Are you looking for an inexpensive garden shed?
Well, you may remember when I shared how I built a garden shed on our first homestead for basically no money. Yes, we built a shed for free!
Now that we’ve moved to a larger homestead, I thought we’d get a little fancier. This time we upped our budget to a whopping $3.
Yes, I know, we splurged. But we got a great garden shed built that should last us for many years to come. Does this sound like something you’d be interested in?
Well, if so, then you’ll want to keep reading so I can share with you exactly how we built our inexpensive garden shed.
How to Build a Cheap Garden Shed
You will need:
- 2 sheets of plywood
- 2×4 pieces of wood—we used 9
- 12 sheets of metal
- Organizational items
- Nails or screws
- Hammer or impact
- 4 pallets
1. Collect Your Pallets and Other Free Material
You’ll want to begin the process by gathering your materials. Some of the materials you may have to purchase like screws or nails. If you don’t have wood, then you may have to purchase that too.
But we had scrap wood lying around that someone had given us from a while ago. We had the nails and screws.
However, if you don’t have these items, you could take apart another old project that you no longer use that is made of wood. We have done this in the past with an old wooden walkway to make the loft bed in our goat shed.
Plus, you could try to salvage any old nails or screws from this project as well in order to save yourself some money on materials.
Then you’ll need to gather some metal. We were fortunate in this area too (this is actually why we created a metal building.) The property we moved to had some scrap pieces of metal that had been tossed out into the woods. We looked over the property to see what (if any) materials were left hanging around.
Naturally, we came across this big pile of old metal and knew that we had to put it to use. Apparently, it was tossed there after they built an old chicken coop.
Now, if you don’t have metal, you could always do what we did with our first garden shed, which is trying to collect slabs. Most sawmills will either give them away or sell them for very little money. If worse comes to worse, you could always mill your own wood from trees on your property so you have siding for your shed.
Finally, you’ll want to locate the pallets. I love working with pallets because they are durable and usually free to get. If you can locate a small business that gets items shipped to them, then you’ll probably be able to locate pallets for free.
The larger companies usually charge you to take them (if they let you have them at all.) But smaller businesses are usually grateful for you wanting them because it saves them from having to pay to have them recycled.
Ideas on where you can locate pallets are usually places like local garden nurseries, local grocery stores or produce stands, or mom and pop supply stores.
Once you have your materials gathered you are ready to start your build.
2. Lay the Foundation
Now that you have materials to work with, you can begin the build by laying your foundation. This is actually very easy to do.
So you’ll need to pick the location for your shed. I recommend it being a place that is out of the way, yet convenient enough for you to access when working in the yard or in your garden.
For me, I chose to place our garden shed at an angle close to the pole barn and near the garden. That way it is close enough to the garden, but still out of the way of where we travel frequently with the tractor, lawn mower, or golf cart when hauling veggies.
Next, you’ll need to be sure that the ground is level enough in that location to build on. If not, then you’ll have to dig it out to make it level or place concrete blocks under it to make it level. Our spot was level so we didn’t have to do this.
But I did have to do these steps when building our chicken coop.
So if you run across this problem in your location, just keep at it. I know leveling things up can be frustrating at times, but you’ll get it where you want it eventually.
Finally, when you find the perfect spot that you feel will be level enough, then you’ll need to lay your 4 pallets flat in a large square.
Now, I should mention, if this is too big of a shed for you, then take away two of the pallets. If you’d like a larger shed, then add more pallets. That is the beauty of this garden shed because it is so easy to modify to fit your needs.
3. Add the Floor
Now that you’ve placed your pallets on the ground, it is time to add the floor. This is what actually cost us $3. We purchased two sheets of plywood to use as the floor. This cost us $3 to do.
So if you have another material on hand that will work and not cost you a dime, I say go for it. The less money in a project, the better in my opinion.
Then you’ll lay it over the pallets. You will probably have to trim the plywood down to fit the area, but this will depend upon the size of the plywood that you purchased.
When you have the plywood cut down to size and placed how you want it on the pallets, then you’ll use your impact or hammer and screw or hammer the plywood into place. This will be the floor of your garden shed.
Now, what I really love about this as a flooring is that it should last for quite some time. Most plywood or composite board is termite resistant. The only thing that will eventually get to it is moisture, but plywood usually holds up pretty well to that as well.
But if that concerns you, you could put a coat of polyurethane over the plywood to protect it from the elements, or simply paint it. I’m not super concerned about the wear and tear of this garden shed at the moment, so I just left it as is.
4. Frame Up the Walls and Roof
Now that you have the foundation and the floor, you are ready to frame up the sides of the garden shed and the roof.
You’ll begin by measuring the length of the sides of the garden shed. It will be the length of your two pallets placed together. This will vary depending on the size of your pallets, so you’ll have to measure for exact measurements.
Once you have those measurements, then you’ll need to cut a 2×4 to length. Then you’ll want to lay the 2×4 on its side so the skinny part of the board is what is supporting it, and then nail it into place.
Then you’ll repeat the process on the other side.
Next, you’ll need to decide how tall you’d like your shed. Then you’ll add the next (2) 2×4’s per side to suit that height. You’ll stand them vertically on the board that you just nailed into place on the pallet/plywood foundation and nail it into place. You’ll do this on both sides. This will support your walls.
Finally, you’ll use (4) 2×4’s cut to length to connect the 2×4’s that are framing the walls. This will create a rectangle and will be the beginning support of your roof.
Then you’ll cut 2×4’s to length to serve as a support for the roofing material. They will run vertically to support the roofing material. You could use smaller pieces of wood here if you prefer or have them on hand as well.
Once you’ve got your garden shed frame up, you are ready to move on to the next steps.
5. Add the Siding and Roof
This is a dangerous part of the build but also probably one of the most straight forward steps. If you are working with metal, then you’ll need to be very cautious with this step because as we all know metal is sharp and cuts very easily. I recommend using work gloves.
Then you’ll need to cut your pieces of metal so they are the width of the side of your garden shed. Once they are, then you’ll use screws or a hammer and nails to place the sheets of metal onto the side of the garden shed.
Once the two sides and the back of the garden shed are complete, you’ll need to cut the sheets of metal to the length of the roof.
Then you’ll screw or nail them into place on the supports. Be sure to overlap the material so that it is secure and stops water from running into your garden shed.
Now, if you want to add a front or a door on your shed, then you’d just need to frame it up like you did the other sides of the shed and add the metal as siding.
Then you’d have to create a door frame and either build or buy a door to use as a door on your shed. Our neighbors are all really friendly, and we look out for each other so I don’t really fret about locking up my garden tools.
But I realize, that isn’t the case for everyone, so you’d just have to modify the shed to have a door if you need one.
6. Organize Your New Shed
You’ll complete this shed by organizing it. We had some old wire shelves that used to hang in our basement, that we took down and placed them in the shed to hold items.
Then we used an organizational item that we once used in our garage. It works really well to hold your garden hoes, shovels, etc.
But if you don’t have these items on hand, you could actually build your own organizational items. You could cut pieces of wood to size and then screw two of those pieces together to make a shelf.
Then you’d need to create a shelf bracket to place it on the wall. You could also put nails or screws in the wall of the shed at an angle to hold your gardening tools as well. This is an inexpensive way to organize your tools in your garden shed.
So that sums up how we built our $3 garden shed. I hope it helps you to build something of your own for very little money, or maybe you could recreate what we built.
But I’d like to know what kind of tool shed you use? Have you ever built one for free or with very little money? How? Do you still use it? Was it functional? Any tips for anyone that might be interested in building an inexpensive tool shed?
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