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Assembling a Garden Shed

Here's a how-to guide for putting up a pre-fabricated outdoor storage shed.

Fix It Up! hosts Pat Simpson and Jodi Marks share tips for putting up a prefabricated garden storage shed. The task should take a couple of days, making it an ideal project for the weekend.

Materials and Tools:

hammers
level
reciprocating saw
tape measure
safety glasses
gloves
stepladder

pre-fabricated storage shed kit (including felt and shingles for roof)
6-penny nails
16-penny nails

Steps:

1. First pour a concrete floor in a location that is flat and dry and offers good drainage. Before starting, check local building codes as there may be set-back or easement regulations that apply to your shed (figure A).

2. Begin by nailing together the framework of the floor. Next, position 4x4 skids under the floor framing. Place the skids 12 inches from the sides of the floor.

3. Check to make sure the floor is square by measuring diagonally, then nail the floor joists to the skids, attaching two nails to each joist. If you're putting the shed directly on grade or on a concrete pad, the floor joists should be pressure-treated to resist rot. In this example the floor rests on pressure treated 4x4 skids (figure D).

4. Install the 5/8-inch plywood flooring on the framework. Use 6-penny nails spaced 8 to 12 inches apart on the joist. For larger sheds where a 4x8-foot sheet of plywood will not reach end-to-end, stagger the edges of the plywood to make the floor stronger (figure E).

5. To keep floor panels from buckling, leave a small space between boards. A good way to do this is by using a nail as a spacer between sheets. Also, be sure to align the grain of the floorboards with the joists to maintain the strength of the floor (figure F).

6. Next assemble the frames for the walls using 2x4s and 6-penny nails, then nail the siding to each completed wall. If a 2x4 has an unattractive edge, turn it so the bad side faces the siding and it will not be visible from inside the shed (figure G).

7. Begin installing the first wall by raising it and aligning the edges with the sub-floor. The wall section should overlap the plywood floor just a bit to protect the edges of the plywood. Check to make sure the wall is plumb and level, then temporarily brace by nailing 1x4 legs to the frame (figure H). Repeat the same steps for a second wall, then attach side walls to the floor using 16-penny nails, driving them through the plate and into a joist (figure I).

8. Raise the back wall and nail the frame to the side walls and the floor, keeping the frame tight to the floor (figure J).

9. Attach the front wall frame and secure, then cut away the plate at the bottom of the doorframe (figure K). Nail this piece to the underside of the door header. Once all the walls are up, make sure they are all square. Also remove the temporary 1x4s bracing the wall figure L).

10. This shed uses an apex roof, which is peaked in the center. Assemble the two roof sections then carefully lift the first section onto the roof, being careful not to break the ridge assembly as it's lowered. Align the bottom 1x4 of the truss assembly with the top of the side wall and then toenail the pieces to the top plates (figure M).

11. Lift the second roof section into place and attach it. Align and nail the truss assemblies together at the roof peak, toenailing through the 1x4s and into the rafters (figure N).

12. To complete framing, nail in additional studs on the end walls (figure O).

13. Attach 5/8-inch siding into place on the front. Hold the front siding into place at a corner and align the bottom edge. Check the stud locations and nail the siding into place using 6-penny nails (figure P).

14. Place flashing on top of the siding, then fit in the angled peak filler pieces under the ridge board. Attach the rear walls in a similar manner (figure Q).

15. Next it's time to start adding trim. Begin by attaching 1x6 fascia boards on the vertical ends of the rafters. The 1x6 fascia should extend past the rafters and be flush with the top (figure R).

16. Install soffit blocks so they are flush with the top of the rafters. Nail the blocks at the bottoms of the gable rafters, evenly spaced between the ridge and the fascia. Next attach the peak fascia flush with the top of the rafters, even with the center of the ridge. Fill in the soffit boards, attach corner board trim and it's time to raise the roof (figure S).

17. Begin by nailing roofing boards to the frame, making sure the edges are flush with the fascia. OSB boards were used for the roof in this project, but check the local building codes to make sure you're using approved roofing materials (figure T).

18. Nail 1x2s to the edge of the roof to cover the exposed edges of the roofing boards (figure U).

19. Cover the roof with building paper, starting at the eaves and working up to the ridge at the peak of the roof. Nail the material down with roofing nails, overlapping the strips as you go. Be sure to wear gloves and safety glasses when working with roofing materials (figure V).

20. Now it's shingle time. Start by laying the first row of shingles upside down along the eaves, overlapping the roof at the edges by 3/4-inch, then come back and lay another row right-side up. Work your way up the roof to the peak (figure W ). Cover the roof peak with one-foot pieces of shingles lapped across the peak and nailed on both sides. Be sure to nail high enough so the next run of shingles will hide the nails (figure X).

21. If your shed kit came with a window, decide where you want it then install top and bottom 2x4 sill members. Cut out the opening by drilling holes from the inside corners to fit a reciprocating saw blade, then cut out the opening with the saw. Install the 1x3 window frame trim on the outside, then install the window and hardware (figure Y).

22. For the door, fasten the hinge boards securely and check the operation before completely nailing (figure Z). Nail a 1x4 above the doorframe and then install the door hardware.

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