This post was last updated on November 4th, 2020 at 11:17 am
When you need a storage building for the backyard, a serious option for many people is to build their own shed from a plan.
There are many advantages to this but to do the job properly you will need the correct equipment, hand tools, and power tools. These will make the build a lot easier and quicker, and enable each phase of the work to run smoothly.
If you do home maintenance already you probably have a collection of tools and DIY equipment that can be used for this job. As a guide though, you will find it useful to have the following tools in your kit if you are going to build your own shed:
Essential Tools Needed to Build a Shed
- Wooden stakes, twine, and chalk for marking out the site
- 4 Foot Level
- Measuring Tape - accurate measurements are essential
- Carpenter's pencil
- Nails and screws
- Framing square
- Hand saw - good quality with a sharp blade
- Wood clamps
- Wood chisels
- Wood glue
- Safety equipment - goggles, ear defenders, mask - especially if using power tools
- Pair of ladders or step ladders
- First Aid Kit - even the most experienced woodworkers get the occasional cut, so be prepared.
Don’t overlook the safety goggles. There’s going to be a lot of sawdust in the air and you don’t want to risk an injury to your eyes. Use a decent pair that doesn’t inhibit your vision and which provides full protection around the eyes.
You don’t have to buy power tools. You can do a lot of work the traditional way if you wish - sawing, drilling and so on, but if you do, make sure your saw is freshly sharpened and that your drill bits are not blunt.
Doing the work by hand can be tiring when there is a lot of it, and will probably take you a lot longer than using power-tools.
The main power tools used for shed construction are a Miter Saw (circular saw) and a drill/driver (or one of each). The miter saw makes short work of cutting multiple parts and is a great time saver. A drill/driver also saves a lot of time when you are drilling and driving lots of screws.
You could choose to use a nail gun instead of a power drill. These work out a lot more expensive and are best rented as this will be a much cheaper option. You’ll need to rent the nail gun together with hose and compressor and to buy a supply of the nails needed.
Of course, the renting option applies equally to the miter saw and drill if you don’t already own them. However, if you have plans for other home improvement projects, they are a sound investment.
A miter saw is a very useful piece of kit. You will get rapid crosscut, bevel and miter cuts from this powered circular saw, depending on the type you buy, and save a lot of time.
You will also be assured the accuracy of cuts every time. They have good portability and can be easily moved around the job site.
These tools take a lot of load and will need access to a power supply. You could invest in a cordless model, but these will cost a lot more.
A power drill is essential unless you opt for a nail gun.
Cordless drill/drivers offer as much power these days as those requiring a power source and are more convenient to use as you won’t be trailing a power cable. A twenty volt model would be best so you have enough grunt to power through larger wood sizes.
An alternative to the cordless drill driver is the cordless impact (screw) driver. They can be more compact and lightweight enabling access to tighter areas.
They have more power than the standard drill/driver types. Some use lithium batteries and brushless motors which give you more runtime – you'll be able to drive screws in all day.
An electric sander helps in the final stages of your shed-building. It will enable you to achieve a fast smooth finish to your project, ready for painting or staining and sealing.
In addition to all detailed above, there will be a few other items useful to have around.
- If you are laying a concrete foundation on which to build your shed you may need some gardening tools to clear the area of plants.
- Some plastic sheeting would be useful to cover the shed making materials in your backyard from any rain while you are working on the project.
- A portable workbench for hand sawing or mounting the powered miter saw is essential.
- A tub to store the lumber off-cuts. Keep any that are of a usable size as they may have a use later on.
Whenever the right tools are available any job becomes much easier to complete, and shed building is no exception.