The Complete and Easy to Follow Guide for Beginners


How to Build a Shed

The Complete Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners

When building a shed, you should aim for two things: looks and functionality.

You don’t want your shed to look like you just nailed a few pieces of wood together, but it doesn’t have to look as nice as your house either. If you’re looking for a comprehensive and easy-to-follow guide on how to build a shed, this will help you get started.

If you don’t have any experience, that’s okay. You don’t have to be an expert to build your own shed. All it takes is the right wood, the right tools, and this DIY shed building guide.

We’ll guide you every step of the way to make sure that your shed turns out exactly how you want it. It doesn’t matter if you’re a novice who is building something for the first time or an experienced professional that needs a new design plan, this how-to guide will guarantee that you end up with a perfect shed.

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A Few Things Before We Get Started…

This shed has a number of great features. A simple, gable roof looks appealing and is easy to build. The windows in the back and front of the room provide natural light to eliminate the need for electricity, and the double doors are easy to open. They also provide a wider front entrance, which makes this shed ideal for storing larger items that won’t fit through a standard doorway.

These simple construction plans leave plenty of room for customization as well. For example, homeowners can add more windows (or fewer) as they wish. They can also change the materials to add on a different roof or use different doors. Because the plans are so simple, they can easily be altered to produce a customized shed that is still easy to build.

If this is your first time building a shed, you don’t want to break out the power tools just yet. Instead, make sure you take your time. Read the entire list of instructions, and make sure that everything makes sense. Only then will it be time to pick up your tools.


Before you head to your local hardware store or lumberyard, take a minute to review the list of materials. This comprehensive list covers every single material that you need, right down to the last screw.

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Floor Framing

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Wall Framing

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Roof Framing

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Exterior Finishes

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How To Build A Shed: Step-By-Step Guide

Building a shed is not the large, complicated task that most people think it is. Individuals that have no experience building sheds can use our step-by-step guide to easily build their own shed. All it takes are the materials listed above, and this helpful how to build a shed guide.

This step-by-step guide will take you through every single step on how to build a shed. It conveniently breaks every step down into easy to read instructions that are ideal for those with little to no experience. We’ll start with the basic steps of laying the foundation and finish with the windows and a few useful tips on how to make your shed picture perfect.

Step 1:

The Foundation

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1. First, you need to excavate the building site. We’ll start by digging down about four inches. Simply grab a shovel and dig up a nice little square. The little square should be the same size as you want your shed to be.

Expert Tip: Consider whether you want to add a ramp onto the shed. If you plan to store larger things in the shed, a ramp is recommended because it’s easier to move a dolly up the ramp.

If you would like to add a ramp onto your new shed, make sure to include a small extension onto the foundation. This small extension should be the same size that you want for your ramp to be.

2. Next, you need to fill in that area with the gravel that you purchased. Make sure that the gravel is evenly spread out to completely fill the area.

3. After spreading the gravel, you need to make sure that it is even with the ground around it. You can do this however you wish. Renting a roller (a push version of a steamroller) can be helpful. You can also stomp it down or pat it down with a shovel. It doesn’t matter how you do it as long as it ends up level with the ground around it.

Congratulations! You just finished the foundation for your new shed.

Step 2:

The Floor Frame

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After your foundation is complete, you need to build the floor frame. This frame will give you the perfect framework for a nice, sturdy floor for your shed.

1. First, you need to cut the three treated timber skids (they should be 4x4) at 144”. After they have been cut properly, arrange the skids on top of the gravel. Use a level to make sure that the skids are all leveled with one another. Even a tiny slant can result in a slightly slanted floor!

2. Next, cut two of your 2x6 rim joists at the same measurement (144”). Then, cut ten joists at 93”. Carefully mark the layout of the joist on both of your rim joists. After that, assemble your floor frame with 16d common nails. It’s important to double-check every single joist for crowning. They should all be installed with the crowned edge facing upwards.

3. Next, set the floor frame on top of the skids. Measure all the diagonals to ensure that they are nice and square. Next, install metal clip angles at every joist alongside the two skids on the outer side. Use 1 ½ inch joist hanger nails and 16d common nails to toenail every joist to the skid that is in the center with 16 galv. Nails.

4. After that, it is time to install the tongue and groove floor sheathing. Start with one full sheet at the corner of the floor frame that you just laid. Drive 8d galv. nails into the sheathing every 6 inches along the outside of the sheet, and every twelve inches in the middle of the sheet.


5. Finally, secure all the joists onto the outer skids that have angles. Use hanger nails to secure the joists and 16d nails in the skids.

Step 3:

Frame the Walls

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Now that you’re done with the floor, it is time to get started on the walls. First, you will make the frames for the walls and assemble them all. Then, you will raise them and connect them all together to form your shed.

1. First, make some chalk outlines on the floor for the wall plates. These chalk lines will tell you where the walls will go.

2. Next, cut the 2x4 wall plates.  Cut four of them at 144” and cut four at 89”. The ones that are cut at 144” will be used for side walls, and the ones that are cut at 89” will be used for the front and back walls.

3. After that, mark the stud layouts on the plates.

4.Get out 31 studs. Cut 27 of them at 92 5/8”. Cut the other six at 81 ½”.

5. Then, you need to build three headers. Use the 2x6s and the ½ inch plywood that you have. The one for the door should be 65”. The one for the rear window should be 35”, and the one for the side window should be 67”.

6.Now, assemble all your walls. Simply raise them and brace them all together.

7.Add the top plates. After you raise and brace the walls, add the top plates.

Step 4:

Frame the Roof

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Now that your walls are about done, you should see your new shed coming together very nicely. Now, it’s time to get started on the roof. Framing the roof similar to framing the floor and the walls.

1.First, cut two pattern rafters. Test fit the rafters with a 2x8 spacer block. If the test fit says they’re okay, cut the other twelve common rafters. After that, cut eight rafters to use for the gable overhangs. These rafters will not have a bird’s mouth cut, making it easier to tell them all apart.

2.Next, cut your 2x8 ridgeboard at 156”. Draw your rafter layout onto the top plates using a chalk line just like you did your walls. Make sure to use 16” on-center spacing when you do this. The outside edge of the outer common rafters should be exactly 6 inches from the ends of your ridge board.

3.Install the rafters. Make sure that they are nice and sturdy by using metal anchors to reinforce the connection between the rafters and the walls. Use these anchors on all the rafters except for the outer common rafters.

4.Next, cut three 2x4 rafter ties at 96 inches. Then clip the outer corners at the top, making sure that they don’t go above the rafters. You want to carefully position every tie next to a pair of rafters. After that, face nail every tie end into the rafter with three 10d nails and use two 8d nails to toenail each tie end to the top.

5.Now, cut the gable-wall plates. Cut them so that they reach from the ridge to the wall plates. The plates should be installed next, and you want to make sure that their outside edges match up with the outer common rafters. Finally, cut and install your gable studs.

6.Secure the bottom of the common rafters. Use metal anchors to secure the bottom of the common rafters to the wall plates.

7.Finally, let’s move on to the overhang rafters. Attach lookouts to four of your overhang rafters, and then nail them to the common rafters.

Step 5:

Build Your Gable Overhangs

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1.First, cut 12 of your 2x6 lookouts at 3 inches. Then, you want to end nail the lookouts to every one of the inner overhang rafters. You should use 16-inch on-center spacing for this.

2.Next, nail the rafters together. Nail the inner overhang rafters to the outer common rafters using some of your 10d nails.

3.Finally, fasten the outer overhang rafters to both the ridge and the lookouts using some 16d nails.

Step 6:

Install Your Fascia, Sheathing and Roofing

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1.First, cut and install the 2x6 sub fascia. Cut it and install it along the eaves of your new shed using some 16d nails. Make sure that the ends match up perfectly with the outside of the overhang rafters. The bottom edges should match up nicely with the bottom edges of your rafters as well.

2.Next, hold the 1x8 fascia along the gable overhands. You want to hold it about ½ inch above the rafters so it will fit smoothly with the sheathing. Then, use 6d galv. finish nails to secure it in place. Repeat the same process with the eaves.

3.Now, it’s time for the sheathing. Start at the lower corner of the roof, and use 8d box nails to secure the ½ inch plywood sheathing in place. Nails should be driven into the sheathing every six inches along the edges and every 12 inches along the rest of the sheathing.

4.Attach your metal drip edge along the eaves of your shed. After that, put #15 building paper over the sheathing that you just put down.

5.Next, attach drip edge along the gable ends. This drip edge should be placed over the paper that you just put down.

6.It’s time to start shingling! Install your asphalt shingles, and put on your roof vents.

Step 7:

Install Your Soffits and Siding

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Now that the framework of your shed is done, it’s time add some of the finishing touches. You’re almost finished!

1.First, cut twelve 2x2 nailers so that they fit in between the rafters. Use either 10d facenails or 8d toenails to fasten the nailers between the rafters. It doesn’t matter which ones you use.

2.Next, rip the 3/8” plywood soffit panels. Rip them so that they fit in between the fascia and the wall framing. Using 3d galv. box nails, secure the soffits to the rafters.

3.Then, cut holes for four soffit vents on each of the two outer rafter bays on both sides. After you have cut the holes, install your soffit vents.

4.Now, it’s time to move on to the siding. Use some of your 8d galv. finish nails to install the siding, but make sure that you don’t nail the siding to the door headers or the rear window just yet. Butt the top edge of your siding against the soffits, and use Z-flashing for the top edge of the siding along the gable ends. After that, continue to install your siding all the way up to the soffits.

Step 8:

Build and Install Your Doors

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Your DIY shed should be looking pretty good by now, but we still need to build and install your doors. This part shouldn’t take too long. In just a couple more steps, your new shed will be finished!

1.First, cut the bottom plate out of the door opening.

2.Next, cut the door frame pieces from cedar. The head jamb should be cut at 61 ¼ inch, and the side jambs should be cut at 81 7/8 inch.

3.Then, assemble the frame. Use 2 ½ inch deck screws to screw the head jamb into the side jamb.

Expert Tip: Take a minute to decide if you want your doors to swing inwards or outwards. If you plan to store a lot of stuff in your new shed, it may be easier if they swing outwards

4.Now, cut 1x2 stops and install them inside of the jambs. You want to use 1 ¼ inch deck screws for this part. If you want your doors to swing out when you open them, install the stops that you just cut about 2 ¼” from the outside edges of the frame. If they are going to swing in when you open them, install them the same length from the inside edges of the frame.

5.Use shims and 10d galv. casing nails to install the doorframe in the opening.

6.Cut 12 pieces of 1x6 tongue and groove boards at 81 ¾”. Fit six boards together for each door. Measure the total width of the boards, and trim them if necessary. The total width should be 30”.

7.Then, cut the Z-brace boards. Attach the brace boards with some construction adhesive and 1 ¼ inch wood screws.

8.Now, it’s time to install the hinges and hang your door. If there are gaps at the top and bottom of the door, set them with some shims.

9.Install the flashing above the door. Once it’s been installed, nail off the siding. After that, use 8d galv. finish nails to install the door trim.

Step 9:

Build and Install Your Windows and Trim

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Finally, it’s time to put in the windows and trim. If you don’t plan to install a ramp, this is the final step in building a shed.

1.Measure the window openings. For each window (if you’re going with our plan for the windows, that would be two), measure the rough window opening. Then, cut the frame stock so that its outer dimensions are ½” shorter and more narrow than the rough opening. Use 2 ½” deck screws to carefully assemble the frame.

2.After that, cut and install the mullion in the middle of the frame. Do this only for the window that will go on the side wall.

3.Put each window frame in the opening. Then, use some shims and a level to ensure that every frame is level and that the jambs are straight.

4.Use 10d galv. casing nails to fasten the frame in place.

5.Next, cut the 1x2 stops, and bevel the outer sill stops. The inner stops should be attached using 6d galv. finish nails.

6.After that, measure the window opening, and order the glass to fit. If you already ordered the glass and it does not fit, most glass repair shops can help you out.

7.Install the glass into the window and your outer stops. Use glazing tape on the stops on both sides, and install your horizontal window trim. The trim can be fastened in place with 8d galv. finish nails.

8.Install the corner trim.  Make sure that it fits perfectly against the horizontal trim.

9.Caulk the joints and frames. Put caulk along the trim joints, around your door, around the window trim, and where the trim meets the siding.

Now that your shed is almost done, you can add the finishing touches. If you want a ramp on your shed, that would be the next step. Designing a ramp is easy and only takes a few more supplies. Easy-to-follow instructions to build your own ramp can be found on the internet.

It’s time to get started on the inside of your new DIY shed. If you would like to add shelves to the inside walls of your shed, it would be wise to add them before you begin storing stuff in the shed. You can make shelves yourself or purchase some sturdy shelves from your local hardware store.

Finally, you can customize the outside appearance of your shed if you would like to. Many homeowners that have flower gardens around their house plant flowers around their shed so that their house and shed match. Adding a few decorative lawn ornaments around your new shed can add aesthetic appeal as well.

After you are done customizing the interior of your shed and the yard around it, you are finally done! Your neighbors will be impressed that you built this beautiful shed all by yourself, and you’ll finally have that extra storage space that you’ve always needed!


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