Building A Garden Shed To Complement Your Cottage

There are as many reasons to get a garden shed as there are styles of sheds. You may want protection for your lawn equipment, to keep lawnmowers, edgers, and tools out of the weather so the wooden handles don’t deteriorate. Or, you may want a building to store belongings such as seasonal lawn furniture, pool chemicals, or spare items of furniture. A garden shed will also serve as a music or art studio for the entrepreneur or a workshop for a carpenter. Ready- made sheds can give you almost instant gratification, and can be bought in different styles. However, if you want a garden shed that really complements your cottage, there’s nothing like designing and building your own. Here are some tips to keep in mind when you build your own garden shed.


The design of your shed will usually be fairly simple – it is, after all, a box. If you want a special roof, or to use certain building materials, it is best to find a professionally done plan. These can usually be purchased at your Somerset timber store. If done incorrectly, you could have a weak structure that won’t be safe.


Make sure you have the proper permits. You’ll probably have to submit the design of your garden shed to the proper authorities, and get the proper permit.

Site Preparation

Once you have permits, start preparing the site. Part of the permitting should include a survey of overhead wires and underground utilities. There will also be restrictions on how close you can build to your property line.


The foundation will be crucial to your shed, as it supports the entire structure. Carefully measure off a grid, and sink posts to support the shed. You will lay support beams across these piers and bolt them together with a strap. These will hold the floor joists and blocks for the flooring.


On the outer beams, you’ll place a rim joist. It will cover about ½ of the surface of the beam, leaving the other ½ to support the floor joists. Install floor joists between the two rim joists, and place blocking between the joists on the middle beams to keep the joists from moving around. Now, you’re ready to install the floor.

Walls and Roof

Frame out the walls, and bolt the bottom plate to the beams. It’s generally not a good idea to install the doors and windows at this time, because the weight changes as you continue building can affect the fit. This usually requires help, as will installing trusses for the roof. Go ahead and put plywood on the roof, to get the weight on it. It is also much easier to install the plywood before you cover up the walls.

Install shiplap cladding on the outside of the walls for a cottage effect. You can insulate the inside and put up drywall or plywood, if you plan to use it for a workshop or studio. Singles on the roof will “dry it in”, and you’re done!



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