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How to Build a Shed – Ebook

How to Build a Shed Ebook - ZacsGarden

​introducing: The ​best value guide to ​building a shed​

A fully updated guide to ​successfully building your own shed, including:
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    ​​straight forward advice. ​Everything you need to know about building your shed, in a broken down, easy to understand and follow process.
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    ​'what to do next' steps. ​There's no scratching your head and wondering why when each step has a clear and simple action plan to help you build.
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    4 FREE Shed Plans. ​Plans for 6x6, 8x8, 10x10 and 12x12 sheds included, as well as material lists and step by step building guides for each.

GET Access Now

Tica P,

Maryland

"This well-illustrated guide offers a range of building options, with complete instructions and plans for popular projects. He walks the reader through each step, from evaluating storage needs to basic construction to putting the finishing touches on the roof. The eBook it very easy to read and understand. It gave very detailed directions on how to build a shed from scratch."

In The eBook, You Will Discover:

​everything you need to know about permits

​Including when you need to get one and how to go about it if you do. You'll also discover the best way to use your local permit office when you are building your shed, and how to get them to actually help you.

​How to read shed plans

​Save yourself from making costly mistakes by understanding how to read shed plans. Learn what the different types of lines mean and all the other intricacies of a set of plans.

from foundation to roof

All aspects of building a shed, including the foundation, the floor, the walls and the roof. Get ready for your build and avoid learning the hard way.

​the a to z of shed security

​​Deter thieves and avoid break ins​. Learn the simple things that you can do to keep your shed and the stuff inside it safe.

​4 Bonus Shed Plans Included:

8x8 Plans Cover
Zac Spade Photo

​About the Author​

My name is Zac.
I am a father of a young family, ​as well as a woodwork teacher.
​​Educating everyday homeowners to ​build ​their sheds through ZacsGarden.com, ​​has been a great source of pride for me​. ​Now I am happy to release this eBook with everything I know on shed building.

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What People Are Saying

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​"We communicated via e-mail and he always answered all of my questions and concerns.  Thank you for being such a big help to my husband and I!"

​Tica P,

​Maryland, USA

​"The chapters are logically laid out and progress in the normal scheme of building a shed."

​Dale B,

​Victoria, A​ustralia

The Must Have Shed Building Guide for Every Home Owner

​What is included for $7 ?

​You get the 'How to Build a Shed' eBook with all the information in it you need to start building your shed.

PLUS

4 Shed plans​. Each set of plans come complete with detailed drawings, exploded labeled ​diagrams (so you can see what bits go where), a material / parts list, and a step-by-step how to guide.

Why Wait? Get the book now:

​How to Build a Shed eBook - ​FAQ

Is there a guarantee?

If you don't think that the eBook and shed plans are worth the price then I am happy to give you a full refund within ​60 days of your purchase.

Is the eBook advice applicable to where I live?

The building of a shed is universal. However the references to permit offices are general in nature, and applicable in most locations.

How and when will I receive my ebook?

When you purchase, after the billing page you will be taken straight to a members page which contains the links to the ebook, and shed plan files. From there you can download them, which should only take 1-2 minutes depending on your internet speed.

Can I contact you?

If you have any questions, queries or comments you can contact me at Zac at ZacsGarden dot com.

What format is the eBook and plans?

The eBook and shed plans come in .PDF format which can be read by internet browsers such as Chrome or Firefox and specialist readers such as Adobe Acrobat.

Who is ClickBank?

ClickBank is a the company that I have chosen to handle payments for this eBook. When you purchase, you will see ClickBank on your bank statement.


ClickBank is the retailer of products on this site. CLICKBANK® is a registered trademark of Click Sales, Inc., a Delaware corporation located at 1444 S. Entertainment Ave., Suite 410 Boise, ID 83709, USA and used by permission. ClickBank's role as retailer does not constitute an endorsement, approval or review of these products or any claim, statement or opinion used in promotion of these products.

© 2019 ​Zac Spade. All rights Reserved

Shed Foundation Kit Guide

Should You Put a Manufactured Shed Foundation Kit Under Your Shed?

foundation.photo

Long before you bolt the first two pieces of your new garden shed together, you need to decide what type of foundation it should be sitting on. Like any other structure, your needs a good strong foundation under it to perform at its best. When it comes to any type of building, the foundation's job is to support the walls just as their job is to support the roof. Nothing is more important to the life of your shed than a good foundation.

Getting Started

There are many reasons why you shouldn't just plop your shed on the ground. The lack of a foundation can lead to rot or rust, you will always be fighting the growth of weeds and grass in your shed, and in time you will find the doors no longer function properly. One option for putting a firm foundation under your shed is a foundation kit.

Some manufacturers offer foundation kits for their sheds and there are a number of companies that offer their own. These kits offer a firm foundation that can be used to support most standard sized sheds and come in various styles.

With some kits, you may need to purchase extra supplies. For example, the foundation kits offered by Arrow require you to buy multiple sheets of plywood to build the floor. Bear in mind you should never place your shed directly on the ground as this can lead to significant damage to the structure.

Should I Put a Substrate Down?

First, let's talk about what a substrate is. According to the dictionary, a substrate is a “substance or layer that underlies something.” Sounds a bit confusing, doesn't it? In this particular case, what we are talking about it putting something on the ground between it and your shed's foundation.  There are two different reasons for putting your shed's foundation on something besides plain dirt. First, a layer of gravel will give any water a way to drain into the soil. Secondly, using gravel will provide much better support for your shed's foundation and its accompanying shed along with everything you plan to put in it.

For this particular application, you should be able to use the larger size gravel as you want the spaces between each piece of gravel for drainage purposes.

Alternatively, you could use pavers spaced at intervals to provide the necessary support for your foundation. But, if you are going to do so, be sure you use enough to provide adequate support for your foundation and shed.

Foundation Kits Come in Different Styles

There are several different styles of shed foundation for you to choose from.

The Frame Foundation

Image courtesy of Haddi

This particular type of foundation is built as a framework with an outer frame along with inner stringers. The finished product may look a little like a studded wall laying on the ground or it may look like the game board from Celebrity Squares.  These foundations can be built from steel or wood and provide outstanding support for your shed.  Typically, they are bolted together for extra strength and durability, but some of the cheaper wood kits are nailed together (try to avoid these as they have a limited lifespan).

The Portable Base

Elegant-Storage-Shed-Base-Preparation-70-For-Your-Bike-Storage-Shed-Rubbermaid-with-Storage-Shed-Base-PreparationImage courtesy BlueCarrot.Com

Typically, these are made from timber pieces that can be assembled by two people in a short period of time. They are designed to be staked in place at all four corners using large spikes. Before installing this type of foundation, you should lay a sheet of plastic down and cover it with a layer of pea gravel for better drainage and keep weeds and grass from growing. The good thing about this type of shed foundation is that you can easily move it when the time comes.

The Ecobase Shed Foundation

nnj_web1_9b20ce70-1135-460e-a1d7-48e0a49bca01_largeImage courtesy nnjnettingsuppliesltd

This type of shed foundation uses a series of lightweight polyethylene grids that can be assembled to match the size of your shed and can be assembled in minutes. The grids are fully reusable, and can easily be cut to size as needed. These kits are relatively affordable and because they are lightweight can be shipped directly to your home. This material will not rot or rust a major problem with wood and metal foundations.

The Advantages of Using a Shed Foundation Kit

There are several advantages to using a shed foundation kit to support your shed, including:

No Worries About Your Soil Composition

concrete-slabImage courtesy Manisha

If you plan to use a concrete slab foundation, you have to worry about the composition of the soil where you plan to pour the slab. If your soil has a lot of clay in it, you have to worry about expansion and contraction over time. This will eventually cause your foundation to shift and crack.

No Worries About Tree Roots

foundation-problems-crack-concrete-slabImage courtesy of Today's Homeowner

If you have trees planted near the location you have in mind for your shed, they will eventually reach a point where they start to grow under your slab. In time, the roots will begin to lift your slab, causing it to crack and break. When you use a foundation kit, you don't have to worry about tree roots causing this type of damage.

No Worries About Drainage

IMG_20150913_152628Image courtesy of JeanandAaron 

Unless you take the time to build in proper drainage, you may end up with water coming up over the foundation and getting into your shed. In most cases, the average homeowner has no idea what the drainage is like where they plan to put their shed. Drainage is never a problem with a shed foundation kit.

Less Expensive

Unless you can pour your own slab, the average shed foundation kit will cost significantly less than having a cement company come to your house to pour your shed foundation. Even if you can pour your own cement, buy the time you pay for all the necessary tools, the framing, the cement, and the cement mixer, you will have spent far more money than the cost of the average foundation kit.

Do All Shed Manufacturers Offer Shed Foundation Kits?

Not all shed manufacturers offer purpose-built foundation kits for their sheds. Many believe the built-in floors they supply are all that is needed. Here is a look at the more popular brands and whether or not they offer foundation kits.

Brand Foundation Kit
Arrow Yes
Lifetime No
Duramax Yes
Best Barn No
Little Cottage Company No

This is only a small sample of the many shed manufacturers on the market, but they are also among the best-selling brands available. As you can see only a couple of the companies offer matching foundations. Many believe that the floor of their sheds is strong enough. But the reality is that even these sheds need to be supported by some form of foundation. But those that do offer foundation kits, offer kits that are perfectly matched and designed for their sheds, thus providing the best possible support.

Installing Your Shed Foundation Kit

There are several steps involved in the installation of your shed foundation kit.

Clear and Level the Ground

This may be the most important part of setting the foundation for your shed. Using the method described above, make sure the ground you plan to put your shed on is perfectly level. Not being level can lead to water intrusion, but it can also put undue stresses on certain areas of your shed, leading to early failure.

Prepare the Soil

Once you have leveled the loose soil, you have a couple of choices. You can tamp the soil down to create a firm base and place the foundation directly on the ground, but this is not necessarily your best option as the soil will eventually erode causing your shed to lean. A better plan would be to level the soil, place a layer of landscaping fabric on top of it, and then cover the fabric with a layer of pea gravel. This will provide a much firmer base for your shed foundation kit to sit on, plus you have improved drainage, and won't have to worry about erosion.

Build and Secure the Foundation Kit

Assemble your shed foundation kit according to the manufacturer's instructions and lay it in place on your prepared soil. Even if the manufacturer doesn't suggest securing the foundation in place, you should consider doing so. Use several large spikes hammered deep into the ground to secure the foundation firmly in place. By securing your shed's foundation to the ground, your shed is more likely to be able to withstand any high winds the area you live in happen to experience.

Complete the Installation

The last part of the installation is to add any flooring materials the manufacturers suggest. For example, Arrow foundations require the addition of sheets of 3/4-inch pressure treated plywood for flooring, before you put your shed on top of it. Once everything is in place, be sure to recheck the entire foundation for level before you install the shed.

As long as you have not installed the shed, you can always make any necessary adjustments. Once you have the weight of the shed to deal with, making any adjustments could be next to impossible.

Take Your Time

One last thought, be sure to take your time preparing the ground you plan to install your shed on. The success or failure of any building is only as good as the foundation it is built on. Make sure the shed foundation kit you choose is the right size for your shed and is strong enough to support the weight of your shed and everything you plan to put in it.

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6 x 6 Shed Plans

6×6 Garden Shed Plans & How to Guide

6x6 shed

THERE IS SOMETHING ABOUT BUILDING a shed from scratch. It can be more fun, more and you can put your stamp on it. Here is one design can easily be built over the course of a weekend.

Want to Download the Entire Set of 6×6 Shed Plans?

Basics of Shed Building

If you want to build this shed, there are a few things you will need and a few steps you should take before getting started.

Equipment List

  • Equipment List
  • Circular saw
  • Reciprocating saw
  • Drill
  • Screw gun
  • Shovel
  • Hammer
  • Tape measure
  • Square
  • Hammer
  • Drill bits
  • Rake
  • Sawhorses
  • Box knife
  • Scissors
  • Staple gun
  • Level
  • Carpenter's square

The Foundation

Prepared Ground

6 x 6 Shed Plans - Foundation

No shed is going to last very long if it is not sitting on level ground. Using a spirit level mounted on the side of a 12-foot-long 2×4, check the spot where you plan to place your shed to make sure it's level. One great way to make the spot level is to dig out the grass, loose the soil and then tamp it down checking constantly for level.

What goes under your shed is up to you. You can cover the area in pea gravel, pour a concrete slab, or use paving stones to create a solid foundation. The one thing you don't want to do is place your shed on bare soil as this will invite rot, water damage, and numerous pests to destroy your shed. Remember the best building in the world is only as good as the foundation it is sitting on.

Building the Floor Frame

6 x 6 Shed Plans - Floor Framing6 x 6 Shed Plans - Floor Plan

The floor frame is essentially a box frame with joists inside of it to provide support for the flooring.

  1. Build the outer frame by laying out the lumber in a square. Use a carpenter's to ensure that all four corners are perfectly square.
  2. Screw the corners together.
  3. Measure the inside of the square, and space out the joists evenly before screwing them into place. Be sure to use the carpenter's square to keep all joists perfectly square with the frame.
  4. Bolt the frame to the mudsills, these will be resting on the foundation and help keep the floor frame out of the mud.
  5. Cover the floor frame with 3/4-inch plywood sheathing screwed to the frame securely.

Construction

Next Up the Walls

6x6_side_wall_elevation6x6 Side Wall Frame6x6_Side_Wall_ Front_wall

Stick-built walls are built in much the same way as you just built the floor frame, flat on the ground. Each wall is built separately.

  1. Lay the top and bottom boards in place with the studs set at 18-inches-on-center or evenly spaced along the wall (your choice).
  2. Using 16d nails assemble the sides in place adding in any window and door headers.
  3. The walls can then be attached to the floor frame and each other using 16d nails.
  4. Attach the walls to each other using 16d nails and reinforce the corners using joist clip angles.

At all times when building each wall and when assembling the walls to the floor, be sure to use a level and a square. Building walls that are perfectly perpendicular to the ground and square with each other.

If you don't, building the rest of your shed is going to be that much more difficult. What you may not realize, is that building this shed is not much more (or less for that matter) than building a house. The success of the entire structure depends on the quality of your construction work from start to finish. Take your time at every phase of the construction in order to ensure the success of your project.

Building the Roof

6X6_shed-roof_plan

The roof you put on your shed will determine how well-protected everything you put inside will be. Built a crappy roof, the rains and snow will destroy it and flood the interior.

  1. Cut the joists as shown in the diagram, you will need eight of them. Exact measurements are vital here as the angles have to match up perfectly.
  2. Place the outer end rafters in place along with the ridge boards and nail them in place.
  3. Install the remaining rafters in place at 2-foot-on-center intervals. Install the two collar ties on the inner rafters.
  4. Install the 1/2-inch plywood sheathing to the rafters using 8d nails spaced at 10-inch intervals.
  5. Nail the fascia panels in place using 8d nails spaced at 12-inch intervals.
  6. Cover with builder's paper or tar paper to help protect the wood.
  7. Cover with shingles starting at the top of the roof on each side and then work your way down overlapping them as you work your way down.
  8. Install the ridge shingles, overlapping them from front to back.

While you could stick with tar paper for your roofing material, shingles will give you a much stronger and more weatherproof roof.

Joinery

Doors and Windows

6x6_door_detail

This shed has one door and two windows providing you with easy access and plenty of light and ventilation. Each must be properly framed in for maximum structural integrity.

  1. Cut the door frame hole out of the siding.
  2. Install the 2×4 frames in the doorway using 10d nails. Here again, your work needs to be perfect, especially the door frame to ensure the door will open and close smoothly.
  3. Add the trim around the framework and a doorsill.
  4. Install the hinges on the door, hold it in place and mark the location of the hinges on the door frame. Have a helper hold the door in place while you screw the hinges to the frame. At this point, double check that the door opens and closes smoothly.
  5. Cut the window holes out of the siding and frame them in with 2x4s.
  6. Add the inner stops to the frame and install the glass.
  7. Secure the glass in place by installing the outer stops.

You can use glass or Plexiglass for your windows. Glass has the added advantage of staying crystal clear and being easy to clean. Plexiglass is much easier to work with and doesn't break, but at the same time, it will yellow and become cloudy over time. Both will keep the rain, snow, dust, debris, thieves, and the local cats out.

Voila One Shed

6x6_shed

If you have followed along, by now you should have a complete 6×6 foot shed sitting in your garden and ready to be used. The only thing left for you to do is to decide what color you want it to be. You need to paint your shed in order to protect the wood from Mother Nature. If you don't, the wood will quickly rot and become severely damaged.

Additional Information

  • Instead of standard plywood for the wall sheathing, you can use marine plywood or pressure treated lumber. But if you do, you will need to use a saw blade that is designed to cut this type of wood or you risk ruining your saw.
  • Nothing is more important than building a solid foundation for your shed. Your best bet is to dig 4 inches down into the ground, loosen the soil, and use a power tamper (you can rent one from your local equipment rental store) to pack it down and level it off.
  • The type of foundation you build, gravel and pavers or a poured cement pad is up to you. The most important things are that it is perfectly level and strong enough to support the weight of your shed and everything in it.
  • Be sure your foundation pad is at least 12 inches larger all the way around the shed than the outer size of your shed. This will help keep grass from growing up to the side of your shed and causing damage. This will also make it much easier for you mow the lawn. At the same time, building the foundation like this will help keep water from building up around and under your shed where it can cause significant damage to the structure and everything you have inside it.

Want to Download the Entire Set of 6×6 Shed Plans?

Conclusion

The most important thing you can do during the construction of your shed is to make good use of a square and level to ensure your final product is perfectly square. This will ensure all the pieces fit together properly and that the door will function smoothly. Other than this, take your time, being in a hurry typically results in errors being made, many of which can be costly to overcome (i.e. buying more lumber).

Building a 6×6-foot garden shed is something that anyone who is good with tools should be able to do. As with any other type of “stick built” project, I can't stress enough the importance of measuring twice and cutting once. For myself, I measure thrice just to be on the safe side. This shed is easy to build, take your time, have fun, and enjoy the results of your hard work.

If you build this shed I would love to see some photos. You can send them to me here or connect with ZacsGarden on Pinterest or Facebook.

Paver Shed Foundation

How to Lay a Paver Shed Foundation

If you are planning to build or add a garden shed to your backyard, the most important step is to build a firm foundation for it to sit on.

A good paver shed foundation is the perfect base for your shed and not as hard to build as you might think.

First the Good News

Since building a paver shed foundation involves a certain amount of hard labor, it is always good to know just how much work you are going to be involved in.

The good news is that unless you are building a massive shed that is more like a barn than a shed, you should be able to complete this project in a weekend, leaving you with a little time at the end of each day for an ice-cold beer or two. On top of this, once your foundation is complete, it will be immediately ready for use, unlike concrete that needs time to cure before it can be used.

Before You Get Started

shed_pavement_land_preparationimage courtesy of ShedKing.Net

Before you start building your garden shed or laying the paver shed foundation, you need to take a good look at the ground in the area you plan to install your new shed.  There are a few things to be taken into consideration before you choose your final location.

Slope

If at all possible choose an area that is already reasonably level. Not only will this make building a level paver shed foundation much easier, it will take fewer materials and less time to build.

Drainage

You should never build any type of foundation on ground that does not drain well. Ground that is continuously wet or subjected to flowing water is only likely to erode potentially causing significant problems further down the line.

Too Hard to Dig

No matter how you plan to install the pavers, try to avoid ground that is simply too hard to dig in or has a lot of rocks just below the surface. All you will be doing is creating more work for yourself or putting yourself in an almost impossible position.

Soil That is Too Soft

It should go without saying that you should not pick an area of your yard or garden where the ground constantly remains wet and soft. At least if you don't want to see your paver shed foundation and shed to tilt into the ground.

Paving Slabs – Choosing the Right Ones

council-paving-slabs-2Image courtesy of Watling Reclamation

The next good thing on our list is that pavers are very simple to find and come in an incredible array of sizes, shapes, and colors. You can go for the basic square concrete colored paver or step up to colors and patterns that extend beyond the walls of your shed to create a patio.

For the most part I prefer to use pavers that are 2 inches thick and 12 inches square. They are more than strong enough to support the shed when you build a proper paver shed foundation. At the same time, they are light enough for you to handle without too much strain. These should be readily available at your nearest discount hardware superstore or local garden store.

What Tools and Supplies Do You Need?

While you could simply lay the pavers on flat ground and call it a foundation, this is really not the best idea. But if you are going to build a paver shed foundation that will not only support the weight of your shed, but also last a lifetime, you will need a few tools and supplies to get the job done.  These include:

  • One or more bags of cement
  • One of more bags of builder's cement
  • A sufficient amount of gravel
  • Several pegs and a roll of string
  • A rubber mallet
  • A spirit level and a long 2×4
  • Sufficient pavers to cover the entire area
  • Stout leather gloves
  • Plastic or metal garden border
  • Vibrating compactor (from the nearest rental store)

Getting Started

Since your new paver shed foundation must be built strong enough to last for many years, every step of the building process has to be completed carefully and exactly, starting with marking out the space you plan to use.

To do this mark out each side of the space forming a square. The easiest way to make sure all four corners are square is to measure the distance between each pair of diagonally opposed corners. If they are the same, your corners are square. This method will work for both square and rectangular shaped foundations.

It's Time to Start Digging

Now that you have the area needed for your foundation marked out, it's time to get started with the fun part. So, grab your favorite work gloves and shovel and start digging. You need to dig the area to a depth of approximately six inches. This will give enough space for the gravel base, the sand and cement filler, and the pavers, leaving them at or just above ground level.

Once you have the soil dug out to the appropriate level, it needs to be compacted. Break out that rented vibrating compactor and go to town. Depending on the size of your foundation, this shouldn't take very long. However, it is a very important step as your foundation needs a firm base to stand upon.

Add the Gravel

The next step is to add a one-inch layer of gravel to the hole. Be sure to use either 21A or 21B gravel as it contains fillers to help fill in the air gaps between the pieces of gravel providing you with a much firmer base.

gravel-pavementImage courtesy of DIY Network

Once again you need to use the compactor to pack the gravel in place and create a smooth flat surface. Be sure to check your gravel layer using the 2×4 and spirit level to ensure it is perfectly level before proceeding to the next step.

Time for Sand

Mix together the sand and cement and then add a 2-inch layer of this mixture to the gravel. Smooth out the sand and then compact it to form a tightly compacted layer that is perfect level or as close as you can get to it. Making sure each layer is level is vital to the finished product. If one layer ends up being off kilter then every other layer you add on top of it will be off as well. The final result will be a shed that sits tilted and may end up being damaged.

sand_pavementImage courtesy of the DIY Network

It's Paver Time

Lay the pavers in the appropriate pattern covering the entire area and check each for level with the others. If you find any that are not level, you can use the rubber mallet to tap them down at each corner until they are level. Take your time with this step as any paver that happens to be out of level might crack or break once the shed is put in place, leaving a weak spot in your finished foundation.

Image courtesy of Paving Directorylaying a paver shed foundation

Add the Border

Whether you decided on the plastic or metal garden border, take it and install it around the outer edges of the pavers. It needs to be placed as close as possible to the pavers, any gap only leaves a place for weeds to grow. Anchor the border to the ground using the spikes provided with it or stakes you have purchased separately.
pavement_borderImage courtesy of Pinterest

Finishing Up

Spread a layer of the cement and sand mixture used in the foundation over the top of the pavers. Use a broom to spread the sand into the gaps, filling them in until they are flush with the pavers. Using your garden hose and a fine mist nozzle, lightly dampen the entire surface of your new paver shed foundation and walk away.

The water will cause the blend of sand and cement to solidify, permanently holding the pavers in place and creating an exceptionally strong foundation. It will also seal the gaps between the pavers, helping to keep water, ice, and snow from getting under the pavers and causing them to lift or crack. If you don't do this step, your foundation is likely to fail earlier than it should.

patio-pavers-1Image courtesy of SmashingPlates.US

Extra Information You Need to Know

  • If you have never created your own cement/sand mixture, it should be mixed in the ratio of one-part dry cement to eight parts dry sand.
  • Once the sand/cement mix has filled in the gaps, sweep the rest of it off the pavers. This way they won't turn into a hardened mixture that will affect the way your shed sits on the pavers.
  • The best way to lay pavers is to start in one corner and work your way out. Once you have the sand/cement level compacted in place, you should avoid walking on it as your footprints could affect the how level the pavers are when they are installed.
  • Don't be tempted to use large size gravels such as 56s or 57s as they do not contain the extra fillers found in 21A and 21B gravels. These fillers help hold the gravel in place by filling in the air gaps between each piece of gravel. Their absence will allow the gravel to shift as the soil erodes over the course of time.
  • Your finished foundation should be at least 12 to 18 inches larger on each side than the shed to help reduce the risk of ground erosion and to keep your shed nice and level.

Conclusion

There is a fair amount of work involved in laying a paver shed foundation. However, when you are done and sitting back looking at your new foundation, you will find all the hard work more than worth it. Of anything you can do when building your foundation, making sure each subsequent level is as level as you can possibly make it is the most important.

A tilted shed may have doors that don’t open and close properly, windows that won't work, and poor water drainage. Take your time with every step and you will have a paver shed foundation that might just outlast a shed or two.

If this has helped you with building your shed. Please let me know by contacting me hereYou can see more ZacsGarden on Facebook or Pinterest. Thanks for reading.

How to Build a Pier Shed Foundation

How to Build a Pier Shed Foundation

IS THE GROUND IN YOUR backyard uneven?

or

Does it tend to collect water right where you plan to build your shed?

If you answered yes to either of these questions, then building a pier foundation might be for you.

Since most sheds have a wooden floor, keeping it out of the water is an important part of making your shed last as long as possible. Building a shed in a place that you know is regularly damp may also void your warranty if you buy yourself a shed kit.

This article will help you with pier basics, including the different types of common pier foundations found, the tools and supplies you need as well as how to build a good shed foundation with piers.

First, check the Rules

Before you set out to build your pier foundation or add a shed to your backyard, the first thing you need to do is check the rules. Most localities have their own regulations regarding how your shed's foundation can be built, what type of materials can be used, and the size and location of your shed.

The good news is that if you are building a small shed then there is unlikely to be any requirements from the permit office (you can use a map to find your local permit office online, and see their requirements here). If you don’t take the time to figure out the rules before you get started, you may find yourself tearing it all down and starting over. At the same time, you might find yourself paying a relatively large fine for doing it wrong in the first place.

Two Types of Pier

There are two common types of piers use to build shed foundation, treated lumber posts, and concrete. The number of piers needed to properly support your shed is based on the overall size of the shed you plan to build.  The concrete piers with a pre-attached wood nailer must be buried into the ground, while the lumber ones must be placed in a hole and secured in place with cement.

pier shed foundation
The most common of these is the latter, typically made from pressure treated 4 x 4 lumber that is set in concrete creating a strong foundation for your shed. However, both styles can be used with equal success. The rest of it lies in how well you do the job of laying your foundation.

Tools You Will Need to Lay a Pier Shed Foundation

You need a number of tools to do this job right, including:

  • Rake – to help clear the ground and level it
  • Shovel – to help level the ground and dig the holes needed for the piers
  • Gloves – to keep your hands from being ruined
  • String – to mark the perimeter and pier locations
  • Tape Measure – to make sure you have the piers in the right locations
  • Level – to make sure the foundation of your shed is perfectly level
  • Large Hammer – to set the piers in place
  • Stakes – to mark the corners and pier locations

Supply List

  • Piers – either cement with wood nailers or pressure treated lumber (typically 4x4s)
  • Cement – if you are using wood piers
  • Screws – buy the ones made for use in pressure treated lumber as they are treated so they won't rust
  • Cordless screwdriver – make sure yours is powerful enough to drive the screws through the piers and into your foundation
  • Lumber – for your foundation
  • Gravel – to lay in the bottom of the pier holes in the ground.
  • Lengths of 2×4 – used to hold the piers upright until the cement has dried fully
  • Post Caps – to hold the foundation to the piers

Preparing the Ground

ground_preparation_for_pier_foundationImage courtesy of StorageSheds.org

The first step in laying a pier foundation is to prepare the ground where your shed is going to sit. Carefully scrape away any grass, roots, or debris to expose the soil. If the area does not drain properly consider digging down approximately 4 to 6 inches and filling the area with pea gravel. This will help to improve overall drainage.

Marking Out the Pier Locations

Start by marking out the perimeter of your shed, use stakes to mark the corners and run string between them.

Once you have marked out the corners, your next step is to mark the location of each pier needed to support your shed.  The recommended location of each pier is 4 feet on center. A simpler way to explain this is to create a grid matching the length and width of your shed. Then create a grid in which each square measures four feet by four feet. It should look like this:

mark_pier_locationsEach of these blocks measures exactly four feet by four feet

At each point where the lines of your grid intersect is where you will be placing the piers. Now that you know how many piers will be needed, you can buy the right number of premade concrete and wood piers or the correct amount of lumber and cement.

Now that you have a map of where you plan to lay the piers on paper, it's time to mark out the locations on the ground. There are a couple of ways you can do this. First, you can run strings along the ground to create the same grid pattern you have on paper and use the points at which they intersect to mark the spot (similar in many ways to “X” marks the spot.

Alternatively, you can measure each location carefully and use spray paint to mark the locations. However, this method may not be as accurate as the crossed string method above.

No matter which of these methods you choose, take your time. Accuracy is of the utmost importance at this point if you want your shed to be properly supported no matter what you plan to store in it.

Digging In

With all pier locations marked on the ground, it's time to dig in, literally. Grab your favorite leather work gloves and your favorite shovel, you have a lot of digging to do.  Each hole should be 12 inches in diameter and should be dug down at least 12 inches below the frost line in your area. If you are not sure where this line is, you can ask your local city regulatory board, they should have the information for you.

pier_foundation_diginImage courtesy of Deck Piers Depth

Make the holes round instead of square as cylindrical shapes offer far more support than square ones. If you look at many of today's bridges, they feature round piers for support. This follows along the same basic concept.

Pour 4 to 6 inches of gravel into the bottom of each hole and tamp it down. This will create a firm foundation for the wood or concrete piers.

If you are using pre-made concrete and wood piers, you can simply set them in the hole and fill in the holes around them. Once the foundation is attached, they are not going to move.

If you plan to use wood piers, place each pier in a hole, pour cement that has been mixed according to the instructions into the hole so that the hole is filled almost to the top.

At this point, you need to attach a pair of 2x4s to the pier and use your level to ensure the pier remains perfectly upright while the cement sets up. This is perhaps the most important step of the entire process. Piers that are not perfectly set can have a major negative impact on how level and well-supported your shed will be.

If you are using pre-made piers, you need to check for level as you are adding the soil back into the hole. You may even want to use smaller rocks and gravel to help add more support and stability for the piers.

Getting Ready for the Foundation

Before you move on to the next phase, adding the foundation, you need to give the cement plenty of time to set. It takes an average of 24 hours for the properly mixed cement to become hard enough to walk on. But it takes approximately 28 days for it to become fully cured and strong enough to hold your wood piers securely in place. If you try to work any faster, you run the risk of damaging the cement and in doing so reducing the risk of your foundation cracking.

pier_foundation_cementImage courtesy of Chezerbey

After letting the cement cure for the required 28 days, it's time to move onto the next phase. Getting everything ready for your new shed.

Now is the time to decide how far off the ground you want the foundation of your shed to sit. Starting with the shortest post, cut it off to match this height.  If possible start at one corner and then move to the opposite corner and do the same.

Use a two by four laying on top of these to mark the rest of the piers so they can be cut to the right height. As long as your 2×4 is not warped this will give a far more accurate measure than trying to do so by measuring each post.

At the same time, if you are using pre-made concrete piers, you will still need to do the same thing to make sure your shed will be level once it is set in place.

Attaching the Foundation

The last part involves creating the final foundation for your shed to sit on. There are two ways you can attach the 4×4 framework to the piers. One is to use metal over the top straps, the other is to uses metal mending plates. Both can be used to bolt the pier to the foundation runner.

DO NOT attempt to simply screw the foundation runners to the piers as this type of junction will not provide the necessary amount of structural strength.

pier_foundation_frameImage courtesy of Artistic Wood Products

The 4x4s are the basis upon which you will be building the rest of the foundation for your shed to sit on.

All that is left now is for you to build the framework upon which your shed will be laid to rest. Follow the instructions that came with your shed or see our tutorial on building frameworks for your shed to sit on.

Down to the Last Pier

Which type of pier shed foundation you choose should be based on the land you have to work with, your budget, and how comfortable you are with this type of construction work. Personally, when I built the pier foundation for my shed, I started from scratch with several lengths of pressure treated 4x4s, a load of gravel, and several bags of pre-mixed cement. In the end, I believe this type of pier shed foundation provides the strongest base for most sheds.

I hope this information has been useful to you and helps you decide which type of shed pier foundation to build for your shed.

If you need more information why not join a Facebook group or check out the many projects on Pinterest. Thank you for reading.

Gravel Shed Foundation

How to Lay a Gravel Shed Foundation

A gravel shed foundation - different sized gravel fills in all the gaps to stop water hanging around

THE MOST POPULAR FOUNDATION material for a shed is gravel. It's easy to work with, lasts virtually forever, is environmentally friendly, and most of all a gravel foundation will provide exceptional support for your shed.

More importantly, most of today's shed manufacturers recommend you build a gravel shed foundation before they deliver your shed to you. Here are three very important reasons why you should plan on building a gravel pad for your new shed:

Load Carrying Ability

One of the reasons a gravel foundation is one of the most popular choices for garden sheds, is that it allows you to spread the weight of your shed and everything it in over the surface of the entire foundation. Other forms of shed foundation such as concrete piers focus all of the weight on smaller areas putting more stress on the framework of your shed, increasing the risk of significant damage.

Level Ground

Even if your backyard is not level or has a small amount of slope to it, a gravel pad gives you the opportunity to create a solid level base upon which to place your shed.  By using a wood frame, you can overcome a reasonable amount of slope.

Closer to the Ground

Concrete piers, wood frame foundations, even concrete slabs can raise the floor height of your shed more than you want. Trust me, there is nothing worse than trying to get a lawn mower or other heavy items in and out of a shed that is sitting too high. A gravel shed foundation lets you control the height of your shed and can even let you put your shed at ground level (or at least only slightly above it).

Should I Build a Retaining Wall or Go Free Form?

The next major decision is do you build retaining walls to hold the gravel in place or do you go crazy and make your foundation free form?

As we go through the rest of the process, I will go over the benefits of both forms of pad. Each has their own unique features and benefits. Some of this decision is based on the space you have to work with, the type of gravel you plan to use, and the quality of the ground in your backyard.

What Kind of Gravel Should You Use?

Let's face it, to most of us, gravel is nothing more than a bunch of crushed up rocks. And while to a certain extent this might be true, there is more to gravel than meets the eye. Gravel comes in a wide range of types and grades, each of which has their uses. There are two main categories of gravel:

The Best Types of Gravel to Use for Your Foundation

21A and 21B Gravel

Image courtesy Hacker Services LLC (ping pong ball used to show relative size)

There is little difference between these two types of gravel are minor, but for a gravel shed foundation, the 21A variety is the better choice. Often referred to as “1-inch crusher-run gravel” both of these types of gravel have other fine materials mixed in with them. This material helps to fill in the gaps between the larger gravel pieces making it a more stable foundation that will not settle once your shed is placed on it.

The Wrong Types of Gravel for Your Shed Foundation

Gravel, Stone and Crushed Concrete over 1″ (with no smaller bits)

larger gravel not suitable for shed foundationsImage courtesy Hacker Services LLC

Although these grades of gravel can be similar in size to 21A and 21B, they do not contain any fine materials to help fill in the gaps. This means there is nothing to help hold the gravel in place leaving it to shift around rather than settle into a firm foundation. On top of this, once you place your shed on the foundation, the gravel can still move around, allowing your shed to sink into the ground. This can also cause your shed to become unlevel, which can cause damage to the structure.

Got Wood?

gravel pad with timber frameImage courtesy thecoverguy.com

If you decide to build a retaining frame around your gravel shed foundation rather than go with a free-form foundation, it is important you use the right type of lumber for the structure. The temptation might be to use standard lumber such as 2x6s to save money, but this is a bad choice. You may also be tempted to use creosote coated lumber such as old railroad ties. As long as you have no intention of growing edible vegetables or fruit within 50 feet of your foundation, this might be okay.

The problem with this is that creosote contains a range of toxic chemicals that are known to be hazardous to your health. The reality is that you really shouldn't use this type of lumber anywhere near your garden. Standard lumber is not strong enough, nor will it (as I found out the hard way) last very long once you bury it in the ground.

The best choice for building the framework around your gravel shed foundation is pressure treated lumber such as 4x4s or 6x6s. Not only will they provide you with a much stronger framework, being pressure treated will help ensure they last for many years without rotting and allowing the gravel to spread out, letting your shed down gradually.

Pinning the Timbers in Place

If you plan to build a framework out of timbers, they must be anchored in place before you pour the gravel into your form. If you plan to use a single layer of timbers, you can use lengths of rebar to secure them in place. However, if you need to use more than one layer of timbers, you should use galvanized spikes.

These are available in a variety of lengths to meet your needs at your local hardware superstore. Be sure to buy spikes that are long enough to go through the number of boards you plan to use and then at least 12 inches into the ground to ensure the timbers stay in place.

What Tools Do You Need?

Just like any other major project you plan to undertake in your garden, there are a certain number of tools needed to build a gravel shed foundation. Among these are:

  • Shovel – There is lots of digging to be done
  • Spirit Level – to ensure your finished shed is perfectly level
  • Leather Gloves – to protect your hands
  • Circular Saw – to cut the timbers to size
  • Tape measure – for obvious reasons
  • Small Sledge Hammer – to set the timbers and drive the spikes and rebar into place
  • Vibrating Compactor – to compact the gravel in place before placing your shed

Let's Build a Gravel Shed Foundation

Now that I have gone over the basics regarding the materials you are likely to need, the next step is to go over building your gravel shed foundation one step at a time, starting with building a retaining wall.

Retaining Wall Construction

In order to determine how much timber it will take to build the retaining wall, you need to know the overall size of your shed and then add three feet to both the width and the length. This will provide you with enough room for your shed and an extended footer around it to help keep water from getting in it.

Mark Your Territory

Start by marking one corner of your shed with a stake and then mark the other three with stakes. Be sure you have added the required extra space. One way to be sure the stakes are set at the right spots is to measure diagonally between pairs of corners. Much like an equilateral triangle, these measurements should be the same.

Level the Ground

Using level find the lowest corner of the ground you plan to use and cut a trench into the ground that goes all the way around the perimeter of your shed. Bear in mind your timbers should be inside the lines created by the stakes you have driven into the ground. (Be sure you use the level to ensure the trench is perfectly level all the way around.

Start Building

Start out by laying your first layer of timbers in the trench. Next drill several holes through each board and secure them to the ground using rebar or galvanized spikes.

Add More Timbers

Wherever necessary, add in extra timbers offsetting each corner in much the same manner used in the construction of a log home. This will help to keep the timbers in place. Now secure the timbers together using galvanized spikes spaced out every two to three feet driven into the timber below.

Phase Two – Break Out the Shovel

Now comes the fun part, you have a hole in the ground inside the timbers for your gravel shed foundation, the only problem is that it is still full of dirt.

Getting Started

Grab a shovel a pair of gloves and a wheelbarrow to haul away the extra soil.

Start Digging

Depending on the size of your shed, you have a lot of soil to remove. So, put on your leather gloves, grab that shovel, and put it to work. You will need to remove enough soil to lower the level of the ground inside the frame you just finished building until it is at least four inches lower at its highest point below the top of the highest timber.

Add the Gravel

Finally, it's time to add in the gravel. Be sure you are using 21A or at least 21B gravel. Pour in no more than a 4-inch layer and then use the vibrating compactor to compact the gravel firmly in place. This ensures it won't continue to settle once you have your shed in place.

Make a Screed

Use a “screed” (which is a fancy name for a length of wood that reaches from one side of your timber frame to the other) to level the top of the gravel shed foundation. The screed will help reduce the high spots in your gravel by moving the excess gravel into the low spots, filling them in.

Layer by Layer

Continue doing this until the layer of gravel is level with or slightly below the top of your timbers.

Congratulations!

You have just finished building your first gravel shed foundation. Now all you need to do is install your shed and fill it with everything that goes with it.

Building a Free Form Gravel Shed Foundation

The only time you should consider building a free-form foundation for your shed is if the ground you plan to put it on is perfectly flat. If you try to use this type of foundation on sloping ground, there is the distinct possibility that the ground under your foundation will erode out from underneath it.

No matter whether you plan to build your free-form foundation on flat ground or a slope, be sure the gravel pad you create is approximately 18 inches bigger on all four sides than your shed. Doing this will allow for a certain amount of corrosion to occur without affecting the stability of your shed.

Start with Level Ground

On a level piece of ground, mark out the corners of your gravel shed foundation allowing for at least 12 inches on each side. Thus, if you have an 8 x 10 shed, your stakes should be set to create a space that measures 10 x 12 feet.

Grab Your Favorite Shovel

It's that time again, grab your gloves and favorite shovel. Remove the top four inches of sod and soil from the space between the markers.

Create a Temporary Frame

Using a number of 2x4s build a temporary framework around the sides of your foundation hole and stake them in place. You can use the stakes and timbers to create a level frame and set the height of the foundation.

Fill the Hole

Fill the hole in with gravel and use a screed to level off the gravel.

Compact the Gravel

Using a Compactor to compact a gravel driveway

Use a vibrating compactor to compact the gravel add more gravel to the foundation until you have a pad that is perfectly level and well compacted, then remove the temporary framework.

Congratulations

Once again, congratulations you have built a gravel shed foundation ready to install your new shed in place.

Video

Here's a quick video of the process of preparing a gravel pad for your shed.

Important Notes

There are a few important notes you should be aware of before getting started.

  1. Never build your gravel shed foundation off level, the shed delivery people will only have to level it before they drop off your shed or you will before you can build on the pad.
  2. You can't get away with simply dumping the gravel on the ground and spreading it around with a rake, as this will not create a level foundation for your shed.
  3. Put the gravel down in layers and compact it in between each layer (stick to 4-inch layers). If you don't do this, the gravel will continue to settle after you put the shed on it.
  4. Use the right type of gravel, avoid pea gravel as this type of gravel cannot be properly compacted.
  5. If you plan to add a concrete pad over the gravel foundation, you must dig down at least 8 inches to allow for 4 inches of gravel and 4 inches of poured concrete.
  6. If you plan to add pavers to the top of the gravel, dig down at least 8 inches to allow for the thickness of the pavers and that sand layer you must build between the gravel and the pavers. The sand gives the pavers something to settle into that will help hold them in place and a bed that will ensure they won't crack.

Conclusion

Building a gravel shed foundation does involve a fair amount of hard work. But, the most important thing you need to keep in mind, is that whether you build a framed in foundation or a free-form one, it has to be as close to perfectly level as possible before you put your shed on it. If not, you face the possibility of soil erosion that could end up damaging your shed. I hope this information helps you create the perfect gravel foundation for your garden shed.

If you need more information why not join a Facebook group or check out the many projects on Pinterest.

 

10 Great Ideas for Secure Garbage Can Storage

10 Great Ideas for Secure Garbage Can Storage That’s Also Neat & Tidy

Raven feeding on rubbish from a rubbish bin in a city

ARE YOU SICK AND TIRED or looking at your smelly trash cans sitting beside or behind your house?

Do they seem to constantly attract all kinds of birds, bugs, rodents, and other pests?

Are you looking for some type of secure garbage can storage, but not really up to building what you need from scratch?

I know the feeling as I needed something for my trash cans and being pushed for time, did a little looking around to see what's out there. The good news is that there are a number of great models on the market at reasonable prices for you to choose from.

Things You Should be Looking for in Secure Garbage Can Storage Units

There are of course several things you need to consider before you start shopping for your garbage can storage shed. I recommend you keep all of these in mind while doing your homework to make sure you have the highest possible chance of getting the right one the first time.

  • Cost –  Start out by deciding how much you can afford to spend. Personally, I set two different amounts, the first is the amount I really want to spend, if I can find what I am looking for at this amount, then I consider it a win. Secondly, I set a maximum amount or how much more I am willing to spend if I find exactly what I am looking for and the price is more than I originally wanted to spend. (This gives me just a little bit of flexibility)
  • Size –  Like so many things in life, when it comes to secure garbage can storage, size does count. You need a storage unit that is big enough to fit all of your outdoor garbage cans and recycling bins. Anything smaller will still leave you with a smelly mess you and your neighbors will be able to see and smell.
  • Materials – Today, the most common materials used in the construction of garbage can storage sheds are either plastic or wood. Plastic typically costs significantly less (depending on brand), but wood may be better suited to climates where there is a lot of snow.
  • Appearance – While you might not think about the appearance of the structure you are buying to hide your garbage cans, your neighbors certainly will. Your best option is to buy a storage shed that blends into your yard rather than one that stands out like a sore thumb or for that matter an overflowing stinky garbage can.
  • Number of Doors –  This varies based on size and design, from those with a single front door to two doors and/or an openable roof. Make your choice based on the number of bins you plan to put in it and whether or not you want easy through the roof access. Bear in mind that the more doors your garbage can storage unit has, the more it is likely to cost.

One more thing to consider when shopping for a garbage can storage unit is whether you plan to use it for any other type of storage. For example, do you plan to store the family's bikes in there or a few garden tools? If so, you need to make sure that the final storage unit you buy is big enough to fit everything comfortably.

10 Great Secure Garbage Can Storage Units Worth Taking a Look At

1. Leisure Season Large Horizontal Refuse Storage Shed   

Three doors down or up as needed with this shed built to hold two full-size wheelie bins

LEISURE SEASON Large Horizontal Refuse Storage Shed

This large 3-door secure garbage can storage unit is made from tongue and groove planks and outdoor quality hardware for extra durability. The lid is curved to help eliminate snow, ice, and water build up and there is plenty of room for two large wheelie bins. With the doors open, rolling the bins in and out is a breeze. This shed is easy to assemble and comes with hydraulic lifts for the lid so you can open it easily with one hand.

Pros Cons
Solid wood construction Materials seem a bit flimsy
Easy to assemble Needs to be clear coated for better protection
Acrylic protective coating for longevity Lid can be hard to close for taller people

 

2. Suncast BMS4700 The Stow-Away Horizontal Storage Shed  

Reinforced floor with ramp makes rolling your trash cans in and out easier

Suncast_BMS4700_Garbage_ShedSUNCAST BMS4700 The Stow-Away Horizontal Storage

Made from blow-molded plastic, this garbage can storage shed is big enough to hold two 96-gallon wheelie bins. The sloping lid is mounted on a pair of pneumatic lifts to make opening it easier. The poly material used is UV and weather resistance and will hold up to the hottest days of summer and the coldest days of winter without rusting, corroding, or rotting. The two-tone gray finish fits in with most exterior decors and keeps the entire shed quite low-key.

Pros Cons
Blow Molded Plastic is strong and durable Must be placed on level ground or a foundation
Lots of interior space Takes a while to assemble
Moderately priced Poor quality manufacturing

 

3. Keter Store-It-Out MAX Outdoor Resin Storage Shed    

Wood grain good looks, polypropylene resin and steel construction for durability

Keter_Store_It_Out_MAX_Outdoor_Garbage_ShedKETER Store-It-Out Max Outdoor Resin Horizontal Storage

This stylish garbage can storage shed offers a lovely wood grain texture in neutral colors that will blend nicely into your yard. Made from polypropylene resin with steel reinforcement this shed will provide your trash bins with many years of protection. Like most good outdoor storage units, this one features two doors and an easy open roof. The roof features a “linking system” that lifts the tops of your trash bins when you raise the roof, making it easier than ever to throw your trash in the bin.

4. RubbishWrap Outdoor Garbage Enclosure – Trash Bin Shed Storage Double Unit     

Snap-together assembly lets you put this storage unit together in 5 minutes

RubbishWrap_Outdoor_Garbage_shedRubbishWrap_Outdoor_Garbage_shedRUBBISHWRAP Outdoor Garbage Enclosure

This garbage can storage unit may not have a roof, but what it lacks in a roof, it more than makes up for this lack in style. Made from a material that is wind, UV, and weather resistant, you can paint it to suit your exterior décor. The doors lift up out of the way for loading and unloading trash bins up to 96 gallons in size, the largest bins currently in use in the U.S. The best part is that the whole thing can be snapped together in five minutes without tools.

Pros Cons
Material is capable of being painted High cost
Very aesthetically pleasing appearance Not strong enough to keep larger animals out
Rapid Assemble Material easily damaged by weedeater string

 

5. Suncast BMS3400 34 cu. ft. Horizontal Shed    

Reinforced floor holds more weight than many sheds

Suncast_BMS3400_garbage_shedSUNCAST HorizonTal Shed

One of the best things about this storage shed from Suncast, is that it has a heavy-duty floor.  While most of us really don't need this for our trash cans, it can come in handy if you ever plan to use it for something else. The wood grain texture and neutral finish let this garbage can storage shed blend smoothly into your yard. Doors even have a built-in hasp so you can secure your bins with a padlock.

Pros Cons
Reasonably priced Only fits up to 43-gallon trash cans
Easy to assemble Hinges break off
Heavy-duty floor Needs to be placed on a solid foundation

 

6. Rubbermaid Outdoor Horizontal Storage Shed, Large

Features double walls for added strength and durabilityRUBBER

Rubbermaid_Outdoor_Horizontal_Storage_ShedRUBBERMAID Outdoor Horizontal Storage

This is not just meant to be a garbage can storage unit, it can be used for a  wide range of storage needs. Coming from Rubbermaid, it is (as you might expect) made from heavy-duty plastic that is dent, leak, and weather resistant.  Comes with notches for shelving molded into the sides to add more storage options. Total storage capacity is 32 cubic feet, giving it room for up to three standard size trash cans.

Pros Cons
Double wall construction for added strength Instructions are not correct or easy to follow
Room for 2 to 3 trash cans Doors do not stay in place wind blows open
Needs to be on a flat solid base Animals can get into your trash cans

 

7. Suncast FS4423 Outdoor Screen Enclosure

Elegant enclosure with no roof for your bins

61uruCfAnyL._SL1500_SUNCAST Outdoor Screen Enclosure

Not everyone needs or wants a garbage can storage enclosure that has a roof on it. This one can be used to screen your bins from the public eye and thanks to the lack of a roof, is very easy to get in and out of. The set comes with four panels and five posts that you can use to form an “L”, a “U”, or even a zigzag as needed. The resin material used to manufacture this screen is very durable and will resist the sun's UV rays as well as freezing temperatures. Each panel measures 23 inches wide.

Pros Cons
Very easy to assemble No roof to keep out weather and pests
No roof makes getting in and out easy Steel posts may eventually rust
Can be used for more than hiding your trash cans Blows over easily in the wind

 

8. Outdoor Living Today – Oscar Waste Management Shed  

Room for your garbage, compost, and recyclables

outdoor_living_waste_storage_shedOutdoor Living Today Oscar Waste Management Shed

The garbage can storage shed has room for a pair of 58-gallon trash cans or three smaller ones. Made from Western Red Cedar, this shed should provide you with many years of reliable service in virtually any type of weather. The arched lid makes it much easier for you to access the tops of your bins easily and has a pair of gas-charged cylinders to hold it up. The double front doors and lid fit together snugly to help keep critters on the outside.

Pros Cons
Western Red Cedar offers excellent durability Some of the pre-drilled holes don't line up
Excellent quality materials used throughout Gas shocks can be challenging to install
Easily to follow assembly instructions Online instructions better than those that come with it

9. Bosmere Rowlinson A042 Garbage Bin Storage Shed,   

Why settle for three doors when you can have four?

Bosmere_Rowlinson_Garbage_ShedBOSMERE  Rowlinson A042 Garbage Bin Storage Shed

When you are looking for an attractive garbage can storage shed, then this all wood beauty might be just what you are looking for. Instead of a single heavy lid, this model has the lid split into two halves that can be attached to the lids of your trash cans, lifting them up so you can easily throw your trash bags away. This shipboard style cladding is 12 millimeters thick for added durability.

Pros Cons
12 mm thick cladding for added durability No hydraulic cylinder to lift lids
Four doors for ease of access Wood lid props can fall out dropping lids
Chains lift trash can lids for convenience Thin roof may not hold heavy snow loads

 

10. Suncast BMS2500 Horizontal Storage Shed

Double wall resin construction with reinforced floor

Suncast_BMS2500_Horizontal_Storage_ShedSUNCAST BMS2500 Horizontal Storage Shed

The curved roof and double resin wall construction make this a very strong choice for your garbage can storage shed.  The three-door locking system ensures the doors stay firmly locked in place and help to keep animals out. The bolt-together assembly makes putting this shed together relatively easy. Curved lid features a prop rod to keep it up and the double doors make getting your wheelie bins in and out simple and stress-free.

Pros Cons
Durable double-wall construction Top may rip off in high winds
Easy bolt-together assembly Top warps in the hot summer sun
Holds up to two 96-gallon trash cans Made from flimsy materials

 

Time to Take Out the Trash

While only some of these are listed as being made specifically for garbage can storage, they can all be used for just about anything you want to put in them. It is very hard to decide which is the best, but for my money, I prefer the Leisure Season Large Horizontal Refuse Storage Shed. It might be a bit more expensive than some of the plastic/resin models but looks good beside my garage and keeps my garbage out of sight. I hope this information helps you find the right outdoor garbage can storage for you home.

I hope you have learned something about choosing a garbage can storage shed.  Got a question, query or comment, then please contact me here. If you liked this article there is more ZacsGarden on Facebook and Pinterest.

FREE Shed Roof Plans

The 10 Most Comprehensive FREE Shed Roof Plans Available Online

Shed Roof Plans - Finished Shed Roof

The Sky's the Limit if You Have a Roof Over Your Head

IF YOU ARE BUILDING YOUR OWN shed, you should probably consider a number of different shed roof plans before making your final decision. A roof is so much more than a way to keep the contents of your shed clean and dry.

The right shed roof design will not only keep out the elements, it can provide you with a significant amount of extra storage space. I spent countless hours looking at the many different designs before settling on a gambrel style roof so that I could get the most storage in the least space.

10 Comprehensive FREE Shed Roof Plans

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Image courtesy of gardenplansfree.com

#1 The Standard Gable Style Pitched Roof

This is the most common style of shed roof

The gable style pitched roof is not only one of the most common styles of shed roof, but it is also one of the easiest to build. The first thing you need to do is determine the correct pitch for your area. This is based on how much rain and snow you are likely to get in an average year. If you know the rise and run of your roof, you can use this shed roof pitch calculator to help determine the correct pitch.

You should also contact your local building inspector to see if there are specific regulations in place governing the pitch of your shed roof. You can then use this information to modify the shed roof plans to meet these specifications and ensure your shed roof will hold up to whatever Mother Nature has to throw at it. The good news is that you can top this style of roof with roofing felt, shingles, or sheet metal with equal effectiveness.

Here is a video of a Gable Styled Pitched Roof being built:

ProsCons
Sheds rain, snow, ice easilyMay not be best suited to areas where high winds and hurricanes occur
Offers more space for an atticPoor construction or inadequate framing can lead to the roof collapsing
Simple and less expensive to build than many other shed roof stylesHigh winds can cause the shingles, felt, or sheet metal to peel away
my_outdoor_plans_12x16

Image courtesy of Myoutdoorplans.com

#2 The Gambrel or Barn Style Shed Roof

This is my personal favorite as it adds a lot of overhead storage space

Most of us have seen a number of old-fashioned barns with their tall roofs that have multiple slopes to them. What you may not realize is that this gambrel style of roof was not designed as a fashion statement. It was in fact created to build a roof that could stand up to the snows of deep winter found I many parts of the world. Although the general layout of the rafters might not seem to be that strong, the leveraged design makes them far stronger than they look.

Having two differing slopes allows rain and snow to slide off the roof and onto the ground. At the same time, the steeper sides of the roof give you a lot more usable storage space, especially for taller items. Like the gable style roof, this one is relatively easy to build and can be sheathed in wood and covered with shingles or sheet metal for added protection and durability.

Take a look at this how-to video:

ProsCons
This style of roof offers plenty of extra space for storage without added expenseNot recommended for areas of high wind or those with heavy snowfall
Simple construction with two roof beams and a series of gusset jointsIf not constructed properly tend to be structurally weak
Fewer materials mean lowered construction costsNeed to be waterproofed at the ridges to prevent leaks regularly

Winchance_Solar_LED_Pathway_Lights

Image courtesy of Myourdoorplans.com

#3 Single Slope Shed Roof

Probably one of the simplest shed roof designs out there

This style of roof is commonly referred to as a lean-to or skillion type of roof. It typically has a single face that is higher on one end than the other. Depending on where your shed is located, the higher end can be fastened to the side of another building such as your house or garage. From the outside, it looks a lot like one-half of the standard gable style roof.

What makes these shed roof plans so popular, is that they are incredibly easy to assemble and when built right, can handle a heavy snow load without collapsing. Thanks to the simplicity of this shed roof design and the size of your garden shed, you should be able to complete this roof in a single day. You can use this style of roof on a shed with 3 or 4 walls based on your needs, making it ideal for feed or firewood storage sheds.

This video goes over skillion style roof building:

ProsCons
Very easy to buildThe ceiling can end up being very low depending on the pitch of the roof
Steeper pitch lets snow and rain run off easilyMay not be best suited for areas where high winds are common
Less expensive to build due to the need for fewer materialsMay not be the most aesthetically pleasing roof
Building-a-12x8-shed

Image courtesy of Myoutdoorplans.com

#4 Steeper Gable Style Roof

More pitch and a stronger design

When you live in an area where it rains or snows a lot, you need a roof with a steeper pitch and a little more slope to help prevent any snow or ice buildup. Not only does this design feature a steeper pitch (of course you can set your own pitch to meet the weather in your local area), but one that is designed in such a way as to be stronger overall.

The extra supports built into the gable ends will help add more load bearing capacity. This one also features 3/4-inch plywood sheathing covered with tar paper and asphalt shingles for added protection from the elements and structural strength. The overhanging eaves will also add a measure of protection for the walls and give you a place to add soffit vents for better ventilation.

Here is a video that shows you an easy way to build your own gable roof rafters:

ProsCons
Sheds rain, snow, ice easilyMay not be best suited to areas where high winds and hurricanes occur
Offers more space for an atticNeeds more support for snow and ice buildup
Simple and less expensive to build than many other shed roof stylesHigh winds can cause the shingles, felt, or sheet metal to peel away
Building-a-6x8-Lean-to-shed

Image courtesy of Myourdoorplans.com

#5 A Simple Lean-To Roof

Nothing could be easier

Of all the different types of roof, the lean-to is perhaps the easiest to build. In this case, you have nothing more than a few carefully placed rafters that are laid on top of the outer walls. The roof is typically sloped down from the connecting wall if the shed is attached to the side of your house or garage.

However, if you choose to build a freestanding shed and use this style of roof, you should plan the slope of your roof in such a manner as to slope down from the front to the back of the shed. This will help to keep rain flowing away from the door. This design uses 3/4-inch plywood sheathing, tar paper, and asphalt shingles but you could substitute metal sheeting to save money and create a very low-maintenance roof.

Lean-to roof basics video:

ProsCons
Sheds rain, snow, ice easilyShould only be used on smaller sheds
Easy to buildPoor construction or inadequate framing can lead to the roof collapsing
Less expensive to build than many other shed roof stylesHigh winds can cause the shingles, felt, or sheet metal to peel away
gable_style_shed_roof

Image courtesy of Shedking.net

#6 Stick Framed Gable Roof

Simple yet effective roof design

Once you have made the decision to use a gable style roof on your shed, you have one more decision to make. This is whether to build your own roof trusses, by pre-made trusses or to simply stick-frame in your roof. The typical stick frame roof will be made from 2x4's or 2x6's and has a ridge board that runs down the middle of the roof.

This type of gable roof tends to be a lot more challenging to build and may not be the best choice if your carpentry experience is minimal. However, this being said, this type of roof typically offers an overhang on the sides by virtue of the way it is constructed that lets you add in soffit ventilation.

Watch this guy build a stick built shed roof:

ProsCons
Sheds rain, snow, ice easilyMay not be best suited to areas where high winds and hurricanes occur
Offers more space for an atticNeed to have solid basic carpentry skills to ensure all lumber is cut accurately for best results
Less expensive to build than many other shed roof stylesHigh winds can cause the shingles, felt, or sheet metal to peel away
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#7 Hip Style Shed Roof

Create a roof with four slopes instead of two

While many homes and sheds feature roofs with two slopes, those that have a total of four slopes (hip style roofs) can not only be more aesthetically pleasing but also offer better snow and rain shedding ability. While this might not seem important in areas that don't get a lot of rain or snow, when you live in an area where you get heavy winter snows, you are sure to appreciate the fact your shed's roof survives each winter intact.

You can build this style of roof using premade trusses, but as long as you are comfortable with your carpentry skills, there is no reason why you should not be able to build this simple roof. This set of plans comes with its own detailed how to video that will make building it much easier for you.

ProsCons
Excellent for areas of high wind and snowMore expensive than a gable roof to build
Offer space for an atticRequires more building materials than a gable roof
More stable than a gable roofAdded seams may result in more leaks
saltbox_shed_roof

Image courtesy of dyshed.blogspot.com

#8 The Saltbox Style Roof

A different take on the pitched roof

The saltbox style roof depicted in these plans offers a slightly different take on the standard gable roof design. As you can see, this design features one slope that is taller and has a steeper pitch than the other. The design does feature a gable at each end that can be used to add in ventilation in the form of vents or powered vents based on your particular needs.

The design comes from Colonial times when people needed to add more room to their homes without having to add another complete level at a high cost. It is a great choice for bigger sheds or even for a garage as it offers you the opportunity to add a lot more storage space at minimal cost.

Follow Jack as he builds a hip-style roof in this video:

ProsCons
The dual slopes let water run off easily, perfect for areas with heavy rainsThe design itself if rather tricky
More durable than the standard gable roofIf you build a loft It will have sloping walls
Can be built to handle moderate to heavy snow loadsMay be expensive due to the number of trusses and supports needed
pyramid-roof

Image courtesy of Carpentry-pro-farmer.com

#9 The Pyramid Style Shed Roof

Looks like it came straight out of Egypt

This style of roof looks more like something you might expect to see poking out of the desert sands of Egypt, as it has four slopes that meet in the center. Each of the four sides has a single slope that starts with a point at the top. This roof has no gables or side walls and is an excellent choice for smaller sheds and pump houses.

The overhanging eaves offer extra protection and a chance to add in soffit vents to help keep your shed cooler in the summer months. However, like the stick-built gable roof, this one can be more challenging to build as you will not be able to use any type of pre-built roof truss. Given the height of your finished roof, you should check with your local authorities to make sure it is not too high to meet code.

Check out this cool Jack Rafters video:

ProsCons
Good choice for use in areas with high windsRequires more building experience
Extra space adds more storageHigher costs due to complex design
High slopes are good for areas with heavy rain and snowfallTop may be too high for certain building code restrictions
octagon_roof_framing

Image courtesy of Sbebuilders.com

#10 Octagon Style Roof

When you want something a little different

No one ever said your garden shed had to be square or rectangular in shape. If you are looking for something a little different, why not build an octagon shaped shed. You might be surprised at how much extra space this shape can provide. It is also a great way to make use of a corner spot out in your garden. However, as you can imagine an octagon shed needs an octagon shaped roof.

This design goes together in a similar fashion to the pyramid shaped roof, but instead of four slopes, you will end up with eight. It may be one of the most complex roofs to build and should only be attempted if you have advanced woodworking skills because there are a number of critical angles that have to be measured and cut to achieve the right shape and structure. This being said, once completed, you will have a very strong roof that can take a lot of snow weight.

ProsCons
Great for areas with high windsRequires more building experience
Nice change from standard roofsHigher costs due to complex design
High slopes are good for areas with heavy rain and snowfallTop may be too high for certain building code restrictions

When the Final Shingle Is Laid

Choosing the right shed roof plans for your shed can be challenging as there is so much to consider. First and foremost, you need to consider your carpentry skills. As you can see some of these designs require advanced skills to construct. Other considerations include your local building codes and the type of weather including rain, snow, and wind you have to deal with where you live.

In the end, I settled for a standard stick-built gable roof as it met my needs and my carpentry skills. The last thing I wanted to have to do was hire a contractor to finish the job because my skills were not as good as my imagination.

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The 14 Shed Security Measures Every Homeowner Ought to Know About

The 14 Shed Security Measures Every Homeowner Ought To Know About

shed_security

There are many options for securing your shed starting at all different price points

THERE IS NOTHING worse than getting up in the morning to find some “kind” person has broken into your garden shed.

It probably wouldn’t be too bad if all you did was store a few tools and some junk out there. But, you had hundreds of dollars’ worth of tools and a couple of very expensive bikes stored out there.

Now that you have joined the ranks of several of your neighbors who have had the same experience. It’s finally time to take your shed’s security a bit more seriously.

Here we are going to take a good look at 14 different shed security options that may help prevent this from happening to you.

The Shed Security Options and How They Rank

Shed Security Comparison Table (click/tap to expose)

home burglar alarm sensor

More info about if a shed alarm system is right for you here

1. Alarm Systems

- A great way to notify you something is going on

Installing some form of alarm system in your shed is one of the best ways to keep thieves at bay.

There are a number of different types of alarm systems on the market today. Some use audible sirens or horns that go off when someone is trying to break in. Others are silent and can notify the police and you via an app on your cellphone or an in-house monitor.

There are many homeowners are now adding their shed into the same monitored alarm system they use to protect their house. If you are interested in more information about running an alarm system, you can find costs and other info below

pros

cons

Let's you know someone is breaking in

Audible alarms may annoy neighbors

Best deterrent to thieves

Can be very expensive

Monitored alarms can have the police on their way in munutes

may not work for all types of sheds

Shed Door Lock

Image Courtesy of Amazon

2. Upgraded locks

- New locks are relatively inexpensive security option

Adding new security locks to your shed is a great way to keep burglars at bay. That is as long as the rest of your shed is properly secured. You don’t even have to pay anyone to install them for you, which helps keep the cost down.

Be sure to buy a good quality, heavy duty security lock, preferably a deadbolt style lock. You may also want to consider adding a steel or brass reinforcing plate to the door frame for added security.

pros

cons

Much better than standard locks

Can still be picked or kicked in

Easy to install yourslef

Requires a strong door and frame

Relatively inexpensive

May not stop a dedicated theif

sus_304_door_hinges

Image Courtesy of Amazon

3. Upgraded Hinges

- A great addition to installing a new door lock

If you are going to install a new security lock, you should also consider adding a pair of security hinges.

These heavy duty hinges are designed to stop someone from removing them and accessing your shed or kicking the door in.

If you are going to install new security hinges, be sure to use security screws when you do as they will ensure no one can remove them along with the door.

pros

cons

Relatively inexpensive

Must have a strong door

Easy to install

Must have a strong door or frame

Do it yourself installation

Truly only work with a solid door/frame.

bloss_freezing_windows

Image Courtesy of Amazon

4. Frosting Windows

- Tinting or frosting keeps prying eyes out

You can keep prying eyes at bay by adding a tint or frosting your windows. If no one can see what you have in your shed, they may be less likely to break in and steal from you.

You can buy cans of spray-on frosting from most hardware stores or use rolls of tint or frosting to get the job done. Best of all you can do the work yourself and save money and time.

pros

cons

Very inexpensive

May reduce the amount of natural light

Easy to install

Tint often fades overtime

No need to hire a professional installer

You can't see out of frosted windows

victsing_sensord_yard-light

Image Courtesy of Amazon

5. Sensor/Yard Lights

- A must for anyone who has a shed

Motion sensor yard lights are considered by many to be one of the best deterrents to would-be thieves. You can also use lights with sensors that turn them on at dusk and off at dawn.

Be sure your lights illuminate the area around your shed thoroughly so that there are no areas of shadow where a thief could hide. Try not to aim them in such a way as to annoy your neighbors to avoid conflicts with them.

pros

cons

Relatively affordable

May run your power bill up

Highly recommended by security experts

May have to have professionally installed

Adds light you can use to your backyard

Might annoy your neighbors

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6. Clear the Area around Your Shed

- This is no brainer

While those bushes and shrubs might look great around your shed, you need to get rid of them or prune them back.

Bushes and shrubs make the perfect hiding place for thieves to hide while they wait for the perfect moment to break into your shed.

You don’t necessarily have to completely remove them, but you need to trim them back. Just make sure they are cut back to the point where no one can hide behind them.

pros

cons

No real cost unless you need to buy pruning tools

Your shed might lose some of its outer beauty

Ensures you can see what's going on

Shrubs make a good windbreak

You can definitely do this yourself

You may have to paint your shed

concrete_bollard

7. Concrete Bollards

Keep your shed where it belongs

While shed thefts typically do not involve stealing the entire shed, it can happen.

If you have a garden shed that is little more than big enough for a couple of bikes and your gear, it is not hard to believe someone could slide it on a trailer and make off with everything.

If you can’t secure this type of shed to a wall or concrete foundation, adding a number of conveniently placed concrete bollards can stop a shed thief in his tracks.

pros

cons

Keep your shed in place

Can be expensive

Permanent protection

Needs professional installation

Completely weatherproof

Somewhat unsightly

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8. Fix Shed to Foundation

- Permanent solution to disappearing sheds

If you built your shed on a concrete foundation, why not bolt it down. This permanently installs your shed in place.

It also guarantees you should never have to worry about anyone finding a way to drive away with your shed. The best way to do this is to set the bolts into the concrete foundation when it is first poured.

pros

cons

Very permanent solution

Harder to do on an existing foundation

No one can see your shed is secured

May need to be done by a professional

Relatively inexpensive

Could cause problems if you want to move shed

ringside_floor_anchor

Image Courtesy of Amazon

9. Floor Anchors

Excellent way to secure items like bikes, motorcycles, ATVs

Once you have your shed secured into place and secure locks and hinges, you can go one step further. Adding one or more floor anchors gives you a way to secure any number of valuable things to the floor of your shed.

Along with bikes and ATVS, you can also secure tool boxes, electrical equipment, and large power tools. You can use floor anchors with wood or concrete floors with almost the same amount of security.

pros

cons

Great way to lock valuable items in place.

Limits where you can store certain items

Can be used on any type of floors

Works best when set into concrete floors

Easy do-it-yourself installation

Can be ripped out of wooden floors

zosi_security_camera

Image Courtesy of Amazon

10. Camera Fake/Real

- Both may help deter thieves

While both types of camera may help to deter thieves, if you are going with fakes, be sure to add wiring and get the ones with an active light.

If you stick a cheap fake camera in place no real thief will be fooled. Real cameras will not only deter the thief, but will also give you a recorded image that might help the police find them and charge them with the crime.

pros

cons

Fake cameras are very affordable

Fake cameras rarely fool anyone

Real cameras capture images for the police

Real cameras/equipment can be expensive

Both let thieves think you are watching

May require professional installation

shed_dog

11. Get a Dog

Nothing like adding a furry friend to the family

Your family will probably be over the moon when you bring home a four-legged furry friend. A big dog that barks every time someone enters your backyard will likely keep thieves at bay.

Of course, this means you will need to keep him or her out in the yard all the time, which is not really the best way to treat the poor creature. Breeds like German Shepherd, Doberman, Pit Bull Terrier, and Rottweiler all make good guard dogs.

pros

cons

If trained right, dogs make great pets

Guard dogs are not always good pets

Big, loud dogs will scare most thieves off

Your neighbors might object to the noise

Relatively inexpensive security option

Dogs make a lot of mess to clean up

insurance

12. Insurance

Won't stop thieves but will replace what he takes

If you are going to store a lot of expensive items in your shed, you should invest in an insurance policy that covers everything. Your insurance should also cover the shed itself.

Check with your agent, you may be able to add your shed and contents to your homeowner’s policy for a small increase in your premium. Be sure your policy states what is covered and what is not.

pros

cons

May replace what you lose

Won't stop the thief

May even replace the shed itself

May have to buy a separate policy

Gives you peace of mind

Can be a bit expensive

sparkleberry_engraver

Image by Amazon

13. Mark Your Property

- Make it obvious your property belongs to you

While marking your property may not prevent someone from stealing from you, it makes your items much harder to sell.

If a would-be thief happens to note that your items are clearly marked, he may think twice about stealing them as he won’t be able to get much for them. This is assuming he can even find someone who will buy them.

To do this, all you will need is an engraver or dremmel machine. If you only have a few items, the key cutting and shoe repair people at your local mall will also most likely do engraving.

pros

cons

Easy to do

Can make it hard for you to sell items

Permanent solution

You can't remove the markings

Makes items hard to sell for the thief

Not all items can be marked

door_bar_pro

Image Courtesy of Amazon

14. Reinforce/Replace the Door

- Turn your shed into a virtual vault

The door to your shed is perhaps its biggest area of vulnerability. You can easily reinforce the door with metal bars, strips, and plates or replace it with a solid wood door. You can also install a steel door.

 All of these options will only serve to make your shed that much more secure. Bear in mind that no matter what type of door you install, you should still use upgraded locks and hinges to further reduce your vulnerability to break-ins and theft.

pros

cons

Simple do-it-yourself method of improving your shed's security

Can be hard to find a door if yours is non-standard

Permanent solution

Steel doors can be expensive

Makes it much harder for a thief to break in 

Not all items can be marked

More Shed Security Information

Here is a great video about security produced by a police officer:

In Summary...

No one wants to wake up to a shed that has been broken into and find all of their stuff has been stolen. Rather than choosing only one of the above security upgrades for your shed, you will find that incorporating as many of them as you can will make your shed as secure as possible.

However, if you are on a limited budget, the least you should do is upgrade the door, hinges, and locks as these simple relatively inexpensive steps will serve to keep most thieves out and your things safely locked in.

If you have any other ideas, contact us via our contact page.

Thanks for reading