Saturday, October 4, 2014

Building a Shed - 4 Tips to Make it Easy

Building a Shed - 4 Tips to Make it EasyBeing in construction myself, I often get asked many questions about building timber structures. The subject of how to build a shed often comes up. Here I am going to try and answer some of the most frequently asked questions.

Building a Base for Your Shed
The foundations for your shed or outbuilding are just as important as the structure itself, so time and effort should be spent getting it right. Picking a suitable location is paramount. Choose somewhere that does not get too water logged as this can undermine your footings very quickly. The base should also be sited away from thick vegetation or trees and their roots. Tree roots and foliage are the number one cause of foundation breakdown.

Shed Base Composition
Throwing a few concrete blocks on the ground to put your shed on is just not the way to go. Dig the ground out to accommodate a 120mm sub base of crushed concrete or hardcore before pouring a minimum of 120mm of mixed concrete on top. Make sure the shuttering for the base is absolutely level, this will make life easy when you are tamping the wet concrete and also save you the frustration of ill fitting timbers as you build. A base that is 20mm off level translates roughly to 55mm off level on your uprights when you get to 2.4 metres high!

Roofing Materials
The list of roofing materials is endless, but fall mainly into three categories. Sheet materials, felt and timber shingle. Choice of roofing material ninety percent of the time comes down to personal preference (and how deep your pockets are!) Corrugated sheet material, either tin or or plastic, is a relatively inexpensive way to roof your outbuilding, which is fine for a tool or storage shed but would not look particularly pleasing to the eye if you are building an outdoor office or studio. Cedar shingle or the more expensive powder coated sheet materials will look much better. Felt is probably the most commonly used and easily applied. Depending on size of your roof and the size of your pocket, employing a roofer to hot torch the felt on is always best, but for smaller sheds felt nails are good enough.

Shed Plans and Designs 
If you are looking for a good set of shed plans why not try a woodworking site for thousands of blueprints and detailed schematics (see below). Every size, shape and design of shed is available. Building a shed or timber outbuilding is a relatively straight forward process. Always remember that if you take your time and get it right from the start you can avoid a lot of frustration.

Digital Woodworking Resources:

My Shed PLans
My Shed Plan is a complete guide that explains how you can build a beautiful shed from scratch. More info here

Teds Woodworking
Created by Ted McGrath, "Teds Woodworking" is one of the most popular woodworking plans and projects packages online today. More info here

Furniture Craft Plans
Over 9,000 premium woodworking furniture and craft plans that you can easily follow at home. More info here

Deck Plans
Have a look at Joe's Deck Plans, over 2400 deck plans, designs and projects all in one place and all accessible with instant access. More info here

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