The Best Shed Designs

A shed is a small building, attached to a house or separate, used for storage or temporary shelter. Most home sheds are built to hold lawn tractors, garden equipment or other tools, building or lawn care materials or other objects which need to be out of the way but accessible. Sheds are built of wood, metal or vinyl, in many styles. The best shed design is the one that works for your needs.

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  1. Buy a Kit or Make Your Own

    • Decide whether you want to build a shed to your own design, buy plans to make one or use a kit, with the components ready to assemble. Wooden sheds are easiest to design and build yourself, if you have carpentry tools and some basic construction experience. Most shed plans are for wood construction but come in a variety of designs. Shed kits are available in wood, metal or vinyl, also in many styles for various uses. Check building supply stores or similar outlets or look online before making a choice.

    Size Doors to Your Needs

    • Make shed doors big enough for your tasks. Single doors are fine for basic storage of mowers, fertilizers and garden tools (but make sure there is a ramp for easy access). Use wide or double doors with a wide ramp if the shed will house garden tractors, big mowers, all-terrain vehicles or similar large vehicles. Wood, metal or vinyl all work for such sheds, but for big equipment they need to have a sturdy floor, ideally a concrete pad.

    Roof Styles Vary

    • Roof styles vary with the purpose. What's called a shed roof is a simple design that slopes in one direction, typically front to back, but sheds also may have gable roofs, which slope on two sides from a center peak. Most wood sheds are built with roof rafters, although prefabricated trusses may be used and generally come with wood shed kits. Metal and vinyl sheds have poles and pipes which outline the walls and roof and panels that attach to them. They typically use gable or gambrel roofs, which have two slope angles on each side and provide more interior space.

    Conform Siding to Use

    • Make shed roofing and siding conform to your use. Wood sheds, built on your own or with kits, typically use shingles for roofing and lap board or vinyl siding, installed over oriented strand board (OSB) sheathing. A storage shed will not need insulation, but one used as a workshop should have insulation inside with some kind of interior wall covering. Metal and vinyl sheds also will need some insulation for use other than basic storage. It's easiest to use rigid foamboard insulation for these sheds; it can be glued to panels with construction adhesive.

    Add Shelves and Hooks

    • Remember shelves. A shed built for storage needs lots of shelves and hooks or other storage devices. Use pegboard on interior walls of wood sheds for convenience in putting up shelves or hanging garden and other tools. Install metal shelves in metal or vinyl sheds, either standing alone or secured to the wall bracing elements. Add electricity if the shed needs lights or will be used as a workshop; hire an electrician for this.

    Check Building Regulations

    • Check local building codes before starting a shed project. Some communities have regulations about outbuildings, governing location, size and material. You may need a building permit for some sheds. Also some residential areas restrict sheds or regulate placement and other considerations.

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