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Black & Decker The Complete Guide to Contemporary Sheds: Complete plans for 12 Sheds, Including Garden Outbuilding, Storage Lean-to, Playhouse, ... Tractor Barn (Black & Decker Complete Guide) Paperback – January 15, 2008

4 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Philip Schmidt is an avid environmentalist and a home improvement expert who has written many successful DIY books, including Build Your Kids a Treehouse, The Complete Guide to Patios and The Complete Guide to Contemporary Sheds.

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Product Details

  • Series: Black & Decker Complete Guide
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Cool Springs Press (January 15, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1589233352
  • ISBN-13: 978-1589233355
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 0.6 x 10.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #638,969 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
If you buy this book and want to build a Shed. You have to read the first half of the book. No doubt about it, 100%, you have to read the first half of the book.

The best part of this book, is that the first half of the book was written by someone who knows how to build sheds very well. And describes in detail how to execute each step of the shed building process.

The worst part, is the last half with all the plans. Black and Decker did not make these shed plans. So they do not match up with first half of the book. Example, I am building the Basic Shed with plywood siding. Thats all the plans call for. But if you read the first half of the book it says to leave 1/8 spacing between plywood sheets for weather culking and 1x2 batting strip to cover the seam or you could just by tongue and groove plywood siding. So the first half of the book and the plans do not match up. They contradict each other multi times in the Basic Shed plan.

One more problem. If you follow the shed plans, they are written for the intermediate wood worker, or someone who has already built a shed. As this was my first shed, i was very frustrated and doing a lot of extra problem solving trying to figure out what the directions were trying to get at.

About shed building, roofing is very difficult. It was much easier by building a solid stand to hold the 1 x 8 Rafter Board in place and having three people to help. 2 people on each side of the rafter board to place the rafters, and a 3rd person to help get nails and pick up anything that falls down.

Extra Details
It took 1 day to buy all the supplies at the store and multi trips back.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book is all about sheds. And how to build them from step one to the end. B&D Sheds starts with some basics about construction. Such as lumber, what kind and what to look for. Nailing, what is toe-nailing, end-nailing, face-nailing. General good practices such as 16" on center studs, foundations types and setup, and roofing.

B&D Sheds includes plans for several shed designs that includes, Blue-prints, cut-list, and supporting photos to get you through your project.

Pros: lots of info about construction, tons of color photos to support the written information, fabulous ideas presented through out the book, heavy paper that can withstand a construction zone.

Cons: The blue-prints need to be double checked. On the shed I built, the B&D blue-prints had many inconsistencies, which could had led to some serious head scratching during the build. Luckily, the errors were found before construction began. So, please vet the plans carefully, check all dimensions, before you cut the first board.

Summary: Get this book, back up your info with some web-research, and build your own shed. You'll save a ton of money VS buying a prefabricated shed from a big-box home center.
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Format: Paperback
I bought this book along with Building a Shed from the Build like a Pro Series. Between the two books, I was able to come up with my own plans for my shed which I sketched out on graph paper. I had siding and roofing materials left over from a recent addition to my house that kept some of the costs down and I was able to mimic the look of my house. My only complaints with this book are that often times the step by step instructions do not always coinside with the plans that accompany each shed design so you have to pay attention and cross check. For instance, on the shed I built (basic shed), the roof pitch was 33.5 degrees, however, after completing the roof structure, the peek was noticeabley higher than that in the pictures. I was ok with this because I ended up with more storage space above and it is more aesthetically pleasing. also the rafter template is incorrect as the "bird notch" dimensions are not appropriate and after cutting my first rafter I realized that the rafter tail end was no where near close to 90 degrees (or parellel with the outside walls, so I had to adjust the notch dimensions so that it fit squarely on the top plate of the wall. Another thing I noticed was that in one picture it showed the plywood sheets running lenghtwise with the floor joists and in another it showed them horizontal which is correct when using tongue and groove flooring. Otherwise, a decent book.
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Format: Paperback
I can't believe how many problems, misprints, and pure misinformation I discovered as I used this worthless book. I built the "Convenience Shed" following the provided plans. I soon discovered that there is no framing diagram for the right side, which has a door and window! Many of the measurements are completely inaccurate. For example, the stud spacing on the left side doesn't match the actual length of the building. Another example: every measurement it gives for 15/16" is actually 1 15/16". If you look closely at the pictures of the carpenters constructing this building, you'll soon see that they aren't even following the plans and directions the book gives.

Skip this one!
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This book does have some good, albeit limited, information about building sheds, yet the information has too few details to be very useful to a shed builder. For example, it describes installing a pre-hung window and says to use flashing, but that aspect is not discussed. It seems to me that a shed builder would need some details about installing flashing for windows, skylights, vents, and doors, but even the photograph of the window did not reveal anything useful about flashing. The illustrations and photographs are of a very good quality. I think too few plans are offered, and while it does offer additional mail order plans, that seems to miss the point since I bought the book for its shed plans (admittedly, on the cover it says, "Complete Plans for 12 Shed Projects."). Additionally, the book is a little out of date, as it suggests using wood that has been treated by CCA (chromated copper arsenate) which is banned due to the hexavalent chromnium (a carcinogen) and highly toxic arsenic it contains.

Overall, I give the book the grade of "C" as an overview of garden sheds, but I think much more in-depth information is needed for the book to be useful to anyone planning to build a shed. Note, I am comfortable with tools and building things, so I will take the ideas from this book and create a different shed than what is in the book. With that, I'd suggest folks look at this book in person at the local home/hardware center to see if it has enough information for them before they order it online.
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