How To Build A Shed In 10 Easy Steps

Thank you! This is my most popular shed building video with over 500,000 views to date.

This video will show you how to build an 8×12 shed using the plans available on my website.

Step 1: Foundation

The first thing you need to decide is what kind of foundation you will use. My plans offer 3 options…

  1. Simple skid foundation using pressure treated wood sitting directly on the ground or on concrete blocks
  2. Wood post and concrete pier foundation
  3. Concrete slab, which serves as both a foundation and floor

Concrete slab

The ultimate foundation and floor is a concrete slab. The downside is the cost and your shed will no longer be portable. But the upside is you will have a permanent foundation and heavy duty floor that will hold any amount of weight and

You will almost be guaranteed your shed will never move.

Simple skid foundation

If your ground is dry and level you can place the pressure treated wood directly on the ground or a bed of gravel. If your building site is out of level then you can place the skids on concrete blocks and level them with wedges.

Wood post and concrete pier

If your building site is really out of level or you’re concerned about your shed moving from water flow or blowing away in the wind or from frost heave then you can build a wood post and concrete pier foundation.

Be sure you dig the holes for your piers below the frost line to prevent movement in really cold areas.

In this example I’ll build a shed with a simple skid foundation.

Since this video is an overall view of the shed building process I will not go into as much detail as I do in the individual shed building videos where I cover each step in great detail. You can find a list of all my shed building videos on my website at CheapSheds.com/videos/

Step 2: Floor

Lay your pressure treated skids out parallel and spaced properly. Measure, mark and cut your floor joists and band boards. Then lay the floor joists on the skids and attach them to the band boards at 16 inch on center with 2 screws or 16 d nails.

Space your skids properly and secure each floor joist to each skid with a nail or screw on each side.

Level and Square

Now level the floor if necessary by adjusting the gravel under the skids or by placing concrete blocks under the skids every 48 inches and use additional blocks and wedges to get the floor level.

Now square it up by pulling your tape measure diagonally across the floor in both directions. Adjust the square until both measurements are the same and your floor will be square.

Now check your level again. When both are correct then you can sheet the floor.

Sheeting The Floor

Put your best piece of floor sheeting on the end where the door will go. Save the worst piece for the back. Align it up with the front edge of the floor and nail the front edge down.

Now square both back corners and nail the rest of the sheet in place. Do the same with the rest of the floor sheeting.

After the perimeter is nailed pull a chalk line across the floor every 16 inches using the nail heads on the edge for a guide. Now nail the center of your sheeting along the chalk lines and you are finished with the floor.

Step 3: Trusses

Now you can build the trusses right on the floor you just made. Cut your collar beams and rafter pieces and drill a hole in the end of every other rafter piece.

Temporary Truss Jig

Now take an unused top plate and use it to build a temporary truss jig. This way your trusses will be identical and your roof ridge will be straight.

On the narrow edge of the 2×4 measure and mark 2 lines the width of your shed apart and screw a temporary wood stop at each of these lines.

Then secure this board to the floor with 2 screws. Place 2 rafter pieces in the jug and push them into the wood stops. Put a screw in the top of the truss and attach a collar beam. I highly recommend using screws here instead of nails.

Now make a mark on the floor at the top of the truss so you can compare each truss to this mark as you are building it. If they line up with this mark then they match each other and you are building them correctly.

Assemble the rest of the trusses then disassemble the truss jig.

Step 4a: Gable Walls

Measure mark and cut your top and bottom plates and studs for both walls. Lay the stud out 24 inch on center and attach the top and bottom plates.

Attach a truss to the top plate with a screw in each end. This will keep the truss in place until it’s nailed to the siding.

Lay your first piece of siding down and line it up with the center stud. Set the bottom overhang at 4 inches and nail it in place.

Do the same with the other piece of siding and trim the excess off the top.

Screw on some wood scrap to act as handles so you can raise the wall up and manage it vertically. Move the wall aside and build the door end.

Step 5: Door

Build the sandwiched door header from 2×4’s and a scrap of 1/2 inch osb. Nail them together and attach them to the side door frame.

Lay the rest of the wall studs out and attach them to the top and bottom plates.

Cut some 3×3 spacers from the scrap siding. Put 2 of them into each of the top and bottom corners then set the horizontal and vertical door pieces in place to check for fit. Everything should fit snug.

Assemble Inner Door Frame

Remove the inner door frame pieces and set them on the floor where you’ll have room to assemble them. Make sure the inner door frame assembly is square and isn’t warped in any direction.

Put it back into the wall frame with the spacers in place.

Measure the width of the outer door frame from the center stud and record these measurements.

Attach a truss to the top plate and lay the first piece of siding in place. Line it up with the center stud, check the bottom overhang and nail it in place.

Put a mark 1/2 inch above the bottom of the header, then nail the second piece of siding in place.

Transfer the cut line and nail line measurements onto the siding and snap your chalk lines.

Install Door Trim

Put the first piece of trim at the top cut line and nail it in place. Then nail the 2 vertical pieces in place. Install the 2 horizontal trim pieces then cut some 1×2 spacers from the scrap siding.

Use the spacers to position the outside trim at the sides first and then at the top. Nail the trim pieces in place and remove the excess siding from the top of the gable.

In step 7 you’ll run a router between these trim pieces and cut the door out.

Screw some scraps of 2×4’s on to act as handles and move the end aside to make room to build the sidewalls.

Step 4b: Side Walls

Measure, mark and cut the top and bottom plates and studs for both walls.

Lay the studs on the floor at 24 inch on center and attach the top and bottom plates.

Lay the first piece of siding on, line it up with the stud and check the bottom overhang and nail it in place. Do the same for the rest of the siding. Snap a chalk line along the top and bottom plates and nail everything.

Build the other wall on top of the first wall but make sure the top and bottom plates are reversed.

Paint

I decided to paint everything now so I laid my walls out on the ground and my trim pieces on top of a piece of roof sheeting and painted everything with 2 good coats.

Step 6: Stand and attach the walls

Stand the back wall on the floor, position it from side to side and nail it along the bottom of the siding into the floor frame. Add a brace if necessary to hold it in place.

Stand the first sidewall, slid it into place and check where the top plates come together.

If they are in proper alignment then nail the walls together through the siding into the corner 2×4’s from the outside.

Then nail the bottom siding overhang into the floor frame.

Stand the other sidewall and repeat.

Move the door end into place, check the top plates for alignment and nail into place. But be sure to not nail across the bottom of the door because this would nail the door shut.

Step 7: Finish the door

Set your router up with a 1/4 inch straight cut bit and matching router collar. Set the cut depth to 1 inch and run the router up the the hinge side of the door to the center of the top of the door.

Install the hinges then cut the rest of the door out with the router.

Open the door and install the door latch.

Now you can cut the bottom plate out.

Step 8: Frame The Roof

Hang the trusses upside down between the walls with each end resting on the top plate directly over a wall stud.

Stand each truss up and attach it to the top plate directly over a stud with a 3 inch screw on each side.

Do this for both ends of all the trusses.

Sheet The Roof

This shed is being built with the optional 3 1/2 inch overhang so first install the narrow strips of roof sheeting at the top of the trusses spaced 24 inch on center. Then install the large pieces of roof sheeting.

Make sure they are square to the shed and nail everything in place.

Now there is a nice 3 1/2 inch overhang on all 4 sides.

Step 9: Install The Trim

Cut a 14 degree angle on the wide side of 4 straight and clean 2×4’s. Attach them to the gable ends of the roof sheeting with screws.

You will not be able to use a hammer and nails because it will bounce around too much.

Use a “c” clamp to hold them in place if necessary.

Use plenty of fasteners on the ends to prevent the 2×4’s from warping and pulling away. Install a 2×4 under the eave edge and cut the gable end 2×4’s to fit. These 2×4’s will act as horizontal trim as well as giving the overhang additional support.

Install Vertical Trim

Cut and install the vertical trim pieces so that they fit flush with the bottom of the siding and run up to the bottom of the roof trim.

Nail with galvanized nails every 4 to 6 inches.

Step 10: Shingle The Roof

Install the metal drip edging along both eaves.

Roll out a layer of 15 or 30# felt paper and cover the entire roof.

Install the metal drip edge along the gable ends.

Cut the tabs off the shingles that you will use as a starter strip.

Nail these starter strips along the edge of the eave.

The glue line on this starter strip will hold the tabs of the first row of shingles in place against the wind and rain.

You want to stagger the joists between the shingles to prevent leaking and water damage.

Begin the starter row with a full shingle, then cut half a tab off every other row of shingles.

This way every joints where the shingles come together will be covered by a full tab above it.

Use a utility knife, a straight edge and a cutting board to trim the shingles in each row to fit.

Use these cutoffs on the other side of the shed if they are long enough.

Measure each end of the row every few rows to make sure they aren’t getting narrower or wider. If so, make it up on the next few rows.

Use your utility knife and straight edge to cut a stack of shingle tabs to nail along the ridge cap.

The back edge of each tab tapers in so that it will fit neatly under the tab on top of it.

Nail the row of ridge cap tabs on and you are finished with the roof.

About These Shed Plans

You can buy the plans to build this shed on my website at CheapSheds.com.

  • They offer 3 foundation options.
  • And your choice of 7ft or 8ft sidewalls.
  • You can also choose between no overhang or 3 1/2 or 5 1/2 inch overhang on all 4 sides.

These plans are to build a shed in different 21 sizes from 8×4 to 12×20. Here is an example of an 8wide with 7ft sidewalls next to a 10 wide with 8ft sidewalls. And here is a 10 wide and a 12 wide with 7ft sidewalls. they are all built with the same set of plans.

The process is the same regardless of the size shed you’re building. The only difference is the size of the floor joists you will use. For an 8 ft wide shed you will use 2×4′ joists, and for a 10 and 12 ft wide shed you will use 2×6′ joists.