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Everything you’ll need to build a garden shed

We all seem to fill our lives, houses, and gardens up with ‘stuff’ don’t we? And if your garden is looking too busy, sheds are the answer. Here, we tell you everything you’ll need to build a garden shed, so you can tidy away all the chaos – making your garden look organised again.

One of the mains things you might want to know is that flat-pack sheds are generally way more expensive than if you source the materials yourself.

And we at Screwshop sell all the screws and fixings you’ll need to build a shed – especially if you’ve sourced your own materials.

(We tell you exactly which ones these are a bit further down this page!) …

If you are building your own shed, and want a bit of guidance, there are some really great blogs and videos out there that teach you how to do it.

 

Building your garden shed

What this blog will do is signpost you to the right places to find information about how to build a shed. Building a shed isn’t for the complete DIY novice – so definitely pull in a favour if you know someone who’s a bit handy on the DIY front if you’ll need a second pair of hands!

 

Difficulty rating: Medium

Safety check!

Before you begin building your shed, it’s important to make sure you wear protective clothing in case there’s an accident. Also, you should always have someone else nearby to do things like hold the ladder for you, or so that they can hear you calling out if there’s a problem.

Permission: Depending where you are building your shed, you might need to check if you need planning permission, and at least inform your neighbours about your plans.

 

Screws and fixtures you’ll need to make a garden shed:

Wood drill bits

Sealant

50 x 8 x 2½ wood screws (60mm)

100 grams x 40mm galvanised nails

200 grams x 13mm galvanised felt nails

16 x 25mm (1”) galvanised nails (tacks for window beading)

3 x 200mm (8”) light tee hinges

1 x door bolt

2 x galvanised turn buttons

27 x 8 x 1” screws (for hinges, bolt and turn buttons)

4 x M6 x 60 CSH bolts, nuts & washers (for door bolt)

 

Materials you’ll need to build a garden shed:

0.5” plywood (shed walls and roof)

Timber slats (shed walls and roof)

2 x 4 timber posts (shed frame)

Timber bearers (shed base type 1)

Pea shingle (shed base type 1)

Paving slabs (shed base type 2)

Timber battens (shed base type 2)

Felt (shed roof)

Polythene sheeting (in between plywood and slats)

Saw

Drill

Screwdriver or electric screwdriver

Claw hammer

Sealant gun

Craft knife

Varnish (weather-proof)

Varnish brush

Step ladder

Exterior wood preserver

Tape measure

Gloves

Safety goggles

Spirit level

 

Measuring the dimensions for a garden shed

This website is really helpful if you have no idea what measurements your materials should be. Make sure you get it right before you begin building your shed!

 

Building a base for a garden shed

Designing a suitable base for a shed is extremely important. Without a base, your shed will likely rot or fall apart due to moist or uneven ground. Ultimately, your base will need to be on steady, even ground with room for drainage.

You can use timber bearers (shed base type 1) as a base, which must have a damp-proof course. This will involve making a wooden grid that sits as a frame below your shed. You find out exactly how to make this type of base here.

Alternatively, you can use paving slabs (shed base type 2) as your shed’s foundation, or a concreted bricked base if you have the inclination! There are rules to follow, such as that the adjoining parts of the shed need to be supported by the same slabs, so make sure you fully understand how your paved base needs constructing.

Whatever you build your base from – you will need to make sure that the ground you are putting it on is clear of clutter with reasonable drainage, and that it is LEVEL!!

Check how to test if the ground is level here.

 

Building a garden shed

Once your base is in place, you will need to construct a frame. People often use fence posts or 2×4 pieces of timber. You can see how a shed frame is constructed here.

Shed walls can take many forms, but most are built with plywood boards underneath, with assembled timber slats on top to create a panelled effect. Depending on craftmanship/skills – some people opt to use fence panels instead of timber slats – but that one is down to you!

You can also add a layer of polythene sheeting in between the plywood and the slats to add extra weather proofing and insulation.

This step-by-step video on how to build a garden shed is actually really fun to watch. The bloke doesn’t measure out the wood for you (this is up to you!), or tell you which exact screws or fixings you need. He does, however, offer some really great tips, and shows you the visual process of how it’s done.

It is important you use a weather-proof coating or varnish on the wood after assembly. Take a look this video for a tutorial on how to preserve the wood.

 

There are typically three types of roof for a garden shed:

  • Flat

  • Gable

  • Leaning

You will want to ensure you choose the best roof for where your shed is situated, considering things such as weathering and rainfall, and animals climbing up there.

For a full pros and cons list on which types of roof to have on a shed, click here.

 

After building your garden shed

Once your shed is built, you might fill it with all the things you had lying around, in order to finally tidy the garden. Or you might decide HELL NO!! …  and start building the bar you’ve always wanted for your new ‘pub-cave’.

Whatever you do with your garden shed – we hope you found this blog helpful!