How to Build a Run-in Shed

Run-in sheds derive their name from their design. Covered on three sides and the top, the run-in shed is open in the front. Farms with animals have them to provide quick shelter from the elements, but they are also used to store items one might find on a farm. The most common reason for building a run-in shed is to accommodate horses.

Things You'll Need

  • Marking paint
  • 2-foot stakes
  • Heavy string
  • 4-lb. sledgehammer
  • Motorized auger or posthole diggers
  • Concrete mix
  • 4-by-4-foot posts, 14 feet long
  • Carpenter's level
  • 2-by-4-foot boards, 8 feet long
  • 16d nails
  • 2-by-8-inch lumber
  • Circular saw
  • Rafter ties
  • 2d box nails
  • 2-by-6-inch lumber
  • 1-by-4-inch lumber
  • Outside wall material
  • Roofing material
  1. Getting Started

    • 1

      Mark the shape of the run-in shed on the ground where it is to be built with marking paint. Drive a stake into the back corners and tie a piece of the heavy string from one to the other.

    • 2

      Measure out four feet from each stake and make a mark on the string. Tie a separate piece of string on each of the stakes and go to the front of the run-in shed, following the painted lines. Drive a stake in the ground and tie the string to it.

    • 3

      Mark these two strings three feet from the back corner. The measurement from the three-foot mark and the four-foot mark should be five feet, which means the corners are square. Adjust the side strings if needed.

    • 4

      Tie a piece of the string to one of the front stakes and stretch it across the front to the other front stake and tie it there as well. Mark the midway point, and drive a stake in the ground.

    • 5

      Dig 4-foot deep holes where the stakes are driven in the ground (at least every eight feet) with a motorized auger or post hole diggers. If the side wall is 10 feet or longer, install a post midway between the back corner and the end of the side wall.

    • 6

      Mix the concrete according to the manufacturer's instructions and set a 14-foot 4-by-4-inch post in each hole. Place the carpenter's level on the posts to be certain they are plumb. Anchor them in place by driving a stake in the ground near enough to secure an 8-foot 2-by-4-inch board to the pole and the stake. Let the concrete set.

    • 7

      Secure 2-by-8-inch boards along the back wall at a height of 8 feet, using 16d nails. Repeat this for the front of the shed, but make the height 10 feet.

    Finishing Up

    • 1

      Drive a 16d nail on top of the front header at the side wall. Next, drive a 16d nail on top of the back header at the side wall. Stretch a string from one nail to the other, and use it to mark the angle needed on the side posts. Cut them accordingly with the circular saw.

    • 2

      Measure from one end of the back header and make marks every 24 inches. Repeat this on the front header (from the same end), and install the rafter ties on the marks with 2d box nails.

    • 3

      Secure the 2-by-6-inch lumber (rafters) to the rafter ties with 2d box nails. Measure from one end of the rafters and make marks every 24 inches. Secure the 1-by-4-inch boards perpendicular to the rafters on the 24-inch marks with 4d box nails.

    • 4

      Measure and cut the outside wall material with the circular saw and secure it to the 2-by-4-inch boards with the 4d box nails. Install the roof material according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Tips & Warnings

  • When setting the 4-by-4-inch posts, do not place them more than eight feet apart.
  • Treated plywood is one option available for the outside wall material.
  • To help prolong the life of the outside wall material, install treated lumber horizontally for the first 12 to 18 inches from the ground.
  • Do not leave power tools unattended in the presence of children.
  • Always use red or yellow construction markers on empty holes to prevent injury from falling into them.
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