This post was last updated on November 4th, 2020 at 11:13 am
If you have some experience with woodworking, or even if you don’t but have the time and patience to learn, building your own storage shed from plans is a real option.
Experienced or not though, it is very easy to take on a project that is beyond your capabilities. You should research your ideas very carefully before starting a self-build shed and not be overly ambitious. This is especially relevant if you’ve not constructed anything before.
DIY Shed Plans
The main advantage of having a custom built shed is that you end up with a building that is closest to your ideal, and not a compromise based on the ready-made kits that are available. You should then be able to make optimum use of the storage space you have created.
It takes a lot more work to build from scratch, as well as a lot more time, but the rewards are many.
You will have created a shed for a lot less than if you had bought it ‘ready made’. Plus, you will have a lot more shed for your money; you will gain a lot of personal satisfaction (and the envy of your friends) in knowing that you did it all yourself.
You can’t put a price on that.
As with most important things in life, preparation is all important. You need a proper storage shed plan to work from. Whether you are an experienced woodworker or not, if you have never drawn up plans for anything before, it is better to buy and work from a professionally designed plan than attempt to draft one yourself.
A lot of work is involved and if you get the measurements wrong, it will probably cause delays, cost escalation and take the fun out of it all!
There are many free shed plans knocking around but some are of poor quality, so be careful with what you buy.
So, what should you look out for? What should good quality storage shed plans provide?
- You need a well laid out plan that is simple to follow through all the different stages of construction.
- Guidance on everything from initial planning right through to completion of your project.
- A materials buying list so you don’t waste money.
- Advice on measuring, cutting and assembling the various parts.
- Construction and fitting out phases so everything is done in the right sequence.
- And finally, individualization of your finished shed. In my experience, when that is provided, you have the basis of an enjoyable shed building project.
Be careful when shopping around for shed plans. There are a few rogues about. Shed Plans from a reputable source are a sound investment though, and will save you a lot of time if provided with the information I've mentioned above.
There are a few other factors you will need to consider before starting your project.
Local Building Codes and Permits
Even before you decide on the location and style of your shed, check with your town or city building inspector about local building codes to ensure your plans meet the local requirements.
You don’t want to set your heart on a particular size and design only to find it won’t get a permit. If you go ahead and build a shed anyway, you could subsequently be fined for not adhering to local laws and even be told to dismantle the shed.
The regulations vary between locations but can affect:
- The style and build of your shed
- Its footprint
- Where it can be located in respect of property boundaries, other buildings, trees, pools or fences
- The installation of an electricity supply
When you know the building code guidelines you can plan your course of action.
In addition to the materials you need to buy, you may find it useful to invest in more power tools if you don’t have many. Having a quick and accurate way of cutting, shaping and joining lumber will make a lot of difference to the speed and assembly of your shed.
You can always hire them of course, but hire costs can mount if you experience any unexpected delays like bad weather or a family crisis for example. Having your own tools means they are always to hand, and will be available for other home maintenance jobs in the future.
Enjoy building your shed. It’s a good feeling when all the planning comes together and you see your creation grow to completion before your very eyes.