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Should I Use Shed Plans To Build My Next Garden Shed?

Building wood garden shed from a set of plans, that's me on the left.

There’s no doubt that garden sheds are incredibly handy. My only complaint is that they're never quite big enough! The various sheds we've had over the years always seem to be overflowing with gardening tools, pool equipment, kids’ bikes and skateboards.

The first garden shed I built was using a cedar shed kit. The nice thing about the kit is that it came with everything I needed to build it including: precut wood, roofing material, hardware and a set of plans. Yes, the shed kit came with a set of plans. Even though everything was precut and in one big pallet, it still required a set of plans to build it.

The next shed I build was with plans, not kit the second time around. If you have built a lot of sheds, you probably don’t need a set of plans. If you are new to building a wooden shed or you are adding a detail or design features that you have not built before you will want to have a set of plans before you get started.

Why Are Plans Such A Good Idea?

A good set of plans is like a good map. It gives you directions and information to get from point A to point B the quickest way possible without making mistakes. Detailed plans will provide you the steps with information to build your shed quickly and minimizing mistakes. They can also save you money and make you look like a pro.

Building the floor and sides are pretty straight forward, but the structure can get a bit tricky when you start building the rafters, doors, windows and other accessories. Plans are also helpful if someone else is building the shed for you. It lets them know exactly what you want, so they can provide an accurate quote and it allows you to make sure you get what you want. No mistakes or misunderstandings by the builder if it is in the plans.

What Should A Good Set Of Shed Plans Come With?

The most important thing is to have a set of plans that you can understand. Everyone is different and I think the more information the plans provide the better you will be able to follow them and build your perfect project. Here are a few things that I look for in a good set up plans:

  • Detailed drawings - with all of the measurements and views of the sides, front, back, floor and the roof
  • Detailed construction notes – these can be separate or as part of the drawings
  • Ability to print out several sets of the drawings – this can be handy if you want to make changes or you have several people working on building it.
  • Material list – this is helpful when you are pricing out the project and also when you are going to the local building center to purchase everything. Making only one trip can save you a lot of time.
  • Instructions on how to put it all together – I haven’t seen this with every good set of plans but it is nice when difficult parts are explained in detail.

Is There Anything Wrong With Free Shed Plans?

There are a lot of free shed plans available on the Internet. Some are very good and some are not. To be good, they should have most if not all of the points I mention above. And the shed in the plans should be the size you want to build. If not you are going to have to adjust it to the right size, which can be tricky.

Before you start looking for a set of plans, I recommend that you think about your ideal shed and get it down on paper. It doesn’t have to be an elaborate design, but think about dimensions, doors, windows, etc.

You can download this free 12x8 wood shed plan nowSome plans can be pretty expensive and we're not all made of money. To help you get started looking for a good set of free plans, I've put a link below for the plans picture to the left.

It is for a 12x8 shed. So they may not be the size you want but they will give you a good idea of what you can get for free.

It is a PDF document so you will need to have a PDF reader. Once that is installed and you have downloaded the plans you can review them and print them out. To download these plans now, please Click Here


Shed Plans You Can Purchase and Download

If you are interested in purchasing plans, I have found three different packages that you can review below. Two our pakcages with more than shed plans and one is only shed plans, but it includes 16 different plans.


My Shed Plans Elite

I purchased and downloaded this package and there are a lot of different shed plans included plus a lot of other plans and information on building projects with wood.

There's also a comprehensive woodworking guide that steps you through the whole process. It includes advice for insulating a waterproofing your shed, how to pick the right materials, laying concrete foundations, etc.

They say it comes with 12,000 plans for various woodworking projects. I have not taken the time to count them all but there are a lot of plans.

One thing I did notice is that there is a wide variety of quality in the plans. Some are very detailed and some are photo copies of plans. In the list of 12,000 plans there are links that go to sites where you can download the plans for free. But I did note that some of the plans have been moved to different locations on the site, so you may have to do some searching.


Woodworking 4 Home Offers 14,000 Plans for Wood Working Project- Including Shed Plans

14,000 Woodworking and Shed PlansDo you enjoy wood working? Are you looking for patterns and plans for your projects ideas? This may be the perfect plan bundle to download and purchase NOW!

I have not done a formal review of these plans and once I do I will update this information.

Get instant access to 14,000 plans with step by step instructions. Almost all of the plans are PDF files that you can easily display and print from your computer. If you don't already have it installed on your computer, you can down the free PDF reader from the site.

On top of the free plans you also get instant access to woodworking guides, woodworking tips and videos.

We were impressed by the way the plans are arranged in categories. If you are looking for a specific plan you can look in one of the 100+ labeled category folders and not all of the 14,000 plans. Here's a selection of the 100+ categories that you might be interested in:

  • arbors, barns, bridges, gazebos, greenhouses, landscaping, pergolas, storage and of course shed plans.

There are many more plan categories and I recommend you visit their site to review the complete list.


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