Home ownership often comes with the inevitable need for additional outside storage space. Mowers, rakes, shovel, toys and tools have to be put somewhere and what better place than in your very own backyard shed? With the wide variety of plans and options, backyards sheds can be everything a homeowner could want and now with the wealth of information available online, building one no longer needs to be that difficult of a task.
Prepare to build. Check to see if you will need a permit and inquire with your homeowners association in regards to any restrictions. Some places do not require a permit for sheds under a certain size. Be mindful of any power or water lines, underground services, easements, etc. Have a utility service mark its location. Once you know how much room you have to work with and what the rules are, you will be able to select a plan. Plans can be found online, at your local home improvement store or at the library.
Make a materials list by referring to your plan. Calculate for not only the wood needed to build your shed but also any nails, blocks, bracing, glue, shingles, sheathing, windows, doors, etc. Calculate your estimates higher to avoid mid-construction trips to the supplier. Order your materials. Make a tools list, then borrow, rent or purchase any you don't have on hand--proper tools are a great advantage.
Prep the ground area, removing any debris, foliage, etc. For a guideline, lay out where you plan to build with a string and stakes. Check that your layout is square by measuring from corner to corner---the measurements should be equal (if not, it's a trapezoid). Install poured concrete or concrete block footings. Construct piers on the footings with CMU blocks, patio pavers, or other approved support. Install the floor band, girders, and joists as directed on the plan. The size of floor components will vary according to building size and local code. Check as you go along to make sure the floor remains level and square. When finished, cover the framed floor structure with a quality subfloor product, such as 5/8" plywood.
Frame each wall individually and allowing for openings for any doors and/or windows. Raise the wall into place and secure to the floor with nails or screws then build the next wall. Once all walls are up, attach the walls to each other at the corners (if needed, use scrap pieces of wall lumber as blocking to make sure there is good contact). Install on the exterior of the frame either oriented-strand board (OSB) or exterior wood siding.
Construct the rafter units either on the ground or in place. Cross-brace if needed and secure well with nails or screws. Install either OSB or plywood on the outside of the building. Build the rafters on the ground to set in place or build them one-by-one in place. Cross-brace as specified and secure well. Apply OSB or plywood. Install tar paper and roof shingles. Complete any additional exterior wall sheathing. Then install a ridge vent (optional) and do a quick inspection for roof leaks.
When the shell has been roughed-in, install any doors and/or windows by setting them in place and securing as specified by the manufacturer. Also install any entrance stairs or ramps, again referring to the plans in regards to height, length, and pitch. Either paint the exterior or put up siding. If painting, prime all exterior wood before painting. Putty all nail holes and caulk any gaps before applying the final coat of paint.
Clean up the work area. Rake to level the ground and install landscaping. Do another check for leaks in the roof as well as around any windows or doors. Spray both the interior and exterior of the shed with an insect repellent/deterrent. If a permit was obtained, have it inspected and certified by local authorities.