Storage shed project / build log

This is sort show-and-tell material, but it’s A) in planning and B) not at all occurring at DMS.

Being a first world resident, I have a tendency to accumulate too many possessions. My ‘solution’ to this problem has been to evict vehicles from the garage and allow things to accumulate there instead. This is a poor solution - I’d like to take advantage of being able to store my vehicle indoors at least half of the time and I’ve had a hankering to do this for years now. It will also force some paring-down of of inventory.

Laundry list:

  • Roll-up door for easy in-out of yardwork tools
  • Deployable ramp for rolling stock
  • Conventional door for daily access
  • Utility window for illumination
  • Largest size allowed
  • Shelving for tote storage
  • Floor storage for lawnmower, shredder
  • Pegboard / specific hangars for yard tools

Having little interest in doubling my costs and quadrupling the time commitment if a building permit is required, I’m opting to stay below the permit envelope in my city:

  • <120 ft²
  • <10ft high
  • No concrete slab
  • No electrical
  • No plumbing

It’s a storage shed, so lack of electrical and plumbing isn’t a problem. I was going to do pier-and-beam anyway so lack of a slab isn’t a big deal.

Amazingly, there are no side or rear setback requirements other than staying out of easements.

Here are the plan views:

8 x 14 is 112 nominal square feet. Including 3/8" siding it’s closer to 113 square feet.

Outer platform will be 2x8; joists will be 2x6. I believe that a dozen 4x4 along the perimeter will be sufficient support. Contemplating using PVC pipe casement on the piers up to the height of the outer platform to prolong their life and reduce ‘conflict’ with the weedeater.

I did a version with both doors on one of the 8’ sides, but that was a tight fit and would also be markedly less space-efficient since roughly twice as much space would be needed for entry purposes. In this layout the 4’ rollup door is on the 8’ side and the 30" conventional door is on the 14’ side.

This concept allows for two ~30" storage aisles with one running full length. I expect to use the corner directly opposite the conventional door for lawnmower and outdoor tool storage.

I’ll probably put up interior panelling as well to make it neater. I’ll lose some net square footage, but that ~3.5" depth would be hard to use anyway with the footer board for the frame and 16" stud spacing isn’t convenient for boxes and totes. I expect to principally use white masonite - it’s inexpensive and will brighten up the interior. I’ll probably also do some pegboard for tools and plywood for areas with high ‘bump’ potential.

Two of the elevation views:

Roof pitch is 1:12 to give the rollup door adequate overhead clearance. Roofing is probably going to be corrugated steel - it’s cheap, tough, and doesn’t eat up as much vertical margin as plastic roofing with its greater ‘wave depth’ and need for spacers both lengthwise and crosswise. A 1:12 pitch also allows me to cut 8x2 roof panels in 2 across the width with a gap that a ridge cap will cover handily so I can allow for some overhang (factory edges out, natch).

Not shown is the 8’ side with the utility window framing.


I started down this path towards designing a ‘backyard craft studio’ last winter. We wanted something like what you can get at I started really estimating costs and I abandoned the project when I realized it was gonna be north of $15k just for the building. My tastes have always outrun my wallet.


Ahh a storage shed project. The ever dilemma of to build or buy. One side is if you build it is exactly as you want it. The other side is you will spend about the same money or more than if you just bought one. I’ve built a few for friends, they got what they wanted but it was about the same price. I had that issue deciding which way I wanted to go. I got lucky because I found a used shed for cheap. I just had to relocate it which wasn’t a big deal. Bunch of cinder blocks, 1.5 pvc, highlift & 2x8’s. It’s funny because I took the cinder blocks & 2x8’s back after I was done with them. I have been pondering about building an additional one myself for a home woodshop.

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I have a partial bill of materials that I need to fully populate and price. Some things I expected to be really expensive - such as the rollup door - weren’t. That final price will be a major factor in whether or not I execute, but I’m only expecting it to be a few thousand. Tuff-Shed is looking to be >$3000; looking at the model my neighbor had delivered I’m not impressed with their build quality.


I had the same impression of Tuff-Shed. Like, if these ones at Home Depot are supposed to be your demo units and sell me on buying one, you might want to make sure the door isn’t sagging.

My BOM was pricey because I was going to insulate and heat/cool it, and had some nifty sliding glass doors picked out.

Then there’s my wife who was afraid I’d injure myself halfway through (admittedly, a valid concern :smiley: ) and leave our yard with an eyesore until I recuperated.


The one my neighbor had delivered wasn’t in that bad of shape, but OSB siding and what looked to be 2x3 framing are negatives in my book. The shed they previously demolished might have been the same brand and sported the same construction. They also appear to be short to a degree I won’t tolerate as a fella that’s 6’4".

It would be nice to be able to have power, lighting, climate control - but that’s a phase 2 wish list, replete with all the aggravating expenses of hiring a contractor and permitting.

Home Despot pricing is something I’d surely like to avoid and local construction site scrap piles are curiously deficient in 8’ 2x4s and whole sheets of plywood.


That depends entirely upon what time you visit the site and whether they have video surveillance. :wink:

How I avoided the the trap the city lays for you is electricity connected to it. If you hard wire it, Arlington assumes it it now something akin to a building.

So I a ran buried armored weatherproof conduit out to it, had it come out above ground, nice GFI weather outlet attached to the side of the building.
I then plugged in an extension cord that went inside the “auxiliary building”. Miracle of miracles - running an extension cord isn’t considered “wired” if it didn’t go into the building “permanently” I merely had a convenient outdoor plug. to plug into.


Working on such a project myself. No HOA in my neighborhood, but the building code limits of <120ft² and <10 ft tall to dodge the building permit requirement are a challenging envelope to work within - especially if you insist on trying to squeeze a rollup door into it. Going to print out a copy of that official city document and have it handy in case my busybody neighbors snitch on me.


That’s the same size as Arlington.

Roll-up door? Wouldn’t roll up Wall be a better descriptor.


That’s what Richardson has, I believe. 120 square feet you just need a sketch of your lot with an X on it where the shed will be. Any larger and you have to submit a measured drawing. No HOA though, thank goodness.

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Preliminary BOM is coming in markedly cheaper than I was expecting:


Missing some details - door(s), a few buckets of fasteners, paint, trim, roofing filler/adhesives, insulation, etc - that will push it up past the $2k mark. I’ll want a compound miter saw to speed the cutting which will add some ~$250 to the total, but that’s a durable tool thus kinda exempt from the cost accounting.

Decided to omit the rollup door. I need to do a ramp of some sorts anyway which I’ll integrate as a 3-part door - ramp drops down, upper leaves swing to the side. Should be more secure (all latches inside) while also reducing the need for headroom. As such I’ll do a more conventional 3:12 roof as opposed to the 1:12 I originally planned on which will buy me ~6" of margin against that 10’ height limit.

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X2 on being worth having suitable nailers.

Been a while since I stood up framing, but it was a huge time saver. I vaguely remember using different nailers for the framing and the sheathing, but that may simply have been that we had nailers with overlapping ranges, and it was easier to not need to switch supplies and comfigurations back and forth.

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Preliminary plan is to drill and screw most framing and paneling.

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I did 2 sections of fence using that method and my sanity seems to have emerged no worse for the wear. Layout / fixturing / workholding is going to eat up more time than any plausible method of securing the pieces together.

To be clear, I expect this to be a multi-weekend project, possibly spanning a month or more.

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Ain’t nothing wrong with making it all about the build, with the fringe benefit of having a shed to store stuff in when you’re done… :+1:

Sometimes the execution itself is extremely satisfying. However, I suspect I’ll come to appreciate use of the structure once I’ve finally finished tinkering with it since substantial completion is not a valid excuse to leave it alone.


I see I’m not the only one that does that.

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