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How To Keep Your Shed Weatherproof With Shed Roof Felt

How To Keep Your Shed Weatherproof With Shed Roof Felt

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roofing_felt

Here is what you need to know about roofing felt...

While a wood garden shed might be the most aesthetically appealing and one of the more durable designs, even the best of sheds is only as good as the roof.

Roofing felt can be a good way to keep the inside of your shed dry, it is relatively easy to apply and requires very little in the way of tools or experience to install.

However, there are a few things I feel you should know before you rush out to your local home improvement superstore and plunk down a wad of cash on several rolls of shed roof felt or you could end up doing the whole job all over again.

Top Things You Should Know about Roofing Felt

Before we get too far into this, you should know that while shed roof felt is an economical and easy to install way to protect your wood shed roof, it is subject to blistering and cracking that can lead to leaks.

Depending on the climate where you live, you may find that using nothing but shed roof felt is not going to be enough to effectively seal and protect your shed’s roof and everything you have stored inside from rain, snow, and ice.

This being said, roofing felt can be a good way to seal your shed roof, but you may want to add a layer of shingles over the felt to create a more effective and longer lasting roof if you have room in your budget. At the same time, there are different types of shed roof felt to choose from, each of which has its problems and advantages.

Roofing felt is typically attached to the wood sheathing or clapboards using nails, this in and of itself creates a risk of water intrusion over time as the nails pull out under high winds or are pushed out as the wood expands and contracts with changes in temperature.

Roofing felt can also tear or be damaged for several reasons, including:

  • High winds
  • Ice buildup
  • Tree branches
  • Extremes in temperature
  • Toys hitting the roof
  • People climbing on the roof

Yet despite these potential issues with shed roof felt, it still makes an excellent way to waterproof your wood shed roof when you are working on a budget.

On top of this, it is one of the simplest forms of roofing to install as anyone who can use a few basic hand tools can replace the entire roof of their shed in a few short hours.

Different Types of Shed Roofing Felt

In the early days, roofing felt was typically made from rolls of paper that were impregnated with tar or bitumen that may or may not have been embedded with various minerals to help reduce the damaging effects of solar radiation.

This type of roof felt was considered to be relatively effective, but because it was made with a paper base, was prone to tearing under high winds. 

Today most shed roof felt is made using either a fiberglass fleece or polyester base material as both of these materials are significantly stronger than paper.

Fiberglass Fleece

Shed roof felt made with a fiberglass fleece base are considered to be among the strongest and longest lasting in the industry. These roofing felts are known for their ability to withstand tearing and to hold up under extremes in weather.

The fiberglass fleece is impregnated with a tar-like substance called bitumen that makes the fleece waterproof.

Polyester Fibers

In recent years a new type of roofing felt has been developed using polyester fibers as the base material.

Much like fiberglass based felt, polyester based felts have a high resistance to tearing and is capable of handling extremes in weather. It is also impregnated with bitumen that makes it waterproof.  

This type of shed roof felt does not last as long as the fiberglass variety.

An Organic Option

The final option that may be available in your area is completely organic roofing felt. This type of roofing felt is made from fibers of rags. The base material is then soaked in asphalt to make it waterproof while still retaining the organic qualities, the reason why so many people choose this option.

Much like the polyester based felt, this type of felt does not currently have the same durability and lifespan of fiberglass.

Recent Improvements in Roofing Felt

As with just about everything today, even roofing felt is going high-tech. Today’s roofing felts have been designed to be better at sealing around the nails used to secure them to your roof.

Many of the new materials weigh less than their traditional counterparts and are offered in sheets that are up to 36-inches wide. Some of these improvements have increased the cost of roofing felt, but their durability and the reduction in the number of seams you end up with are well worth the added cost.

Many rolls of roofing felt now come with lines marked on them to speed up the overlapping process and help you keep everything straight, which is vital to not only doing a professional installation job but also in making your roof as tight and waterproof as possible.

One thing to keep in mind as you look at the different types of roof felt for your shed is that if you are not adding shingles on top of the felt, you need to choose felt that has a mineral-based surface.

A Word about Weight and Warranties

All types of roofing felt, including shed roof felt are listed and sold by their “weight”, which is in effect the manufacturer’s way of describing its thickness. Roofing felts are sold in a number of weights with 15 lb. or 30 lb. weights being the most common.

30-lb. felt is thicker than 15 lb. You should base your choice on the size of your shed roof and the climate you live in. Bear in mind that the thicker felt will last far longer and be able to withstand extremes in both heat and cold.

Each manufacturer offers its own range of warranties based on the type of felt you are buying, its thickness, any coatings, and numerous other factors. Be sure to read the warranty on any shed roof felt you are thinking about buying.

While there is a number of inexpensive “shed roof” felts on the market, you will be much better off buying roofing felt that is made for use on houses as it is much stronger. The difference in cost is easily offset by their durability longevity.

How Much Shed Roof Felt Do You Need?

Now that you have a good idea of the different types of shed roof felt available, it is time to look at how much you need to buy. This is a relatively easy process that starts by measuring the full size of your roof.

You will need enough felt to run the entire length of your roof plus an extra 2-3 inches at each end for the overlap.

You will also need an additional length for the crown of your roof, bear in mind that in order to effectively seal your roof, the felt must be laid perfectly flat and in overlapping layers.

Roof felt is sold in rolls, most of which are now 36 inches wide and come in a variety of lengths. Choose rolls that allow you to cut the maximum possible number of single sheets out of the roll with minimal waste.

Which One Should I Buy?

With so many different brands on the market, it can be hard to know which one you should buy.

The one thing that most professional roofers will tell you up front, is that you should avoid those so-called “shed” felts as they are literally “paper thin” and while inexpensive, they do not stand up well, especially in high winds and because of this are not considered to be worth the money.  

Here are some of the best ones I could find for you to consider.

Tamko Roof Felt

Lightweight, Inexpensive Underlayment Roof felt

This is an organic felt that is saturated in asphalt that measures a full 36 inches wide by 144 inches long. It is 15 lb. felt that is black in color. Worth noting is that this is asphalt saturated organic mat, but it does not have a mineral coating to help make it more weather resistant.

Each roll contains enough felt to cover 4 squares of roof or 432 sq. feet. According to the manufacturer, this roofing felt is intended for use as an underlayment, meaning you should plan to cover it with shingles for optimum performance.

Pros

Cons

Very inexpensive

15 lb. weight is thin, will rip easily

Large rolls

Has no mineral coating for protection from the weather

Easy to install and work with

Not made for use without shingles

Orgill Roofing Felt 15RF

Top of the Line 15 lb. Roofing Felt

Although this roofing felt may be more expensive than the same weight of felt from Tamko, the asphalt saturated felt is made from highly flexible organic fibers that make it much easier to install, but very strong at the same time.  

By virtue of its design, this shed roof felt is more resistant to tearing during installation or in moderate winds. It comes in rolls that are 36 inches wide by 12 feet long. Once again this felt is intended to be used as an underlayment rather than as the final covering for your shed roof.

Pros

Cons

Strong organic mat construction

Relatively expensive for 15 lb. felt

Rip resistant

Must have a layer of shingles for maximum protection

336 x 144-inch rolls

Has no mineral coating for protection from the weather

American Saturated Felt Mineral Surface Roofing Felt

All the Way at the Other End of the Spectrum

If 15 lb. shed roof felt is at the bottom end of the scale when it comes to roofing felt, then 90 lb. felt is surely at the top. This particular felt from American Saturated is made from asphalt impregnated organic materials.

What makes the difference is that this felt is mineral coated, making it a good choice for anyone who is looking for a felt that can be used as a final roofing rather than one that should be used solely as an underlayment. Rolls measure 36 by 144 inches.

Pros

Cons

90 lb. weight is much better for overall protection

90 lb. weight can be challenging to work with

Mineral coating is ideal for maximum weatherproofing

Rolls weigh 72 pounds making them very heavy to move around

36 x 144 rolls provide plenty of coverage

Rolls are somewhat expensive as is shipping

BlueHawk Sand Finish Roof Felt 5m

Sand finish for Added Traction and Protection

This felt from BlueHawk is designed specifically for use on shed roofs and comes in rolls that are 5 meters long and 1 meter wide. It is manufactured in the U.K. to withstand typical British weather, making it ideal for use in rainy areas of the U.S.  

The felt itself uses an organic recycled rag fiber with an oxidized bitumen coating that is infused with sand. This felt is a 15 lb. (7 kg.) thickness which is easy to handle and install.

Pros

Cons

Sand finish for better weather resistance

15 lb. weight not ideal for high winds

15 lb. weight is easy to handle

Higher initial cost per roll

Low shipping costs

Designed to be an outer layer or underlayment

How Do You Attach the Shed Roof Felt to Your Shed?

Attaching the shed roof felt to your shed is relatively easy and the average shed roof can be covered in a couple of hours or so with the most basic of hand tools and a little patience.

Tools and Materials Needed

Like every other aspect of building your shed, there are a number of materials and tools needed to install shed roof felt.  So here is a good basic list of the tools and materials you are going to need:

  • Roofing felt
  • Roofing nails short and long
  • Hammer
  • Tape measure
  • Box knife with hook blade (you can use a straight blade, but a hooked blade is easier to work with)
  • Straight edge (a 36-inch long steel ruler or level works best)

There really isn’t that much to installing felt roofing, but the job still takes a certain amount of skill and dedication to the job at hand.

One note on the hook style blade. A hook blade will not cut into the surface you have the felt laid out on for cutting, whereas a straight blade will. Most expert roofers also say that using a hook blade makes cutting roofing felt much easier.

Step by Step Shed Roof Felt Installation

Here is a basic step by step covering how to install your shed roof felt and achieve the best results along with a video that you can see here covering installing your shed roof felt.

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  1. Measure the length and width of your roof and calculate the total area. (the average roll covers 432 square feet. Hint: area of a rectangle is length x width.
  2. Clean the wood surface of the roof, removing any debris, nails that are sticking out, or anything else that will damage the new felt.
  3. Be sure the entire surface is dry, you should never apply new felt on a wet wood surface as this can cause the wood to warp, crack, or rot.
  4. If your shed roof has any damaged or rotted wood, now is the time to replace it.
  5. Cut lengths of shed roof felt to match the long side of the roof, be sure to add 2 to 3 inches to the length at each end. This extra length will be folded over and nailed to the battens so that any water will drip off the edge without getting the wood wet.
  6. Tack one end of the felt in place so that it remains in place as you roll it out.
  7. Roll the full length out and pull it tight without ripping it while at the same time making sure it is perfectly flat.
  8. Nail the felt using roofing nails. You should use short nails that are not going to puncture the wood for the surface and longer nails for the drip edge to help hold it more firmly in place. You should place nails at 2-inch intervals on the surface and 3-inch intervals on the drip edges.
  9. Pull the edges over tight and nail in place, fold the corners to help maintain the watertight seal.
  10. Whether you are installing just a crown piece or need to add extra runs of felt, you should use a quality cement between the layers to add a better seal.
  11. You may want to cover the nail heads with mastic or roofing tar for a better seal.
  12. Stand back and enjoy your new roof.

Related Products

If your shed roof is already covered with roofing felt that is not quite ready for replacement, but showing signs of leakage, you may be able to make it last a little longer with a special type of paint such as this one:

Gardner-Gibson 6025-9-34 3.6QT NF Roof Coating

Highly Durable Roof and Foundation Coating

This is a non-fibered refined asphalt base coating that is perfect for adding a protective coating for many types of roofing felt. It can also be used to seal metal roofs and wood surfaces. By using this paint, you can add months or even years to the life of your shed roof felt.

GARDNER_GIBSON_Roof Coating

Pros

Cons

Saves you from replacing your shed roof felt

Messy to work with

Very inexpensive

Long dry time

Can be used on multiple surfaces

Only comes in black

If you would like more information on the various different types of shed roof materials, take a look here where we have already done most of the research for you.

Topping It All Off

I hope you have enjoyed reading the information we have assembled for you here on shed roof felt. Finding the right felt might seem like a major challenge, but the information here would have made my first attempt at replacing my shed roof much simpler, so I hope it does for you.

Be sure to watch the video as it contains lots of very helpful tips.

If you liked what I have put together for you here, please let me know.

Let everyone know you enjoyed reading this on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Thank you for reading this.

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The Flimsy Truth About Most Shed Locks & How to Secure Your Shed Doors and Windows

The Flimsy Truth About Most Shed Locks & How to Secure Your Shed Doors and Windows

Old Shed Doors

SO, YOU ARE READY to upgrade your shed's security after watching your neighbors' sheds being broken into over the last few weeks.

The last thing you want is to be the next one in line to lose your bikes and the rest of your gear.

I can totally relate to where you are at, last year several of my neighbors went through the same thing.

They got me to and stole three bikes, my ATV, and hundreds of dollars' worth of tools. My first step was to invest in upgrading the security of my shed. I started out by looking at the various types of shed locks on the market looking to find the best ones for my money.

Typical Problems Associated with Various Shed Locks

No Matter what type of shed lock you are looking at, each different style has its own share of problems.

It is far better for you to know exactly what you are up against before you rush out and invest in a lock that simply isn't going to get the job done. After all, what is the point in spending your hard earned money on a shed lock only to make it easy for a thief to break into your shed and steal your property?

When you start your journey into better shed security, there are a few things you need to consider beyond the lock itself. Only when you fully understand the groundwork will you be ready to set up the best possible shed locking system for your needs.

Here are a few things to consider that can save you time and most importantly of all, money.

1. What Is Your Shed Made Of?

The materials your shed is made from will have a major impact on the type of shed locks you can install and expect a certain amount of security from.

For example, if your shed is made from plastic, you may not be able to install a deadbolt, but a good well-secured hasp and padlock can offer plenty of security.

On the other hand, if you have a wood framed and sided shed, you can go all-out with a deadbolt/ locking door handle combination. The main point here is that no matter what type of lock you install, it will only be as good as the materials it is attached to.

rusty_lock

2. Humidity and Rain

If you live in an area where it rains a lot or suffers from high levels of humidity, you need to keep this in mind as you search for the right shed locks.

Cheap padlocks, door handle locks, and electronic locks can be seriously affected by water and humidity. Rusted lock cylinders can leave you with a lock that is either very hard to open or cannot be opened at all.

These locks also tend to freeze shut if you live where it snows or is extremely cold in the winter months.

3. Poor Quality Locks

If you are going to invest in some form of shed locks to protect your valuables, why would you even consider buying a cheap lock?

The idea behind a lock is not to just look pretty, it is to keep those people who covet what you have but don’t want to pay for it out. Even “top” brand name padlocks like Masterlock brand are only minimally effective if your shed and hasp setup are not up to snuff. In fact, many of these “top” brands are relatively easy to cut with a large pair of bolt cutters.

They might be “bullet proof” as their ads claim, but a determined thief with bolt cutters can slice right through the locking bar. Cheap locks are made with steel internal parts rather than stainless steel or brass, because of this they can and frequently do rust shut.

This renders them practically useless. Do yourself a favor and invest in good quality locks for your own peace of mind.

door_hasps

4. Hasps

A lock is only as good as the materials it is attached to. For example, if you are planning to use a hasp and padlock setup, you must use a top quality hasp.

This means one that cannot be cut with a pair of bolt cutters. It also means you need to use security bolts to firmly attach the hasp to the shed and shed door. You can use security screws, but these can be ripped out of wood door or frame with a pry bar.

By using bolts with a steel plate on the other side of the door will make it much harder to rip the hasp off of your shed.

5. Doors, Door Frames

Hollow core doors are practically useless when it comes to providing security for your shed.

Not only is it virtually impossible to install any form of lock that can’t be ripped out of the door, a dedicated crook can simply break through the door. You can reinforce the door lock area with a brass or steel plate, but again the rest of the door is easily destroyed.

Use a good solid wood door if you want real protection. Never cut corners by drilling the hole for the locking bar in the frame and not installing the metal plate that comes with it. Here again, this makes it much easier for a thief to break open your shed door.

What You Need to Know about the Various Types of Shed Locks

There are essentially six different types of door lock you can use to secure your shed, each of which has their own benefits and issues you should consider.

Long before you make your final choice, you need to be well-aware of the intended use of each lock and the types of doors and windows they can be used to secure.

Here is what I found out about these six popular forms of door lock to help you find the right one to secure your shed and everything in it.

master_lock_140D

Image Courtesy of Amazon

1. Padlocks

- The most common form of shed lock

People have been using padlocks to secure just about anything, including sheds since time in memorial. This, however, does not mean they are your best bet.

To start with, if you are going to use a padlock, you need to be sure the hasp is secured to the door and frame using security bolts or screws. Secondly, you need to buy a padlock that is virtually impossible to pick or cut through.

This is going to cost you a bit more than the average lock, but you will find your money well spent.

kwikset_deadbolts

Image by Amazon

2. Deadbolts

- A good way to secure your shed if you have the right shed

Deadbolts are typically found being used to secure homes, not sheds. But, they do have their uses if your shed has a solid door and strong frame.

Unlike a hasp and padlock setup, deadbolts do require precision installation and the right tools to install them. Once installed they are a relatively strong way to secure your shed.

Your best bet is to buy a deadbolt that requires a key on either side. The deadbolts with a twist knob can be opened by someone who has broken out a window and crawled inside your shed.

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Image Courtesy of Amazon

3. Door Handles with Built-in Locks

- Not the best way to secure your shed

Door handles that have their own built-in locks are great for bedroom doors or house doors with a deadbolt installed.

So, if you are going to install a door handle with a built-in lock, you should be prepared to install a deadbolt for added security. These locks range in price from cheap and ineffective too expensive and more effective.

Do yourself a favor and buy a double cylinder lock to maximize your security.

baldwin_cylinder_lock

Image Courtesy of Amazon

4. Doors with Built-in Cylinder Locks

- Not much better than door handles with built in locks

You can also install a cylinder type lock directly in your door, if it didn't come with one already installed.

The problem is, that just like door handles with built-in locks, these locks are not very secure and can be easily picked or kicked in. And just like those door handles with locks, you should plan to install a deadbolt for added security.

Many of these types of locks can be opened using a screwdriver or in worst case scenarios with a simple credit card.

sohomill_electronic_lock

Image Courtesy of Amazon

5. Electronic Locks

- What will you do when the battery dies

Electronic locks are becoming increasingly popular in many do-it-yourself storage facilities. But at the same time, they are not always the best choice when you are trying to find a good way to secure your garden shed.

While many of the most expensive ones are fully waterproof, beware of the cheaper ones as they may not be and if they short out, you will have to cut them off.

Also, consider what you are going to do if the batteries die or the power goes out.

master_lock_combination_lock

Image by Amazon

6. Combination Locks

- Decent locks, but only as long as you can remember the combination

Like standard key locks, combination locks are only as good as the money you are willing to invest in them.

You really do get what you pay for when you buy any type of padlock. The biggest problem with any kind of combination lock is that you have to remember the combination. Along with this, you also have to consider whether or not you will be able to cut the lock off if you lose the combination.

Final Thoughts

In the end, it is up to you to decide what type of lock is likely to provide the best possible level of security. Personally, I have a solid wood door on my shed with both a high-end door handle with built-in lock and a deadbolt.

My shed is not only my workshop loaded with expensive tools, but it also houses my motorcycle and several bicycles. Along with good quality locks, I have tinted the windows and added an alarm system.

My goal is to never have to worry about someone breaking in again and to date, I am one of the few homes in my area that has not had their shed broken into.

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11 Options to Upgrade (or Fix) Your Shed Floor

shed_floor

Looking for Shed Foundations? The review of the 6 most popular foundations used for sheds is here

WHEN YOU WALK UP THE RAMP and open the door, what do you see when you look down?

Do you see a nice smooth shed floor that literally invites you in?

Do you see a dirty, dingy mess that drives you back outside?

All kidding aside, all of your time in your shed is spent on your shed floor. So it's important that it's solid, dependable and also comfortable.

Because of that we are going to take a good look at the many different problems that can happen with your shed floor. We are also going to cover a few great ways to fix up your garden shed floor.

Common problems with Garden Shed Floors

There are many things to consider when building a shed floor, most of which concern your overall comfort while working in your shed.

However, no matter what you plan to use your garden shed for, it needs to have a solid floor that is in good condition, suited to the intended use and comfortable to work on.

1. Too Cool

No one likes to work with cold feet. When your shed floor is nothing more than a concrete slab, this is a very common problem.

The same can be said of a wood floor with a crawl space underneath it. When you have to work in this type of environment, chances are good you won’t spend much time in your shed.

On top of this, if your floor is cold, it’s a sure bet the rest of your shed will be as well.

2. Too Hard

You built your shed as a place to work on projects that often take hours of your time. The last thing you need is a hard floor that makes your feet feel tired.

Concrete might provide a great foundation for your shed, but no one wants to stand for long periods of time on a bare concrete slab. All you have to do is look where the cashiers stand in most stores to see this, even store owners add a mat for their employees to stand on.

slipperry_floor

3. Slippery

Remember the last time it rained, you stepped inside your shed and almost fell on your backside when your feet slipped out from under you?

If you live in an area where it rains a lot or for that matter even if it only rains a little, the last thing you need is a slippery garden shed floor.

Painted floors tend to be the worst for this type of problem. Many floor paints, whether the floor is made of wood or concrete, become very slippery when wet. This can make your shed a very dangerous place to hang out when it's wet outside.

old-and_worn-out

4. Old and Worn Out

So the floor in your shed is just as old as the foundation. Over time it has been subjected to hours of people walking on it, chemicals being spilled, and tools being dropped. 

Your shed floor has been soaked by rain when someone left the door open, you name it and it has probably happened to the floor.

Now it has nicks, dings, splinters (if it is made of wood), and is essentially worn out. Not to mention that thanks to numerous stains and ground in dirt, it simply looks terrible.

No one wants to work in a shed with this kind of floor, close the door and go back inside the house.

shed_floor_problems

5. Not Level

When you set a ball on your shed floor does the ball stay still or roll into a corner? If it rolls away all on its own, your shed floor is definitely not level.

Doesn’t seem such a big deal? Wait until you are trying to work with a can of paint that overflows on one side or your tools roll away every time you put them down.

What about that big toolbox that won’t quite stay up against the wall because it wants to roll to the other side of your shed. No matter what a shed floor that is not level can cause a lot of problems.

Solutions to Shed Floor Problems

There are a number of different ways to deal with these problems with your garden shed floor. Most are pretty simple and relatively inexpensive.

The most important thing to keep in mind, no matter what the problem is with your shed floor, is that if the floor is uncomfortable or unappealing, you aren’t going to spend much time in your private getaway.

rustoleum_epoxy_coating

Image Courtesy of Amazon

1. Epoxy Coating

- A Rock Hard Two-Part Floor Coating

Concrete is a very hard substance and is a great way to create both a foundation and a floor for you garden shed. But it stains easily and over time can begin to look ugly.

One of the best ways to seal your concrete shed floor, spruce it up, and make it look amazing is to use an epoxy coating. This is a type of paint, often available in a wide range of colors, that dries to a shiny rock hard finish.

First, you scrub the floor and prep it, then apply the epoxy coating with a roller and leave it to dry. This can take a couple of days, but it is well worth it.

The only problem with many epoxy coatings is that they can be very slippery when wet. Be sure to buy the non-slip additive and mix it into the coating before you apply it.

drylok_concrete_paint

Image Courtesy ofAmazon

2. Concrete Paint

- A Quick Easy Way to Spruce Up Your Shed Floor

Concrete paint is really not much more than paint that is designed to adhere to concrete rather than being used for walls or ceilings. It is available in a wide range of colors and in matt or gloss finishes.

While it is far more durable than say wall paint, in time it will chip and flake. In fact, this type of paint chips relatively easily if you drop tools on it.

Also, worth noting is that most concrete paints require a surface that has been thoroughly cleaned of all greases and residues, something that can be hard to do if your shed floor is old and nasty.

cement_sheet_flooring

Image Courtesy of Framecad

3. Cement Sheet

- Great Solution for Many Types of Shed Floors

Cement sheet flooring has a lot to offer. First, these sheets can be used over virtually any type of flooring from concrete slabs to timber frames and wood floors.

Cement sheets are moisture proof, durable, and offer a high level of stability. Cement is also impermeable to termites, ants, rot, and meets with most standards for fire resistance.

However, you will need a special tool to cut the sheets to fit in your shed and need to wear appropriate safety gear when working with it. Cement sheets are also quite heavy and can be expensive.

softwoods_timber-over_concrete

Image Courtesy of Softwoods

4. Timber Over the Top

- For Concrete Slabs, Pavers, Timber Frame and Kit Sheds

Timber over the top makes a great floor covering not only is it a lot softer and warmer for your feet, but it is relatively easy to cut and lay in place.

You get to choose how thick the timbers are, what type of wood they are made from, and how you finish them. Timber can be quite strong depending on your choice of woods.

However, timber can be subject to rot, stains, and in time warpage or damage that makes it less than ideal as a flooring choice.

handyct_timber_flooring

Image Courtesy of Amazon

5. New Timber Flooring

- Another Highly Viable Flooring Option

New timber flooring can be used to create a floor in just about any type of shed. It creates a floor that gives when you walk or stand on it, making it much easier on your feet.

Wood does not transmit cold in the same manner as concrete helping your garden shed to stay warmer in the winter. Once again wood is subject to rot, termites, ants, mice, rats, and damage by several other pests. You will need to keep it sealed well or your timber will stain and become embedded with grease and oil unless you keep it clean.

plywood_flooring

Image Courtesy of Amazon

6. New Plywood Flooring Sheets

- Better Used as a Sub-Floor

New plywood is often used as the subflooring or underlayment in new home and shed construction. It is relatively strong and durable depending on the thickness and quality you purchase.

Plywood is easily damaged by water and other chemicals. You can seal and paint it for added protection, but even so, your floor will only have a limited lifespan. Your best bet is to use new plywood as a subfloor and then to cover it with timbers, tiles, carpet, or cement sheets.

old_carpet

7. Old Carpet

- Great for Small Area Coverage

No matter what type of floor you have in your garden shed, your feet are likely to get sore and cold if you plan to work in your shed for any length of time.

Take a good look around and find the most common areas where you stand while working on your projects. These are the perfect spots for pieces of old carpets.

Carpet is warm and soft, but it does get dirty and stained easily. Be prepared to swap it out on a frequent basis.

equine_rubber_mat

Image from Amazon

8. Rubber Mat

- Perfect for Tired Feet

Rubber mats have been used in stores and industry as a way to relieve the strain on feet and joints often caused by long hours standing. While a wood floor may be a little softer or carpets add padding, nothing beats a good thick rubber mat.

Rubber has the added advantage of being easy to clean as well as long term durability. Good quality rubber mats can be a little on the spendy side, so be prepared to shell out some serious cash if you want good quality mats.

floor_resurfacer

Image Courtesy of Amazon

9. Concrete Resurfacing / Self - Levelling Compound

- Perfect for Concrete Slabs or Cement Sheet

When your concrete slab has nicks, ding, divots, and rough spots in it, life can get pretty interesting. Your garden shed floor suddenly becomes an obstacle course as you try to move tool boxes around or try to clean up any spills and messes.

You can literally create a new floor surface by using a self-leveling compound. Simply coat the entire floor and let it sit, the compound will flow into all the nooks and crannies leaving behind a nice smooth surface. Keep in mind it could take 24 hours or longer for the compound to completely dry.

cuts_metal_diamond_plate

Image Courtesy of Amazon

10. Checkerplate or Diamond Plate

- For Concrete Slabs, Pavers, and Timber Frame Floors

Checkerplate or diamond plate is a stainless steel or aluminum flooring that can be used to cover a wide range of floors. It is impervious to most chemicals, water, rot, and pests.

You will need to have it pre-cut to fit your shed or have special tools to cut it. It is the ideal garden shed floor for a shed where you will be performing mechanical work or storing very heavy items.

The biggest drawback to this type of flooring is that it can become slippery when wet, despite the raised patterns. On top of this, checkerplate is very expensive.

abrasive_usa_sandpaper

Image Courtesy of Amazon

11. Sandpaper

- A Fast Non-Slip Multipurpose Floor Covering

Most people don't think of flooring when they hear the word sandpaper. However, you can buy rolls of sandpaper in a range of widths and grits. All you have to do is unroll the sandpaper, peel off the backing, and stick it to a clean surface.

You will have a non-slip surface even when it is wet or oily. However, if you get the sandpaper too wet, it will fall apart. Along with this, over time the grit will wear down and the sandpaper will need to be replaced.

Important points on making your choice

You should also base your final choice when building a shed floor in part on where you live. To do this you need to answer a few basic questions such as is the humidity level high, does it rain a lot, are winters very cold, do you have termites, ants, rats, or mice? All of these problems will significantly affect your final choice.

In Summary...

There is nothing worse than a shed floor that is stained, ugly, uneven, or damaged. If this is what you have to deal with, it's no wonder you don't spend much time out in your shed.

Take a good look at the current condition of your garden shed floor and then choose a floor covering or new floor to suit your needs.

If you know of any other good types of garden shed flooring contact us via the contact page.

If you like what you have just read, share it on Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter.

Thanks for reading!

Shed Ramps – Should You Build or Buy?

Shed Ramps on the beach

Whether it's trouble getting your tractor, car or push mower in there, shed ramps make life easier

WHETHER YOU BUILT YOUR GARDEN SHED or bought one that was ready to go, chances are good the door into it isn’t sitting at ground level.

While sitting above ground is the best way for your garden shed to be sitting, it makes getting the mower, ATV, bikes, or motorcycles in and out a major challenge.

If this is the situation you find yourself in a spot like this, you need some kind of shed ramp to make life a lot easier. Ramps make getting anything in and out of your shed much easier.

The big question is; “Should I buy a set of shed ramps or build my own?” Here we take a look at your options to help you make the right choice.

The Case for Building Ramps

If you built your own garden shed, chances are pretty good you have the skills to build your own shed ramps.

There is a lot of satisfaction in building a shed ramp to go with the shed you built or even with one you bought ready to go.

For the most part, ramps are relatively easy to build, depending on the materials you plan to use. In fact, the average handyman can probably knock a set of ramps together in just a few hours on a weekend.

While building your own mower ramps might seem like an idyllic situation, doing so is not without its share of problems.

First and foremost, you must have the time to get the job done right. Then you have to decide whether or not you have the skills and the tools for the job.

If you are working with wood, this should not be a problem. However, if you need metal ramps for the mower or want a cement ramp, you need special tools and skills. Bear in mind that metal and cement are also quite expensive, even if you are doing the work yourself.

Material

cost

Time

Wood

*

**

Metal

***

***

Cement

****

*****

The Case for Buying Shed Ramps

If you are in a hurry or don’t feel like you have the skills to build your own shed ramps, you can always buy ramps that are ready to use.

Alternatively, you can pay someone to come to your home and build a ramp for you. In most cases, what we are looking at are ramps you can order online or buy from your local warehouse discount hardware superstore.

Ramps like these are mostly “plug and play.” All you have to do is prep the spot where they go and drop them in place. You may have to secure the ramp to the ground and/or to your shed.

shed ramps in action

Image Courtesy of Handy Home Shed Rmaps

Ready to go mower ramps are generally well-built and ready to go. Depending on how much you are willing to spend, you should get ramps that will provide you with many years of service.

For example, a good set of aluminum ramps will not rust or rot. However, when you buy a set of pre-built shed ramps, you are stuck with what is being offered.

When you build your own, you can customize them to look like your shed, which might be more aesthetically pleasing.

material

cost

time

Wood

***

*

Metal

****

*

Cement

*****

*****

THE VERDICT (Build or Buy)

There are good and bad points to both buying and building your shed ramp. For most of us, the final decision boils down to time and money rather than function.

No matter which way you go, the ramps are going to function in the same way, making it easier to get things in and out of your garden shed. Building your own makes far more sense from a cost basis, but they take more time to complete than simply dropping in a ready to go ramp.

However, ready-to-go ramps are not very customizable and may not fit in with the rest of your yard.

If you have the tools and the time building your own shed ramp is a better choice, but if not then buying a ramp or ramps makes far more sense.

The Materials Needed to Build Your Own Mower Ramps

There are a number of different materials you can use to build your shed ramps. Some are easier to work with like lumber. Others like cement are harder to work with but give a more permanent and stronger ramp. Here we take a look at the most popular options.

1. Wood

- Lumber

You will need 2 x 4 and 2 x 6s to build the frame. Since your ramps will spend their life exposed to the elements, buy pressure treated lumber for extended life.

Bear in mind pressure treated lumber requires a special saw blade to cut. Depending on the height of your ramp, you may even find it useful to build the support posts from 4 x 4s.

For added stability, you may want to sink the posts into the ground and cement them into place.

- Plywood

Plywood makes a good floor surface for a homemade ramp. Again you need to use pressure treated wood for its resistance to rot.

Use ¾-inch or thicker plywood for best results and add some kind of furring strips or anti-slip material to keep the ramp from being slippery on rainy or snowy days.

You can use regular plywood for the surface. But if you do, be sure to seal it well before painting it to match your shed.

One more thing, you can add sand or a commercially available anti-slip material to the paint to reduce the risk of it being slippery.

2. Metal

- Steel

You can build your entire ramp out of steel (or buy one). Steel framing is very strong and is made to last for many years. However, you will need to keep it painted on a regular basis to keep it from rusting.

Not only does a rusty shed ramp look terrible, in time it will become weak and no longer able to support the weight of your mower. A checkerplate or diamond plate surface will provide you with years of service, but can be very slippery when wet or icy.

Steel is also very expensive, whether you choose to build or buy.

Metal Ramps are Strong and Will Survive Harsh Treatment

Metal ramps are strong and can survive harsh treatment

- Aluminum

If you need a strong ramp that is going to provide you with many years of service and can handle just about anything you can throw at it, aluminum may be a perfect choice.

Aluminum does not corrode, it cannot be attacked by pests, and does not require any maintenance to keep it looking good. But much like steel, it can become very slippery when wet or icy.

Aluminum ramps range in price from relatively affordable to ridiculously expensive, depending on where you shop.

3. Rubber

Although typically used in warehouse and factory applications vulcanized rubber is very heavy duty. Hardened rubber is very strong and can handle very heavy loads. The difference being it is typically a wedge so the height of the ramp is not adjustable. 

Rubber shed ramp

Image Courtesy of Discount Ramps

Rubber made ramps are typically kept indoors as well so were not to sure how long they will last outside, if left outside​

4. Concrete

Another strong and durable solution. If your shed is on a slab then this makes sense. 

The downside of a concrete shed ramp is that it will take time to build and pour, can't be relocated easily and can be slippery​

FAQ About Shed Ramps

Here are a few of the most commonly asked questions about shed ramps and our thoughts about them.

How do I know what size shed ramp I need?

The size of your ramp should be based on several very important factors. First how wide is the door and do you want the ramp to cover the whole width of the door. Second the angle of the ramp, the longer the ramp, the shallower the angle and the easier it will be to get your mower, ATV, or bike in and out of the shed.

How do I know if the shed ramp will be strong enough?

The most important thing about your shed ramp is that it needs to be strong enough to hold the weight of whatever will be going in and out of your shed. Most ramps can be built to hold the weight of you and your mower, just be sure to add in plenty of bracing and support. Those you buy are rated for the weight they can typically handle. Just be sure to take into account the weight of your mower or ATV and your weight.

What should I be on the lookout for?

Whether you are buying or building your shed ramps, they have to meet your needs and be safe. Check to make sure the ramp does not bow excessively when you and your mower or ATV are going up or down it. If your ramp is wood or steel, be sure to keep it sealed or painted on a regular basis. Also with a wood ramp, be sure to keep an eye out for screws or nails that are backing out or splinters as they can ruin your tires.

Where are the cheap places to buy shed ramps?

If you have made the decision to buy your shed ramp, the next step is to find somewhere to shop for them. You need somewhere that is not going to charge you an arm and a leg for your ramps, but at the same time is going to supply you with quality ramps. Here are three of our favorites for you to consider:

Ebay - Online Auction Style Buying

Ebay is a great place to shop for anything, including shed ramps. Here you can find a number of businesses selling brand new ramps at great low prices.

You can also find a number of individuals who are selling used ramps. Be sure to check the seller’s reputation and for shipping charges. You may find it cheaper to buy locally by the time you factor in shipping costs and the risk of not getting what you are paying for.

Go straight to Ebay's range of shed ramps here

Amazon.com - The word's largest online superstore

Much like Ebay, you can buy just about anything at Amazon, including a wide range of steel and aluminum, shed ramps for ATVS, lawn mowers, and bikes. Not only does Amazon carry plenty of varieties for you to choose from, but like Ebay you can find new and used ramps for sale.

You may or may not find the prices higher than EBay, but Amazon guarantees the sale and that your item will be shipped to you.

Shipping fees are shown up front and if you are an Amazon Prime member, you may even qualify for free 2-day shipping. Go straight to Amazons shed ramps here

Wal*Mart - Offers discount online and in store shopping

Wal*Mart has thousands of stores in the U.S. and thousands more all around the globe.

They offer an incredibly diverse range of products including aluminum shed ramps. You can buy them in some of the larger Supercenter stores or order them online. When ordering online, you can have your ramps shipped to the nearest Wal*Mart store for free or pay to have them shipped to your house.

Be aware that you are buying from a store that specializes in discount merchandise, you need to pay close attention to the brands you are buying and compare prices to get the best deals.

Go straight to their selection of shed ramps here

How do you build a shed ramp?

If you have decided to build your own mower ramp, it is important to start out with a good plan of action.

You need to have a set of plans or drawings showing the design, measurements, and materials needed and perhaps some type of written guideline.

Alternatively, you can also watch video tutorials online.

We recommend this particular instructional video:  

We also highly recommend this set of written instructions:

http://www.secrets-of-shed-building.com/shed_ramp.html

Both of these individually or used in conjunction with each other will help you build shed ramps that will get the job done and last for a very long time.

Onwards and Upwards

Half the battle of choosing the right shed ramps stems around whether you have the time, skill, and ambition to build your own or would prefer to buy pre-made ramps. Both are equally capable of getting the job done.

In the end, at least for most guys, the final decision comes down to time and money. Keep in mind that it is not always cheaper to build your own shed ramp. There are times when it is more practical in several senses to find ramps online and have them delivered to your home. No matter which way you go, at least getting the mower, ATV, or bike in and out of your garden shed will be much easier.

If you know of any other great types of mower or shed ramps, contact us via the contact page.

We hope you have enjoyed reading this, if you have please share it with your friends on Pinterest, Facebook or Twitter.

Thanks for reading

18 Websites with Spectacular Weathervanes for Sheds

Weathervanes for sheds

Below are the best weathervanes for sheds and homes available on the internet

YOUR GARDEN SHED AND HOW YOU CHOOSE TO DECORATE IT can say a lot about you from your tastes to what your favorite hobbies happen to be.

No matter what style of shed you buy or build, you want finishing touches like a weathervane that draw attention to all of your hard work.

If you are like most people who have built their own shed, you probably take a lot of pride in your work and workmanship. What better way to cap off all that hard work than to add a custom weathervane to the top of the roof ridge or cupola?

Here are 18 of the best places in the country that offer over 1000 custom weathervanes for you to consider.

Trendir Copper Weathervanes

Unique Weathervanes from Around the Country

trendir_weathervanes

Image Courtesy of Trendir

Trendir offers a wide range of custom made copper weathervanes from Outdoor FurniturePlus.

Copper weathervanes are easy to care for and will last virtually forever.

Trendir, via Outdoor Furniture Plus, offers a huge selection of weathervanes ranging from$50 and up making them a bit on the expensive side.

Trendir is not a vendor, however, the site will direct you to their handpicked vendors. Visit Trendir.com here

West Coast Weathervanes

Every Imaginable Weathervane Under the Sun

west_coast_weathervanes

Image Courtesy of westcoastweathervanes

West Coast has just about any kind of weathervane you can imagine.

Their offerings cover animals, sports, hobbies, transportation, special occasions, the natural world and more…

They have a seemingly endless list of weathervanes to choose from.

You choose between small, medium, and large versions of each weathervane.

The only real drawback is the cost as these weathervanes tend to cost in the thousands of dollars. Visit westcoastweathervanes.com here

Greens Weathervanes

Greens Turns Fine Art into Amazing Weathervanes (UK)

greens_weathervanes

Image Courtesy of greensvanes.co.uk

Greens champions the 2,000 plus years of weathervanes by creating fine art in copper to puton your shed.

All weathervanes are hand-made by true artisans.

Weathervanes are offered in copper, brass, bronze covered with 231/2K gold.

Incredible range of designs ranging from the Victorian era to the Alice in Wonderland. You can commission your own designs. Just a note, they can be very expensive running with prices in the thousands of dollars.

There is typically a waiting list for their weathervanes. Pepared to wait, check them out here

Cottage Surroundings Weathervanes

Small Selection - Big Prices

cottage_surroundings_weathervanes

Image Courtesy of Cottagesurroundings

​Cottage Surroundings offers a number of rustic products to decorate the inside and outsideof your home.

They are not focused solely on weathervanes. They do, however, offer four delightful designs to choose from, Loon, Moose, Fisherman,and Bear.

Prices are all under $500, which is quite reasonable for top quality copper weathervanes. The copper weathervanes are mounted on steel rods, which could cause corrosion issues.

Great site if you are looking to decorate your home with a rustic look. Want more? check here

Wayfair Weathervane

More than a Weathervane Site

wayfair_weathervanes

Image Courtesy of Wayfair

​Wayfair is a lot like Amazon in that this site sells a very diverse range of products. They offer a diverse range of weathervanes from many manufacturers around the globe.

Wayfair offers a full range of prices starting at under $100. You get free shipping on most orders.

You can order cupolas complete with weathervanes and have them delivered to your home. Wayfair is noted as having slow shipping problems but has excellent customer service. Go there here

Weather Factory Weathervanes

Custom In-House Weathervane Designs from Maine

weathervane_factory_weathervanes

Image Courtesy of Weathervanefactory

Most of their weathervanes are not only designed in-house but are also crafted right on site.

All weathervanes are made from copper for a long life. Copper weathers beautifully acquiring a beautiful green patina.

Cast aluminum weathervanes for added durability. Huge selection of styles including transportation, animals, arrows, and commercial.

Prices here are very reasonable averaging under $500. Want more info, go here

Weathervanes Sculpture

Amazing Hand-Sculpted Weathervanes Since 1989

sculptur_weathervanes

Image Courtesy of WeathervaneSculpture

Edwin B. Waskiewicz has been handcrafting his weathervanes for over 25 years. All weathervanes are hand-hammered from copper or brass. Each one is crafted with a meticulous eye for detail.

Each is unique. If you can imagine your design, Edwin can make it for you.

Very, very expensive, his weathervanes run from $500 to over $10,000, they are not for the faint of heart or wallet. Still interested, go here

Jankowski Weathervanes & Garden Art

Custom Made to Order Weathervane Art

panjankowski_weathervanes

Image Courtesy of PanJankowski

Each weathervane is handmade to your order. Weathervanes are made of copper or brass.

They are mounted on a stainless steel post for minimum corrosion. Turn your hobby, lifestyle, dreams into a weathervane.

Turn your hobby, lifestyle, dreams into a weathervane.

The biggest problem is that because each piece is custom made, you can't get an idea of pricing on the website, not a very good way to sell weathervanes in our opinion. But if you want more, it's here

​Paul Margetts Weathervanes

Amazing Hand Crafted Wind Sculptures from the U.K.

paul_margetts_weathervanes

Image Courtesy of forging-ahead

Offers a wide range of traditional style weathervanes as well as fun and whimsical designs. Paul Margetts designs his weathervanes from your description.

You can adjust the size of your weathervane to fit your shed or building. Come with custom mounting brackets to suit your needs. Made from galvanized steel rather than copper or brass, which may corrode faster.

U.K. pricing is average starting at ₤290 which can make them quite expensive if ordering for U.S.delivery. Shipping from U.K. might be slower than expected. Want more? Go here.

Amazon - Weathervanes

If You Can't Find One Here You Haven't Looked Hard Enough

montague_weathervane

Image Courtesy of Amazon

Amazon is the world's largest online merchandise retailer and that also extends to weathervanes.

Weathervane selection is huge. Prices on most weathervanes are very reasonable. No custom orders, you have to choose from their catalog.

Weathervanes come from all over the world. Amazon does offer a money back guarantee and many items are listed as Amazon Prime for free shipping. See more here

Backyard and Beyond Weathervanes

Amazing Craftsmanship, Fantastic Selection

backyard_and_beyond_weathervanes

Image Courtesy of BackyardandBeyond

This site offers exceptionally high-quality weathervanes and finials for the top of your cupola or shed. Offers weathervanes in three sizes, Estate (large), Standard (fit most sheds and cupolas), Garden(small).

Most weathervanes are made from copper for long life and beauty. They have a wide range of designs including animals, marine life, hobbies, lifestyles, and traditional.

All weathervanes come with a mounting rod, spacer balls, and directional set. You do have to contact the company for a price quote since they don't show prices on their website. Want more info, go here

The Original Weathervane Cupola Shoppe

Fine Selection of Copper, Aluminum, and Steel Weathervanes

weathervane_weathervane

Image Courtesy of Weathervane.com

All weathervanes are crafted in the U.S. by a company who has been in business since 1985. Amazing selection ranging from military to sports and from animals to traditional weathervanes.

Great range of prices starting at under $258 and going up to $1,240. You can order a custom made weathervane direct from the site starting with a price quote.

It only takes a few days to a few weeks for them to complete your custom order. Shipping does cost, but you can choose either UPS ground or expedited service. More info here

AA Statuary & Weathervane Co.

Affordable Selection Including Many Popular Themes

statuary_weathervane

Image Courtesy of statuary-weathervane.com

Very affordable pricing starting at $89.95. They carry aluminum, brass, and copper weathervanes.

Many weathervanes are offered painted for better visibility or in multiple metals for added aesthetics.They also offer weathervane repair services, simply fill out the online form for a price quote.

They offer a ten-day full refund guarantee on weathervanes. There is, however, a 15% fee for shipping and handling charges. Want more info, go here

Etsy - Weathervanes

More bespoke options - Can be hit and miss

gree_tree_botique

Image Courtesy of Etsy

A great place to buy one off and custom made weathervanes. Many products sold here are made by local craftsmen seeking a market for their wares.

If you see one you like, you should grab it while you can. There is no guarantee the same weathervane will still be listed if you wait and come back.

Pricing varies based on the individual seller. Etsy is the middleman in the sale, not the retailer. See more here

Good Directions Weathervanes

Designed and Crafted by American Craftsmen

good_directions_weathervanes

Image Courtesy of GoodDirections

They offer three different sizes of weathervane, Garden (small), Standard, and Estate (large). Most of their weathervanes are made from durable, beautiful copper. Prices vary greatly based on size and style, making it easy to find a weathervane in your budget.

They use their own patented Single Point Contact™ mounting system that lets the weathervane spin freely. 

You will need to buy the mount separately based on where you are planning to locate your weathervane. See more here

Weathervanes of Maine

Real unique pieces, great selection

weathervanes_of_maine

Image Courtesy of WeathervanesofMaine

Huge selection of truly unique weathervanes to choose from. Weathervanes are offered in copper and steel.

The site offers information on how to size a weathervane. They also offer hand hammered copper weather vanes. They can also custom craft a weathervane for you based on your design.

Prices are very reasonable starting at under $200.00 for copper weathervanes. Larger weathervanes are shipped via motor carrier, which makes for a longer delivery time.

You can pay more for expedited shipping on most weathervanes. See more here

Ebay - Weathervanes

Good Range to Choose from Can Find Some One Offs Here

ebay_weathervanes

Image Courtesy of eBay

You can find virtually any type of weathervane here. Not only can you buy new weathervanes, but there are plenty of used ones as well.

A great place to search for vintage or antique weathervanes. You do have to be careful when buying from private sellers.

EBay does, however, guarantee your sale and will offers buyer protection to reduce the risk of getting ripped off. Prices vary from one seller to another and whether you are buying new, used or antique. See more here

Home Depot Weathervanes

Great Place to Find Budget-Friendly Weathervanes

home depot shed weathervane

Image Courtesy of HomeDepot

No weathervanes over $100 at Americans favorite discount hardware warehouse superstore. Sell a number of well-known brands.

You can pick up many of the available models in the store. They also offer free ship to store and ship to home shipping services. They also offer free ship to store and ship to home shipping services.

Quality may not be the best, but for the price you can't beat the offerings. They also offer a selection of weathervane mounts that can be used with your choice of weathervanes. See them here

In Summary...

Finding just the right weathervane for your garden shed or home can be challenging. There are literally thousands of them available from dozens of suppliers.

The hardest part for most people is deciding what they want their weathervane to look like. We hope you have enjoyed reading all about the weathervanes available from these top suppliers.

If you know of any other good ones, please contact us via our contact page.

Share this if you liked it, post it on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and your other favorite social media sites.

Thanks for Reading.

The 6 Most Common Ways to Install Garden Shed Lighting

A Garden Shed Lighting Classic Fixture

YOU'VE BEEN WORKING in your shed all day on an important project. Now the sun is setting and guess what? You don't have any light to keep working.

What you really need is some form of garden shed lighting to make your shed useable any time, night or day. You can’t keep working in a dim shed as you'll only end up making mistakes and may even ruin whatever it is you are working on.

The hard part is trying to decide what type of lighting is going to be best for your shed and what you plan to use it for. Some options such as wiring in electric lights can get expensive as you might need to bring in an electrician. Others such as battery or solar powered lights are easier to install, but may not provide enough light.

A Quick Look at What Each Type of Lighting has to Offer

Now that we have taken a quick look at the available garden shed lighting options, let's take a look at the good and bad points a little more closely.

TYPE OF LIGHT FIXTURE

LEVEL OF LIGHT

INSTALLATION EASY/HARD

Battery Powered All-in-One

Low

Easy

Separate Light and Solar Panel Kit

Typically, Low,

Depends on Location

Solar System with Battery Backup

Varies by size of system

Depends on Style

Powered Fluorescent Fixture

High

Hard requires wiring

Powered Incandescent Fixture

Varies depending on bulbs

Hard requires wiring

Powered LED Fixture

Very High

Hard requires wiring

Bear in mind there are other issues you need to look at when deciding what type of lighting you need in your garden shed. For example, how much light do you really need? If all you are doing is storing your garden tools in it, a simple, inexpensive battery light might do just fine.

If you are using your shed for an art studio, you might be better off investing in a professionally installed LED lighting system.

Solar Powered Lights

All in One Garden Shed Lights

x8a_latest_garden_led_light

Courtesy of Digiteck

If all you are looking for is some easy to install lighting that can be put up in a few minutes and provide you with just enough light to get by, then battery powered lights are the perfect option. In most cases, you will find these lights are very inexpensive and can be shipped to your home with minimal shipping charges.

basic shed security light

Basic 2 screw fixed shed security light - Courtesy of 1byone

They tend to come in two different styles, those that are stuck in place using peel-n-stick adhesive already installed on the back and those that require screws to attach.

With the peel-n-stick variety all you have to do is peel the protective film off the back and stick it wherever you need light.

If you are looking for an outdoor security light, you can buy self-sticking solar powered lights that have a built-in sensor that turns the light on at night and off in the morning.

The screw mounted variety have slots in the back made for installation with a couple of screws. All you have to do is install the screws in the wall of your shed and then slide the light in place.

Both of these types of security light are designed to be used outside but they can be used inside. They are very quick and easy to install. These lights require little if any maintenance beyond keeping them clean. If you buy battery instead of solar powered, you will need to replace the batteries.

Separate Light and Solar Panel Kit

solar_g2_solar_light_bulb

Courtesy of Solar Light Mart

Ready to use solar lights are simple to install and perfect for when you only need a little bit of light.

They are the perfect solution for anyone who doesn't want to go to the expense of having an electrician come out and install the wiring needed for standard light fixtures.

Solar lights such as these typically have a solar panel that must be installed somewhere on the south facing side of your garden shed's roof or on the ground. Wiring must then be run from the solar panel to the light fixture inside.

The cost for this type of garden shed lighting will vary depending on the size of the system, the amount of illumination it will provide, and what type of backup battery it has (or whether it has one at all).

Some offer you lighting level options which can extend the number of hours the system will operate after the sun goes down.

Overall lighting levels with solar tend to be quite a bit lower than with electrically powered lights. You do also run the risk of running out of light if you have to work at night or on very cloudy days for long periods of time.

Most systems feature LED bulbs that are surprisingly bright until the power level begins to drop.

Solar System Lighting with Battery Backup

shed lights with solar panel and battery backup

Courtesy of Microsolar

Solar systems that use storage batteries have been around for decades. These systems can be pretty expensive, but at the same time can be used for more than just supplying power to your garden shed lighting.

The solar panels must be installed facing south for maximum exposure. The panels or as they are properly called solar collectors are then connected to one or more storage batteries.

Technically, you can use old car batteries, but deep cycle boat or RV batteries work better. The batteries are then connected to a power inverter that converts the 12V DC to 115V AC.

Depending on the size of your system, you can connect multiple lights giving your shed plenty of light. You may even be able to run other items on the system such as power tools, a radio, or battery chargers for your cordless tools.

These systems are great for sheds that you don't want to connect to electricity or are not close enough to do so affordably. Prices for these systems can range from a couple hundred dollars for basic models to thousands of dollars.

The cost is based on how much power they deliver and the type of system you choose. The most expensive ones come with very large solar panels and deep cycle storage batteries. The less expensive ones typically include lithium ion storage batteries with limited storage capacity.

Electric Powered Lights

Powered Flood Lamps

warmoon_waterproof_led_flood_light

Courtesy of Warmoon

When you need a ton of light either inside your shed for those late night projects or for when you are playing or working outside a night, nothing beats a powered floodlight.

These are available in several varieties, including simple screw in floodlight bulbs that fit a standard light socket or complete halogen units.

Both of these produce huge amounts of light, but they do require your shed to be wired for 115V in order for them to work. These bulbs also tend to cost a lot more to operate. They are available in a range of wattages to suit your needs.

Using a separate unit like in the image above makes installation to walls or ceilings easy​

Fluorescent Lights

durolux_t5_grow_light_flourescent

Courtesy of DuroLux

If you are considering installing fluorescent or 115V LED lighting in your shed, you will either need to already have wiring in place and connected to your home's fuse box or be prepared to pay an electrician to run it.

Both of these lights can provide your garden shed with plenty of light. Fluorescent lights come in a wide array of different spectrums ranging from warm yellow to pure white.

Warm yellow fluorescent lights are good for general purpose lighting, while full spectrum white is better suited for an art studio or for growing plants. In most cases, fluorescent lights produce softer shadows and unlike LEDs or incandescent light bulbs, will not blind you when you look directly at them.

LED Lights

LED light powered

Courtesy of toggled

LED Lights offer pure white light as well, but they can really hurt your eyes if you look into them. However, they are one of the most economical forms of lighting on the market.

You can literally leave an LED light on 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and still not add more than a few dollars to your annual power bill.

The only bad thing, if there is one, about LED bulbs is that they tend to be a bit on the expensive side to install. But that is offset by the fact that LEDs last much longer than other types of bulbs.

Frequently Asked Shed Lighting Questions

How Many Lights Do You Need?

No matter what type of light you plan to install in your garden shed, you need to decide up front how many you will need.

There are several factors which must be brought into the decision making process. These include the size of your shed, the type of lights you plan to install, and most importantly of all, what you are planning to use your shed for.

Cost of Wiring Your Shed

If you plan to install electrically powered lights in your shed, you must factor in the cost of adding in the wiring. This is especially true if you need to hire an electrician. The cost will include all materials and labor. Typical materials needed will include:

  • Electric Wire
  • Metal wire protection tubing and fittings
  • Switch and junction boxes
  • Protective plates
  • Switches
  • Light Fixtures

You may also need to purchase a permit from your local city government to have the work done. A permit may also be necessary even if you are doing the work yourself. Be sure to check your local ordinances to avoid being fined.

Can I Wire My Own Shed?

Can you wire your own shed? Installing your own garden shed lighting is not a huge project in most cases. To find out how easy it is to do, visit our post on wiring up a shed to learn all about doing your wiring.

In Summary...

In the end, there is nothing worse than trying to get anything done in a dark, dismal shed.

In fact, when faced with a dark shed, most people tend to avoid getting anything done, leaving many projects incomplete or worse yet, not even getting started. Rather than leaving your shed as nothing but a storage unit/junk collector, installing the right garden shed lighting can quickly turn it into your favorite place to hang out.

If you know of any other good forms of garden shed lighting, feel free to let us know via our contact page.

If you like what you what you have just read, please share it on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.

21 Secure Bike Shed Ideas from Around the Globe

21 Secure Bike Shed Ideas from Around the Globe

Time for a secure bike shed

ACCORDING TO THE FBI, over 1.5 million bikes are stolen in the U.S. every year.

So how do you stop from becoming another statistic?

By investing in securing your bike. And one of the best ways to do that is with a secure bike shed.

By leaving your bike in the shed instead of parking it on the porch or out in the backyard, you won't become just another statistic for the FBI.

For our own curiosity, and to help you find the best solution for your circumstance we put together this list. Use it to shop, or get ideas for your own DIY project.

#21 - USA - Bosmere Bicycle Storage

Bolted Down Super Security

bosmere_trimetals_A300_bicycle_storage

Courtesy of bosmere

The Bosmere bicycle storage shed is built from PVC-coated galvanized steel. The doors are spring loaded to make them easy to lift up and out of the way.

It is designed to be bolted in place so no one can steal the entire shed and has two places for padlocks for added security. Holds up to three bikes of all styles safely locked up, out of harm's way. Take a closer look here

#20 - EUR - Roll Up Bicycle Bin Storage

Austrian Built Fast Access Security

biohort_storemax_bicycle_storage

Courtesy of howbertandmays

The Roll Up bicycle storage unit is made from hot-dipped galvanized steel and aluminum for maximum lifespan and added security. Can be ordered in a variety of colors and features a cylinder lock for added security.

The roll up lid slides smoothly out of the way, making room for up to three bikes. The perfect secure bike shed for out in your garden.

#19 - UK - Asgard Metal Bike Shed

Three's Company in this Shed

asgard secure bike shed

Courtesy of Asgard

Not only is there room for up to three bikes in the Asgard Metal bike shed, there is even a shelf for your helmet and gloves. The Euro-style cylinder lock is virtually impossible to pick, keeping your bikes safe at all times.

The Asgard has a built in rain guard to ensure your bikes and gear stay dry no matter how hard it's raining. Steel floor can be bolted down for added security. Large double doors make for easy access.

#18 - EUR - Bikedock Solutions Access Bike Shed

Peace of Mind for Four

bikedock_access_bike_shed

Courtesy of BikeDocksolutions

If you want the ultimate in security for your bikes, this shed is made from heavy-gauge galvanized steel with reinforced front doors. It features one internal and two external locking points and comes with two discus style padlocks.

There is room inside for up to four mountain or road bikes and shelves for accessories like helmets, chain lube, gloves, whatever goes with your bikes.

#17 - UK - Safestore Double Ended Bike Storage

When You Have Limited Space

safestore_double_ended_bike_storage

Courtesy of leisurebuildings

So many secure bike sheds seem to be made for those with lots of room. With doors that open on both ends instead of the front, the Safestore unit was made narrow for small spaces.

You can access your bikes from either end. Each unit is designed to hold one bike, but you can bolt multiple units together to create all the secure bike storage you need. Features a 3-point locking system, including a rail inside you can lock your bike to for even more security.

#16 - USA - Vestil Multi Bicycle Storage Shelter

Plenty of Room for the Whole Family

vestil_multi_bicycle_storage_shelter

Courtesy of vestil

The Vestil shelter is more than just a secure bike shed, it is a family sized bike storage shelter complete with a bike rack designed to hold several bikes. The frame is powder-coated steel, the sides and roof are galvanized steel.

You can easily lock your bikes to the bike rack to ensure they stay put. The entire shed can be bolted in place using the included lag plates.

#15 - USA - Bosmere Wooden Storage

Natural Wood Styling

bosmere_ws1881h_wooden_storage

Courtesy of bosmere

This shed is great for securely storing bikes, outdoor toys, garden equipment and more. Features honey brown dipped finish and double locking doors for security.

Sides are 1/2-inch shiplap siding, inside is a tongue and groove floor, and the roof is solid wood covered in roofing felt for optimum weatherproofing. Offers space for at least two bikes and all of your gear.

#14 - USA - Wedge Shaped Bike Lockers

Unique Shape Perfect for Tight Spots

Horizontal-Bike-Locker1

Courtesy of ameribike

These wedge shaped bike lockers are made of molded fiberglass and plastic to provide you with years of secure bike storage. Each unit is designed to hold a single bike, but you can park more units next to each other minimizing the footprint. This makes them ideal for small areas where you need to secure several bikes.

Come fully assembled with built-in cylinder lock for maximum security.

#13 - AUS - Individually Accessed Bike Lockers

One Shed One Bike

Individual access to bikes

Courtesy of La Trobe University

These bike lockers are designed for use in a range of locations such as home, school campuses, workplace, and more. Each unit is designed to hold a single bike along with any riding gear.

Bikes are secured using a padlock making it possible for anyone to store their bike safely out of sight.

#12 - UK- The Lambeth Bikehangar

Award-Winning Secure Bike Storage

Courtesy of cyclehoop

The Lambeth Bike Hanger is an award-winning storage solution that can be parked on the street and takes up about half a parking space. It offers secure storage for six bikes.

Gas sprung door stays up while bikes are inserted or removed. Bikes can be locked to the bike rack where they are kept safely out of the elements.

#11 - AUS - Vertical Bicycle Lockers

Stand Up and Be Counted

die motorrad garage secure bike shed

Courtesy of autolift

Not everyone has room for a long bike shed. These lockers are made from 12 mm galvanized steel and are designed to let you hang your bikes vertically from the built-in hook.

The heavy gauge steel and three point locking system will keep your bike safe and secure from would-be thieves. Perfect for use at home, school, or in the workplace.

#10 - UK - 'Pedalbase' Bike Shed

Low Profile Attractive Storage

bikeshed company bike shed

Courtesy of 'the bike shed co'

This secure bike storage unit is perfect for those who need low profile storage. This shed comes in two sizes, one that accommodates up to three bikes, and one that can hold up to five bikes.

For ease of use the shed features a hinged roof and double doors. The Pedalbase is construction from wood that has been fully sealed for extra weather protection.

Both of the doors have bolt style locks on the inside and then a padlock hasp on the outside to provide your bikes with complete security.

#9 - UK - The Bike Vault

Super Simple, Easy Security

the bike vault

Courtesy of Bike Vault

Made from low-density recycled polyethylene, this super tough bike storage unit is just big enough for one bike. Inside is a place to install a D Lock or chain for extra security, the door offers stainless steel hasps for a padlock.

The Bike Vault is completely weatherproof, and there is just enough room for your helmet and safety gear. The Bike Vault comes completely assembled and ready to use.

#8 - UK - iniko Bike Unit

Step-In Storage

iniko secure bike shed storage

Courtesy of iniko

The iniko bike unit is constructed from powder coated aluminum for maximum corrosion resistance. The roll up door makes accessing your bikes simple and fast.

Inside are adjustable hyperglides that help support your bike in an upright position. Each unit is designed to hold two bikes, but the XL version offers just that little bit of extra space.

#7 - UK - Wiggle Bike Infrastructure Unit

Modular Storage for Your Bike

iniko secure bike shed storage

The Wiggle is a modular storage system made from wood with a galvanized steel frame. The unique shape is ideal for areas where rain and snow are common. It is designed to last for 30 years and offers storage for a number of bikes.

Total interior space is 47.25 sq. meters. Access is through a standard man door that can be locked. Bikes can also be locked to bike racks on the inside.

#6 - AUS - BikeBox Storage

Bolted Down Security

spec net secure bike storage shed

Courtesy of specnet.com.au

The BikeBox is designed to be securely bolted in place to give you added peace of mind. The lid can be easily folded all the way up for maximum access. All steel construction with a powder-coated finish is made to take on the elements.

Offers room for up to four bikes and plenty of gear. Three-point locking system keeps everything secure.

#5 - UK- Secure Shed in the Snow

Simple but Effective

spec net secure bike storage shed

Courtesy of shedforce

Nothing beats a simple steel shed for secure bike storage. These sheds are made to handle the weather and anybody interested in stealing your bike. The solid steel construction can handle a fair amount of snow load while at the same time resist all but the most dedicated thieves.

Single lockable door entry with a drip shield overhead to help keep ice and snow at bay. Sizes vary making it possible to choose the right size based on the number of bikes you need to store.

#4 - UK- Treesaurus Secure Bike Shed

Green Storage - Literally

treesaurus secure bike shed

Courtesy of treesaurus

The Treesaurus bike shed offers secure storage for 2 or more adult bikes and is made from solid wood with an aluminum frame. It even offers built-in hangers for your helmet and safety gear.

The unique thing about this bike shed is that it comes complete with a plantable roof. You can order yours with wild grass, wildflowers, or a mix of wildflowers and sedum.

The inside section of this shed slides out on runners from the end instead of the front, minimizing footprint while maximizing secure storage.

#3 - GER- Die Motorrad Garage

Pull Out Storage

die motorrad garage secure bike shed

Courtesy of die motorrad garage

Not everyone has room for a full-size bike storage shed in their driveway. This unit is built from several sections designed to be collapsed into a very small unit when not in use.

You can bolt the first section of the shed to a wall for added security. Each subsequent section slides over the others allowing you to expand the shed to meet your needs.

The fold-up front door makes access easy. You can literally open the door, park your bikes and then pull the shed out around them before using the Euro-style cylinder lock to secure everything.

#2 - AUS - Horizontal Bicycle Lockers

Simple and Secure

Horizontal-Bike-Locker1

Courtesy of autolift

When space is not an issue these galvanized steel horizontal bike lockers are the answer to secure bike sheds. Each unit can hold a single bike without the need to hang it up.

There is room for your riding gear inside along with one bike. Each unit is fully weatherproof and secured with a built-in three-point locking mechanism.

#1 - US - Bike Shell Lockers

Composite Storage for the Win

bike shell

Courtesy of ameribike

These bike lockers are made from a composite of e-fiberglass and plastic that will never corrode and is highly stain resistant. Each unit is big enough to hold a single bike, but you can place multiple units next to each other for added storage.

Shipped pre-assembled and ready to go. The door is made to accept a padlock for added security.

One Last Word

Your bike represents a pretty hefty investment, the last thing you want is for someone else to be riding around on it. Even if you chain it to a fence post or patio rail, someone can easily cut the chain and make off with it.

These secure bike sheds show you just how easy it is to keep your bikes locked safely out of sight and out of the weather. Give your bikes the storage they deserve by adding one of these to your home or place of work.

If you know any other good bike lockers you would like to share, contact us via the contact page.

Start a conversation with your friends by sharing if you liked this or Pinterest.

Thanks for reading!

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Barn and Shed Cupolas Reviewed – Should You Build or Buy Off the Shelf?

shed-cupola-on-barn

CUPOLAS CAN BE the crowning glory on just about any structure, including your shed or even your home.

Although cupolas might look like they are easy to build, you may find there is more to building one than you imagined

You can of course buy one ready to install, but where would the fun in that be?

You have a number of options, including building your own from scratch, buying a kit online, or simply ordering one that is premade and ready to install

Here we take a good look at your options and try to help point you in the right direction so that you don't end up with something you don't want

What Exactly is a Cupola?

In the days before the advent of roof and ridge ventilation, cupolas were often used as a form of ventilation. Many were just as decorative as they were functional.

Metal shed cupola

Shed cupolas can be made out of materials such as wood, sheet metal, plastic, copper and glass

Cupolas are no longer considered a mainstream method of ventilating your barn or shed. However, when made with the right materials a good cupola can provide your shed with excellent ventilation

The early cupolas were installed over a large hole in the center of a barns roof. They were a way to provide enough airflow to prevent mold and mildew from building up on the crops stored within

The first of these ventilators or cupolas consisted of a wooden box with louvers that allowed air to flow through them while keeping out the rain.

These days, modern cupolas can range from small and ornate to larger units that are more about function than form.

The cupola itself consists of the base, the vents on each side, and the cap. The vents can be designed to let in fresh air and light. While at the same time allowing moisture and hot or stale air to flow out. Screens are typically added to keep out bugs and many other creatures.

Cupolas come in all sizes and shapes based on the needs or desires of the owner.​

Should You Build a Cupola From Scratch Yourself?

There are 3 main options for adding a cupola to your shed roof

  • Build your own cupola from scratch
  • Buy one in kit form
  • Order a complete unit

So how do you decide which one is for you?

There are several things that should be considered in order to answer this question

1. What are Your Skills Like?

The first concerns whether or not you have the necessary skills to build a cupola from scratch.

In most cases the only skills you need to have are relatively basic, such as the ability to measure accurately and work with the appropriate hand and power tools

2. What is Your Budget?

Sadly, no matter what type of project you are planning, cost has to factor into your final decision

If you do a little shopping online, it is easy to see just how much buying a pre-built cupola can be.

Pre-built Shed Cupolas are available from:

They can range from hundreds of dollars up to several thousand, depending on the size you need, the design, and of course the materials you want your cupola to be made from.

If you want to price building your own cupola, the first thing you need is a set of plans. The plans should list the various materials needed to build your cupola

Shed Cupola Plans are available from:

This list should include all of the different sizes of lumber you are going to need along with quantities for each. It should also give you an idea how many pounds of nails or screws will be needed along with sizes and types, i.e. 6d or 4d nails, wood screws, staples, etc.

shed-cupola-for-ventilation

A modern cupola with windows for light and a weathervane

If your plans call for windows, they should state the exact size to help you shop for the right ones. You will also need to factor in shingles or metal for the roof, any screens for the louvers or windows, a weathervane if you are going to install one and any other miscellaneous materials such as paint or siding

You can price the materials you need at your local discount hardware and lumber superstore. Anything you can't find there you can find on eBay

So Why Buy an Off-the-Shelf Cupola?​

Buying a pre-built cupola can be more expensive option. But all the lumber and hardware you need, if you were to build it yourself does add up. Not to mention the time and effort required

Barn-with-Cupola-on-top

3. ​What Style Will Suit Your Shed Roof?

There is quite a large range of styles, sizes, and types of material available with pre-built cupolas for you to choose from. However you still may not find what you are looking for 

Building a cupola yourself does ensure you can have it exactly as you want it​. In the style you want and built with the material you want

The Pros and Cons of Each Type of Cupola at a Glance​

Type of cupola

pros

cons

Build from scratch

· Least Expensive

· Can Customize to Meet Your Needs

· Fun to build

· Personal Satisfaction

· Time Consuming

· Only as Good as Your Skills

Build from a Kit

· More Affordable than Buying Pre-Built

· Can Still Customize to a Certain Extent

· All Pieces Are Precut to Fit

· More Affordable than Buying Pre-Built

· Can Still Customize to a Certain Extent

· All Pieces Are Precut to Fit

Pre-Built

· Completely Built and Ready to Install

· All Seams, Edges, Frames Perfect Fit

· Sized to Meet Your Exact Needs

· Can Be Very Expensive

· Can Be Damaged in Shipping

· Limited Number of Sizes, Styles

​Sizing Your Cupola

There is no simple answer regarding how large or small to build your cupola. In reality, the right size depends on a number of variables. Among these are:

  • AESTHETICS: How the size of your cupola relates to the shed/barn size as well as the surroundings.
  • WEIGHT: Keep in mind how much weight the structure of your roof can withstand.
  • PURPOSE: Is your cupola ornamental or will it serve as a part of your ventilation system?
  • CODE RESTRICTIONS: Before starting any construction project, check with your local authorities.
  • LOCATION: Where on your shed/barn will the cupola be mounted?

The basic rule of thumb is that your cupola should be 1.5 inches of cupola width for every foot of uninterrupted roofline of your shed/barn.

For example, if your roofline is 24 feet long, the calculation would look like this; 24 x 1.5=36. Therefore, your cupola should be 36 inches wide.

How Much Work Is Involved in Building a Cupola?

Depending on the size and complexity of your chosen cupola, building one from scratch or from a kit can take a lot of time and hard work. The good news is that once the job is done, you will have something you can be proud of and that everyone in your neighborhood will be able to see.

If you want to see how much work it can be, watch this video from Home and Leisure TV:

​Choosing the Right Materials for Your Cupola

Choosing the right materials for your cupola is vital if you want your project to provide you with many years of reliable service while continuing to look great on the roof of your shed or barn.

type of materials

pros

cons

Timber

· Easy to Work With

· Inexpensive

· Easy to Find

· Requires Several Power Tools

· Must Be Kept Painted

· Can Rot if Not Properly Protected

Vinyl

· Low Maintenance

· Easy to Work With

· Long Lifespan

· Hard to Paint if You Want New Color

· Can Be Damaged by Extreme Heat or Cold

Sheet Metal

· Very Strong

· Requires Few Tools to Work With

· Still Have to Build a Frame

· Hardest to Work With

· Subject to Corrosion

· Must Be Kept Painted

​What about the Roof?

When it comes to the roof of your cupola, you can choose between a wood and shingle roof or one made out of copper or in recent years tin or steel.

The most common choices seem to be either wood/shingle and copper. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, but are equally worth considering.

material

pros

cons

Wood/Shingle

· Inexpensive

· Easy to Build

· Easy to Replace

· Can Easily Be Damaged by Storms

· Wood rots easily in humid climates

· Requires Frequent Replacement

Copper

· Lasts Virtually Forever

· Lighter than Wood/Shingle

· Made from Recycled Copper

· Looks Fantastic as It Weathers

· Very Durable

· Very Expensive Initial Outlay

· Harder to Work With

Where Can I Find Shed Cupola Plans, Kits and Off-the-Shelf Cupolas?

While many of the national hardware warehouse stores often have a small selection of cupolas in their catalogs along with a few plans, shopping online is a much better choice.

On the Internet you will be able to find a huge selection of plans and kits to choose from.

This will let you decide what style, what size, and the type of materials you want your cupola to be built from. To start we reckon a great place to check out is eBay. There you will almost be certain of finding a cupola kit to meet your needs at a price you can afford

If you want more choice, we had a look for some decent ranges of cupolas. You can follow the links below to go straight to the appropriate pages...

Pre-built Shed Cupolas are available from:

Shed Cupola Plans are available from:

​Installing Your Cupola

The best way to cover how to install your cupola is to show you how it's done in this video from Home and Garden Lifestyle.

In Summary...

There is a lot to think about when you decide the time has come to install a cupola on the roof of your shed or barn. One of the biggest decisions beyond cost is whether or not you have the time and skills needed to get the job done right.

Scratch built from plans and kits will save you a lot of money, but could end up leaving you with an inferior product if your skills are not up to the task. However, there is nothing quite like the feeling you get from building your own cupola.

Thank you for reading this article!

Want to start a conversation with your friends on shed cupolas? Then share this on your favorite social media and let them know your going to build a cupola!​

The 3 Most Popular Shed Skylight Options – Reviewed

went-a-little-overboard-with-the-shed-skylight

​This guy wen't a little overboard with the skylights. You won't need this many

NOTHING IS WORSE THAN trying to work in a damp, dark shed. If this is what you are dealing with, it's no wonder you never spend any time working in your shed.

Most sheds are lucky to have a door and maybe a single window. When this is all you have to deal with, your shed spends most of its time in the dark.

One easy way to remedy this problem, create more light, better airflow, and keep the temperature more stable in your shed, is to install one (or more) skylights. This simple addition can be relatively inexpensive, easy to install and help you reap 5 big benefits in your shed

The 5 Things A Skylight WILL Do For You 

There are so many reasons to add a skylight or two to your shed, it can be hard to know where to start. So let's start with the basics and move on from there.

Light

ray_of_light

Obviously installing one or more skylights in your shed is going to let in more light than a solid roof. This extra light will make it much easier to see what you are doing, without the need to turn on the lights.

More importantly, natural light is far better than electric light for a range of projects from painting to growing plants. Nothing beats natural light, especially for anyone who is an artist.

Electricity

Now that you have more than your fair share of natural light, go ahead and turn off the overhead lights and leave them off until you absolutely no choice but to turn them on. Installing one or more skylights in your shed can significantly reduce your annual electricity bill.

Added Heat

While most of us know skylights let in plenty of light from the sun, how many of you know they also help to keep your shed warmer during the colder months. Even during the winter, the sun's rays contain a certain amount of heat.

The skylights will let this heat in, along with the added light, helping to further reduce your energy bill and keeping your shed a little warmer all winter long.

Reduce Mold/Mildew

If your shed has been left in the dark for a long time, chances are good it has a buildup of mold and mildew. This is often caused by a lack of airflow just as much as it is a lack of natural light. By opening the skylight and letting fresh air and light in, you can eliminate this problem once and for all.

Remove Stale Air

Beautiful nature view through roof skylight Shed skylight

Stale air may not be something you have given much thought to.

Your shed can be full of fumes from your last project or worse yet full of mold and mildew spores that are definitely bad for your health. Adding one or two skylights can help to quickly dissipate stale air, leaving behind a much fresher smelling environment to work in.

As you can see, there are many reasons why installing one or more skylights in your shed, barn, or garage can make it a far friendlier place to hang out and get things done, all year long.

The 3 Main Skylight Options

While there are a number of different styles of skylight such as dome, flat, tinted, glass, Perspex, and more, there are only three main types of skylight, each of which has its advantages and disadvantages. These are fixed, ventilating, and tubular. Let's take a closer look at each of these and what they have to offer.

Fixed Skylights

velux_fixed_skylight

Courtesy of VELUX

In essence, fixed skylights are those that are not designed to be opened. They are installed in your shed's roof as a way to let in more light. They can be made of glass or Perspex and come in clear or with variable levels of tint to restrict just how much light comes in.

Fixed skylights are among the most popular for use in houses as most people don't need the extra ventilation offered by skylights that can be opened in their homes. These are typically the least expensive types of skylights.

In most cases installation of this type of skylight requires little more than cutting the appropriate size hole in your roof and then following the instructions that came with the skylight you have chosen. While some brands require the construction of a frame, others come complete and ready to mount directly to the roof.

This video shows you how to prepare your roof and then how to install your skylight. Be sure to use the appropriate safety gear at all times when using power tools. Follow all instructions included with the skylight to ensure your installation is completed properly and that your skylight will not leak.

Installation video courtesy YouTube via Great Canadian Roofing & Siding

Ventilating Skylights

fakro_ventilating_skylight

Courtesy of FAKRO

Obviously, these are skylights that can be opened to let damp air out and to let in the fresh air your shed needs to stay cool and dry all summer long.

You can also open them on those sunny winter days to bring in a little welcome heat. They come in both manual and automatic versions.

Powered skylights can be operated in several ways:

  • A wall mounted switch
  • A remote control unit
  • A timer set to open and close them at set times of the day
  • A thermostat set to ventilate your shed when the temperature reaches a preset point

Tubular Skylights

The tubular skylight is the latest design on the market and typically consists of a smaller circular skylight that is mounted on the exterior of the roof.

Attached to this is a tube that runs from the roof down through the attic or crawlspace and then through the ceiling.

You can, of course, use this type of skylight, even if your shed does not have a ceiling, to provide localized natural lighting such as you might want in an area where you have plants growing or where you plan to work.

This type of skylight is popular among artist for use over their work table or easel as it can provide a significant amount of natural lighting.

The light comes in via the skylight and is directed through a tube that is typically 10 to 14 inches in diameter to the room below. This particular design provides a concentrated "beam" of light that is focused on a particular area rather than being spread out over the entire room.

Because tubular skylights provide directed lighting, you may not find them a good fit for use in your shed.

Follow along as these professionals show you how to install a tubular skylight on your roof.

Installation video courtesy YouTube via Brennan Morrow.

Materials Used for Skylights

There are a number of different materials used to create skylights, each offers a varying level of performance, cost, energy efficiency, and light transmission.

Among the many things to consider when choosing the best material for your skylight are the need for visibility (will you be able to see through your skylight clearly) and the amount of light transmission needed for your particular application.

The most common materials used are glass, acrylic plastic, polycarbonate, copolyester plastic, and fiberglass.

Glass

Glass is the original material used to construct skylights and has a lot to offer.

greenhouse

pros

cons

  • Durability

  • Long life

  • Scratch resistant

  • Can be coated with a range of light diffusing materials to vary the type and amount of light allowed through

  • Multiple layers of glass with a barrier in between can be very energy efficient

  • Heavy
  • Hard to form into different shapes
  • Single layers, not energy efficient
  • Can be expensive

Plexiglass (Acrylic Plastic)

First developed in 1929, acrylic plastic is one of the most common materials used in today's skylights.

(Plexiglass is a common brand name for acrylic. So for this purpose we have classified them the same)

Plexiglass skylight roof

PROS

CONS

  • Lightweight

  • Easy to mold into shape

  • Easy to cut

  • High impact performance

  • Available in transparent or translucent versions

  • Can crack after extended exposure to UV light
  • May scratch easily

Polycarbonate

First produced in 1953, this "space age" materials was first used in the military for a variety of purposes. It typically comes in corrugated sheets which makes it good for doing large areas

PROS

CONS

  • Lightweight

  • High impact performance

  • Available in transparent or translucent versions

  • Harder to form
  • Harder to cut
  • Uses more energy to form

Fiberglass

Fiberglass is hard to find as a material used for skylights and isn't commonly used. It generally is translucent and a very strong option for use in skylights

PROS

CONS

  • Lightweight

  • Easy to cut

  • High impact performance

  • Offers excellent light diffusion

  • Can crack after extended exposure to UV radiation

  • Not easily formed

  • Translucent only (not clear)

Final Thoughts

In the end, you need to carefully consider what you use your shed, barn, or garage for and how much light or ventilation it requires. Each of the different types of skylight has a lot to offer. Another important aspect you need to take into consideration is your local climate.

If you live in a hot humid region, you will most likely be better off with skylights that can be opened to provide your shed with adequate ventilation.

When you get right down to it, only you can make the right choice, but bear in mind that cost should be one of the last things factored into your decision. Your best bet is to read a number of reviews and see how the different types of skylights worked for others, this can help you make the right choice.

Let me know how you go by contacting me here

Thanks for reading

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DIY vs PAID – 16 Garden Tool Organizer Solutions (for Inside or Outside of Your Shed)

Garden-Tool-Organizer-is-Needed-Here

Love being organized? Here are some great garden tool organizer solutions for any gardener

HAVE YOU LOOKED AT the mess inside your garden shed lately?

Do you have tools scattered as far as the eye can see?

Do you find yourself buying new tools simply because you can't find the ones you already have?

There is nothing worse than having a garden shed full of tools you can't find. Not only is this very frustrating, in the end, many of your tools end up getting damaged or permanently lost in the mess.

A much better solution is to buy or build some form of garden tool storage. The big question is whether you might be better off building something yourself or buying a storage system that is literally ready to put together and use.

Here we take a look at a number of options and then let you know whether the DIY or the Paid version is the better choice in our opinion.

Large Yard Tools - Inside the Shed

DIY - Yard Tool Rack

Source: Instructables

This yard tool rack is about as simple as it gets. Made from a pair of 2 x 6s that have been notched to fit the handles of your various long handled yard tools.

You can use a circular saw or jig saw to cut the notches and vary the sizes to match the handles of each tool. The completed racks are nailed or bolted to the wall studs. The entire unit can be built in a couple of hours for just a few bucks.

PAID - Holeyrail Garage Organizer

holeyrail-garage-organizer

Source: Amazon

The Holeyrail garage organizer is a long strip of industrial grade steel that can hold up to 600 pounds when properly installed. The pre-plated steel is perfect for indoor or outdoor use and comes predrilled for use with standard pegboard type pegs.

These do not come with the unit, but you do get a set of ten PegStrappers™ to help lock the pegs in place. This organizer comes complete with all necessary mounting hardware. More detail available here

THE VERDICT

We reckon DIY here. Although the paid option isn't expensive building a rack on a wall yourself is not overly complicated, and can be done typically with scrap timber found around the home. You can cobble one of these racks together in less than an hour and custom build it to fit in with your needs.

Large Yard Tools - Outside the Shed

DIY- Yard Tool Rack

Source: Pinterest

Although the one depicted was custom built for kayaking, it shows you how easy it is to build one just like it for your garden tools.

To make this type of yard tool rack all you need is a few 2 x 4s, some plywood, a pegboard and a few tool hangers. You can even make the hangers yourself by notching out a 2 x 4 to fit the handle of tools such as rakes, garden forks, and shovels.

Yours doesn't have to be this big, build it to fit your needs.

PAID - Suncast Rolling Tool Cart

suncast-tool-rack-with-wheels

Source Amazon

Simple and neat rolling solution for your large yard tools. Plenty of storage

The Suncast rolling tool rack features a heavy duty plastic base and slotted tool rack with steel cores for added strength. It is ideal for storing power trimmers and long handled tools.

The rack has a 20 large tool capacity and is mounted on casters for easy portability. There are spots for 17 smaller tools along the top and in clips mounted to the sides.

The wide base makes this tool rack very steady when moving it around.  See more detail here

THE VERDICT

Just like the inside storage rack, we reckon the DIY version makes a much better choice. Not only can you build it out of any scrap lumber you happen to have lying around, you can customize it to fit your tools. Most prebuilt units do not have any way to adapt them if they don't fit your selection of tools. As an added bonus, you can make your tool rack as big or small as you need.

Small Garden Tools - Inside the Shed

PAID - Suncast 2-Foot Hand Tool Garden Organizer 

suncast2-foot-garden-hand-tool-Organizer

Source: Amazon

This extra deep small tool hanger lets you hang multiple tools on each hook for convenience. The hooks are tilted back to help keep tools from sliding off.

The organizer is designed to be mounted on either 16" or 24" on center studs and predrilled to allow you to mount more than one unit on each stud. Made of durable resin with fixed hook locations. More info here

DIY - Old Rake Tool Hanger

old-rake-organizer

Source: Artstuff

To build this simple tool hanger, all you need is an old garden rake, a little time, and a big nail or screw to hang it on the wall.

This hanger works great for any small garden tool with a hole in the handle. Of course, you can always drill the holes yourself in any tool, that is not already pre-drilled.

You are limited to tools that will fit the rack or limiting the number of tools you can hang.

THE VERDICT

You could go either way with these small tool organizers. The old rake is about as inexpensive as you can get, but you are limited to the number of tines on the rack for storage. The paid organizer may cost you a little bit of cash, but offers more storage space for your tools. In this case, the final decision rests on how many tools you have and whether or not you have an old rake laying around.

Small Garden Tools - Outside the Shed

DIY - Garden Mailbox Tool Storage

Source: Houzz

There is nothing like having your small garden tools right where you need them. This DIY storage box can be built in a couple of hours from scrap wood.

Make it even better by using chalkboard paint to add a message board. This way you and your significant other can leave each other messages or you can leave yourself reminders for another day.

PAID - Garden Mailbox Tool Storage

Source: Lowes

While most people use a mailbox for exactly what it was made for, there is nothing that says you can't repurpose one for use in the garden as a small tool storage unit.

There's plenty of room for a small shovel, your gloves, some garden twine, pruners, and more. This unit can be easily bolted to the side of a raised garden bed or placed on a post in your garden.

THE VERDICT

For this one we choose the DIY unit, not only does it look really cool, but you get the pleasure of turning a few scraps of lumber into a functional work of garden art. However, if you are in a hurry and want a functional garden tool storage unit, mailboxes come in all shapes, sizes, and colors, perfect for decorating your garden.

All Garden Tools - Inside the Shed

DIY - Pallet on Wall with Screws/Nails

pallet storage for garden tools

Source: lavidaescuca.com

If you are looking for simple, rustic storage that can be thrown together for cheap, nothing beats repurposing an old pallet. All you have to do is hang in on your shed wall and then start putting nails or screws in place to hang your garden tools.

This style is fully customizable and is only limited by your imagination. However, you may not be able to hang heavier tools and if you use nails they tend to bend over time.

PAID - Flow Wall Lawn and Garden Organization System

flow-wall-lawn-and-garden-rganization-system

Source: Amazon

This nifty wall organizer gives you a full 24 feet of Flow Wall panels made from heavy duty PVC. The slotted design lets you move the hooks, pegs, and buckets around to meet your needs.

This wall organizer comes with 10 plastic hooks, 6 metal hooks, and two plastic bins that are perfect for smaller items such as bags of fertilizer or seeds. The best part is that unlike nails in pallet boards, you can quickly and easily move the buckets and hooks to meet your changing needs. More info here

THE VERDICT

Here we choose the Flow Wall Lawn and Garden Organization System. Although it's quite expensive, the reason why is that this system is infinitely and easily adjustable to meet your changing needs. You can use both panels in one long strip or place each panel in a different spot in your shed.

Hook Storage

DIY - Wooden Wall Hooks

curbly.com hooks for garden tools

Source: curbly.com

These simple wooden hooks were originally made to hang handbags up out of the way in the closet. However, you can easily adapt the design to hang a few garden tools on the wall.

If you aren't too worried about how they look, you can always stick a screw in a piece of wood or a dowel and achieve the same results.

PAID - Steel Screw-In Hooks

jfullerton-tool-essentials

​Source: Amazon

Each of these plastic coated hooks can hold up to 20 pounds when fully screwed into a stud. Unlike the wooden hook, these are long enough to hold larger items such as ladders, bicycles, garden hoses, and lawn furniture.

You get six hooks in each set for under $10, making them an excellent choice for use inside or outside of your garden shed or garage. See more info here

THE VERDICT

While the wooden hooks might work well for handbags, they aren't likely to be of much use in your shed. If you make them small enough in diameter to hold most tools, they are not going to be strong enough to support much weight. We recommend the screw in hooks as they can hold a lot of weight and are big enough to hold a wide range of garden tools.

Pegboard Storage

DIY - Pegboard Shelf

DIY pegboard shelf for garden tool organization

Source: manmadediy.com

A piece of pegboard and a few hooks are the ideal storage system for hanging tools. But, when you have items that can be hung, you can always use a couple of pieces of scrap wood to cobble to create storage shelves.

Of course, things have a habit of slipping off this type of shelf and your storage capacity is limited to the size of the shelf. This type of shelf is cheap to build, but may not be the best choice for your shed.

PAID - WallPeg Pro 100 Hooks and Buckets

wallpeg-pro-100 -hook-kit

​Source: Amazon

The WallPeg Pro brings new meaning to pegboard storage. This handy system comes with 24 L-style peg hooks, 6 box-style peg hooks, 4 red bins, 4 yellow bins, screwdrivers, and pliers.

The pegs and bins lock firmly in place to ensure your tools never end up falling on the workbench or floor. The bins are perfect for nails, screws, or miscellaneous small parts. Find more detail here

THE VERDICT

A pegboard is the perfect small tool storage idea, but using homemade shelves tends to cause more problems than they solve. Here we reckon the WallPeg Pro makes a better choice as it offers more security and usable forms of storage. On top of this, you get a set of screwdrivers and pliers, something most of us never have enough of.

Garden Hose Storage

DIY- Bucket Hose Reel

Source: Familyhandyman

Talk about a cheap way to hang up your garden hoses and extension cords. All you need is a 5-gallon bucket, a piece of scrap wood, and a few nails or screws.

Simply place the wood in the bottom of the bucket and then nail or screw it to a stud. No fuss, no bother, and you are only out a few bucks for the bucket if you don't have one lying around.

PAID - Suncast Wicker Hose Reel

suncast hose reel

​Source: Amazon

The durable vinyl wicker basket hides your hose on a reel on the inside. The hose reel features a convenient handle that makes winding up to 175 feet of 5/8" garden hose simple and fast.

Features a Slide Track™ hose guide that moves back and forth to help you wind up your hose evenly on the reel for maximum storage capacity. See more detail here

PAID - Crawford Medium Duty Hose Hanger

crawford-hose-hanger

Source: Amazon

This simple hose hanger is designed to be screwed directly onto your shed wall or studs and can be used to store garden hoses, extension cords, ropes, or cables.

The hanger is made from carbon steel with a weatherproof black finish. The maximum capacity for this hanger is 35 pounds, making it the perfect way to keep your hoses neat and tidy for less than $15. See more info here

THE VERDICT

While the bucket is a great and very inexpensive way to hang your hoses, it would not be our first choice. The bucket sticks out too far from the wall and will break in time due to the weight of your hoses. Both of the paid varieties offer less obtrusive ways to store your hoses and will provide you with many years of service.

In Summary

Neat and Tidy is the Way to Get Things Done

Working in the garden is meant to be a lot of fun. Sure it's hard work at times, but the payoff is a beautiful yard and garden. But, if you can't find your tools because you don't keep them organized and neatly put away, working in the garden can quickly turn into a nightmare.

More importantly, you probably have a small fortune invested in your tools, why risk damaging or losing them, when you can invest in a few of these garden shed tool storage ideas?

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Thank you for reading this, let us know if you have any great tool storage ideas.