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DIY Shed Design Ideas – How To Build A Garden Shed From Scratch

A shed isn’t something you see people build…at least not very often. Most of the time, sheds are a type of structure you discover in the backyard when you purchase an old house. So how do these things appear? They’re obviously built. So read on to learn what it takes to put a shed together with these DIY shed plans.

DIY shed plans

We looked around and we found a bunch of DIY shed plans that we’d like to share with you. They’re pretty simple and you don’t need much experience with this sort of project to be able to pull it off. They’re all customizable so you can enjoy them whether you want a pretty she shed or a manly workshop.

Is It Cheaper to Build your Own DIY Shed with Plans?

One of the main reasons many people look into building their own DIY garden shed using plans is that it can be significantly cheaper than buying a pre-built garden shed or paying someone to build a shed for you.

Here are some reasons people can save money building their own shed:

  • Labor costs: If you have someone come in and build a shed on your property, you’re going to have to pay for the cost of labor as well as the cost of materials. By building a shed yourself, you’re saving money on labor.
  • Pre-owned tools: If you already have a selection of tools to build a garden shed with, you won’t have to spend any additional money to buy them. You shouldn’t need many specialized tools to put together a DIY garden shed, so chances are if you have an equipped garage you may already have most (if not all) of the tools you need.

However, there are a few things that can actually end up costing you more money if you build a shed yourself.

If you use high-end materials, you may end up investing more money into your garden shed build than if you used the standard or stock materials favored by building contractors.

If you don’t have basic power tools like a circular saw, you’ll also see yourself making a larger financial investment than if you already had all the tools necessary.

Another factor to consider is time. A dedicated group of builders can put up even a large garden shed in a matter of hours, or at most a day or two. An inexperienced DIY builder may need a lot more time to do the same amount of work since they don’t have the experience to do things efficiently.

DIY Shed Planning

DIY Shed Planning

When it comes to building your own DIY shed, planning ahead is one of the most practical ways you can save both time and money in construction. From permit applications to supply lists, planning will keep you from getting frustrated if a garden shed is your first major DIY project.

Do You Need a Permit to Build a Shed?

Depending on where you live, you may or may not need a building permit to construct a DIY garden shed. Most small garden sheds (such as those that are six by eight feet or eight by ten feet) do not fall into the zoning requirements to require a building permit.

However, larger sheds or those that are built-in Homeowner’s Association (HOA) neighborhoods may have specialized permits or requirements for outbuilding construction. Sheds may also need a permit depending on what the shed is intended to be used for and whether it will have electricity installed.

How to Apply for Planning Permission for a DIY Shed

Not all sheds require planning permission. Checking with your city’s Planning Department should determine whether or not your DIY garden shed plans require permission to build.

If you have to apply for planning permission, it’s as easy as getting the right paperwork and filling it out. As long as your garden shed plans meet the requirements put forth by your city’s zoning board, you should be able to easily get a permit for constructing it.

DIY Shed Plan Foundations

DIY Shed Plan Foundations

An important part of building your own shed is figuring out what kind of foundation to use. Without a proper foundation, a DIY shed may sag and it may start to rot out from the floor up. Foundations give your shed a level space to be built on and help protect your shed floor from soil and water damage.

Do You Need a Foundation for a DIY Shed?

If you build a shed that is six by eight feet or smaller, you don’t necessarily need a foundation underneath it for support. However, regardless of your DIY shed’s size, a foundation can be beneficial for preserving the structure. Here are a few of the advantages of adding a foundation to your DIY garden shed:

  • Support for heavy loads: If you’re building a garden shed that is intended to hold three hundred pounds of equipment or more, a foundation can help keep the weight of the shed’s contents from damaging the shed floor.
  • Extends shed life: A major advantage of placing a foundation under a garden shed regardless of size is that a foundation can help preserve your garden shed and increase its lifespan. Garden sheds with floors that have direct contact with the ground and the frost line are more likely to suffer from weather-related damage over time.
  • Moisture prevention: The biggest danger to the structural integrity of a garden shed is exposure to moisture. A foundation helps improve ventilation and keeps the wood of your garden shed from contacting standing water that may rot it over time.

Even though it isn’t necessary for every shed, even small sheds can benefit from a stable and level foundation.

Can You Put a DIY Shed on Pavers?

If pouring a concrete foundation for your DIY garden shed seems like too much work, there are a few simpler options that provide many of the same benefits.

One good option is using tightly-placed garden pavers to act as a foundation. Garden pavers can be had for a reasonable price, and for smaller sheds, they are a good way to provide a stable foundation without adding a ton of extra cost to your project.

How Can You Put a Shed on Grass?

While you don’t necessarily have to construct a formal foundation for your garden shed if it’s six by eight feet or smaller, it’s not recommended to put a shed directly on your grass or lawn.

The problem with placing a garden shed on grass is that the grass underneath it will quickly die and rot. This rotting vegetation will generate both moisture and heat, degrading the flooring of your shed right from the start. This can have a serious negative impact on the lifespan of your DIY garden shed over time.

Can a Shed Sit Directly on Concrete?

Building a DIY garden shed on a concrete slab is a smart way to help preserve your shed flooring and provide a level surface for construction.

In some cases, you may be able to utilize a pre-existing concrete slab on your property rather than having to have a foundation poured. Sheds can be built directly on a concrete foundation without having to do other preparation of the site as long as the concrete is level.

How Do You Prep the Ground for a DIY Shed?

How Do You Prep the Ground for a DIY Shed?

Preparing the ground for a DIY garden shed involves making sure that the ground is solid and level. These are the steps for prepping the ground for a DIY shed:

  • Measure out the construction site. The first step to preparing the ground for a DIY garden shed is measuring out the exact space where you’ll be installing it. Mark the building site out with stakes and string so that you can ensure each shed wall is the correct length down to the last inch.
  • Clear and tamp the ground. Before you can start building your garden shed, you’ll need to prepare the construction site. After the site is collected, remove any debris on the ground and use a manual ground tamper to stamp and flatten the soil until it is flat and hard. This helps keep the shed from settling after it’s built.

Be sure to remove all roots and other debris from the soil before tamping to ensure that the shed’s base lies evenly from end to end.

What Is the Best Base for a DIY Shed?

When you’re building your own DIY garden shed plans, you have several different options for setting up your shed’s foundation. The best base for a DIY shed that is six by eight feet or less and contains a wood floor is a gravel foundation. Gravel will help increase ventilation, protecting the wooden flooring of the shed.

If you’re building a DIY shed without wooden flooring, your best option for a DIY shed base is concrete. Concrete gives you a level building surface and can help the shed remain water-resistant by lifting it off the soil.

Concrete floors are also the best base for DIY sheds that are intended for storing heavy machinery and other materials over three hundred pounds.

How to Build a Gravel Foundation for Your DIY Shed

How to Build a Gravel Foundation for Your DIY Shed


After preparing the ground, the next major part of preparing a foundation for your DIY garden shed is to lay the gravel. Here are the steps you need to take to lay a gravel foundation for a garden shed:

  • Build the shed perimeter. After the ground is cleared and measured, the next step in construction is to build the shed perimeter. Use wood that is four by four inches in width and is rated for ground contact. This will help prevent the wood from rotting underneath the shed. The wood perimeter also helps give you a layout for the gravel base of your foundation. Secure the wood perimeter with rebar drilled through it at 8-inch intervals.
  • Lay the gravel. Even if you’re pouring concrete for your shed foundation, you’ll still need to lay down four inches of pea gravel to act as the first layer of the shed’s base. Use a rake to smooth the gravel until it lies level from one end of the building site to the other.

Gravel foundations can provide more water protection for a shed than concrete foundations since the space between pieces of gravel allows water a chance to evaporate away. In contrast, solid concrete can cause issues with standing water in areas that receive heavy rainfall.

How to Build a Simple DIY Garden Storage Shed

How to Build a Simple DIY Garden Storage Shed

Once you have a level building site, you’re ready to start building your garden storage shed. Here are the basic steps you’ll need to take to put one together:

  • Build the shed’s framework. The framework of your garden shed is the boards in the shed that act as the shed’s “skeleton”. These boards provide structural integrity and help the shed hold its shape.
  • Build the shed panels. Once the framework of the garden shed is in place, the next step is to build the shed walls. Screw in fence boards or wooden panels to the framework of the shed to make up the floor and walls of the building.
  • Assemble and install the shed door. The shed door is one of the most important parts of the shed construction since it can cause significant issues getting in and out of the shed if the door is not level. Screw wooden crossbars into the shed door to increase its strength. Install the shed door on the shed.
  • Build and install the shed roof. The last step to building a simple garden storage shed is to build the roof. A slanted roof is typically recommended since this allows water to sluice off rather than gather on the wood and cause damage over time.

15 DIY Shed Building Ideas For Your Garden

1. A Small Storage Shed

A Small Storage DIY Shed plans

First, a cute little shed that we found on ladygoats. It’s made of wood, like most sheds, and it has no windows. It’s great for storage but it’s also a nice idea for a workspace. You can turn it into a gardening shed, a place to keep all the tools and to get some things done while working in the garden.

We love its simplicity and the fact that it has a playful character and a pretty chic look for a shed. It’s all in the details. In this case, it’s the roof and the hardware that make all the difference.

2. Small Outdoor Shed or Closet Converted Into A Smokehouse

Small Outdoor Shed or Closet Converted Into A Smokehouse

Think of a shed as a useful multipurpose addition to the backyard. You could use it to store shovels and gardening supplies or all the bbq supplies. It doesn’t need to be big. In fact, a tiny shed like the one featured on ana-white should be enough.

Check out the tutorial and the DIY shed plans to find out everything you need to know about this project. If you decide to build your own garden shed, you’ll need the following supplies: 2 sheets of plywood, some wooden boards, hinges, handles, a latch, galvanized nails, roofing, wood glue and materials for the doors.

3. Backyard 8 ft. x 6 ft. Shed

Backyard 8 ft. x 6 ft. Shed

When elaborating the DIY shed plans, take into consideration the purpose that the shed will serve. This will help you determine the suitable dimensions as well as the structure of the interior.

Keep in mind that you’ll most likely want to have some shelves and a table inside the shed so you need to add these to the list of materials.

You also need to take into account the tools you’ll need for the project so you can plan accordingly. You’ll probably need a saw, a drill, a shovel and a few other basic things. As far as the materials go, it all depends on the type of shed you want to build.

On instructables you can find detailed instructions and lists which teach you how to built a cute shed just like this one.

4. Wood Tool Shed Storage

DIY Wood Tool Shed Storage plans

A tool shed is pretty easy to build. We found this inspiring example on thecavenderdiary which, as you can see, has a pretty straight-forward, traditional look. It has its back on the wall and inside there’s not much worth mentioning, except maybe for those practical storage hooks, shelves, and rods on the inside of the doors.

Check out the plans for this toolshed and find a way to customize them according to your own storage needs.

5. A Reclaimed Wood Shed

Reclaimed Wood Shed

This shed featured on Joseph Sandy is inspiring in many different ways. First, check out the design. Isn’t it charming how all the different types of wood and all the different colors complement each other? What a wonderful way to use reclaimed wood pieces.

Another detail that has to do with the design is the fact that this shed has clerestory windows. It’s not usually common for a shed to have windows of any kind, but when you think about it, it’s a pretty practical feature.

6. A Garden Shed Made From Old Doors

DIY Garden Shed Made From Old Doors plans

How big should a garden shed be so it can be practical without occupying more space than it has to? Well…it depends. I think this cute little garden shed from acultivatednest has one of the smallest possible footprints.

The fact that it’s small but tall allows it to be quite practical. It’s great for the storage of garden tools and there’s even some room for a shelf or two or for a few hooks on the walls.

7. A Shed Which Looks Like A Mini House

Shed Which Looks Like A Mini House

Building a shed is more or less like building a miniature house. It can be a pretty fun project, especially if you have someone who can help. If you’re new at this, we found the perfect tutorial for you. Be sure to check out these DIY shed plans that we found on popularmechanics.

The whole process is described in detail, with instructions, lists of supplies needed for each part of the project, and useful tips.

8. Gambrel Storage Shed

Gambrel Storage Shed

Structurally speaking, some sheds are actually miniature versions of houses or barns. The gambrel storage shed plans from mybackyardplans explain the basic steps of such a project.

First, the foundation is built. Then the sidewalls are installed, after that comes the roof frame, the front wall, and the door, then the back wall and roof decking, the trim, and finally the shingles. At the very end, the shed is painted.

9. DIY Shed Plans for a Space To Store Your Bikes in the Winter Months

DIY shed plans for a Space To Store Your Bikes in the Winter Months

Building a shed has lots of advantages which can vary for each person. For example, you could use the shed as a storage space for bicycles in winter. Another option is to use the shed as a storage space for large equipment like the lawnmower or garden tools.

You could also use the shed as a workspace whenever you’re doing DIY projects which is quite funny because the shed itself can be one such project. If you’re the recycling type, you can put a hatch on the side specifically for this purpose and place the bins inside.

In any case, a sturdy shed can serve you for many years to come and the DIY shed plans offered on todaysplans show you how to ensure that.

10. Repurpose Old Windows

Repurpose Old Windows

Shed are also great if you have a hobby. For example, if you’re passionate about pottery, gardening or even painting, you could use the garden shed as your private workspace.

You can give it windows if you think you’ll need natural light inside. In fact, this can be an opportunity to upcycle some old windows and doors.

Check out this project that we found on countryliving to see how this chic shed was built.

11. Green House Shed

DIY Green House Shed plans

A shed could double as a greenhouse, in which case you can use the shed plans provided on instructables. In this particular case, the shed was built out of old windows. An old window isn’t exactly something you can repurpose easily but here it’s a perfect fit.

The first step is to gather enough windows. After that, it’s time to build the frame and you’ll need some wood for this part. Make sure the foundation is secure before you screw in the windows.

12. A Garden Shed Made From Recycled Materials

Garden Shed Made From Recycled Materials

The last project we want to share with you today is a greenhouse/ garden shed which we found on lizmarieblog. It’s really cute and inside you can find shelves, storage compartments and a bunch of other practical things.

In addition to all that, this lovely shed even has a chandelier. It’s a decorative element and it really elevates the decor to a whole new level.

13. A Small Garden Shed With A Glass Door

DIY Small Garden Shed With A Glass Door plans

For anyone with a smaller backyard, you may find some of the projects above to be a little too large for your space. If that’s the case, consider this smaller garden shed project from The Owner Builder Network, which features a glass door design. It’s a great way to look after your garden tools or your children’s toys, keeping them protected from the elements during the winter months.

To create this project, you’ll use old doors as the walls of the shed, giving them new life again instead of letting them go to waste. This shed takes up just a fraction of the space a large garden shed would. It just goes to show that just because you have a smaller garden, you don’t have to miss out on the fun of building a garden shed from scratch.

14. A Modern DIY Shed

Shed free plans and tutorial

Regardless of the current style of your garden, this modern DIY shed from DIY Atlanta Modern will look great in any outdoor space. It’s a versatile space that can be used for storage or as an outdoor workspace and can be decorated to fit your garden’s design and style.

Even if you don’t have much DIY experience, this is a project that’s suitable for intermediate DIYers if you have quite a bit of time to spare to work on the shed this summer.

15. Building a Shed Under Your Deck

Building a Shed Under Your Deck

If you have a deck attached to your home, you may find you have an awkward empty space left under the deck. Put that area to good use by installing a large shed underneath, as demonstrated in this project from Pano Fish.

This deck has only two posts, making it super easy to add a shed underneath. The first step to get you prepared will be to build the roof within the deck’s joists. It’s certainly not a quick or easy project, but it’s a great challenge if you are looking to bring life to a wasted space in your backyard.

Types of DIY Garden Sheds

The main differences between all the different best types of garden sheds available for purchase have to do with the material from which they’re made. Of course, there are also major differences when it comes to all the sizes and designs available so be sure to take all the factors into consideration before making a final decision.

Types of DIY Garden Sheds

When choosing the type of material you will use to construct your garden shed, consider the climate where you live. If you live in an area that gets heavy rain or snow each winter, you’ll need something that is a little more durable to withstand the inclement weather.

You don’t want anything you store inside your shed to get damaged, so ensure you select the right material when building a shed this year.


A garden shed made out of metal is basically guaranteed to be super strong and durable. It’s also very secure and more difficult to break into compared to sheds made from weaker materials which can be a big advantage if you want to keep expensive tools and other things in it.

Metal sheds don’t rot and they can withstand the elements with ease. Of course, not everybody likes the look of metal sheds. They tend to have an industrial sort of look which might not suit everyone’s style.


Most garden sheds are actually made of wood. It’s a very popular material and one that’s especially appreciated for its versatility and the fact it can be easily incorporated into DIY projects. In other words, you could build your own garden shed from scratch out of wood and it wouldn’t be that difficult.

As expected, you have a choice between various different types of wood, some of which are stronger and more durable than others and some which can be quite expensive.

The downside of having a wooden garden shed is that is requires regular maintenance in order to be able to withstand the elements and to not get damaged by rot or termites and so on.


Plastic garden sheds are the least expensive of all the different types. On top of being affordable, they’re also durable and weather-resistant, being able to withstand moisture better than any other material. They’re also maintenance-free, they don’t rot or rust and they’re super easy to assemble. 

There are also a few disadvantages to consider, such as the fact that plastic sheds are not very secure, they’re more difficult to customize, and can be affected by extreme temperatures.

Tips and Advice for Considering What the Shed will be Used For

Tips and Advice for Considering What the Shed will be Used For

Here are a few more things to consider before buying a new shed. Of course, this is a personal decision and needs to be based on various specific details and factors but you might find some of these tips useful nevertheless.

Different types of garden sheds can be used for different things. Many models are versatile and can adapt to a variety of different contexts and requirements. However, it helps to have a clear idea of how the shed will be used for.

This will help you to select the right material and design for the intended function of your new shed. It’s no use thinking that you’ll spend all year working outside in your shed, only to find it’s freezing cold in there during the winter months.

DIY Sheds for Storage

If you plan to use the shed for storage, make sure it has plenty of shelves, compartments, and modules that can make it easier to store and organize everything. You can also add accessories to your shed in that regard. F

or anyone who enjoys collecting certain tools or collectibles, you may want to install custom-built shelving for this purpose. You can completely customize your storage shed to fit your needs. Remember, a shed, as with any addition to your home, isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution.

DIY Sheds for Gardens or Workspace

If you want to be able to spend time in your garden shed and use it as a sort of office, a workspace, or just an extra room where you can relax and read a book, make sure the shed is big enough for that and also pick a material that suits your needs. Wood is typically best in this case.

DIY Sheds for Greenhouse

You could also use the shed as a sort of greenhouse and grow plants inside. If that’s the case, a shed without any windows wouldn’t really be of any help. There are some sheds available today with a hybrid design which are made half with windows and a half without. T

his is a great option for someone who is looking for both a greenhouse and an area to store their gardening tools this year.

Based on how you plan to use the shed there are a few more things to consider, such as the need for electricity supply, for natural light, insulation, the shape of the roof, and so on. Make sure you have the ability to hook your shed up with electricity and water if that’s needed so that you aren’t disappointed later on that you can’t have either of these features in the shed.

Specs and Details to Consider for DIY Shed Plans

Specs and Details to Consider for DIY Shed Plans

Roof Types for DIY Shed Plans

The roof of a shed is quite important. Its shape, in particular, dictates where or not rainwater can run off the sides easily in which case an apex roof is the best option. However, if you want to have a big extra headroom, consider Dutch barn roof style or other types of roofs that can offer you that.

A flat roof can look nice, clean, and modern and is nice to have if the shed is protected from rain and snow. Another nice option is a pend roof which is flat and has one side lower than the other so the water can drain away easily.

DIY Shed Plans Door Types

When it comes to shed doors, the most important aspect tends to be their size. A single door can be enough if you don’t plan on storing any large items in the shed. Double doors give you more freedom and open up the shed more. They’re more convenient and more future-proof.

The durability of the door is also important and you should also take security into consideration. Being able to lock the shed is very helpful.

Windows for DIY Shed Plans

Some garden sheds don’t have windows at all which is fine if all you want to use it for is storage. A shed without windows also provides more security.

However, if you want to grow or store plants in the shed or if you want to be able to work or spend time inside it would definitely help to have a window or two or perhaps a skylight. The windows can be made of several different materials such as polystyrene, acrylic, polycarbonate or glass.

DIY Shed Plans Security

As mentioned before, it’s always great to be able to lock the garden shed in order to keep everything inside safe and secure. This is something you should pay special attention to if you’re storing expensive equipment or tools in the shed.

There are different types of latches and locking mechanisms that can offer different levels of security so do some research and also keep in mind that the type of door also matters.

DIY Shed Plans Maintenance

Ideally, the garden wouldn’t require any kind of maintenance. Plastic sheds usually make things super simple from this point of view. Still, it’s always good to make double sure that your shed is waterproof and that it’s not damaged by rot or pests.

Do regular checks and if necessary apply a special treatment to the exterior to protect your shed from the elements.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)FAQ

What Is the Largest Shed You Can Build Without Planning Permission?

The largest shed you can typically build without planning permission has a hundred-square-foot area. However, the planning permits necessary for building garden sheds can vary from place to place.

If you plan to run electricity to your garden shed or you live in an HOA neighborhood, you should check with your local ordinances before you begin shed construction.

What Is the Cheapest Way to Build a Shed?

The cheapest way to build a DIY garden shed is to use discarded wooden pallets or to buy lumber from a lumberyard in bulk. A wooden pallet shed can be built for almost nothing if you get the pallets for free. However, a pallet shed is not watertight and may be more susceptible to damage over time than more sturdy materials.

Where Can You Buy DIY Shed Plans?

DIY shed plans can be purchased at home improvement stores like Lowe’s and Home Depot. You can also buy DIY shed plans through online markets like Amazon. If you don’t want to pay for DIY shed plans, there are also dozens of free shed plans available online at websites such as ShedPlans.org.

How Do You Anchor a DIY Shed to the Ground?

DIY sheds are usually anchored to the ground using rebar. To anchor a shed using rebar, drill holes in the framework of the shed and shove the rebar down into the 4’x4′ wooden shed perimeter. This step helps keep your shed stable and upright even in high winds or other inclement conditions.

How Far From the House Should a Shed Be?

A shed should be placed at least ten feet from your residence if it doesn’t require a planning permit. Sheds that are large or complex enough to require a planning permit are usually required to be forty feet or more from the house.

The purpose of separating a shed from the home is to prevent flammable materials in the shed from potentially catching fire to the main residence. The separation between the two buildings also helps prevent snow and rain build-up between them.

DIY Shed Plans Conclusion

Whether you choose to buy a new garden shed this year or create your own one from scratch with DIY shed plans, we are sure you’ll enjoy this new addition to your garden. Garden sheds are an extremely versatile storage solution, which can also double up as an extra smaller room for your home.

With many people around the world still working from home today, households are opting to add full-blown offices and playrooms into their gardens. Whatever you decide to use your new shed for this year, we hope you enjoy choosing or building the one that’s best for you and your family.