How to Build a Cheap Storage Shed The Family Handyman

How to Build a Cheap Storage Shed The Family Handyman

Printable plans and a materials list let you build our dollar-savvy storage shed and get great results.

Save up to $3,000 on this shed

Easy arch-top windows

If youve ever priced arch-top windows, you know how expensive they can be. Even windows that dont operate are likely to cost $400 apiece. But you can simulate the look of an expensive window without spending a ton of money. These windows cost about $60 each and are easy to build with materials youll find at any home center or lumberyard.

Composite trim

Composite trim saves you money and time right away. Its less expensive than solid wood (youll save up to $160), it doesnt have knots or other defects to work around, and it comes preprimed and ready for paint. And itll save you time and money in the long run since it holds paint better and longer than even the best-quality exterior wood.

Getting started

Arch-top windows and a custom door give this shed a high-quality look that belies its low cost and simple construction. The panelized construction technique means you could build the parts in your garage on a rainy weekend and then haul them to the site for assembly. Modest finishes like OSB siding and composite trim and fiberglass shingles help keep the materials cost low. And youll save hundreds of dollars by providing your own labor to build the door and windows. The modular construction and wood platform foundation mean you can construct this shed almost anywhere, even on remote or sloping sites. In this article, well show you the basics of how to build the shed and install the windows and doors.

How to Build a Cheap Storage Shed The Family Handyman

We found all the materials to build this shed at our local home center. Most of the construction is straightforward and requires only standard carpentry tools and a circular saw. To build the windows and door, youll also need a table saw, power miter saw and router. We used a Kreg pocket hole jig and pocket hole screws to assemble the door and windows. With a helper or two, you could have the platform and shell built in two or three days. Then expect to spend four or five more days completing the siding, trim, doors, windows and roofing.

A few weeks before you start, check with your local building department to see whether a permit is required and to find out how close to the lot lines you can build. Then call 811 for instructions on how to locate buried utility lines. The first step is to set a pair of treated 6x6s on gravel beds as a foundation for the shed platform.

When youve decided on a shed location, dig two trenches 16 in. wide, 12 in. deep and 13 ft. long. Center the trenches 66 in. apart. Fill the trenches with a 3-in. layer of gravel and compact it with a hand tamper. Repeat this process until the trench is full. Use a level and long board to level the top layer of gravel. If the ground is flat, also make sure the gravel beds in the two trenches are level with each other.

Cut the treated 6x6s to 12 ft. and set them on the gravel so theyre parallel and the outside edges are 6 ft. apart. On sloped ground, youll have to raise the 6×6 on the low side until its level with the adjacent 6×6. Do this by stacking treated 2x6s, 4x6s or 6x6s on top of the treated 6×6 to reach the right height. Use a 4-ft. or longer level to make sure the 6x6s are level and level with each other. Finally, square the 6x6s by adjusting the position of one 6×6. Slide the 6×6 back and forth, not sideways, until the diagonal measurements from opposite corners are equal. Build the platform with treated 2x6s, 24 in. on center, and cover it with treated 3/4-in. plywood (Figure B).

The shed and floor framing plans.


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