Top tips for building a shed

Having a shed is a great way to add extra storage space to your garden. They’re ideal for storing garden furniture, lawnmowers and outdoor toys. Most DIYers decide to build one by the end of the summer season. Not because the weather is great for outdoor work, but for a more practical reason. Let’s face it, who wants to squeeze all of their summer gear into already crowded garages and homes?

For this reason, we’ve put together our top tips and techniques that’ll help you build the perfect shed for your garden.


Planning permission


Before making any significant changes to the interior or exterior of your homes, it’s always best to check whether or not planning permission is required. In recent years there have been some changes to planning permission. This is to allow for certain home improvements to be completed easily without requiring permission.

Sheds, greenhouses, playhouses and garages are considered to be permitted development which do not require planning permission, subject to limits and conditions. Please find the details about outbuildings planning permission to learn more.

Before taking on any home project, we advise you to check the Planning Portal to find out if you require planning permission. If you’re unsure or require further information, please contact your local planning authority.


Identify the perfect spot


Identifying where you intend to build your shed may sound simple, but there’s a few things to consider when deciding on the location.

1. Don’t build a shed at the bottom of a hill or in low-lying areas

Water is a wood’s worst enemy for one obvious reason – excess moisture. So, choosing a dry location is essential for a strong, long-lasting shed. Rotted wood, blistered paint and rusted hinges are just some of the effects of excess moisture. Not to mention a muddy swamp in the surrounding areas after every rainstorm!

2. Make sure the shed won’t be surrounded by trees and groundcover

To ensure your shed will receive plenty of sunshine and airflow, it’s important not to tuck the shed deep into the forest. Otherwise, it’ll remain dark and damp which will increase the risk of mould and mildew growth. Plus, your shed will constantly be under attack from falling branches, leaves, acorns and other debris which may attract unwanted pests.


Make sure your floor frame is sturdy and weather resistant


As the floor frame of a shed is relatively close to the ground, it’s going to be susceptible to rot and wood-boring bugs. To ensure your floor frame is up to the task, use pressure-treated lumber. Make sure it’s at least two inches thick as anything less will eventually fall apart from exposure. For the shed’s floor deck, anything less than ¾-in. exterior-grade plywood will flex between the joists. If you’re planning on storing heavy items in your shed, consider using ¾-in. tongue-and-groove plywood. It may be slightly more pricey and trickier to install, but its edges will lock tightly together to create a rock-solid floor which is perfect for heavy furniture and appliances.


Use roof trusses


The roof is the trickiest part for most DIYers when building a shed. Walls and doors are quite straight forward once you get your head around it. But how do you build a roof that won’t leak? Roof trusses is the easiest solution and they can be built on your shed deck and raised up when your walls are finished. As a general rule when learning how to build a shed roof, you’ll need one truss every 2 ft. You can either build your own trusses or buy tailor made trusses from manufactures. If you build your own, the cost will be about half the amount than buying from manufactures. Learn more about how to build a shed roof trusses.


Know your door types


Hinged and sliding doors are the two most commonly used door types on sheds. But choosing which door type will work best all depends on how you plan to use your shed. Hinged doors take up less space and close more tightly and securely. Whereas sliding doors are easier to install and glide completely out of the way. However, sliding doors require additional wall space on either side of the opening in order to slide open.


Use long-lasting nails and woodscrews


If you’re looking to build a long-lasting shed, high quality nails and screws are essential. Ideally you want to use nails for framing and screws for finishing, such as sheathing and subfloor. If you’re looking for a little guidance on woodscrews, look no further than Optimaxx.

Optimaxx is a prime example of an extreme high-quality woodscrew that’s are ideal for building sheds, decking and any other wooden units. Optimaxx woodscrews are the world’s best extreme high-performance woodscrew that include a range of unique application benefits. Including a precisely cut angled slash point and serrated threads to enable a fast penetration without the need for a pilot hole. Along with a wide deep thread pattern and 24 grooves cut into the underside of the countersunk head. This provides a tight lock into the timber and prevents the screw from sitting proud above the timber.

For less concern about rust, we recommend using Optimaxx Deck Screws for your shed. These are complete with a unique Maxxtect coating with a lifetime exterior anti-corrosion guarantee and can withstand a 2000-hour salt spray test.

Top Tip: Decorate with care

When it’s time to decorate the shed, opt for s stain or oil that maintains the wood’s natural shade. Or add a splash of colour to your garden with shed paint. Both will add a much-needed layer of protection when confronting the British weather elements.