Shed Building Guide

If you’re thinking about building a shed, you’ve come to the right place! When setting out to build a shed, there are many factors to consider. With some thoughtful planning, it doesn’t have to be a difficult process and can actually be downright enjoyable.

As with all structures, be sure to check your local building code to see if an inspection is required. A solid foundation is of the utmost importance. In most cases, the foundation can be laid directly on the grade. Pressure-treated timbers or concrete blocks are commonly used. Please note that only wood which has been treated and rated for ground contact should be used for any timbers or other wood that is in contact with the ground.  In the case of very large sheds, the foundation will need to be built below the frost line, just as is done when building a house. You can consult your local building code to determine the size at which a more permanent foundation is needed (such as greater than 200 square feet) and the depth of the frost-line (the colder the climate, the deeper the frost line).

Picturesque ShedUse 2×8 or 2×6 pressure-treated lumber for framing to ensure solid construction which lasts many years. When it comes to flooring, use ¾ inch plywood of exterior grade to ensure stability and longevity. Be sure to build at least 6 inches above ground to ensure adequate air circulation which will help prevent moisture from accumulating and prolong the life of the wood. Careful attention should be paid to the type and placement of all materials used in order to minimize the amount of recurring maintenance that is needed throughout the years. Using newer PVC and other plastic materials can help minimize warping and decay from the elements and insects. Consider vinyl or aluminum to minimize window maintenance. Composite decking can be used for stairs and fiber cement is an excellent alternative for siding which will help prolong the life of your shed and minimize the amount of upkeep required.


Always consider the type and quantity of tools, machines, and other appliances that you plan to store in your shed before trying to determine an overall design. Once you have a good handle on function and size of these items, be sure to plan what type and size of door you would like to be sure that getting things in and out is a breeze. You may even opt for two sets of doors so that you can easily access all machinery throughout all seasons. Finally, be sure to consider how many and what size windows you will need. Since most sheds aren’t wired for electricity, consider adding some windows to help bring in some light. Be sure, however, not to overdo it so that you don’t sacrifice valuable wall space which can be used for shelves and hanging tools. To keep things simple, consider building roof trusses in advance rather than using traditional framing. For more general information on sheds, see also here.

There are many different types of shed designs and each one has a special purpose. Some types include:

  • Storage sheds
  • Garden sheds
  • Potting sheds
  • Hobby sheds
  • Boat sheds
  • Bike sheds

Various types of designs commonly used are:

  • Gable
  • Saltbox
  • Gambrel
  • Lean To

With some basic carpentry skills and a good set of shed plans, you will be on your way to constructing the perfect shed in no time!