How to Build a Storage Shed

Building a Storage Shed

To build a shed, start from the bottom: first the foundation, then the floor, the walls and the roof. The floor rests on two long "members," or pieces of lumber, called skids. On them go the joists that hold up the floor frame. After spacing the floor joists a certain distance apart, nail them to the bands of the frame. Then nail the plywood to the frame.

The wall frames can be measured, cut and built right on the wood floor you've just built. First, lay out wall studs and nail them to the top and bottom plates. Space them perhaps 2 feet (0.6 meters) apart at their centers. That distance would match up perfectly with standard 4-foot (1.2 meters) cladding boards [source: Buildeazy]. Before those go on, though, apply the horizontal members ("noggings") perpendicular to the studs. You can choose either to put on the wall siding at this point, while each wall rests on the surface of the floor, or after the skeleton of the entire structure is assembled. Ask a friend or neighbor to help lift the four wall frames and fit them together, assuring that all walls are plumb (straight upright) and flush with the edge of the floor and with each other. The frames should be nailed together at their corner studs [source: Buildeazy].

Those walls need a roof! A simple roof frame starts with a single-roof beam, placed above two supports sitting atop the middle of the front and rear wall frames. The four end rafters, two at the front and two at the rear, then slope down from the roof beam just over the edge of the corners, creating the angle of the roof. Several more rafters, each cut at the same angle, must be placed in parallel to fill out the frame. (Keep in mind that roofs can be assembled using prefabricated trusses or homemade rafters.) After the noggings go on crosswise, plywood sheathing boards need to cover the roof frame, followed by more lumber members, materials such as underlay and fascia, and the actual roofing material [source: Buildeazy].

Once the roof is on, place the doors and windows into the spaces you've dedicated for them in the walls. Congratulations! You've just built your very own shed. For more information, visit the links below.

Related HowStuffWorks Articles


  • Buildeazy. "How to Build a Storage Shed." (Accessed February 24, 2009)
  • Carter, Tim. "How to Build a Shed." (Accessed February 24, 2009)
  • Carter, Tim. "Outdoor Storage Sheds." (Accessed February 25, 2009)
  • Gibson, H.E. "Choosing Storage Sheds: Storage for Garden Equipment and Supplies." Flower & Garden magazine, August-September 1994." (Accessed February 25, 2009)
  • Shank, John. "How to Build a Shed." (Accessed February 24, 2009)
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  • Truini, Joseph. "Beyond the Basic Shed." This Old House. (Accessed February 25, 2009),,218418,00.html
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