How to build a shed

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If you’re considering building a garden shed on your property, it’s good to familiarise yourself with the process beforehand. This allows you, buy or hire any specialist tools or materials and, if you doubt your DIY skills, ask for help or even hire someone.

This article guides you through which tools you need, 7 steps to building a shed base on uneven ground, choosing a shed kit and building the roof.

Tool list

  • Pencil
  • Screwdriver
  • Tape measure
  • Sweeping brush
  • Protective thick gloves
  • Drill
  • Pliers
  • Square
  • Spirit level
  • Cement mixture
  • Hardcore

To save money, see if you can borrow the larger tools from people you know, a tool library, (zoom in on the UK, or country you’re in to see tool lending libraries in your area) a local free ad site, or buy used. Especially, if this is the only time you’ll use the tool.

Choose the location for your shed

When deciding where to build your shed, choose an area that is easily accessible and away from young trees that might disrupt your shed as they grow. Other things to consider would be natural light levels, whether you need to have electricity inside, and the view from the shed if you’re using it for anything other than storage.

Choose a location that’s as flat as possible and if the ground is even, that saves time and reduces the amount of hardcore you need, however it’s perfectly possible to build a shed on uneven ground.

How to build a concrete shed base

The first thing to do when building a shed is construct the concrete base, which will serve as the foundation. There are several reasons why this is absolutely essential, but mainly it will help level the ground out, so your shed isn’t at an angle, and help to stop damp from getting into the building.

Top tip: Pour the concrete about five days before building your shed to allow for drying time.

  1. Measure the base for your shed

Make sure this is slightly bigger than the size of your shed, with a 30-40 mm (1.2-1.5 inches) border at minimum. If you plan to use the base as a deck, make it as wide as you like.

  1. Lay down a wooden frame

This should be the size of your base and look roughly like the picture below.

  1. Lay down a wooden frameSecure the wooden frame with steel bars

This might take time but it will give extra strength to the concrete base and help prevent cracking. The steel rebars (reinforcing bars) will be ribbed to ensure a better grip and they won’t rust because the concrete will stop oxygen getting to them.

Secure the wooden frame with steel bars

  1. Lay the hardcore

The hardcore – made of gravel, broken bricks, and the like – will help spread the weight of your shed evenly, so it’s important to pack it in as tight as you can.

Lay the hardcore

  1. Ensure that the frame is square

The way to do this is by measuring the diagonals, as shown in the picture below.

Ensure that the frame is square

  1. Pour concrete and smooth

Now, it’s time to pour the concrete inside the frame and smooth it with a trowel to ensure that it’s level and there are no bubbles that could cause structural instability.

  1. Build the garden shed

When it comes to building the garden shed itself, there will be instructions for this in the kit you order, so we won’t go over it here because it can differ depending on what type of shed you opted for.

We have a range of metal garden sheds that come with a 25-year guarantee, giving you peace of mind.

Build the garden shed


How to build a shed roof

Building a shed roof might need a little extra explanation. First, you’ll need to add a roof frame. Start at the left of the doorway and affix the door framing, before moving to the right-hand side. Then, secure the top door crossbar at the top of the doorway.

To the left and top of the door framing, put up and secure a triangular apex panel. Repeat on the right of the door and at the back. After that, secure L brackets at the corner of each piece. Then, position two L brackets at the end of the long roof beams and secure.

Put the ridge bars between the apex panels, aligning the pre-drilled holes, and screw into place. Then, place the central beam in the apex’s gap and secure.

Now, it’s time to affix the roof panels. Start with the front panel on the right-hand side; positioning it so that it overhangs slightly. (This means that rain can drain off.) Screw the panel to the beams and framing. Repeat all the way around.

Finally, screw in the corner caps, put the ridge cover over the apex, and fix ventilation plates at the gaps.

Is it cheaper to build your own garden shed?

Well this does depend how good you are at DIY. If the last time you put a shelf up, you had to rush to A+E or put a nail through a gas pipe, it might be wiser to hire a professional, rather than attempting it yourself. Otherwise, you might spend more money paying someone to put it right than if you’d found a reputable builder to begin with.

However, if you’re a dab hand at construction or know someone who can help you out, you can really save on the cost of building a garden shed.

Hopefully, this has laid out the basics for you and given you something to build upon with your new project.