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Home-Dzine - Build a wendy house

Although this looks like a difficult project to tackle, take it step-by-step and you will see that making a wendy house or garden shed is far simpler.


This design makes the perfect wendy house for a garden, or a place to store your gardening essentials.

Modular construction and inexpensive materials make this shed easy to build and easy to afford. Don't be intimidated by the size of this project. We use simple construction methods to make the building process as easy as possible. We found all the materials to build this shed at our local Builders Warehouse. Most of the construction is straightforward and requires only standard carpentry tools and a circular saw.

To build the windows and door, you'll also need a table saw, power mitre saw and router. We used a Kreg pocket hole jig and pocket hole screws to assemble the door and windows. With a helper or two, you could have the platform and shell built in two or three days. Then expect to spend four or five more days completing the siding, trim, doors, windows and roofing.

Check with your local municipal planning department to see whether building permission is required.








Build the platform base
Dig two trenches. Centre the trenches 1680mm. Fill the trenches with a 80mm layer of gravel and compact it with a hand tamper. Repeat this process until the trench is full. Use a level and long board to level the top layer of gravel. If the ground is flat, also make sure the gravel beds in the two trenches are level with each other.

Lay the 150x150mm treated pine beams and set them on the gravel so they're parallel and the outside edges are 1830mm apart. On sloped ground, you'll have to raise them on the low side until it's level with the adjacent beam. Use a long spirit level to make sure the beams are level and level with each other. Finally, square the beams by adjusting the position of one beam. Slide the beam back and forth, not sideways, until the diagonal measurements from opposite corners are equal. Build the platform as shown in the diagram below.






Step 1
Assemble the end walls

Build the end walls on the platform, using chalk lines as a guide. Start by nailing together the perimeter and adding the centre stud. Then measure from the centre stud to mark for the remaining studs.

Step 2
Attach flashing over the siding seam

Nail siding to the walls before you stand them up. Cover the horizontal seam with metal Z-flashing to keep out water.

Step 3
Side the walls

Screw the front wall to the platform to hold it square while you add the siding. Align the bottom plate with a chalk line to make sure it's straight.

Step 4
Install the fibre cement boards

Add the fibre cement boards to the roof frame while it's on the platform. That will save you the hassle of upside-down nailing in a confined spot. It's unconventional, but building the roof upside down on the platform has advantages. First, you avoid a lot of ladder work. And second, you can nail the fibre cement board to the overhangs easily without having to work overhead and in cramped spaces.

Step 5
Nail the walls in place

Stand the walls, starting with the back wall. Then add the sides and finally the front. Nail each wall to the platform as you go and lock the corners together by nailing through the overhanging siding into studs.

Step 6
Start by moving one of the end panels into place and resting the bottom plate of the wall on the platform. Tip the wall up and secure it with a temporary angled brace. Line up the bottom plate with the chalk line and drive a few nails through the plate to hold the bottom of the wall in position. Don't worry about getting the wall plumb yet. It'll be automatic when you stand the back wall and connect the corners.

Stand the back wall. Then align the corner of the side and back walls and nail them together. With a helper on the outside of the shed to push if necessary, line up the inside edge of the bottom plate with the chalk line and nail it to the platform. Continue around the building, standing the opposite end wall and finally the front wall. Nail the corners together, making sure that the top plates of adjoining walls are flush with each other.

Step 7
Mark the gable end trim for the brackets

Mark rather than measure for the notches. It's faster and more accurate. Start by cutting the gable end trim a little long and cutting the angle on the top. Then tack it up parallel to the end rafter and mark for the bracket notch. Make sure the ridge is perfectly aligned with the peak of the wall. Then secure the roof panel with a pair of toenails through each beam into the top plate of the wall. Repeat the process on the opposite side. Complete the roof framing by nailing the ridges together and adding two collar ties.



Install the exterior trim
Start by mounting the brackets. Line up the outside edges of the lower brackets with the face of the siding, push them tight to the soffit and screw them to the wall. Centre the top bracket on the peak and push it tight to the soffit. Starting with the pieces that go under the brackets, wrap the corners with the corner board. Overlap the front corner board onto the side corner board (DIAGRAM E).

Roof, stain and paint the shed
Complete the shed by installing shingles and finishing the exterior. Prime with universal undercoat and paint the doors and windows before installing them, then you only need to apply silicone and fill nail holes before rolling an additional coat of paint onto the flat surfaces.