• In this video, This Old House senior technical editor Mark Powers shows how to construct a trash shed that hides garbage cans and recycling bins.


    1. Frame the sides out of 2x4s. Set the legs parallel to each other, but angle the top with a 6-inch pitch. Download trash shed cut-list.
    2. Screw a shorter 2x4 onto each front leg to support the crosspiece that will connect the sides.
    3. Screw the crosspiece on to each side.
    4. Mark the angle of the roof onto the 2x4s that will support the back crosspiece. Stand the 2x4s on blocks to represent the crosspiece as you mark them to length.
    5. Make the back crosspiece by gluing and screwing two long 2x4s together. Set them on edge on top of the support legs and screw them in place.
    6. Screw another 2x4 on top of the front crosspiece to act as a rest for the flip-top lids.
    7. Raise the frame off the ground, away from water. Shim it until it's plumb and level.
    8. Sheathe the sides of the shed with 1x6 tongue-and-groove siding. Dry-fit the pieces first.
    9. Use the cutoff from the first piece as a spacer to install the siding with a gap at the bottom.
    10. Glue the siding to the frame with construction adhesive and nail it through the tongue. Sink the nail heads with a nail set. Face-nail the last board.
    11. Trim the excess sheathing flush with the roofline.
    12. Make both the roof lids and doors by assembling them on a jig. Use long deck boards at the top and bottom of the roof and door frames, and space them apart with shorter deck boards.
    13. Cover the frames with siding in the same way that you sided the shed.
    14. Cut the roof into three parts through the center of each middle deck board. Cut the doors into four parts.
    15. Attach the roof lids to the top of the shed with door hinges.
    16. Connect the bifold doors with piano hinges. Attach the doors to the shed opening with door hinges.
    • Difficulty: Hard
      Angling cuts and lining up doors takes precision.
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      Tools List

      • framing square
        Framing square
      • speed square
        Speed Square
      • jigsaw
      • drill
      • finish hammer
        Hammer with nailset

      Shopping List

      2x4 to frame the shed and build the doors. Get eleven 8-foot boards.

      1x6 tongue-and-groove siding. Pick up prestained boards or stain them yourself before installation. Get enough to cover about 75 square feet.

      1 ¼x6 pressure-treated decking to frame the doors and lid. Get seven 8-foot boards.

      Construction adhesive to glue the sheathing.

      4-inch door hinges to attach each lid and the bifold doors to the framing. Get 10. Continuous (piano) hinges to create the bifold doors. Get two stainless steel 30-inch hinges.

      3½-inch stainless-steel deck screws

      2½-inch stainless-steel deck screws

      1 5/8-inch stainless-steel deck screws

      1 5⁄8-inch stainless-steel siding nails