1. Sturdy Reliable Foundation
If you are building a smaller storage shed (usually less than 200 square feet) then a wooden skid foundation will be sufficient. To keep the area under the shed dry a bed of gravel will give a flat stable surface to build on and drain any water as well. Make sure the timbres being used for the skid foundation are treated for ground contact otherwise they will suffer from rot.
For larger sheds (larger than 200 square feet) a concrete slab foundation should be used. The slab foundation takes a little more work to install but it will anchor the larger building safely in place. If you are laying a cement slab foundation for the first time having someone that has experience doing this would be a good idea. Smoothing and levelling the slab can be a tricky proposition.
2. Raise the Floor
The last thing you want in your shed is mold and mildew. To prevent this from happening raise the floor at least 6 inches above the ground. Keeping the floor at this height will protect against the frame rotting and floors and windows warping.
Leave sufficient space around the shed so that you are able to walk easily around it. You will be happy you did when it comes to having to paint or do repairs. Also allow for the sun to shine on the shed to help keep it dry.
3. Do Not Skimp on Floor Framing and Decking Materials
Under no circumstance buy the cheapest grade of lumber. It will not stand up to the elements for any length of time and you will end up with a rundown shack in your backyard. Floor framing and the actual deck plywood should be top-notch. The floor frame should be constructed of either 2X6 or 2X8 pressure treated lumber. For the floor use ¾ inch exterior grade plywood. Anything thinner will cause bounce in the floor. If you store heavy equipment like lawn tractors or have heavy woodworking machines the heavier grade plywood will be able to support these items.
4. Keep Maintenance to a Minimum
You will want to do as little work on maintaining the shed as possible so use some of the PVC type of materials that are available. You can use PVC material for trim boards and fascia. Also available as low maintenance options are vinyl or aluminum windows, faux-slate roof shingles, fibre glass doors and composite decking for steps.
5. Make Doors Large and Plenty of Windows
Install double doors on your shed. Whether you are using it as storage or as a workshop you will be glad you put in double doors. It is recommended to put the double doors on one of the long side walls of the shed as this will allow access to either side and the back of the shed as well. If you are using the shed as a workshop I personally would have the doors on one end and keep the long wall for other uses.
Put in an extra window if you have room. The more natural light that you get in the work space the better and you will have less artificial lighting to install.
Robert (Mac) McCormack –
About the Author:
Robert “Mac” McCormack is a cabinetry and furniture hardware expert who is an avid woodworker. Mac particularly enjoys helping others get started in their own home workshop. For more information about Fast Easy Shed Plans.