This year’s pub shed is one of the most versatile we’ve ever built. The bar and covered patio area make it a perfect place to entertain or just hang out. The steep roof and sturdy lofts provide tons of extra storage space. And the high-tech materials, including reflective roof sheathing and prefinished floor panels, add to the shed’s comfort and convenience. Of course, if you don’t want a bar, you can install a bank of windows in its place. In fact, without too much more work, you could eliminate the front porch and build one big shed for even more storage space
By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine
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What it Takes to Build the Pub Shed:
Skill Level:Intermediate to advanced
Tools:Standard DIY tools, circular saw, miter saw, table saw, nail guns and compressor
In addition to common buildingmaterials that you’ll find at mosthome centers and lumberyards, weused some special products fromLouisiana-Pacific (in-depth material details in project pdfs below) thatyou may have to order if you wantto duplicate our pub shed exactly. Thewindows are shop built using plasticutility window sash that we found ata local home center. Search for“barn sash” online if you can’t find itlocally. The swing-up bar door is sitebuilt. The entry door on the side is astandard prehung exterior doorthat’s readily available at mosthome centers (about $220). Thematerials for the pub shed cost us about$6,500.
You’ll need standard DIY toolsincluding a circular saw and drill tobuild this pub shed. A framing nail gunand compressor will speed up theframing. Since there’s a lot of trimand siding to nail up, we used acoil siding nailer loaded with galvanizedring-shank siding nails.You can rent a coil siding nail gunlike this for about $30 a day. Amiter saw and table saw aren’trequired but will make your cutsmore accurate.This is a big pub shed, but it’s no morecomplicated than a small one. If youhave experience with deck buildingor other small carpentry projects,you shouldn’t have any trouble finishingthis pub shed. There are a lot ofmaterials to cut and hoist, though, soyou’ll want to round up a few helpers.Expect to spend five or six weekendscompleting the pub shed.
The Pub Shed Features:
Shaded Patio and Bar
The built-in bar with swing-upbar door providesplenty of seating andcounter space for yournext backyard party.
Inexpensive Windows that You can Build Yourself
Barn sash mounted in easy-to-assemblepine frames provides abundantlight and ventilation for a fraction ofthe cost of factory windows.
Tons of Loft Storage
Two huge loft areas in the pub shed and are supported bystrong 2×8 joists. And provide lots ofstorage space.
Time-Lapseof the Pub Shed
Check with your local buildingdepartment to see whether a permitis required. Also find out if there arerules about where your pub shed can belocated on the lot.Take the Materials List (in the project pdfs below) with youto your favorite lumberyard orhome center and go over the listwith the salesperson to see whatitems you may have to order. Thenset up a delivery so you’ll be readyto build the pub shed when your help arrives. Afew days before you plan to dig,call 811 for instructions on how tolocate buried utility lines. Now it’s time to start building your pub shed.
1. Lay the Foundation
As we’ve done with many of ourrecent sheds, we built this pub shed ona wood floor supported by treated6x6s. But you could substitute aconcrete slab or provide footingsor another type of support for thefloor joists.
Start by laying out the perimeterof the shed, either with stakes anda string line, or with a rectanglebuilt with 2x4s to represent theoutside edges of the 12 x 16-ft.floor. Now measure in 8-3/4 in. from the short sides and drivestakes to mark the center of thetrenches. Drive a third pair ofstakes to mark the center beam.
Dig trenches about 12 in. wideand about 10 in. below where youwant the bottom edge of the joiststo end up. Pour 4 in. of gravel intothe trenches and level it off. Makesure the gravel in all three trenchesis at the same height. Then cut the6x6s to 12 ft. long and set them inthe trenches. Measure to make sure the 6x6s are parallel. Then measurediagonally from the ends of theoutside 6x6s to make certainthey’re square. The diagonal measurementsshould be equal. Finally,level the 6x6s (Photo above andFigure B in project pdfs).
2. Square the Floor Frame
Next, frame the floor with 2x6s.Start by cutting the 12-ft.-long rimjoists for the front and back andmarking the joist locations. Cut thejoists and nail them to the rimjoists. When you’re done, squarethe joists (Photo above). Then use a tautstring line or sight down the 12-ft. rimjoist to make sure it’s straight. Thendrive toenails through the joists intothe 6x6s to hold the joists in place.
3. Install the Flooring
We’re using tongue-and-groove LPProStruct Flooring with SmartFinish forthe shed floor.Fasten the first sheet in the back corner with construction adhesiveand deck screws. Finish the row with a half sheet. Then start with a full sheetfrom the opposite end so the seams between sheets are staggered.The photo above shows how we installed the flooring. Learn more in-depth instructions for how to install flooring here.
4. Build the Walls
Using Figure C as a guide (in project pdfs below), chalk lineson the floor to indicate the insideedges of the walls. These lines providea reference for straightening thebottom plate of the walls after thewalls are standing. Cut the top andbottom wall plates and mark the studlocations on them (Figures D G, also in project pdfs).Build the side walls (Photo above) of the pub shed. Then build and stand the front and back walls. Brace them temporarily.
5. Plumb and Brace the Walls
After nailing the wallstogether at the corners, install temporarydiagonal braces on the inside tohold the walls plumb (Photo above). Make sure the walls are firmly nailed together at the corners. Thenuse a level to plumb the corners while you attach temporary diagonalbracing to the inside of the walls. Brace all four walls. You can remove thebracing after you install the siding panels.
6. Fasten the Plates Over the Posts
There are two 4×4 posts at the frontof the shed that support the front halfof the roof. Secure the bottom of theposts to the deck frame with metalpost anchors. Tie the top of the poststogether with the second (top) 2×4plates that run over the top of thewalls. Miter the ends of the 2×4 platesover the posts and attach them withscrews (Photo above).
7. Install the Decking
Start by cutting and installing the perimeter boards. Leave a 1-in.overhang. Notch and miter the perimeter boards to fit around the post.Then space the remaining deck boards with a 16d nail and screw them tothe joists. We used the Cortex hidden fastener system (Figure M in project pdfs).
8. Set the Ceiling Joists
The next step after installing deckboards on the front porch is to build the attic floor.The 2×8 joists covered with sheets offlooring material provide storagespace in the attic. We left a 4-ft.-wideopening for easy access to the frontand back loft areas, but you could alsocover the entire area with a floor andprovide an access door or pull-downladder instead.
Start by marking the joist locationson the two side joists using Figure H (in project pdfs) as a guide. Then cut and install thejoists (Photo above). Mark the joist locations on two rim joists and nail the rims to thetop plate. Make sure they are set in 1-1/2 in. from the outside edge of thewall to allow space for the second rim joist. Attach the joists with screws ornails driven through the rim joists. Then add the second rim joist and installjoist hangers on every joist.
Before you cover thejoists with the 4 x 8-ft. sheets of flooring,plumb and brace the 4×4 postswith diagonal 2x4s. Also stretch astring or mason’s line from front toback along the top edge of the outsidejoist to make sure the walls and joists are straight. The attic floor needs to besquare and have straight sides. If not,the rafters won’t fit correctly.
9. Side the Walls
Double-check the corners and thefront posts to make sure they’re plumb.Then cut and install the 4 x 8-ft. sheetsof siding.Measure andcut the sidingpanels so thatthe seams alignover wall studs.Rest thebottom of thepanels on atemporary1/2-in. spacer toprovide spacebetween thesiding and thedrip cap. Nailthe siding tothe studs.Follow the sidingmanufacturer’s instructions for spacingand nailing the siding.
Remember toinstall metal drip cap flashing (visiblein photo above) over the 2×8 skirt boardbefore installing the siding.
10. Frame the Roof
Start by cutting the 2×8 ridge board tolength and marking the rafter locationson both sides using Figure K as aguide. Also mark the rafter locations onthe floor along both sides of the shed.Next, set the ridge on temporary 2×4posts and brace it with diagonal 2x4s(Photo above). The top of the ridge shouldbe 76 in. from the floor. Cut a pair ofrafters (Figure J) and set them in placeto test the fit. Make any needed adjustments,and when you have a pair of raftersthat fit perfectly, mark one of themas a pattern. Use the pattern to tracethe rafter cuts on the remaining 2x6sand cut out the rafters.
Stretch a string along the top of theridge as a guide to keep the ridgestraight as you install the pairs of rafters(Photo above). The 2×4 blocks nailedto the floor between the rafters helpposition the rafters and make themeasier to secure. Add the 2×6 subfasciasbefore you install the four overhangrafters at the front and back ofthe shed.
11. Fill in the Gable Framing
When the roof frame is done, you canbuild the front and back gable walls(Figure L). The front wall requires anopening for the gable-end window(Photo above). Mark the stud locations on the bottom plate. Then use a level totransfer the stud locations to the top plate. Measure to find the stud lengths.
12. Install the Sheathing
Finish the roof constructionby covering the rafters with sheathing(see Figure N and Photo above). Screw blocks to the subfascia to support the first row of roofsheathing while you nail it to the rafters. Space the sheathing about 1/8 in.between sheets to allow for expansion. Stagger the seams between rows.
13. Install the Soffit and Fascia
Start by nailing the soffit boards to theunderside of the rafters. Then add the1×8 fascia boards that cover the 2×6subfascias and overhanging rafters.Finish the overhang trim by installingthe 1×3 roof molding over the 1×8 fascias(Photo above).
14. Build the False Beams
The next step is to install the 1-in. x9-1/4-in. trim board that fits against thesoffit and runs around the perimeter ofthe shed and porch. This wide trimboard forms one side of the false beamthat runs around the porch ceiling.Add a 2×4 frame to the underside ofthe porch ceiling to create the falsebeam. Then nail the grooved panels tothe porch ceiling and cover the 2×4false beam with trim (Photo above). Youcan install the corner boards at thisstage, but the battens will have to waituntil after you’ve built and installedthe windows. Figures S V showdetails for the siding and triminstallation.
15. Assemble the Windows
We built inexpensive windows for theshed using plastic barn sash mountedin 1×4 pine frames (Photo above andFigure Q and R). Start by measuringthe sash and building a 1×4 framethat’s 1/4 in. wider and taller than thesash. Cut 10-degree angles on thebottom of the sides to provide a slopingsill. Cut 1×2 stops to fit in the frameand position them to hold the sashflush with the outside edge of the 1×4frame. Then attach galvanized screendoor hinges to the frame, set the sashin place and drill holes for the fasteners.Since the plastic isn’t strongenough to hold wood screws, wedrilled holes through the sash andattached the hinges with machinescrews, washers and nuts.
Connect three windows to form thewindow assembly for the side wall(Figures R and U). Use a pair of 2x4sas spacers between each window.Screw through the window frames intothe spacers to hold the windowstogether. Tip the triple window assemblyinto the window opening. Shimunder the windows until about 3/8 in.of the top frame is exposed on the outside.Shim between the studs and thewindow frame to level and plumb thewindow unit and to adjust the frameuntil there’s a consistent spacebetween the window frame and thesash. Make sure the window frames areflush to the siding. Then screw throughthe window frames into the studs tohold the windows in place. We addedStanley Storm Window Adjuster hardwareto the windows to hold themopen and to lock them.
16. Trim the Windows
Rip a 2×4 to 2 in. wide with a10-degree bevel on each side to form the sill piece. Cut the sill to extend3-1/4 in. past the window frame oneach end and attach it to the wallunder the windows with long screws.Then cut and install the 1×4 trim piecesthat fit between the top trim and thesill (Photo above).
The front window is similar, exceptit’s smaller and contains only one sash.Use the same process to build andinstall the front window.
17. Install the Door and Finish the Trim
If your prehung door has exterior trim,pry it off. The wide trim board runningaround the shed, under the soffit, willtake the place of the top door trim.Place the door in the opening tocheck the fit. The top doorjambshould rest against the wide trimboard. Use wooden or compositeshims between the side jambs andthe 2×4 framing to square the doorframe. Place shims behind each hingeand at the top, middle and bottom ofthe latch side. Adjust the shims untilthere’s an even space between thedoor and the doorjambs on the topand sides. Then drive screws throughthe doorjambs into the framing at theshim locations to secure the door.
Finish the door installation by adding1×4 trim boards to each side.Finish the exterior trim by nailing1×2 battens over the stud locationsand installing the corner boards if youhaven’t done so already.
18. Cover the Gables with Shakes
The front and back gable ends are coveredwith panels that resemble cedarshakes. After installing a metal drip capover the 1×2 that caps the wide trimboard, install the shakes according tothe manufacturer’s instructions (Photo above). Follow the manufacturer’s instructionsfor details about panel placementand how much caulk space to leavebetween the panels and the trim.
19. Build the Bar
The bar consists of a frame of 2x2s and2x4s covered on the top and bottomwith plywood and finished with a wood edge (Photo above and Figure P).For extra strength, use screws to attach the frame. Shim under the 2x4s ifneeded to level the bar top beforeinstalling the plywood.
When you’re done building the bar,add jambs to the sides and top andinstall exterior trim. Cut the jamb materialto fit and nail the pieces to thesides and top of the bar opening. Thenadd 1×6 trim, mitered at the corners, to both sides of the baropening to finish it off.
20. Assemble the Bar Door
The bar door attaches to the insideof the shed with hinges and swings upto open. To build the door, simply cut apiece of siding material to the rightsize (Figure P). Glue and screw 1x6s and 1x4s to the siding to create the bar door(Photo aboveand Figure P).
21. Mount the Bar Door
To install the bar door, rest it onblocks so that the bottom is 2-1/4 in.below the bar top. Add a 1-1/4-in.-thickstrip of wood along the top of the doorto provide a hinge attachment point.Then screw strap hinges to the woodstrip and to the door (Photo above).Remove the temporary support blockswhen you’re done attaching the hinges.
We mounted a pair of locking haspson the interior side of the bar door tosecure it when it’s closed. Then weadded eye bolts to the door edges andto the ceiling above the door to providea way to hang the door when it’s open.
Family Handyman Before you shingle the roof, installmetal drip edge. Then nail a row ofstarter shingles along the bottom of theroof. Install the rest of the shinglesaccording to the package instructions.Before painting, we filled spaces onthe exterior with acrylic caulk. Then werolled and brushed two coats of top qualityacrylic exterior paint onto thetrim and siding. When all of this is done, your pub shed will be complete!
Want to learn how to build our annual sheds from previous years? Click hereto learn how!
Project PDF Files
Click the links below to download the materials list as well as thedrawingsfor this project.