A garden shed is a often used to store gardening equipment and yard tools where they are needed. However, you can also build a decorative garden shed and make it part of the landscaping and design element of the garden. To make the garden shed a focal point of interest in your garden, you need to make it attractive and match the landscaping design of your garden.
The best way to do this is to build a basic garden shed and customize it or decorate it with a bird house on top, a living roof of moss or other plants, allocate part of the shed for a greenhouse, rabbit hutch, or chicken coop. You can incorporate multiple variations on the basic theme.
Choose the Location for Your Decorative Garden Shed
To build the garden shed, choose a fairly level spot of ground in a well-drained area. The ground need not be perfectly level and any difference in depth can be compensated with differing lengths of the vertical posts used. The garden shed can be built on the thin top soil, doing away with the need to dig for the foundation.
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Placing the Precast Concrete Blocks
Once you have cleared the ground for the garden shed, place the precast concrete deck blocks at the right places. These blocks should be placed at the four corners as well as along the sides. The longer eight foot side should have two or three blocks while the shorter six foot sides should have one block placed in the middle. Now place a 12 inch piece of 4×4 lumber into the central recess of each concrete block. The lumber will protrude slightly above the block.
Building the Frame
Now take the 2×6 that will form the outer edges of the frame and place them on the concrete blocks such that they align along the outer edge of the 4×4 lumber already placed in the central recess of the concrete blocks. Trim all the excess 4×4 such that they are flush with the top of the 2×6 you have laid alongside them.
You are now ready to add the floor joists. These should run between the two longer sides of the shed, the 8 foot sides. The 2×6 floor joists should be fixed to the outer edges of the floor frame using screws. You also need to add three three and a half inch deck screws into each joint. Now install the pressure treated plywood subfloor over the frame. This can be five eights of an inch thick. This should be secured using 2 and a half inch screws that are placed every six to eight inches.
Building the Walls
To build the walls, you need to fix 2×4 wall plates horizontally using vertical wall studs. The top and bottom plates are connected using the wall studs. The shorter walls are placed within the longer ones. The walls are secured using 3 and a half inch deck screws. The wall studs should be 24 inches apart.
The walls should be fastened to the deck using four inch deck screws. The screws should sink into the 2×6 floor frame for best results. Now you can add a second layer of wall plates, ensuring that they overlap at the corners. The walls can be completed by covering the frame with sheathing.
Window and Doors
When preparing the walls and the studs, you need to also mark the location of the doors and windows. These can be of any size, permitting you to reuse any available doors or windows. The door hinges can be attached directly to the wall, while most windows need a frame.
Cutting Windows and Doors
Once the wall has been installed and the siding covers the entire exterior, you should cut the windows from the interior using the window frames for guidance. This will save you the hassle of trying to cut the window openings on the sidings apart from the wooden frame
Instead of cutting rafters to size, you can use steel connector plates made especially for roofing. These will also make the roof stronger. Now cut the rafters to the appropriate lengths from 2 by 4 lumber and bring them up at a 30° angle at the top of the roof. Connect them using the steel connector plates. Now cut triangular pieces of siding to make the gable walls and fasten them to the roof and walls using nails.
Cut pieces of 2 by 6 blocking to fill the gaps between the rafters and the top of the walls. Otherwise rodents and birds will find a way into the garden shed.
Once you have the rafters in place, you can cover it with half inch roofing plywood. This can be extended over the rafters to create an overhang if needed. This is just icing on the cake.