Storage Shed Reviews
There are a number of considerations when it comes to choosing an outdoor storage shed for your home. There’s the question of price, design, climate, size, and more. To begin with, realize that you get what you pay for with a storage shed. Saving a few hundred bucks on the cheapest model might not make the most sense in the long-term. This means that you’re passing on quality siding materials like cedar and vinyl. Next, think about how you want the shed to look in your yard. We’ve all seen those classic storage sheds that are designed to have the same aesthetics of your home. For instance, rustic designs for a country-style home. These complementing designs can be quite charming, and allows the shed to stand out as an addition of your home. Another option is to have your shed bleed into the landscape by covering it with plants or by planting perennial beds around the unit.
Storage Shed Buying Guide
There are many factors to consider when selecting a storage shed. The right storage shed will be beneficial for years, adding value to home ownership and the resale value if you ever sell. It’s something that you want to do properly.
Uses For A Storage Shed
First determine the purpose of your shed. Are you building a place for people, like an office, studio, guest house, or playhouse? Will it be for things, like bikes, gardening tools, or auto repair?
What Size Shed?
Add up the space requirements for everything you need to put in your shed. Consider space for any interior walls, a walkway to move around your items, shelving, furniture, stairs, or equipment. Now add at least ten percent to your total. This is your minimum shed size.
As most people with a full garage can tell you, you can never have too much extra space. Yard size, in conjunction with zoning and building codes will tell you the maximum size that you can build. Many times the city, highway district, or utility companies will have an easement on your land where nothing can be built.
While wrapped up in a floor plan, some people forget that the height of your storage shed also matters. A sleeping loft or “attic” storage adds a lot to the value or versatility of your shed. If you often need to carry and store twelve foot pieces of lumber, a ten foot ceiling that would be generous for a sewing room becomes problematic.
The more complex the purpose for your shed, the more critical your space calculations become. If you live near a college, an architecture or interior design student may help you plan your space requirements to build up their portfolio and get practical experience. (Run any structural student proposals past a licensed architect or engineer.)
Storage Shed Building Materials
The best materials for a storage shed depends on climate, budget, purpose, and local restrictions.
If you live in a neighborhood with a home owners association, also check their rules; often project must pass strict guidelines and a review committee prior to being built.
Wood is not the cheapest option, but it is a winner in nearly every other category. It is versatile, strong, easy to repair, and attractive. If termites are a major issue where you live, that would be a mitigating factor.
Plastic is a little pricey but very easy to build and maintain. Plastic sheds often come in kits. They are not as sturdy as wood, but they are long lasting and weather-resistant.
Vinyl and the stronger metal covered with vinyl are simple to assemble. Vinyl is more affordable than plastic, but, needs periodic waxing to maximize its life span.
Metal sheds go up quickly and are affordable. Properly built, they can resist pests like carpenter ants, termites, or rodents better than wood. Metal can be dented or punctured, which may be something to think about if you have a lot going on in your yard or live near a golf course.
If you live in a hot or cold climate insulation is a consideration when selecting materials. Many items must be stored within specific temperature ranges, including people using play houses, offices, studios, and such.
Whichever material you use to build your shed, be sure all the seams and openings are tight to keep out moisture, dust, and creatures.
Utilities For A Storage Shed
Do you need utilities? If you need to lay underground services like plumbing for a sink or electricity for tools and lights, it is best done before the building goes up. Climate control is important in many regions.
Also be certain which utilities, if any, already exist where your storage shed foundation will go. You might not want to place your shed over a septic tank or gas line, for example.
Storage Shed Foundation and Flooring
A sturdy foundation needs to hold your shed and everything in it. Depending on location and purpose it can be anything from gravel to a concrete root cellar.
Your foundation style and shed purpose will tell you what kind of floor, if any to build. Often the floor of your shed should be higher than ground level to avoid moisture so decide if steps or a ramp meet your purposes.
Plan the space immediately outside your shed now. Landscape to avoid weeds. Don’t place a heat source (barbecue grill, fire pit) next to a flammable or meltable wall.
Windows and Doors
Windows are great for light and emergency egress. They also add style and opportunity for fresh air and flower boxes
Doors must be wider than the biggest item you need put in or bring out of the shed. Double doors allow for a riding lawnmower. Dutch doors are adorable.
Securing Your Storage Shed
If your shed is not on a formal foundation, a storage shed anchor kit is a good investment to protect your building from wind or earthquakes. One anchor, usually a long corkscrew or auger shaped metal rod, for each load-bearing post is a good start.
Protect your investment with good intruder precautions. Strong hinges and doorknobs work in tandem for security. Do you need a security screen door, window bars, or an alarm system?
If the contents of your shed are flammable, have the correct type of fire suppression. Fabric from a sewing studio will need a different fire extinguisher than oils and chemicals.
Building Or Buying A Storage Shed
Building plans, kits and accessories are available if you are willing to deal with building codes, permits, hauling supplies, and getting a little sweaty.
Even if you have the time and skills to build your own storage shed, many purchased sheds could already have the quality and configuration that you want. This might just get you where you want to be more efficiently.
In some areas a storage shed build on site service will come out and handle everything for you. If there is not a specialty service in your area, this is something general contractors can easily handle.