Building a shed, part 2

April 28th, 2014

My Dad left a few weeks ago, and our shed is just now complete. My son Robert has enjoyed the finishing process, since I have let him watch a movie basically every afternoon while his brother is napping, allowing me to get some work done. While the shed looked pretty close to done in my previous post; there was still quite a bit work left.

shed almost done

Items to complete

-Attaching all of the trim
-Finishing the stain
-Making and attaching the soffit and vents
-Anchor the shed to the concrete pad
-Building the interior shelves
-Polyurethane the door
-Clean up the mess in the garage

A few things to point out, you may notice that a couple of trim pieces were added before this post. It’s really best to pre-stain (or paint) your trim and then attach it. We were running short on time during my Dad’s visit, so a few things were done out of order. Also, while I did a lot of the finish work myself, a number of items had to be done when my husband was home, particularly the trim pieces around the roof. To clarify, here’s a list of the best order to complete items:

Shed work order

1) Make your foundation
2) Frame the walls
3) Build the trusses
4) Add the siding (*put the siding on the walls first if you have the manpower to push up fully sided walls)
5) Use the sawzall to cut out the window from the siding, also cut out the bottom board for your door opening
6) Attach the roof sheathing
7) Shingles the roof
8) Hang the door (you will probably have to trim the door opening first if yours is being hung on exterior hinges like mine)
9) Paint the exterior
10) Put in soffit and vents (optional)
11) Add the trim
12) Anchor the shed to the foundation
13) Build interior shelves

Finishing the trim

mistake hiders

Once I had the exterior fully stained, I went ahead and finished the rest of the exterior trim work. Above you can see the decorative criss-cross style trim detail on the top of the peak. Before you get all impressed, know that the only reason I did this was to hide a big mistake. I made a wrong cut and had to piece two chunks of siding together, resulting in a funky seam (indicated by the red line above). I had just enough material to complete the siding, so I couldn’t make a completely new piece. Tip: Do not measure and cut complex siding portions with a three year old jumping on your back. Turns out you are less accurate with that level of distraction…

Making soffit and vents

For my soffit (covering for the underside of the roof), I simply used extra scraps of siding and then used a jigsaw to cut out holes for the vents. Below you can see my soffit, awaiting my husband’s return from work to help me install them. A quick tip, make sure you have some really short screws to attach the vents, that way the screws don’t poke through the other side of the board. The other side won’t be seen, but you could poke yourself pretty easily.


Next, I added some trim to finish the soffit off nicely. I used my 1×4 cedar, as well as some pieces of 1×2. If I owned a table saw, I would have angled the edges of the trim so they tucked into the edge nicer. Here you can see the trim in place.

soffit trim

At this point the edges of your roof line probably look something like this…

roof edge

I added decorative end caps to cover these messy roof edges. Below you can see how I designed these caps using a piece of paper. I have no idea if this is the “right” way to do this, it just seemed like a good idea to me. Plus, it’s the same paper I use for pattern pieces for sewing, so why not use it on wood?


Just remember that two need to be cut in reverse (mirror images). Not that I cut all four the same and had to do two over again….

Here’s a view of the end caps just after they were installed, which I really should have stained first.

end caps

Bolting the shed in place

You can anchor your shed to your foundation as soon as the framing is done, but I didn’t do it until it was almost entirely completed. The only reason I waited until later was because I was waiting to have the proper drill, this 3 mode Dewalt SDS hammer drill to be exact. I also needed to pick up some wedge anchors, also shown below.

hammer drill

Make sure you are wearing the proper safety gear (this is true of any step requiring a power tool).

safety gear

I put the drill bit in and made some holes (two at each corner and the midpoint of each wall). This was shockingly easy with the type of drill I had. They looked like little ant hills.

concrete drilling

Make sure you vacuum the dust out of the holes (I used my shop vac), pound the anchor bolts in place, and then tighten the nut on top.

anchor bolt

Sealing the door

Because I had used nice cedar to make to Dutch door, I opted to clear coat it with Polyurethane to highlight the nice grain of the wood. I wasn’t able to seal the door until about four days after it was installed, which gave me enough time to realize that I had not used exterior finish nails. Ooops… You can tell by the staining trailing away from the nails.

wrong nail

I decided to simply sand the wood a little before staining and tried to get a little extra poly on top of the nails, hoping that this will limit the staining in the future. I looked through my nail stash and realized that some of the nails I used were exterior (the 2″ and 2.5″ ones), but the smaller ones I had used were not exterior. Just be careful and double check on your project. Lesson learned.

Final Details

window shelf

window boxThe last detail I added to the exterior was a window shelf. I plan to put a nice window box on here in the future and add a little succulent display. I think this one from Gardener’s Supply would be cute, and it’s self watering (bonus). I may take the actual wood shelf off, and just use the brackets (which are really decorative plant hooks) to hold up the window box. For now, the shelf will sit empty until I get around to doing something with it.

Interior shelves

Finally, I put in some loft shelving and also transplanted some metal shelving from our basement. Robert (our 3 year old) was very excited about the new shed, which we built just for his and his brother’s lawn mower. Below you can see “Peacock” and “Grassy Hill” in their new parking spots.


We also moved some cabinets that had been in our garage to store various lawn and garden items. Below, you can see the cabinets and our lawnmower, which is happily out of our garage.

lawn mower shed

The finished shed

finished shed

finished shed

I am so glad to be done with this project, and very happy with the results. We now have an extremely functional shed that also looks nice in our yard. Now we just need to clean up the mess in our garage so that we can park inside it again.

Some final tips, if you decide to make a regular height shed, simply sub the stud height 2×4′s for 6′ length ones. Also, I ended up with extra 1×4 cedar trim, so you could easily order about 40 linear feet less.


Here’s the download link again, in case you need it:
Shed Materials List

Final tips

-If you can afford a framing nail gun, buy one- that would have saved us HOURS of time

-Know that your garage will be a construction staging area (disaster zone) for at least a few weeks

-Most home projects really aren’t that hard if you do your research (I liked this book)

-When you go to add your exterior trim, know that¬†exterior nails are only made for angled nailers (more hand nailing for me…)

-If you’re getting really tired (or your kids are getting impatient), take a break- you’re bound to make mistakes at that point

Good luck with your projects, and hopefully this has been helpful!

Shed Design part 2


One response to “Building a shed, part 2

  1. Mary Buffham says:

    Just your Grandma, saying,”You are amazing, Amy!”
    You sure didn’t get any of my carpenter genes!

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