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Gear Review: DIY Storage Shed


Storage is something that is almost impossible to do without when living in small quarters. It is a problem that I have wanted to address and now, finally, I have a completed shed.

The design of the shed is a simple, but sturdy one (slightly modified) from a book called HomeMade: 101 Easy~To~Make Things For Your Garden, Home, Or Farm by Ken Braren & Roger Griffith. There are many excellent projects in that book by the way. Back on topic, we got the wood from Home Depot and the various hinges, latches, locks, screws and it was time to begin.

The first part we assembled was the roof frame. It was fairly simple, but some of the designs in the book don't have specific measurements for each piece. It is expected that you have built/designed enough projects to "fill in the blanks" as it were. Make sure to have a good idea of what should be what size before getting too trigger happy with your circular saw...

After that we did the floors frame. This is in someways the same as the roof frame, but the perimeter 2x4's are laid flat two thick instead of on edge with a single thickness. They are also cut so that when you attach the second layer it overlaps the cuts on the first so as to strengthen the joins (I don't know if I explained that well enough, but hopefully you get the idea).

Then it was on to the wall studs. Those got measured out and cut which was fairly simple. Then we screwed them into the floor and hopefully the frame underneath. With clamps we put the roof up giving us time to screw in a few mending plates and L brackets to keep the structure in place while we continued with the project.

The walls were fairly simple to cut and install with two people. The little quick grip clamps were incredibly useful during the whole undertaking. Once we got the walls up we cut and installed the roof panel. After that the door frame and panels were made and things were looking good. The structure itself was completed (including the door).

The final steps were to put the corrugated plastic roofing on top and paint the plywood exterior with external grade paint. The plastic panelling was pretty straightforward to install, but cutting it sucked.... Maybe tin snips would have worked.... I tried some heavy duty scissors made to cut things similar and it did, but it also made cracks that I didn't want growing into large cracks with the sun and wind on it all day. I would have tried tin snips to see if that was better, but I didn't think of it til just now. Anyway, I used a jigsaw which barely had a long enough blade to get down into the low spots of the corrugated structure. After some cursing and threatening looks in the plastic's direction it was done and installed.

All of the cracks and wood joins were sealed with silicone or spray foam insulation before painting the whole thing red, except for the green plastic roofing. It took a while, but we got two good coats of paint on it. As it turns out just in time. It barely had enough time to dry when a summer thunder storm dumped some rain on it to give it a test. The paint stayed on and the water stayed out of the shed. It's nice to finally have somewhere to put things. Now if I just had shelves...

This whole project took about 4 days of work without completely burning ourselves out everyday. We probably could have done it in less, but it was still quite the task for four days. Doable for anyone with basic woodworking knowledge and tenacity, but a task for sure. I know I will be building another one in not too long, but let's just say I'm quite happy to not have to be building it right now...

Click here to see all the photos of the build!

- Update - 

We converted half of the shed for storage and half for our solar setup. The battery bank, solar charger, 120V charge controller, and power inverter all went into the shed to keep it out of the weather. We never had a prolem with rain or snow getting in and it is certainly solid.

After using the shed for a number of months, I have to say that it worked out wonderfully. We added a little latch at the bottom of the door to ensure a mouse-proof closure. Mice were not able to get in to this thing so we could store our things with the confidence that they wouldnt be eaten when we went to use them.

I highly recommend this design and that book if you like to save a few bucks and build your own stuff!

Take care,

June 16th, 2013

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