I never thought I’d say this, but we built a shed entirely for toddler toys. And you can bet your Cozy Coupe we’ve already filled it! You wouldn’t believe how useful a 6′ x 3′ space with a roof can be! This endeavor began when 1) we realized we couldn’t walk around our garage without rolling a wagon out of the way and 2) ….well, quarantine.
Pinterest had been haunting me with pictures of this beautiful small cedar shed that linked to a build plan by Ana White and I just knew we had to give it a shot! The free plan included a shopping list, cut list, and detailed instructions for every step of the way. We did have to order a few more things and make a couple of adjustments so don’t miss our shopping list (with links to what we bought) and budget details at the end!
**UPDATE 9/2021** Our cedar shed is still looking mostly beautiful, especially after the leftover deck stain we applied a few weeks ago! The 2×2 furring strip supports have proven to be not quite sturdy enough to hold the heavy doors upright. Over time they started leaning forward with the doors and it got wobbly. So we added two 2x4s on the inside of the shed on the left and right walls at a diagonal to shove the shed back into square. I think, if we built this shed again, we would just go ahead and build the supports from 2x4s instead of 2x2s to better support the weight!
The shed wall structure uses 2×2 furring strips as upright supports and cedar fence pickets as siding. The walls were super easy to build and the big pile of cedar in our garage made it smell amazing. We used pocket holes to connect the furring strips.
The walls were pretty lightweight until nailing on the fence pickets, then dang were they heavy. Also, I only smashed my thumb once which I feel like is a huge win! Also also, if you notice we’re dressed for winter in one photo and then summer in the next, it’s because in the one week it took to finish this shed we saw four seasons worth of weather.
One thing we had to add to our shed was a floor. The original plan was drawn for a floorless shed sitting on a patio base. We wanted to set ours up next to the garage, on top of a mulch bed. So we decided to build a rectangular footer out of pressure treated 2×4’s and then attach a piece of plywood to act as a floor. We dug down a little bit and tried to make the footing as level as possible. C found a lot of worm friends while we were digging, so it was basically the best day of the project :-).
After the flooring was level we put the walls in place, secured them together, and hoped the weight of the walls wouldn’t mess things up*. *Foreshadowing at its finest.
The roof size had to be adjusted as well because of the distance between the shed and the side of our house. The overhang on the original roof was about 6 inches and we had to take it down to a 3. This really wasn’t a big deal, just a little bit of math. We also inset the plywood so that the edges wouldn’t be visible under the shingles.
At this point, things were swell. So, we measured the height of the front opening and built the doors to size without ever bothering to check the width and the overall “square-ness” of the opening itself. Duhhhhh, I KNOW! (Let it be known, too, that the plans even warned us to cut the doors to size.)
Turns out the walls (and the doors) are so heavy that the framing can’t quite keep it’s shape, even with the 2×4 header across the top of the door frame. So not only were our doors sticking, they were also overlapping by 2-3 inches. Here’s Tyler nailing on the back of the doors, blissfully unaware of their impending doom.
After realizing the doors wouldn’t fit no matter how we flipped, turned, and shoved them, we ultimately decided that we need to square up the frame with additional 2×4’s on the left and right sides. This would make a more traditional door frame and give the hinges more structure to hold on to! We also purchased 2 extra 1×4’s to replace the front 1×3 trim pieces. We needed the extra width to cover the new 2×4 door framing.
So with a dramatic *sigh* we took apart both doors and cut down the top, bottom, and middle cross pieces to make the door narrower. You can see the new and improved door below and, before you get too worried, *spoiler alert*, they fit!!!
Once the door fiasco was in our rear view, we moved on to the fun part- making it pretty! We picked out this gate kit from Menards and bought a few extra pieces so that we had 3 pairs of 6″ hinges, two handles, and a latch! They were a little pricey, being “decorative”, but I love them.
Last was to shingle the roof! We went the easy route and didn’t apply any roofing paper or drip edge because it’s such a tiny shed and it just seemed excessive. Plus, we’d never roofed anything before so we were just getting our feet wet. We flipped the first couple of shingles over to act as a starter and then basically just followed the instructions on the package. The only regret we have is not buying a proper shingle cutting tool, but we got away (though, not easily or quickly) with a regular box cutter.
And finally *drum roll*, here she is in all of her cedar glory!!!!
She’s doing a great job out there and we couldn’t be happier!
I should also mention, we added three shelf brackets in the back and used an extra fence picket as a shelf to hold sidewalk chalk, helmets, bubbles… you know, the fun essentials!
I can’t tell you enough how easy Ana White’s plan was to follow, and did I mention it was free!! If you want to build this shed, be sure to check out her blog!
We thought it might be interesting to list out our expenses in building this shed. We had a lot of materials sitting around that we didn’t have to order, like treated 2x4s, screws, nails, and plywood.
|Pressure treated 2×4 @ 6′ long||4||$17.16|
|2×2 @ 8′ long||18||$35.64|
|5 1/2″ wide cedar fence pickets @ 6′ long||45||$111.15|
|2×4 @ 8′ long||3||$8.97|
|1×3 @ 8′ long||2||$3.36|
|1×4 @ 8′ long||8||$19.34|
|1×4 @ 6′ long||2||$3.54|
|Roofing shingles (32.8 square feet)||1||$23.99|
|National Hardware black gate hinge kit||1||$20.44|
|Extra pairs of 6″ hinges||2||$25.98|
|Extra 8 1/2″ handle||1||$5.59|
|2 1/2″ pocket hole screws (pack of 30)||2||$11.94|
|3″ deck screws (1lb)||1||$6.97|
|2 1/2″ deck screws (1lb)||1||$6.97|
|1 1/2″ galvanized nails (1lb)||1||$4.98|
|Roofing nails (1lb)||1||$2.50|
We are so happy with the finished shed and our new found space in the garage! C loves to open the doors and see all of his toys in one place. You can’t find a shed like this for what we spent. It would be also be a perfect little garden shed, a home for a push mower, bicycles… there are so many options! The whole thing took about a week for us because we were only able to work in the evenings after bedtime and around nap times during the weekend. Now we’re kind of sad that it’s done! On to the next project…