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How to Design & Build a Potting Shed

Updated February 21, 2017

You can enjoy working in your yard and garden more by building a potting shed. There are endless designs to choose from, because you can create a shed with many types of roof lines and features. Once you establish the size of the shed, it's easier to develop the overall design from how you wish to utilise the interior. You can use all new materials or recycle some materials you already have on hand to create a nice shed.

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  1. Go over gardening books and magazines to view sheds you find appealing. Review online gardening websites that feature shed-building plans. Design a shed from a professional plan or create your own plan by envisioning ways you want to use interior space. Develop the layout of the shed with an L-shaped workbench fitting along the perimeter of two interior walls, for example. Sketch space for how you will store potting soil and fertiliser in large containers under the bench.

  2. Design a rough draft of the shed's overall exterior look and floor plan. Begin an ongoing list of materials you will need to buy. Incorporate recycled plywood, leftover roofing materials or lumber you have on hand. Design ways to build shelving and storage units inside the shed to keep it neat at all times. Think of ways to use leftover plywood or wood materials you have on hand to create boxes, bins or shelving that will cost nothing. Utilise plastic containers with labels to store small items on shelves in the shed with as well.

  3. Plan to incorporate a window on each side of the shed to provide light. Sketch all framework, to be built of 2-by-8-inch lumber on all sides and the roof area. Decide if you will build a wood floor in the shed or pour a concrete floor. Select a roof design that includes asphalt shingles or metal over plywood. Be sure to pitch the roof so that rain and snow will skirt off in bad weather. Avoid making the roof less than a 30-degree pitch on any side.

  4. Create the floor area first when you're ready to build the shed. Build a framework box of 2-by-6-inch boards for the concrete pour. Call a concrete delivery truck or mix the concrete yourself. Pour concrete and allow to dry 24 hours before you construct the building framework.

  5. Construct each wall of the shed separately and have friends help you nail the four framed walls together at the corners. Use concrete nails to attach framing boards around the floor perimeter. Place roof trusses on top of the walls next. Add exterior faux wood covering and roofing materials. Paint or stain the building as the final step.

  6. Tip

    Stain or paint the shed with at least two coats of material. Add guttering to the shed with downspouts and splashblocks to skirt off rain. Use heavy-duty double hinges on all doors to keep them in better alignment over the years.


    Never build a potting shed without a double door. You might wish to store a riding lawnmower or other equipment inside at some point, and a single door is very limiting in many ways.

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Things You'll Need

  • Shed design books
  • Gardening magazines
  • Online gardening resources
  • Sketch pad
  • Building materials list
  • Floor plan of shed interior
  • 2-by-8-inch lumber
  • 2-by-6-inch lumber
  • Concrete
  • Plywood
  • Asphalt shingles
  • Metal roofing
  • Heavy-duty hinges
  • Paint or stain

About the Author

Judi Light Hopson

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.

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