If ladders, lawnmowers, gardening tools and lumber are taking over your garage, you might consider erecting an outdoor storage shed in your backyard. Building your own outdoor shed is probably easier than you realize—especially if you follow these steps:
Best Laid Plans
The wisest way to kick off your shed project, especially if you’re a DIY beginner, is to buy a set of mail-order building plans. These plans usually include scale drawings of the shed and a list of all the construction materials you’ll need to build the structure. While you’re waiting for the plans to arrive, meet with a building inspector who can recommend the best building techniques and ensure that everything is built to code. You’ll also need to check the local ordinances and find out if you’ll need to obtain a building permit before you begin construction.
“X” Marks the Spot
The ideal building spot for your shed should be level and dry—never build in a low-lying area that collects water. Once you find the perfect place, call Texas811 to make sure that your building project won’t interfere with any underground utility lines.
A Solid Foundation
Now it’s time to start laying the foundation of your shed. It’s best to use solid-concrete blocks or pressure-treated wood timbers, which will be set directly on the ground. Stay away from hollow-core wall blocks, as they will eventually crack and crumble under the weight of the shed. If your shed will be more than 200 square feet, you’ll need to put in a permanent in-ground foundation.
Build, Build, Build
Be sure to follow your plans to the letter and use the exact materials required for each step. You should also ensure that you keep at least three feet of open space around all four sides of the structure—that means keeping away from trees, fences and your house. Avoid installing too many windows unless you absolutely need to—it will sacrifice precious wall storage space. It’s also best to use double doors as an entrance point, since the wider space will allow you to easily store larger objects.
Now get building! Just make sure to call Texas 811 before you start.