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How to put up a garden shed

Following our guide to choosing a shed, here we are looking at how to put up a garden shed . 

Before you start

Here is a list of useful items to have to hand before you put up a garden shed.

  • Hammer
  • Nails
  • Step ladder
  • Power drill
  • Tape measure
  • Spirit level
  • Craft knife
  • Someone to help you

Step one: Prepare your base

Before you can put up a garden shed you will need to clear the area and create a level base. Never place your shed straight on bark, hardcore, rubble, soft ground or compost as the moisture and lack of level surface will eventually cause your shed to warp and rot. There’s a number of ways to create a suitable base for your shed:

  • Concrete base – create an area of concrete hardstanding at least 50mm bigger than the size of your shed. This will allow rainwater to run off. 
  • Paving slabs – paving slabs can also provide a suitable base for your shed (but make sure they are level). 
  • Bearers – we can supply bearers with all our sheds to reduce the possibility of moisture getting trapped beneath your shed. Bearers can be placed on top of level grass, compacted soil, stones or woodchip.

If using bearers, lay the bearer support kit approximately 24” (610 mm) apart. The support bearers should run the opposite way to the bearers attached to the floor joists of your shed. A quick and simple way to ensure that the bearers are square is to measure across the diagonals – both diagonals should measure the same distance – if they do not, adjust the bearers accordingly.

Step two: Lay the base and put up the walls

Lay the base of the shed onto the prepared ground base and check it is level. The shed base needs to be flat or your shed will not fit together. Even if your base is out of square by as little as 5mm, your door frames will eventually twist as the building tries to square itself. Keep checking throughout the installation that the walls of your building are square both horizontally and vertically.

If space permits lay out the wall sections in the relevant position. 

 

 Once you have a solid base, you’re ready to erect the walls of your shed:

  • First lift the back and side sections onto the base and screw the sides together. On a pent shed the back is the shorter section.
  • Then lift the other side section onto the base and screw the sides together.
  • Finally lift the last section onto the base and screw the sides together.

 

Step three: Fit the roof and apply felt

Once the walls are in place, you can attach the roof. The method for doing this depends on the type of roof you have:

Apex roof

  • The roof section that is most awkward to fit according to the site of the shed should be fitted first. The bottom layer of felt can be fitted first or can be left until the entire roof is secure.
  • Leave an equal amount of overlap at each end. Note – the top is the side with the small overlap.
  • Apply the felt from the bottom of the roof (1st layer) to top with final the layer overlapping both sides of apex. Try to overlap about 3” (75 mm) and the felt should overhang the ends by 2”- 4” (50-100mm).

Pent roof

  • Lift the roof on as one unit.
  • Screw the shed to the base and the roof to the shed (pre-drilling can make this easier).
  • Space the screws out evenly, about 20” – 24” apart, around the base and on the roof where the roof battens rest on the shed frame.
  • Apply the felt from back to front. 

That’s it! Your completed shed should now look something like this:

 

Shed installation from Somerlap

If that all sounds like too much hard work, get in touch and we can arrange for one of our Somerlap approved installers to build your shed for you. 

Shed maintenance

Once you have erected your shed, it is very important to look after it. If treated and maintained correctly you should enjoy your shed for many years to come.

  • When applying treatment to your building it is important that you stipple it into the corners as this will help to prevent moisture seeping in.
  • When choosing your treatment, check it is suitable for use on planed wood and not designed for use on sawn timber.

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