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Do You Need Wood Shed Plans to Build Your Perfect Garden Shed?

picture of the rear and side framing from a good set of wood shed plans

If you are planning on building a garden shed do you need to have a set of plans. A lot depends on our construction experience and the complexity of the she, but it can't hurt to purchase a good set of wood shed plans.

For any large project it’s a good idea to have a set of quality plans that you can refer to throughout your project. If you have built a few wood sheds in the past you may not need plans because you can visualize everything and you know all of the materials you will need.

I think a set of plans is similar to a recipe for making a great meal. The first few times I cook something I’m always referring to the recipe. Once I’ve cooked it a few times I can do it from memory or maybe only refer to the recipe once to check on quantities of ingredients. When I first went to college, I cooked a tomato meat sauce using the recipe on the box of spaghetti. Now when I’m cooking a meat sauce I don’t need the recipe and I even use a few variations along the way.

If you are comfortable with a hammer and a saw and have built a few sheds before you may still want a set of plans because they should provide you with dimensions and tips along the way. Before you purchase a set of shed plans here is a list of questions you should consider:

  • What style of shed do you want?
    You might want it to match the style of your house. A sloped roof is a good idea if you get heavy snow or rainfall during the year.
  • What will you use your wood shed for?
    You might need double doors to move large items in and out. Windows on the shed will add light in during the day but there is a security risk
  • How big do you want or need your shed to be?
    It is a good idea to look at all of the tools and garden supplies you want to store in and add some room for growth. Like a sail boat you will always want it a few feet bigger.
  • What is the size of your location?
    You may not want your outdoor storage shed to become the focal point of your back yard. It is a good idea to plan out how much room you want your outdoor structure to take up before you start looking at plans.
  • Besides storage, do you want to use the outdoor garden shed for any thing else?
    A potting or work bench can be handy. You might also want to run power out to your shed so you can run tools like a grinder for sharpening tools or running other power tools.

There are lots of different plans available on the Internet. From free shed plans to cheap, expensive and even shed plan software. Some sites will over you multiple plans in one package. These might be a little more expensive but if you decide later on you want a larger or smaller shed you are covered.

Here’s a list of what you should look for in a good set of plans:

  • Plan view from various angles with dimensions
  • Floor plan
  • List of materials
  • Framing plan and details
  • Drawings with the dimensions for the walls, roof and, floor
  • Pictures during the construction and the completed shed
  • Tips and building instructions
  • List of tools you will need
  • Details on the foundation and site preparation

So if you are thinking of building a shed it is a good idea to consider a good set of plans to help you along the way.

With a set of plans you can sit down before you start the construction and make modifications to the design. You might want to add a window or a door or change a few details on the construction.

For more information on building a shed you should read the following articles:

Barns and sheds are great for outdoor storage

Different styles of shed plans available for download



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