How to Build the Simple Storage Shed Page 1 of 2

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The name of this practical outbuilding says it all. It’s an easy-to-build, sturdy, 8 x 10-ft. shed with plenty of storage space.


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The name of this practical outbuilding says it all. It’s an easy-to-build, sturdy, 8 x 10-ft. shed with plenty of storage space. With no windows it also offers good security. The clean, symmetrical interior and centrally located double doors make for easy access to your stuff. The walls are ready to be lined with utility shelves, and you can quickly add a ramp to simplify parking the lawnmower, wheelbarrow, and other yard equipment.
This shed is indeed basic, but it’s also a nicely proportioned building with architecturally appropriate features like overhanging eaves and just enough trim to give it a quality, hand-built appearance. Without getting too fancy—remember, simplicity is the central design idea—you might consider finishing the exterior walls and roof of the shed with the same materials used on your house. This easy modification visually integrates the shed with the rest of the property and provides a custom look that you can’t get with kit buildings.
Inside the shed, you can maximize storage space by building an attic: Install full-length 2 x 4 or 2 x 6 joists (which also serve as rafter ties) and cover them with 1⁄2" plywood. Include one or more framed-in access openings that you can easily reach with a stepladder. This type of storage space is ideal for seldom-used household items—like winter clothing and holiday decorations—that you can stow in covered plastic bins.
The simplicity and economy of this shed design also make it a great choice for cabins, vacation homes, and other remote locations. A heavy-duty hasp latch and padlock on the door, along with head and foot slide bolts inside, will provide the security you need when you’re away for long periods.

What You'll Need


circular saw



Drainage material 1.25 cu. yd. Compactable gravel
Skids 2 @ 10' 4 x 6 pressure-treated landscape timbers
Rim joists 2 @ 10' 2 x 8 pressure-treated, rated for ground contact
Joists 9 @ 8' 2 x 8 pressure-treated
Floor sheathing 3 sheets @ 4 x 8' 3⁄4" tongue-&-groove ext.-grade plywood

Wall Framing

Bottom plates 2 @ 10', 2 @ 8' 2 x 4
Top plates 4 @ 10', 4 @ 8' 2 x 4
Studs 36 @ 8' 2 x 4
Door header 1 @ 10' 2 x 6

Roof Framing

Rafters 6 @ 12' 2 x 6
Rafter blocking 2 @ 10' 2 x 6
Ridge board 1 @ 10' 1 x 8
Collar ties 2 @ 12' 2 x 4

Exterior Finishes

Siding 11 sheets @ 4 x 8' 1⁄2" Texture 1-11 plywood siding
Fascia 4 @ 12' 1 x 8
Corner trim 8 @ 8' 1 x 2
Gable wall trim 2 @ 8' 1 x 4
Siding flashing 16 linear ft. Metal Z-flashing


(& door header spacer) 5 sheets @ 4 x 8'
1⁄2" exterior-grade
plywood roof sheathing
15# building paper 1 roll
Shingles 11⁄4 squares Asphalt shingles—250# per sq. min.
Drip edge 45 linear ft. Metal drip edge


Frames 7 @ 8' 2 x 4 pressure-treated
Panels 1 sheet @ 4 x 8' 1⁄2" Texture 1-11

plywood siding

Stops & overlap trim 4 @ 8' 1 x 2 pressure-treated

Fasteners & Hardware

16d galvanized common nails 4 lbs.
16d common nails 10 lbs.
10d common nails 2 lb.
8d galvanized common nails 3 lbs.
8d box nails 3 lbs.
8d galvanized siding or finish nails 9 lbs.
1" galvanized roofing nails 5 lbs.
Door hinges with screws 6 @ 31⁄2" Galvanized metal hinges
Door handle 1
Door lock (optional) 1
Door head bolt 1
Door foot bolt 1
Construction adhesive


Step 1

How to Build the Simple Storage Shed - Step 1

Prepare the foundation site with a 4" layer of compacted gravel where the skids will be located. Cut the two 4 x 6 timber skids at 119". Position the skids on the gravel beds so their outside edges are 95" apart, making sure they are level and parallel.

Step 2

How to Build the Simple Storage Shed - Step 2

Cut two 2 x 8 rim joists at 119". Cut nine 2 x 8 joists at 92". Assemble the floor frame following the FLOOR FRAMING, then set it on the skids and measure the diagonals to make sure the frame is square. Fasten the joists to the skids with 16d galvanized common nails.

Step 3

How to Build the Simple Storage Shed - Step 3

Attach tongue-and-groove plywood flooring to the floor frame, starting at the left front corner of the shed. Begin the second row of plywood with a full sheet in the right rear corner to stagger end joints. Make sure the tongues are fully seated in the mating grooves. Fasten the sheathing with 8d galvanized common nails.

Step 4

How to Build the Simple Storage Shed - Step 4

Frame the rear wall: Cut one 2 x 4 bottom plate and one top plate at 119". Cut ten 2 x 4 studs at 92 3⁄8". Assemble the wall using 16" on-center spacing, as shown in the REAR FRAMING. Raise the wall and fasten it flush to the rear edge of the floor, then brace the wall in position with 2 x 4 braces.

Step 5

How to Build the Simple Storage Shed - Step 5

Build the side walls following the SIDE FRAMING. The two side walls are identical. Each has a bottom and top plate at 88" and seven studs at 92 3⁄8". Assemble each wall, then install it and brace it in position.

Step 6

How to Build the Simple Storage Shed - Step 6

Frame the front wall following the FRONT FRAMING: Cut two plates at 119", cut eight studs at 92 3⁄8", and cut two jack studs at 79". Install the 2 x 6 built-up header (add a layer of 1⁄2" plywood as a spacer between the 2 x 6s), then add three cripple studs. Raise and fasten the front wall, then install the double top plates along all four walls.

Step 7

How to Build the Simple Storage Shed- Step 7

Cut two 2 x 6 pattern rafters following the RAFTER TEMPLATE. Test-fit the rafters and make any necessary adjustments. Use one of the patterns to mark and cut the remaining 10 rafters. Cut the 1 x 8 ridge board at 119". Mark the rafter layout onto the ridge and the front and rear wall plates following the ROOF PLAN. Note: Before installing the rafters on the long sides of the shed (door face and wall parallel to door), first install siding. The rafters overhang the siding on the long sides, therefore the siding (at least on those sides) needs to be in place before the rafters are installed.

Step 8

How to Build the Simple Storage Shed - Step 8

Cover the shed exterior with 1⁄2" siding, starting at the left end of the rear wall. Butt full sheets up against the rafters, letting the bottom edges overhang the floor frame by at least 1". Complete the front wall, and then the side walls, keeping the bottom edges even with the sheets on the front and side walls. Add Z-flashing, and continue the siding to the tops of the end rafters.

Step 9

How to Build the Simple Storage Shed - Step 9

Install the rafters and ridge board. Cut four 2 x 4 collar ties at 64", mitering the ends at 33.5°. Fasten the collar ties between each set of the four inner rafters, using 10d common nails. Make sure the ties are level and extend close to but not above the top edges of the rafters. Note: Do not install collar ties if you’re building an attic floor.

Step 10

How to Build the Simple Storage Shed - Step 10

Mark the gable wall stud layout onto the sidewall top plates. Use a level to transfer the marks to the end rafters. Cut each of the 10 2 x 4 studs to fit, mitering the top ends at 33.5°. Install the studs. Note: The center stud on each wall is located to the rear side of the ridge board. If desired, frame in the attic floor at this time.



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