The outdoor storage shed business is booming with more homeowners than ever adding space on their property for storage or even increased living area. But before deciding on this valuable addition for your home, there are many factors to consider to ensure you are creating the perfect area for your unique needs. This article will cover what you need to know when building a shed no matter how you plan to utilize your storage solution.
Identify What to Store
The first step you should take before deciding on building a shed is what you plan to store within the space. Consider how you want the shed to function which will help to determine the type of storage solution and size to invest in. Here are some popular options:
- Tools: Perhaps you plan to turn your shed into a fix-it shop where you need space to work and tools along with a great workbench. When building a shed for this purpose, you must ensure there’s enough space to move around as well as store tools.
- Gardening shed: If you are building a shed for potting plants and tending to the garden, there are many factors to consider like ensuring proper ventilation and insulation for controlling the temperature.
- Home office: More people are working from home, creating a crunch for space at home. When building a shed to create a perfect home office, you’ll need to plan for a seating area, temperature control, and electricity.
- Seasonal storage: One of the most popular ways to use a shed is to store items like pool toys or winter decorations while they aren’t in use. This option is more economical and convenient than paying for self-storage.
- Vehicle storage: Whether you need to store a car, ATV, or motorcycle, there are a variety of reasons to utilize a storage solution to protect these important investments.
Building a Shed for Your Unique Needs
Once you’ve decided how you plan to use your outdoor space and what to store, it’s time to ask yourself a few questions before building a shed to make sure to create a storage solution catering to your exact needs.
- How big should my shed be? Taking out the old measuring tape is incredibly important when building a shed. You shouldn’t only measure the size of the items you want to store. Keep in mind how much workspace is needed to make sure to avoid building a shed that is too small.
- Will my shed fit on my property? Prior to purchasing all your materials and creating shed plans, you should first know the size of the space available for building a shed. You'll need to give it enough area between your home and other structures on your property as well as your neighbor’s.
- Where should my shed go? Perhaps your lawn only provides enough room for a lean-to shed that can be built right onto your home. Or maybe you have plenty of space to spread out. Either way, mapping out the location of a shed is critical to the function and even longevity of the structure. When building a shed, think about convenience. If it’s going to be a potting shed, build it close to the garden. If the shed is set to be your workspace, perhaps building it closer to your home’s garage could be easier to transport items you may need.
Metal vs. Fabric Shed Options
There are several key differences when it comes to deciding on a metal or fabric shed for your property. While both are reliable and convenient ways to store items, it’s important to choose which one best fits your needs by comparing them first.
- Budget: Fabric sheds tend to be more cost-effective when compared to metal structures. If cost is a factor, a fabric shed could be your best bet.
- Ease of assembly: While many metal shed options can be assembled without the use of a professional, fabric structures are much easier and faster to put together when compared to their steel counterparts.
- Durability: There are plenty of fabric shed options that can stand up to wind, rain, and snow. But all-steel sheds have a more rugged durability that can last longer when compared to fabric, especially when adding insulation to a metal shed for optimum temperature control.
- Strength: If overall strength is top priority, metal sheds tend to protect better against rust, corrosion, and Mother Nature. There are plenty of fabric customizable sheds that have incredible strength, too.
- Convenience and portability: If you plan to move the storage solution around in the future or based on the season, a fabric shed is a better choice for your needs.
Preparing for Building a Shed
Now that you’ve figured out the type of shed you need and where to erect the structure, there are steps to take when building a shed to make sure the assembly process is as seamless as possible.
- Know local building codes: Depending on where you live, there could be local ordinances that detail specific rules about how to build a shed in your area. If homeowners don’t follow those rules, code enforcement can force you to comply or even take down a structure all together. While some outdoor storage buildings don’t require any type of permit, others may. Checking rules where you live will save you time, money, and a headache.
- Find level ground: If your ground is not already level, you’ll need to prepare it first before beginning assembly on your shed to ensure your safety and the stability of the structure. Level the area by removing the grass using a shovel. Add topsoil and spread it evenly. Use a measuring tape to ensure all areas are level. Use a tamper to compact the soil. Let sit for at least 48 hours. If no rainfall has occurred, spray the area lightly with a garden hose to create a mist over the area.
- Create the proper foundation: Once you have successfully found or created level ground, it’s time to prepare the foundation for your shed. While you can build a shed right onto the ground, it’s preferred to use a base kit, concrete slab, or a wood base.
The Importance of Anchors
No matter the type of shed you choose, anchoring the structure is crucial to your safety and the life of the shed in general. When anchoring a shed, first note the foundation type. There are many different ways you can properly anchor a shed, and many of them depend on the type of foundation whether that is a concrete slab or wooden base.
If you are anchoring a shed that is pre-manufactured, make sure to check the manual prior to building a shed to note the proper type of anchors to use. For example if building a Arrow or ShelterLogic structure, each one provides proper anchoring recommendations for your particular model and type of foundation. Also make sure to follow directions on how many anchors to use per structure.
Don’t Forget Accessories
Now that you have properly assembled and built your shed, don’t forget to make the space your own, both inside and out. Utilize shed accessories inside like pegboards and potting benches to create a space that is unique and functional. This will keep the space more organized and allow for a more enjoyable experience no matter how you plan to use your storage solution.
Finally, don’t neglect the outside of your shed. Create an inviting space by adding pavers and landscaping to seamlessly blend the new structure in with your property. This step adds a level of elegance and can even increase the value of your home. When planning properly for a new shed from beginning to end, you will create a durable and functional space for your outdoor area for seasons to come.