How to build a 12×16 shed

Jack Sander 6

This step by step diy article is about how to build a 12×16 shed. If you need a large storage shed for various reasons, you should take a look on this project. In addition, if you want to keep the expenditure under control, a shed with a gable roof is a natural choice, as you can get the job done quickly and get an accurate result. Work with great attention and plan everything from the very beginning, to prevent unexpected issues.

Work on a level surface, otherwise the wall frames will not have the corners square. Make sure you double-check all the measurements and align the components at both ends, before locking them tightly with wood screws. Use a spirit level to plumb all the walls and to check if the top plates are horizontal. In addition, place the floor of the shed on several 4×4 skids, to distribute the weight efficiently.

Buy quality materials for you shed if you want to build a durable construction. From our own experience, we recommend you to buy pressure-treated lumber and 5/8” grooved plywood, as these materials will provide a good compromise between the appearance and durability. Pre-drill the wooden components before driving in the galvanized screws, to prevent the lumber from splitting.


Made from this plan



In order to build a large shed, you needs the following:

  • A – 4 pieces of 4×4 lumber – 192” long SKIDS
  • B – 2 pieces of 2×6” lumber – 192” long, 13 pieces of 2×6 lumber – 141” long JOISTS
  • C – 6 sheets of 3/4” tongue and groove plywood, 48 x 96” FLOORING
  • D – 2 pieces of 2×4 lumber – 192” long, 2 pieces of 2×4 lumber – 137” long BOTTTOM PLATES
  • D – 2 pieces of 2×4 lumber – 192”, 2 pieces – 185”, 2 pieces – 144”, 2 pieces – 137” TOP PLATES
  • E – 36 pieces of 2×4 lumber – 90”, 2 pieces – 40”, 2 pieces – 36”, 2 pieces – 76 1/2” STUDS
  • E – 5 pieces of 2×4 lumber – 9”, 5 pieces of 10 1/4”, 3 pieces – 39”, 2 pieces – 53” CRIPPLE STUDS
  • F – 14 sheets of 5/8” T1-11 – 48×96” SIDING
  • Safety gloves, glasses
  • Miter saw, jigsaw
  • Chalk line, tape measure, spirit level, carpentry pencil
  • Drill machinery and drill bits
  • Pre-drill holes in the wooden components, before driving in the screws
  • Check the corners for squareness, using a corner square
  • One weekend



Building a large shed

Build a 16x12 shed

Build a 16×12 shed


Building a 12×16 shed will add value to any property and make your life a lot easier. Having a beautiful construction in your garden with lots of storage space doesn’t have to be an expensive wish, as you can get the job done by yourself easily.

Smart tip: Taking into account the complexity of this project, we split it in several individual articles. Don’t forget to check out the rest of the project, if you want to learn how to build a large shed from laying the skids up to the final touches.



How to build a 12×16 shed

Building the floor of the shed

Building the floor of the shed


First, build the base of the shed. In order to get a durable storage construction, we recommend you to place the joists on several 4×4 skids. Build the floor frame out of 2×6 joists, making sure you place them equally spaced. Drill pilot holes trough the rim joists, before driving in the 3” screws.

Smart Tip: Attach the flooring sheets (3/4” plywood) and secure them to the joists with 2” screws.


Wall with window plans

Wall with window plans


Building the side wall with window is a complex job, provided you use the right plans. As you can notice in the image, you need to leave enough space to fit a 3×3′ shed window. In addition, the wooden studs should be spaced about 24” on center, to provide a good support.

Assemble the frames on a level surface. Check the corners for squareness every time to fit a wooden component.


Back wall plans

Back wall plans


Building the plain back wall is a straight forward task, as you just have to fit the studs and drive 3” galvanized screws trough the plans. Use a tape measure to make sure all the studs are placed equally spaced. In addition, check the corners of the frame for squareness regularly, using a square.

Place 1/2” plywood pieces between the two studs placed at both ends of the frame, to increase the rigidity of the shed.


Side wall plans

Side wall plans


Similarly, the other side of the shed should be built in the same manner. Therefore, pay attention to the blueprints and use the right materials to get the job done as a professional. Make sure the ends of the to plate stick out 3 1/2” on both sides of the wall. Use a good circular saw to make the cuts, after measuring the components several times.

Smart Tip: Check if the studs are perfectly straight, before installing them into place.


Wall with door plans

Wall with door plans


Continue the project by installing the front wall of the 12×16 shed. In order to have a proper access to the shed, you need to frame a large door opening. In addition, fit a double header and cripple studs to provide extra-support to the frame. Adjust the width of the opening, according to your needs.

Smart Tip: Install 2×4 trimmer studs on both sides of the opening, if you want to build a durable wooden construction.


Installing the shed walls

Installing the shed walls


After building the wall frames, you should attach them into place properly. As you can see in the plans, you need to lay the walls on the floor and make sure they are flush with the edges. Use 2×4 braces to lock the frames into place, after plumbing them with a spirit level.

Drive in 3 1/2” screws trough the plates into the joists. Next, fit the side walls and lock them into place in the same manner.


Installing the wall frames

Installing the wall frames


After fitting the wall frames on top of the floor, you need to make sure they are perfectly plumb. Use a spirit level to set the wall frames properly. In addition, drive in 3” screws trough the overhang of the plates in the adjacent walls.

Smart Tip: Work with great care and judgement, as this step is essential for the final look of the shed. The walls have to be locked together tightly with 3” galvanized screws.


Attaching the exterior siding

Attaching the exterior siding


Last but not last, you have to attach the exterior siding. Therefore, use 5/8” grooved plywood, as the sheets are weather-resistant and have a nice appearance. Drive in 1 1/4” nails trough the siding into the studs, every 6”.

Smart Tip: Make the cuts using a circular saw with a sharp blade. Mark cut lines with a carpentry pencil, before performing the cuts. The siding should be flush with the edges of the frame.



Thank you for reading our article about how to build a 12×16 shed and we recommend you to check out the rest of our projects. Don’t forget to share our projects with your friends, by using the social media widgets.

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  1. Lou Anderson at 4:24 am - Reply

    I didn’t see it in your instructions. Is the weight of the shed sufficient to hold it in place without the need for anchors in windy areas?
    Home Depot says you don’t need them. The sheds they sell and install in my area are not anchored, but other sources say one should anchor them.
    What’s your opinion?

    • Jack Sander at 7:47 am -

      If you live in a very windy area, using the anchors can’t harm. But probably the guys from HD know what they are talking about, so at the end of the day is your choice.

  2. Jim Wheeler at 10:39 pm - Reply

    Very interesting and straightforward plans. I may have missed it, but I didn’t see anything about doing the side window that’s shown.

    • Jack Sander at 5:24 pm -

      The plans show you how to frame the wall opening for the window. You have to buy a window. A 35.5″ x 35.5″ PVC window will be ideal for the project.

  3. Jamie Truby at 11:37 pm - Reply

    I’m actually gonna use these plans to build a tiny tea parlor. It will have 8 windows, 4 consecutively. they are bout 2foot by 4foot each. could you tell me how I would correctly butt these us against each other. also. the front door will be a glass door. but I’m using a used door so there is no door jam. can I buy one or is it easy to build one? one more thing. id like to offset the front wall a bit to create a 4’x8 porch. do I basically just add a small side wall? obviously I’m a girl and ive never built a shed. Thanks for any advice

    • Jack Sander at 10:45 am -

      Considering the distance between the studs is 22 1/2″, then you would have to change their position, having in mind that you need to fit one stud between the windows, so you can hang them to the framing. Regarding the door, you should buy the jamb but make sure it will fit inside the opening first. This shed is 12×16, so if you want a 4×8 porch it would mean to recess just a corner. It is a significant modification and without any prior experience in the field I recommend you to stick to minor changes or just ask the help of the professional.

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