Any time of year is the perfect time to build a shed. No matter how good your week has been, you can always make it better by giving yourself the gift of some new storage space. In this article, we will go over some ground rules surrounding things, the basics of what you’ll need to actually build it, and then get into nine shed plans that we think are the best for a weekend project.
With these beautiful free shed plans, you will be able to make a useful addition to your home without breaking the bank and without spending a cent at all on the plans. Your journey awaits!
Disclaimers and Words of Warning!
While this is certainly a worthwhile activity and it will absolutely be worth the time invested, the reality is that there is often some paperwork and bureaucracy you need to go through. Make sure you check with your local permit office before you begin construction so you can ensure that you’re actually allowed to build it and if you need to meet any specific requirements.
Ideally, do this before you begin ordering supplies or beginning construction to avoid an embarrassing and frustrating situation.
The other thing you may need to watch out for is time. Because you’re only doing this yourself or with some friends, this won’t be as fast as hiring a professional and having them build it for you. While the work itself isn’t terribly difficult to do, it can and will be time-consuming. Don’t expect to have the shed built all in one afternoon.
Pace yourself and get as much work done in a day as you think you can handle without exhausting yourself. You may find that, depending on the size and complexity of the shed you’re looking to build, that the project could take up to a week.
Don’t get discouraged, though. As long as you’re realistic with yourself and don’t try to start something you don’t think you can actually handle, you’ll be able to finish it in no time. Remember, building something with your own two hands is one of the most rewarding things you’ll ever do. Once it’s completed, you’ll be able to look back and say, “Hey, I built that! I did that!”. Whereas these plans are for easier sheds to make, none are truly easy.
All of the shed plans listed here are free. Remember the old saying “you get what you pay for”? Well, it applies with shed plans as well. These plans will probably be just fine if you’ve built a shed or a similar structure before. But if this is your first time, it’s well worth the small expense to get some super detailed, high quality plans that show the shed walls, floor, and roof from multiple angles and leave nothing to figure out on your own.
What You Will Need
It may be tempting to just pick out a plan, order the listed supplies in the plan, and think you’re all set. The reality is that, in addition to the right permission/permits mentioned in the previous section, you’re also going to want to make sure that you have the right tools. The following is what you will need, at minimum, to build a shed:
- Air compressor
- Air hose
- Brad nail gun
- Caulk gun
- Chalk line
- Circular saw
- Cordless drill
- Drill bit set
- Hearing and eye protection
- Pocket hole jig
- Speed square
- Tape measure
- Tin snips
Most people will have some of these tools lying around somewhere, but there are many that you will likely need to go out and buy. It’s important to be completely prepared in advance so that you don’t need to stop in the middle of working, drive all the way to the hardware store, spend an hour looking for all the stuff you need, then drive all the way back. By the time you get home, you’ll just want to take a nap. Be prepared!
As long as we’re talking about buying tools, I should mention that the quality of tools at Harbor Freight has improved significantly over the last few years. I think most of the tools there would be fine for this project – and much cheaper!
Now that we’ve got all that out of the way, let’s get to the fun part!
List of Free Shed Plans That Are Easy to Build
Popular Mechanics Shed
To begin our list, there’s no better introduction than this fantastic tutorial by Popular Mechanics on exactly how to build a shed. This is easily one of the most in-depth tutorials you’ll find on the topic. It walks you through every step of the way with clear illustrations that indicate exactly what you need to do.
They even later went back and revised the article with corrections. That shows that they really believe in the design and want people to follow it. If this is your first time building a shed, this is an excellent plan to follow.
Basic 8’x6’ Storage Shed
The humble 8’x6′ Storage Shed. Simple, yet functional. This is the kind of shed that tells you exactly what it is right up-front. It provides a simple and convenient space to store all your lawn equipment and gardening tools.
This is a great choice not just for people new to the craft, but also for somebody who only needs a modest amount of space in their shed. Note that this particular site will offer extra help if you pay for the plan, but you can still build what the document describes without needing to.
Cute Garden House
Let’s say that you know that you need a shed for storing your garden equipment. Your priority is function, first and foremost. The problem is that, after talking it over with your wife, she wants the shed to look pretty as well so that it isn’t an eyesore on the property. What do you do?
This shed is the answer. It looks so pretty you’ll always be explaining that it isn’t, in fact, a second house! Not only is this one of the best-looking sheds on the list, it’s also one of the most affordable. Designed with being part of your garden in mind, there’s space to both grow vines on the side and hang some plants in the front.
Your wife might actually end up finding it to be just the perfect little she-shed get-away from the stresses of life! You really can’t lose with this one.
A classic design from a simpler time, this farmhouse-style shed will look perfect on just about any property. At 12’x12’ wide and 14’6” in height, this is definitely one of the largest sheds on offer here. It offers a huge amount of storage space for just about any family. You could easily fit just about anything you could possibly imagine into it.
As an added bonus, even after filling it with everything you have, you’ll likely still have space to use it as an external guest house, great for renting out to travelers or just a family member.
Modern house style
Another shed in the style of a house, this design has multiple windows with a single door and is a perfect project for someone who’s looking for a shed that can double as a small guest house. A great thing about this style is that you can make it look any way you want. You can paint it to look just like your house and have it be like a miniature home.
For a more fancy-but-not-too-fancy look, this shed might be just the thing you want. Designed to be both compact yet efficient, in such a way that it resembles an older style of housing, you’ll find that it will blend into just about any kind of yard. It would especially look wonderful on a property with a large garden surrounding it.
This shed is specifically designed to be used as a playhouse. While you certainly could use it for storing actual tools and garden equipment, and it would definitely work for that purpose just fine, it will shine the most when used as a hangout for your kids. It has a simple and rugged design that doesn’t call too much attention to itself. Normally, one might consider that to be a negative, but in this case, it’s doing exactly what it wants to do. Your kids’ imagination will give it far more character than any aesthetic design ever could.
Another simple but attractive choice for a shed. This one not only offers the main storage area for everything you need but also includes a secondary exterior cabinet, where you can put things you use frequently. You’ll save so much time over the years, as you’ll only need to open the actual shed when you are getting something you aren’t using that often.
This adorable shed is another great contender for somebody who has kids. With plenty of space for your kids to hang out and do whatever they want, you can get some peace and quiet while knowing your children are safe and secure. Even better, when the kids are away, you could treat it as a relaxing getaway from the stresses of modern life, where you could have work and relax in privacy.
As you can now see, there is no shortage of options when it comes to storage sheds. No matter what you’re looking for, whether it’s the simplest of outdoor closets, a big shed to fit your entire hobby into, or even an entirely new living/play space for the family, there’s something on this list for everyone.
Having a shed in your yard can be hugely beneficial for many reasons. As long as you can ensure that where you live allows for the construction of a shed, you should make one!