Why are we focusing on 8x12 shed plans ?
Having a shed on your property can always come in handy. Whether it is for storing tools and equipment, keeping your firewood dry, using it as a home office or studio, or converting it into a livable room for when your in-laws come into town, there’s no doubt that you will be thankful for the extra space.
We’ve complied some of the very best online shed resources to help you save time and energy. With the boom of the DIY movement, there’s no better time to find inexpensive and easily accessible building plans. These resources are the most valuable in terms of the quality of plans they offer, customer support, and ease of use.
There are a million different types of sheds, that come in a range of sizes.
We’re focusing on 8x12 shed plans, because:
Before we dive straight into shed plans and resources, we have some important advice for you:
1. Assess your shed needs, and avoid transfer dumping.
When we say transfer dumping, we mean impulsively building a shed just to move the junk in your garage or basement into it. When people do this, they tend not to pay too much attention to the proper storage requirements they really need, and often, the shed ends up a half-hearted endeavor with a giant mess inside.
Before you go out to find your tools and materials, take stock of what you want to use the shed for, and how much space the shed needs to have. This will help you do an inventory of what’s going in the shed, therefore forcing you to organize things a bit. This also gives you the chance to really look at your stuff, and toss out things that you don’t need or use.
This sounds like a no-brainer, but you would be surprised. It’s easy to get excited and build something, only to realize you need a window for some airflow; larger, double-doors to fit your riding lawn mown through, or higher walls and ceiling for tall tools.
Keep in mind you will want to access your shed. Shot-gun builders often don’t account for this, and so walking through a shed can be a nightmare, let only getting items that are stored away. Spend some time planning for a happy shed outcome.
You should avoid this at all costs.
2. Check out your local by-laws and codes.
These days, a lot of communities have local zoning rules or deed covenants to prevent sheds and other structures from being built on properties. This is especially true for newer, planned communities out in the suburbs. These by-laws and rules are meant to protect communities from careless builders that don’t take care of their sheds well.
You should have an easy enough time researching your neighbourhood rules online. If you have any doubts or questions, call and talk to a building authority directly. You don’t want to take chances. You’ll want to know the precise minimum and maximum square footage allowed, as well as the maximum height allowed for sheds.
You’ll need to apply for a building permit, so you might as well download/pick up the necessary forms and documents you’ll need when you consider the by-laws and codes in your area.
3. Before choosing one of the 8x12 shed plans, double-check your dimensions.
There are a few methods you can use to visualize how your shed will fit on your property. If you are buying a shed, measure the corners, and if you are building the shed yourself, use the plans to figure out the dimensions of the four corners.
Take four wooden stakes and drive them into each area where a corner of the shed would be. If you want a better idea of what the space will look like with something in it, use some string and stretch it between the stakes to make an “X.” This demonstrates your shed’s footprint more appropriately.
You’ll want to keep at least 3 ft. of open space around each side of the shed. This is for accessibility and maintenance reasons. You won’t want to paint a shed when you only have a foot of space to work within.
Think about your shed in the space during the different seasons and weather your area experiences. Would the shed be at risk of trees falling on it? There are a lot of factors to consider.
4. Plan your foundation carefully.
There are basically two types of shed foundations: on-grade and frost-proof.
On-grade can sometimes be called “floating foundations,” although they sit on the ground. On-grade foundations are normally made of made of lumber or concrete blocks. These foundations are great for small to medium size builds.
They are super quick and simple because you don’t have to dig deep into the ground. These foundations are ideal for first-time builders, small projects (like sheds), and structures that might not permanent.
Frost-proof foundations are permanent, strong, and long-lasting foundations. This type of foundation was developed for cold climates where frozen ground and thawing-out cycles cause ground movement, and therefore effect building structures.
There are a variety of frost-proof foundation types. Poured concrete into a footing, pier, or slab are common. The very sturdy “pole-barn construction” is another method that has been around for centuries (literally!). This foundation consists of several tall posts or poles fixed deep in the ground to support the structure.
iCreatables has one of the largest selections of shed plans on the internet. You can select your shed type and shed size to narrow down plans that are applicable to you. These plans have a price tag, but they are very fair and affordable.
Most of their 8 x 12 shed plans are around the $15 mark for an emailed PDF of a plan; to have the plan posted in the mail it will cost closer to $20 or so. Shed plans with more complexity will be a little bit more expensive, but only by several dollars. Bonus: all purchased plans come with a free “How to Build a Shed” eBook.
iCreatables offers some free resources, too. Without having to pay for anything, you can access close-up pictures of your selected plan, the materials list, and images of the finished product.
iCreatables offers some free resources, too. Without having to pay for anything, you can access close-up pictures of your selected plan, the materials list, and images of the finished product. They also offer a comprehensive “Getting Started: How to Build a Backyard Shed,” guide that is 13 parts. It covers everything from foundations, floor frames, and floor sheets, to roof shingles, shed doors, and painting.
The best part? The guide is a mix of photos, diagrams, videos, and text. It breaks the process down into individual, digestible pieces, in a variety of different mediums. This is a great resource to get you acquainted and comfortable with building a backyard shed.
The “Tall Shed GT” by iCreatables is a great design if you are wanting to buy a plan that could work as a chicken coop, barn shed, or garden shed. The elevated platform works nicely for chickens, to help keep their feet dry and their bodies warm. The plan comes with multiple door options, so you can select the best one for keeping out chicken predators. The shed ramp works well for garden accessories with wheels; it makes storing lawn mowers, generators, and other heavy tools a cinch.
This plan is the perfect size for 4 cords of firewood. It has everything you want in a firewood shed: an easily accessible opening to take firewood in and out, a sturdy roof to keep your firewood dry, and no closed door to ensure your firewood gets some sunlight and air. The slightly lifted platform also helps keep firewood dry and free from dust, bugs, and critters.
We love how much light this modern shed plan lets in. This would be an ideal plan for a small office, or a studio. If you prefer a little less light, you can always build this plan with less windows (or no windows at all). This shed plan looks great next to modern, flat-roofed houses with sharp edges.
The Colonial Shed Porch COP is a very versatile shed plan. It’s excellent for larger outdoor equipment, like tractors or riding lawn mowers, because of its double doors. It’s a great little shed that can be converted to a children’s playhouse when you are done using it for storage purposes. The porch-like roof offers a nice amount of shade for kids who want to play outside of it.
If you want a classic barn style shed, you won’t find better plans than these! The style is traditional and charming, and of course, the 8x12 dimension is very functional for storing all sorts of things.
My Outdoor Plans (MOP) offer free 8x12 shed plans, but there is a catch. The plans are all on webpages, and you can’t download a clean PDF version or have a plan mailed to you. Following these plans are a bit tricky, especially if you like working with structured, easy-to-read plan in front of you. Even the tools and materials lists don’t print very nicely.
However, there are some quality 8x12 shed plans, and if you are a seasoned builder looking for a free shed plan, this is a great option for you. We don’t recommend this resource for new builders, because the plans aren’t that easy to follow and it could very likely turn your first building experience into a frustrating one.
MOP has a bit of a community element that we enjoy. Builders can submit their projects to the community to share. It’s a great way to see how other builders tackle projects, and what sort of creative ideas are out there.
You can search this site through category (type of build), or browse through images to select a project that looks appealing to you. You can also search for specific size plans, but be warned the search bar is hard to see! You can locate it on the right-hand column, above the “get inspired” button.
If you want to build a shed, but are looking for ways to keep costs low, you’ll want to consider building a short shed to save on material costs. This short-shed plan by My Outdoor Plans is only 6” high, which is shorter than most of the plans we’ve looked at. It’s still high even to fit most tools and equipment in, but depending on your height, you might need to duck a bit to get into it.
The instructions claim you can make this shed in one day, but you would have to be pretty skilled to pull that off. We suspect this shed project takes the average builder a few days. The instructions come with a material list, tool list, full short shed plans, and a short-shed roof plan. Did we mention this shed plan is free?
If you want to keep shed costs low, but need a bit of extra height, we recommend this lean to shed by My Outdoor Plans. It is still relatively shorter than other sheds in this article, but the back end goes as high as 7”. This shed will help you save on roofing material, and it will also save you time. The straight-angles in this plan make it quick and easy to put together. Like the first MOP shed, this plan comes with a materials list, tools list, shed plans, and roof plans, for free.
DIY-plans charge a price, but like iCreatables, it’s affordable. Their 8x12 shed plans are all around the same price point as iCreatables plans. Before you purchase a plan, you can browse through 3D pictures and even view a 3D video of the shed to experience what it looks like inside and out. If you are having a hard time deciding on the style you want to build, this is a really good method to help you decide.
If you have a lot of tall equipment, you’ll want to consider a gambrel shed plan. These sheds offer a great deal of height because of their design. The distinct roof has not one, but two slopes, making the center of the shed the highest point.
If you have a lot to store, but don’t have a lot of land to work with, this is a great solution. You don’t have to build a shed any bigger than 8 x 12, but you get significant more room, especially if you add overheard shelving.
If you need a lot of height but aren’t comfortable with the complexity of the gambrel shed, this tall gable shed is a great alternative. The design plan is a lot more straight forward, especially the roof. The walls are 8 feet tall, giving you lots of room to store tall tools and equipment.
The plan comes with two different door options: a personal door and a man door. This is a great plan for first-time builders; it comes with 35 pages that take you through the build process step-by-step, with colored photos to guide you along the way.
This is a relatively new plan on DIY-plans.com. We love the modern look and sharp corners. The 8” walls are just high enough to for a pre-hung door to be installed, if you wish.
This must be one of the most stylish backyard sheds around. We love the look of the hinged double-doors and the overhead windows. These are also incredibly functional features. The doors are large enough for the even the widest riding mower or tractor, and the overhead windows let in lots of natural light. The only thing we aren’t crazy about is the pink color the 3D render is in!
If you are big on style, this is the resource for you. The Jamaica Cottage Shop has some of the most stylish, detailed sheds we’ve ever seen. Most of their shed plans come in a range of sizes, so you can fall in love with the look of a shed and then select the right size.
We also love this resource because you can order a shed in three different ways. You can purchase the shed plan, buy a pre-cut kit, or even buy a fully-assembled structure. Of course, each of these three options have different price points. Shed plans range from $10 - $50. Pre-cut kits bump the price up to $2,500 - $4,800. Fully-assembled sheds can run anywhere from $3,000 - $5,200.
The most economical way to go is the shed plan. You can still purchase additions with a shed plan, like cedar flower boxes, a chicken coop door, railing, or a wood stove roof insert if you want some pre-made elements that won’t cost thousands of dollars.
This plan is ideal if you are looking to build a playhouse for your child now, and want to convert the space to use for storage or an office when they get older. This plan has lots of openable windows, so the space gets lots of light and air circulation – excellent for play time or work time! There’s a ton of build pictures you can look through, to see how other people adapted the plan and made it their own.
This is another posh build that will make your kids happy now, and you later, once you get to use it. If you really want to spoil your kids with a dream playhouse, the Jamaica Cottage Shop offers electrical, plumbing and kitchenette packages. This plan can also be used as a cottage on your property. The Jamaica Cottage Shop offers a range of insulation options, all with vapor barriers. The possibilities with this plan are endless.
We love this plan for a green house, garden shed, or chicken coop. It’s sophisticated yet simple, and offers ample room to bring gardening equipment in and out thanks to the double doors. This plan has an additional option to include a 12x12 chicken coop door and ramp, so you can quickly and easily convert this plan into a stylish chicken coop. We can’t image a better place for a chicken to call home!
The Church Street Shed Plan comes with a high-up ventilation window, which is perfect for plants and chickens alike. Predators won’t be able to reach in through this high-up window, and the chickens will get the fresh air they need.