Outdoor storage sheds are ever popular in the gardening community. They give you a place to store all of the stuff that inevitably starts to build up over the years including tools, equipment, pots, planting soil, seeds, and more. Unfortunately, when buying a new shed you are limited by what is available in your price range. Gardeners often get stuck with one of two options: something that is inexpensive and unattractive, or a nice looking shed that breaks the bank. Many people turn to DIY solutions and end up building their own sheds so that they can customize them and make them fit in with their own personal style. These books are the best out there when it comes to DIY shed building instructions and inspiration, whether you are a seasoned builder or a complete newbie. You can use reclaimed or new materials, spend a lot of money or a little, and still end up with a great looking, functional shed to store all of your gardening tools and equipment.
1. Stylish Sheds and Elegant Hideaways: Big Ideas for Small Backyard Destinations by Debra Prinzing
In this inspirational book, Debra Prinzing showcases 28 elegant and well designed “sheds” across the nation. This book is great for someone who is in the planning stages and wants to be inspired by beautiful and innovative designs. “Stylish Sheds and Elegant Hideaways” shows a number of different purposes that a shed can be used for, not just storage but writer’s retreats, yoga rooms, playhouses and more. The designs range from the elaborate and luxurious, to the modest and humble. Overall, this is a great book for inspiration but you will not find any DIY plans or instructions inside.
- Gorgeous photos
- Shows both urban and rural sheds
- Shows both elaborate and expensive, and modest and cheap sheds
- Does not have any instructions
- Does not have any architectural plans or drawings
- mostly photos, not a lot of text
Find more Stylish Sheds and Elegant Hideaways: Big Ideas for Small Backyard Destinations information and reviews here.
2. Backyard Building: Treehouses, Sheds, Arbors, Gates, and Other Garden Projects (Countryman Know How) by Jean Stiles and David Stiles
“Backyard Building” is a fantastic choice for a new builder who is looking to add an attractive shed or other structure to their garden. This book is filled top to bottom wit useful information, including everything from detailed plans and materials lists right down to the kinds of screws, nuts, bolts and tools to use in constructing each project. The book is based off of questions that Jean and David got from real-life readers on their website, Countryman Know How, so all of the information is incredibly practical to readers. Their writing style is user-friendly, with detailed illustrations to show how to do each step. Not only is this a great how-to book, it is full of beautiful photographs that can be used for general inspiration as well.
- Lots of photos
- Detailed illustrations
- Detailed plans and explanations for those with little to no construction experience
- Not just focused on sheds, includes other projects as well
- Does not include projects with found/re-purposed materials
- Very long book
Find more Backyard Building: Treehouses, Sheds, Arbors, Gates, and Other Garden Projects information and reviews here
3. Jay Shafer’s DIY Book of Backyard Sheds & Tiny Houses: Build Your Own Guest Cottage, Writing Studio, Home Office, Craft Workshop, or Personal Retreat
Jay Shafer is internationally recognized as a small living expert, having been featured on CNN, Oprah, Fine Homebuilding and This Old House. The “sheds” he details in this DIY book can be used not only for storage, but for home offices, workshops, vacation homes or even full time residences. This book is perfect for someone looking to build a really high quality shed or backyard building. It includes a lot of great pictures and ideas if you are just looking to be inspired. If you are ready to build this book also has construction details, but not full architectural drawings and plans.
- Great coffee table/conversation starter book
- Lots of beautiful photographs
- Written by a true expert on the subject
- Does not included detailed plans
- Instructions are only for basic construction: things like plumbing and electric are not covered
- No materials lists
4. Greenhouses & Garden Sheds: Inspiration, Information & Step-by-Step Projects by Pat Price and Nora Ritcher Greer
Pat Price has put together a great resource with tons of advice and information to help you choose, design and build a simple greenhouse or potting shed. This book includes hundreds of gorgeous photographs of greenhouses and sheds, presenting clear choices and design features to help lead you through the difficult process of designing and selecting materials. Not only that, the book includes step-by-step photos and instructions for a number of projects, including photos of the whole process start-to-finish.
- Hundreds of great photos for inspiration
- Well-organized text
- Start-to-finish construction photos
- Some of the plans use very cheap materials such as PVC
- More photos than instructions
- Doesn’t focus on sheds only, also includes other structures
Find more Greenhouses & Garden Sheds: Inspiration, Information & Step-by-Step Projects information and reviews here.
5. Sheds: The Do-It-Yourself Guide for Backyard Builders
Another great how-to book from David Stiles, this title is designed to help the do-it-yourself builder think through all of the steps of planning, purchasing materials, and constructing the perfect shed for their outdoor space, no matter how much room you have. It goes through intended use, size, cost, placement, experience level, and helps you put all of these factors together in a solid plan for your perfect storage shed. This book contains materials lists, cost estimates, step-by-step illustrations, tips, detailed instructions and schedules.
- Detailed how-to instructions
- Step-by-step illustrations
- Includes cost estimates
- Doesn’t have as many inspirational ideas as other books
- Some reviewers mentioned the book does not have a lot of content
- More drawings than photos
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