How to build a bike shed

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Do you have bikes but do not have a place to safely store them? A great solution for additional storage is a simple wooden bike shed. This article provides easy directions on building a 1.5 m (5 foot) wide by 2.5 m (10 foot) long bike shed capable of holding five to seven adult-sized bikes.

All that is required to build one are a few basic tools, four types of timber and hardware.

First, you must prepare the area on which you want to build the bike shed. Make sure the area is solid ground and that it is also reasonably level because level ground is easiest to work with. Level the area using wood or brick support posts if there is a slight height variation.

After you have prepared the area, cut the 15 x 20 cm (6 x 8 inch) boards for the base of your shed. Leave two pieces at 3 m (10 feet) long and cut three 1.2 m (4 foot) long pieces.

Pressure treat all five 15 x 20 cm (6 x 8 inch) boards along with the 2 cm (3/4 inch) sheet of plywood for the base to prevent rot.

Assemble the frame for the floor on top of the prepared and levelled area with penny nails. Nail two of the 1.2 m (4 foot) long pieces between the 3 m (10 foot) long pieces at each end, forming a rectangle. Equally space the two remaining 1.2 m (4 foot) long pieces inside the frame between the other 1.2 m (4 foot) pieces for floor support. Attach them to the 3 m (10 foot) pieces with penny nails.

Lay the 1.5 x 3 m (5 x 10 foot) piece of 2 cm (3/4 inch) plywood over the frame and line it up. Nail it down to the base for the floor.

The walls need to be at least 2.1 m (7 feet) tall for head room. Determine which side of the shed you want the door on. Allow for a 90 cm (3 foot) wide by 2.1 m (7 foot) high opening for your door and include in your frame plans. Use two 5 x 10 cm (2 x 4 inch) boards side by side on both sides and along the top of the door.

To make a frame for the 3 m (10 foot) long side, assemble a 3 x 2.1 m (10 x 7 foot) rectangle using 5 x 10 cm (2 x 4 inch) boards and nail it together. This rectangle includes two 3 m (10 foot) pieces and two 2 m (6 foot 9 inch) pieces.

Next, cut additional 2 m (6 foot 9 inch) pieces of 5 x 10 cm (2 x 4 inch) for the vertical studs between the top and bottom 3 m (10 foot) pieces and space them 20 cm (8 inches) apart. Build the 1.5 m (5 foot) walls 1.4 m (4 foot 8 inches) long because the ends of the 3 m (10 foot) walls add 10 cm (4 inches).

Stand all four finished walls up and nail them together. Nail them to the base every 15 cm (6 inches) and to each other every 10 cm (4 inches).

Choose the position of the roof, determining if the slope will run down towards the 3 m or 1.5 m (10 foot or 5 foot) sides. Cut a 5 x 10 cm (2 x 4 inch) board so it runs parallel to the slope and extends 15 cm (6 inches) past the sides. Nail it on edge across the top running through the centre of the two walls. The purpose of this piece is to provide slope for the roof.

Cut sheets of plywood for the roof and nail them from the frame up to the 2 x 10 cm (2 x 4 inch), forming an A-frame. Make sure that the roof expands at least 15 cm (6 inches) past each edge of the shed.

Cover the outside of the walls with 1.3 cm (1/2 inch) plywood and then brush with waterproof sealant. Also cover the floor and roof with sealant.

Cover the roof with tin for protection. Cut pieces of tin to fit and then nail them to the roof.

See if you can have plastic doors cut to fit for a lightweight option. The other option is building your own using the framing technique. Hang your doors with heavy-duty hinges.