It's All About the Sheds ...
I first toyed with the
idea of building
my own backyard shed over ten years ago.
After looking at scores of pre-built sheds,
I convinced myself that I could, in fact,
build an outbuilding from scratch. Convincing
my wife, of course, was a bit more difficult.
In 1997, I took the
plunge and ordered a
set of blueprints from Sheldon Designs.
Andy Sheldon has some really nice shed,
barn, and outbuilding plans. I decided
on their 8 x 8 greenhouse shed, which
I extended to a whopping 8 x 12. This
modification yielded a 96 square foot
structure ... enough to store the lawn
tractor and a host of lawn tools.
(You can find the greenhouse
shed plans here.)
Because the shed was
under 100 square
feet, I was able to built it on top of pressure
treated timbers, rather than using a traditional foundation. All in all,
I was able to keep my
total cost of materials under $1000 --
including a full length cedar potting shelf.
At the time, a local shed builder offered a
similar structure for nearly triple the cost.
I purchased most of
the materials from
the local lumberyard. While they were
more expensive than a building supply
superstore, the lumberyard is only five
opposed to a half an
hour ride to the big box. If I had taken
the ride, I might have been able to cut
my costs by 10% or better.
I was able to build
the entire shed by
myself. I let the kids sink a couple of nails,
but that was about it. The most difficult
solo task was setting the ridge beam.
Of course, I had to pick a gusty day to
undertake the job. I questioned my sanity
while perched on the ladder that day--
not a bad thing to do from time-to-time.
I had initially wanted
to build a post and
beam barn, but chickened out at the last
minute. Next time out, it'll definitely be
a timber frame! Here's a picture of the
garden shed from winter before last.
I'll be adding a whole bunch of new photos
after I reside
and reroof this year. (It's been
ten years and we're overdue for an update.)
While I like wood for
smaller sheds and
barns, I've really come to appreciate the
considerable advantages of steel
of late. It took me a while to come 'round to
it, but I'm sold. If
you want to go big real
fast, steel's tough to beat.
I've been at this for
a while now, having
started this little web site way back in
1999. Summaries of my most recent
articles on backyard
sheds and barns can
be found here
... or you can just check out
the links to the articles just to your right.