Posted by John on July 10th, 2011
We recently completed construction of our shed this past spring. It’s a 12′ x 8′ garden shed that is used to store all of our garden equipment including lawn mowers, weed wackers, rakes and shovels. We built it from scratch after we couldn’t find any “Ready to Deliver” units in the area that we liked. We could’ve had one built to our specs and then delivered, but we weren’t interested in spending that much on customizing a store bought unit. We tried to match the look of the shed as much as possible to the look of our house. The roof shingles are the exact same make and color and the siding color is close. We could’ve matched the siding exactly, but our house uses vinyl siding and we thought clapboard would look “shed-ier” than vinyl siding.
When we selected the materials for this project, our goal was to make it as low maintenance as possible. I don’t want to be painting anything on a yearly basis. The siding is James Hardie (www.JamesHardie.com) and it’s a prepainted fiber cement product. I shouldn’t have to paint these for a very long time. Because it’s fiber cement also means it won’t rot like wood will. The color is Navajo Beige. All the white trim is PVC and it’s also not painted nor does it need to ever be painted.
Although I’d like to take credit for the design of the shed, I actually saw someone else build nearly the exact same model online. That construction video is available at Fine Homebuilding’s website (http://www.finehomebuilding.com/pages/how-to-build-a-shed/) and the builder is Rick Arnold. The only things I really changed from Rick’s version are the dimensions and some other minor options. If you’re interested in seeing it built from scratch, you’ll have to pay a subscriber fee to Fine Homebuilding to catch all 20 webisodes. For the $6 or $7 I paid to watch it and learn how, it was well worth it.
There are a couple products we used during the build that are worth mentioning. The footers are a PVC product call Redifooting (www.redifooting.com). Redifooting uses regular schedule 40 4″ DWV pipes to support the weight of whatever you would use with concrete. The advantage of these footings as opposed to concrete, is that you don’t need to wait for concrete to cure. Plus if I ever decide I need to move the shed or take it with me to future home, I can unlag it from the Redifooting posts and dig out the PVC pipes. They were very easy to install.
For the plywood walls and roofing, we used Zip System sheets (http://www.zipsystem.com/). These are regular construction grade plywood sheets with a weather wrap built in. Zip System eliminates the need for a house wrap. To eliminate leaking at the joints, a Zip System joint tape is used, which is essentially a water tight duct tape. Rick Arnold used Zip Systems during his demo build, but not the RediFootings, although he does use them regularly.
Some things that still need to be done:
1. Add a flowering plant to the pot in front of the window
2. Apply a weed barrier and mulch to the flower beds
3. Caulk the joints where the clapboard meets the trim
4. Add weather barriers to the double doors to prevent insects, snakes and rain from entering
5. Caulk around the prehung door
6. Caulk along the floor where the wall rests