How to Build an 8-Foot-Square Garden or Storage Shed

Reader Contribution by Emily Heyde and Shedplans.Org
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When it comes to building a simple, but cost-effective outdoor shed for creating more space in your backyard, this simple plan will get the job done.

There’s no need to worry — these blueprints are designed for all skill levels, even newbies. The plan will show you how to build a pitched roof that sheds water from the front and back of the structure. It also starts you off right with a solid shed foundation that provides years of durability and eliminates sagging floors over the course of time. This is exactly what you need. There’s plenty of room to maneuver sizable objects through the double-opening doors, and they provide ample lighting during the day.

The shed will provide 64 square feet of floor space, which will easily store lawnmowers, bicycles, garden tools, and supplies or household seasonal items. You can even install shelving to create an organized storage system that uses less space and maximizes the overall cubic foot space.

This is an affordable storage solution that fits just about any budget, and it can be built in a few days. Additionally, you don’t need to worry about buying an arsenal of power tools. This shed can be built with power and hand tools that most people already own.

Step 1: Preparing a Shed Foundation

1.1 Clear the area where you want to build the shed and layout for the foundation.

1.2 For the foundation, dig the trenches at least 1 foot wide and 1 foot deep.

1.3 Fill the trenches to ground level with concrete and let cure, or harden. Because curing times vary between brands, read the packaging for recommended curing times.

1.4 After the concrete has cured, use standard-sized bricks and lay them across the foundation.  You will need roughly 65 bricks for this step.


Step 2: Foundation Preparation

2.1 Assemble the frame using 1-1/2;-inch by 7-1/4;-inch pressure-treated lumber.

2.2 Secure the beams with 8-inch-by-5-inch wood screws.

2.3 Using a speed square or carpenter’s square, check the corners to make sure they are 90 degrees.

2.4 Prepare the 9/16-inch plywood for the floor sheathing according to the drawing.

2.5 Secure the plywood with 2-inch wood screws.


Step 3: Assemble the Wall Frames

3.1 Using 1-1/2;-inch by 3-1/2;-inch and 3-1/2;-inch by 3-1/2;-inch pressure-treated lumber, construct wall frames using the drawing below as a reference. Prepare studs, cross braces, bottom and top beams in necessary quantity and connect them with 2-by-3-inch and 2-by-5-inch wood screws.

3.2 Using a speed square or carpenter’s square, check the corners to make sure they are 90 degrees.

3.3 Assemble the top frame using 1-1/2;-inch by 3-1/2;-inch pressure-treated lumber to fix all four frames altogether.

Step 4: Assemble the Roof Frame

4.1 Using 1-1/2;-inch by 5-1/2;-inch pressure-treated lumber, cut seven rafters 6 feet by 11 feet long, and cut seven rafters 3 feet 8 1/4 inches long according to the dimensions in drawing below. Cut the recesses in each beam for splicing connection with wall frames (nodes C, D).

4.2 Using 3-4;-inch-by-7-1/4;-inch pressure-treated board, cut the ridge board 8 feet long according the illustration below.

4.3 Using 1-1/2;-inch-by-3-1/2;-inch pressure-treated lumber, cut five collar ties 5 feet long and assemble the roof frame.

4.4 Using 1-1/2;-inch-by-3-1/2;-inch pressure-treated lumber, cut five left walls and five right wall

gable studs as shown in the illustration below (nodes E, F).

4.5 Connect the beams with a top frame with the help of 3-inch wood screws.

Step 5: Roof Installation

5.1 Cut sheets of 9/16-inch plywood for the roof sheathing using the drawing below as a guide.

Secure the plywood with 2-inch wood screws.

5.2 Using 5-1/2;-inch-by-3/4-inch and 7-inch-by-3/4;-inch pressure-treated lumber, prepare four roof fascias 8 feet long and install with 2-inch wood screws to the rafters on both sides of the roof (see nodes G, H).

5.3 Cover the plywood with building paper. Install 90-square-foot asphalt shingle roofing using an industrial stapler. Add the metal drip edge to the fascias.

Step 6: Installing the exterior siding

6.1 Use 1/2;-inch texture plywood siding to cut the wall planes according to the drawings.

6.2 Ensure to provide an opening for the door on the front wall panel as shown in the illustration.

Planes for the side walls must be mirrored.

6.3 Secure the plywood with 2-inch galvanized nails.

Step 7: Install Wall Trims

7.1 Use 2-1/2;-inch by 3/4;-inch pressure-treated lumber for the walls and door trim and fasten with 2-inch galvanized nails

Step 8: Assemble and Install Shed Doors


8.1 Build the door frames for the shed using 1-1/2;-inch-by-3-1/2;-inch pressure-treated lumber and secure with 5-inch wood screws.

8.2 Prepare the 1/2;-inch texture plywood siding for the doors according to the drawing.

8.3 Install three 3-inch door hinges using 6-by-1-inch wood screws. Finish the installation of the door by attaching 4-inch surface bolts and 6-inch door pulls (see nodes J, K, L).

Step 9: Shed Decoration

Now that your shed is all done, you are ready to decorate it any way you want using your favorite paint, stain, or preservative.

Emily Heyde is a gardener and garden shed builder from Millville, N.J., who uses an ecological approach to landscaping and experiments with square-foot gardening. Find more of Emily’s writing, and read all of her MOTHER EARTH NEWS postshere.

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