How to Build Basic Shed for Beginners?


As a beginner, you can find it hard to build a shed on the first try. You will need a proper understanding of the model, the necessary tools, and enough space. Sheds are a great place for storing cleaning equipment, garden tools, and objects that you do not use regularly. You can also store products that can be harmful such as pesticides, gasoline, and cleaning liquids.

The shed size can differ based on how much space you have in your backyard space. If you have a small backyard, you can take your precious time to customize and organize it. You can build a shed with no windows, one door, and a pitched roof. You can paint the shed as your heart desires which will make it stand out. If you have a large backyard, you can build it in a way that your gardening tools such as a huge lawn mower can fit.

Key Takeaways

  • You need to have a strong foundation for your shed so that wood does not get wet from the ground moisturizer.
  • For a long-lasting shed, you need proper material for the shed floor.
  • Setting up roof trusses can be tricky but with proper help, you can easily install them.

12 Steps for Building Basic Shed for Beginners

If you don’t have any idea how to build a basic shed but want to build one, then this is just what you need. Follow these instructions to get started building your basic shed.

1. Get approval

Get approval

Building a shed without authorities’ approval can cause fines or penalties. If your shed is around 100 or 120 square feet you will need permission. Anything less than 100 square feet does not require permission. When you install plumbing then you will need a building permit. You can check your residential building permit on your town’s website. Here are some rules you need to consider.

  • If you already have a shed and want to build another one. You need permits for the second shed.
  • Depending on your state and rules some states make it compulsory to ask for a permit to install electrical arrangements.
  • In the residential area, you need permission for any construction.

2. Choose a spot & materials

Choose a spot

Keeping in mind your backyard space, you need to choose the perfect spot that will make your backyard a beautiful space. In most locations, it is necessary to build the shed 10 feet away from your back property and 15 feet away from your side property. Here are some do’s and don’ts for choosing the placement of the shed.


  • Plan out the process and necessary equipment.
  • Get the right tools to make your shed better and last longer.
  • You must seek professional help if necessary.
  • Keep in mind how much you want to spend on your shed.
  • Checking for land stability to make sure your structure stays in place.


  • Making shed space smaller than necessary.
  • Using cheap tools and materials to save money.
  • Not checking building permits.

3. Required Tools

Required tools

To build a shed you need some power tools and high-quality materials. It is difficult to figure out which tools are needed as you are building a shed for the first time. For your help here are some tools you will be needing.

  • Hammer
  • Tape measurements
  • Hand tamper or plate compactor
  • Clamps
  • Tin snips
  • Rivet gun
  • Utility knife
  • Multi-grip
  • Permanent markers or builders’ pencil
  • Socket sets
  • Safety goggles
  • Mitre saw and circular saw
  • Spirit level
  • Craftsman V20 Cordless Drill/Driver
  • Porter-Cable 20V MAX Impact Driver
  • Swanson Tool 7-inch Speed Square Layout Tool

4. Foundation and deck piers

Building foundation

After finding the perfect spot, you need to level the ground. For leveling purposes, you need to measure the land. For support beneath the shed floor, deck piers are very important. The total grid area of 12X8 feet and the piers are spaced 6 feet apart on one side and 4 feet apart on the other side. It will be 4 by 8 feet of plywood sheets to cover the supported structure.

You can also use concrete slab but you need to level the ground beforehand. Install support beams so that they support floor joists. Now screw the beams with nails. Attach the same-length rim joist with the underneath support beam.  They need to be placed on the outermost edge. Then you need to attach other floor joints and fit them between two rim joists.  The floor joists are separated by 14.5 inches gap and the outermost two will be 13 ¾ inches.

For the center support beam, install blocking between each pair of floor joists. It will prevent those floor joists from moving. For the shed floor, use 4 by 8-foot plywood sheeting. Screw the plywood using 3 inches of deck screws.

5. Framework of walls

You need to build the back wall before any walls, then the front wall. Due to door framing, the front door will be different from the back wall.  To prevent the rainwater from collecting on the roof both the side walls need to be sloped.

At first, the top and bottom beam needs to be settled. They must be the same length as the floor. Join all studs between the top and bottom beams keeping in mind that the back wall needs to be lower than the front wall.

For the front wall, the frame needs to be taller so that you can adjust a door in the middle.

Measure the distance between the bottom plate of the front and the back wall then make the bottom plate of both side walls. Each top plate of side walls will have different measurements as they will be angled at the top.

Now nail all the wall structure bottom up. If you have chosen a complex design, all you need to do is nail the bottom structure through the plywood. You might need help as you have to nail them in a downward position at an angle.

6. Set up end walls

Set up end walls

You need to nail down the boundary and add the center stud. From the center stud, take 16 inches to add another stud. When adding studs you need to find the straight ones. You can store the crooked ones to use them for blocking.

7. Roof trusses

Roof trusses

If you are building roof trusses on your own you need to use a chalk line on the shed floor and use it as a guide to cut the truss part. The first trusses will be constructed at the gable ends. Now you have a closed space at each end so you can prepare the trusses to assemble. The trusses cannot be able to stand out on their own so they need help. You need to brace the batten horizontally so that the trusses can be in upright positions and ready for roof sheathing. Before roof seething you need to fix the rafter end trim, and soffit board and fill the spaces with filler between the top of the roof plate and the underside of the roof deck.

8. Add tar paper to the roof

Add tar paper to the roof

You need to make sure that no rainwater gets inside the shed. That’s why you need to add tar paper to the roof. You can start adding from the lower side of your roof toward the top.

9. Shed siding protection

Shed siding protection

Shed siding is used for protecting the shed and also looks appealing. Some people use metal siding which looks terrible in a few years as it rusts.  Vinyl siding is the best option for shed siding, as it is waterproof and won’t decay, crack, or blister, and no need for painting. You can add overhangs to protect the shed siding. It will protect you from rain and snow. It is also aesthetically pleasing to look at.

10. Adding insulation and drywall

Adding insulation and drywall

Understanding R-Value & Fiberglass Insulation

Your shed needs insulation if you are using it for residential purposes. If you spend a lot of time in the shed, insulation will be a good idea. You will want to shed to be a comfortable space you can install a cooling or heating system. You use a low-cost DIY option, which is fiberglass insulation. This insulation slows the spread of cold, hot, and sound in the structure. While installing insulation we need to know what an R-value is. R-value is a thermal resistance measurement. The higher the value the more resistant to heat flow.

Placing the insulation

Determine if you want to install the panels horizontally or vertically. Place the panels with the light-colored side up, measure, and mark where you need to cut. Try to attach the ceiling panel first. Fasten the panels to all ceiling joints and perimeter framing using drywall screws, spacing them every 12 inches. The screw head should be driven slightly below the face of the panel but not deep enough to break the paper.

Then do the same for the side panels, this time marking them 16 inches apart instead of 12. For electrical outlets, measure across from the point where the edge of the panel will rest to the near and far sides of the electrical box. Lastly, cover the entire wall with a plastic vapor barrier and staple it up.

Finishing the Walls with Drywall

For a smoother interior finish, you can use drywall instead of plaster. Plaster needs multiple coats, on the other hand, drywall needs one single coat. You can paint the drywall or use wallpaper over it. Drywall is more fire-resistant than wood.

11. Installing shelves and storage solutions

Installing shelves and storage solutions

To install shelves and storage solutions you need a few screws, a drill, a couple of pieces of 2x3s, and 5×8 tongue-and-groove OSB. If you cut it in half you can get two shelves that are 8 feet long and 2 feet deep. Measure the bottom shelve 30 inches off the ground. For the second shelve take 24 inches and mark in with the black marker. Putting the board on top of the black mark. Then attach the shelves on top of the board and secure them with screws.

12. Decorating the Shed

Decorating a plain shed

With everything installed, you can now decorate your shed however you like. If you want a workstation, then you can hang your tools on one side of the wall beside your work table. If you want to make it an office, then you would need to add a chair, table, and other necessary things for your office. The possibilities are endless and you can design your shed however you like depending on how big it is.

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Tips for Selecting the Right Tools and Materials

There are certain things you need to remember while choosing the right tools and materials for backyard projects.

Tips for selecting the right tools and materials
  • If you are going for painted trim, avoid using actual wood.
  • Have proper knowledge about your project. For example, building a patio needs different tools than building a backyard structure.
  • Make a plan about the cost and product name and write them on paper. It would be easier for you to set a budget and also prevent you from getting distracted.
  • For a beginner, you need more user-friendly tools than a professional.
  • You also need knowledge about your expertise, if you are not familiar with a tool, you can borrow it instead of purchasing it.
  • There are thousands of brands out there, you need to choose the most suitable brand for you.
  • Get an idea of accessories and attachments. For example, you need a blade guard for sawing.
  • Find tools that provide a good warranty. They are signs of reliable and high-quality items.


1. What is the easiest size shed to build?

The easiest shed size is the largest one which is 12”x 24”, It can store up anything and everything you need.

2. How to build a shed without a floor?

To build a shed without a floor you can try a concrete pad, the wall of the shed will be put on the concrete pad for stability.

3. What is the best height for a shed?

The best shed height is 8’-1 1/8”. But at the end of the day, it will depend on what type of shed you want and how much area you have to make the shed itself.

Final Thoughts

A shed in your backyard can increase the appeal of your house. You can store your necessary tools, build a home gym, store bikes, and use it as a summer house. The benefits of having a shed are many. A well-ventilated shed can be used as a kid’s playground, greenhouse, or art studio.

You can feel tempted to install a shed. Beginners can find it overwhelming to build a shed. You can build a simple and basic shed with proper instruction and tools. It would take some time and a lot of patience. If you feel that you need to try it out, you can follow our instructions on building a basic shed and increasing the beauty of your house.

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I am Donald M. Beyer and I am backyard enthusiasts. I am a homeowner who has been doing DIY projects in and out of my house for many years. From simple backyard lunches to making an old-school pizza oven in my own backyard, I have a lot of experience in turning my backyard into my and my family’s personal playground.

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