How to Build an Old Western Storefront Shed

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Today’s homeowner craves a little imagination added to utilitarian projects, so it’s no surprise you have your heart set on a shed that emulates an Old Western storefront. Backyard sheds are indispensable for stowing everything from grass seed to lawn mowers and weed whackers, but in the past, do-it-yourself engineers did little more than slap up walls, pop on a roof and hang a door. Find inspiration for your storefront shed by renting a few old John Wayne videos, partner, and you’ll be motivated to recapture that era when you build your backyard storage hub.

Things You'll Need

  • Sketch pad
  • Photographs
  • Rake
  • String/stakes
  • Gravel
  • Lumber
  • Cement mix
  • Plywood
  • Saw
  • Hammer
  • Screws
  • Door
  • Hinges
  • Paint
  • Brushes
  • Retro signs
  • Sketch out the façade of your storefront shed by searching websites for drawings or photographs of actual Old West-styled general stores. Look also for images of products sold at these mom-and-pop stores so you can replicate barrels, boxes and crates, either as 3D embellishments or painted-on designs.

  • Rake up grass before using string and stakes to mark the boundaries of your old western-themed shed. Use 2-by-4s to construct a frame. Lay down gravel if you want an extra measure of waterproofing under the shed floor. Prepare cement mix in a wheelbarrow per package instructions and pour it over the graded area, allowing it to cure and harden before you remove the wood frame.

  • Build a floor. Re-use the aforementioned frame if it’s intact or make another so you can construct a wood floor atop the framework. Fashion floor joists cut from pressure-treated lumber and use screws to attach them to the floor frame. Cut exterior-grade plywood to size and nail it to the framework.

  • Frame up four shed walls using pressure-treated 2-by-4 lengths of lumber. Nail plywood or individual wood boards to the frame to build out the walls. Cut out the door opening with a saw. Frame the door opening with additional pieces of 2-by-4 lumber. Install antique or rustic hinges for authenticity. Hang the door. Add a flat plywood roof and cover it with roof tile.

  • Turn the shed into a western storefront. Mount a flat, horizontal section of plywood that runs the width of the shed to the area above the door that’s lettered with your choice of phrases: “Western Goods,” “Old West Store” or use your name to personalize the header with, for example, “John’s Old West Store.”

  • Give the shed’s exterior a weathered look using a wood distressing kit or paint the shed's exterior so it looks as though it’s been around for a few hundred years. Get as detailed as you like – paint a mural that depicts barrels of fruit, hanging hams and other touches, or add a faux window that emulates the look of a general store.

Tips & Warnings

  • Attach old metal replica signs, vintage oil lamps and other memorabilia to the shed’s exterior. Don’t forget a hitching post for the horses.

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References

  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
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