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Tips for Building a Storage Shed

We spent 43 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top options. Don’t let those bicycles, lawn equipment or junk that you just can’t bring yourself to throw away fill up your garage so you have to leave your car outside. These storage sheds come in all kinds of options, from very affordable to tough and durable, and will keep all your gear safe and secure from the elements.

1) Arrow WL65 Woodlake 6-Feet by 5-Feet Steel Storage Shed | 2) Lifetime 6406 8 ft x 5 ft Outdoor Storage Shed | 3) Lifetime 6405 Outdoor Storage Shed with Window, Skylights | 4) Handy Home Products Cumberland Wooden Storage Shed with Floor | 5) Suncast 7-1/2-Feet by 3-1/2-Feet Alpine Shed | 6) Ready Shed Easy Install Shed With All Materials | 7) Suncast BMS3400 34 cu. ft. Horizontal Shed | 8) Lifetime 6405 Outdoor Storage Shed with Window, Skylights | 9) Handy Home Products Columbia Wooden Storage Shed | 10) Suncast DB10300 Patio Storage Box | 11) Marvel 70 Gal. Resin Deck Box in Brown | 12) Duramax 00184 Dura Mate Shed with Foundation | 13) Outsunny 10’ x 5’ Metal Outdoor Garden Storage Shed | 14) Keter Manor Large 6 x 8 ft. Garden Storage Shed | 15) Keter Factor Large 8 x 6 ft. Garden Storage Shed | 16) Suncast BMS8000 7-1/2-Feet Alpine Shed | 17) Rubbermaid Plastic Large Outdoor Storage Shed | 18) Rubbermaid Outdoor Vertical Storage Shed | 19) Merax Arrow Shed with Single Door Wooden Garden Shed | 20) Step2 Lifescapes Highboy Storage Shed |

Here are some great tips for building a yard shed that will make it easier to build, a pleasure to look at and a more practical storage or work space.

Here are some excellent tips taken from our pros’ 50 years worth of experience in designing yard sheds. These tips will make your project easier, more economical and help you add practical features that will make your shed even more useful.

Metal Roofing Makes Financial Sense

Metal roofing costs about twice as much as asphalt shingles. But on a midsize shed, you’ll only spend an extra $100 to $200. And that’s a bargain when you consider the benefits.

A metal roof typically lasts 30 to 50 years and instead of covering the whole roof with plywood, you just nail a few 2×4 “purlins” across the rafters. Screwing the big metal panels to the purlins is much faster than nailing on hundreds of shingles. To find manufacturers, search online for “metal roof.”

Build a Tool Locker for Frequently Used Items

A shallow tool locker on the side or back of a shed offers quick, easy access to lawn and garden gear. To build this tool locker, we constructed an interior wall 12 in. from the back of the shed, covered the studs with pegboard and installed a pair of steel prehung doors ($110 each) inside out so they swing outward. Homemade or sliding doors would work well too.

Alternatives to a Concrete Slab

Pressure-treated lumber laid on a bed of gravel gives you a fast, easy foundation that will last for decades. Or lay joists on the wood foundation and cover them with plywood, just like the floors in most homes are built.

For a floor that’s more durable than plywood, fill the wood foundation with gravel and lay cement pavers, just like for a paver patio. A paver floor allows water to drain through, so it’s perfect for a gardening shed and you can rinse the floor clean with a hose.

Consider Sliding Doors

Sliding doors are easier to build than swinging doors because they don’t have to be as stiff and sturdy. And since you don’t have to fuss with hinges, installation is much simpler. Years down the road, sliding doors won’t sag and stick the way swinging doors do.

But sliding doors have two drawbacks. First, they don’t fit as tight; critters or snow can sneak in around them. Second, you need a long wall for a wide door—the door’s width can only be about half the length of the wall.

Small Details Can Make Your Shed Shine

A few decorative details make all the difference between a show-off shed and a backyard eyesore. A dormer or front porch can dress up a shed, but smaller details can do the trick too. Features like exposed rafter tails, simple decorative brackets, corner boards, a cupola or a gable window are great ways to add charm without adding a lot of work.

Prebuilt Roof Trusses Save Time and Work

If you frame your roof the traditional way, one rafter at a time, you’ll spend half the day crawling up and down ladders. With prebuilt roof trusses, you’ll cut out most of the ladder work, saving time and sparing your knees. Manufactured roof trusses in standard sizes are surprisingly cheap—often just a few bucks more than the lumber alone would cost. Contact any home center or lumberyard for prices and options.

Photo Gallery of the Tips for Building a Storage Shed