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Garden Sheds: A Tool's Home Away from Home

by Jon Nunan 35

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Most would agree that maintaining a garden is one of the more pleasurable types of labor a person can do. Whether you grow food, flowers or both, gardening is an activity where hard work truly ends in beautiful (or tasty) results. While caring for a garden is a joy in many ways, caring for the amount of tools gardening entails can become quite a hassle. If storing dirty tools and clothes is becoming a problem, a garden shed is certainly a viable solution.

If kept out of the elements and used properly, tools can have quite a shelf life. Depending on the size of your property and the location of your garden, bringing tools in and out of a house on a regular basis can be a real pain. Having a garden shed that is close to where you are working can make storage a breeze. It can also spare your home's floors a significant amount of excess dirt. Because gardening can be a time consuming process to begin with, many find that the time saved in tool transport and cleaning tracked in dirt make the shed itself as important a tool as a shovel or rake.

Portable Garden Sheds
If you need a storage place only part time or are on a budget, a portable garden shed might be just the ticket. They are easy to put up and are just as easy to move. Best of all, they are inexpensive and can be found at most home improvement centers. Portable sheds are especially good for jobs which require rented or borrowed tools that will not need to be stored permanently.

Garden Shed Kits
Those who are seeking a more permanent structure should explore shed kits. From a simple tool shed, to a building that could double as a guesthouse, there is a shed kit available for almost any need. They are designed to be relatively easy to build, and many can be put up in a weekend or two.

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Kits can be purchased to make wood, vinyl, and metal sheds. Wood sheds are the most popular and probably the most aesthetically pleasing. They are often made from cedar because of its weather and bug resistant qualities. Vinyl sheds are very durable and easy to maintain, but are considered less visually appealing than wood. Metal sheds provide superior strength, but can look out of place in a garden setting. Your individual needs will determine what material your shed should be made of.

A kit generally includes all the materials necessary to make the shed as well as detailed instructions on how to do it. Making the foundation and providing a small list of tools will be up to you. Since the kit will include a significant amount of material, shipping costs should be taken into account when comparing prices.

Garden Shed Plans
For the die-hard DIY, many companies sell shed design plans. You can even purchase shed designing software that will give you access to many different designs and options. Buying a shed plan will cost a lot less than buying a kit, but will require more work and a better knowledge of building basics. Building your garden shed from a plan, however, might be a good project for a first timer looking for a challenge.

Jon Nunan is a freelance writer who draws on his experience in construction, ranging from landscaping to log home building, for his articles on home improvement.
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