Make your own garden shed
08 September 2014
Estimated time: Three weekends
Cost: R5000-R6500 (depending on what materials you use, your shed’s dimensions etc)
What you will need:
- Double wall – 6mm exterior ply for the interior
- Nutec fibre-cement tongue & groove textured sheets on the exterior
- SA pine 44×44 for the door framing and corner posts
- 44×69 for the floor and hinge supports
- 6m of 22x69mm for the roof supports
- A half sheet of 16mm shutter board for the floor
- 22×222 planks for the shelves
- 1 pair of heavy-duty 250mm T-hinges
- 1 heavy-duty 200mm hasp & staple lock
- Galvanised clout nails (50mm)
- Pre-painted corrugated roofing sheets, plus the cap;
- 1 bag of roofing nails with waterproof caps
- Four lengths of 38x38mm aluminium extrusion – each 2.4m
- 50mm stainless steel screws
- Eighteen 75x6mm stainless steel bolts with self-locking nuts and washers
- Acrylic waterproof coating.
- A combination padlock to keep everything secure!
- Bear in mind that this materials list could vary considerably, depending on the materials you use and the dimensions of any shed you make.
- These materials are available at Selected Mica Stores. To find out which is your closest Mica and whether or not they stock the items required, please go to www.mica.co.za, find your store and call them. If your local Mica does not stock exactly what you need they will be able to order it for you or suggest an alternative product or a reputable source.
Confirm that the shutterboards are square by measuring the diagonals and ensuring they are equal. The floor should measure 1220x1220mm.
- Cut four lengths of 44x69mm reinforcing, mitring the ends, and attach them to the perimeter of the floor sheet. You can square-cut them as shown here, if you wish. Bear in mind that the walls go around the floor, and their corner posts rest on the corners of the floor.
- Give the entire underside a good couple of coats of the waterproof sealer to protect it against any damp.
- Mark off the first of the Nutec sheets, this one for the back wall with the peak.
- You can cut the fibre-cement sheet with a craft knife, scoring it deeply and then carefully flexing it to break it free.
- Repeat the process for the front wall and then mark out the door – which is 800x1600mm high and starts 85mm from the bottom (that’s to take in the 16mm shutter board floor and the 44x69mm reinforcing.
- Cut the door out, taking care to mark the top lightly in pencil.
- The door’s cutout. Neaten up the edges if necessary and then trim the door by 5-6mm on one side and the top – or bottom. This is because the jigsaw blade is only a millimetre or so wide, and your door needs a clearance of about 2.5-3mm on each edge if it to be able to open and close properly. Now repeat all of this on the one sheet of exterior ply (which – just to confuse you – is actually the interior wall of the shed).
- Cut to length and attach the 44×44 framework to the door as shown – go wild with the 50mm clout nails; the stronger the attachment, the better.
- This is the sort of clearance you need – this is the bottom edge of the door.
- Cross-brace the door with two lengths of 44×44 – centering these at 145mm from the top and bottom, and they will have the hinges attached to them.
- When driving in the nails to attach the cross-bracings, make sure you space them so that they don’t match the holes for the hinges’ attachment bolts. (The coating on the hinges is a wax, by the way, to help protect them against rust.)
- Now you can be really cunning… position the door within the front wall cutout, position the hinges, and pre-drill the holes for the attachment bolts. The best way to do this is drill the first hole on the frame side, and push a bolt into it, then drill a second hole on the door side, and shove a bolt into that. That will keep the hinge firmly in place while you drill the rest of the holes.
- Hammer in extra nails around the hinge to reinforce the joint between the sheets and their framework.
- Ensure that the hinges are centred over the junction between the door and the wall, as shown.
- A view of the inner side of the front, showing the framing.
- You can use bricks to separate the floor from paying. Make sure the base is level and add shims if necessary, then place the floor on the bricks; again checking that it is absolutely level.
- Remove the floor, set it up against the back and…
- Having aligned it, drilled three holes for bolts to attach the back securely to the floor.
- Double-check again the floor is level.
- Position the base, check it’s vertical.
- Attach it to the floor using the bolts; use bolts because the shed is only 250mm from the wall, and one can’t drive in nails to secure the rear wall to the floor. A temporary stay keeps the rear wall vertical. Note the framing.
- Then it’s just a case of adding the first side…
- The front…
- And finally the fourth side.
- Keep the roof in place during rough winds by using four lengths of 22x69mm SA pine, attached as shown (the short bridging pieces are cut from excess 22x69mm) to the roof’s peak, and then the sides. These peak support beams are set back about 50mm from the peak – to that the capping can be secured properly.
- A side view shows the roof beams in position.
- Now it’s simply a case of clamping the roofing sheets in place and attaching them – along the lower roof beam (the one next to the wall – using either roofing nails with waterproof capping, or, as I did, drilling holes for 50mm stainless-steel screws.
- Cut and bent the last 50mm of the capping.
- This helps prevent rain driving up and under the ends of the capping.
- Almost there… Add a top frame across the doorway and then attach the door. Once the door was attached, fit the hasp and staple lock and the handle. Add, shown here, a length of 22x44mm SA pine that stands proud of the door jamb by 10mm – as a doorstop to stop the door swinging right through.
- Attach adjustable shelf supports. (You can use fixed shelf supports)
- Shed final closed – The final result… not too big, but ideal for garden tools and other gardening bits and pieces.
- Shed final open – We added a couple of lengths of 22×69 beams to the door and added the string holds (to stop the shelf contents falling when the door is opened or closed, of course); the door is suitable only for very light loads.
- Shed final inside – Depending on the number of shelves you install, there is room for quite a lot of garden tools, sprays, mower, ladder and so on.