They laughed when I told them I was going to build my own shed but when they saw it...

You can build your own shed successfully,
even if the only thing you have hit with a hammer is your thumb.

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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

DIY Shed Plans - What you need to know - Part 3

Just like the site preparation work it is important to do your homework first. Read the blueprints many times, make notes if you need to and be absolutely sure that you understand all parts of the construction and the order in which it has to be done. Treat it like a big jigsaw, lego construction set or similar.

Often a prefab shed can be built by only two people and sometimes three. If you are building from scratch and a stack of materials you can do it by yourself if you are experienced but you are always better off to have an assistant unless you are constructing a pretty basic storage building or shelter like a lean to, small potting shed or wood shed.

In general the procedure for using a shed kit the build your shed or barn would be to construct the framework, stand it up with the help of your assistant and bolt it to the footings. This is done one section at a time. When you have the second frame in place you put the horizontal joining rails in place as it keeps them rigid. Keep moving until you have the full framework up and the horizontal rails fixed. Your diy shed plans will also give you the step by step process to construct your new shed, make sure you follow them rather than my sequence here as they know their product better than I do and the best way to put their kits together.

Once you have the frame work constructed and the horizontal rails in place you will need to put the roof supports in place. These may be metal or wooden. Next you will put the door and window frame(s) in position. These are often boxed structures and just bolt,screw or nail in place. Your plans may call for corrugated iron roofing or wall cladding or it may be one of the many different patterns you can get in metal sheeting. Perhaps you have a more traditional type barn and you need to nail the wooden planks on the wall frame individually. You might even have a wooden tiled roof.

Often a fully wooden structure will be made from cedar or treated timber to resist termite attack. If you need to cut material to size you need to make sure you have the right piece before you cut and make sure you measure twice before the cut, it isn't possible to un-cut material and mistakes can be expensive.

If you have followed the shed building plans, the step by step instructions or the blueprints correctly you should have a solid, dependable and water proof shed, barn or cottage in the style you wanted, looking just the way you planned it.

Congratulations, you have successfully constructed your own shed in your garden. Take some photographs and show them off at work. You can proudly call it your do-it-yourself garden shed.

Monday, May 24, 2010

DIY Shed Plans - What you need to know - Part 2

I am assuming that you have now purchased either a shed kit, a diy shed plan and purchased all the materials on the list and are ready to go. Check your dimensions carefully, depending on where you got the design the measurements could be feet and inches or metric they'll be marked as ft, in or mm respectively. The rest of these articles are not relevant to you if you have contracted a builder to do the whole job. Wait for it to be built, pay the bill, and enjoy your new shed.

This article will cover site preparation which is the phase you will need to consider next if you want to get a good solid construction. This is true if you are going to get a full service job, it's a diy project, kit or full construction. I'll assume that this is a full build-your-own shed construction project. There are several different types of foundation you can use. There is a full concrete slab, concrete footings, wooden posts, skids or no footing at all. Whichever your shed plan requires the site layout procedure is the same.

Begin by pegging out the base of your new shed. You can use standard garden stakes for this as they will probably get broken or lost and they are really only there to assist with the initial alignment. It is crucially important that you do this job as carefully as you can. Remember that you need to begin with good preparation. Like everything you do, the quality of the completed job is determined by the accuracy of the design and the quality of the preparation.

The way you peg out a site is to determine the first corner and then use that peg as the reference for the other three pegs. Do not use your fences as the alignment of your site preparations because they may not be square. Always measure your site independently of the surrounding structures.

So you have the key corner stake in place, how do you determine the location of the next stake? You can't just measure the distance from the key stake to the next one by using the dimensions on the shed blueprints. But that is exactly where you must start. What you do is tie a length of builders twine between the other stakes which are the correct length for that side. But that's not all, to get the shed square you will need to also add a diagonal string between the opposite corner stakes. By setting the stakes where all of the strings are evenly tight you will have the base of your shed site square and correctly aligned. Yes this takes time and is fiddly but well worth the time and effort.

How do you work out how long the diagonals should be? Remember you old friend Pythagoras from math class at school? Yep, that stuff finally becomes useful and with the calculator on your computer this is easy stuff. But here's a sneaky little trick you might not know, Google can do this for you. Type this "sqrt(width^2 + length^2)" (without the quotes) into the Google search field and hit the enter key. Replace the width and length with the width and length of your shed and Google will return the length that the diagonal needs to be. How cool is that?

With the space pegged out you can now see what you need to do to level off the area. You may not need to level it off. If you are building your shed on a post system off the ground or concrete footings then levelling the site may only need to be minimal. If you are building on a concrete slab you will need to get the site level and then dig out the footings for the vertical supports.

Even for a diy shed project this part of the job will be done best by using a Bobcat or similar front-end loader. If you have not used one of these before save your sanity by hiring an operator to do the job for you. In fact it is best to get a professional to pour the concrete slab as well but you could do that bit yourself if you have had some experience with working concrete. A big slab needs to be worked in a timely manner because once concrete is poured it begins to set and you have a limited amount of time to get it spread evenly and smoothly.

If your shed design calls for services in your construction you will need to put them in place now. At the very least you will need to put conduit in place with pull-through cord for electrical wiring, and or the piping in place for any plumbing.

If you are building on posts or just installing footings for the uprights you will need to dig holes for each post or foot and pour the concrete for each of them taking particular care that they are all the same level. Use a long board and a spirit level. Get them even before you pour the concrete or you will have several at the wrong height. Check often as you pour the concrete as the posts often move when you settle the concrete in. Many builders nail a cross board on the supporting posts to locate them at the correct height prior to pouring in the concrete.

It doesn't matter whether you're using a shed kit, building direct from diy plans, constructing a storage building like a shed or barn or something much smaller than either like a potting or garden shed.

That pretty much sets up the site preparation and now you are ready to build you own shed.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

DIY Shed Plans - What you need to know - Part 1

You need to determine exactly what it is that you need your new shed to provide for you. Rushing into a shed project will almost certainly result in you not getting the design that you need, you might need a barn style shed and end up with a potting shed or a cottage. Well that is a bit of an exaggeration but you do know what I mean.

To avoid the disappointment and angst which results from poor choice of blueprints it is best to take the time to prepare. Here are some of the things you need to consider for your shed plans, you may have others due to your particular location or circumstances.

Before you even choose a style from the available designs or settle on a size you need to decide on all of the ways you want to use your new shed. As an example, I have recently had a shed built, I have space restrictions but I wanted to have three distinct uses for my new shed so I drew up a rough floor plan of how this should be laid out before I even approached a builder.

The first question you need an answer to is "What am I going to do in the shed?" Once you can answer that one you are actually well on the way to settling on a shed plan. From that answer you can then decide how much space you'll need for each of the activities.

That then sets the desired size of the shed. I wanted a two story shed to minimize the footprint in my yard. Unless you have unlimited space the desired size may not be possible meaning some spaces may have to do dual duty or be left out entirely.

Now is the time to measure out the space requirements and juggle the location and position around to find out if you can fit the shed in your yard in a way that is pleasing to you. Often in our modern housing blocks there will be insufficient room for your desired shed.

For me the space was fine but the two stories plan was rejected by the local planning authorities so I had to maximize the floor area for the shed but I still lost overall floor space. Not by much but some of my activity area will now have to be shared and become dual use. I reduced the storage building component and decided between a shed or barn style and chose the shed style.

More decisions, do you want to buy a shed building kit? Get a contractor to do it all? Do it yourself from DIY shed plans? Perhaps a combination of some or all of these. The biggest restrictions for most of us when it come to deciding diy or pre-built is time and money. I didn't have the time for this to be a diy project so I contracted a local contractor who designs custom sheds and then builds by using a shed kit. Their factory makes the shed from the design and flat-packs it for easy transport.

Building your own shed from plans is an extremely satisfying thing to do and you can do it because there are thousands of plans and kits available but you will need to allocate sufficient time for the project. Any DIY project can save you significant money and you always learn new skills but we are usually quite time poor these days. For some very busy people some kind of DIY shed building project might give you a different focus and provide some balance in your life.

At this stage you have a good idea of what style of shed you want, where you want to build it in your yard, whether you are going to do some, all or none of it yourself. If this is going to be a DIY shed project you need to get blueprints drawn up so you can submit them for building approval, if that is something that you need to do for your area. If you don't need building approval, lucky you, but you will still need properly designed blueprints so you can construct your new shed to last. You can buy these online or get a local architect or draftsman to do them for you. Sometimes you can get these done from a template at your local hardware store.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Most Important Things to Know Before You Build Your Own Garden Shed

The Most Important Things to Know Before You Build Your Own Garden Shed

At some point in our lives we will need more space. We can fill the garage up the loft and every little bit of space around the house, but it come to a point where we still need more room. The kids are getting older and we are buying them more and more things that require more and more room. So it come to that time when you think we need to build a garden shed.

For most people the main function for building a garden shed is to keep the garden nice neat and tidy. Simple but we all start to put things in there that we can store in the house like our kids bikes, toy that they no longer need any thing that you don't want to clutter up the house with. The shed is a good place to put it. It protect the objects from the weather and gets them out from under our feet.

Now before you begin to build you will need to decide a few key things. The first and maybe most important is the size of the shed you want. How much storage space do you need right now? How much are you going to need in the future? This is a good point to think about because you will need room to expand you family storage space in the future as the bigger they get the more they want. Also if you are store you kids thing in the shed you will need to place the shed in an area where there is easy access so that they can get to it without any hassle.

With the size of your shed decided you will have to think about the look of your shed and where you are going to place it in the garden. If you have a large garden then you wont have a problem with where you are going to put it but you may want to consider the colour so that it doesn't stand out from anything else. Another good thing to check is you local building regulations to make sure that they will allow you to build the size and type of shed you want.

A good thing to check before you buy anything is your budget. So that you know that you can afford everything. Go through everything that you need to buy and don't miss anything out. You need to consider the base, and any other foundation materials. Also if you have chosen to construct a wooden shed you need to think about painting it or putting protective coating.

Now there are three distinctive material for you to choose from, these are wood, metal or plastic. The different materials have different advantages and disadvantages when you will need to consider before you order anything. A wooden shed blends into your garden space, is the cheapest and easiest to build but require the most maintenance in the long run.

One last thing you might consider is the items you want to store in your shed. If they are valuable you might want to go out and get a lock so that you can secure it against any unwanted intruders.

Want to find out more about Wood Storage Sheds, then visit John Stephens's site on how to Build Your Own Shed for your all of your storage needs.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Making the Smart Choice - Building Your Own Shed

Making the Smart Choice - Building Your Own Shed

If you decide to invest in a shed you will be making a smart choice. If you buy one or build your own shed it will have lots of different benefits. Your garden will look a lot better and it will be organised and neat. You will have a easier time of find thing like your tools, the children's tools, supplies and any thing else you leave laying around. By investing in a good storage space you will be adding a significant perceived value to your property when you have people over or are trying to sell.

If you have decided to build a shed you have already come to the determination that constructing a shed is the cheapest choice. With a add benefit of being able to choose from a wide range of design that you wouldn't get at you local home store.

Now before you start to construct a shed to need to make sure you are up to the job. Build your own shed is not that hard but you should still have some skills before you start. Like working with wood, fixing things and so on. For example, have you ever done any carpentry, fix it work, like nailing, gluing wood together, or screwing. If you have you will have the necessary skills for building a shed.

The second thing to do is to ensure that you have the right set of tools. It is quite likely that you have the tools laying around the house. Now the main tool you will need are a hammer, level, screwdrivers ( better if you have electric saves you time), and a wood saw. You will need all of these when you are constructing your shed. If you don't have any see if you can borrow them from a friend or you may have to buy them. In any case you will still be saving a lot if you compare it to buying a ready made shed.

Now the final thing to do once you have chosen you shed design is to plan the time you need to build you shed. You will need to give it at least a weekend maybe more if you want to do it right. If you know that any of your friends are any good with tool invite them over and put them to work. Once you have planed everything you just need to go out buy buy the materials.

One last thing is that when you are building your own shed take you time and do one thing at a time. Careful planing now will save you time in the long run and will give you a great shed to store all of you belongs in that you don't need.

Want to find out more about Wood Storage Sheds, then visit John Stephens's site on how to Build Your Own Shed for your all of your storage needs.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Tips For How to Build Your Own Storage Shed

Tips For How to Build Your Own Storage Shed

When I built my first shed a while ago now something my old boss used to say to me came to mind, prior planning and preparation prevents piss poor performance. Building a shed will take a lot of planing, patience and hard work but overall the sense of accomplishment and pride you get from completing your shed is well worth the effort.

The first area to tackle is your local building regulations. Find out if you need any special permit and that you are allowed to construct what you want. There are some instances where your local area and building code may require a few things.

Once you have nailed that we can move on to the planing side of things. One of the decision you will have to make is what type of flooring you are going to have. A concrete foundation, cement or a wooden one. With my first shed we built a wooden frame one because it was cheap, easy to make and quick. However a cement foundation is better because it is more durable and sturdy. However overall the choice is yours.

The next area to go for when learning to build a shed is to figure out if you live in a area which is prone to freezing. If the ground where you are freezes you will need to protect your shed with frost protection foundation. This foundation will help the shed with stand the cold harsh element of winter. Frost protection should have a good consideration before you start any form of building.

When purchasing wood it is best to get treated wood. Treated wood resist the affects of wood rot and any type of wood eating insects. Pressure treated lumber is really good. This is because it will keep your shed form being subject to warping due to the different weather climates.

A good tip for when you built your shed is to reinforce the lip on the door of the shed with a piece of metal, so that you don't chip away at it in time by going in and out with items like a lawn mower. If you don't reinforce the lip you can do some real damage and have to replace it in the future.

These are a few great tips when you build you shed. With prior planning and preparation you will have a great shed that you can be proud of, not to mention a good place to store all those items that are cluttering up the garden.

Want to find out more about Wood Storage Sheds, then visit John Stephens's site on how to Build Your Own Shed for your all of your storage needs.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

7 Questions You Need Answered Before Using Shed Plans.

For the novice builder it is very important that you have everything in place before you start any project. Of course the best way to do this is to have a action plan. So you have decided, you want to build a shed using a set of plans. Then first we need to put your action plan into place, and start by listing a series of questions you will need answered before you even begin construction.

1. What do you really need the shed for?
To start with you may be thinking its going to be used to store just the garden equipment. Think hard about this. Is it going to end up being a family shed? In other words, are the kids going to want to store their sports equipment in there? Or is the wife going to find a new place for the Christmas decorations, in your shed? So make a hard and fast rule of what the shed will be used for.

2. What size do you want it to be?
Now you know exactly what it is going to be used for, that will give you the size that you are going to want. Don’t forget to plan for the future. If its restricted to garden outdoor items, you will most likely be adding to your collection over the next few years, so you don’t want to have to build a shed all over again.

3. Where are you going to put it?
You need to determine when is the best place for it. It has to be some place accessible, without walking through your flowerbeds. Probably tucked away so it doesn’t interfere with your landscaping. Again think of the future, you don’t want to have to move it.
Now is the area you have allotted for it and the size of the shed you want compatible? If not then there has to be a compromise, either in the space or the size.

4. Does in need to be insulated, waterproof, or open?
If you are in a four season climate then you need to decide what seasons you need the shed to be able to withstand the most.

5. Do you require a building permit?
Know what your local by-laws are for building a shed. It wouldn’t be nice to get your project finished ,and then have city officials come along and tell you to take it down. Normally you won’t need a building permit if you stay within a specific size, but if you have determined to go larger than what’s allowed, you will have to submit building plans for approval.

6. Now one of the most important questions, What is your budget for this project?
Everything you have decided up to now is dependant on your budget. Its kinds of difficult to set a budget when you haven’t determined the cost of materials yet. Its your budget that’s going to help you when it comes time to get your building shed plans.

7. Where should you get your plans for building a shed?
You have lots of answers now. The purpose, the size, the budget, and now to answer the final question. For this you will need to check out what resources are available to you. Your local home hardware and building center, home planners, and of course the internet.