Looking to add a brick shed to your backyard? An outdoor shed is a great answer to many extra storage needs, whether you want a mini-garage for your new motorcycle, or a storage shed for your lawnmower and other outdoor tools. Building one out of brick is no easy task, especially for the amateur, but you can do it yourself by doing your homework here first.
Step 1 – Prepare
Before any building takes place, be sure to check for any building permits required in your city or county. The larger you want your shed, the more likely you’ll need permits.
Plan, measure, and then mark off the length and width of your shed, choosing an area that's level and clear of major obstacles and debris, such as large rocks and tree roots.
Step 2 – Set Your Base
Dig down at least eight or 10 inches where you plan to lay your brick, and at least six inches wide. Pour in a couple of inches of sand as a base, and use your hand tamper to compact the sand and make it level.
Make a frame of 2x4s to set at the edges of the hole. Then, mix and pour a concrete mixture and fill the frame in. Take another 2x4 cut to the length of the hole and drag it along the top of the form boards to get a good, level foundation.
For this very reason make certain the top of the form boards are straight by eyeing them. This will give the finished slab a flat level finished surface. You’ll need to let it dry overnight at the very least.
Step 3 – Set Up Your Posts
You’ll need a 4x4 post in each corner of the shed. These will be used to keep your bricks straight and orderly as you lay them, as well as hold up your roof later.
Dig holes at least four inches deep, right along the inner corners of your concrete, and ensure at least six feet of your poles remain above ground, or whatever high you want your roof to be. Pour more concrete around each post, being careful to keep each one perfectly vertical. Level the concrete, and allow it to dry overnight.
Step 4 – Lay the Brick
Tie a nylon string-line off taut between two posts level with the height of your first layer of brick. This will act as a guide to ensure your brick remains straight and level.
With the trowel, begin laying mortar down followed by the first run of bricks. As you move up layer by layer, off-set each layer by half a brick for maximum stability (the brick on one layer should sit in the middle of two bricks on the layer below). Every other layer, you’ll need to cut a brick in half for the ends.
As you lay mortar, be careful that no holes are left for water to seep through. Also, before laying more mortar on top of a layer of bricks, use your level to ensure everything is even, and continue moving your rope up with each level. This will help keep from developing a twisted look to your shed.
Continue laying brick, leaving an opening for your door, until you get about three or four inches from the top of your 4x4s. For the doorway, measure the door you have for your shed, and add at least four inches (for two 2x4s as a door frame) to know how much space to leave as you lay brick.
Step 5 – Frame and Secure Your Roof
Build your roof frame on top of the 4x4s, using 2x4s. If there is a gap between the wood and the brick, that's fine, as it will allow for ventilation. Also, make sure there's an overhang (at least five or six inches) from the brick.
If you want your roof to be angled to allow water runoff, add an extra 2x4 along the side of the door. This will offset the angle of the roof so water runs off the back.
Attach your steel sheet roof to the wood frame with nuts and bolts, allowing overhang on the other side to prevent water from getting into any openings between lumber and brick.
Step 6 – Assemble the Frame and Attach the Door
Use 2x4s to build a door frame around the brick doorway you left. Your door should fit snugly, so do a quick test fit in the frame once it's in to be sure no modifications need to be made. Attach hinges and a latch to both the door and frame, marking as needed to be sure the pieces line up. Do one more test to check for issues with the door such as not latching or sticking.
And with that, your shed is finished!
Build a Brick Shed FAQ
How deep should a brick shed footing be?
Footings for sheds are typically 10 to 12 inches deep.
How deep should be the concrete base for a brick shed?
Standard walkways and patios made of concrete are at least four inches thick, so you want your shed to have a concrete slab foundation of at least this thickness. However, you will also want to build your foundation with gravel and wire mesh reinforcement to get a durable, highly supportive design.
Do I need to anchor my shed to concrete?
It is best to anchor a shed to concrete. When unanchored, the shed is more susceptible to wind and freezing temperatures.
Some areas will require sheds to be anchored according to building codes. While this may not be a necessity everywhere, it is a good idea.
Do you need airflow under a shed floor?
Airflow is a necessity when it comes to building a shed. Enclosing the entire bottom of the shed and providing no ventilation should lead to moisture building up under the shed, which inspires fungus, mold, and rot.
What grade of concrete do I need for a shed base?
Ready-mix concrete or volumetric concrete works very well as a shed base. This concrete is very DIY-friendly and you can mix it up right there on site.