Are you wondering how to build a shed? Whether you are building storage barn, pool house, garden cottage, cabin, garage, or just a shed, the first thing to think about is size, and style. And you certainly want it to be aesthetically pleasing. A lot of people want the structure to somehow coordinate with their house. Whether it is in color only, or style as well. Once you settle on size, style, and the location of windows and doors, it’s time to make a trip to your local lumberyard.
Now for the foundation, for sheds, as well as other movable structures, I recommend using #57 limestone, about 4” deep, going 2’ bigger than the building size, so that you will have approximately 12” around the shed once centered on the limestone base. Make sure the pad it is completely level. If the pad is not level, you will have a difficult time trying to get things to fit, especially once you get to the roof. Once you have the limestone pad completed, it is time to start building!
Now there are different materials you can use for flooring. What I would recommend is a 2 x 8 tongue and groove treated planking, this floor is the heaviest in the industry, it’s not hard to install, and it will last for a very, very long time. Plus, the entire building will set lower than a framed floor with plywood. 2×4 wall and roof framing is typical for backyard buildings. Important tip; make sure that you frame the door opening big enough so that whatever you are taking inside actually fits through the doors. You won’t want to tear your doors off and frame a larger opening later because you got a bigger mower, or you forgot to measure the one you have. Folks, I have experience in this, I know all too well what I’m talking about. Funny? Maybe now, but it wasn’t at the time. For siding you have many options, anything from duratemp, pine tongue and groove barn siding, to vinyl siding. Unless you want to take it a step further and use fiber cement board or cedar lap siding.
The Duratemp siding is basically a CDX plywood, with a hardboard face that is pre-primed, it’s very durable. Here is a link with more info. http://www.roseburg.com/product/duratemp-siding/The ¾” pine tongue and groove is also a very nice option, especially if you want to put a stain on it. If your choice is vinyl, cedar, or fiber cementboard, you will want to install 1/2″ CDX plywood sub siding before installing the siding. I know that it will be tempting to buy OSB (oriented strand board), because of the price difference, but don’t fall for it, it’s not worth it. CDX plywood is a far superior product, more strength and remarkable durability, it also wicks out moisture a lot quicker. Plywood is not made of small wood chips like osb. If osb (oriented strand board) happens to get wet, it retains moisture a lot longer, making it spongy, weak, and promoting mold growth. Moving onto the roof sheathing, of course you will want to use cdx plywood again. Thickness varies, you have a choice between ½” and 5/8”. For the covering, you could use shingles or metal.
If you are using the shingles, I’d recommend going with an architectural shingle rather than the 3-tab. Giving you a longer warranty, a better wind rating, and it looks better. Personally, I like the owens corning shingles, they have a superior tar strip for a better seal. If you choose the metal roofing, make sure you use a good fastener, purposely made for the panel you are installing, so that you don’t have a problem with rust where the fastener goes through the metal. Last but certainly not least, is ventilation. Ventilation is very important, especially if you want the structure to ventilate the same way as your house, you will want to install a ridge vent. But, what a lot of people don’t realize, is that without soffit vent, ridge vent does very little to nothing. That is why it is crucial to install a soffit vent. So as the hot air rises on the inside the shed, exiting the ridge vent, you will have fresh air coming in through the soffit vent from the outside. Making your shed a lot “cooler”.