green inspiration: a reader’s diy garden shed

Reader Taj and his wife just built their own garden shed using reclaimed materials and it’s great! What an inspiration. Taj says:

“The shed’s about 6×8 — smaller than what you’re building, but big enough for our needs. We both really like the weathered look of the old fence boards as ‘siding’ combined with the old French doors we found free on Craigslist. It fits with the rest of what we’ve done in the back so far — it looks old and comfortable to us. Neither of us like the ‘manicured garden’ look; we like it a little more wild and natural.

“In addition to re-using the fence materials, the floor used to be the outdoor landing off our back door, which I tore off to excavate the patio area. Pulling out all the nails and reassembling it to use as the floor was…slow going. I also ended up building the shed almost entirely with hand tools as buying new power tools would have exceeded our budget. Before we moved in here, we didn’t have a need for a circular saw or nail gun, though, boy, they would have made it a much faster project! The next step is a ramp out of still more scrap lumber, and then installing pegboard and shelves — more scrap — so we can organize the inside.

One bit of advice on building the shed: if you have to buy some lumber, make sure it’s really dry.”

Taj, thanks so much for sharing! I can only hope ours turns out as well as yours. –Mary T.

From our partners

My Dad just finished building a larger shed using partially reclaimed materials. He found some gutters and downspouts and added them to one side to drain into a rain barrel. The rain barrel he made from a 39-gallon garbage can and a $2 spigot kit. He’s a retired carpenter so that helps, but can’t wait to see the results for myself. Or to get him to make a rain barrel for our shed : )

This is very inspirational! thanks for sharing!


I was thinking of adding a rainwater collection setup – to the shed as well as all the other downspouts on the house. If I get time to work on it some more (I’m trying to finish up the patio right now) that’s high on my list.

Tiffany S.

We have a shed going up in our neighborhood that you should see – it’s just framed out but looking good!

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