Shed :: Planning (Part 1)

With the new house we knew that we were going to need outdoor storage sooner rather than later. With 4 kids the amount of bikes, toys, kids garden tools and stuff you accumulate is intense, and that is not even counting all of our patio furniture to store for winter, garden tools and the like. Our porch and basement had the space to absorb the hit of storing these things but they were both a cluttered mess as a result and we needed to do something about it.

So over the last winter I planned what I wanted to do for our first shed. Yes, first. I grew up on a former farm where we had 5 outbuildings, one of which alone was a good 2000 sq feet of storage. It’s hard for me to consider not having that kind of outdoor storage available but I was determined to keep this initial shed limited to something I could build in a summer, while still making it something that would meet our storage needs for at least 5 years.

Everyone I talked to about the shed gave me the same advice: “Figure out how big you need it.. and double it.” Looking at pre-fab sheds was tempting, but the construction and finish details were always a bit depressing in the lower price range. As you move up in price, they get better, but soon fall into overly complicated feature packed … things. And most importantly: I really wanted to build one.

I started looking for plans and quickly found a really neat one from Family Handyman that I liked and it came with instructions for every step which was great!

Family Handyman Shed Design

But I was nervous about only building it 8′ wide. I really didn’t want to spend all the time and money and end up with a shed that couldn’t do what I needed it to do. So I started looking around some more and started honing in on 10′ wide sheds. The 10′ would allow for my roof rafters to only be 8′ on either side with overhang (and the metal roof panels be 8′ as well), though 12′ would have worked nicely with 3 sheets of plywood for the floor I like the idea of optimizing for the roof.

I found this amazing timber frame small barn which was 10′ x 14′ that really helped seal the deal on the size.  I think I pinned just about every angle of the finished shed.

10 x 14 Timber Frame shed by WIlliam Cullina

I am not a timber framer (yet) so I had to try to ignore how great the frame and overhang looked (which is really hard) but the size and look were very appealing.

10 x 14 timber frame shed by WIlliam Cullina


And the overhang really got me thinking as well. The original was for firewood, (which I also need storage for) but what about using that for chickens? My poor little coop (that I love) was turning out to be not so perfect. The run wasn’t secure enough, the food placement was wrong (too close to the roosts, poop issues, bleh), the T-11 wasn’t holding up well in spots to water and in general it just needed help. I could have rehabbed it, but I wanted to focus on the shed and it would be really nice to do all my chicken chores inside a shed in the the winter, so I decided to combine the projects.

So instead of building a small humble straight forward shed (the fact that I ever tried to declare that I would just keep it really small and simple is ridiculous but sadly true) I decided to go a bit bigger and add a coop section on to the shed plan with this as my inspiration

Two part shed

So with that said, I drew up some rough sketches in sketch-up to get my proportions figured out, and started to dig into what the heck I was going to do about a foundation. Yes, that was a foundation pun. No, I’m not happy about it either.



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