We decided that rather than paying a monthly fee of $70/month or more to store our stuff while we travel, that we would build a storage shed. We are about to head out on a full time RVing trip across the US.

We will save money in the long run here because we don’t know how long we will need to store our items.

Fortunately we were able to build the storage shed on Jena’s parent’s (Dan and Chris) property.

We decided to go with a 12′ x 16′ in size storage shed. This is a bit more space than we need, but Dan needs some extra room now as well. We were able to build our storage shed for under $1,600.

I priced out already built storage sheds in the area and found building a shed from a materials list I made to be 60-65% less than those available. The shed we built is a structurally solid, but basic model. No windows or decorative touches on this one. You can find shed packages on Amazon for less than you can find locally.

Here are the steps we took to build a 12′ x 16′ storage shed for under $1,600.

*Also see supplies list toward bottom of post.

build a storage shed

Clear the area and level the ground where the shed will go

      • Check with your homeowners association before your choose your build site. We ended up having to move the shed once the walls were up as a neighbor complained that we had built it too close to the back of Dan’s property

Build the flooring framework

        • 4 x 4 Runners/Skids that sit on the ground
        • Create a framework using 2 x 4s sitting on top of the runners
        • Level out the framework – we used bricks on the low side and shored up the 4 x 4 runners for a sturdy foundation
        • Add 3/4″ tongue and groove sheeting onto the framework
storage shed

Frame the walls

    • 2 x 4 walls, roughly 7.5′ high, 16″ on center spacing
    • Set the walls and add support

Door framing

      • 5′ opening to accommodate lawnmower
      • Centered on a 16′ side
storage shed

Make sure to set braces to keep your storage shed upright.

We made the mistake of removing a couple of braces because we were short 2x4s as we were building our trusses. A giant wind storm came through and if it were not for the chain link fence, the entire frame would have blown over.

storage shed

Sheeting the walls

Exterior sheeting is 4′ x 8′ T111 8″ OC grooved siding to allow for sheeting the side wall and the exposed floor joist and makes for a quick and low cost finish

hand made trusses for storage shed

Make trusses and secure to frame

Hand make trusses, 6/12 pitch with plywood reinforcement

storage shed

Sheet the roof, add roof edge and then shingles

  • Roof sheeting is 1/2″ OSB
  • Roof edge is style D
  • Shingles are architectural to match the house

Add Trim

The trim is a 1 x 4 wood look trim in 8′ lengths. We applied trim to the corners and around the parameter of the roof as well as the doors.

build a shed

Build the Doors

The door opening is roughly 7 1/5′ high by 5′ wide. We cut two pieces of OSB 2 1/2′ wide to make double doors and used 2 x 4s along with wood glue and staples to strengthen the door. Attached the doors with three hinges on each door and installed a lock. We also put locking pins on the bottom and top of one of the doors to help keep it shut.

Since we didn’t add windows to the shed we ordered a couple of solar powered motion lights. One for the outside and one for the inside.

Add siding to the front and paint

We applied James Hardy cement siding to the front of the storage shed to match the house.

Storage Shed Supplies list

I priced out the supplies from Home Depot online and took the supplies sheet into Home Depot. These were the prices July 2019. When I took the sheet into Home Depot, there were items that were higher in the store. I spoke with a store manager and was able to get the online prices for the items on my list.

Supplies Quantity Per Item Cost Total Cost
2 x 4 x 92 5/8 48  $                    2.43  $       116.64
2 x 4 x 12 13  $                    5.55  $          72.15
2 x 4 x 16 2  $                    7.41  $          14.82
3/4 OSB 4×8 6  $                  19.68  $       118.08
2 x 4 x 8 41  $                    2.56  $       104.96
7/16 x 4 x 8 OSB 3  $                    9.15  $          27.45
1/2 x 4 x 8 OSB 8  $                    9.95  $          79.60
Siding: 8 1/4 x 12 14  $                  10.43  $       146.02
1 x 4 x 8 25  $                    9.52  $       238.00
Shingles 7  $                  30.00  $       210.00
4 x 4 x 8 6  $                  10.98  $          65.88
Style D Roof Edge 6  $                    8.58  $          51.48
Smart Panel 4 x 8 11  $                  20.00  $       220.00
Paint 1  $                  30.00  $          30.00
3″ Framing Nails 1  $                  19.00  $          19.00
Roofing Nails 1  $                  25.00  $          25.00
Door Hinges 6  $                    4.97  $          29.82
Door Lock 1  $                    4.50  $            4.50
 $    1,573.40
build a storage shed on a budget