If you’re looking to build a shed for your home, choosing the right plans can set you up for a simple and successful project. The key to choosing the perfect shed plan is doing your research in advance. By following this process, you can easily define your requirements and find the plans that will best meet your needs. Read Guide
The first step in selecting your shed plans is to understand the regulations in your area. It’s important to research city requirements to identify any permits you might need. Your homeowner’s association may also have an architectural review board to consult. To get started, check with your municipal building department and your HOA president.
Once you know the regulations and limitations, you should establish your budget. This is your opportunity to customize a solution to meet your every need, so your budget should reflect that. When you are determining your budget, consider:
Do you have materials on hand, or will you be purchasing new materials?
Will you be doing the construction work yourself?
Have you allowed yourself a contingency for unexpected expenses?
Once you have a baseline budget, you can begin to research specific plans in more detail.
Next, you’ll need to consider how large the shed needs to be. Of course, you’ll need to consider your environment. How much room do you have? Will the shed be free-standing or attached to another structure? You’ll also need to answer the obvious question of function. A tool shed might be much smaller than a shed designed to house a tractor. Always be sure you allow space for the items you need to store plus any related items. For example, if you are building a lawnmower shed, you will want to make sure you have room to store the gas cans, oil, or other maintenance items as well.
There are several types of roofing styles you can choose from. You’ll want to make your decision based on a combination of style, ease of construction, and function. There are five primary types of shed roofs to choose from:
Pent: The pent roof is one of the simplest shed roofs. There is a single, sloped plane, and it’s ideal for a building that is connected to a wall or leans against a fence where multiple slopes aren’t feasible.
Gable: A gable roof is made of two sloped planes that meet in the middle. I always equate a gable roof with a drawing that a child makes of a house, with two equal sides to the roof.
Hip: A hip roof has four separate sloped planes that meet in the center. These are often more visually appealing; however, the storage space in the roof area is somewhat limited. These roofs are often selected for pool houses or guard shacks where aesthetics are more important than storage.
Gambrel: A gambrel roof has two sides with two slopes on each side. There is a shallower slope first, and then a steeper slope. These are the types of roofs commonly found on barns, since they allow the most headroom and work well for lofts. They aren’t the most efficient use of building materials, but if upper storage is important, this type of roof can be a good solution.
Saltbox: A saltbox roof is unusual today, but was more commonly seen during the Colonial Era. Though this roof has the traditional two slopes, one slope of the roof is much shorter than the other. Historically, this design was preferred in areas where weather might be a problem. This shape can help deflect wind, rain and snow. Construction of this type of roof is slightly more complex, but it certainly creates a unique design.
Interior & Exterior Options
Once you have the basic design elements in place, you’ll want to consider additional options that you want to include. The possibilities are endless; however, a few of the most popular upgrades include:
You can make your shed as simple or as elaborate as you wish. The best part of building your own shed is that you can pick the plans that will result in the perfect shed for your unique needs.
The final thing to consider when choosing plans for your shed is the level of detail provided in the plans. You will want to be sure that a material list is included. This is important to your budget as well as the durability of the final product. It’s important to make sure that the plan includes detailed measurements and cuttings. Having precise measurements in advance can save time and rework in the end. Finally, make sure the plans include step-by-step illustrated instructions. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and that’s especially true for the “do-it-yourself” enthusiast. Carefully evaluating the quality and detail in your plans will be invaluable once you begin construction.
Building a new shed can be an exciting process. The first step to choosing the right plans is research. Pairing that research with your requirements is equally important. Take the time to determine your specific needs and then find the plans that will meet those needs. In the end, the perfect plans will lead to the perfect shed!