The 7 Factors that Affect Your Shed Design
Check out what you need in planning and designing your shed and start building it...
SO YOU'VE SPENT a bit of time wandering around your local discount hardware superstores looking at all various "cookie cutter" out of the box sheds, but never seem to find quite what you are looking for...
Have you stopped and taken a good look at the many different types of shed plans?
You would be amazed at the incredible range of styles and sizes of sheds these plans.
The only hard part is you must be ready to build your shed from scratch. The good news is these plans are amazingly detailed, making the task easy for the average person who can use a few basic hand and power tools.
The 7 Different Factors that Affect Shed Design
As with any construction project for your home, there are a number of factors which must be taken into consideration before you spend any money or start construction.
Here are seven factors I believe to be of the utmost importance in your decision where to build when to build, and what to build.
Before you make any decision beyond the size of shed you might like to have in your backyard, you need to find out if your city, county, or state requires a building permit.
You will find that each municipality has their own permit requirements and in many cases, if you don't obtain the necessary permits, you could be fined and/or ordered to remove your shed at your own expense.
Follow this link to learn more about permits in your area.
Next to a permit, deciding what type of materials your shed will be built from may be the most important decision.
• Metal offers excellent strength and will keep out the weather, but is subject to rust.
• Wood has been used for centuries and can be used to build a very solid weatherproof shed. At the same time, it is subject to rot and pest infestation. It can also be very expensive.
• Plastic or Resin may be one of the least expensive materials, but can be flimsy and not hold up to extremes in weather.
• Fabric is the cheapest of the lot... however it is only really a temporary solution
#3 Your Budget
There is no point in dreaming about a large all-wood and shingle shed when you are working with a plastic shed budget. Also known in many circles as having Cadillac dreams on a Volkswagen budget.
Plastic sheds are typically not expensive, but at the same time, the good ones are not cheap.
More importantly, you may have to choose between size and materials. For example, while $1,000 might buy you a 10 x 14 metal shed, it will only buy an 8 x 8 wood shed or a 8 x 10 plastic shed.
Remember that just because you are on a budget, this doesn't necessarily mean you can't have the shed you want. What it does mean, however, is that you may have to make a few hard decisions along the way.
#4 Shed Size
In sheds, as in many other things, size (internal size) really does matter and should be one of your chief concerns.
• If you start out with a shed that is too small, you are only going to end up replacing it with the right size later at significant additional cost.
• Build or buy a shed that is too big for your needs is nothing more than a waste of money.
• You may also have to factor in size based on your local building codes.
• Also, worth noting is that the cost of your shed is going to increase exponentially as your shed gets bigger.
#5 Your Yard
When it comes to shed plans and designs, you must pay close attention to where you are planning to put it in your yard. You will need an area that is flat or can be flattened for your shed to sit on.
You can always build a perfectly flat foundation from wood, pavers, or poured cement. Here are a few extra questions you should ask yourself about your yard:
• Will your shed be able to be seen from the house?
• Will the style and color of your shed add to or detract from the appearance of your yard?
• Will your shed be in an area of your yard that might make it easy for thieves to break in?
• Will your neighbors complain about your shed's location?
• Will the ground drain water away during storms or let it build up and get inside of your shed?
• Will your shed be located in a convenient place for its intended purpose?
#6 What Are You Building a Shed For
This is yet another very important consideration when looking at sheds and shed plans. This will affect the size, style, and in many cases the type of materials you will use for your shed. Among the things to consider are:
• Is your shed just for garden tools and if so what type and how many?
• Is your shed for storing toys, bicycles, and other family gear?
• Is your shed a place for your motorcycle or ATV?
• Is your shed going to become a workshop, an art studio, a playroom, a quiet place to get away?
• Is your shed going to house floor standing power tools and workbenches?
• Will your shed need added shelving for more storage?
#7 Your Abilities
Okay, so now that you have a rough idea what size and style of shed might best suit your needs, there is one more very important thing you must consider and do so as honestly as you can. This is your construction abilities.
To put it bluntly, if you have a hard time driving a nail or screw in straight or can't read a tape measure to save your life, you might be better off buying a plastic shed that goes together a little like a building those kids toys from Little Tykes.
What I am trying to say here is that pay very close attention to the shed plans you are considering and make sure your abilities are up to the job.
There is no point in buying a set of plans to build a killer shed along with investing hundreds of dollars or more in materials if your skills are not up to the task of building it.
Do It Yourself Shed Plans vs. Shed Kits
So this brings us to the point at where you need to make a big decision. Do you opt for a quality set of shed plans and buy all of your own materials or do you opt for a shed kit that comes with almost everything you need except the tools and elbow grease to put it together? Each of these options has its own benefits.
• With so many shed plans to choose from, you can create your own custom shed
• In most cases building from a set of shed plans is less
• Many plans offer options that let you truly customize your shed
• Sheds built from plans tend to be stronger in construction and design
There is a lot of pride in building your shed from scratch
• Shed kits are typically easier to build
• Shed kits take a lot less time to assemble
• Most shed kits require very little in the way of construction experience or skills
• Shed kits require only a minimum of tools
• Shed kits typically come with easy to read and understand instructions no matter what size shed you buy
Since most shed plans are based on using wood as the main component, if you are comfortable using basic power tools such as circular or reciprocating saws, drills, etc. you should not have too many problems building one.
You should also be able to read plans at least to some extent. In most cases, you will find the plans are laid out for the novice and are easy to follow.
Here again, you should take a good look at any plans you are considering to ensure that you fully understand them.
With a little looking around you can easily find a number of free shed plans or you can save yourself time by simply going here. You will find that most online shed plans cover the basics such as the dimensions of the shed, a list of materials by size and quantity and at least a basic set of instructions.
Many of the free shed plans rely on images rather than step-by-step detailed instructions.
As you step up to paying for plans you should find more detailed construction. They may also include a number of options ranging from materials to customizing your shed with extra windows, doors, skylights, interiors, shelving, and floors.
At the same time, these sheds tend to be designed with the more experienced builder in mind and may or may not contain enough details for the beginner.
How to Read Shed Plans
If you have never worked with a set of blueprints or shed plans, your first glance might be a bit confusing. There are so many symbols and signs used that it is easy to become confused.
Here are a few basic concepts that can make reading shed plans a bit easier for you:
• Solid lines indicate the outline of an object such as the edge of a wall
• Broken lines are used to indicate objects that are typically hidden from view such as the foundation
• Broken lines can also be used to indicate the shape of the structure
• A slanted line with arrows or dots added to a dimension line shows reference points
• Measurements are shown in feet then inches, i.e. 10" 6" means 10 feet 6 inches
There are literally thousands of shed ideas online, in the stores, and more importantly, virtually anywhere you go in the country. I have spent months collecting a huge selection of different shed ideas for you to consider.
This selection ranges from easy to build do-it-yourself sheds that can be put together in a few hours to complex sheds that look more like houses than sheds. Hopefully, you will find something you like in my collection of great shed ideas.
Steps to Building a Shed
Still not sure you are ready to take on the task of building your own shed? No worries, I have put together a basic set of easy to follow steps you should take in building your shed.
These steps start with planning your shed and end with basic maintenance for your newly constructed shed. They are designed to give you a good start and contain plenty of good basic information along with a few good pictures to help you on your way.
When it comes to building your garden shed, the final choice between working from a set of shed plans or buying a ready to build kit is in your hands. You are the only one who truly knows whether you have the necessary skills to read and follow the plans.
If you think you are up for it, building a shed from scratch can be a very rewarding experience. If not, you could be setting yourself up for a really bad experience and you might be better off building your next shed from a good quality kit.
Here hoping I have given you a good start on your way to adding a shed to your garden or backyard.
I hope you have enjoyed reading the information I have put together here on shed plans and building your own garden shed.
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