8 Things to Consider in a Backyard Shed
For extra space without a home renovation, many people are turning to backyard sheds. But with so many options and variations, it can be hard to choose. When thinking about a backyard storage shed, here are eight things you should consider.
1. What you will store in the shed.
Consider carefully what your shed needs are and how it will be used. The items to be stored there will affect many of the decisions you need to make. A shed to store supplies for your crafting business would be different than one used for keeping your lawnmower, shovels, and rakes. Maybe you are in the market for a she-shed or a workshop.
2. Your budget.
This is an important factor and will influence many of the other things you will be considering. Early in the process, decide on a maximum dollar amount that you are able to spend.
3. Where you will put your shed and how big it needs to be.
The size of the shed needs to fit the space where you build it, with room to open the doors and put in the items you are storing. You may only have a few boxes of seasonal items or a garage full of lawn equipment to put away. If you will use it to store something big like a car or a long kayak, that will affect your choice as well.
4. The rules and codes about how big your shed can be.
Each city has rules about how large a shed is allowed to be, so be sure to look into this before making your final decision. A shed company that builds in your town should know this information, or you can check city building codes. Check with your Homeowners’ Association about the regulations concerning backyard structures. Many HOAs do not allow sheds to be visible from the street.
5. What you want your shed to look like.
For a she-shed, you may want a cottage style shed with a cute front door and window boxes. If it will be more utilitarian, a plain box with no windows will suffice. You might even like the old-fashioned barn look.
6. Who will build it.
You could buy it from Home Depot and have them install it. If you are handy and can handle the job, building a shed yourself is definitely an option, but there are still other considerations. You could buy a kit or you could find building plans and then buy all the materials. Even if you have great DIY skills, it would still be helpful to look at shed companies. Their cost may be low enough that building it yourself may not be worth your while. Also, they build these structures for a living and they know things you may not about building codes, safety, permitting, and the like.
7. Framing and structure choices.
The frame could be made of plastic, wood, or steel. A plastic shed might be adequate if you only need a small one, but it will not be very sturdy. Wood is sturdier than plastic and less expensive than steel. Steel is the most expensive and the most durable of the options and is the best choice for a large structure. The floor could be plastic, concrete slab, pressure treated plywood, or particle board. Concrete is the sturdiest choice and plastic is the least sturdy. For floor and frame materials, wood comes in many grades, so look at the options carefully.
8. Other attributes.
There are the other things to consider than the structure of the shed. You will choose roof style and color–options which may be limited if you decide to have a shed company build it for you. You may have a choice of materials to use for the outer shell of the shed, like wood, PVC siding, metal, or shingles. There are also a few types of doors to choose from.
When thinking about a backyard shed, there are many things to consider. Take your time and think it through. It would be better to take extra time to make all these decisions than to begin to use your shed and realize you made it too small or to have code enforcement knock on your door telling you that you have to tear it all down.