will help protect the structures against issues such as hazards caused by storms, flooding, fire and earthquakes. They also ensure that the structures meet community standards. These codes vary by municipality, so be sure to contact your local zoning board to learn the codes that you must follow, as well as acquire any permits that you need for construction. Failure to do so can lead you being fined or forced to tear down your shed. Always wear safety goggles when using a saw. Before you dig for the foundation, call 811, the "Call Before You Dig" number. Your local utilities will send someone out to your home (at no cost to you) to mark the utility lines running through your property. If you strike these utility lines when you dig, you can be fined and will be responsible for paying for any damage that you create.
Tips and warnings
- Always follow local building codes when building the shed. These codes are designed to ensure that structures are safely constructed and will help protect the structures against issues such as hazards caused by storms, flooding, fire and earthquakes. They also ensure that the structures meet community standards. These codes vary by municipality, so be sure to contact your local zoning board to learn the codes that you must follow, as well as acquire any permits that you need for construction. Failure to do so can lead you being fined or forced to tear down your shed.
- Always wear safety goggles when using a saw.
- Before you dig for the foundation, call 811, the "Call Before You Dig" number. Your local utilities will send someone out to your home (at no cost to you) to mark the utility lines running through your property. If you strike these utility lines when you dig, you can be fined and will be responsible for paying for any damage that you create.