Building backyard storage sheds is a popular DIY project. There are numerous resources available to help people build sheds. Deciding upon shed plans can be a time consuming and confusing task. The entire process is simpler when you know what type of shed you want and you know (and acknowledge) your building skill level.
Choose Plans which Suit your Skills
An organised and efficient backyard shed will help you keep your tools where you can find them when you need to use them. Good shed plans will lead to a well constructed shed.
Check with your local zoning authorities to see if you need a building permit before beginning. Some communities require that you receive permission before constructing any exterior buildings on your property. Some communities may have limitations on the type of building and its composite materials. What may start out as a weekend project to build a greenhouse shed, may turn into an extended headache if you build the wrong structure in the wrong place.
Know generally what you want before you start looking for shed plans. Identify the purpose of the shed, with respect to what it will house and how it will be accessed. Set parameters for your project and avoid being overwhelmed with the wealth of information and misinformation out there. Stay realistic and be flexible. Be honest with yourself about your budget, time frame and do it yourself building skills. As the process moves along, you will need to re-evaluate all of these factors based on the present set of conditions. Remain realistic at all times to avoid long term problems with your shed.
Evaluating Shed Plans
Shed plans are readily available on the Internet, in design books, and through speciality magazines. If you do not find something that matches your needs, or if you want to stretch your skills, consider adding your own elements to existing plans. Take a look at friends' and neighbours' storage sheds for working models of what you may want and need. Keep in mind that plans are subject to copyright laws, so check any accompanying restrictions before copying plans.
Evaluate shed plans based on function and not on attractive photographs suggesting how your finished product will look. If accurate, photographs can be instructive, but you should focus on matching the construction aspects of the plans with your skill level. Instructions should be concise and written out clearly. Look for resources with detailed information, in particular about roofing, framing and foundations. Take into account the cost and availability of the materials and equipment the shed plans say you will need to complete the project. Even if the plans are free, the cost of construction may be high.
Compare return policies. Find out in advance what happens, if after purchasing plans, you discover that they cannot meet your needs. Ask about any additional assistance which may be available, including, general construction information.