Building a large storage shed is the same as building a small storage shed except it takes more materials and a heck of a lot more labor. People joke that they never have enough space to put their “stuff”. Here’s a hard fact. The more room you have, the more stuff you gather. If you decide a larger storage building is needed the first thing to do is visit your local building department and inquire as to whether a permit is necessary for that size building. A small shed perhaps eight feet by ten feet may need no permit but a larger one at twenty feet by twenty five feet may. Ask other questions while your there. Where can the building be located on the property? Many municipalities prohibit any kind of building in the front yard at all. How far from property lines must it be? How tall can it be? Find out these answers now, not after you are finished building it.
Your next stop should be a local store that handles lumber to see if they sell pre-made plans for you to use. These can save hours of time and many plan sets provide material lists with them. Plans are also available on the internet for only a few dollars.
Once your site is selected, cleared and leveled, have the building materials delivered. If the building is to sit on wood timbers, it is recommended that a bed of gravel be placed first to help drain away any rain or ground water from the bottom of the flooring timbers.
Start by laying out the four corners of the building. Install stakes or batter boards to set the corners. Using string lines layout the base timbers along these strings. Typically a large building will have six inch by six inch pressure treated timbers for the base. Lay these out as per your plan dimensions for the outside dimensions as well as the center to center dimensions of the inside timbers. Install the floor decking next. For moderate to light heavy duty, one layer of three quarter inch tongue and groove CDX plywood is fine. For extra heavy loads, two layers works much better.
Wall framing comes next and although very it is possible to do it all yourself, a friend or two can save a great many hours of work. Next, layout and nail in place the bottom sill plate for all four sides of the building. Cut out any sill plate in a doorway. The fastest way to frame is to frame the wall with it lying flat on the floor deck. Frame door and window openings at the same time. Next sheath the wall before you stand it up. If using T-111, this provides a finished wall in one shot. Remember to leave the plywood hang down the thickness of the sill plate so once the wall is stood into position, the sheathing can be nailed to the sill. Securely nail the wall to the sill plate and floor timbers. Plumb the wall and install braces to hold it it in place. Now proceed around the building with all the rest of the walls. Once these are done, the roof rafters or trusses come next. For speed, trusses are the fastest way to go. Two men can erect and nail eleven trusses in 2 hours easily. That’s a twenty foot shed at twenty-four inch centers. Install all truss bracing shown on the plans, install the required hurricane clips and securely nail everything in place. Double check as you build to assure that walls are all plumb and square. Roof sheathing comes next followed by your choice of roofing material. Once the roof is water tight, turn your attention to cutting out the window and door openings making sure the sheathing is tightly nailed around the perimeter of each opening. Install windows and doors and basically your storage building is done. There are thousands of variations of styles for storage buildings from super plain to super fancy. Remember doing it yourself will save thousands of dollars in labor costs by a contractor.