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The uses for a back-yard structure are practically endless. Depending on your own particular requirements, it can serve as a workshop, green house, a pool cabana or even be used as a storage shed.

Hip roof ShedYou don’t need to think building one is beyond your skill level as with the materials available today even a first timer can build one with a little patience. You can use conventional construction methods to build this versatile structure, or some of the kits that are available at your local lumber yard. We are going to look at this project in general terms so the actual shape, size and design could be adjusted by you to meet your individual needs. For the one I am going to talk about we will use the conventional construction method. This will allow us to be versatile in style and choose our own exterior sheeting and details to our own likes.

One thing before we get started. Check with your local city bylaws as to any restrictions on size and location that might affect your project. I would hate for you to get it all built and then you find out you have to move it. Not fun at all.

We are going to start from the ground up. The first thing is the foundation. Our shed needs to sit on something. Some people put them right on the ground or on concrete slabs. The one we will be doing will have a wood floor so we will need floor joist as part of the structure and for the structure we will be using standard spruce which will rot if it is set right on the ground. Therefore to raise it off the ground I like to use 4” solid concrete blocks laying flat in the corners then using a pressure treated (PT) 4×4 to span from corner to corner along the sides. This will give the structure something to sit on, keep it up off the ground and give you something to nail the frame to that will tie it all together.

After determining where you want your shed and the size it will be (we will be making an 8’ x 10’ shed with the front being on the 10’ side) lay it out on the ground and put a small stake in the corners of where the shed will be.
TIP: To help you make your foundation square use a sheet of plywood laying on the ground with the long edge along the side of where you want your shed then use a straight 2×4 along the end to help you make it square.
These stakes will tell us where you need to put the corner concrete blocks and because of the length 10’ we will need to add a concrete block also in the middle of the length of the shed.
TIP: to level your foundation lay one of your 4×4’s on top of the blocks then with a level on top of it you can determine level from corner to corner.
Hip roof Shed foundationBy digging the blocks into the ground enough you can make them level. This will only work on a reasonably level yard. If where you want to put the shed is on a slope you may have to put PT posts in the ground set in concrete in stead of using the concrete blocks, setting them up high enough to make the shed level.

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