Are you against the idea of a treehouse because you fear for your kids’ safety? Then, here’s the solution. If you don’t want them to hate you ever since their childhood (they’ll have plenty of occasions later on), you’ll buy a nice shed and you will paint it to turn the construction into a beautiful playhouse for your children. The shed in this photo was actually turned into a playhouse for 2 little girls.
If you’re wondering how to make a garden shed look nice, add a little vintage character. Salvaged windows and barn-board siding give this garden shed visual appeal. Thoughtful details, like the window trim on the exterior and the cupola perched on the roof, transform what could be a basic storage shed into an inspiring garden-side retreat. And don’t be afraid of a little color, either. Because sheds are smaller, a bright and bold color will simply pop, rather than overtake, like it would on a larger house or garage.
Make a template on the shed floor for assembling the trusses. Begin by laying out the parts for one truss. Align the bottom chord with the edge of the plywood floor. Then cut four 24-in.-long 2 x 4s. Lay two alongside each rafter and screw them to the plywood floor. Now use these short boards as stopblocks for laying out and assembling each truss. Fasten plywood gussets to each side of every truss with carpenter's glue and 1-in. roofing nails and set the trusses aside.
In addition to common building materials that you’ll find at most home centers and lumberyards, we used some special products from Louisiana-Pacific (in-depth material details in project pdfs below) that you may have to order if you want to duplicate our pub shed exactly. The windows are shop built using plastic utility window sash that we found at a local home center. Search for “barn sash” online if you can’t find it locally. The swing-up bar door is site built. The entry door on the side is a standard prehung exterior door that’s readily available at most home centers (about $220). The materials for the pub shed cost us about $6,500.
I even have a friend whose parents have a bar shed. They don’t call it that, and I never realized it until writing this article, but it’s the size, shape, and build of a standard shed, located near their pool. It houses all of the pool supplies, alongside a nice 4-person bar, a beer fridge, and a sizable selection of liquor. It was right in front of my eyes all this time. I just never really thought of it as a bar shed.
Before you cover the joists with the 4 x 8-ft. sheets of flooring, plumb and brace the 4×4 posts with diagonal 2x4s. Also stretch a string or mason’s line from front to back along the top edge of the outside joist to make sure the walls and joists are straight. The attic floor needs to be square and have straight sides. If not, the rafters won’t fit correctly.
After crosscutting the steel roof panels, we fastened them to the skip sheathing using self-tapping screws with a rubber gasket under the head. We drove the screws with an 18-volt drill and a socket wrench attachment, but we'd advise using a more sturdy nut driver because penetrating the roofing requires a fair amount of force. Finally, we screwed the diagonal braces to the posts.
One last thing about shed sizes, it’s a good idea to always measure out the dimensions in your own garden before you invest any money. You can do this easily by using a couple of stakes and a string to measure out the space. That’s how the pros do it. Make sure that you leave enough room on all sides of the shed to help with rain drainage and prevent water damage.