What is a house wrap for a shed, and do you need it? If you find yourself asking ‘Do I need a house wrap for a shed,’ then chances are that you know about it and need it. For everyone else that simply reads the site and plans on building a shed, then perhaps you’d be interested in learning about this easy way to protect your man cave shed from the elements. This is an aspect of shed building that’s rarely talked about, even though it’s critical to making your shed last for years. If you skip a house wrap for your shed, then you can expect to replace a lot of rotting wood in just two or three years. There are many simple ways to create a house wrap and many types to choose from, so sit back and learn which one you need!
A house wrap is a simple layer of insulation that creates a barrier from the weather and temperature outside the shed. For places with high humidity, fluctuating temperatures, frequent rain, or pests, then a house wrap is almost essential. The only time you don’t want a house wrap is if this is a temporary structure or completely weather-proof on its own. It’s often cheaper to install a house wrap than weather-proof the exterior of your shed, so this is usually the best option for people that want a long-lasting shed for their man cave or otherwise.
Before you grab for that Tuff Shed house wrap, learn what benefits the house wrap has. First, it prevents humidity from penetrating the interior of your shed. Even if you don’t have electronics, carpets, or other humidity-sensitive objects, high humidity can still lead to molding and rot on any of the wood structure. That’s super expensive to replace, so of course you can see the benefit of a house wrap preventing that. Along with its mold-fighting properties, it keeps the temperature inside your shed nice and steady. It is essentially a type of insulation that keeps the shed comfortable in all types of weather. Your shed will still need circulation in the form of a small vent, windows, and (of course) doors, but the insulation will keep your shed from turning into a freezer or an oven.
Do you need a moisture barrier for shed walls? Generally, yes! You always need to weatherproof your shed in some way. If you don’t have pressure-treated wood prepared to weather the storms as your building material, then start looking for a vapor barrier. Keep in mind that ‘house wrap’ is not synonymous with ‘vapor barrier.’ Check the product you are buying carefully to make sure it meets your needs. Almost all house wraps are water-resistant, so you might be able to get away with any house wrap in areas with little rain.
As I mentioned before, you absolutely need some way to keep out humidity. The danger of humidity goes unseen for a long time. Mold can grow in between the siding and your interior, and you’ll only notice it as the wood and walls become discolored. Yikes! By that time, you’ll need to replace portions of the wall entirely. That’s a huge cost that could have been avoided by simply nailing a house wrap under the siding. Don’t skip the water-resistant barriers!
You know you need a house wrap when you live in a zone with fluctuating weather. As discussed in the last part, rain is a big part of it, but you also have to consider temperature. On top of that, you need to take care when adding your siding to the home because of temperature. Due to changes in temperature, the materials of your home expand and contract, and the siding appreciates a little bit of leeway after you install the house wrap. Just enough to let it expand will do.
Anyways, what does temperature have to do with it? A house wrap is quite literally insulation. It keeps your shed safe from rain, sure, but it also keeps your temperature stable. When it’s sweltering hot outside, you can hop into the shed without it feeling like an oven. Similarly, you can navigate it in the winter without freezing off your fingers. If you plan to add air conditioning to the shed, the house wrap is even more essential. It prevents your cold air from leaking out quickly.. Your home still has plenty of ventilation, even with a house wrap covering it. The windows and door gaps provide enough, even when they’re closed, but a vent at the top of the shed helps as well. The only disadvantage of a house wrap is its initial cost and installation time.
Because weather is constantly changing and I can’t think of a single place with perfect weather, chances are that you need a house wrap! It’s absolutely necessary for your shed.
If you’re looking for the best wrap for a shed, there are a few things to consider. The first of this is how long it lasts. Even if it’s perfect for keeping out things, it might wear down quickly. In fact, completely exposed house wraps are a cause for concern for many homeowners! How long can house wrap be exposed before you cover it? The first factor in how long it lasts is how water resistant it is. Most house wraps are spectacular at keeping out water, and combined with heat, they still don’t take a hit. However, they have trouble fighting against the UV rays of the sun. Manufacturers account for construction delays, so they’re not totally defenseless, but the UV rays gradually break down the structure of the house wrap.
Ultimately, a house wrap can be exposed for four months. High-quality house wraps can last up to 9 months and specialized house wraps last up to a year. If you don’t know the length of time your house wrap can withstand the elements, simply assume four months and finish your siding before then. Wind can tear at expose house wraps, especially during storms, and dirt can accrue on them. Whatever you decide to do, keep your construction project on a tight schedule. Delaying costs you materials in the long run and reinstalling a house wrap is a pain.
Yes. Yes, you do need a house wrap for a shed. Since there is no place in the world that has perfect humidity, 70*F temperatures, partly cloudy days, and no mold spores, put that house wrap on your shed as soon as you can. It’s practically mandatory if you plan on spending time in that shed. Hopefully this helped you answer the question ‘Do I need a house wrap for a shed.’ If you have any further questions, feel free to comment down below! I am always eager to answer questions about building projects, man caves, and everything in between.
Perhaps your man cave decor has started to spill out into the house, forcing you to find new homes for it. Or maybe your yard tools need a dedicated home to hang out in. Or—quite ambitiously—you dream about an amazing and minimalistic little building to hang out in. I won’t question your motives, but what I can do is help you out in simple instructions that anyone can understand! Building a lean-to shed goes by much faster than building a typical storage shed, and you don’t even need anyone to help you out. The materials are cheap and you can easily store or cover anything you need to in there. Let's learn how to build a lean-to shed!
The lean-to shed has some obvious advantages over a large storage shed. First of all, it conserves on space in your yard, allowing you to use it for pools or trampolines or trees or whatever else you desire. Second, its construction allows you to use far less material than a typical shed. With only one side of a roof to construct, that cuts down a lot of time and logistics, making it strange if it takes you more than a day to put the shed together!
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly to you, it at least halves the cost it takes to build a storage shed. Obviously, cutting a shed in half will also cut down its price, but there is more to price than materials. The simplicity of a lean-to shed saves you time—and time is money! It also prevents screw-ups if you’ve never picked up a hammer before. Now let’s learn how to build it!
Given its small size and simple build, a lean-to shed plan is easy to find and understand. You can quickly find one on the internet or even in your local home improvement store. However, I also recommend grabbing a collection of shed plans or woodworking instructions for any projects you may have down the line. Anyone who owns the tools will one day feel that ‘project itch’ and need the means to build anything they want. Those collections help you do that.
A proper shed plan includes a shopping list, a floor plan, back frame instructions, top and bottom plate frames, side wall frames, and instructions on making the rafters. Installing the exterior hardly needs instructions, but everything else absolutely needs the details—especially if you’re unfamiliar with building things. Lean-to sheds make a great beginner’s project, but not when you’re winging it. They also tell you the difference between particular types of nails and why you’re using the sizes you do, allowing you to improv your projects in the future.
Anyways, let’s get down to business! After you have your shed plan (or simply know how to build it), gather your materials. Unlike a full shed, your materials may show some flaws and imperfections. A lean-to shed is not meant to accommodate people, things, or valuables. At most, you may have a lawn mower in there. A larger lean-to shed meant for minimal man caves or small playrooms are obvious exceptions to this rule, but in general, any materials will do. Grab them wherever you can—I find local lumberyards the cheapest providers.
You start with the foundation (or base) of the lean-to shed and work your way up. A sturdy floor, followed by your side walls, then your side with the door, and finally your roof make up the bulk of your building process. Trimming, staining, adding shingles, and all that good stuff comes after you complete the main shed. If it sounds simple, that’s because it is! It even takes less than a day, if you grab your supplies quickly and go with a simple foundation. And, speaking of foundations…
Woohoo, we’re actually getting to the interesting stuff! Since lean-to sheds represent a very basic type of construction, you don’t need to invest as much time as you would need to in a full shed. Instead, you pick a type of cheap foundation that suits the area and your local building code. For concrete foundations, make a small wooden frame the size of your shed and fill it with gravel. Once it settles, go back and fill it with concrete. Remove the frame when it sets in.
A small wooden platform with large rods sticking into the ground is all you need for most sheds. To avoid water issues entirely, build a wooden frame with at least ¾” plywood on top for the floor and set it atop concrete blocks. This permanent frame ought to use pressure-treated wood to prevent sagging down the line. Make sure the top either type of foundation rests a few inches above the typical height of heavy rain water, unless you’re cool with soggy stuff and mold in there. Along with the roof tiles, this is the most tedious and expensive part of your construction project. If you get past this, the rest is a breeze!
With the foundation out of the way, start building the walls separately for the lean-to shed. Using 2x4s, make a frame for your door of choice and a few support posts. Include blocking on the side walls if you want to make room for a vent. Vents keep your shed somewhat temperature controlled—essential for anyone storing electronics or machinery in there. Obviously, your back wall needs to be tallest.
While your smallest wall can be a simple shape, set up the angles of your side frames and back wall to slope down (which is done by simply cutting the top of the planks at an angle of appropriate slope). When you finish constructing your frames, you can attach the studs to the foundation, starting with the back wall. Use a temporary brace to keep the back wall in place until you can lean it on the rest of the structure. The side walls may also need a brace, depending on the lean-to shed plan that you chose at the start of this article. Wait to install the siding until your rafters are in place.
Once you have all of the walls finished, prepare to start on the roof! A lean-to roof always slants in one direction to keep rain water out of the shed and away from the home. This design assumes that one of the walls will be covered by a house, which protects the largest wall from rain damage. Despite this, modern types of wood treatment help standalone lean-to sheds put up with the rain. Refer to your shed plans for the specific dimensions of your lean-to shed. I will now explain the basic cuts present in all shed plans to help dispel any confusion
Start with framing! While building your roof, use connector plates made from galvanized steel, which prevent long-term erosion—something you seriously don’t want in a roof! Generally, wood thickness determines how much weight a roof can hold. If you live in the north, expect your shed to carry a lot of snow from fall to spring! That’s something to take into consideration when you choose which shed plan you want.
Each part of your roof has a special cut to help the structure stay together for years to come. Your typical rafter will have plumb, seat, bird’s mouth, and gable cuts. All of them are crucial to the look and appearance of a lean-to shed. For more information on these cuts, check out the F.A.Q. Construct triangular trusses and take care to cut the rafters properly.
Once you finish building the trusses, you can add your sheathing to the roof. This provides the main support of the roof and defines its shape. On top of that, put an underlayment installation to protect your sheathing from the elements. Lastly, your roof cover goes on top, which further seals your roof. A lean-to shed can simply have a metal sheathing and call it a day, but it’s likely to blow away when a big windstorm blows through.
Technically speaking, I’ve already detailed how to build a free standing lean-to shed. If you want to know how to build a lean to shed on the side of house or how to build a lean-to off of a shed, then things barely change. Before you put up your tallest wall, cover the back with plywood that extends the entire height of your shed plan (which means all the way to the tip of your roof). This plywood should be facing your home, with the frame clearly visible from where you would open the door. There’s no reason to pretty up the rear-facing wall, but it still acts as a small support for the rest of the structure.
For additional support, attach the lean-to to your house using large nails. This ensures that, no matter what, it will stay put. When learning how to build a lean-to off a house, it’s absolutely critical that you pay attention to how to build a foundation and the area’s building codes. Since it’s so close to the house, any screw-ups with the shed foundation will affect the foundations of your main home! You definitely don’t want the shed directing water beneath your house.
Hopefully this helps you learn how to build a lean-to on the side of the house, but if you still feel puzzled after reading all this, then there’s one more option for you!
Lean-to shed kits are easily available, both online and offline. It’s a quick and easy way to gather the materials for your shed and build it. It cuts out a bunch of the ‘difficult’ steps. The only disadvantage is that it costs a little more than constructing it from scratch on your own. Many lean-to shed kit sellers offer contracting services, but you seriously won’t need them. This is as simple as getting your foundation in place and nailing some pieces together. Follow the directions, do everything properly, and you could have your lean-to shed done within the hour.
Kits contain four pre-constructed walls, door materials, windows (if the plan includes one), the rafters, a simple foundation, and plywood to cover everything. Of course, many kits look like an eyesore without some extra investment in the trim, shingles, and so on—but at least it cuts down on precious time. And time is money, you know? Cutting down on construction time may also save you some hassle (I.E. when neighborhoods only allow construction to go on for so long). More expensive kits will include these extras and may even mix up materials. With the right kit, no one will ever know you purchased a pre-made setup! It will look sleek, new, and customized—perfect for any yard.
Still want to ask some questions about lean-to sheds? Check over this FAQ section, where I attempt to fill in some gaps. If you still don’t see your question, or want to know something else related to sheds or man caves, then leave a comment and I will quickly respond!
To cut down on building costs and space used, people would use small sheds whose rafters appeared to lean on another wall. They stood adjacent to homes, large buildings, ranches, and completed sheds. Lean-tos aren’t all solid buildings; Some lean-tos consist only of a tarp and something to anchor it to (or lean on). This fast but effective form of construction remains a staple of modern times, where we even build it as a standalone building for both its aesthetics and affordability! It certainly costs less to build than a two story shed, cool as they are.
If this article didn’t sate your appetite for knowledge, don’t worry. I write all about building a full shed on my post here, along with how to find materials, work with kits, convert it into a functional building rather than storage, and so on.
You will need a circular saw, hand saw, and safety glasses (if you care about your eyes). First, determine the pitch of your roof (as detailed in your shed plans). Roofs typically use 45* angles, but a lean-to shed is hardly so restricting. The slope is a ratio of rise to horizontal travel along your rafter, so any adjustments drastically affect your cuts.
Once you find the appropriate angle, go at it with your circular saw. Remember to include a birdsmouth cut and seat cut to keep the rafters in place with more than the strength of nails. If you intend to put some overhang on the rafter, keep your birdsmouth cut shallow. 2/3rds of the wood at a vertical angle should remain intact so that the overhang has support. Lastly, you do the easy part—your tail cut! This cut will be horizontal/parallel to your foundation. Not too hard, right?
If you’re looking for how to build a tornado shelter, you’re looking in the wrong place. A lean-to will not keep you protected in any way, shape, or form from a tornado. However, it can offer shelter from the sun for animals, children, and whatever else you keep in your backyard. If you want to learn how to build a tornado shelter, I recommend looking at this site. I might write an in-depth article on the topic later (especially since you can throw in some cool furniture and make it the safest man cave on earth), but let’s focus on lean-to sheds for now!
Well, time to wrap up this exhaustive coverage of how to build a lean-to shed! If you want to throw any questions at me, feel free to do so in the comments section. I did my best to use simple terms so that even beginners can use this, but that also means I skipped over some tiny details that might relate to you. If you ask me about it, I’ll respond with a lengthy comment, or may even produce a big post on your question. Remember, there’s no such thing as a stupid question!
Anyways, I’ve been writing a lot about sheds lately because architecture and construction is a tiny passion of mine. It ties into man caves perfectly, since all of these construction abilities carry over into customizing your mantuary. Your lean-to shed is yet another extension of your true self, and with a little bit of decor, you can make it something spectacular to behold!
It gives your yard a little personality and designates some useful space between all the flowers and weeds (by the way, remember to take your lawn mower out of the shed every now and then). It also gives you something to brag about. Nothing feels better than talking about something you made with your own two hands, so pick up your tools and start building! You know exactly how to build a lean-to shed!
By now, I’m pretty sure we’ve established the shed as the best home for any man cave out there. A shed provides lots of space between you and the responsibilities of the house, keeps your fancy stuff away from mischievous kids if you happen to have them, and allows you to boost the volume of your movies or music as high as you like—at any hours! After reading all about their advantages, what’s not to like about them? Well, for one, their price tag is very high. That’s why I want to talk about how to make your own DIY shed quickly and affordably!
Prepping for your shed takes time, materials, planning, and most importantly…money! Without a doubt, the cheapest way to build a shed is to plan, prep, and purchase everything yourself. Make sure you know about all the building restrictions in your area (which I go over here) before you settle on a plan. That way, you don’t run into legal trouble down the line. Unless you’re an architect, I also recommend running out and grabbing a cheap shed plan to get you started (premade plans also make things like two story sheds a cinch).
As for the material costs, you have two options: purchase from a large home improvement store or shop for the materials yourself. Home improvement stores will carry the most common sizes of wood needed and even cut custom shapes for you. However, they are pretty expensive as far as their price tags are concerned. Grab your cheap essentials like nails, tools, wires, and whatever else from any store, but shop local for wood.
The advantage of using local lumber is that you can guarantee the quality of the wood. They usually ship bulk purchases (which is what a man cave shed would be) for free. If you hand them a plan, they can cut all of the custom parts for you. They even know the local building guidelines and help you choose the right materials for the job. All in all, the employees give you just as much value as the wood they provide.
Roofing, foundation-laying, electricity, and plumbing are best left to professionals. Always have someone inspect afterwards to ensure your contractors deliver on their price. The reason for this is because all of these take professional knowledge and will cost you a fortune if they break down. It saves you money in the long run to make sure everything is right in the first place, even if it costs more money up front! Similarly, using an inspector catches any would-be lazy contractors or outright unqualified workers.
Since the price of materials fluctuates wildly depending on your location (forested areas offer much cheaper wood, for example), you will have to do specific math on your own. Small sheds will generally cost less than $2000, while larger sheds go up to $6000. This does not include the price of specialty contractors for the stuff I mentioned above. I go into far more detail on the cost of building a shed here. Once you build your shed, plan out your conversion to a man cave with this post I did.
DIY shed kits contain everything you need to get started. They drastically reduce the amount of time you need to build the shed and allows you a small amount of customization. Occasionally, the companies that offer DIY shed kits will also offer contractor labor, allowing you to get a pre-constructed shed for thousands less than a completely DIY shed would be. However, since the focus of this article is on completely DIY sheds, you should look for any extra details on DIY here. For now, let’s focus on the topic at hand!
Since structural integrity is highly important in a building you want to occupy (especially for something like a man cave), I highly recommend you find some pre-made plans. This also helps you conform to local building codes—most pre-made shed plans take those into account! If your local stores don’t have any you like, consider grabbing an online one or something via mail. Believe it or not, you can actually commission architects to provide a unique shed plan for you—although that might not be cost-efficient compared to premade ones.
If you decide to do your DIY shed plan from scratch, then pay attention to your foundation quality and the amount of weight your structure can hold. This determines both the size and sturdiness of your shed, along with what sort of roof you put on top! If you skip the math in this process, it invites disastrous consequences. A roof collapse, cracked foundation, or flooded shed are the last things you need.
Now that we know how to gather your materials, let’s talk about the part you’ve been waiting for—the building! Follow these directions in order to quickly and efficiently create a shed. Grab a helping hand, because a lot of this will take some heavy lifting!
Make sure your foundation is on raised ground to prevent flooding. If you are using concrete blocks as a foundation, lay them all out and use a long plank to make sure they are aligned. A bubble level also ensures that your foundation does not have a slant. Once you have that done, go ahead and build your initial floor. Secure it with steel-cabled ground anchors so that it does not start floating if a flood goes through the area!
While it might seem strange to start on the roof now, you have to remember that these things are heavy. You want it to go up in tandem with the walls, with the two halves of the roof getting hooked up once they’re in plays. Your rafters should have a 45* angle on each side, ensuring maximum drainage.
This is pretty simple. Follow your guide, nail your stuff together, and make sure your support beams do their job. It’s incredibly important that those beams can actually support the building, so make sure each one of them is properly cut, sized, leveled, and up to snuff. Use large screws to connect it directly to the floor frame. The front and rear walls go up first, then follow up with any interior walls. I recommend throwing plywood on your walls to cover the frame at this point. Install the final walls when you’re done with the interior.
To finish throwing it all together, start building the triangular portions that go up on the ends of your shed. These trusses support your roof. Build your trusses one at a time until it looks like you have a skeletal roof in place. After that, carefully put up the roof frames that you made early. Cover it with plywood and use some properly installed shingles to waterproof it.
Since this is an incredibly complicated process and involves way more than I put here, expect a bigger article on how to build a custom shed soon!
Well, you’ve done it! You know how to grab some shed plans, find the cheapest materials, and build your very own man cave shed! Or, you know, whatever else you want to use your shed for. The possibilities are endless! Although it takes way more work to build your shed from scratch, following these step-by-step instructions and making a finished shed all on your own feels immensely satisfying. There’s no greater sensation than looking at something you created with pride. Now go out there and build something to be proud of!
Storage sheds serve as far more than a place to put your extra stuff. They make your yard look spectacular, give you building experience, give your kids or pets a place to hang out, and sometimes house unexpected (but welcome) visitors. Convert them into a man cave or a tiny cabin to get the most out of your shed without building an entirely different structure! DIY sheds are cheap, go up in about a day, and finding the materials is easy compared to more complex structures. The sheer diversity of shed plans is astounding, allowing you to customize your storage shed.
So, how do you set about building your own storage shed? Why would you want to build it over other structures, what rules do you have to follow, and how do you choose your shed plan? This article goes over those things and more. Sit tight if you want to learn more about finding materials, building your shed, and using every nook and cranny of your storage shed to your advantage! This comprehensive guide goes over everything you could ever want to know—even if you’ve never built a home in your life! Without further ado, let’s begin.
Storage sheds offer a whole array of versatility when it comes to long-term usage. You might build it for storage, but down the road, you can convert it to a workshop, playpen, or even a man cave! Trust me on that last one, I’m an expert. The shed adds value to your house and looks great once you finish building. It helps you utilize space in your yard and saves you just a little time mowing.
Their main advantage might be to keep your house and garage clean. You can put random knick knacks or seasonal stuff in the storage shed and keep your home looking great. No one likes a cluttered attic or garage, and keeping your stuff exposed in the yard just looks trashy.
So, why choose a storage shed when there are many other kinds of buildings to pick? Well, first of all, anything labeled as a storage shed can be repurposed as a different type of building. Secondly, storage shed plans are the most popular type out there, so you actually have the largest amount of diversity as you build your shed. Large barns and second homes take many more resources and a long time to build. Sheds on the other hand take barely a day to build, unless you decide to make a cement foundation! Then it takes two days of work. That’s still nothing compared to a large construction project.
I’ve briefly mentioned the legal to-dos for shed building in this article, but I want to touch on it in full detail here. Before you build any type of outdoor building or shed, check the legality of the shed plan. Building laws have many layers, and you need to check each one to ensure your hard work pays off in the end. Tearing down a storage shed is the last thing you want to do after you build it!
For most areas, you want to obtain something called planning permission. Your building has to conform to a certain code in order to get that planning permission. Not every county has building codes enacted into law, but it helps a ton to plan ahead and build something that weathers the years easily. Here are some typical restrictions that apply to sheds:
Zoning laws also determine the type of buildings you are allowed to build, so check those ones in particular. If your plot of land is in the center of a city, that city might have designated the area for transportation or business, rather than personal storage or buildings. If you owned the property before your zone changed, you can grab a lawyer and use the old zone codes. Once you’re sure your shed plans match requirements, get your building permit and start your project.
With those basics away, let’s look at which rules you should follow, no matter what the law requires! First and foremost, the foundation can make or break the worth of a shed…literally. Keep your shed well above the water table and then some. The area around the shed should slope away. If you build close to another building, make sure it is level with the building and then slopes outwards to prevent water from wearing away the foundation of the original building. Also make sure that the roof of a shed close to a building diverts all water away from the building (lean-to sheds are good for this).
Obviously, you want to use materials that are safe. Don’t fill your shed with asbestos. If you use insulation, pick a fire retardant. Treat your wood properly so it doesn’t rot. Ensure your roof tiles or tarps are firmly attached so that they don’t blow away in a windstorm. If you live in somewhere hot or humid, provide proper ventilation—unless you want a bunch of mold. If you live in a colder climate, ventilation only matters if you are a smoker or plan on having people spend time in the shed. Sheds typically stay insulated against the cold unless conditions become extreme for extended time periods.
To elaborate on a dwelling that you plan on using for social stuff or relaxation, you’ll want to take special safety precautions. You don’t need to keep a fire extinguisher nearby (although I encourage it), but you will want to provide multiple exits. Something as simple as an extra window gives the shed some nice, natural lighting and makes it that much safer.
Now that you know this, some of the weird laws and regulations make more sense, right? The only thing to watch out for now is a Home Owners’ Association, if you’re unlucky enough to have one!
If you want to check out a whole slew of plans and styles, I made a dedicated post here. If you just want the summary, let’s go over how to quickly choose your shed plan now! Beyond the stipulations I outlined above, think about what sort of features you want for your shed. Will you need a large door to get machinery in and out? Do you need a garage door for a car? Or maybe you just need a simple door to keep things nice and secure? In any case, the door’s a great place to start, if only because it’s the first thing you interact with in a building!
After you narrow down the designs based on that, think about the size and style of shed you want to build. If size is of no legal concern, consider building it as large as possible, without taking up the whole yard. Why? It greatly improves the value of your home, plus, you might have the funds down the line to upgrade your shed into something livable. Not bad for a weekend project, right?
If the exterior is also a free-for-all, check out all the neat architectural styles out there. Instead of building a typical shed, you could have a colonial shed with a patio, or an impressive Tudor-style shed! These alternative designs look amazing and elevate it from a simple shed to a true addition to your home.
Lastly, choose a shed design that matches your skill level. That doesn’t necessarily mean going with the most simple design if you have no building experience. Different designs contain varying amounts of instruction, so find the instructions that work for you! I recommend using this design collection, but you can find several other types of shed plans on Amazon, the rest of the net, bookstores, and so on. Specialized shed plans are just a bit difficult to get your hands on unless you buy from a collection.
The obvious location for backyard shed materials is a home improvement store. They have a huge range of pre-cut sizes of wood, every type of nail and hammer under the sun, and basically everything you would want for your shed. However, these stores have two big disadvantages. The first is that they overcharge for their wood. Granted, their nails and other utilities are competitively priced, but most of your money will be going into your actual building materials. Another disadvantage is the quality of this wood. Wood that goes through too much shipping and handling shows the wear and tear of its journey through small defects.
To circumvent this, purchase all of your wood from local lumberyards. They have a wider variety of wood types, sizes, and everything they sell simply has a higher quality than what you would find in a store. The workers there know exactly how to handle these types of wood and can pass that knowledge on to you. Some even offer special services with custom cutting, letting you build a shed from any type of shed plan!
When it comes to outdoor sheds and backyard sheds, make sure you treat your building properly. This might seem strange to talk about so early, but if you mess up during the building process, it can be a pain to fix these things. Outdoor storage sheds should have an elevated foundation and floor, ensuring that water doesn’t creep in. Use a sealer to cover any nooks and crannies to insulate the shed further and keep out pests. Start with the roof and move down, taking care to do the corners properly.
After that, make sure to prepare good materials for a roof. Any shingles or tiles should be firmly attached to the roof or a strong breeze would blow it away. Gutters help mitigate swamping in certain areas of the yard, so if one side of the shed will receive more water than the other, think about installing some of those. If you neglect your insulation, you’ll get a bunch of bugs and water in the room. I guess that’s fine, if you’re okay with mold on the walls and black widow spiders in the boxes. To each their own, right? However, I highly recommend doing things the proper way with backyard sheds!
When you make a storage building out of wood, picking the wood ends up just as difficult as finding your materials. If your shed plan doesn’t list a particular type of wood, use this guide to determine which type of wood works best for your storage shed. Always choose construction grade wood! I also talk about wood sheds in this post.
Cedar Wood – This is very lightweight and resists both decay and insect infestation. It is dense enough to stand up on its own at the same time. Cedar wood has a distinct aroma that will stay in the shed for the duration of its life…so make sure you’re not allergic to it ahead of time!
Cypress Wood – Cypress wood stands out thanks to its amazing resistance to water. Even if you submerge it in water for months, it shrugs off the water damage. Since these trees are native to the American south’s coastlines, they are built to withstand all the flooding that comes with living in a swamp.
Elm Wood – A beautiful tree that offers a lot of shade, you rarely see this in yards nowadays thanks to a very proliferous disease running around the nation. Despite this, it works spectacularly well in construction projects and other things that require hardwood.
Fir Wood – This is the most common type of building wood out there. You will run into several varieties that have unique attributes, so be careful which ones you pick. Spruce trees, Douglas Firs, Hemlock, and a few other types of trees will be labeled as whitewood alongside pine. This is generally a bad choice for outdoor building, since it rots fairly quickly. It at least works well for furniture.
Of course, these hardly represent the full range of woods you can use. There are also manufactured types of woods that are cheaper and just as durable. Here are the types of engineered wood that you’re likely to run into:
Cross-laminated Timber – By stacking sheets of wood on top of each other and gluing them, you can create an extremely strong type of paneling. It is good to use if your area is prone to fires, since it has a great heat resistance. This works so well that people are starting to build insanely tall wooden buildings with it! The only disadvantage is that it’s difficult to find.
Glulam – By fusing various sizes of wood together with phenol glue (which is a tiny bit toxic), you can create very large and strong beams. You normally see it used in roof work—and keeping it up there instead of in your walls or floor boards helps a little bit with the air quality of your home!
OSB – You’ve probably seen this type of wood before. It’s not as durable as plywood and doesn’t stand up to rain as well, but that doesn’t matter as much when it’s in a covered place where no one will see or stand on it.
Plywood – Yep, it was only a matter of time until you saw this! Since this resists a lot of wear and tear, plywood works great for floor beams, floor boards, roof supports, and studs.
By choosing to build a small storage shed, you drastically reduce the costs needed for your project. You can even buy them preassembled and have them shipped to your door, if time is the most expensive part of a shed for you. Simple shed kits provide all sorts of styles and you can make your own shed according to a plan in just a day…provided you have all your materials picked out and bought. The disadvantage of a small storage shed is, of course, the small amount of stuff it can store. However, sometimes you only have a small amount of space to use! Let’s talk about how to maximize this space.
If you plan on hanging out in the shed, keep any decorations thin and make sure the room is brightly lit. The shed should have windows to make it look even larger. The better your view, the better you feel in the shed. Small furniture is hard to find in America, but some antique shops and places like IKEA offer you a few options.
If you plan on using it for its actual purpose of storing stuff, make sure you know how much it can hold before you build. Don’t assume that you can fit everything in the yard in that small space without doing a little math. Try to include extra vertical shelves and use the tips I talk about in the Tool Sheds section to avoid catastrophe.
For tool sheds, use hooks, shelves, and gambrel roofs to maximize the amount of space you use. Pent sheds plans or lean-to shed plans offer the most space for the least amount of money and building expertise. Since tool sheds never end up becoming domestic, feel free to fill the space with ways to store and organize things. You also have no need for windows or ventilation. Let’s get into the specifics of creating the perfect storage shed now!
By building your own tool storage, you ensure that even your specialized tools have a home to return to. You no longer need to shuffle through your own storage shed to find that one ruler that slid to the back of the shelves. When building your own tool storage shed from scratch, your only concern is the size of the shed. You want it to store everything you need—both for the house and the yard. Yard tools tend to be bulky, while home tools tend to get lost in the cracks.
Purchasing a tool shelf or using pin boards for the small tools helps mitigate the lost tool issue. However, the only thing that helps your large tools is foresight and good planning. I find a typical lean-to shed to be the perfect size for a tool storage shed, plus, it doesn’t cost a fortune. It goes up quickly and all of the work is easy, even when you build from scratch! You can read about making your own in this dedicated article, or you can follow along with the general shed building instructions I put further down!
A utility shed is simply a shed where you can store your yard and building materials for a time you need them. A tall and thin shed does the trick, but a lean-to shed also served the job and lets you store larger things like bikes and lawn mowers. When your man cave, kitchen, or attic starts to overflow with what I call ‘one-trick-items,’ you throw them in the utility shed. These items are quite useful, but maybe only once a year, and for one thing only. They offer utility, but not often enough to warrant a place in the home.
Anyways, make sure that your utility shed is nice and organized! If things go missing inside it, you might as well have never built it. Use pegboards to store all of your small tools. Put all of your large tools at the bottom of the shed and incorporate shelves that become gradually smaller the higher up they go. And, of course, keep a stepstool or a ladder handy so you get a good view of those upper shelves. With this method of organization, your utility shed gains a lot more…well, utility!
Here are a few ideas on what you might want to store inside the utility shed that people often overlook. Saws, hammers, screwdrivers, and pliers are a given. Throw in masking tape, duct tape, a leveling tool, a tape measure, a triangle ruler, a protractor (which is a godsend during any building tasks), and enough markers to last a lifetime. You only really need one marker, but they tend to go missing. If you live in a very warm place, replace the markers with some large pencils so that the ink doesn’t burst and stain everything vanta black. A fire extinguisher, flashlights, ice scrapers, picks, work gloves, pressure gauge, and bike pump also serve some niche needs that might present themselves.
Sometimes, your backyard storage needs to be movable. You may only need it for a temporary event, or perhaps to protect your car from hail, or you might want to move it when you get the time to build a patio, or maybe you want to live on the go for a while and keep it in tow. There’s plenty of possibilities. Whatever the case, portable storage sheds help you make that happen. Portable storage sheds are universally small (they have to sit on the back of a truck, after all), and it’s not worth it to build a proper foundation for them. Portable sheds tend to cost more than permanent sheds, so if you just need a shelter for some of your stuff, I recommend…
A canopy or a garage tent. These large tarps use a shed-like frame to create a small garage or storage space for your stuff. Sometimes labeled as greenhouse tents, they don’t serve as a secure location for storing goods, but they do protect your stuff from the weather and keep it all in one place. If you live in a good neighborhood, one of these is more than enough for your needs. Plus, they cost less than $400…compare that to the thousands you would spend on a portable shed!
If you want cheap storage sheds, you have to put in some extra work. Good storage sheds range in price from $1,000 to $10,000 depending on the features you want. And, honestly, a $1,000 shed doesn’t cut it for most things. Of course, there are ways to cut down on these typical price tags without chopping the trees down yourself. This section guides you through building on a budget and helps people in every financial situation stow away a little money for things to put inside your shed!
The best way to find materials for your shed on a budget is to check out discount and clearance sections of big box stores. You’ll find all kinds of materials marked down for little things like a scratch or some unappealing patterns in the wood. Since you’ll be building the shed from scratch, these types of problems will likely go unseen in your finished product. As long as your materials look structurally sound and the price looks good, go for it.
Another great way to find cheap materials is to browse online trading sites like Craigslist. Many people give up on their projects or just find themselves with extra lumber. They really want to get it off their property. You can score a bunch of stuff just by trading some junk from your garage. Or, you could be lucky enough to get your materials for free! Always make sure these materials are properly treated and in a good condition before you start to build with them.
The last way I recommend saving money—and the way to go for people who don’t like buying used stuff—is to go straight to a local lumber yard. This cuts out the shipping and upcharge that big stores give you, plus it saves you the potential damage the wood would receive as it changes hands. Lumber yards carry all kinds of sizes, wood types, and may even cut some custom stuff for you if you show them your shed plans. Ultimately, they charge far less than any other place for brand new and fresh materials. No matter your financial situation, consider this your best option!
Sometimes, the most expensive part of a shed is the time it takes to procure materials and build one yourself. Of course, hiring contractors is out of the question if you want to save money…but how do you build a shed without spending time or extra cash making it happen? Quite simply, you don’t. You purchase a pre-made shed! Lots of online and retail outlets offer pre-made sheds that they ship right to your door and place in your backyard. Since everything is built, any extra money is more like a delivery fee than a contractor fee. The building gets finished the moment it touches your yard.
The main downside to pre-made sheds is their small size. Obviously, a pre-made shed needs to fit on the road in order to get shipped around the nation. You might be able to find a very wide shed that looks more like a trailer, but that still hardly functions as a proper shed. They look a little more like storage closets. Another big disadvantage is their materials. They usually contain a lot of cheap wood and plastic to cut down on prices, which means more repairs in the long run.
If you dole out some extra money, then you can find some high-quality pre-made sheds to save yourself some time. If you don’t care about saving time and simply want the most cost-efficient method, skip the pre-made sheds.
From simple garden shed kits to huge two-story sheds, storage shed kits save you the time of finding materials and help you build your shed quickly and efficiently. They cost less than fancy pre-made sheds or contract work, plus they look great. A few companies even allow for customization! Building from a storage kit takes very little time and the instructions provided also speed things along for people new to building. This is by far the best option for people who want to cut down on the price and the time spent without lowering the quality or building everything from scratch.
Furthermore, if you have a shed plan, it’s quite possible to get your own custom storage shed kit from local lumberyards. I’d be lying if I said all of them offered this service, but some of the more professional ones will gather your materials and cut some custom pieces of wood if you give them a list. That definitely saves you time and gets you exactly the sort of shed you want!
When a storage shed kit arrives at your door, simply check the quality of the materials. Then, set aside a day to get everything done. Storage kits typically come with walls pre-assembled, so it’s just a matter of picking out a spot and nailing everything together. Siding and roof tiles usually come separately, so you can pick out what sort of decoration (if any) you want the shed to have. No one can really tell the difference between a shed built out of a kit or a shed built out of scratch, especially if you choose a nice design. Definitely go with storage shed kits if you want to save some time without breaking the bank!
Do you have an old storage shed laying around and have no idea what to do with it? Maybe you have plenty of room in your garage, or perhaps you moved into a brand new property that contains a shed. Clearing out the shed to make room for the new also opens up possibilities. In any case, these shed storage ideas help you figure out what to do with that space. After all, you can use a shed for far more than storage, especially the bigger ones!
Hey, look what site you’re on. Clearly, I have a bias towards building man caves. Man cave sheds give you space all your own, separate from the house, and let you customize the room in ways you can’t do inside a home. For example, setting up a surround sound system is far easier when your ceiling opens up into the rafters. It gives you way more space to maneuver up there! Building a second story doesn’t fill the home with sawdust, plus, you can create a loft to make the man cave that much more impressive! For more ways to convert a shed into a man cave, check out my post here.
When you find the perfect home…minus a garage…don’t despair! Use a simple storage shed plan to create a garage of your own. Most storage sheds take up very little space and a ton of plans exist to ensure you stay within building codes of your area. You can opt for a single car garage or go all-out with a two-story four car garage shed! If you do make your garage two stories, make sure to include excellent ventilation and insulation. The fumes from the cars below can collect on the upper floor if the cars are left running.
Building a workshop inside a house is just asking for trouble. Sawdust, paint splatters, loud noise, and grease stains are just a few things that ruin the coziness of a home. On top of that, any damage done by an active workshop detracts from the value of your home. By building a storage shed to serve as a workshop, the opposite is true—your home goes up in value and feels much more peaceful. The benefits of hosting your workshop outside include letting you mess up the room with the filth of dirty work and customizing it to suit your needs—even if it goes against a few building codes or your wife’s wishes!
By adding in windows or skylights, your shed quickly becomes the perfect gardening environment! The warmth of a shed during winter keeps your plants safe. You only need to cover them if temperatures get extreme for long periods of time. During the summer, it’s easier to control the sunlight your plants experience. They won’t wilt as frequently if you can easily cover the windows or move them into the shade. Watering becomes easier and your shed just looks better.
You can continue to use portions of your shed for its original purpose—as a workshop, storage area, or otherwise. The plants filter out the air and keep it from getting to dusty or musky. It benefits you in the long run to have nice clear air to breathe as you use your shed. The only disadvantage of a gardening shed is that they get a little muggy at times. With a proper ventilation system and a few humidity and temperature monitors, you can negate that entirely.
The biggest shed of them all, a barn actually fits the bill for a jumbo storage shed! To convert a shed into a barn, grab some extra lumber and divide the room as needed. Stalls or small rooms help keep it organized. While a storage shed deals with storing items, a barn deals with storing animals! Keep in mind that the health and happiness of the animals should be on your mind as you build the barn. Even one extra foot of space in the stable makes the difference between an aggressive stallion or a tame horse.
Another integral part of building a barn is making it easy to clean. Keep the floors smooth by using large boards of wood or loose gravel. Taking things in and out of the barn should not be more of a chore than it is already! Typically, you want to make the door as large as possible to accommodate your animals. Huge machinery needs an equally huge entrance. For more information, check out my dedicated post on building barns.
Ultimately, your little storage shed helps you out with some big life problems. Whether you choose to house your cars or bikes with one or convert your shed into a man cave, these storage sheds provide some essential shelter and seclusion in a world that’s becoming busier by the moment. The effort you put into its function and appearance determines whether you created a mere shack or an essential addition to your property.
Hopefully this post helped you learn everything you need to know about building storage sheds and using them. Cutting down on material costs, finding the perfect plan, gathering the proper tools, and figuring out how to construct everything proves tricky the first time for everyone. If you have any questions about building a storage shed, please let me know in the comments section. I can help you and everyone else who has the same question!
Once you build your first shed, you store all of this knowledge. It comes back to you naturally with your next building project. My goal in writing this was to give you as much knowledge as possible. Next time, you'll be able to improve all on your own! Good luck, and get building!
Continuing on with the wonderful world of sheds, let’s talk about the building details! No matter what size your shed is or what purpose you use it for, these instructions walk you through everything you need to know. Want to figure out foundations? I cover that. Want to learn about the legal stuff? I already talked a bunch about that in this article, but I do go over the basics here! Want to reduce the cost of your shed or figure out how much they typically cost? You’re in the right place. No matter what, if your questions went unanswered in any of my other posts, then this post has everything you need!
Even if you know nothing about building, I walk you through what tools you need, the terms you need to know to use your shed plans, and how to make a DIY shed. Check what tools you need, get them ready, and prepare to build the best shed in the neighborhood! Always follow the directions in your shed plans. If you deviate from them, you could risk losing materials, collapsing your building, or getting injured. Obviously, I can't help you with that. Stay safe!
The biggest factor in whether or not you can build a shed is not your ability. It’s your money. Building a shed when you can’t afford it is disastrous, and any corners you cut come back to haunt you in the future. Here are some quick questions to ask yourself and memorize before you begin gathering materials. If the prices in these answers sound reasonable and affordable, then you’re prepared to build a shed. If not, wait until later to build. Look at this post if you want to know more about saving time and money.
On average, it costs $3,000 to buy a storage shed. High end sheds get up to $10,000, while low-end sheds are less than $500. The cost changes depending on your area.
By building a shed yourself, you cut out roughly $50 from low end sheds or shed kits. For high-end sheds, you cut out a whopping $3,000 or more! So subtract that amount from the price averages above to get what you would roughly pay for a shed. Keep in mind that instead of paying with money, you will be paying with time!
12x16 sheds are incredibly popular since they can be used as a small (single) car garage and fit basically whatever you want inside. They cost about $3,000 to buy, but you can shave some of the price off by being thrifty and building it yourself.
Keep in mind that portable sheds, pre-made sheds, and shed kits also affect how much you spend. They tend to be pricier, but they also take far less time to build. Some companies even offer (relatively) cheap contract work to set them up. These prices assume you build from the ground up!
The easiest way to reduce the cost of your shed is to do the work yourself and find discounted materials. If you have no lumberyards in your area and have a home improvement store (which is a weird conundrum to have), look in their clearance section. Stores often carry materials with tiny nicks and scratches that are just fine for an outdoor shed to have. All you need to do is ensure it still has all its structural integrity!
The cheapest way to gather materials is to search the net. No, I’m not talking about ordering from random companies. I mean going to Craigslist and other trading sites to see who has a surplus of building materials! Many people abandon their projects and would love for you to take it off their hands for something of equal value—which isn’t always money! Others may pay you for ‘disposal,’ so you can do whatever you want with the wood you were paid to take away. These materials can be severely damaged or contain pests, so inspect them thoroughly ahead of your purchase.
For the last way to reduce costs, look no further than local businesses. If you have a lumberyard in your area, go there and check out all the cheapest materials. They may even cut everything for you according to your shed plan and ship all the wood to your doorstep for free. This is truly the best and cheapest way to get quality wood. Now that you know how to afford it, let’s talk about setting your plans into motion!
For a whole lot of detail about legal restrictions, permits, and materials, check my post here. Otherwise, here are some commonly asked questions!
This depends on where you live. Make sure to check your federal, state, county, city, and (if applicable) HOA guidelines. If you live in the country, no one really cares what you build on your property. If you live in the suburbs, you’ll probably get reported by stupid neighbors even if you do everything right. So, look it up! It changes according to very specific locations, so I can’t even give you a general idea.
To avoid disputes, pick a place that is at least a yard within your property. Figure out how close to buildings or fences you can build it. Make sure you have a solid foundation. Treat your wood properly to avoid rot. Avoid building beneath power lines, and if you have no other choice, check how high your shed can be. Refer to my other article for everything else you need to know!
I supply several free plans down below with instructions on how to build them, but for complicated designs, you’ll need to look to paid stuff. You find the best wood shed plans in large collections like this one. They offer all the plans you need—from gambrel shed blueprints, lean to sheds, and even to small barns! They also include directions for furniture, if you want to keep your DIY instincts going after the build.
Bookstores and online retailers like Amazon sell smaller and specialized collections. Simply avoid the self-published stuff on Amazon, since you don’t know if they properly did their math in any of their designs. Stick to tried and true brands like Black & Decker, Creative Homeowner, and any publishing companies you’re familiar with and trust. My building instructions help with all types of shed plans, so keep reading to the end if you’re new to building.
If you’re interested in building your own shed, you can find hundreds of plans with this collection. If you just want something free, don’t despair. Lots of free shed building plans cover the basics and let you build your own shed without a lot of experience. You won’t find spectacular plans, but if you only need simple woodshed plans, these ones will work fine! The ones I picked out for the section below all look great, cover all the basics of what you would need them for, keep costs down, and are freely available for you to use!
Please keep safety in mind while building. I am not responsible if you are injured while making a shed. Remember to take as many precautions as possible when working with large machinery, sharp saws, and heavy materials. Deviating from a plan without understanding the mechanics of how that plan works can lead to structural instability—and, therefore, the potential for destruction and injury. I can’t emphasize enough that you need someone to spot you while you work and you need to take as many precautions as you can. You are the one responsible for your injuries, so look out for yourself! Each plan I link below has a similar section—that’s how important your health and safety is!
Do you want to find a safe and secure place to store your car that isn’t exposed to the street? This free 16’ x 22’ garage plan is from Rona.ca and does just the trick. It tells you all the materials you need and gives you full blueprints for the project. It takes about ten days to build. Due to the presence of a garage door, you’ll want to have previous building experience to make this look good. It also has a unique roof plan that adds a bit of extra work. It looks great, so I’m not complaining. Along with the garage door entrance, it includes a small side door and a window.
Along with the normal framing and roofing instructions, it helps you finish the exterior, install the garage door, throw in the windows and doors, and even apply the asphalt shingles. That’s pretty good for a free DIY garage shed plan! You can see the other images here.
This incredibly useful shed plan collection contains the following sizes: 10x16 shed, 8x10 shed, shed plans for 10x12, and even 10x20 shed plans. Since it contains over a dozen sizes, you can use the collection as a base to build stranger sizes, like 10x14 sheds and 8 x 15 sheds. Make sure you know what you are doing any time you make modifications to backyard shed plans.
The one I want to show you out of all of these is the typical outdoor shed plan they provide. The gable-style shed is very large and can even shelter people if you prep it according to code. Throw some carpet, a couch, and a TV in there and you have a simple man cave. It takes between one weekend and one week to build, depending on your experience level. If someone is helping you during the build, it will definitely be closer to one weekend. You can download the plan pdf here.
A lean-to shed serves as a storage shed that goes up against another building. It normally has shingles and matches the general appearance of the house. The backing doesn’t have to be fancy since no one sees it. This free lean-to shed plan is advantageous because of its low price and fast build time. The detailed instructions also help tremendously. The door takes up most of the main wall, although you can adjust the size as needed.
When placing a shed next to a building, take care to keep the bottom of the shed ventilated (just a raised foundation helps with airflow). The ground around the shed should also be raised, and the single roof slope needs to point away from the home. This is all to keep water from eroding the base of the main building. You can choose to make the lean-to shed a standalone building and use it for wood storage, although you’ll want to waterproof it a little more.
To maximize the amount of space your shed can hold, you want to pick a shed plan with a gambrel roof. Gambrel roofs are more complicated to construct, so make sure you have everything on the list of tools I put below. Instead of having one peak with two slopes like a gable shed, this one has three points that add just a bit of extra space. When you have particularly tall or large things to store, this makes a huge difference. You can also build in a loft at a later point to make full use of that space.
These shed plans give you the blueprints and materials for a 10x12 gambrel shed. Pay close attention to the instructions for the shed truss and rafters—if you mess up the angle too much, your shed will look strange at best and have some serious structural problems at worst. The last thing you need is for that giant roof to come crashing down on you! Despite its slightly increased difficulty, you don’t need that much experience to build one of these. Just follow the instructions to the letter and make sure your measurements are perfect.
These free shed plans come straight from the University of Iowa. They include up sizes going all the way up to a 40’ tilt-up concrete utility building. It includes both frame buildings and post-and-beam plans. The designs themselves are not to aesthetic, but they get the job done. After all, something this big needs to put purpose over appearance to justify its cost!
The barn shed plans are free because they benefit so many different types of people. You can use them as a stable, storage place for large machines, office, lumber or food storage, and even a meeting hall for a small town. Since these plans are so large, I would advise against altering the plans in any way. The margin for error becomes smaller the heavier your roof and materials get! These plans will also take more cash, more people, and more time to build…but it’s well worth it.
Besides building a large utility shed or barn, your best bet for building a large shed is to find colonial shed plans. The sample plans on this product page are more than enough to get you started. Of course, for the full details, you’ll want to purchase…but you don’t need to. You can follow my building section below here to fill in any gaps in your knowledge that their free plans leave behind. If you do get the collection, it contains many size and door options. If you're buying shed plans, I would go with this collection instead—you get more bang for your buck.
In general, colonial sheds look like little homes on the outside. With white trim, quaint windows, and desaturated exterior paint, they perfectly match that classic colonial fill. On the inside, you can make them look like any other shed. You can also go the extra mile and make it livable. It’s all up to you! This style of shed plan is especially attractive because of its natural lighting.
These plans are called an assortment of things. Whether you want to find free studio shed plans, free modern shed plans, or free office shed plans, you will generally find them in the same document. Since modern shed plans are, well, modern, you won’t find any classic designs for them. That’s why I’ve included this blog from design milk that talks about converting an old shed into an office shed. They tear down the old shed and replace the floorboards. If you scroll down to my next section, you’ll find out how to build the foundation. After you get that done, you can follow along with their blog.
The blog gives you an accurate representation of how much a shed costs and how to make it look nice and livable. The author cuts down on costs by staining the floor instead of covering it with carpeting. The interior looks even better than the exterior and nine small windows fill it with natural lighting. This is absolutely crucial if you want to get office work done in a positive environment! Read more here.
This free shed plan is made available by 101construct.com (it’s also not the only one featured on this page by this site, so you know they’re hot stuff). These 10 x 12 shed plans work great if you want a shed you can walk into and work in. You can convert it into a small man cave, playroom, workshop, storage shed, and even a garage if you attach a ramp and create a solid foundation. Build your foundation ahead of frame and anchor the floor frame on top. The rafters are the most complicated part of the build, but using my directions below, it will be a piece of cake to get all the cuts done.
This shed looks great and uses aesthetic side panels and a shingled or tiled roof. It doesn’t give very many details on finishing the exterior, so refer to my ‘Finishing Touches’ section for that. The double doors accommodate large machinery and furniture, so this is particularly useful if you plan on putting any of that in your shed. You can find the full shed plans here.
This small DIY storage shed contains all of your equipment. Machinery like your lawn mower still needs to go in the garage, but this helps you store your saws, rakes, weed whackers, shovels, and so on. The mini shed only takes one weekend to build and it has 2 x 8 floor dimensions. These storage building plans are made available by Black + Decker, and you can find all of the extra information on the storage building plans here. I go over in detail how to make sheds in the next section.
The shed is fairly light and you can even construct it in your garage and move it later if you want to. It’s not necessarily portable, but moving it once or twice won’t hurt. To create the shed, start by building the wall frames. Raise the walls and use bracing as you work on them. Fasten them together, make the roof rafters (which are fairly simple in this build), and then install the roofing quickly and easily. Attach the side panels, make that door, and bam! You have an incredibly affordable storage shed.
Your work is only as good as your tools. Make sure you have all of these essentials on hand before you begin building so you don’t run into a problem halfway through. On top of these important tools, check your shed plans to see if you need specialized tools. In example, some tools require an air compressor to run, but you won’t need pneumatic tools for every type of shed building operation.
Have your tools? Let’s keep building.
Now that we know all about shed storage, let’s focus on building the shed itself! Your shed plan gives you the details on what to cut and where, but this section will guide you through any holes in its information. It also helps those of you who want to design their own shed or can’t be bothered to follow directions that are set in stone!
The only part of building that requires serious planning is the stability. With enough nails, anything can be stable—but do try not to make your roof too heavy. Also, set aside at least a weekend to put up your shed (more if your shed is on the larger side). Grab a spotter from your friends or family to keep things safe for everyone involved. Now get out your tools and let’s begin!
Having trouble reading your plans? Does my building section below confuse you? I use all of these terms frequently, so if I say something confusing, check this list. As long as you learn these terms, then the instructions should be clear enough for even a complete idiot to build a shed! I also added in words that come up in shed plans often, even though I don’t use them here. If something seems unclear in your shed plan, use this architecture word guide to figure out what they mean!
You need to start your work with a solid foundation…literally. A building with no foundation floats away or rots any time it sprinkles outside. Even if you live in an incredibly dry area, an uneven building poses a huge structural risk. The last thing you need is for your storage shed to collapse as you’re building it. The cost of a foundation is included in any quotes of a shed, simply because it’s essential to construction. It’s also pretty easy to do, and you have your choice of two affordable types of foundations.
These are rules you need to follow no matter what sort of shed or foundation you are building. First, make sure your foundation is on top of raised ground. If your property is on a slope, that means building a foundation up out of the ground. For flat areas, bring in some soil and create an artificial hill that drains water away from the building. If your shed is next to another building, everything (including the roof) should slope away from the pre-existing building. Lean-to sheds are best for this.
On top of this, keep it above the typical water level during heavy rain. Even if your shed is three inches above the ground around it, it’s not going to save it if you built it in a dry creek bed! You need to keep your shed high and dry in order to prevent the foundation from rotting away. This applies to any kind of foundation you build. For windy areas, secure your foundation firmly to the ground. As with any other construction project, make sure your materials and the type of foundation match the classification of the building you are legally able to build (the slab foundation section mentions the reason for this).
For the cheaper option, you want to use concrete bricks to create a raised foundation. Combined with pressure treated skids, this offers a ton of airflow and prevents rotting wood at the base of your building. First, choose if you want to set your building on top of gravel to further found it and protect the soil underneath from eroding. Next, making sure all of the bricks are on level ground, line them all up. A taut string helps immensely for making sure everything is in order. Sometimes, you’ll want to stack more than one concrete block to prevent moving as you build. Never use hollow blocks for a foundation. If it’s all you can find for whatever reason, fill the insides with concrete to make them whole and secure.
For a more simple approach, use long 6 x 6” skids to create a level surface and an area to build on. This is the most temporary type of foundation possible, but it’s more than enough for a small shed. It also lets a small amount of air flow beneath the building to prevent rot and mold. Pier blocks are another great type of raised base, although it can be a hassle getting the wood lined up properly with them.
The more expensive option is a concrete slab. Use a simple frame to outline the area you want your base to be. Try to make the ground as level as possible before you put down the frames, but don’t worry too much about it if you plan on having a raised slab. The top of the frame does need to be level, so measure that part out for sure. Pour gravel into the frame and allow it to sit for a few days. Make sure none of the gravel pokes out over the edge. When the gravel seems settled and the ground is dry, pour concrete into your frame and level that off as well. Once it sets, remove the frame around the concrete and start on the next section!
While I call this the more expensive option, it’s still kind of cheap compared to other types of foundations! Some people recommend a pure gravel base for the foundation, but because this inhibits airflow and concentrates moisture, it’s generally a bad idea. The only disadvantage to the slab option (which is designed to weather the test of time) is that it changes the class of building in some places. It goes from a temporary building to a permanent structure, which means you might need to find an inspector or apply for a permit.
If you live somewhere it freezes, neither a slab foundation nor a raised foundation will work. The frost will destroy your foundation slowly but surely. Go ahead and dig post holes four feet apart from each other. Pour concrete into each hole, stopping at the frost line. Next, set your post in there and pour concrete up to the top of your hole. The post must be straight and plumb, so you’ll want a brace while the concrete sets.
Saw the posts at the height that you would like your floor. Take special care to make sure these are level and spaced evenly. Use four feet spacing if you’re building 12x16 shed plans, 8x12 shed plans, 8 x 16 shed plans, 8 x 12 shed plans, 12x24 shed plans, 12x20 shed plans, 16x4 shed plans…and you get the picture from there. Use 4 x 4” runners to finish off the foundation. You build your floor according to your shed plans on top of this.
Using 16d galvanized nails, connect the floor according to your shed plan. Always make sure that your joists are perfectly aligned with the length of your decking (IE, for a shed length divisible by four, place your joists perfectly centered at each 4’ mark). This makes it very easy to attach your decking! Once you finish laying your decking down, anchor it to your foundation. Proceed with floor sheathing and you have yourself a floor!
For people who went with a concrete slab and have no building restrictions in place, you only need to worry about attaching the walls to the foundation. You can leave the concrete as-is, cover it with carpet, or install hardwood tiles. It all depends on how often you plan on entering the shed and what purpose you’re using it for! Generally, a plain concrete floor works best for storage sheds and saves you money.
Once again, your shed plans are the best tool for creating a stable shed frame. Mark out where each opening is so that you don’t forget during construction and accidentally place studs there. Every room needs a door, and sheds that you plan on inhabiting or spending time in needs two doors…or at least a window. As you build, you may have to brace your walls as you go along. Use a double-layered wooden frame to top off load bearing walls and make your roof more secure.
Before you begin on that roof, though, you need to complete the walls! Even if you don’t plan on adding rooms, you might need to treat your walls according to laws of the area. This applies doubly so if you needed a permit to build your shed. For most buildings, you want to build your frame on the ground before raising it into position. This helps immensely with measurements and makes the building process safer. Place the wiring and ventilation system in the area now. Insulate the room with a fire-retardant material. Once that’s done, you can cover up the studs, wires, and fluff.
The shed roof is, by far, the most complicated part of the build. If you mess this up, you’ll run into quite a few big problems. Your roof and building could blow away. Your shed might start tilting from uneven weight. It might even collapse if you didn’t build your load-bearing walls correctly or didn’t measure the weight correctly! That’s why it’s especially important that you pay attention to what your shed plans say for this section of the build.
In general, you make one set of rafters that serves as a guide for the rest. This way, you only need to do all of your measuring and calculating once. By setting up two end rafters and running a string along them, you can ensure that all of your rafters are even. You build every rafter on the ground since it’s difficult to balance them while they’re vertical. Once you finish, put them all up at once and cap it with a ridge board. Secure each rafter as you go along to prevent catastrophe. Whenever you put the rafters down, take care not to lay them diagonally over non-load bearing walls—that could cause a collapse.
From there, use large wooden sheets to construct the roof. Caulk seals any holes you might have left. After that, cover it with waterproof paint. Some people choose to make a multi-layered roof—check to see if your shed plan is one of those types of buildings! Your tiles or shingles go on top of everything when you’re done. If you fail to waterproof your roof properly, you will get mold and rotten wood issues in your shed. Plus, any leak gets all your stuff wet.
Of course, if you want to go the cheap way, feel free to use flat metal sheets for the roof. Take extra care that both the roof and building are securely founded, since this type of roof allows a lot of air and water through. You don’t want a piece of metal blowing around in a windstorm. A crooked shed doesn’t look that great, either.
What you do on the inside of your shed is up to you, but for the outside, you need to use specific finishing touches to ensure the durability of your shed. First, if you didn’t do it as you installed your windows and doors, put caulk around any open places. Take special care when dealing with horizontal joints, where water tends to pool the most. They actually sell paintable caulk if you want it to look spectacular.
All of the outside wood should be coated with an exterior wood primer. After that, paint it with a finish or stain it as you please. The type of paint doesn’t really matter, although you should save the label of the can for repainting in the distant future. If you use oil paint and then change to latex paint later on, you’ll have to apply a primer on top of the oil paint so that other types of paint can stick.
Use whatever trim your shed plan calls for or improvise on your own. If you do improvise, try to keep things lightweight so that it won’t affect the integrity of your shed. Another thing to think about as you handle your exterior trim is the direction of the trim. Horizontal trim has a habit of building up water and mold over time, even with careful treatment. Use them in shaded areas or a little beneath the roof eaves. With all of that done, you have a wonderful shed to show off!
Now that you have your shed, do you need ideas for how to use it? Check out my storage shed post, man cave shed post, two story shed post, and the rest of my site for all kinds of ideas. I go over how to decorate inside and outside and how to make the space yours! If you’re having trouble picking a type of shed, you can also check out my in-depth article on shed architecture. You never know which one suits you most until you see it in front of your eyes!
Now that you know everything about building and materializing your dream shed, go ahead and browse the rest of the site to learn about all kinds of construction and design projects. I wrote this post to help you make your property your own. Nothing feels better than looking at something spectacular and knowing that you made it happen. With these shed plans, that’s all the easier.
No matter how you build your shed, decorate your home, or make your space your own, I want you to walk away with more knowledge and skills than you had before. Confidence is key, and determination is the deciding factor. Can you stick to your plan? Can you pull through like a real man? It’s all up to you! Happy building!
Interested in building a man cave in the backyard? Want to learn how to make that man cave the best in the neighborhood? You’re in the right place. A man cave shed provides everything you need to seclude yourself from the outside world. On top of that, you’re just a few seconds away from messing with your grill or doing your yard chores. The issue for most men is not the shed itself, but the knowledge of how to build a man cave shed. Let’s address that today and make sure we discuss every topic of building in depth.
You can visit my other shed posts for specifics, but I make sure to explain everything here in layman’s terms that you require for building a shed anywhere in the world. I also talk about all the different building options—from DIY builds, man cave shed kits, and contractors—to help you find the most suitable or affordable building method for your lifestyle. Let’s get started!
First, why would you want a man cave in a shed when your home has perfectly acceptable spaces for a man cave? Using a shed keeps your man cave separated from the home and makes the space much more exclusive. It lets you set up your sound system however you want and throw loud parties. Well, maybe not parties, but get-togethers around game time and during holidays. Special rules make more sense when your man cave rests in a completely different house from the building. Above all, it ensures that you have absolute domain over your man cave—no one can tell you they own a piece of it or dictate what you can and can’t decorate it with!
Building a man cave in the garden is surprisingly easy, as long as you have the space in the yard and the dedication to see it through. As I mentioned before, backyard man caves have all sorts of benefits, with the only con being that you have to walk out of your house to reach it. Well, plus the legal stuff. But more on that later. Think about what sort of man cave you want and what kind of plans that requires. How much space do you need? What kind of budget can you afford? What materials will set it apart and really mark it as the ultimate man cave? Once you know all of those, you can begin to set your plans in motion.
To begin your plans, determine whether you actually can build a man shed. No, that doesn’t refer to your building ability. The legality of sheds changes depending on your neighborhood, city, county, and even state. Federal building code also specifies what types of buildings there are and what standards they need to meet, all based on your land's zone. Go from the smallest level (your neighborhood) up to the federal level. The smaller the organization, the more strict and relevant their rules are.
The most annoying restriction comes from Home Owners’ Associations. Oftentimes, they don’t want your shed visible from the street. How are you supposed to build a true man cave shed when it needs to be so small that it hides behind your fence? Plants some trees and hedges if you need to, because that shed is happening.
Foundations also form a critical part of building code. If you intend to spend a lot of time in the man cave (which, of course you will!), then you need to keep it both sturdy, above the water table, and on high ground. Ventilation, plumbing, and electrical wiring also play into what type of building you’re building. Different building types have different rules, so if your typical ‘shed’ won’t cut it, check out other plans and see what’s permitted.
Of course, if you live out in the country, restrictions are far less important. You could probably build a roller coaster out there and no one would care. Double check anyways, but don’t be too concerned about things. I’m not a lawyer, but I don’t think a sheriff will care if you build something on your own property where no one will ever see it!
You can find shed plans in a multitude of places. The first and most obvious place is the internet. This collection is my personal favorite thanks to the sheer amount of plans it contains, but you can also find individual plans on Amazon and specialty sites. Bookstores occasionally carry them, though those collections tend to focus on furniture and woodworking, rather than large constructions. Home improvement stores also sell individual plans if you already know what you want, if you’re alright with some sparse instructions. In any case, I guide you through building a man cave shed right here!
Once you locate some shed plans, you decide what type of shed you want to build. There are dozens of shed types and hundreds of plans, so I narrow down the list to a mere 24 types. Each one presents some pros and cons, so think back to the man cave you imagined and apply it to each one. Which one allows for all your plans? After that, make a list and take cost, materials, and building time into account. You end up with the perfect man cave shed plan!
These designs present more complications and require more effort than your typical shed plan, but they make up for it with their utility. Use the bottom floor as a typical storage shed and the top floor as your perfect man cave. Alternatively, use the bottom as your workshop, or an extension of your man cave! Two story sheds maximize the use you get out of your limited yard space, so if your yard barely fits a man cave shed, consider making it two stories.
Concerned that you will need the shed for other purposes? Planning on selling the house and using this shed to increase its value? A general purpose storage shed helps you with that, and as long as it’s large enough, it works for small man caves. Architects and designers also include all-purpose shed plans in their design collections frequently, while the others on this list usually come from large collections like this one. However, be aware—depending on your wife’s temperament, you may have to coexist with the lawn mower, rake, weed chopper, and everything else you use in the yard. Avoid calling it a storage shed around anyone to prevent this problem from occurring.
Why did I put barn on the list? Well, I’m glad you asked! Barns are just oversized sheds, so don’t shy away from using a barn for your man cave. Barn plans usually cost very little, take a small amount of time to construct, and maximize the amount of interior space. Both large and small barn plans work well for man caves, though for backyard man caves, stick with the smaller version. Your neighbors may not appreciate a giant barn if you live in the suburbs!
These classic sheds can highlight a lot of man cave themes and appear more like a house than something you built in a day. It adds to the professionalism of your work and improves others’ perception of your man cave. Also, it feels nice to walk into something that serves as a second home when it also looks the part on the outside! These sheds use wooden side panels, tiled roofs, and your typical roof. At least one window and a proper door seal the deal. People usually use light blues, yellows, and whites for the exterior. Feel free to mix it up based on your personality, though!
Do you have a very tiny space to make your man cave happen? Are two story sheds out of the question? Look into building compact sheds. A lot of sites (especially Asian design-themed blogs) help you utilize the tiny amount of space a compact shed gives you. Moving walls, hidden furniture, pull-down counters…the possibilities are endless. Use patio chairs on the outside to artificially enlarge the space of your domain. Windows and plants also make small spaces work.
Similar to a colonial sheds, these sheds sit at the perfect spot between ‘home’ and ‘storage shed.’ Cottage shed plans give you windows, a proper roof, a minimal foundation, and a cheap way to create a shed. You can choose between many different door styles—from the double door, half door, or a typical vertical building door. Combine it with a rocky exterior to make it look like it popped out of medieval times (in a good way).
A gable shed plan simply modifies the typical roof plan so that the roof hangs over the walls, rather than stopping abruptly. Gable roofs take a little more craftsmanship and precision to make than your typical shed, but it looks a million times better than a flat roof or a roughly constructed plywood covering. Of course, you can still choose between lots of materials from the roof—but expect to be using wood for the majority of your gable shed.
Like the term ‘gable,’ the word ‘gambrel’ refers to the roof style of a shed. Typically, this style of roof is reserved for double-door sheds, barns, farmhouses, and rather fancy storage sheds. I prefer the look over gable sheds, but it does take a little more construction know-how. A gambrel shed has not just one ‘peak’—but three! It looks like the top of an octagon placed right over the shed. This maximizes the vertical space in your shed while keeping costs down.
Sometimes, you don’t need a complicated or expensive setup to create a man cave. If you’re a man of simple values, and you find entertainment in traditional activities like reading, writing, or drawing, then feel free to create a garden shed. Use a glass roof to keep the plants in top shape. You can create a tarp or covering that unfurls during rain storms to use over the frame. Otherwise, keep that frame nice and empty on the outside! No need for walls on every side of the shed.
Construct it with a large table and cabinet for storing and using your goods. If you need a professional work place, make the table adjustable. The huge benefit of garden sheds is that you only need to secure your tools—and even then, they aren’t expensive enough to worry about a break-in!
Do you have animals? A lot of animals? Build a little hutch shed next to your man cave—or even attached to your man cave shed. This helps you keep in touch with the animals, gives them a climate-controlled space, and lets you work without constantly worrying about whether a coyote is around or not.
I talk in more detail about lean-to sheds here, with full explanations on how to build one. To sum it up, lean-to sheds only have half of a building to their name. The shed is meant to ‘lean’ next to another building, which means you don’t need to worry about draining on two sides of the roof or making the back wall pretty. It certainly cuts down on costs. Simply make sure your foundation works well—if you mess up, you risk damaging the building it’s attached to. If you like the way it looks, you can go ahead and build it as a stand-alone design. In that situation, treat the back wall as you would any other exterior wall.
Ah, the wonderful mini-barn! These work exactly like sheds…mostly because they are sheds with different colors and cheaper materials. Over the hundreds of years farmers and ranchers have spent perfecting the barn, they definitely came up with ways to save money and cut down on materials. By looking for a mini-barn plan specifically—instead of a general shed plan—you might be able to use that ancient thriftiness to your advantage. However, don’t expect them to look pretty on the inside without some extra work on your end!
So you want a man cave shed for use by the whole neighborhood? It certainly helps you party when you can fit a billion people in one spot. A lean-to shed or gambrel shed plan fit the bill, but don’t be afraid to try a mix of the two. Take special care when painting the outside, since a lot of people will be looking at it over the years. For social man caves like this one, ensure you have ample space for seating in your shed before you start construction.
For all intents and purposes, this type of shed serves as a direct upgrade from a gazebo. If you already own a solid gazebo, feel free to throw in some walls and strengthen that roof. That’s a cheap—if insecure—way to prepare your backyard for a man cave. With eight sides and lots of windows, the octagonal shed offers the best view of your yard. I highly recommend it if you live somewhere scenic, such as the rustic countryside or the depths of a mountain valley. It also works great for keeping an eye on kids in the backyard without directly interfering with them.
What better way to build a rustic man cave than to throw it inside an old west shed? These sheds combine a lean-to design with a simple patio to create a small social area. A sign overhead tells everyone who sees it that the man cave belongs to you and serves as a sanctuary to all men out there! You add to the aesthetic by using rough wood and treating it without painting it. Naturally, that saves you a few hundred dollars, and it looks great on the outside! Throw in some wagon wheels on the side for that extra visual effect.
A pallet shed drastically reduces your costs. In fact, you might find a lot of the materials for free! Many shed plan collections contain a few tips on building pallet sheds, although the variable size of your material will limit what plans you can use. I recommend purchasing new wood to use for the frame of your shed—that way it can accommodate a real roof and house your man cave stuff properly. With a proper foundation and excellent sanding and treatment of the wood, these sheds have the potential to look professional, modern, and unique!
A simple potting shed has slanted windows that allow sunlight to enter the shed. This is designed with plants in mind, but feel free to utilize this for a bright man shed with a scenic view! These work especially well in the countryside, where your view is sure to be spectacular. You may want to combine this with other shed plans to expand the area—these types of sheds tend to take up very little space, and you’ll need lots of that for your man cave!
This quaint shed stands as a testament to classic times, and its unique design might match any teachers who want to make the perfect man cave. A bell at the top of the building also provides a unique prop—good for calling the kids, celebrating a football victory, or just annoying your wife. Of course, if you don’t plan on going with a teaching theme, avoid associating it with a schoolhouse and don’t paint it white. That’s only because, in this day and age, people assume way too much about our minds and habits.
Church sheds use the same plans with tiny differences, so pick one of those if you want to make your shed look different than a schoolhouse without dropping its utility.
In nature, a cave has a natural opening leading to the caverns inside. Sitting in the entrance of the cave is still sitting in the cave. Likewise, a patio serves as an entrance to your cave and an extension of all your stuff. Create a neat outdoor dining area, a bar that connects to the main man cave, or even a workshop to keep dust and dirt away from your furniture! The patio also helps you enjoy the outdoors when it starts to rain. They’re also relatively cheap to install and compatible with all types of single-story shed plans. Patios certainly make your man cave feel more like a mantuary!
What the heck is this doing on a man cave shed list? Well, let me explain myself. She-sheds are phenomena that have popped up among ladies. If your wife hears about your man cave shed, she’ll naturally want a she-shed of her own! She-sheds tend to be smaller than the average shed, with lots of lighting, plants lining the windows, and a garden on the exterior. On the inside, furniture is sparse and minimal to make the shed look bigger and cleaner than it really is. A she-shed might be a bargaining chip for making your man cave shed happen, so keep that in mind next time you talk to your wife about your project.
These sheds comprise of a brick foundation, four walls, and a simple roof. Some people forgo the door or the fourth wall entirely. These sheds work well if you have to work on a low budget, plus you construct them quickly. They easily go up over the course of a day. If you skip the door or wall, you’ll obviously have to deal with wildlife and possible intruders going into your shed. For that reason, I highly recommend a door with a proper lock (or padlock) to keep your man cave stuff safe.
So you only need a small space for some peace and quiet? Or maybe you just want somewhere to store your stuff when it overflows from your man cave? A small shed meets those needs, takes very little time and materials to make, and you can easily find shed plans for one. These sheds tend to be too cramped for a man cave, but if you want to make it work, it’s certainly possible.
Use small furniture—chairs, rather than couches—and install windows where you can. If you spend a lot of time in there, large windows make it feel less cramped and more connected to the outside world. You won’t fit a big screen in there, but maybe a small TV with a radio will make the room feel lively. These sheds really work best for writers, readers, and artists, since they don’t need much space to do their thing.
Want something to really brag about? Tudor-style sheds look spectacular and might even look more appealing than your actual house! These sheds utilize beautiful wood frames on the exterior to highlight the structure of the shed. The stark difference between your base walls and the exterior frame make the Tudor-style sheds stand out in any environment. Although these sheds can take many forms, you can’t exactly modify an existing plan. The walls slope outwards towards the top, so you need to adhere to special rules if you want your roof to stick to the top of the building.
You’ll find most shed plans filed under this all-encompassing category. After all, what kind of shed doesn’t go in a yard? The one difference is that these plans tend to cover all your bases. They include ramps to make it a garage, nice doors, windows, and a variety of roof types. Some even include ventilation. If you’re having difficulty finding the above types of shed plans, seek out yard shed plans and see what you can find!
As you learn how to build a shed, pay attention to the basics along the way. These basics can be applied to any kind of building. If you go on to build your dream home, this knowledge comes in handy. Generally, you start building your man cave from the bottom up. You start with your foundation—usually choosing between a cement foundation or a brick foundation. The brick foundation is cheaper, but the cement foundation keeps pests out and serves as a long-lasting and solid foundation.
After that, you construct the frame. Put up your back wall (bracing it if necessary), then follow up with two side walls. The last wall should contain your door. Build the rafters on the ground and then lift them to the top individually. Depending on the type of roof, you may need to use different cuts and angles for your rafters. Slap on some plywood, side panels, and shingles, and you have yourself a finished shed.
Obviously, these are very basic instructions for learning how to build a man cave shed. That’s because I go into far more detail here. Check it out if you want to learn the specifics of building a man cave shed!
To save on cash, take to the streets! People occasionally sell lumber in yard sales—the leftovers of a poorly planned building project. Local lumber yards will charge very little compared to big box stores. Big box stores and even furniture stores will also offer materials with small nicks and defects for slashed prices. The classifieds in your local newspaper can offer you even more opportunities to find cheap materials. Of course, asking any sort of store if they have old palettes to sell helps you bring a palette shed plan to life.
If that doesn’t work, check out the internet. Some people request wood disposal, which gets you free logs that you can take to a lumber yard to cut or simply cut yourself. Craigslist often offers logs and planks in exchange for all sorts of things. You can certainly barter with people from the net! Many people go to Craigslist just to collect random things, so you never know what piece of junk you have laying around would catch someone’s fancy and save you a lot of money.
Lastly—and most importantly—learn how to do this yourself. You’re on this page, so I assume that’s what you’re here to find out, but it’s worth saying again. For more detailed information on how to build a man cave shed on a budget, check here.
Perhaps building is a bit too much for you. It takes a lot of time to build a man cave shed, and working men don’t have a lot of the former. However, before you run out and grab a contractor, keep in mind that you still have options. Specifically, man cave shed kits. You can find all sorts of shed kits online, with prices ranging from $500 for small sheds all the way up into the thousands for some pretty amazing designs. A few places even sell them pre-made—although those sheds won’t be quite as big.
Another way to acquire a ‘kit’ of sorts is to go to your local lumber yard. Some (not all) will look at your shed plan and provide you with all the materials needed. They cut everything for you and save a lot of time that you would have spent shopping. This sort of ‘kit’ shaves off enough time that you could get all the building done in a day. Even doing this and grabbing contractors afterwards will still save you money over contractors that provide all of your materials. I go into much more detail in the full man cave shed kit post I made.
Once you have that man cave built, you need some ideas for what to put in it! Let’s go through the basics of how to accommodate your man cave in different types of sheds. For a full run-down on man cave ideas, I have a bunch of articles on the topic that should spark some inspiration in you. For now, let’s focus on working with sheds!
In small sheds, you need small furniture! Stick with minimal furniture and narrow down the types of furniture you want. In example, coffee tables are great and all, but a recliner takes up far less space. Several chairs take up less space than couches and bean bags or hammocks can simply be removed from the area to free up a ton of space. Maximize the amount of vertical space you use by purchasing man cave posters and signs, rather than hanging flags or 3D props. Instead of a huge, curved, 4K screen, find a smaller flat screen with the highest resolution on the market. I promise that they still look spectacular.
Give your walls a lot of space and keep the windows clear of obstruction. Multiple textures for the wall gives the room layers and adds to the illusion that your man cave has more space than it really does. Natural light keeps things from looking cramped and certainly gets rid of any claustrophobia a small shed would give you.
For larger sheds, stick to normal man cave conventions. You still want your windows clear to help with ventilation in the shed, but you can fit things as usual. I wrote a huge list of suggestions for decorating your man cave here.
First and foremost, go ahead and brag about your knowledge. Knowing how to build a man cave shed helps in all sorts of building areas of your life. Simply be careful about speaking of your project. There’s a phenomena wherein you gain satisfaction just from talking about a deed, rather than doing it. Don’t let yourself sink to that low. Make time for your man cave, find your building plans, set aside space in the yard, gather materials, and start building! The building time goes by quickly compared to the years that you will spend enjoying the man cave shed. Get started, have fun, and make something to be proud of!
After reading all the posts on this site about making sheds into man caves, it’s high time that you tried building one of your own! If you have enough property to accommodate a shed, start setting plans into motion to make that shed a reality. Take a seat and prepare to learn everything you ever needed to know about how to build a shed! Whether you use this shed as a storage area, a place to banish your kids to, or as home for the greatest man cave on the planet, this post is for you!
We start with the assumption that you’re building from scratch, but I also talk about alternative options (shed kits, premade sheds, building contractors, and so on) towards the end, so hang in there for some good info. For now, let’s walk through the basics, how to get started from scratch, how to do everything the legal way, how to find shed plans…and, really, let’s just cut to the chase. Time to get started!
Budgeting and planning are absolutely critical for the creation of a shed. Too often, I see people grab materials that are the wrong size, shape, or type of wood and end up wasting money that way. Along with that, many people grab all the materials, but find themselves with no time to go through with the building. Constructing only part of a shed, only to run out of funds on the way…really, there are a lot of things that can go wrong with a lack of planning. Try to keep things as organized as possible.
When you plan your shed, think of these basic things first. Do you have enough space for it? Will it be a man cave, a storage place, a playroom, or something else? Which materials would you like to use? Do you want to build it yourself? Can you afford it? What will you use it for? Each one of these questions can make or break your plans. Furthermore, knowing the answers to these questions helps solidify the idea of your shed. The first step to how to build a shed is finding that powerful motivation. With it, you can do anything!
To build your shed from scratch, you need to follow a bunch of rules. First, make sure it’s legal for you to build a shed. Second, grab your shed plan and follow all the guidelines for it. Get it approved if necessary and gather your materials and tools. You’re going to need quite a bit of cash, but $2000 is the upper limit of a completely DIY shed.
Take your time on the foundation, get your amenities in order as you build the walls, and top it all off with the roof. Of course, before doing everything, think about what you consider a DIY shed. Would a shed kit work better for your time schedule? Do you want to just plan everything and have contractors build it? Either way, a custom shed that you decided on feels much better than buying a pre-made one.
‘Wait a second,’ you might say. ‘You skipped all of the information I needed!’ Don’t worry, these are just the basics to get you started. A sort of pre-building checklist. Let’s get into the details of every aspect of how to build a shed now!
It sounds silly, but a lot of cities and neighborhoods prohibit certain types of sheds. They may not want small sheds, or they might prohibit large sheds, or they might outright ban sheds as seen from the street…the list goes on. City building codes also dictate what sort of insulation, foundation, weatherproofing, and so on that your shed requires, if any. If you live in the country, these rules are less stringent, but you should check anyways.
The easiest way to get your shed approved is to submit a plan to the city’s Development Review (or its equivalent). There are lots of shed plans out there designed specifically to meet city and neighborhood guidelines. As a rule, make sure you have solid ground that sits raised above the water table. You may have to build a complex foundation to make that happen, but it keeps your shed from drifting away in a few inches of water, and it’s required in roughly 99% of cities anyways. I go into more detail on city restrictions here.
Rarely, home improvement stores and bookstores will sell booklets that contain some basic shed plans. If you want a large shed plan that accommodates a man cave or some serious storage, you’ll want to look for better designs in actual collections. I find it much easier to grab them online via books or collections like this one, since they are readily available for printing and allow you to quickly search for specific designs. They even contain two story shed designs!
They also have way more project variety for any other woodworking projects you might be interested in. If you have all the tools to build a shed, then you also have all the tools to build tables, chairs, couches, and any sort of thing you want to put inside the shed! It’s quite easy to turn this around and make a profit off the space you are using in the shed, should you choose to go the workshop route.
You can always go to a chain home improvement store to grab all the wood, tools, nails, cement, rocks, and materials you need. However, that ends up costing you way more money than it needs to, and even gives you materials of lesser quality. I highly recommend getting the basics and tools at your typical store and then taking a trip to your local lumber yard! These dudes will sometimes cut the wood for you, allowing you to bring them a shed plan as if it was a checklist and purchase the exact materials you need.
Shopping local is, by far, the most effective way of grabbing your materials. Similar to how you picked up the wood, you would be surprised at how much cheaper local rocks and gravel are. It makes a lot of sense since the shipping cost is completely cut out, but a lot of people never think to look! Of course, you can also get your materials as shed kits, which I discuss in more detail below. For more information about finding the right price, check out my post on the cost to build a shed.
If you want to build a wooden base (which costs a little less than cement), grab some cinder blocks and level your location. Use stones or pebbles to prevent erosion beneath your shed. Your cinder blocks should go at most 59 inches apart. Use your materials to see if the cinder blocks are really level before you build the frame on top. Build the mudsills, add your supports. Make sure to use 8d galvanized nails (or better) to hold everything together safely. The more nails, the better. Follow your shed plans to learn the max distance between nails.
To create a cement base, measure out your area and build a simple wooden frame. When your ground level feels dry and measures level, pour in some rocks. After the rocks settle in place, mix your concrete in and flatten it. You remove the wooden base after the concrete sets. For a large cement base, consider hiring a contractor. They will ensure everything is even and made properly. If you live in an especially rainy area—or an area with lots of mining—a professional foundation makes a big difference.
For wooden frames, cover your base frame (the supports) with plywood. The plywood serves as the base for your floor, simple as it is. You want something sturdy, but if you built your bottom joists correctly, then cheap materials also do the job. For cement foundations, there’s no need to add extra plywood. You may choose to leave the cement floor bare, add in carpet, add in tiles, or even fill it with resin.
Think about the final stage of your man cave shed and its purpose and simply follow through! The nice part about flooring is that you can always change it up later. Don’t sweat it if you can’t think of anything and skip the floor building entirely if you just want your shed done quickly!
If you can build a floor, you can build the walls without any help! Before you start on the roof, construct every partition or division in the shed that you desire. It’s difficult to add walls in after you place the roof. Plus, the walls give extra support to the roof and allow it to weather more years in the long run (not that you will live long enough to see it crumble, but hey, it doesn’t hurt). Make sure the walls are level and completely attached to the foundation (no floating 2x4s allowed)! Once you finish all of that, you move onto the roof.
Simply follow your shed plan to get all of that done without stress. For the roof itself, you want to construct the trusses of both halves on the ground. They should be at exactly a 45̊ angle from each other. Put up your triangular framework to hold the roof and then nail the plywood boards on up there. Make sure you follow regulations when you put your shingles or tiles up, or a windy day could blow them and your hard work away! Once you build the framework, apply all your cosmetic bits, treat the exterior, and marvel at a job well done.
Well, you have your shed in place. Now it’s time to put it to work! Depending on the purpose of your shed, use the following guidelines to refine your build and purpose the place. You can generally change your mind later—although specialized types of walls will need to be stripped, and that could cost a little bit. Anyways, let’s talk about some common options!
With storage sheds, you don’t need too much fine-tuning. It’s fine to leave the floor and walls basic, since they’re not for looks or anything. Keep your layout as open as possible if you decide to have any walls at all! Make sure your doors can be padlocked shut. Windows in a storage shed are optional, but I recommend throwing one or two small ones for safety reasons.
Similarly to storage sheds, a workshop barely needs any extra stuff. You want to make it easy to care for, so little things like access to the hose, a small closet for yard tools, and a specialized wall to hold your work tools all increase your quality of life. Cement foundations are obviously superior in this situation, and covering it with any sort of plywood or carpeting may even be detrimental to your cause.
For a man cave shed, you can get quite creative with things! You should have large and accessible windows in the shed, even if you plan on covering them up, to keep the air flow nice in the shed and prevent fire hazards. Without some sort of air circulation, a shed becomes an oven in the summer. Make sure every opening in the shed has a strong lock, since you’re putting some precious stuff into that man cave! Use weather sealing and insulation to keep the man cave shed from getting humid, moldy, and infested with bugs. What you do with the floors, walls, and ceiling is all up to your own preference!
Although sheds are rarely subject to the same class of building codes as habitable buildings, I still want to recommend that you look into and adhere to as many of those codes as possible when building a play shed. Why? Well, kids know exactly how to find the worst outcome imaginable in all scenarios of mischief. It’s only a matter of time before you all learn why certain codes were put in place in the first place! Better safe than sorry, right?
The floors and walls should be passable—you don’t want them complaining about splinters from plywood or something. I’m not asking you to put plastic on all the corners because your kid can’t tell where a wall starts and ends. I’m just asking you to make sure they can safely wreck the place. That’s what kids are made for, and it’s what your play shed should be able to handle.
By using shed kits, you can greatly cut down on the amount of time it takes to build your shed! Some shed kits include plans and materials, allowing you to build everything from scratch with an instruction manual. More typical shed kits come with prebuilt sections of the walls, roof, and foundation. Once you receive the kit, you simply nail everything together! Make sure to check over the materials before you build to make sure the wood, plastic, or metal remained in the correct shape during shipping. Also inspect your building afterwards to catch any small things (like missing shingles or slightly wrong sizes) and repair them appropriately.
For the ultimate easy setup, find a place that offers contractors along with the shed kit. This costs a little more than a pre-built shed. Oh, and speaking of pre-built sheds, those exist. Companies can ship a whole shed to you down the highway and straight to your door. It looks hilarious if you ever catch one on its journey home! If you read this article and don’t feel like dealing with the hassle of building a shed, or don’t think you have the time to do so, then consider that as an option.
Using online services to find contractors can be pretty risky. For one, plenty of sites will promote good reviews or stifle them, all depending on a fee that the business has to pay! On top of that, it’s difficult to tell whether the reviews are real in this day and age. Companies might review their own products to help boost sales or discredit genuine reviews. However, if you’ve never heard of a good contractor from a friend, the internet and yellow pages are all you have.
So, how do you tell the good from the bad using the internet? First, look at the spelling and grammar of reviews. Fake reviews will always give four or five stars and use the same writing style. They may also be paid reviewers who don’t speak English very well, so watch for broken English and such. Use three star reviews to learn the pros and cons and compare them to other companies’ three star reviews. Decide the best one from there!
Along with hiring a contractor to do your foundation building, plumbing, wiring, roofing, and so on, you will also want to grab an inspector. Once again, these inspectors save you money in the long run by identifying potential problems with any contractor work. They can also tell you about the legal issues of any building with far more poise than I can. Finding a qualified one isn’t as hard as finding a qualified contractor, either. Their job is only to report what they know!
After reading this article you now know how to build a shed—and how easy it is! As long as you do all of the proper preparation, planning, budgeting, and time managing, then your shed becomes a reality in no time. You can convert it into a man cave or play shed…or just leave it as a storage shed for all the stuff that can’t fit in the mantuary. Above all, this shed helps you utilize the space that you already own, improving your property value and your quality of life at the same time. Only you know the true potential that a shed offers, so go out there and realize it with some hard work and dedication!
Building a man cave on a budget doesn’t work when you have limited space—and that’s why many people have turned to backyard man caves. Wood shed man caves allow you to fine-tune your space down to the smallest detail. You choose what sort of floor, wall, and ceiling you want. You can build your entertainment system right into the walls. With a little ingenuity, you can even make the cave open out into the backyard so it feels like an outside bar…with all the essentials of a man cave! Wood sheds provide an empty template with which you can create any man cave you can dream of.
So, interested in man caves made out of wood sheds? Do you already have a shed you want to convert, or are you planning on building your own? Either way, I put a bunch of advice for you in this post that helps you with everything you need for building your custom man cave. Finding the best wood, picking the best decor, looking for plans, finding pre-made kits, and converting old sheds into something livable are all necessary knowledge for a man looking to build a wood shed man cave! Now, let’s start from the beginning and make your dream a reality!
If you already have a shed or want to find a pre-made kit, skip the next two sections. If not, let’s get you started on your journey. Building things with your own two hands feels great, anyways. Woodshed plans help you measure out all the needed materials, save money in the long run, plan for utilities, and help you with legal matters in the future. If you are an architect, go wild—after all, a shed is pretty easy to build. Why not add more stuff to it?
If you have never built anything before, I highly recommend you look into wood storage shed plans or simple wooden shed plans. By referencing pre-existing plans, you can come up with your own designs. It’s important to know how much weight each portion of your floor can support as well as how much you can tack on to the ceiling without losing structural integrity. This is especially true of something you plan on converting into a man cave! If you’re not confident in your mathematical prowess (and hey, it happens), don’t feel bad for using a pre-designed shed with no alterations. It keeps things simple, safe, and speeds up construction.
If the concept of going off a plan intimidates you, don’t start building from scratch. That’s just a recipe for disaster. Look into prebuilt sheds, shed kits, and contractors instead. I provide information for all of that in a bit.
Now that you have your plans, you want to grab your materials. There are many different grades of wood, and you want to go for the first and second grades. These pieces of wood contain very few—if any—defects. The wood needs to be level with no twists or warps in the shape. There are several different types of board sawing styles you can consider. Rough-sawn is cheap and durable, while plain-sawn, rift-sawn, and quarter-sawn boards have progressively higher stability…and price. Whatever you choose, find it at a local lumber yard—it’s cheaper than the big stores and helps support local business.
Check the weather ahead of time before you begin building. Sheds take multiple days to build, unless you’re working as a highly efficient team! You don’t want it to start pouring as you put your foundation in place. Most shed plans come included with the tools and materials needed, but some architects and designers go the extra mile and include instructions on how to build with their plans. If this is your first time building, learn the basics of building from those plans and utilize that knowledge to make your own shed.
For making a man cave shed, I highly recommend a large and tall shed structure. See the largest allowed in your area and size one out a few feet below that. This allows you to create a huge man cave and even build in some awesome features as you go along. If you pick a plan with a lot of windows, invest in some black out curtains.
To estimate the costs of your wood shed, check out my dedicated post on the matter.
If building things from scratch isn’t your talent, but you still want to keep things cheap and avoid contractors, then wooden shed kits are the thing for you. You can find shed kits for sale in most large home and garden stores. It will be pricier to buy these premade sheds…unless your time is money. The prices range from $1,000 to $6,000, all depending on the size and style of the shed you want. For small sheds, some companies will deliver it pre-constructed to your doorstep. Well, driveway, anyways. They help you situate it in the backyard.
For larger sheds, they arrive as a pile of materials. You can have whatever company you buy from construct it for you, or you can follow the simple directions to assemble it. I promise it’s easier than reading IKEA hieroglyphics. The difference between gathering materials yourself and purchasing a shed kit is that the shed kit comes with some pieces preassembled. With the best companies, you only need to attach the walls and roof together. Shed kits do not usually include foundational supplies, so make sure to consider that while you price out your options.
Some companies out there specialize in selling man cave shed kits. They construct the shed and plan out your cave for you. However, given their expense and rarity, it’s much easier and more efficient to do the decor stuff yourself and get a ‘cheaper’ kit.
If you absolutely must hire a contractor, you have two options: go to a large brand name, or go to a local and reputable company. By going with a brand name, you protect yourself from shoddy workmanship (the brand name can’t exactly go under the radar when you contact them). A local and reputable company is obviously better, but do some serious research into them, because horrible contractors are out there in droves.
Do you already have a pre-built shed on your property? Excellent! Let’s learn how to make a shed livable, and then how to upgrade that livable space into a man cave! A shed man cave conversion takes a similar amount of effort as a shed bedroom conversion, but you get to prioritize different things. With a bedroom, you are required to follow certain laws to ensure it is safe for living. With a man cave, you can stick to the minimum amount of effort—mostly making sure the building has structural integrity—and then your effort focuses on optional quality of life changes. I made a huge post on how to convert sheds into man caves.
The first thing you’ll want to decide is what to do with the ceiling. I prefer to leave the shed supports exposed or build a partial loft (more info on two story sheds here). It makes the man cave feel much larger and, well, cave-like. It also makes it easy to mount things up high on the wall when you can easily wrap wires around the support beams. Think about how you will set up your surround sound or hang up your flags before you cover up that stuff! After that, think about how you will ventilate the area. Sheds work a little bit like big ovens—it’s tolerable in the winter without heating, but in the summer…well, you will need to get that air flowing somehow. Windows do the job well, but planning for an AC works even better.
Lastly, let’s talk about floors. Some people might like the dirt floors of storage sheds, but if I’m putting a fancy TV and furniture in there, I want it to have an actual floor. Level the floor out and use large sheets of plywood to get a sturdy surface. For bonus points, apply sealant so that water won’t seep in from the floor (a pretty common issues). Once that mini “foundation” is in place, you can put down tile, carpet, or wood flooring to make your man cave really shape up. Get some contractors to throw in whatever utilities you may need, and voila, your shed is ready to be made into the perfect man cave!
So, how do you use your shed, now that it’s ready to throw in stuff? I talk all about this in other articles (like this one), but here are the basics to get you started. Put your large furniture in first—the fridge, any counter tops, and then your seating and tables. Think about where your TV will go as you set things up and place things accordingly, or you’ll regret it later. For decor, find some awesome posters or pieces of art that fit your man cave theme.
And you did pick a theme, didn’t you? All man caves need a central theme that tie it (and you) together. You can pick Star Wars, your favorite football team, Final Fantasy, minimalism, and even the color green. It really doesn’t matter, as long as you love it and can show it off to anybody. Throw in some signage to denote this as a man cave, rather than a study or a living room. Remember that everything should be casual and doesn’t need to follow the ‘etiquette’ that an actual home would. Your wood shed man cave is a place to relax, not a place for rules!
Living in a shed on your own land sounds like a dream for fans of minimalism and the simple life. However, if you want to build a man cave shed and then rent it out, there are a few things you should know. First, a shed is a class 10a building, but in order to rent, you need a Class 1 building. The difference is that Class 1 buildings need insulation, hot water, cross ventilation (for fire safety and airflow), a septic waste and water disposal system, and a few other things. There are a few pre-built sheds that include the basics for these utilities. I recommend also including electricity, since that is becoming more and more necessary in modern times and many counties require it.
Speaking of counties, regardless of whether you want your man cave livable or not, you will have to look at state, county, city, and neighborhood regulations regarding backyard sheds if you live in a thriving community. If you have already had a shed for years, I wouldn’t worry about it, but building a new one while ignoring building codes is just asking for trouble.
Yep, there's still more! This is all common legal stuff you will run into--but even if you don't, try to follow these guidelines.
Once you have all of the legal stuff out of the way, feel free to build your own wood shed and convert it into the best man cave you’ve ever seen!
Despite all these hoops you have to jump through, man cave sheds really pay off in the end. Separated from the rest of the house, they truly feel like a sanctuary (or mantuary) that you can relax in whenever you need to. Of course you’ll have to go back to reality eventually, but for now, kick back, relax, and enjoy your hard work! It can take weeks—or even months—to create the perfect man cave shed, so when you pull it off, make sure to relish it. Nothing feels better than enjoying the fruits of your own labor, after all!
When you think about building your own man cave, you might forget about the possibility of a two story shed! Two stories maximize the amount of square feet you squeeze into your shed, which is especially useful when yard space is limited. With what’s essentially double the space, you can greatly increase the amount of things you cram into your cave. Plus, there are a few things only possible with a two story man cave! Today, let’s talk all about two story sheds and how to make the most of them as a man cave. Make sure to check out my other man cave shed article, while you’re at it!
In order to make the most out of your two story sheds, think about cool features that take up two stories. In example, I see a lot of men who put in a fire pole for…well, whatever they want to use it for. Usually sliding from the second floor to the first. Other awesome two story features include a large aquarium, waterfalls, an actual cavern aesthetic, and even a giant ant farm. Go wild thinking of how to convert this shed into a man cave to live in!
Of course, all the normal man cave shed rules apply to a two story shed. You can my post on making sheds livable (and fun) here. One of the key advantages of a shed man cave is a clear division between your cave and your home. Thanks to this division, the man cave truly feels like a mantuary.
Unless you already have a plus size garage or a two story shed laying around, making your ideal two story shed will take planning. To be specific, professional planning. If you’re an architect, make sure you check and double check your plan before carrying through with construction. If you’re not an architect, look into pre-made two story shed blueprints and construction plans. Plenty of them are out there for a low price or even free. I prefer MyShedPlans, but to each their own! Finding a plan is the very first step of making your man cave, so you want to take your time picking out the best design for you.
Once you have a working plan, start looking for all the necessary materials. For wood, skip Home Depot or Lowes and go to your local lumber yard. Oftentimes, local yards will cut it for you in the size you need, while still offering a better price! It also helps to support local businesses. And, to further drive the point home, local lumber has a much better quality than the stuff you get from typical home and garden stores.
While shopping on a budget, check local antique shops and scour the neighborhoods for yard sales. You can also go to furniture stores, check out what works for you, and then order the stuff on the net when you get home for a cheaper price. For more details on making a man cave shed on a budget, check out my post here.
Once you secure your shed, it’s time to decorate! Beyond the wild ideas I gave you before, I want to focus on some foundational basics. First, is your second floor visible from your first? A loft-type setup gives you a perfect excuse to use two separate themes in your man cave. On top of that, it’s much easier to set up a projection system and surround sound system when you don’t need to use a ladder to do everything.
If your cave is separated completely between floors, then make sure you separate their functions. You should spend an equal amount of time in both of them. An easy way to do this is to put your entertainment setup on the top floor and your food and snacks—with basic entertainment—on the bottom floor. Your stairs also form a critical part of a two-story man cave shed. Make sure to decorate that area and make it match the rest of the cave.
So, how do you plan on using your shed? Will you create an actual cave system, complete with waterfalls and a little greenery? Perhaps you’ll put your video games on the second floor and your sports stuff on the first. Whatever you do, make sure you enjoy both floors as much as possible. A two story shed is an awesome thing to have, so use a man cave to make the most of your awesome home extension!
Right now, the cost of a shed varies dramatically depending on your location. Typically, you’re looking at between $500-$7,000 dollars, with an average of about $3,000 dollars. What is with that huge difference? Well, today I want to dissect the prices of building a shed, along with how much you should charge if you are providing a service for someone else. This will help you identify competitive and reasonable rates for builders as well as shave down some construction costs, if you need to. If you thought my post about man cave sheds was inspiring and you want to start your own, then take a seat and start here by learning the cost to build a shed!
As I previously mentioned, the cost varies dramatically depending on the type of shed and materials used. Let’s start with the foundation, since you’ll be dealing with this before anything else. A wooden foundation costs much less than a concrete foundation and certainly gets the job done. The wood has to be treated to resist rot and both types of foundation must drain any sort of water out of the home efficiently. The ground around your shed should slope away, further ensuring your shed doesn’t flood. I talk about more structural specifics in my shed conversion post.
For walls, vinyl makes up the most expensive type. It resists rust, rot, and erosion. Metal wards off insect infestation and rot and tends to be the cheapest option, but it also rusts and makes for poor insulation. Expect cold winters and sweltering summers! Lastly, wood sheds are the ‘average’ price and its cost is largely dependent on your area and the design of the shed. To cut down on wood costs, always visit a local lumber yard. The local lumber yards also have higher quality wood than your typical chain stores. If you are a contractor, you definitely need to set up a partnership with your supplier of choice.
If you build your own shed, you also have the option of buying pre-made ‘shed kits’ from all sorts of stores. Even Lowes and Home Depot carry them! Just read the reviews and check the quality of supplies that customers end up with. Your local lumber yard almost always beats them in price and quality, with just a bit of extra work and construction required. You can find a bunch of pros and cons of different materials on Wikipedia, believe it or not. Sometimes it’s reliable for simple information like this!
Obviously, all of the materials need to be included in the price. Beyond that, you need to consider electricians, plumbers, and construction costs. An electrician costs between five to ten times minimum wage in your area per hour and is absolutely essential for properly laying out wires. Construction workers should charge between three to ten times minimum wage. Obviously, this means set numbers are hard for me to tell you, but you’ll figure it out quickly with a calculator. If you build it yourself, it takes a few days and costs between $2,000 and $5,000, depending on your materials and building style. I highly recommend using shed plans from this dude to cut down on your costs.
Usually, a shed costs half of minimum wage per square foot. As of writing this, that means $5 per square foot. This doesn’t take into account material prices, complicated designs, or extra utilities. For those, refer to the prices I listed above and ask any contractors how long it will take for them to do their work. Furthermore, a loft adds to your square footage if you choose to include it, even if the size of your foundation doesn’t change. I would recommend this site for the intricate details of wooden shed pricing.
Usually, you do need that permit. Look up city laws, county laws, as well as the rules of any Home Owners Association in your area. Many places dictate the type of materials, vicinity of the shed to your home or property line, the style of architecture, and the color of your shed (if painted). Most basic sheds will always comply with guidelines, but if you want to do something special, look into the specifics before committing to the build. Look through some different shed plans to see which one fits the rules of your area.
Granted, if you live in a rural area, I highly doubt anyone would fault you for building your own shed. On top of that, no one throws a tantrum over small ‘play’ pens (although said sheds usually make for poor man cave material). In suburban or urban areas, your neighbors pose the biggest annoyance with the permits. Make sure to do everything properly.
When it comes down to it, you control the price of your own man cave shed. If you want to get it done fast, look for reliable contractors in the area and shell out a few thousand. If you want to get it done cheaply, look through some shed plans and source some inexpensive materials from local stores. You could always browse the net for cheap lumber, but I much prefer looking at it with my own two eyes before making a purchase. Plus, you only need to use your own truck for shipping!
A savvy dude can build a small shed for as little as $500 if he has the know-how and dedication. For the best man cave sheds, though, build your own and expect to put $2,500 into the construction. It’s completely worth the expense, I promise!