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    How to build a shed

    Perfect for storage and home projects

    Alex | Oneflare

    Benefits of building a DIY shed

    Australians have many reasons to consider building a shed on their property. It can provide practical solutions for storage and serve many useful purposes. On the outside, it seems like building DIY outdoor storage sheds would be a simple task, but it can be challenging, especially if it is your first time. This guide provides you with a basic overview of the steps. 

    What type of shed should I build?

    The first thing that you need to decide is what type of backyard shed you need. You can build a woodshed, garden shed, or a more sophisticated shed with electricity and specialized storage areas for tools. A shed can serve as a workshop, a separate office, or as an artist’s studio. A shed can also be the perfect playhouse for children, given that it is not also used as a storage space for tools.

    You can build a shed from many different types of materials, including wood, block, or brick. If you’re looking for a space to store gardening tools, you have many choices in garden shed designs. You will need to decide what type of roofing you want and what kind of flooring, too. For roofing, you can choose options such as standing-seam metal roofing or traditional roofing shingles. You will also need to determine if you need amenities such as electricity and plumbing. Your shed can be as simple or complicated as you choose to make it. You can design it entirely from scratch, or you can choose many of the DIY shed kits that are available online. 

    A shed connected to the house / Source: DT Home Improvement Services

    What to do before building a shed

    Whether you decide to design a shed yourself, purchase pre-made plans, or get a DIY kit, the preparation steps are the same. Here is what you need to do before you begin your DIY outdoor storage shed project.

    1. Choose an appropriate site. The first thing that you need to do is to choose a suitable location. Before you do this, it is a good idea to call your local Council to find out if there are any requirements. Many areas have ordinances that dictate how far away it can be from the main building, how far away it must be from property lines, and other requirements. Planning your site might have to centre around local conditions. 
    2. Take measurements and make a plan. The next step is to take measurements and make some drawings. It is a good idea to mark the area where the shed will go with marking paint. 
    3. Seek council approval. Local councils have different requirements for what you have to do to seek permission for shed construction. You will have to follow their procedures and get their approval before beginning the building process. Some of them might require inspections after the building is completed. You might have to follow special requirements if you live in an area that is prone to severe storms, fire, or floods. 
    4. Level the ground. Regardless of the method you choose for building your shed, the first step is to prepare the site and make sure the ground is level. Depending on the size, you may be able to do this by hand, or it may require renting excavating equipment. 

    Materials and tools

    Once you have approval and have your site prepared, you can now start gathering the tools and materials that you will need for the project. If you do not have all of them, it may be possible to rent them from a local tool rental store or home improvement centre. You might not need all the tools on this list, depending on the type of shed that you decide to build. Whether you are starting from cutting your own boards or you have purchased a DIY kit will also change the tools that you need or do not need. The following list is only a few suggestions for those of you who are choosing to do everything yourself.


    • Jigsaw
    • Mitre saw
    • Hand saw
    • Circular saw
    • Drill
    • Impact driver
    • Pencil
    • T-square or carpenter’s square
    • Spirit level
    • Staple gun


    Here are some of the materials that you might need, depending on what type of shed. Keep in mind that you will need different lumber for the piers, flooring, walls, and roofs. The amounts and types will depend on your building plans and local requirements.

    • Construction timber
    • LogLap cladding or other cladding 
    • OSB board 
    • Corner fence posts
    • Cement
    • Sand 
    • Waterproof sheeting 
    • Roofing felt
    • Shingles or metal for roof
    • Door hinges
    • A variety of screws
    • Windows (optional)

    Contact local builders

    How to build a shed from scratch

    Here are the basic steps for building your shed. 

    1. Building the shed’s foundation. The foundation is the most crucial part of constructing the shed. The first step is to set the deck piers and beams. Next, you will attach the floor joists, and finally, install the flooring material. Sometimes, garden shed flooring can be dirt or other drainage material. The most important factor is that a wood floor will not be in contact with the wet or damp ground and that it allows for airflow underneath.
    2. Build & attach the wall framework. Next, you will begin framing the walls and constructing the doors and windows. It is essential to make sure that everything is square and flush when assembling the components. You can install the doors and windows at this time, too. 
    3. Build the roof rafters. Once the walls are up, you can begin constructing the roof rafters and attaching them to the walls. Most council regulations mandate the materials, spacing, and method of attachment. 
    4. Cover the wall. Now, it is time to attach the outer wall cladding. You can also do any outside trim work around the windows and doors. 
    5. Attach the roof. The last step is placing the OSB board on the roof rafters, installing the roof sheeting, and installing the shingles. 
    A small shed for storage / Source: Zane Hand Painting

    Once you have constructed your shed frame, it’s time to consider lining the interior walls. While you want a clean and polished look, it’s also important to stay within budget. Here are some things to consider when lining your shed interior:

    How to line a shed:

    • Drywall or plasterboard is a common and simple option to use. It is a cost-effective and straightforward installation method that provides a smooth finish.
    • Plywood is another budget-friendly and straightforward option. It can be painted or stained to match your exterior or existing décor.
    • V-Joint cladding provides a finished look for the interior shed walls using thin strips of timber.
    • Tongue and groove timber panels offer a classic look with interlocking edges. They provide extra insulation to your shed and are easy to install with screw fixings.

    Cheapest way to line a shed:

    • One of the most cost-effective ways to line a shed is by using oriented strand board (OSB) or particleboard.
    • Another cheap option is the plain metal or fiberboard that you may have used for the exterior shed walls.

    Shed footings size:

    The footings for your shed should be able to support the weight of your structure. It’s important to check local building codes before calculating your footing size. The general rule is to create footings that are about 4 inches thick and 4 inches wider than the shed base.

    Sub board for shed:

    A sub-board provides additional insulation between the framing and finish materials. Most commonly, 1/2-inch OSB or plywood is used as sub-board. It’s important to ensure the sub-board is installed flat and secure so that the finish material has a secure surface.

    Overall, deciding how to line your shed walls depends on your preferences and budget. Ensure the footings are sized correctly and the sub-board is installed properly to make the most of your shed interior.

    How to waterproof your shed

    Whether you are building a garden shed or other type of structure, your DIY shed will need to be waterproof. There are several factors involved in waterproofing the shed. The first is the flooring. Some people choose to place a waterproof barrier between the floor and the ground to protect the boards underneath. 

    The walls, windows, and doors typically involve caulking and sealing any holes or cracks. It is important to install the roofing according to the manufacturer’s instructions, paying attention to proper overlap, and all necessary steps. Creating a waterproof shed can be the most challenging part of the entire project, but it is also the most important. 

    How to hire a builder or handyman

    As you can see, there are many steps involved in building your shed. If you do not have all of the necessary skills, it can be a long and frustrating process. That is why many people choose to find a qualified professional to do it for them. Here are a few considerations for hiring someone to build your shed.

    Licencing and qualifications

    In many cases, one person or a team can build the shed without involving any outside contractors. If you want electricity or plumbing installed, there might be other specialty trades involved. The most important thing is to make sure that all of your professionals meet state and local requirements. It is vital that make sure they have reviews from many happy customers, too. Taking the time to plan and choose the right professional is the most important part of the process to ensure a shed that you will be happy with for many years to come.

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