How To Build a Shed: A Handy Guide

Building a garden shed is an exciting venture. Lucky for you, you’ve landed on the perfect guide to transform your vision into reality! New to DIY building? No problem; our experts will walk you through every step of the way, from start to finish. Read on, and let’s explore shed construction together!

Step 1: Scout on a location

BillyOh Super Saver Overlap Apex Shed
BillyOh Super Saver Overlap Apex Shed

Before you learn how to build a shed, you need to know where the garden shed is going to be located. There are a number of factors to consider in choosing the location. We’ve created a checklist for you to run through before you start the building work. This way, you can avoid any potential problems you might face when building your garden room.

  • Opt for an area where you’re satisfied with the view of your garden.
  • Determine if you plan to run an electrical supply to the building.
  • Choose a well-lit area, especially if the shed will be used as a workshop shed, to maximise natural light.
  • Check for any surrounding foliage or young trees that may grow in the future. Ensure a clear and unobstructed space.

Step 2: Build the shed base

Corner placement of a shed base in a backyard.

(Image Credit: Flickr)

The base is an essential part of the shed, providing a solid foundation for the structure. But how to build a shed base? The process might seem daunting at first. With instructions to follow, however, it makes the do-it-yourself endeavour straightforward. For a beginner-friendly gravel base guide, take note of these steps:

  1. Site preparation: Clear the area of debris and vegetation. Level the ground using a shovel and rake.
  2. Lay out the foundation: Mark the shed dimensions using stakes and string. Double-check for squareness.
  3. Excavation: Dig trenches around the perimeter. Ensure they are level and deep enough for your chosen foundation type.
  4. Add gravel: Fill the trenches with a layer of compacted gravel for drainage and stability.
  5. Install formwork: Create a frame using timber or boards, securing it firmly in place.
  6. Compact and level: Use a hand tamper to compact the gravel and check for levelness. This tool is used for compacting gravel by applying a downward force to create a firm surface.
  7. Add sand: Spread a layer of sand over the gravel and level it for a smooth surface.
  8. Place and level pavers or blocks: Set concrete pavers or blocks on the sand, adjusting until level. These are precast, durable building materials commonly used to create flat surfaces. Pavers are often interlocking, while blocks are solid units.
  9. Secure the frame: Anchor the shed base to the pavers or blocks using screws or nails.
  10. Check for levelness: Confirm the entire base is level. Then, process with wooden shed flooring.

Step 3: Choosing the right flooring

The right flooring offers varying levels of protection. Standard choices like a solid sheet or OSB flooring are available. Meanwhile, premium options include Tongue and Groove (T&G) floors.

  • Solid sheet: A basic option providing a straightforward surface for general shed use.
  • OSB: Sturdy and economical, stands for Oriented Strand Board. OBS consists of compressed wood strands, often with square edges. Ensure proper support at board intersections for efficiency.
  • T&G: Tongue and Groove is a premium choice with interlocking boards that create a robust floor base. Ideal for various shed functions, offering enhanced stability and durability.

Ensure a sturdy floor assembly, especially when using sheet materials. The key is to understand their strong and weak directions. For plywood, align the face grain perpendicular to the floor joists. For OSB, the strong direction is the sheet’s length. Top tip: Use nails with good pull-out resistance, about 2.5 times the floorboard thickness.

Step 4: Building the floor and sides

Once your shed base is set, move on to building the floor and sides with these steps:

Centre and mark:

  • Position the shed floor on the base.
  • Mark the centre point on each edge of the floor and the bottom batten of each side panel.

Panel assembly:

  • Start with the back panel, lifting it into place.
  • Use a timber prop or a helper to keep it upright.
  • Lift a side panel onto the shed floor, excluding the one with the door.

Securing panels:

  • Screw the back and side panels along the framing battens where they meet.
  • Drill pilot holes and secure with three countersunk screws at the top, middle, and bottom.

Complete assembly:

  • Fit the other side panel in the same manner.
  • Finish with the panel containing the door.

Check alignment:

  • Ensure panels are square, aligned, and securely fitted. Then, proceed to fix the shed frame to the floor.

Step 5: Onto the shed roof

Completing your shed involves the crucial step of constructing the roof. Similar to flooring, roofing options range from standard to premium. For robust roofing, consider an 11mm T&G roof with additional trusses for support. While these options incur higher costs, they guarantee enhanced strength for your shed. Opting for intermediate protection? A solid sheet or a budget-friendly 9mm OSB can serve your needs.

Here’s a step-by-step guide:

Beam installation:

  • Fit the beam across the top, aligning it with pre-cut grooves on the gable ends.
  • Secure the beam to each gable end using L-shaped metal brackets.

Roof panel preparation:

  • Lay roof panels on the ground. Place eave sections (wooden strips) underneath, flush with the panel’s bottom edge.
  • Measure and mark evenly spaced fixing positions.

Panel attachment:

  • Drill pilot holes and secure the eave sections to the roof panels using screws.
  • Lift the roof panels into position, ensuring levelness and alignment.

Securing the roof:

  • Attach roof panels to the shed and along the inner support beam.
  • Use a work platform for ease during roof installation.

Final checks:

  • Verify the shed’s squareness on the floor and base before securing the sides and gable ends to the floor.

These steps ensure a well-constructed, weather-resistant shed with a sturdy and reliable roof.

Step 6: Adding roof felt

Enhance your shed’s protection from the elements by adding roofing felt. Choose sand felt for standard protection and premium green mineral felt for enhanced security.

  1. Cut felt: Unroll the felt and measure, then cut pieces according to the shed roof size.
  2. Attach side panels: Lay the first piece with a 50mm overhang at the eave. Nail it along the top edge and fix it down along gable ends and eaves with felt tacks.
  3. Repeat on the other side: Place the top strip over the roof and nail at 100mm intervals along each edge.
  4. Trim excess: Where the gable end felt overhangs the front eave, use a piece of timber beneath and make a straight cut.
  5. Fix fascia: Screw or hammer the roof fascia over the felt on the front and back gable ends.
  6. Add finials: Finish the fascia by attaching diamond-shaped wood finials to the apex. Secure with evenly spaced roof felt nails.


To build a shed, start by creating a solid base, choosing from options like timber or concrete. Assemble the shed floor and sides, ensuring squareness and alignment. Construct the roof, selecting from various materials like tongue and groove or OSB. Attach roofing felt for added weather protection. Opt for sand felt for standard coverage or green mineral felt for premium security. Secure the felt, trim excess, and fix the roof fascia, adding finials for a polished look. These steps, from foundation to roofing, ensure a sturdy and weather-resistant shed.

Explore the rewards of DIY without the time commitment. Garden Buildings Direct offers hassle-free garden sheds with easy assembly. This allows you to have your dream shed storage solution up and running swiftly!

Up next on your reading list: Building a Shed Base: A Step-by-Step Guide