pub shed build

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I’ve been hinting at this for a while, but I have enough of the plan* together to finally share: I’m building a pub shed!

pub shed series - building the frame and setting the layout

*As much as anyone would call something I do a “plan”

About the Pub Shed Plans (Series)

The “Shed” Part

The idea for this has been in my head for a while (and on a paper for a shorter while), but let’s face it: I need more DIY space  especially for tools and garden storage. The one-car garage I have is packed full all the time with the mower, gardening materials, woodworking tools, paint, and more. Even though I try as best I can to keep it organized(ish… meh) by cleaning it out once a year, that still means I spend a lot of time looking for the things I need in a very tight space (you would think losing things in a smaller space would be less frequent, but… nope).

As you can probably imagine — someone who blogs about DIY as much as I do — this is a less than ideal situation. Even adding better storage solutions like my DIY pegboard wall and (coughcough) temporary lumber rack have improved, but not solved, this conundrum.

coffee table prep in garage

The “Pub” Part

The “pub” part of these pub plans is a relatively new concept. Originally, I was thinking I’d add a small pop-out window to one side of my shed as a small greenhouse-type area: cover it in glass, place it on a side that gets a lot of sun, and use it to start seedlings or propagating my hydrangeas. But, after one of my regular lunches with Dad, he passed along a copy of Family Handyman that included this project, and it included a shed with one side for entertaining!

giant pub shed
via Family Handyman

The second I saw the idea, I wanted to make something like that for my own — especially since I’m planning on upgrading my seating space near the house (a platform deck next to the smaller concrete one, that also creates a flow to the new fire pit) and adding string lights that connect the various different “zones”…

quick sketch of entire yard
This is a really wild sketch, but it includes basically all the stuff you’ve seen me working on this year: the garden beds, the corner garden, the hedge along the back, the fire pit, and more on the way!

While the shed I’m planning on building isn’t nearly as big as the one FH published (nor will it include quite as many extra windows and such), I love the idea of a counter and seating area that can be used for any number of things (from potting bench to serving area).

The DIY Part

I’ve always wanted to learn more about woodworking. Learn framing. Be better at picturing the insides of the walls I’m always messing with. Overall, I want to also increase my knowledge on the kinds of tools I don’t really use as much for interior DIYs (like a roofing nailer?!?! BRING IT ON!). I learned a little by volunteering in Habitat for Humanity events, but I know that there is still so much more fun stuff I could be doing and learning. So, after months of trying to think of where best to put it, what it might look like, the hoops I might have to jump through to get it, I’m going for it! I am building it from scratch (not using a shed-building kit), and I will share as I go, warts and all (and I’m sure, a few mistakes). ? ? ?

using handy blocks for pub shed base

This is one of the bigger (and more costly) DIYs I’ve ever wanted to do, so I’m going to have some first-time learning curves ahead. Also, obviously, it’s something I’ve had to save up for. If you’ve noticed the increase in my sponsored projects on the site over the last few months, this is one of the main reasons I’ve taken them on (the summer is usually when I wind up working with more sponsors, so I wanted to funnel some of that to immediately start planning for this!). I’ve already seen what the kinds of costs are to have one custom built by ordering, so I’m hoping the DIY is also going to be more budget-friendly.

Since this is going to be a much bigger project, it will be isolated as its own series (look for “Pub Shed” as the category on posts for updates). As you guys might have seen in some of my Instagram shares or updates about the back yard, I’ve already begun the process to try to make it into a reality. More specific details (now that I’ve actually announced the first round of plans with this post) will be upcoming, including building the base (it’s not fully “in” yet, so that will have its own post when it is).

building and trying to level out the bottom frame

The bearded dude (I feel like maybe he needs a nickname by now) has been a big help on it so far — he’s mainly the one with the previous construction skills and does this kind of 3D rendering all the time for his day job as an engineer, so you might be seeing glimpses of his help as well as we go through the build process:

the pub shed series from ugly duckling house

  • Planning (changes to plans, such as how to accommodate the bar area with extending the roof OR making its own overhang, whether the opening should create windows or a completely closed space, etc.)
  • Building and leveling the foundation (I decided against a concrete slab like I did with the trash bins)
  • Framing
  • Roofing
  • Adding the exterior finishes
  • Building/installing the door
  • All the pub-related and entertaining area details
  • Gardening around the exterior
  • Interior finishes (TBD)

But anyway, I’m excited. Thrilled. All of the happy emojis. Charlie’s excited too — she keeps sniffing all the stuff we’re digging up and moving around! More soon, friends! Building anything lately?

pub shed build - foundation frame

P.S. Hurricane/Tropical Storm Irma hit my area and knocked out power, downed a few trees, blocked my neighborhood’s entrance, etc. but the UDH was thankfully fine. I just have a few extra downed limbs to chop up for the new fire pit. I hope those of you impacted are, above all, safe — including your pets. And I’ll be saying a prayer for those who weren’t as lucky. Thanks for those of you who have sent comments my way via social media. ?

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  1. This is going to be an amazing project to follow since I desperately need a shed! Did you need to pull a permit to build?

    1. I’m going to have to get into all of that in a future post because there are a number of different rules (not just permits) that I think are important for people to know. The intimidation factor on this kind of thing caused a lot of research!

  2. Check and make sure you have all of the proper permits for that. I ran in to issues w/ a corrugated metal carport. Had to have a permit for that but did not need one for the same size tarp-covered gazebo. I still can’t figure out why…

    1. I’ve looked into it, and reviewed the rules for what my county requires and also called the county’s code office to ask them questions. The main issue is whether or not the structure is considered “permanent” or not. I’ll get into that in more detail on a future post but you’re ABSOLUTELY RIGHT about checking to make sure you have everything you need before you start!

    1. Honestly, I can’t wait to figure out how I do it either. ;) It’ll be my first time building something like this so I’m definitely very nervous!

  3. Hello, Sarah! This is my first time reading your blog, and I think this is a very fun idea. I had never heard of a “Pub shed” before, some place you could use for drinks/snacks/entertaining, but also for much needed extra storage in the house! I’m not a DIYer, but I know I get challenged getting all entertainment center, mini music studio, and mini gym/training area in one bedroom, but I manage! haha! It will be fun to see how you get this project done.

  4. Very cool! I think it looks like a fun build. You’ve introduced me to the term “Pub Shed”. I desperately need some extra storage space, but have a homeowners association / CC&R’s that prevent me from building structures visible above the fenceline. I can’t wait to watch your project unfold.

  5. This is the first time I have seen anything about a pub shed, and I love it. Looks like a great way to entertain in the back yard. Do you have an estimated cost for the shed based off your plans?

    1. I do, and I’ll be sharing more details about the shed in my next post on the series. Stay tuned!

  6. This is an amazing project! I see there are other blog entries so I’m starting at “the planning” and working my way through. So glad I found your blog, even the name is fun!

    1. Thanks Trish! This reminds me that I need to get more of the pub shed content on the blog! It’s built but it is such a labor and a half to document! I’m behind but I WILL catch up on this!