How to Build a Firewood Shed

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Nothing surpasses the warmth of a roaring fire, but the magical moment quickly vanishes when you are asked to fetch more wood. For reasons of health (bugs and rodents) and safety (stacks of wood falling on kids at play), your woodpile is probably located at the far end of your property. Not so far that you are feeling winded from a three-mile jog, but on a freezing cold night, it can seem that far. If you're sick and tired of being the head firewood retriever, you will probably warm up to the suggestion of building a firewood shed. The structure needn't be elaborate, but having the ability to keep cords of wood stowed in close proximity is bound to appeal to you. Build the shed close to your back door so you can say, next time you are called to duty: More wood? No worries, I'll be back in a flash.

Things You'll Need

  • 2 x 4 lumber
  • Nails and screws
  • String and stakes
  • Electric saw
  • Carpentry tools
  • Door with hardware or lumber to build a door
  • Concrete blocks (optional)
  • Select the ideal space in the yard for your shed. As mentioned in the introduction, putting your storage unit close to the house should be one of your goals.

  • Choose between building an attached shed or one that is freestanding. The second option works well if you have concrete slab that's unoccupied. An attached shed literally aligns with an exterior wall and is quite convenient. You may wish to build a stand-alone if you have a poured cement slab on which to construct it or you can accomplish the same end with cement blocks.

  • Do the math. If you have enjoyed your fire for at least one season, you know approximately how much wood you will likely burn in a year. Use your math skills to estimate the amount of interior room you will require for your storage needs.

  • Draw a rudimentary sketch of the exterior of your shed. Use it to approximate the amount of lumber you'll need to build the unit. Calculate three walls if the shed is to abut the house and four if it's to be freestanding. Factor in roof and rafter lumber needs as well as wood for a door--unless you plan to hang a ready-made one. Bring your plans along when you shop for supplies. Even master carpenters get second opinions.

  • Use string and stakes to mark off the parameters of the shed floor. If you are making a freestanding shed and there is no slab, use concrete blocks as a base. Build out the floor with 2 x 4 lengths of lumber and nails. Cover the floor with plywood sheeting.

  • Frame up four walls to spec and add braces at the corners to reinforce the wall frames. For an attached shed, anchor frames to the wall's exterior wall or frame up the sides and front on the ground before lifting them into place and anchoring them. Secure the frames to the shed floor.

  • Determine where the door will be installed. Frame up the door area. Either build a door with 2 x 4s to fit the opening or install a ready-made door with hinges and hardware.

  • Nail 2 x 4 planks of lumber vertically or horizontally to the wall frames, completely enclosing the shed. Hang a plumb line to make certain all of the corners are square.

  • Construct rafters by laying 2 x 4s across the tops of the wall frames, then cover the flat roof area with plywood. Unless you are concerned about aesthetics and want a pitched roof, a flat one will serve your purpose. Nail roofing shingles to the roof to keep stored wood dry.

  • Allow for some airflow inside the shed so damp wood can dry out and your wood stash avoids developing rot. Complete the exterior by sanding, priming and painting the firewood shed with several coats of outdoor paint. Stock your shed and get ready for winter.

Tips & Warnings

  • Never store combustible products in your wood shed. Once the shed is built, order logs in quantity to get price breaks now that you have a place to safely store a large quantity of firewood.

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