Wooden Garden Sheds

A Guide To Garden Shed Construction

A garden shed is a practical addition to any property that has landscaped grounds or yards that are kept up on a regular basis. The shed can house mowers, trimmers, fertilizers, hand tools and bins. Just about anything that’s used to maintain planted areas and gardens can be kept in orderly fashion in a garden shed.

A typical garden shed will have a raised planked floor for ventilation, an ample size access door and of course a water tight roof. To build one of these sheds the first thing is to select a convenient location and then begin by preparing the area or pad where the shed will reside.

Begin by staking out for the pad using 12” long wood stakes and a string line. Set stakes at (4) corners at the approximate locations that define the size and shape of the shed. Pull a string line tight around the (4) stakes to establish a border and check the measurements. Adjust the stakes and string line until the desired size has been established.

garden shed construction

The next thing is to condition the ground area that will ultimately be under the shed. Remove any shrubs and large weeds and groom the area with a steel rake to form a uniform pad. It’s also a good idea to treat grass with an inhibitor since grass will continue to grow even if covered and one will end up trimming the grass inside the shed itself.

The floor of the shed will consists of 8”x 8” weather treated timbers or railroad ties as a border and 2” x 12” planking installed with ½" spacing to allow for ventilation. Place the timbers along the string line and establish the outside perimeter of the shed. Anchor the timbers by drilling ½” vertical holes approximately 36” apart and then drive 3’ long pieces of #4 steel rebar through the timbers and into the grade.

Depending on the size of the shed an additional row of timbers will be necessary if the shed is over 6’ in either direction. Once the timbers are secured in place the floor planks can be installed. Use either Douglas fir or Redwood for the flooring planks and the thickness of these should be a minimum of 1-1/2”. Heavier planking can be used if desired. Lay the planking flat across the floor area and attach to the timbers using #16 common box nails. Be sure to use 3 nails at the ends of each piece to prevent the planks from lifting and cupping in time.

Frame for the shed walls using 2” x 4” Douglas fir and be sure the vertical stud framing does not exceed 24” from center to center. Box frame three walls that are 8’ in height and attach these to the planking with #16 box nails. Plumb the walls and brace them in place.

Next install a door header across the open end of the shed. This should be a 4” x 8” D.F. timber and it is attached in place using Simpson A-35 angle clips. The roof rafters will span the ceiling from front of the shed to the back. These rafters will be 2” x 6” D.F. and they will be 16” apart. Install the rafters and complete the roof framing with 2” x 6” blocking between the rafters.

The roof sheathing will be 5/8” exterior grade plywood nailed in place with #6 galvanized box nails. Trim the edges for a uniform finish and install 2” x 2” edge metal all around. Now roll out a course of #15 roofing paper on the plywood and staple it flat to the plywood. Next roll out #90 lb roofing and nail the edges securely with #6 roofing nails. Mastic each of the nail heads for water seal protection.

For the siding the best option is 4’ x 8’ x 5/8” think textured plywood that is attached with #5 galvanized box nails. This type of plywood can be sealed and painted and will last a long time. Be sure to enclose the shed with a layer of moisture resistant building paper before attaching the siding. Once the siding has been nailed completely install additional 2” x 2’ angle metal at the corners using #6 nails.

Finally, install a pair of pre-hung exterior grade doors to the opening and install a suitable latch.

Be sure to seal and paint the doors, door frame, and any wood that is exposed to the outside. Inside the shed 1” x 8” ledgers can be attached to the walls as backing to hang gardening accessories or to install shelving.


Wooden Garden Sheds