8 Essential Steps in Designing A Garden Shed

Before purchasing your shed design, careful planning is needed to make the most out of your new storage shed. Your structure will be permanent, and you want it to be built to last for many years. Make sure that you take all of the critical steps into account before deciding on the shed designs of your choosing.

Ask yourself what type of storage space is going to be needed before ordering your new shed designs. In creating a list of items to be stored, you may find yourself needing to look at larger shed designs than you had originally thought.

garden shed


1. Plan for Wall Space

Plan out your wall space to hold lawn tools and maybe a small bench for working with plants and reporting projects. If you place lawn equipment inside your shed, make sure that ample floor space is available. If the shed designs are becoming too large for the area you have in mind for placing, you might want to consider another location.

If you have little option but to place a shed close to other buildings, choose a shed design that coordinates with the style of other structures. Don’t just look at the exterior covering of shed designs because you can easily change these. Instead, look at the different styles available.

There are shed designs in saltbox styles, gable roofs, barn sheds, or custom-designed with porches or attached to existing buildings. You might think that a gable roof is stately looking on shed designs, but if you have dramatic lower square roofs on your home and matching barn, this might not be the right style to use.

2. Adhere to Building Codes

There are building codes in your area that must be adhered to before deciding on a shed design. Type of foundation, dimensions, frame, materials, electricity, and plumbing are all considerations that your building code inspector may ask to see in your shed designs.

This could cut down on your choices if you are looking at more than one shed design. Depending on the size of the structure often brings more requirements for stability.

Because selecting a shed design location is going to be permanent, imagine what this area will look like with a building that stands six or seven feet tall or higher.

You don’t want to block the view of something important such as a dog pen or a play area. Shed designs can be as simple or extravagant as you like, but you don’t want them to turn into an eyesore that obstructs your view.

3. Type of Soil You Build On

The type of soil you have is another area that needs consideration when planning a shed design. Low lying areas may not be suitable for sustaining the weight of a heavy structure without first checking into what type of soil you have.

Shed designs are only as good as the foundation that they are sitting on. Having your soil tested for certain problems with placing a heavy object on it can save headaches later. It can also help you decide on the type of foundation to be used.

Deciding on a permanent wood or cement foundation is not a deciding factor in selecting shed designs but one you must determine beforehand. An on-grade wood foundation is sufficient for smaller shed designs but not for one if you plan on parking your riding mower inside.

Many DIYers chose a cement floor because they seem to have a more solid base. If you have never worked with concrete, be sure to determine the footing requirements from your building inspector and read up on why correct curing procedures are necessary.

Selecting shed designs can be exciting and fun. Still, by preplanning your site, the size of shed designs, and visiting your area building inspector, you will be properly prepared to make the best decisions on ordering a shed design for your property and being able to build according to the plans while adding some of your own personal touches.

4. The Essential Tools Needed When Building A Garden Shed

You have spent much time creating the perfect oasis of beauty with your flower garden. The last thing you want to do is destroy the pleasing landscape with a storage barn, but your array of tools has grown.

Perhaps it is time to look at garden shed plans for ideas of garden sheds. Wooden garden sheds are no longer a choice of a few designs but hundreds to create just the right atmosphere in any landscaping scene.

There are many new ways of building garden sheds from the garden shed plans that are unique from ten years ago. A potting bench is one of the most popular features that can add the joy of gardening with an area to care for your plants without leaving the garden.

Wooden garden sheds with a standard front door and a full opening side door can bring a wheelbarrow up close to your bench for working. These types of garden sheds work well when preparing your spring flowers.

5. Build a Front Porch

Having a front porch is a novel idea and one that can bring a bit of charm to garden sheds. There are garden shed plans with different entry decks that blend with the design of wooden garden sheds without looking awkward or overbearing.

Graced with a resting bench and a couple of hanging plants, your new shed will look like it belongs in your natural setting. Cedar siding can add a natural presence to your shed when extended with an inviting porch and folds into the scenery.

If you are worried about building garden sheds that will require large equipment to be brought in to pour a cement foundation, there are ways around this. A solid block foundation can be used when building wooden garden sheds that require only enough concrete to fill in concrete blocks used for the foundation.

If you choose this type of foundation, you may hire a professional to ensure the blocks are set evenly to hold your structure properly. Garden shed plans address this concern and keep your yard looking nice instead of having to reseed and level from heavy track marks.

6. Style That You Want

Selecting a style from garden shed plans is easy and fun, with the choices now available. A saltbox style is perfect for dressing up and adding a whimsical appearance to your garden area.

Small enough to sit comfortably beneath a backdrop of trees, you can adorn these wooden garden sheds with scalloped trim, colors to match your flowers, and almost give the appearance of a playhouse for birds and small animals.

Use a dark green metal sloping roof instead of shingles to accent natural wooden garden sheds to blend in with the trees and bushes.

A large side door does not have to be plain, as shown in garden shed plans. Dutch doors add character without taking away from the overall structure. Using crisscross wood sections to add dimension is also an idea or adding a painted design that signifies your heritage or interests.

Designs of wooden garden sheds that give the appearance of a carriage shed are a way to enhance a yard that has older buildings, stone posts, or other remnants of days long gone. Using windows in your large side or front door can add flavor that will be the envy of the neighborhood.

Garden shed plans come with instructions for proper sizing, cutting, and placing the wood for wall framing in all types of wooden garden sheds. Some are more complex than others if you have additions such as porches or potting decks, but the instructions are easy to read and follow. Roofing instructions for cabana-style roofs are even simple to build when following the garden shed plans.

Don’t settle for a standard barn-style storage shed that looks like all of the others in your neighborhood. Look through the garden shed plans that offer wooden garden sheds in saltbox, cabana, carriage house, Colonial, and many others for a whimsical look that adds that extra charm to your garden area. Wooden garden sheds should not only be a place to store your tools and equipment but a reflection of your own style.

7. Shed Building Preparation For Different Types Of Climates

After you have selected an appropriate area of ground for your shed building and have received the green light from the building inspector, the material and specific methods of building a shed need to be addressed.

Depending on the country you live in can give you a reason to consider different types of foundations that will keep your structure sturdy and sound. You may be building a shed to cut costs in hiring a company but do not cut corners on the advice given in plans.

There are more types of foundations available today in shed building to prevent wood decomposition or cracking of cement when the right products and methods are chosen. Not all methods are the same in building a shed, the foundation especially.

Year-round warm weather will deliver less stress to a concrete foundation than an area that experiences freezing and thawing from cold winter months. Your building inspector will give suggestions for your shed building as to what type of foundation will work best in your area.

Pouring a cement slab may sound like the simplest and easiest way to achieve a good foundation in building a shed, but certain precautions must be adhered to. Perimeter footers and interior footers add tremendous strength to your foundation that will carry the load of your structure.

A slab-on-grade concrete foundation requires much work during the curing process as you begin your shed building. The curing process of a concrete foundation is key to building a shed that will sustain the resistance to shrinking and expansion during weather changes.

A seven-day curing period or longer is recommended for a concrete foundation and keeping the area wet to retain moisture during the process.

Frost-proof wood foundations used for shed building are becoming popular because of their solidity over many years. Used mainly in areas that experience freeze/thaw cycles, a frost-proof wood foundation is more complex in building a shed but far worth it.

If your structure exceeds a 6′ x 6′ square and you live in an area prone to definite changing seasons, building inspectors often recommend a frost-proof wood foundation when building a shed.

Permanent wood foundations are accepted by building codes but must be a pressure-treated preservative to withstand decay from dampness and insects.

There are also different methods of wall framing that you can use in a shed building. A popular technique is measuring from corner to corner and keeping the distance the same as your structure is constructed.

Another method for finding the square of a framed wall in building a shed is the 3-4-5 triangular method that will deliver a perfect 90-degree angle. Whichever method you chose, being off the slightest bit can affect the outcome of your project.

Sheathing should be used in shed buildings because it adds strengthening to the walls. Plywood, OSB, gypsum board, or wafer board are common examples of types of material used to line your structure’s exterior when building a shed.

Sheathing can be done before raising a framed wall in building a shed or after the wall is in place. The only important thing to remember about sheathing is to make sure that your materials are rated as structural wall sheathing to eliminate problems such as buckling in the future. The sheathing also provides added insulation from the weather and helps protect the interior.

There are reasons why ceiling heights, the size of door openings, and the maximum percentage of wall glass are measured in code inspections, and staying within these perimeters when building a shed needs to be adhered to.

There are also codes in building stairs or ramps in shed buildings. If you are going to store lawn equipment inside your new shed, a ramp is the easiest and best way to plan into building a shed. Ramps are much easier than stairs and more reasonable for a shed that may need bikes, wheelbarrows, or garden tractors put inside. Just remember, measure, measure. The measure is key in any building project.

Read also: Making a Sustainable Home and Garden Design

8. Deciding What Garden Shed Size is Right for You

One of the first questions we get asked when someone calls to inquire about one of our fine shed models is, “How do I know what size shed I should get?”

It’s an understandable dilemma. You don’t want to get too much storage shed space, but you certainly don’t want to find yourself with too little space, either.

garden shed
garden shed

Here are a few quick guidelines we think you’ll find helpful when it comes to sizing up your storage needs.

  • Gather up all of the items you’d like to keep in your new storage shed. Use the corner of a spare bedroom to collect it all (if you are like most of us, that’s where most of your stored things gather anyway!)
  • Stack up the boxes and plastic crates, larger on the bottom, smaller on top. Lean your bicycles and other sports equipment and yard tools upright against the boxes.
  • Measure the space taken up. Use a measuring tape to measure the rough width, length, and height of your storage collection. Multiply together this way: L x W x H= TOTAL occupied space.
  • Multiply TOTAL above by 1.5 to allow for a center aisle area, which is important to access items near the back of the shed easily.

This simple method can quickly give you a rough approximation of the total cubic foot storage needed for your current items.

If you plan to store more over the years (and most of us will), take a look at the items in your collection, and make a quick determination about how long it took you to collect those things. When did you obtain the oldest items in the group? (let’s say 10 or 20 years ago)

This might indicate how long it has taken to collect your things and serve as a good indication of the number of new things you will be getting during the next same period.

So unless you want to buy another storage shed in that period of time, it might be a good idea to buy more storage shed than you think you need right now. You’ll be glad you did in a few years.

Read also:

  • All About Garden Buildings

essetial steps designing a garden shed

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