Thursday, September 8, 2011

How to Build a Storage Shed Out of Recycled Materials

Before beginning the construction of any shed project you should make sure a permit isn’t required to build a shed. Be sure to know your local laws and the municipal codes before you start building. You should use pressure treated wood for your storage shed if you want a sturdy shed that is built like a house.

That being said, more and more people have been building alternative sheds. There are sheds being built out of pallets and recycled material. One person even built a very sturdy storage shed with recycled countertops from the local ReStore. The end result was a very successful and unique looking storage shed. Others have built sheds out of straw bales. The frame work for sheds are all very similar in the floor and walls.

The Floor Plan
You should use pressure treated wood for the frames of the floor. For the floor of an 8x8 shed, you will need the following materials:

- 2 2x4, 8 foot long wood pieces
- 2 4x4, 8 foot long wood pieces
- 7 2x4, 93 inches long wood pieces

The 2x4s that are 8 feet long are for the frame. The wood frame will be put on the two 4x4 wood pieces. The remaining five 2x4s should be either nailed or screwed into the frame, approximately 16 inches apart. You should measure the floor diagonally, from the northeast corner to southwest corner and northwest corner to southeast corner. If both measurements are the same, your floor frame is square. The image below is what the floor frame should look like.

How to Build a Storage Shed Out of Recycled Materials

You can install two sections of 5/8 inch, 4x8 plywood on top of the frame, creating the floor of your shed. Another alternative is recycled materials that will fit, such as recycled counter tops.

The Wall Frame
Building a wall frame is the next step. See the list for supplies you will need for the walls:

- 8 2x4, 8 foot long wood boards for the frame.
- 20 2x4, 78 inch long wood boards for the wall studs.

The 2x4, 78 inch long wood boards should be 24 inches apart.

For a traditional 8x8 shed, you can use regular T1-11 exterior sidings in 4x8 sections. In this particular example, walls were constructed out of recycled counter tops with a laminate surfacing. Each piece of counter top was cut to a standard size of 78 inches for placement on the wall frames. A skill saw and table saw were used in cutting the counter top panels to correct size.

How to Build a Storage Shed Out of Recycled Materials

The picture above shows the floor already built and the walls are ready to be erected on one side. The door was also recycled, found at the local ReStore and nailed in place, secured to the wall frames and floor. The floor frame was constructed out of pressure treated, quality wood. There are two recycled counter tops covering the floor frame; very thick and sturdy. When building a shed out of recycled countertops, the weight of the walls can be an issue so install 2x4 foot long blocks along the bottom frame of the floor, where the top of the blocks are even with the floor as you can see in this picture below (the white board at the bottom of this picture). With the wood blocks, the counter tops would sit on top of them and not add any strain to the walls. Each counter top panel was secured with a series of screws into the frames of the wall. Power tools are essential when doing this kind of work as the counter tops were very dense and required that extra power to drive the screws successfully.

How to Build a Storage Shed Out of Recycled Materials

All of the walls have been erected and the roof has been set up. The construction of the roof frame is essentially a wall frame but installed atop 3 foot risers at one end to create a slope. The person went with a sloped roof that has a longer back end so tools could be hung up on the back side of the shed and be sheltered under the long end of the roof. Plywood is still being installed on the roof. Once the plywood has been installed, tar paper will be installed next. The creamy colored board leaning against the shed is a piece of recycled cardboard that is going to be used for this shed. Recycled roof shingles can be relatively easy to find utilizing resources such as Habitat for Humanity's ReStore facilities or Craigslist. Shingles are nailed atop the tar paper and into the roof frame.

How to Build a Storage Shed Out of Recycled Materials

This is close to what the finished product looks like. Shingles have already been added to the roof. There was spacing left between the walls and roof to allow for ventilation. In each corner of the joined wall frames, a bracing board was secured to further stabilize and hold the structure together.

How to Build a Storage Shed Out of Recycled Materials

Caulk is applied to each seam to prevent water from seeping into the pressed material of the counter top. Caulk comes in a variety of colors but in this instance, recycled caulk was used so different colors were available. All caulking is applied with a caulk gun and a steady hand.

How to Build a Storage Shed Out of Recycled Materials

This shed is ready for things to be stored in it. Since this shed was built out of mostly recycled materials, the total cost of this shed was approximately $300. Most of the cost was in getting pressure treated wood for the frame work. The recycled materials cost very little. The aesthetics of this project can be improved by installing wood shingles on the walls or by roughing up the laminate surface and applying a latex paint to the entire exterior. With recycled materials, imagination and innovation are key to creating a look that suits your preferences.

How to Build a Storage Shed Out of Recycled Materials

How to Build a Storage Shed Out of Recycled Materials

Some construction tips before beginning your shed project:

  • Try to ensure you have most of the supplies on hand and ready to be used.

  • Power tools can save a lot of physical strain and effort but it is important to know how to use them correctly to prevent injury. Powerful tools such as skill saws can be very dangerous if used incorrectly.

  • When performing any kind of roof construction, make sure all surfaces are dry and you are wearing slid resistant footwear. Falls can lead to death or serious injury and should not be taken lightly.


  1. Hello Friends,
    First of all you must think about what type of storage shed you want to build. There are so many ways to build a storage sheds. For preparing a sheds, first step you prepare a floor then the next step will be fixing the walls, doors and windows. You can get lots of design and plans present in books related to building and building materials. Thanks for sharing it...
    Storage Sheds

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  3. Building storage sheds with using a recycled material that's really a good thinking of use of recycled material in worthy way. You have give a some very useful tips for building a storage sheds in proper way and style.

    Fabricated Buildings

  4. I absolutely amazed every time I see a recycled materials. I love it very practical. Thanks for the tips, very appreciative!

    Rent To Own Shed

  5. Hello,

    Nice post! Building a storage shed is simple structure made with pole construction, can be built using plywood or metal sheets and 2x4 wooden posts or metal poles. it's much easier than tacking a new room onto the house. Thanks.

    Storage sheds

  6. Cool, it is amazing that those extra strips of woods or tin metal can be salvaged and be used to make sheds. ~