If you own a home, at some point the need for additional storage space quickly becomes apparent. Probably 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 house? In most cases, storage is the basic requirement, so estimate how much space is needed. A small 4 ‘x 8’ slant style offers 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. Will the shed play an important 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 let the shed run on electricity. For easy access, make sure doors are at least 34 inches wide, as most lawnmowers will go through easily.
3. How important is the appearance of the shed to my property? Remember that everything you build will add or reduce the value of your property. Metal and vinyl are the least expensive options, but they tend to look normal. Wood and pre-finished siding typically add character and value, but are often more expensive.
4. Consider the degree and accessibility of the place. A level site is the starting point for construction of all sheds. The higher the grade, the more work needs to be done. Typically a 6 “or less degree in shed size can be compensated for by using patio stones, especially for smaller units. In areas prone to freezing or poor drainage, it is recommended to remove at least 6 “of top soil and fill with protective stone (1/2” or less gravel is also acceptable).
5. Respect your neighbors! Don’t put something that belongs to a landfill next to your neighbor’s well-kept yard. Most municipalities require storage sheds to be within 2 feet of the fence or property line, so be sure to check in advance to avoid any aggravation. Talk to your neighbors about your intentions – 99% of the time they will appreciate your concern and be very supportive of your project.
The Internet is a great source of information on the hundreds of vendors and styles available. If you order online, be sure to read the warranty and return information carefully, as it is often not possible to return products of this nature. Just because a company has a fancy website doesn’t mean it is responsible for its product; Try searching for articles or information about a particular company. Most companies offer pre-cut or pre-made kits that are shipped to your door. If you choose a fully installed product, go to a local company with a fixed location (avoid those that are installed in seasonal locations) and still be careful with your research. I highly 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 help you make the right decision.