How To Build a Storage Shed With an Amazing Backyard Bar

Updated: May 20, 2024

It's the perfect party spot. This pub shed features a shaded patio and bar, plus tons of storage.

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Entertainment and storage, all rolled into one big project.

We’ve built a lot of sheds over the years at Family Handyman, and I’m positive we’ll build a few more before it’s all said and done. But this pub shed project from the July/August 2017 issue of the magazine has to be one of my personal favorites. Not only does it give you a massive amount of storage, when it’s time to put away the yard tools, you can flip up the bar door and admire the backyard with an ice cold beverage. The party’s up front in this shed; business inside.

This is a big shed, but it’s no more complicated than a small one. If you have experience with deck building or other small carpentry projects, you can probably build this.

Pub shed features

Shaded patio and bar: The built-in bar with swing-up bar door provides plenty of seating and counter space for your next backyard party.

Inexpensive windows you can DIY: Barn sash mounted in easy-to-assemble pine frames provides abundant light and ventilation for a fraction of the cost of factory windows.

Tons of loft storage: Strong 2×8 joists support two huge loft areas that provide lots of storage space.

Project cost

There’s a lot of material here, and we priced it out at $6,500 when it was initially published in 2017. It’s safe to say that it’ll cost more than that now, probably closer to $10,000 if you build the exact version you see here. Do note, however, that you can always adapt this, downsizing it to fit your budget and your yard.

What you’ll need to build the pub shed

In addition to common building materials you’ll find at most home centers and lumber yards, we used some special products from Louisiana-Pacific that you may have to order to duplicate our pub shed exactly. You’ll find in-depth material details in the project pdfs at the end of this story.

We built the windows in the shop using plastic utility window sash we found at a local home center. The swing-up bar door is site built. The entry door on the side is a standard prehung exterior door that’s readily available at most home centers (about $220).

You’ll need standard DIY tools including a circular saw and drill. A framing nail gun and compressor will speed up the framing. Since there’s a lot of trim and siding to nail up, we used a coil siding nailer loaded with galvanized ring-shank siding nails. You can rent a coil siding nail gun, if you don’t have one.

Miter and table saws aren’t required but will make your cuts more accurate.

Expect to devote five or six weekends to the project. There are a lot of materials to cut and hoist, so round up a few helpers.

Take the materials list with you to your favorite lumber yard or home center and go over the list with the salesperson to see what items you may have to order. Then set up a delivery so you’ll be ready to build when your help arrives.

Project PDF Files

Click the links below to download the materials list as well as the drawings for this project.

035_FHM_JULAUG17 Pub shed project drawing figure aMario Ferro

Building permits

Check with your local building department to see whether you need a permit. Also find out if there are rules about where your pub shed can be located on the lot. Don’t for get to check with your HOA too. Many homeowners associates have restrictions about the size of sheds you can build in your yard.

Call before you dig

A few days before you plan to dig, call 811 to have someone come out and mark buried utility lines. Once that’s done, it’s time to start building your pub shed.

Project step-by-step (23)

Step 1

Lay the foundation

FH17JAU_580_50_004 pub shed lay the foundationFamily Handyman

As we’ve done with many of our recent sheds, we built this pub shed on a wood floor supported by treated 6x6s. One shed-building tip: You could substitute a concrete slab or provide footings or another type of support for the floor joists.

Start by laying out the perimeter of the shed. Use stakes and a string line, or a rectangle built with 2x4s to represent the outside edges of the 12- x 16-ft. floor. Now measure in 8-3/4-in.  from the short sides and drive stakes to mark the center of the trenches. Drive a third pair of stakes to mark the center beam.

Dig trenches about 12 inches wide and about 10 inches below where you want the bottom edge of the joists to end up. Pour four inches of gravel into the trenches and level it off. Make sure the gravel in all three trenches is the same height. Then cut the 6x6s to 12 feet long and set them in the trenches.

Measure to make sure the 6x6s are parallel. Then measure diagonally from the ends of the outside 6x6s to make certain they’re square. The diagonal measurements should be equal. Finally, level the 6x6s. (See photo above and Figure B in the project pdfs. To access Figures B through V, click on the pdf link at the end of this story.)

Step 2

Square the floor frame

Next, frame the floor with 2x6s. Start by cutting the 12-ft.-long rim joists for the front and back and marking the joist locations. Cut the joists and nail them to the rim joists.

When you’re done, square the floor joists. Use a taut string line or sight down the 12-ft. rim joist to make sure it’s straight. Then drive toenails through the joists into the 6x6s to hold the joists in place.

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Step 3

Install the flooring

We chose tongue-and-groove LP ProStruct Flooring with SmartFinish for the shed floor.

Fasten the first sheet in the back corner with construction adhesive and deck screws. Finish the row with a half sheet. Then start with a full sheet from the opposite end so the seams between sheets are staggered.

The photo above shows how we installed the flooring.

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Step 4

Build the walls

Using Figure C as a guide, chalk lines on the floor to indicate the inside edges of the walls. These lines provide a reference for straightening the bottom plate of the walls after the walls are standing.

Cut the top and bottom wall plates and mark the stud locations on them (Figures D through G). Build the side walls (photo above) of the pub shed. Then build and stand the front and back walls. Brace them temporarily.
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Step 5

Plumb and brace the walls

After nailing the walls together at the corners, install temporary diagonal braces on the inside to hold the walls plumb (photo above). Make sure the walls are firmly nailed together at the corners. Then use a level to plumb the corners while you attach temporary diagonal bracing to the inside of the walls.

Brace all four walls. You can remove the bracing after you install the siding panels.

FH17JAU_580_50_021 pub shed plumb and brace the wallsFamily Handyman

Step 6

Fasten the plates over the posts

Two 4×4 posts at the front of the shed support the front half of the roof. Secure the bottom of the posts to the deck frame with metal post anchors. Tie the top of the posts together with the second (top) 2×4 plates that run over the top of the walls. Miter the ends of the 2×4 plates over the posts and attach them with screws (photo above).

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Step 7

Install the decking

Start by cutting and installing the perimeter boards. Leave a one-inch 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 to the joists.

We used the Cortex hidden fastener system (see Figure M).

FH17JAU_580_50_032 install decking on pub shedFamily Handyman

Step 8

Set the ceiling joists

After installing deck boards on the front porch, build the attic floor. The 2×8 joists covered with sheets of flooring material provide storage space in the attic. We left a 4-ft.-wide opening for easy access to the front and back loft areas, but you could also cover the entire area with a floor and provide an access door or pull-down ladder instead.

Start by marking the joist locations on the two side joists using Figure H as a guide. Then cut and install the joists (photo above).

Mark the joist locations on two rim joists and nail the rims to the top plate. Make sure they are set in 1-1/2-in. from the outside edge of the wall to allow space for the second rim joist. Attach the joists with screws or nails driven through the rim joists. Then add the second rim joist and install joist hangers on every joist.

Before you cover the joists with the 4 x 8-ft. sheets of flooring, plumb and brace the 4×4 posts with diagonal 2x4s. Also stretch a string or mason’s line from front to back along the top edge of the outside joist to make sure the walls and joists are straight. The attic floor needs to be square with straight sides. If not, the rafters won’t fit correctly.

FH17JAU_580_50_047 pub shed ceiling joistsFamily Handyman

Step 9

Side the walls

Double-check the corners and the front posts to make sure they’re plumb. Then cut and install the 4- x 8-ft. sheets of siding. Measure and cut the siding panels so that the seams align over wall studs. Rest the bottom of the panels on a temporary 1/2-in. spacer to provide space between the siding and the drip cap.

Nail the siding to the studs. Follow the siding manufacturer’s instructions for spacing and nailing the siding.

Remember to install metal drip cap flashing (visible in photo above) over the 2×8 skirt board before installing the siding.

FH17JAU_580_50_053 pub shed side the wallsFamily Handyman

Step 10

Frame the roof

Start by cutting the 2×8 ridge board to length and marking the rafter locations on both sides using Figure K as a guide. Also mark the rafter locations on the floor along both sides of the shed.

Next, set the ridge on temporary 2×4 posts and brace it with diagonal 2x4s (photo above). The top of the ridge should be 76 inches from the floor. Cut a pair of rafters (Figure J) and set them in place to test the fit. Make any needed adjustments.

When you have a pair of rafters that fit perfectly, mark one of them as a pattern. Use the pattern to trace the rafter cuts on the remaining 2x6s and cut out the rafters.

Stretch a string along the top of the ridge as a guide to keep the ridge straight as you install the pairs of rafters (photo above). The 2×4 blocks nailed to the floor between the rafters help position the rafters and make them easier to secure. Add the 2×6 subfascias before you install the four overhang rafters at the front and back of the shed.

FH17JAU_580_50_067 pub shed frame the roofFamily Handyman

Step 11

Fill in the gable framing

When you’ve finished the roof frame, build the front and back gable walls (Figure L). The front wall requires an opening for the gable-end window (photo above).

Mark the stud locations on the bottom plate. Then use a level to transfer the stud locations to the top plate. Measure to find the stud lengths.

FH17JAU_580_50_077 fill in the gable framing pub shedFamily Handyman

Step 12

Install the sheathing

Finish the roof construction by covering the rafters with sheathing (see Figure N and photo above). Screw blocks to the subfascia to support the first row of roof sheathing 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.

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Step 13

Install the soffit and fascia

Start by nailing the soffit boards to the underside of the rafters. Then add the 1×8 fascia boards that cover the 2×6 subfascias and overhanging rafters. Finish the overhang trim by installing the 1×3 roof molding over the 1×8 fascias (photo above).

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Step 14

Build the false beams

The next step is to install the 1-in. x 9-1/4-in. trim board that fits against the soffit and runs around the perimeter of the shed and porch. This wide trim board forms one side of the false beam that runs around the porch ceiling.

Add a 2×4 frame to the underside of the porch ceiling to create the false beam. Then nail the grooved panels to the porch ceiling and cover the 2×4 false beam with trim (photo above). You can install the corner boards at this stage, but the battens will have to wait until after you’ve built and installed the windows.

Figures S through V show details for the siding and trim installation.

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Step 15

Assemble the windows

We built inexpensive windows for the shed with plastic barn sash mounted in 1×4 pine frames (photo above and Figures Q and R).

Start by measuring the sash and building a 1×4 frame that’s 1/4-in. wider and taller than the sash. Cut 10-degree angles on the bottom of the sides to provide a sloping sill. Cut 1×2 stops to fit in the frame and position them to hold the sash flush with the outside edge of the 1×4 frame.

Attach galvanized screen door hinges to the frame, set the sash in place and drill holes for the fasteners. Since the plastic isn’t strong enough to hold wood screws, we drilled holes through the sash and attached the hinges with machine screws, washers and nuts.

Connect three windows to form the window assembly for the side wall (Figures R and U). Use a pair of 2x4s as spacers between each window. Screw through the window frames into the spacers to hold the windows together.

Tip the triple window assembly into the window opening. Shim under the windows until about 3/8-in. of the top frame is exposed on the outside. Shim between the studs and the window frame to level and plumb the window unit and to adjust the frame until there’s a consistent space between the window frame and the sash.

Make sure the window frames are flush to the siding. Then screw through the window frames into the studs to hold the windows in place. We added Stanley Storm Window Adjuster hardware to the windows to hold them open and to lock them.

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Step 16

Trim the windows

Rip a 2×4 to 2-in. wide with a 10-degree bevel on each side to form the sill piece. Cut the sill to extend 3-1/4-in. past the window frame on each end and attach it to the wall under the windows with long screws. Then cut and install the 1×4 trim pieces that fit between the top trim and the sill (photo above).

The front window is similar, except it’s smaller and contains only one sash. Use the same process to build and install the front window.

FH17JAU_580_50_191 pub shed trim the windowsFamily Handyman

Step 17

Install the door and finish the trim

If your prehung door has exterior trim, pry it off. The wide trim board running around the shed, under the soffit, will take the place of the top door trim.

Place the door in the opening to check the fit. The top doorjamb should rest against the wide trim board. Use wooden or composite shims between the side jambs and the 2×4 framing to square the door frame. Place shims behind each hinge and at the top, middle and bottom of the latch side.

Adjust the shims until there’s an even space between the door and the doorjambs on the top and sides. Then drive screws through the doorjambs into the framing at the shim locations to secure the door.

Finish the door installation by adding 1×4 trim boards to each side. Finish the exterior trim by nailing 1×2 battens over the stud locations and installing the corner boards if you haven’t done so already.

FH17JAU_580_50_198 pub shed trimFamily Handyman

Step 18

Cover the gables with shakes

The front and back gable ends are covered with panels that resemble cedar shakes. After installing a metal drip cap over the 1×2 that caps the wide trim board, install the shakes according to the manufacturer’s instructions (photo above).

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for details about panel placement and how much caulk space to leave between the panels and the trim.

FH17JAU_580_50_153 Cover the gables with shakes pub shedFamily Handyman

Step 19

Build the bar

The bar consists of a frame of 2x2s and 2x4s covered on the top and bottom with 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 if needed to level the bar top before installing the plywood.

When you’re done building the bar, add jambs to the sides and top and install exterior trim. Cut the jamb material to fit and nail the pieces to the sides and top of the bar opening. Then add 1×6 trim, mitered at the corners, to both sides of the bar opening to finish it off.

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Step 20

Assemble the bar door

The bar door attaches to the inside of the shed with hinges and swings up to open. To build the door, simply cut a piece of siding material to the right size (Figure P). Glue and screw 1x6s and 1x4s to the siding to create the bar door (photo above and Figure P).

FH17JAU_580_50_233 pub shed bar doorFamily Handyman

Step 21

Mount the bar door

To install the bar door, rest it on blocks so that the bottom is 2-1/4-in. below the bar top. Add a 1-1/4-in.-thick strip of wood along the top of the door to provide a hinge attachment point. Then screw strap hinges to the wood strip and to the door (photo above). Remove the temporary support blocks when you’re done attaching the hinges.

We mounted a pair of locking hasps on the interior side of the bar door to secure it when it’s closed. Then we added eye bolts to the door edges and to the ceiling above the door to provide a way to hang the door when it’s open.

FH17JAU_580_50_242 mount the bar door pub shedFamily Handyman

Step 22

Finish the roof

Before you shingle the roof, install metal drip edge. Then nail a row of starter shingles along the bottom of the roof. Install the rest of the shingles according to the package instructions.

FH17JAU_580_00_701 2017 pub shedFamily Handyman

Step 23

Paint the shed

Before painting, we filled spaces on the exterior with acrylic caulk. Then we rolled and brushed two coats of top quality acrylic exterior paint onto the trim and siding. Now your pub shed is complete!