Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Top 10 List "How To" Build Perfect Wooden Sheds

By Donald Rickerby

1. How To Determine Your Shed's Best Location

Take careful consideration about the placement of your wooden sheds. Give yourself enough room around the shed so you have the space you need to build it. Your shed should blend in with its surroundings and not look like it was just plopped in its place. Locate your wooden shed according to its intended purpose. For example, next to the pool if it's to be a used as a pool cabana or near the garden if you are going to use it to store garden supplies and equipment. If you build your shed directly under a tree, it can get messy with falling debris and bird droppings.

2. How To Choose The Best Plans

A good set of plans should have it all. Your plans should contain plenty of photos of the wooden shed in the progress of being built. It should also have step-by-step instructions. Another helpful item is to have exploded diagrams along with a detailed materials list to make the trip to the supply store much easier.

3. How To Decide if You Should Buy a Shed Kit

The decision to purchase a wooden shed kit is based on three factors - time, skill and cost. Once a shed has been delivered, it can usually be built in just one weekend. Be honest with yourself regarding your comfort level with tools. Cost is another big consideration. Shed kits can be a little more expensive than custom building yourself but the payoff is in the time you save. If you already have plans you purchased, go through the materials list and estimate how much the materials will cost.

4. How To Choose The Best Shed

The roof determines the style of shed. There are four basic types of wooden sheds. A lean-to shares or leans against an existing wall and is good for storing smaller items. Saltboxes have an uneven roof with more headroom towards the front end of the shed. Gambrels look similar to a barn with their two pitched roofs. The advantage of this is that they allow for more room overhead. The most popular style is the gable roof shed. The roof has two equal sides and is very simple to build.

5. How To Choose The Right Materials for Building

Cedar contains oil that insects hate and it also resists rotting. This alone makes it the best material for making wooden sheds. But it also has an unmistakable beauty and aroma.

6. How To Properly Prepare The Shed's Site

Start by removing any debris, including large rocks and plants or grass. You will want to make the site flat but slightly sloped from where the front of the shed will go to where the back will go. This will result in the best drainage for water and keep puddles from forming at the front of the shed.

7. How To Properly Stake Out Your Shed's Site

Hammer a temporary stake into the ground where you want the first corner to go. In line with where you want the wall to go, take a second stake and drive it just past the stake where the actual corner will be. Do the same thing on the other end of where the wall will go. Run a piece of string between the two stakes. Mark out the next wall in the same fashion. To get the walls perpendicular, you'll need to measure from where the strings cross. On one side, measure out three units (feet). One the other, measure four units (feet). Then make a new measurement from these two points - it should equal five units (feet). If it doesn't measure exactly, adjust one of the stakes until it does. Now it will be perfectly square. Finish by continuing around in this manner for the rest of the walls.

8. How To Make The Walls Square

When you have one of your walls or floor completely framed, measure the distance of the opposing corners (bottom left to top right, then bottom right to top left). The wall is square if the measurements are the same length. Make small adjustments if they aren't by pushing in (or squeezing) on one of the corners with the longer measurement.

9. How To Use The Small Spaces

Perhaps the spaces in wooden sheds that get overlooked the most are the spaces between the studs. Add shelves made of 1x4 or 2x4 boards. They can be made adjustable by installing slotted metal tracks that accept shelving clips. They can be found at most building material stores.

10. How To Make Your Shed Last A Lifetime

If your shed is made from the right materials and you take care of it properly, it is sure to last a long time. Use a high quality water sealant on all exposed wood and try to keep the roof clear of debris. It will make all the difference if your shed is made out of hardwood such as redwood or cedar.

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