A few years ago I decided I didn’t want anything in our garage at home except automobiles. No rakes, hoes, mowers, sprayers, chemicals, etc. I bought three “shed books” from Sunset, Taunton and BH & Gardens and started planning. A year later I had the rough idea for a 10x14-foot shed for the back corner of my lawn.

Beginning shed construction

In the beginning, Bosh had some lumber.

Photo Credit: Bosh Bruening

Framing garden shed roof

Bosh frames the roof.

Photo Credit: Bosh Bruening

Garden shed roof

Bosh gets a roof.

Photo Credit: Bosh Bruening

Finished garden shed

Ladies and gentlemen, we give you: The Garden Shed.

Photo Credit: Bosh Bruening

A carpenter friend at church offered several times to help me, but I told him I wanted to do it myself. I hand-dug the holes for 4x4-inch CCA posts and set them in concrete. I was pleased that even though I set the posts by myself, they were perfectly “squared and level.”

So far so good.

Then I stood back and tried to decide where to start next. I had six posts 3 feet in the ground and 9 feet out of it, pointing skyward, and realized I didn’t know whether you built something like this from the bottom up or the top down. Fortunately with age I have learned to say “when.” I called my carpenter friend, and he showed up the next day to help me.

Apparently I should have called him before I set the posts in concrete. As a nurseryman/landscaper I just assumed the posts would be 10x14 feet on center. After all, that’s the way all landscape plants are planted from a plan – on center. I now know that’s not the case with lumber. I should’ve made it 10x14 feet to the outside of the posts instead. As a result, everything now had to be oversized and cut down. So the 10-foot lumber had to come from 12-foot lumber, and so on.

I naturally wanted the shed to blend in with my landscaping, so I decided to finish the outside with used barn lumber. My sister-in-law had an old barn that measured 30x50 feet, and I figured I was in business. I ended up making four trips to the old barn before I had enough old siding of the quality needed to finish the job. (I don’t think my sister-in-law has seen what’s left of her barn yet, as I still haven’t heard from her about it. It’s now just a skeleton.)

Meanwhile, I’m one of those people who don’t get poison ivy…well, at least I was – until I built this shed. The “trunks” of the poison ivy covering the barn were the size of my upper arm, and I had to cut them with a chain saw. Well, the chips from the saw covered my arms, and three or four days later, so did the poison ivy. I looked like Popeye for a while.

This was not how I had envisioned my shed project going.

Anyway, as these photos show, the garden shed is now finished and, if I may say so, in the end, it turned out just right for me and my back yard. I finished the floor inside with patio blocks on fine gravel, and now my garage is empty of clutter. (And my arms, I’m happy to say, have been free of poison ivy ever since.)