Almost all of us need a little place to store outdoor stuff — garden tools, recycling bins, the lawn mower, bicycles or other outdoor gear — and building a shed is one of the best ways to create additional storage space. Our garden shed plans are simple and require only basic carpentry skills.
A garden shed can be strictly functional, but it can also be a decorative focal point around which you design your garden or yard. These plans will help you build a basic shed, but don’t stop there! To customize your shed, you could create a combination toolshed and greenhouse, put a martin house on top, or use part of the shed for a chicken coop or rabbit hutch. If you’re feeling even more adventurous, you could create a living roof of moss or succulent plants.
Build the Floor
The best spot for a shed is level, well-drained ground close to where you work in your garden or yard. The location doesn’t need to be perfectly flat; the foundation design shown in the plans allows for adjustments to make the floor level. Small sheds require only a top-of-soil foundation, even in locations with freezing winter temperatures. Precast concrete deck blocks work perfectly for this.
To eliminate the need for any kind of floor beams, you’ll need a deck block at each corner, with two more blocks equally spaced along the 8-foot sides and one in the center of each 6-foot side. If you expect to store particularly heavy items, consider installing three deck blocks between each corner on the 8-foot walls, instead of two.
Deck blocks include a central pocket sized to fit the standard 4-by-4 vertical posts that typically hold up a deck. In the case of this shed, pressure-treated 4-by-4s function in a similar way, but in short lengths — just enough to compensate for any variation in the shape of the ground (see the plans).
Start by setting deck blocks on the ground, positioned as shown in the plans. While the area doesn’t have to be perfectly level, you should make the ground roughly level where each block will rest. Temporarily place some straight 2-by-6 lumber on edge in the top grooves of the blocks to orient the blocks in a straight line. Arrange two rows of four blocks parallel to each other to form both long walls, then measure diagonally across the outside corners to determine how square the arrangement is. If the two long walls are parallel, and diagonal measurements taken across corners are equal, then each corner is guaranteed to be 90 degrees. Finish up by placing one deck block in the middle of each 6-foot wall after you have aligned and squared the 8-foot walls.
Remove the 2-by-6 lumber guides, then put a 12-inch length of 4-by-4 lumber into each deck block, positioned vertically in the central recess. These 4-by-4s will be slightly too long right now, but that’s exactly what you want.