- Post hole digger
- Tape measure
- Caulk line
- Line level
- Four foot level
- Generous supply of 12-foot treated poles
- Galvanized framing nails (#16 galvanized)
- Loose gravel
- Bow saw
- Circular saw
- Galvanized spikes (#20)
- Galvanized flooring (box) nails (#6)
- 3/4-inch exterior-grade plywood
- 1/2-inch exterior grade plywood
- 2-by-6 and 2-by-4 pressure-treated wood
- 2-by-6 and 2-by-4 nontreated wood
- 1-by-6 (8 feet long) ridge plate
- 1 1/2-inch galvanized roofing nails
- Metal drip edge
- Flashing cement
- Heavy-duty roof paper
- Rolled roofing
- Rough cut 1-by-6 or 1-by-8 lumber
- Galvanized box nails (#10)
- 8-inch wrought iron gate hinges
- Safety glasses
You can build a simple but functional pole shed building using 12-foot-long creosote or pressure-treated poles as the vertical framing members. The basic technique for constructing a pole building is this: Insert each pole into the ground and let it stand upright. Add a gable roof along with a wooden floor and board and batten siding. Finally, install a door. Now you have a pole building that can be used as a storage area.
How to Build a Pole Shed
Lay out the perimeter of the shed building. The shape should be a square or rectangle. A 8-by-12-foot building outline should suit your purpose just fine.
Dig the four corner holes and then place a hole every 4 feet except the front, where you will have two poles placed 2 feet in from each corner with a 4-foot opening in the center of the wall to allow for a doorway. Each hole is dug with the post hole digger and should be from 2 to 4 feet deep depending on the frost line in your area.
Place 6 inches of loose gravel in the bottom of each hole and then compact the small stones with one of the poles. Insert a pole into each hole, and fill around the hole with loose gravel until the gravel is flush with ground. Use a 4-foot level to ensure that each pole is plumb.
Cut a corner pole to the length of 8 feet with a bow saw.
Using a line level, mark the cuts on the three corner poles so that they match the height of the first pole. Use a chalk line to mark all the inside poles.
Cut every pole at the mark with a bow saw. Make sure the cut is flat and level.
Cut two 2-by-6 boards to the length of 8 feet and nail them to the tops of the front (4) and back (3) poles, making sure the outside edge of the 2-by-6 is flush with the outside edge of the pole. Use #20 galvanized spikes to do the nailing.
Cut four square blocks from the 2-by-6 stock and nail them to the top of the side poles. Then cut two 12-foot pieces of 2-by-6 and run them along the outside tops of the poles. Now you have a very basic frame.
Frame in for the floor. Use 2-by-6s for this. Use the larger nails (#20) whenever you attach a piece of lumber to the pole frame. Place the first board at the front (on the inside of the poles) and be sure that it is level. Then continue the boards (four total) around the inside of the pole frame, being certain all the 2-by-6s are level with the first one. Then run 2-by-6 crosspieces every 16 inches on center and add a plywood deck (3/4-inch exterior grade). You can use joist hangers if you like, for extra strength.
Build the gabled roof frame. A 4-foot-high peak is a good height for the 8-foot span. Use a ridge plate (1-by-6 and 12 feet long) and place your rafters 2 feet apart. Don't forget to notch the rafters for the wall plate and to make the end cuts rafter using a framing square. Don't forget that there is a 1-to-1 (rise over run ratio) slope of the roof in all your cuts. Overhang the roof on both side by at least 4 inches.
Cover the roof rafters with 1/2-inch exterior-grade plywood, drip edge (around the edges), heavy-duty felt paper and rolled roofing. Overhang the plywood in the front and back by 4 inches. This is your standard roof. All of this gets nailed down with 1 1/2-inch roofing nails. Use flashing cement to seal all seams in the rolled roofing.
Attach treated 2-by-4s to all four exterior sides (leave part of the front side open for the door) of the pole frame at 2-foot intervals. Make sure the 2-by-4s are turned sideways. Start at the floor level and run each row of 2-by-4s in a horizontal direction. Start the second row so the distance between each row is 2 feet. Keep each as level as possible. Fill in on the front and back of the gables with 2-by-4s turned sideways, so that they are flush with the rest in a continuous line that runs from top to bottom.
Cover three sides of the building with board and batten siding that is run in a vertical direction. You can cut your own battens (about 3 inches wide) if you have to. Nail these with #8 or #10 galvanized box nails. If the wood is green, then just nail on one edge of the batten strips and on one edge of the larger boards.
Frame between the posts for the door opening. Use as much of the 4-foot opening as possible. You will have to nail 2-by-6s to the side of the poles and then run two bottom pieces across the span, as well as two top pieces that can act as a header. The header should go right underneath the top plate that you installed in Step 7, and the bottom boards should be turned on edge and filled on top with plywood.
Build the door from kiln-dried rough lumber (if it is available) and make sure the door fits the opening (a 3 1/2-foot-wide opening should be enough). Build the door on sawhorses, and attach three T-hinges and a latch.
TIPS AND WARNINGS
- TIP : A ledge-style barn door will look good on a pole shed.
- WARNING : Use pressure-treated or creosote-soaked framing timber for all boards that connect directly to the poles.