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Choosing A Storage Shed

Choosing a Storage Shed

Now that fall is here do you dread finding a place to put all the goods that you accumulated over the summer – the pool furniture, gardening equipment, lawnmower, and grill? Although it may seem overwhelming, there’s no need to shed your home of these possessions… instead, just store them. Of course, the choices in storage sheds are myriad, so how do you settle on the right one?

Consider the Purpose

The first consideration, which affects all the subsequent ones, is your purpose in purchasing the shed. Will you be using it to store pool furniture or gardening equipment? Will you need extra room for machinery such as a lawnmower, kayak or motorcycle? Do you want additional workspace in the shed itself? It is important to ask these questions before beginning your search for the perfect shed, because the answers will determine everything from where you place the shed to the size you need to buy and perhaps even the material that you choose.

Consider the Size

Focusing on your reasons for purchasing a storage shed will help you determine the size. If all you want to store are a few potting materials and a wheelbarrow, you may get by with a smaller shed., an 8’ x 12’  or 10′ x 12′ storage sheds is among the most popular.

Most people tend to underestimate the size. Homeowners  should consider future needs as well. For example, do you plan on taking up a hobby like kayaking, skiing or biking in the future or do you have children who one day soon may be doing so? If so, it could pay to acknowledge these future storage needs now and purchase a slightly larger shed than your current situation dictates.

This old adage holds true; “By the time you are thinking of buying a shed you needed one two years ago.”

Also, consider the nature of the items you want to store and the location within the shed where they will be most convenient. Some things such as potting soil, for example, may be able to sit on shelves, thus, leaving valuable floor space for larger items. You will not want to store items you are most likely to use at the back of the shed. Some people also choose to create interior partitions that will separate contents or activities such as workspace from storage space or a small changing area from pool furniture storage. 

Best in Backyards recommends checking that the entry door to the storage shed “is wide enough to accommodate your largest piece of equipment with room to spare.” You can also purchase a shed with extra double doors to resolve this problem. If you are planning on working in the shed, allow enough height for your head.

If after mapping out your storage needs on paper, you are still struggling with the size shed you should buy, Best in Backyards recommends actually gathering together in your yard all the items you want to store, drawing a line around them, and measuring the outline. Don’t forget to allow extra room for the future.

Consider the Location
The size of the storage shed you choose can affect the location. First, find a place in your yard large enough to hold the shed. Consider traffic patterns, neighbors’ views, and the general lay of the land. Most sheds require a flat, accessible area to place the shed and its foundation.Best in Backyards typically recommends either cinder blocks, a concrete slab or crushed stone as the shed’s foundation or floor.

Choosing a dry location is also crucial as moisture can lead to decay. To help prevent decay consider using pressure treated wood for the floor and joists. Other factors in determining location include convenience and aesthetic value. One of the advantages in owning a shed is the convenience of having everything stored in one place. Yet, if the shed itself is not accessible, it negates this benefit. People will be more likely to use items and put them away, if the shed is located in proximity to the home or where you will most likely be using the items. For example, place a gardening shed near the garden or a pool shed near the pool. Integrate the shed into the landscape so outdoor storage sheds blend into their surroundings.

Consider the Materials

Storage sheds come in a variety of materials including metal, vinyl and wood. Metal sheds range from galvanized steel to aluminum. Metal sheds are not ideal for New England or Northeastern winters as snow load requirements are typically not met.

“A shed is an extremely low cost option for storage that increases the availability of the products that are in it.”

Vinyl storage centers are another affordable and efficient solution, especially for smaller storage needs. You can buy bins with lift-up tops or even heavy-duty vinyl tarps that can be zippered to keep out elements and small animals. Small vinyl sheds are also an option. Some homeowners choose vinyl siding on their storage sheds to match their homes and for a maintenance free solution.

Another relatively affordable and popular option is T-111, a textured plywood resembling vertical siding. A more upscale choice is wood. Sidings include board and batten, cedar, clapboard or ship-lap. Wooden sheds are typically available as both kits and completely pre-assembled units. Duratemp T-111 siding is an engineered product that is designed to hold paint better than traditional plywood sidings.

Consider the Price

Price is determined by the type of material, design and the size.

In general, prices range from 1500 to $3000 for a  shed large enough to store a garden tractor and some equipment. “Sheds can go up to $10,000 or even $40,000 for the large cabins or pool sheds with a big porch, sliding or garage doors, etc.

Although sheds can get expensive, Best in Backyards notes that one of the common misconceptions buyers have is that they have to pay a lot more for style. When researching for your next shed be sure to visit a location and see exactly what you’re getting. Catalog and on line sales are risky without actually seeing what you’re getting.