Building a Kayak Shed

Hi, all! Our little community includes several of us with kayaks that we have to haul down to the lake and back. We would love to come up for a design that would house several kayaks that could stay locked up when not in use.

Naturally we don’t each want to chip in several thousand dollars to build a first-rate boat storage facility… and I’m wondering if there are folks here who are using something that is relatively simple, solid and affordable. Perhaps even something that can be expanded, depending on the number of people wanting to join us in the joys of kayak ownership. :slight_smile:

Not sure if we need walls or not, but a roof would definitely be good, for shade especially. And a system whereby kayaks could be stacked in rows with a way to secure them.

Advice, photos, links would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance! :slight_smile:

building dept.
First you need to check with your local building department and see if there are any code requirements that have to be met. No point in spending money on a project like this only to have to tear it back down when you’ve broken a required code.

Bill H.

most communities allow non-permanent structures such as garden sheds to be built. If you are able to build a permanent structure, and you all are fairly skilled builders, it can be done pretty reasonably.

About 6 years ago, I built a 18’ x 24’ shed with 10’ high sidewalls.

Siding and roofing was corrugated steel, galvanaized, it had one door and one window, and a 6" thick concrete slab inside.

I did all the work myself, and built it using post-frame construction, the entire structure went up for about $3000. I later added wiring and outlets, and sheeted the inside and insulated the building.

It can be done cheap, but thats if you build cheap and do the work yourself. It sounds like a great idea. Hope it works out for you.

something to look at here
I have seen these buildings before. Might fill the bill for you too.

Two shed kits?
Most home improvement stores offer shed kits with plans and all the materials you need to build them. These are typically squarish in dimension–maybe 8 x 10 or 10 x 14, etc. It would be easy to adapt these plans to build two together, creating an 8 or 10 or 12 by twenty shed with barn doors on both ends. Then just build some cradles along the walls to hold 3-4 boats on each side. You could hang one from the rafters in the middle if you needed to. The advantage of this would be you could also store other gear in there and lock it up.

Look around
We bought a prefab 10X20 foot shed with double doors and small ventilation windows 5 years ago, and it was $3K delivered. I had to put in a bed of 1/2 inch stone to set it on, so technically, it’s temporary (No foundation). Very pleased with it.

There are several local shed dealers here. Probably the same where you are.

Shipping container…
Twice, shipping containers came to our rescue.

You can get them plenty long for kayaks and sometimes for as little as $1500 for a functional one. They are weather and vandal proof and can be made to look attractive. Some ventilation is required, in hot areas if in direct sun.

How 'bout this?
Here’s a shot of a “kayak shed” that I built. Offers good overhead protection and could always add a tarp on the side…

shipping containers made attractive?
Hey Dryer. How do you make shipping containers attractive? I’m serious – I’d like to know. Where do you get them? These are those corrugated metal boxes that look kind of like truck trailers?


G in NC

Re: How ‘bout this?
Wow! Thanks to everyone all the wonderful input!! I really like how this structure looks, ewschill… very attractive!

Yes, we’re definitely up on the need for adhering to codes, etc. Actually, the person who mentioned this to me yesterday is a board member of the homeowners’ association and on the Architectural Committee, so whatever we do will be done very properly.

Thanks again to all who responded. We’ll see how this goes – I’ll definitely share the results (and hopefully a photo or two! :slight_smile:

Check for local shed suppliers
It seems that most areas have one or more.

We had a 12’x20’ shed with 8’ sidewalls installed at my girlfriend’s place a few years back, specifically for storing boats and other gear. In this case, it was ~$5K delivered and set up. Some places offer kits that they will deliver to your site at a substantial savings. It usually involves prefabricated walls and floors, with roof trusses, sheathing and shingles.

One suggestion. When we had the shed delivered, I asked the installers to not shingle one side of the roof so I could install three bubble-style skylights in it. It makes a HUGE difference in the usefulness of the shed, as they provide ample light for most activities (it has thee small windows, but they’re not up to the task alone). The skylights aren’t especially pricey, but a less expensive alternative would be to use Lexan panels from a home center or plastics supplier.

If your shed is going to be used for boats only, you’ll need a garage door on one end in order to get them in and out. Another option would be a double door on each end, on diagonally opposite corners.

If you only plan on using part of it for boats, a double door positioned in front of the rack should do nicely. We have a rack that holds 8 boats sitting flat (2 wide x 4 high) and could accommodate 12 or more on edge, and a double door provides all the access we need. Looking at it, we could have made the rack wide enough for 3 and possibly even 4 boats across and still gotten by with just the double door.

Yeah, it can be done…
Yes, the corrugated trailer things…really strong and weatherproof. Here in Dallas they are available several places. Do a search for your area.

The first one was used to house equipment to maintain a BMX bicycle track. Earth was moved to cover the whole container, so the top made a ‘starting hill’, all landscaped with grass. The only exposed part was the door.

The second one had a pitched roof built over the top, with redwood plank around the outside. Looked like a windowless cabin. The roof gave it an “attic” to shove in more stuff.

I’ve seen them painted. Burying with grass (the bmx shed) really looked good and made a nice storm shelter too!

Are there any saw mills near you ?

– Last Updated: Aug-08-10 9:33 PM EST –

Several years ago, I built one that is 18' x 30' using saw mill lumber. I used store bought treated 4"x 4"'s for the posts and treated 2"x 8"s for the sills.
Made the roof trusses out of saw mill lumber and used aluminum, roofing
The siding is vertical board and batten and is also saw mill stuff as is the double barn doors on the front.
I got three large picture windows at the Habitat store for next to nothing.
The whole thing came to less than $2000, and the key was the saw mill lumber. It was a quarter the price of the kiln dried lumber yard stuff.
Right now there is 15 boats in it, and cabinets for all the gear, plus an ATV, two mountain bikes, two road bikes, and a bunch of left over lumber

Search around, scrounge here and there, design it and build it yourself, and you will be amazed at what you can do.

Jack L

most but not all
In my town a portable shed isn’t allowed, has to have a concrete foundation just like a conventional garage. Most definately adds to the complexity and the price.

Bill H.

all good info!
I’m right at the point where I’m going to need a boat shed if I keep acquiring kayaks. I appreciate the info from all, even though I wasn’t the original poster! I like the idea of a shipping container with a roof over it to keep it a bit cooler in my hot climate. The boats could be locked up, if necessary. I’m not handy enough to go the sawmill route, though JackL’s setup sounds great.

G in NC