Easy DIY Garden Shed Plans

Anyone can build a small, simple and sensational shed!

| April/May 2011

Garden Show

Customize your garden shed to be a decorative focal point of your yard or garden. 


Almost all of us need a little place to store outdoor stuff — garden tools, recycling bins, the lawn mower, bicycles or other outdoor gear — and building a shed is one of the best ways to create additional storage space. Our garden shed plans are simple and require only basic carpentry skills.

A garden shed can be strictly functional, but it can also be a decorative focal point around which you design your garden or yard. These plans will help you build a basic shed, but don’t stop there! To customize your shed, you could create a combination toolshed and greenhouse, put a martin house on top, or use part of the shed for a chicken coop or rabbit hutch. If you’re feeling even more adventurous, you could create a living roof of moss or succulent plants.

Build the Floor

The best spot for a shed is level, well-drained ground close to where you work in your garden or yard. The location doesn’t need to be perfectly flat; the foundation design shown in the plans allows for adjustments to make the floor level. Small sheds require only a top-of-soil foundation, even in locations with freezing winter temperatures. Precast concrete deck blocks work perfectly for this.

To eliminate the need for any kind of floor beams, you’ll need a deck block at each corner, with two more blocks equally spaced along the 8-foot sides and one in the center of each 6-foot side. If you expect to store particularly heavy items, consider installing three deck blocks between each corner on the 8-foot walls, instead of two.

Deck blocks include a central pocket sized to fit the standard 4-by-4 vertical posts that typically hold up a deck. In the case of this shed, pressure-treated 4-by-4s function in a similar way, but in short lengths — just enough to compensate for any variation in the shape of the ground (see the plans).

Start by setting deck blocks on the ground, positioned as shown in the plans. While the area doesn’t have to be perfectly level, you should make the ground roughly level where each block will rest. Temporarily place some straight 2-by-6 lumber on edge in the top grooves of the blocks to orient the blocks in a straight line. Arrange two rows of four blocks parallel to each other to form both long walls, then measure diagonally across the outside corners to determine how square the arrangement is. If the two long walls are parallel, and diagonal measurements taken across corners are equal, then each corner is guaranteed to be 90 degrees. Finish up by placing one deck block in the middle of each 6-foot wall after you have aligned and squared the 8-foot walls.

11/22/2015 5:53:20 PM

Download free shed plans covering all types of sheds with step-by-step instructions, detailed blueprints and complete materials & cutting lists. http://howbuildshed.com/free-shed-plans/

9/25/2014 6:39:04 AM

I finished my second shed this week. Thank you Mother Earth News for your great information, I couldn't have done this without your articles. I got my shed plans here; http://bit.ly/1oiMGRo I did have my neighbor help me with the foundation, but I was able to construct my shed pretty much on my own in a couple of weekends.

Rendi Prasutio
9/24/2014 9:16:29 PM

how way to calculate the cost to build that sheds?

9/12/2014 6:12:42 PM

I helped my friend build a shed this weekend. We did pretty well until we got to the roof. Eventually, we had to get some help from people who knew how to put a roof together. After much assistance, the roof is on and the shed is completed. http://www.kplamarco.com/services/roofing/

9/3/2014 7:38:08 AM

I just finished my shed using premade plans. Turned out great, now I just need to paint it. Found some cool plans on the web. Check it will help you as well: http://www.woodengardenshedplans.com/

7/3/2014 7:00:47 AM

Garden sheds are a great use of any empty space that you have. Like http://www.frankssheds.com, garden sheds also need to be taken care of regularly. You should always plan and build your garden sheds. Use prebuilt roof trusses while building roof of your garden shed. Prebuilt roof trusses save you about half a day work.

Luke Johnson
4/10/2014 2:47:58 PM

I would love to have a small shed like the one in the picture, but I don't have any small enclosed part of my yard that could house it. I was thinking I would go with something a little bit wider and taller to accommodate the extra space behind my house. http://www.tri-steel.net.au/?page_id=557

4/6/2014 4:49:15 PM

I agree building the floor first is very important. Where i live you can just building it on a concrete slab, but if your having trouble, try my site http://zacsgarden.com/Garden-Shed-Plans

1/9/2014 3:30:58 PM

How do you feel about prefabricated sheds? I am not much of a handyman so I doubt I would be able to take on a project of this magnitude. I was able to find a pretty nice prefab one online that even comes http://www.fairdinkumsheds.com.au/shedsafe-0. What do you guys think?

11/20/2013 10:49:44 AM

Great post! So often a shed looks like a "shed" and not very attractive to the surrounding environment. Great job and also appreciate the materials list. Thanks for sharing, RichinSC http://wonderfulhome.net

10/20/2013 11:00:20 AM

One of the best projects I ever did build a 16x10 workshop/kennel. The problem I had was my yard tended to get waterlogged so I lifted the base by laying railway sleepers and built it on top of these. You are so right by the way , you need some good plans. I hope I can post a link here? Obviously remove if not allowed, but the site I recommend is http://shedbuildplan.com. There are some great plans and ideas there.

10/1/2013 10:31:49 AM

This is just about the best plans I've seen on the net. I used to build sheds on site for a small company in Indiana. But if you're wanting to build something a little bigger or maybe a window or loft, check out this site, it's very detailed, I built my shed with it this summer before the kids went back to school. http://bit.ly/1bqmOy7

3/20/2013 4:00:17 PM

What a coincidence! I just added an article about garden sheds to my website this week (am I allowed to give the URL? Its: my-green-home-project.com/shed-kits.html) and I included these plans with a link back to you. If I weren't 71 years old, I would certainly build that shed from scratch because your directions are impeccable. Thank you for all you do. -GinaB

3/20/2013 3:33:08 PM

actually I think if you doubled the floor sheeting and staggered the join and used some construction adhesive it would not sag. So three sheets of 5/8" would be a easy fix. Otherwise a usable design.

3/20/2013 3:17:54 PM

Not enough floor support for 72 in width 5/8 in ply floor will sag.

Bill Phillips
1/21/2013 11:12:00 PM

I appreciate the materials list. Getting the right supplies seems to always be the toughest part for me when building DIY Shed.

4/18/2012 4:28:02 PM

Where do we find the winners of the Great Garden Shed Showoff? The contest submission deadline was 11/1/11.

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