Outdoor Storage Sheds

By HomeAdvisor

Updated December 11, 2017

Storage shed

Has your garage become overrun with lawn and garden equipment? An outdoor storage shed might provide the extra space you need. But before you run out to the home improvement store, here are some things you might consider.

To Build a Shed?

Be sure to check any building codes or zoning laws in your area. You may have to set your storage shed a certain distance back from property lines, and there may be restrictions on what siding materials you can use.

What Size Outdoor Storage Unit Do You Need?

When choosing an outdoor shed design, size does matter. You don’t want to go through the time and expense of erecting an outdoor shed, only to find that you need to move the lawnmower every time you want to shovel the walk! To get a sense of the size shed you need, bring all the equipment you plan to store outside and place it in a rectangle on your lawn or driveway. Measure the perimeter, and you will have a rough idea of how large a shed you’ll need.

Speaking of size, another consideration here is the size of your shed’s doors. The entrance must be wide enough to accommodate your largest piece of equipment. (Many outdoor sheds come with double doors, which solves this problem handily.)

Siding Materials in Outdoor Storage Shed

Natural wood is often the material of choice in outdoor sheds, because of its appealing looks. Some woods, however, will rot or deteriorate over time. Look for woods that have natural resins that make them more weather-resistant, such as cedar. Even these should be coated with a sealant or preservative to protect them from harmful UV rays. A clear stain will also protect the wood’s natural beauty.

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Vinyl siding is another good option for outdoor sheds, since it takes little to no maintenance. If your home is already sided with vinyl, this is a particularly fitting option.

Particle board and plywood are often used for siding, as well, but they do not weather well, particularly in areas where it rains a lot.

There are also many metal storage units out there, which are often less expensive than their wood or vinyl counterparts. Aluminum is the better choice of these since, unlike steel, it will not rust.

Preparing Space for Your Outdoor Shed

In order to provide a rock-solid foundation for your shed, lay down crushed stone, cinder blocks, or a concrete slab. Also, make sure your supports are made of pressure-treated wood.

Outdoor Storage Building Design

Another thing to consider is the look of your shed. Ideally, your shed should complement, rather than clash with, the look of your house. If you have an arts-and-crafts style home, for instance, your shed should reflect this same aesthetic. One way to do this is to use design features such as planters, trellises and trim that pick up on the color and look of your house. You might also consider building or buying a ramp of pressure-treated wood for ease of access to your outdoor shed.

Cost Considerations

It is, of course, important to consider the overall cost of the project during preparation. How much your shed costs you is dependent on the factors mentioned above – the design, size, location. For example, a total 12×16 shed cost could be anywhere from $2,000-$6,000 depending on style and the spot’s ground material, slope and drainage. You may find that hiring a professional contractor to help construct your shed will be a worthwhile investment that ensures you are building a sound structure and on your own land. Consider investing in a land survey before construction to avoid future conflicts.

Attention to detail will ensure that your shed will add to the overall value of your home, and that your outdoor storage unit will serve you well for years to come.

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