Interior of our Tuff Shed. Photo by Mary Warner, May 17, 2024.
family home products projects

Easy Shed Installation

Arranging the space in our new house continues a year-and-a-half in. While we have significantly pared down from our previous house and business, we still have more to jettison. We’ve also discovered that the garage isn’t quite big enough to hold lawn tools and equipment along with vehicles, so we decided we needed a shed.

Longtime readers of this blog might suspect that Hubby and I are fairly handy, having torn out plaster and lath in our previous house and hanging sheetrock. When we moved into the house, it had a dilapidated garage with caved in roof and lots of wood roaches. We were able to have a Sentence to Serve crew remove the garage and Hubby and I built a 10′ x 12′ shed in its place. It was the biggest shed we could build without needing a permit and it served our needs well.

The backyard at our old house. In the center back of the photo, beyond a tree on the left and various bushes, is the back of the yellow brick house. Off to the right, near the foreground, is the shed Erik and I built. It is painted light green and has a gray, shingled roof. Photo by Mary Warner, August 28, 2022.
The backyard at our old house. In the center back of the photo, beyond a tree on the left and various bushes, is the back of the yellow brick house. Off to the right, near the foreground, is the shed Erik and I built. It is painted light green and has a gray, shingled roof. Photo by Mary Warner, August 28, 2022.

Hubby did quite a lot of research into various shed options this time around, starting with finding out how big a shed we could install without needing a permit. The size restrictions were larger than at our old place. We also discovered that we have a sizeable setback from the street in terms of where our property line starts, with the property line starting approximately 20 feet from the curb and the setback for the shed being another 20 feet from that. (That’s a good thing to check before you decide on the size and placement of your shed!)

We considered building the shed ourselves and quickly abandoned that idea. It’s a lot of work to build a shed from scratch and we just don’t have the time or energy. Also, by the time we gathered all the materials, we’d probably spend more than we wanted to.

We considered installing a metal shed like the type that were fairly common when we were kids, but many of them weren’t really tall enough and we’d have to figure out a floor because we didn’t want to just plop it on the ground.

We also looked at shed kits that came partially assembled with us having to put it together. By the time we added in the flooring and shingles that didn’t come with the kit, the cost was getting up there ($4,000 – $5,000) and we’d still have to do the work.

Most fully-assembled sheds were well outside our price range.

And then Erik discovered Tuff Shed.

Based in Denver, Colorado, Tuff Shed has locations throughout the United States, including in Minnesota. They are also sold through Home Depot.

When purchasing a Tuff Shed, you choose the size, the type of roof, the configuration of doors and windows, the paint colors, and other details. Tuff Shed puts together some of the components in one of its factories, then sends those components and a builder or two to install the shed on-site.

For $6,000, we had a 10′ x 14′ shed built in our yard in one day by one builder from Tuff Shed. And it looks surprisingly similar to the shed we built at our old house, though I’m pretty sure it took Erik and me longer than 7 hours of construction time.

The one thing we had to do before installation was to level the ground, which took us several hours over the course of a few days. Having never leveled the ground for a shed before (we had built the previous one on an existing cement slab), Erik was worried we weren’t doing it right. I said that with as careful as he is with construction projects, even our worst work was bound to be better than the average person (he really is that meticulous) and, sure enough, our Tuff Shed builder had to make only minor adjustments to our work, less than was typical.

Using 1x2s, we set up two boards parallel to each other about 11-to-12 feet apart in order to mark the area of ground we wanted to level for the shed. Using a 2x4 and two shorter pieces of 1x2, Erik created a skimmer similar to what cement workers would use to level off cement. We put soil as needed into the area and tamped it down and leveled it with this skimmer, which is on the far side of the parallel 1x2s. Photo by Mary Warner, May 11, 2024.
Using 1x2s, we set up two boards parallel to each other about 11-to-12 feet apart in order to mark the area of ground we wanted to level for the shed. Using a 2×4 and two shorter pieces of 1×2, Erik created a skimmer similar to what cement workers would use to level off cement. We put soil as needed into the area and tamped it down and leveled it with this skimmer, which is on the far side of the parallel 1x2s. Photo by Mary Warner, May 11, 2024.

While no digging was needed to level the dirt or install the shed, we did contact the Call Before You Dig line to have the area marked for underground utilities. As Erik pointed out, we didn’t want to put a shed over a gas or water line and then have to figure out how to get to it if there was a problem. Thankfully, there were no utilities in the area.

The Tuff Shed builder arrived around 9 o’clock a.m. on May 17, 2024.

This is how the project started, with four metal pieces outlining the (near) future foundation of the shed.

Looking down through a window, four metal pieces outline the floor for the shed. Photo by Mary Warner, May 17, 2024.
Looking down through a window, four metal pieces outline the floor for the shed. Photo by Mary Warner, May 17, 2024.

And this is how it ended by 4:30 p.m. on May 17, 2024 … Ta da! A new shed!

Our new, blue Tuff Shed is completed. Photo by Mary Warner, May 17, 2024.
Our new, blue Tuff Shed is completed. Photo by Mary Warner, May 17, 2024.

Because we have a small backyard, I was a little worried the shed would seem overwhelming in the space. But we picked the right size and color and it fits nicely without taking over.

And all of our lawn equipment fits, leaving the room we need in the garage for our vehicles.

We’re super-de-duper pleased with our new Tuff Shed!

Thoughtful comments welcome.