If you own a home, at some point the need for extra storage space soon becomes apparent. Arguably the most common solution is to buy a storage shed. There are hundreds of styles and options available, but taking the time to review these 5 key steps will allow you to make a smarter decision.
1. What is the main function of the shed? In most cases, storage space is the key requirement, so find out how much space is needed. A small 4 ′ x 8 ′ slanted style provides plenty of room for small tools, but larger items require more space. I highly recommend choosing the largest size you can afford, which still blends in with your landscape. Remember that most municipalities require building permits for any building over 100 square feet.
2. Is the shed going to play a prominent role in your daily activities? If so, be sure to choose a style and options that give you good access and adequate lighting. Windows and skylights provide plenty of natural light, but it is common to bring electricity into the shed. For easy access, make sure doors are at least 34 ″ wide, as most lawnmowers will pass easily.
3. How important is the look of the shed to my property? Remember that everything you build will add to or affect the value of your property. Metal and vinyl are the least expensive options, but they tend to look normal. Wood siding and prefinished typically add character and value, but are often more expensive.
4. Take into account the degree and accessibility of the place. A level site is the starting point for all shed construction. The higher the slope, the more work needs to be done. Typically a slope of 6 ″ or less over the dimension of the shed can be compensated for by using patio stones, especially for smaller units. In areas faced with frost changes or poor drainage, it is recommended that at least 6 “of the topsoil be removed and filled with screening stone (1/2” or less gravel is also acceptable).
5. Be considerate of your neighbors! Don’t put something from a junkyard next to your neighbour’s well-kept backyard. Most municipalities require storage sheds to be within 2 feet of the fence or property line, so be sure to check ahead to avoid any aggravation. Talk to your neighbors about your intentions: 99% of the time they will appreciate your concern and are very supportive of your project.
The Internet is an excellent source of information on the hundreds of vendors and styles available. If you order online, be sure to read the warranty and returns information carefully, as products of this nature often cannot be returned. Just because a company has a fancy website doesn’t mean it endorses their product; Try searching for articles or information about the particular company. Most companies offer pre-cut or pre-made kits that are shipped to your door. If you choose a fully installed product, deal with a local company with a fixed location (avoid those that are installed in seasonal locations) and again be cautious with your research. I strongly recommend avoiding companies that require a deposit greater than 30%; you will end up waiting longer than you should. A storage shed is an important purchase – a little research will go a long way in making the right decision.