Building a Shed: Expert Advice from Start to Finish

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by: Joseph Truini

Topics include: roughsawn cedar, nailed across the joints, plywood stop blocks, standard roof trusses, jointed cedar, astragal strip, skid foundation, upper roof slope, long decking screws, ring shank siding nails, grooved plywood siding, cedar corner boards, sliding barrel bolt, rough header, bottom wall plates, roughsawn surface, faux slate, plywood floor deck, barn sash windows, textured plywood siding, top wall plate, vertical blocking, plywood gusset plates, inland wetlands commission, galvanized siding nails

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Book Description -- This well-illustrated guide offers a range of building options, with complete instructions and plans for four popular projects: saltbox potting shed, garden storage shed, storage barn, and lean-to tool locker. Author Joe Truini walks the reader through each step, from evaluating storage needs to basic construction to putting the finishing touches on the roof. Over 350 color photos and black-and-white illustrations are included.

An excellent choice for building your shed --
This book takes you through the steps of constructing an attractive, functional and well-built shed. The sheds are designed for New England snow loads, so they should stand up anywhere you build it, for a long, long time. Anyone with basic carpentry skills should be able to build most of the sheds shown in the book. The gambrel shed in the book is the most complex style mentioned. The shed styles explained are aa Lean-To Locker, a Saltbox Potting shed, Colonial style (shown on cover) and the Gambrel shed.

The information is well presented, with color photos throughout. As was noted in a previous review, though some dimensions are given, the complete plans must be ordered elsewhere. I ordered the plans for the gambrel shed and did notice a few discrepencies between the book and plans however.

All in all, an excellent book if you are considering building a shed. While you may not choose to build one exactly as shown in this book, the information found in here would be useful in any shed building project.

I purchased this book and read many parts of it. I was most interested in pouring a concrete slab foundation. This book covered every foundation but concrete slab, so I was disappointed in that. The sheds that are covered are very elaborate and built to last. I thought a better job could have been done in covering things like roof slope, and altering it from the sheds built in the book. Giving other options in different phases of construction. The pictures are good but there sure could be more of them(this book is nicely printed and color pictures are expensive). I am a picture kind of guy; a picture is worth a thousand words to me. The "pro tips" highlights are good and provide very usefull info at different stages of construction.
All-in-all this is a very good book. The language is a little to trade/contractor talk. Mr. Truini should have had an average Joe proof read this book to make sure anyone without building experience could pick it up, read it and build the shed they are imagining.


Shed Building In a Nutshell -- What separates this book from the other riff raff shed building books is its title, its author, and publishing date. shed building is an american pasttime as long as building barns. In fact Truini delineates a nice history between the shed and the barn, two architectural cousins, who, having some rough times in the past, have reconciled. Shed Building cannot be seen as anything other than the construction of a shed with four walls, a roof, an at least one entrance. Shed building is also an activity that boils down to one thing, building a shed. Truini examines the etymology of the word shed, from its incorporation into Indo-European languages by Finno-Urgic nomads in the 6th century b.c., with the word schiiedde, which meant miniature house that looks like a house. Its interesting how in chinese, the word for shed is quang xi, which interestingly enough has a pictogram that looks like a shed, interestingly.

The very best book on shed construction! --
I've looked at several books on sheds and this is the best one I've found!
The author is a real craftsman. His background in cabinetmaking shines through in his attention to detail. He doesn't take shortcuts, as a matter of fact he takes the extra minute or two to do it right. Little tips like painting T 1-11 before installing it is helpful, but pointing out the value of painting the edges too, (to help preserve the wood over time), is the difference between a shed and a quality shed.
There are several step by step sheds to build, and each one offers numerous photos and tips. I would suggest reading the entire book and then building your shed. You will find different tips in each plan and can use them in building your shed.
Some of the outstanding features of this book:
ProTip - On nearly every other page the author offers a ProTip. They are not brain surgery, but if are new to construction you will find them helpful.
Trade Secret - Also on nearly every other page there is a Trade Secret. Here are the kind of tips that the old-timers offered. It's like having a master carpenter give you all the advise you'll ever needed.
Photos - Lots of them, but most importantly, they are from the part of the project the author is explaining. It's like being on the job site and seeing the project in action.
Details - The author is very good at describing the process of building a shed.
Disadvantage to this book:
The plans for the sheds are not included. You must purchase them from other sources listed in the back. It is possible to figure it out by combining different descriptions and sketches together, but if your are new to construction you may be better off ordering the plans.
After reading this book you will never buy one of those superstore sheds. You'll want the very best, and if you build it yourself you can get it for less than the superstore! Enjoy!

Build Like a Pro: Building a Shed

Joseph Truini

Instructions and plans for building four shed projects


How to Use This Book

1. BeforeYou Build
Evaluating Your Storage Needs
Design Considerations
A Working Plan
Finishing School
Siting the Structure
Code Concerns
Hiring Help

2. Construction Methods
Choosing a Foundation
On-Grade Foundations
Frost-Proof Foundations
Wall-Framing Techniques
Shed Floors
Roof Framing
Stair and Ramp Construction

3. Building Materials

4. Lean-to Shed Locker
Timber-Frame Foundation
Wall Framing
Roof Framing
Siding and Trim
Interior Shelves

5. Saltbox Potting Shed
Solid-Block Foundation
Wall Framing
Roof Framing
Dutch Door
Entry Deck
Potting Bench

6. Colonial-Style Shed
Skid Foundation
Gable-End Trusses
Roof Framing
Windows and Exterior Trim

7. Gambrel Storage Barn
Site Prep and Footings
Wall Framing
Roof Framing
Windows and Exterior Trim
Door Installation



From the very beginning, the goal of this book has been to provide you with the information, inspiration, and confidence to build your own backyard storage shed. And not just one of the structures shown in this book, but any shed at all. Like most other shed books, this one has a lot of photos of attractive outbuildings and many construction drawings, but that's where the similarities end. This book gives specific information on what you need to know before you build a shed, including design considerations, building code issues, and evaluating your storage needs. A chapter devoted to shed-building techniques covers everything from foundations to roof framing. Another chapter explains the wide variety of shed-building materials, including siding, roofing, doors, and windows.

However, what makes this book truly unique is that each of the final four chapters shows how to build a particular shed from scratch. These structures were specifically designed and constructed for this book and include an easy-to-build 2-ft. by 6-ft. Shed Locker that's perfect for storing lawn and garden tools; a charming 8-ft. by 12-ft. Saltbox Potting Shed, which features a cedar-shingle roof and traditional Dutch door; a 10-ft. by 16-ft. Colonial-Style Garden Shed that combines classical design with beautiful vertical-board cedar siding; and a spacious 12-ft. by 20-ft. Gambrel Storage Barn, which has double-wide sliding doors and an interior storage loft.

For each shed, there are dozens of step-by-step photos and precise drawings to guide you through each phase of the construction process. However, if you need additional information, mail-order plans are available for each of the four sheds.

Finally, it took about a year to produce the book you now hold in your hands, but it -- and all that I am today -- really started early one summer morning more than 35 years ago.

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