Do It Yourself Sheds and Other Outdoor Projects

By: Glenn Whitehead

Do it yourself sheds, gazebos, and storage buildings are projects that are easily within the reach of the ambitious do it yourselfer. With just a few basic tools and the proper guidance; it’s possible to create functional, attractive, outdoor structures for a fraction of the cost of purchasing them or hiring someone to do it for you. As is the case with any project; the overall success of the finished product is dependent on the planning and preparation that’s done before starting work. The following considerations should help insure that your project is a satisfying, money saving, and enjoyable experience.


  • A Good Set Of Plans-Do it yourself sheds and other outbuildings are relatively simple projects. However, a good set of plans or drawings is critical to any building project. The drawing will help you estimate the quantities, sizes, and costs of the materials; as well as providing a working outline or plan for your project. If you have some knowledge of the building process; you may choose to draw your own plans. However, there are many reasonably priced packages that contain hundreds of different shed plans as well as plans for gazebos, patio enclosures, decks, and countless other do it yourself projects.
  • Tools-Having the right tools for the job may be the most important aspect of any project. Which tools you’ll need for your job will be determined by the size and scope of the job and, of course, your budget. Some of the basic necessities include: hammers, circular saws, miter saws, reciprocating saws, air compressors, and nail guns. While it is possible to complete these projects without power tools; things like power saws and nail guns eliminate a great deal of time and sweat. If you can’t justify spending the money on equipment that may only be used once; it’s now possible to rent just about any tool you’ll need.
  • Materials-Determining the proper materials for do it yourself sheds is critical to the overall success of the project. Factors to consider include: intended use of the building, the climate and environment, and the project budget. Treated lumber and cement based siding are better suited for outdoor use because of their resistance to the elements. Larger sizes of lumber may be needed if you plan to store heavy equipment, such as a riding mower in the building. Using a quality out paint or stain will increase the life of the building and reduce maintenance. For most of us; cost is usually an issue. Spend some time investigating the available options in order to ensure the best possible choice of materials for your job.
  • Cost Estimate-Having a solid estimate of all of the costs associated with do it yourself sheds before beginning work is essential to an attractive finished product and an enjoyable, satisfying experience. There is nothing worse than getting halfway through the job, only to realize; you don’t have enough money to finish. Using your plans or drawings, make a list of everything you’ll need from lumber and roofing materials to paint and get quotes from as many suppliers as possible. Don’t forget things like building permit fees and utility connection cost if they apply. Get creative with you cost controls. Finding surplus, overstock, or clearance products can save you big money. It may even be possible to find used materials.
  • Feasibility-Before getting too far into the construction process; it’s important to consider whether your do it yourself shed is actually feasible. Check the building codes and deed restrictions in your area. Make sure your not building a permanent structure on an easement. I believe it’s a good idea to stake out the proposed location in the yard to get an idea of the amount of space you’ll be losing. These building usually look bigger once they’re up than they did in the drawings. Doing a little homework up front can save a lot of money and headaches later.

Hopefully, these tips will help contribute to a successful, new addition to your property that will make you the envy of your neighbors. Thanks for reading and good luck.



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