*This post is sponsored by The Home Depot.
My kids love to play outside on their bikes and scooters, the problem is where to store everything so it's easily accessible to them. They can't open the garage doors by themselves, even if they could, the garage is mine! I don't want them near my tools...
So I decided to build them a shed to house all their outdoor toys. I decided to leave the shed open, without doors, so they will know all their stuff is there. I know this sounds crazy, but it's usually out of sight, out of mind with my kids... By leaving the shed open they will be able to get their toys easily and (hopefully) remember to clean up too!
Check out the full build video below!
Also below are free plans and affiliate links. Clicking on the links helps me keep this site going :)
Tools I Used
Free Plans and cut list ---> DIY Shed Plans
I built this shed using very basic tools, you don't need a full shop to build cool things, you just need some ingenuity! To make this build easier the first thing I did was make a guide for my saw to run against.
This guide will be helpful in making straight and square cuts. The best part about it is the built in spacer. If you use a regular straight edge as your guide, you have to measure the distance from the striaght edge to your cut line before making each cut. With this simple guide, you just need to line up the bottom piece with your cut line and cut away without any measuring!
To make the guide, I glued and screwed two pieces of scrap wood together making sure they were perfectly 90 degrees to each other. I made sure to keep the bottom part of the guide long so I can cut it away in the next step.
I needed to make a new guide because it was a new saw, and it's a beast of a saw at that! I love the worm drive style on this DeWalt 60 Volt Cordless Worm Drive Style Circular Saw, it's super comfortable to push it along from the back. It's a very heavy saw, but it cuts so smooth and fast you don't even notice it while you're cutting.
I clamped the guide to my makeshift work table and ran the saw against the guide, making sure to keep the saw straight against the guide. The excess gets cut away, and now you have a perfect spacer for your saw! That's all there is to making this guide!
I made sure to label it so I don't cut it up and use it for something else.... Every saw is different so make sure to label it if you have multiple saws!
Notice the excess was cut away on the bottom right. Now, whenever I need to make a cut with this saw I can just bring that bottom right edge to my cut line and it will be dead on square and my cuts will always be the perfect length. Awesome.
I decided to build the frame out of 2x2's to try and keep the cost down. I wasn't certain it was going to be sturdy enough and I was a bit worried at times, in the end it is a super sturdy structure.
I cut as many pieces as I could at a time by clamping them together and running the saw along the guide.
The Diablo Framing Blade is perfect for cutting 2x material. It would also be great if you are using reclaimed material because it's meant to withstand cutting through nails. (I cut through some wood with screws stuck in it to test that feature out, it's like the screws weren't even there...)
Another thing I love about this saw is the break. As soon as you're done cutting, the blade just stops. There's no waiting around for the blade to stop spinning, so it saves time and it feels safer too.
Figuring out what angle to pitch the roof at was a bit difficult, in the end I decided to go with 22.5 degrees.
I set the saw to cut a 22.5 degree angle, this saw makes it super easy to change angles because it has positive stops. That means it sort of clicks into place when it gets to commonly used angles.
I really love that feature because it reduces set up time which is one of the most time consuming parts of woodworking and building.
The saw was quickly set and I got to cutting all the angled pieces!
I sanded all the pieces using the Milwaukee M18 Cordless 5" Random Orbit Sander. It's definitely nice to have a cordless sander for these types of situations.
It's really nice to have cordless tools in general! Being able to bring the tools to my project, especially a big one like this, instead of the other way around is a game changer.
I'm going to be glueing and screwing the frame for the shed. glueing end grain is not ideal because the glue gets sucked up into the wood instead of sitting on the surface of the wood.
To try and make it a stronger joint I put a layer of glue on all the end grain pieces before actually glueing it up. This first layer of glue will get sucked up into the pores of the wood so there is a better chance for adhesion during the actual glue up.
I think this is called sizing the wood, or glue size? Something like that.
I started with the base, I used pressure treated wood because it will contact the ground. (If you can't find 2x2 pressure treated lumber just use 2x4)
I clamped a speed square to my pieces to help ensure the joints will be square and drove the screws in! I was lazy and didn't pre-drill any of my holes and I had a few splits... so don't be lazy like me.
Once the base was assembled I worked on the sides. All of these pieces have the 22.5 degree angle on the ends.
The uprights have an angle cut on one side, the tops. And the connecting piece has the angles cut on both sides.
I assembled it like this, but for the plans I figured out a more efficient way to assemble it. It makes more sense to attach the 2 uprights to the base first, then you can get a perfect measurement for the pieces that will connect the 2 uprights. (My measurement was off, that's why the base protrudes from the whole structure.)
If you attach the uprights first you probably wont run into this next issue...
This is where I started to get nervous about my use of 2x2's. I knew I had to lay these side pieces on the back side to assemble the whole frame and I didn't think that back angle was strong enough to support the front. So I made a brace to make that back corner a bit stronger.
I took a scrap, lined it up, made some marks, then cut with the saw!
I used my foot clamps to screw the braces in place. Super fancy.
I'm really happy I decided to put those braces in, The side totally would have collapsed in this next step otherwise.
I attached the sides with a long stretcher. I made sure to turn this stretcher a bit so it's edge was matching the angled slope of the sides. I did this so the roof had a flat surface to rest on.
Sooo... I actually made another mistake here. These stretchers were too long. Somehow I didn't notice the base was an outside measurement and the roof was supposed to be an inside measurement. I didn't notice this mistake until after the whole roof was assembled, but at least I noticed it! I ended up unscrewing the whole roof, cutting off 1-1/2" from all the ends and then reattaching it.
After I attached the back roof stretcher I was able to attach the base to the sides.
Here is where you see that mistake I mentioned earlier! I wanted the sides to be flush with the front, but I cut the angled pieces for the sides just a bit too short because math is hard....
(I fixed this in the plans)
Once the base was attached I stood the frame up and attached the front of the roof support.
And here you can probably see that it's bowing out at the top... That's the second mistake I mentioned. The front and back pieces for the roof were too long...
Not realizing my mistake yet, I moved on to measuring and cutting the rest of the supports.
I lined up the pieces to mark for my cuts instead of taking measurements. I find it easier this way.
Once cut to size, I turned the frame on its side again and screwed in the back supports.
I did the same thing for the side supports.
And again, the same for the roof supports.
Just a note, these roof supports do not have an angle cut on their ends. Because I twisted the front and back roof stretchers to match the angle of the sides, these pieces were square to eachother.
Before I could move the shed to its final location I had to do some Power Washing first.
This spot on our deck used to have a built in planter box that we ripped out because it was falling apart. So the wood behind it was in really bad shape, In fact, our whole deck is in really bad shape. Fixing it up, is on the ever growing list...
In the meantime, at least its clean.
I really love using this RYOBI Pressure washer. In the past I have only used gas powered washers and it was such a pain! I had to run out in the middle of washing my deck to purchase more gas, it smelled and it was crazy loud.
This RYOBI pressure washer is electric, so you just plug it in, attach your hose and you're good to go!
The frame for the shed is Douglas Fir and I am going to to use Cedar for the outside planks. To try and match the Fir to the Cedar I sprayed it with Thompson's WaterSeal in their Woodland Cedar color.
It was a pretty good match.
Next up I had to fit the boards I was using for the floor. I cut a notch in the sides using my jigsaw so It would fit around the side supports in the frame.
It didn't fit the first time, or second time.... third times a charm.
I started off using a hammer and nails to attach the planks to the frame, and it was taking forever....
So I decided to use screws instead. Way quicker. This time I was more careful, I predrilled and counter sunk the holes before attaching with screws since they will be visible from the outside.
I only attached the top and bottom planks at the point.
It was at this point I realized I was short a board..... But I just didn't want to go out and buy more material, so I ran with it.
To get the correct size for the spacing I placed all the boards on the back of the shed and measured how much of a gap was left over. Then I divided that number by the amount of spaces I needed.
In my case, the gap was 13.625". I divided that by 5, because thats how many spaces I needed and got 2.725". So I cut some scraps to 2.725" to place between the planks during assembly.
I really wanted these gaps to be smaller, but I messed up. I will change this in the plans so you can have an option for smaller gaps. If you're using 7 boards you need to divide by 6, becuase thats how many spaces you need.
Making the spacers definitely helps this process go really smoothly.
It was also at this point that I stopped worrying about the structural integrity of the shed. Attaching the planks really made it feel solid and it wasn't racking anymore.
I measured for the side planks and cut them to size, again using the circular saw and straight edge guide I made.
Then predrilled and screwed the sides into place!
Once I got to the top I had to deal with cutting the planks at an angle. Once attached I used this Husky T-Bevel/Angle Finder to mark the correct angle on the outside of the plank.
This tool isn't necessary to draw an accurate angled cut line, but it worked really well and I was happy I had it!
Clearly, judging from this picture, I take my angles very seriously...
Then I cut along the line using the circular saw!
If you're not comfortable using a saw like that, you can also clamp the board in place and make a cut mark with a pencil.
Then you can take the board off and cut the angle with the circular saw on your work table.
(always make sure your blade is set to the right depth, you wouldn't want to cut all the way through your support piece!)
After it's cut, you can attach it to the frame!
I also attached the floor boards at this point.
Time for the roof!
I decided to use beveled cedar siding for the roof. I noticed my kids swing set has this type of roof, so figured it would work out! If you can't find beveled siding, There are a lot of other options for the roof.
I considered asphalt shingles, a metal roof panel or just regular cedar planks. I even considered doing a living roof with plants! That would be awesome.
Whatever roof you decide on just make sure there is an even amount of overhang on all sides. I was able to make sure it was even by using my combination square.
I made a mark 1" from the back of the roof pieces so it would be easy to line them up.
Then row by row I nailed them into place using stainless steel siding nails.
For the top panel I didn't use the beveled siding. I thought it would look weird if the top of the structure was so thin, and it also didn't seem durable. So i just used one of the regular cedar planks to finish it off at the top.
I didn't write that in the plans, because I am not sure if I like how it looks that the top one looks different from side...
I've never used Thompson's Waterseal before, but it was very easy to apply. You just need one light coat and you are done. I guess the only drawback would be that I would need to reapply when it starts to wear off.... we shall see.
It took me about an hour to cover the whole shed, inside and out, not too bad.
Last step was to add some accesoriies for storage and it was done!
I am really happy with how this turned out! My kids finally have a place to store all their outdoor toys and they will be out of my shop!
In the past I would find their helmets all over the yard... I really hope they will actually remember to clean up after themselves because of how accessible this shed is to them!
Here's to hoping that's true!
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