* This blog post is a summary of this video.

Build a Shed from Start to Finish - Framing, Concrete Slab, Roofing

Author: BYOTTime: 2024-01-08 09:10:02

Table of Contents

Prepare the Site and Pour a Concrete Slab for the Shed Base

The first step in building any structure is creating a stable foundation. For our 10 ft by 6.5 ft backyard shed, we'll be pouring a concrete slab to serve as the base. After leveling the ground as best as possible given the extremely rooty soil, we laid out formwork made from 2x4s and 2x6s to frame the dimensions of the slab.

We secured one corner with stakes, then used a tape measure diagonally across to ensure the formwork was perfectly square. After hammering stakes into each corner and verifying all sides were level, we added a weed barrier and crushed rock base before pouring a large vat of pre-mixed concrete into the forms.

Level the Ground and Layout Formwork

Our backyard dictated the max size we could make the shed at 10 ft long by 6.5 ft wide. The ground was very uneven and rooty from the surrounding trees. We beefed up the front lip of the slab with a 2x6 while the remaining forms were standard 2x4s. After framing up the perimeter, we hammered in wood stakes at one corner and drilled the forms into them to anchor that first corner. We then used the tried and true tape measure diagonal method to ensure the entire framework was square and level before securing the other corners. With the formwork fully ready, we were prepared to mix and pour concrete into the framed enclosure.

Add Crushed Rock and Reinforcing Rebar

Though not worried about weeds or roots puncturing the concrete slab, we laid weed barrier to provide a clear separation between the soil and the 5/8" crushed minus rock. The crushed rock serves two purposes - it's highly compactable to create a solid base, yet still porous enough to drain water away from the slab to prevent pooling. We wet the rock before pouring to avoid it wicked moisture out of the freshly poured concrete which could lead to weaknesses. We also added some rebar around the perimeter for extra strength. While not mandatory for a slab this size, the small addition provides reinforced stability in the concrete.

Mix, Pour and Finish Concrete Slab

Rather than hand mixing multiple heavy bags, we rented a large rolling vat called a u-cart that held over a yard of pre-mixed concrete. The hydraulic lift made it easy to pour while avoiding putting too much pressure on the formwork. We used a long 2x4 as a screed to smooth the surface, and a magnesium float to bring moisture and sand to the top to fill small holes prior to finishing with a trowel. Once cured, we removed the forms and could begin laying out stud placement on the bare slab to visualize the full shed framing.

Frame the Shed Walls and Entryway

With the strong concrete foundation poured, we moved on to framing up the wall panels. Using pressure treated lumber for the bottom plates in contact with the slab, we cut plates and studs to length. Most framing relies on 16" spacing between studs. We used a stop block cutting multiple studs for efficiency, speeding up assembly.

The front entry panel with the door opening called for a double stud and header configuration to properly transfer weight above the wider span. We marked 32" for the doorway and fabricated two side panels to tie into the front wall. After nailing off a double top plate connecting all panels, the shed frame was really starting to take shape.

Cut and Assemble Bottom Plates, Studs and Top Plates

The first step was cutting bottom and top wall plates the full 10 ft length of the back wall with 8 ft tall studs in between. We laid out the 16" on center stud spacing before standing up the wall and nailing into place. This allowed us to visualize the exact placement of windows, doors and corners relative to the stud bays.

Construct Side Walls with Different Height Studs

Given the lean-to shed style with a sloped roof, the two side walls have different heights. The taller 8 ft back wall supports the peak of the roof, while the shorter 6.5 ft side walls tie into the lean-to shape. The same 16" on center layout was followed for stud spacing consistency.

Install Front Wall with Door Opening

The front wall with the doorway also used 6.5 ft studs like the shorter side wall. We left a 32" opening for the door, using double studs and a header to provide a solid mounting point for the wall above the span. After checking for square, we nailed off the double top plate tying all the wall panels together.

Frame the Roof with Rafters and Sheathing

With the 4 walls erected, we installed 2x6 roof rafters spanning front to back resting on the double top plates. The overhangs were established by face nailing sub fascia boards with the same 13 degree angle pitch as the rafter tails. Bracing was added above the door opening and on the back wall for stability. The final step was framing out the gable ends right to the edge of the slab.

Moving inside the structure, it was clear how rigid the properly framed walls and roof assembly had become. The shed was completely level and square, ready for exterior sheathing and further finishing on the next phase of the build.

Reinforce the Structure with Bracing and Anchors

With the framing complete, we further strengthened the shed by installing hurricane tie brackets securing the rafters to the top plates. Critical diagonal bracing was added to reinforce the walls ability to withstand lateral wind or impact loads. Lastly, a hammer drill and concrete wedge anchors permanently anchored the base plates into the foundation.

Conclusion and What to Expect in Part 2

Summary of Shed Framing Process

In part 1, we successfully erected a sturdy shed frame on a concrete slab foundation. Beginning by establishing a solid base with level formwork to pour the concrete, we progressed through framing the floor system, walls and rafters. With everything square, braced and anchored, the structural skeleton is now ready for roofing, siding and completion of interior storage functionality. Framing is deeply rewarding because you get to build the literal bones of a structure, seeing it progress from a flat foundation to fully enclosed usable space.

Next Steps for Completing the Shed Build

Now that framing is complete, stay tuned for part 2 where we'll add roofing material, exterior siding, trim accents and finalize interior storage solutions. I may also draft up a set of plans to share for anyone interested in tackling their own shed build after watching this series. Be sure to check the video description for a full cutting list and tools used. Feel free to ask any questions in the comments, and I look forward to showing off the completed shed in the next installment!


Q: What size should I make the concrete slab?
A: Size the slab about 1-2 ft wider and longer than the planned shed to allow an overhang. In this 10 x 6.5 ft shed example, the slab was 10 x 8 ft.

Q: What kind of wood should I use?
A: Use pressure-treated lumber for components touching concrete. Regular construction stud grade lumber is fine for framing above the slab.

Q: How do I cut out the bird's mouth in rafters?
A: Use a speed square to mark the angle, then trace the bird's mouth cutout with a carpenter square as a guide. Cut with a circular saw.