Step by Step Guide to Building a Shed from Scratch

Before you Get Started

Building a shed from scratch is a great way to create something that’ll be useful as well as ensuring it’s built specifically for your needs. It can also be great fun so that’s why we’ve put this guide together to help you get started.

Building a shed sounds like an intimidating prospect, however, it can actually be quite a straight forward process. The first thing you need to think about is checking planning regulations. Standard sized sheds usually don’t need any planning permission but if you intend on building something quite large or if it could impose on someone else’s property, it’s always worth double checking.

Once you’ve got your head around all the regulations, you’ll want to pick the location of the shed. This needs some strategic thinking as you want to ensure you’re maximising your land and the shed isn’t going to compromise another area of land. Ideally you’ll want to pick level ground, otherwise the construction will be much more difficult. Sheds built on areas prone to waterlogging or flooding are also likely to suffer so try picking higher land to avoid this.

With your ideal location for your shed in mind, the next thing to think about is what design/plan you’ll follow. Our passion at Blackdown Buildings is seeing ideas and visions come to life. For customised designs for your dream shed, make sure you get in contact and we’d be happy to offer any help or suggestions we can.



What Equipment You’ll Need to Build Your Shed

You’ll need a few pieces of equipment to help you put the shed up. If you don’t have all the equipment you may be able to hire or borrow some pieces to avoid spending money on a load of brand new tools.

  • Timber Cladding
  • Timber for foundation/walls/trim
  • Nails
  • Screws
  • Roofing Felt
  • Hammer
  • Saw
  • Measuring Tape
  • Door/Windows
  • Guttering (for larger sheds)
  • Lock



Best Timber for Building your Shed

You’ll want to ensure you pick a good timber for your shed. Different timber species have different properties and these will influence how the timber behaves and looks.

Sheds are usually built from a larch or cedar, however, for a full breakdown of timber species, speak to one of our experts who can ensure you get the right timber for your shed.



Setting the Floor

Laying the foundations and setting the floor is one of the most important parts of building your shed. Get it wrong and the shed could be vulnerable to lots of problems, not least falling down.

Here at Blackdown Buildings, we’d always recommend using pressure treated timber for your base. This will mean the wood is much more resilient to rot or moisture damage.

Build your base frame – this is the size of your floor-space. You’ll want to make sure you have joists going across as well (as opposed to just an outlined frame), to provide more support to the base. You don’t want a bouncing floor. You may also want to add blocking between each joist to make sure that wood is firmly in place and doesn’t move. All this then needs to be nailed together.

The main thing to think about with the floor is making sure it’s (a) sturdy and (b) level. If either of those things are off, then the shed won’t last the test of time.

You can then cover the floor frame in either a plyboard or cladding. If you’re using glue, make sure it’s designed for outdoor use and can withstand getting wet. Then nail this to the joists.



Building the Walls

When putting up the walls, you’ll find it easier to make the frame on the ground and then lift it up. This makes screwing, nailing and cutting wood a lot easier than doing it on a ladder. You can use the base of the shed you’ve just finished as a good workspace.

The front wall will need a space for your door. You can build a door yourself or you may be able to recycle one. If the shed will store valuable things, it’s worth investing in a secure door with a lock.

Each wall will have a frame of vertical timber to provide the general shape of the wall, and horizontal timber to provide extra support. These horizontal pieces, often referred to as noggins, go in between two vertical pieces to make it sturdier.

Once the frame is complete, you can add cladding to the walls.

For a smarter finish, add a trim around the door and windows. This also helps seal them against wind and rain.



Putting the Roof On

When putting a roof on, you’ll want to add rafters that have a slight overhand over the walls. This ensures excess rain falls away from the walls.

There are many ways to put a roof on your shed. You may wish to opt for a triangular roof which will involve more skilled wood cutting, or simply a slope creating from having the front wall higher than the back wall.

Whatever design you go for, you’ll cover the frame with boards and attach your roofing material to that. Roofing felt is the cheapest option but you could tile the roof if you wanted.



Customise your New Shed

Once your shed is built, the final step is to customise it with a stain or paint. You could go for a natural finish and highlight the quality of the wood, or pick a bold colour to stand out – the choice is yours!

If you have any questions, then please just get in contact and we’d be happy to offer a helping hand. If you decide to give it a go, make sure you send us your sheds, we’d love to see how you get on.


March 1st, 2017|