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Shed Repair: Easy Shed Repairs for the DIY’er

Shed Repair Series: Join us as we repair three sheds that still have a lot of life. Two will be converted to a she shed and a workshop.

When we moved to our property, we inherited several older sheds. They’re functional and large. Electricity was run out to them. We felt like repairing them would be a good investment of our time and money. New sheds are expensive, after all!

I decided to put together a series of posts, detailing our shed repairs. We will likely hire out some of the work, particularly the electrical work, but I’m also going to try to do some of these repairs myself. I’d like to save money so I can complete more projects, more quickly.

Today’s post will just give you an idea of the current state of the structures and what work needs to be done. We have three buildings- a children’s log playhouse, our back shed (the future she shed), and the front shed (the future woodshop).

While I’d want to hire some of these projects out if my home needed these repairs, I feel more comfortable tackling these type of DIY projects on old sheds. I can try something new and learn along the way. This is going to be long, but I have a list of links to my finished projects at the end of this post.

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Please read the whole post so you don’t miss any important information!

It’s probably easier to start by giving you the video tour of the structures so you can see where we stand right now.

Should I Repair or Replace an Old Shed?

Before you get started on shed repairs, make sure to evaluate whether or not it’s worth repairing or replacing an old shed. If you need to do thousands of dollars worth of repairs, it may not be worth it. If you can’t DIY parts of the project, it might be more expensive to fix than to replace the shed.

Here are expensive fixes that might not be worth repairing:

  • Roof replacement
  • Foundation replacement/fixes
  • Significant mold

Hiring someone to do ALL of the repairs can be expensive. We were quoted $800 to fix a 1′ rotted area of the shed floor. I decided to tackle that part myself to save money. If you can tackle even a little bit of your project, you can save money.

It’s worth getting a quote for the repairs you’ll need if you plan to hire the job out- if you’re going to spend more than the shed would cost to replace for the roof/foundation/siding repairs/etc. then replace the shed. Usually you can calculate the cost of supplies for a project, then double the supply cost to guestimate the total cost of a project.

There are other expensive aspects to repairing a shed for use. For example, I need electric run to my she shed if I want to store fabric, sewing machines, etc. inside it. But the cost to run electric will be there regardless of whether or not I replace or repair our shed. So that didn’t get factored into my choice.

When you buy a new shed, you don’t generally get insulation or electric as part of the price, but sometimes you can have them customize the shed with windows and doors to your liking. This work would cost a lot more to do after the fact. We are fairly handy so hiring the entire job isn’t necessary- but there are parts we will definitely hire out due to time/experience limitations.

Shed Repairs for the Future She Shed

The she shed is my #1 project to finish for Spring 2021. I’m working from home and have childcare for the first time ever so I’d like a quiet place to work. Everyone is so used to me being AVAILABLE and I need some solid walls to set some boundaries with my family. I’m currently sharing the office with the three kids and my husband so unless I want to sleep during the day and work while they sleep, there’s no such thing as a quiet time to work.

To complicate the matters, we are using the dining room as my craft/sewing room. We’d like the dining room back. The 20′ x 10′ shed in the back will work really well for the she shed and we’ll be able to relocate all of my stuff into it. Hopefully once I’m back there, they’ll be less likely to just pop over.

The shed needs a few repairs and fixes to make it work. First, the shed needs a heating and cooling system. I’m planning to use a ductless HVAC system, but that requires more “oomph” than the shed currently has run out to it. So we need to have an electrician run the wiring for this. I’ll also add outlets at decent height for my sewing machines.

I’ll be replacing a section of rotted floor where the garage door seal let some rain in. This has started to rot through, making the floor less safe to walk on.

We’ll need to add lighting, insulation, and flooring. The vinyl siding has holes where the last folks shot BBs into the side of the shed; these could leak so they need to be repaired or caulked.

I’ll be adding gutters and direct the water away from the base of the shed.

The shed has a large garage door that faces… of all weird choices… the neighbor’s yard. It’s all field, but it just feels awkward and I’d rather the door face our house. I would like to frame out the garage door, close it off as a wall to the shed, then add double glass doors to the front. The doors will let in plenty of light so I don’t need to add more windows; I want to have some natural light, but not sacrifice insulation (windows just don’t hold in the heat/cooling as well).

Would it be nice to have a small bathroom and sink? Yes. But I’d rather save the space. I can walk to the house.

The one thing I considered, but didn’t want to eat the cost for, was moving the shed closer to the house. I have an area that it would look nice in and it would be less trenching for me to do for the electric. But I think the cost of moving the shed and creating a pad for it to sit on would be high.

My long term goal is to add a small floating deck in front of the shed, then landscape around it.

Here is the “Before” picture of the shed:

Shed Repairs for the Log Cabin

The kids cabin looks rough on the outside, but it’s in pretty good shape. The floor inside has been sealed. The electric in the cabin is sufficient for my kids’ use.

For this cabin, I’ll be cleaning the exterior and applying a fresh coat of stain. I’ll be doing some minor repairs where bugs ate at the wood. The screen for the window needs to be replaced as well.

I’m considering also staining the playground next to it so they will match, then adding some type of ground cover for the kids’ play area as an alternative to grass. I would also like to plant a tree near the shed for shade.

Here is the “Before” picture of the shed:

Shed Repairs for the Future Wood Shop

This shed has already had a few updates, such as the lean to we built off the back for the tractor. It has a bunch of cosmetic issues, however.

First, it will also need electric run out to it if we convert it to a full woodshop with heating and cooling. It’s nice to have a comfortable spot to work in, although we don’t need the same temperatures in there that my she shed needs. We just need the temperature to stay in the 40-70 degree range. The shed already has electric and a light so we may not need to do much. A ductless HVAC that doesn’t require as much “oomph” might suffice. Most of those ductless systems will tell you how many amps they need to run; just keep in mind that your power tools will also be running off that electric as well.

The front doors are rotten and need to be replaced; we also plan to replace the rusted hardware.

On the bottom front and backs of the shed, the wood siding is rotten and starting to break apart. This is likely caused from water dropping off the roof and puddling at those locations. I’ll need to replace the siding, then add gutters to prevent this issue from repeating itself.

We already replaced the two windows; both had holes in them from BBs being shot through them (sigh- sensing a trend?).

Unfortunately, the roofing on this shed is a bit iffy. There seems to be some damage to the very top, plus the wind blew off the old cupola; it had rotted after bees nested in it, then the ducks ate the bees, but the wood was even more damaged. One bad wind storm took that thing flying. Needless to say, I’m not very enthusiastic about replacing it (cupolas are $300-400 or thereabouts to buy, and building one looks overly complicated).

The interior will require some additional work. I’ll probably pull out the current shelving and plan out a full workshop. We’ll seal the floors. I think we can skip fully insulating that shed, but we may want to insulate the roof. This is a much longer term project so I haven’t started to tackle the particulars.

Here is the “Before” picture of the shed… excuse the giant wood chip pile:

Shed Repair Posts

The big thing I’d like to do is paint all of the sheds so they’re the same consistent colors. This would help make the property look more cohesive.

Here’s a list of the projects we’ll need to tackle to make the sheds usable. I may write some posts about the jobs we hire out as well; I find it helpful to know what the cost of hiring out some projects will be, and some considerations for those updates.

I imagine this series will take me a year or longer to complete so please bear with me. So many projects, so little time (and money). If you want to sign up for the newsletter so you don’t miss these, CLICK HERE to sign up!

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