Maintaining an outdoor structure such as a storage shed makes it easier to store equipment for a particular hobby or interest. But homeowners are finding other uses for this backyard building. This versatility has led many people to consider buying or building a shed. Read below to find out if you should have one too.
Uses of a Storage Shed
A storage shed, which may also be called a garden shed, is typically a plain-looking single-story structure.
Originally, these type sheds were used to hold bulky garden tools and equipment such as lawn mowers. And many sheds are still used only for this purpose.
But in time, shed designs were enhanced with side and back windows and even full height doors, making them more structurally sound. This allowed people to find many different uses for sheds.
- Adding toys allows kids to use it as a playhouse.
- For those who love crafts, sheds can serve as a place to complete craft projects or to store materials and unfinished projects away from children.
- Likewise, the shed can be used for DIY projects such as woodworking.
- If they are large enough, storage sheds can be used for family get-togethers or as extensions of your garage.
- By adding decorative fences and flower boxes a shed could become an ornamental piece in the garden.
- With a few amenities such as a chair and table, a shed provides a quiet space where you can get some privacy.
Storage Shed Benefits
The most important benefit a shed can provide is additional space. Having more space for storage can help de-clutter your home. In addition to storing tools and craft projects, it can serve as an ideal storage space for seasonal items such as a portable pool or Christmas decorations.
Another benefit is saving money by using a shed instead of a rental storage unit.
A shed also offers convenience since you do not have to go far if you want to get items you have stored previously.
Finally, instead of buying a pre-made shed, you can save money by designing and building a shed of your own.
What Size Storage Shed?
When deciding on the size of your shed, consider the way you intend to use it.
- If it’s being used for storage, how many items are you are planning to store inside it?
- If it’s being used for handyman projects, how large are the finished products going to be? You want them to be able to fit out the door when they’re done.
- If for crafts, how much workspace do you need?
- If being used as a private retreat or for a play space, how many people need to fit into it?
Once you decide its use, you can determine the size your will need your shed to be.
The most typical storage sheds are made of wood, plastic/vinyl, or metal.
Because wood is a natural material, it fits in nicely if you have a backyard with trees. Even if you don’t, wood storage sheds add a stylish touch to any backyard.
Choosing to build a wood shed as opposed to using metal or plastic can make it easier to modify the structure later. Woods are easily drilled and cut according to your needs.
Choose a good type of wood that will not easily rot or slip if exposed to harsh weather conditions such as heavy rains and a lot of sun as well as attacks by insects or fungi. Cedar is naturally resistant to water damage; however, to extend wood life, it would be best to apply varnish or wood preservatives on it.
If cost is a major concern, plastic sheds are often less expensive than wood. You can pay more and also get steel-reinforced vinyl panels as well as vinyl that are resistant to the sun’s UV rays.
Vinyl sheds are resistant to mildew and mold and will not attract termites or other bugs that can ruin a wood structure.
Another major benefit is their durability and the fact that they don’t need much maintenance. This can be important if your weather conditions include rain, cold, and summer heat.
A typical metal storage shed will consist of a metal frame with sheet metal of aluminum or steel attached to it to form the walls. Like plastic, metal sheds are resistant to termites. They are also fire-resistant. They tend to come in smaller sizes than the other types of storage sheds and are typically less expensive.
Metal, however, is prone to rust over time. And if you live in a climate with high wind, it is recommended that you reinforce the metal to protect against wind damage as well as debris that might fly into it. Aesthetically, metal sheds are not considered as attractive as sheds made of the other materials.
If it is your first time building a storage shed, you can buy a kit containing a layout and pre-cut materials. All you need to do is to attach each part according to directions. The only disadvantage with shed kits is that you cannot choose the materials you like. Shed sizes are also limited.
On the other hand, building a shed with your own choice of materials and size could take longer to finish and could cost more than ready-to-assemble ones. However, you will get the exact size and model that you want according to your outdoor construction needs.
Putting some windows on the shed helps the sunlight to pour in so you do not need artificial light while looking for something inside the shed. Plan for the type of window you want. Will you use a typical glass window for weather protection? Or will a screened window that allows breezes in be right?
By doing a little pre-planning, your storage shed can become an outdoor structure that will serve you and your family throughout the year.