Sheds Archives - Zacs Garden

Tag Archive

Tag Archives for " Sheds "

Tagged pages to do with Sheds

The Pros and Cons of the Rubbermaid Slide Lid Shed

The Pros and Cons of the Rubbermaid Slide Lid Shed

HERE'S THE SITUATION. You need to put some type of shed in your backyard for the family bikes and of course the lawn mower and a few other items. So far so good, but what if your HOA won't let you have a shed that sticks out over the top of your fence? The Rubbermaid Slide-Lid Shed is low enough to hide behind your fence, but tall enough to store adult bicycles in and may be just what you are looking for.

Points to Ponder Before You Buy the Rubbermaid Slide-Lid Shed

rubbermaid-shedImage courtesy of Amazpn 

This form of storage shed has become quite popular over the last few years.  

They offer a significant amount of storage space in a low-key shed that may help you avoid issues with planning regulations.

They are exceptionally easy to assemble in comparison to many of the full-height walk-in sheds.

Before you invest in a Rubbermaid Slide-Lid Shed, you need to think very carefully about what you plan to store in it. While there is enough room for three or four bikes or a riding lawn mower, if you need more space this type of shed may not be your best choice.

These sheds are perfect for anyone who is interested in easy access storage for items they expect to need on a frequent basis.

If you are looking for a long-term storage solution, you may want to invest in building a full-size shed, if you can secure a permit to do so.

May We Introduce to You the One and Only…

91uL4Az5jCL._SL1500_Image courtesy of Amazon 

Introducing the Rubbermaid Slide-Lid Shed made from top quality recyclable heavy-duty plastic. At only 53 inches tall, this shed has been designed to fit comfortably under the standard fence height. Despite the reduced height, there is plenty of room for your long-handled tools, a push or riding lawnmower, or your family's bikes.

Unlike many plastic sheds, this one features impact-resistant double-wall construction and has built-in rollers to help make slide the roof back a breeze. Not only does the roof slide back halfway, but this shed features double front doors that open wide enough to fit most riding lawnmowers.

Pros Cons
Low Maintenance There is a lot of tough competition
Weather resistant Shed needs to be placed on a foundation
Ease of access Door hinges are made of plastic
Fits under standard fences Shed needs to be secured to the foundation
Solid construction Hard to assemble

Features and Benefits

Video courtesy of Youtube

Take a quick look at this video, it shows the many advantages of the Rubbermaid Slide-Lid Shed and gives you a good idea why this is one of the most popular sheds in its class.

So let's take a look at the different features this shed has to offer and why they benefit you.

Superior Quality Resins

rubbermaid-shed1Image courtesy of Amazon

One of the top features of the Rubbermaid Slide-Lid Shed is the recyclable polypropylene resin it is made from. Using this material and double-wall construction this shed is leakproof dent resistant, and weather resistant, making it perfect for year-round use, no matter where you live and what the weather does.  The new resin is designed to resist the UV rays of the sun and help keep the colors from fading.

They are also far tougher than plastics used just a few years ago and those used by many other plastic shed manufacturers. The olive/sandstone coloring blends in nicely with most surroundings and never needs to be repainted or re-varnished. The resin will not rot, decay, or fall apart no matter what Mother Nature throws at it.

The walls are designed to interlock with the floor during assembly to help seal them together and keep the structure waterproof. The roof is bolted in place, creating a remarkably strong finished structure that can stand up to strong winds, and heavy storms.

Low Maintenance

RUBBERMAID-HOME-RHP3752Image courtesy of Dobmeier Janitorial Supplies

One of the biggest advantages of plastic sheds like the Rubbermaid Slide-Lid Shed is that they require little to nothing in the way of maintenance. The only thing you need to do to keep your shed looking its best is to give it a wash down with your garden hose from time to time. You can, of course, get a bucket of soapy water and a brush to scrub it down in the event it gets really dirty.

Ease of Access

rubbermaid-shed2Image courtesy of Amazon

No one could blame you for thinking you might have to crawl over things stored in this shed to get to that one item hiding in the back. With this shed, the roof slides back on silky smooth rollers to expose the front half of the shed as you can see in this image. This in combination with dual doors that open the full width of the shed makes getting in and out simple, even when you have your hands full.

Security

slide-lid-shed-securityImage courtesy of Ebay

If you are going to store valuable items such as bicycles, lawnmowers, riding mowers, tools, or your outdoor gear in a shed, it must have a way to keep everything safe. The Slide-Lid Shed uses a trademarked “cane-bolt locking system” that locks the roof and both doors together and provides you with a hasp loop you can put a padlock through.

A Strong Built-In Floorrubbermaid_shedImage courtesy of Ebay

If you are going to put a shed in your backyard to keep your property, clean, dry, and safe, your shed needs to have a floor. This shed offers a heavy-duty impact resistant floor that has been designed to handle the constant wheeling in and out of heavy equipment. However, for maximum strength, the shed must be sitting on a solid foundation such as concrete, pavers, or wood. The floor is also designed to be anchored to the ground via 11 anchor points.

Fast Assembly

Video courtesy of Youtube

Assembling the Slide-Lid shed is going to take you a few hours, but what's your hurry? Take your time, follow the detailed assembly manual, and do a good job the first time.

You will need the help of an assistant when it comes to assembling the roof. One must apply slight pressure, the other is needed to align and secure the roof to the walls using screws from the inside. The manual contains a lot of tips to help make assembling the shed go more smoothly for you. For example, using dish soap to make attaching the panels together easier, and not using a power screwdriver so you don't strip out any threads.

Built-In Wall Anchors

No shed is complete without some form of shelving to put your outdoor gear, tools, hoses, and just about anything else you don't want on the floor. This shed comes complete with a set of wall anchors you can use to add shelving, storage hooks, a pegboard, or anything else you need to hang on the wall. The assembly manual includes the dimensions for shelving to make sure you cut the boards the right length, the first time.

Size Counts

Image courtesy of qualityplasticsheds.com

Before you make the final decision regarding buying a Rubbermaid Slide-Lid Shed, be sure it is the right size to fit your needs. There is nothing worse than buying a shed, spending the time to put it together, finding the perfect place for it, only to find it's too small.

Spend a little time looking at what you plan to put in your shed to make sure the one you buy will fit your needs now and in the future.

There is an old saying that goes, “the proof of the pudding is in the eating.” Loosely translated, this means that the only way to tell if a product is any good, is to try it out for yourself. In this particular case, it can be a major hassle trying out several sheds in your backyard before you decide on only one of them.

So, what we did to make things a lot easier for you, is scour the web searching out testimonials from people who have purchased the Rubbermaid Slide-Lid shed. What we found, is a number of very positive endorsements from buyers who were more than happy with their new shed.

The overall opinion seems to be that buyers love the solid construction, simplicity of assembly, and the built-in shelf bracket anchors. Comments such as “Great shed!” are a common sight no matter where you look. There are even more that are titled simply “Five Stars.” But don't just take our word for it, take a look at the many customer testimonials for yourself right here

Alternatives

To help show you the difference we are also going to show you a couple of the nearest contenders.

Suncast Glidetop Slide Lid Shed

Suncast BMS4900D Glidetop Slide Lid ShedImage courtesy of Amazon

This shed features a poly resin double-wall construction, double doors, and a sliding roof for ease of access. Assembly is relatively easy using the bolt-together method. 

The multi-wall panels add extra strength and stability. Construction is easy using extra-large plastic screws that won't strip out. The walls are only four feet tall. This is a good shed for those storing a lawnmower, but may be a bit short for bikes.

Suncast Glidetop Slide Lid Shed Rubbermaid Slide-Lid Shed
48-inch walls 52-inch walls
No shelf brackets Built-in ready to use shelf brackets
Bolt together assembly Pressure fit and screw assembly
Under $500 Over $500

Lifetime Products Horizontal Storage Box

From Lifetime, UV protected high-density polyethylene shed offers dual full-width front doors, a controlled spring lid, and room enough for two large trash cans.

The design features a wide front stance instead of the narrow front seen on the Rubbermaid. This design might be useful for those who are putting this shed on a deck or porch.

Conclusion

When you need a dry place for your family's bikes, a lawnmower, garden tools, your camping gear, or anything else, the Rubbermaid shed is a great option. For those of you with limited space or dealing with an HOA or local planning board, this is the perfect shed, it is designed to fit under a standard six-foot fence out of sight. The sliding roof makes getting in and out of this shed a breeze.

With dual full-width doors and a sliding roof, getting in and out of your shed has never been easier and the polyurethane resin construction will provide you with many years of reliable storage.

If you are ready to learn more about the Rubbermaid Slide-Lid Shed, click right here!

Suncast Horizontal Storage Sheds

Suncast Horizontal Storage Sheds Put Under the Magnifying Glass

RESIN SHEDS HAVE COME a long way over the last 10 years.

Who can say no to a shed that is virtually maintenance free, looks quite nice and easy to put together?

Because of this, they are now one of the most popular choices for homeowners wanting a little extra storage space. But do the pros outweigh the cons? And what makes Suncast Horizontal Storage Sheds different from the rest?

In this article, we take a deep look into one of the most popular brands for outdoor horizontal storage. We go through the 5 main reasons that make their sheds different from others.

1. The Resin

Modern Resins Are Made to Last

One of the most common reasons given for not buying a resin shed has long been that the resin materials. In the past they simply could not hold up to being left out in all types of weather for long periods of time. This idea was not something that was dreamed up by a few disgruntled buyers. It was in fact based on a lot of truth.Keter_Store_Shed

Image courtesy of Amazon

This being said, the earliest forms of resin and plastics used in the construction of sheds did not hold up as well as they were advertised to do. That was then, this is now.

Resin Materials

The newer resins are impervious to summer's highest temperatures and winter's coldest freezes, along with the sun's UV rays that can cause fading, cracking, and warping. For years these were the bane of resin sheds as the materials many other companies used.

What I have found after having a Suncast horizontal storage shed out on my back deck for several years, is that the colors have faded just a little. But, the resin materials have held up exceptionally well. It hits the high 90s all summer long and plunges below freezing for a large part of the winter season where I live, so the resin gets a real workout.

2. The Shed Walls

A Double thickness barrier between your equipment and the outside

The problem with many resin sheds is that they are made with using a single-wall construction method. This means that all there is between what you are storing inside and the outside world is a single thin layer of plastic. This same thin layer of plastic also has to support the roof and any snow weight that might accumulate.

horizontal_shed_wallImage courtesy of True Value

Every Suncast horizontal storage shed is built using double wall construction. The walls are 1 1/2-inches thick. Double wall construction stronger and more capable of supporting the weight of the roof and any snow accumulation without letting you down. As a side note, the air gap between the two layers of plastic also adds a little insulation to help protect your possessions.

With two layers of plastic, if your mower slings a rock, there is less of a chance it might puncture both layers and damage something inside.

3. The Hardware

No Plastic Locks or Latches

The only real hardware on most horizontal sheds are the hinges used to hang the doors and any latches or locking mechanisms. Some low-budget brands use plastic hardware because not only does it cost less, but it can also be molded into a wide variety of beautiful shapes. Plastic or resin hinges simply can not hold up to continuous load bearing and movement such as would be seen when being used to hold up shed doors.

This same basic principle holds for plastic latches and locking mechanisms. But, even if they do hold up, any thief can cut through them in a few seconds with a good sharp knife. Suncast horizontal storage sheds use all metal hardware for the hinges and locking/latching mechanisms to ensure you never have to worry about them breaking or being cut.

4. Strong Assembly

Snap Together vs Bolt Together Assembly

There are two methods of assembly commonly used in resin storage sheds, the first is snapping the pieces together until they form a relatively sturdy complete assembly. The other involves bolting all the pieces together one piece at a time to create a strong and supportive structure.

While snap together might seem like a good idea as assembly take very little time, the entire project can take as little as a couple of hours. However, this type of assembly is not particularly strong in many cases and may come apart in high winds.

By choosing to use a bolt-together construction method, Suncast is able to offer a complete line of storage sheds that use this type of construction. Providing you have taken the time to secure your shed to the ground, bolting it together ensures it will far more able to hold up to high winds, heavy rains, and larger snow loads. By virtue of the Suncast engineering department, assemble is still relatively easy and requires a minimum of skill and a few hand tools.

5. The Shed Floor

At the Bottom of it All

At the bottom of your shed should be a reinforced plastic floor that can handle your heavier loads. All Suncast horizontal storage sheds come with a reinforced resin floor designed to take on the weight of your heavier loads. This may not seem very important when you are first looking at horizontal storage sheds, especially if you are putting yours out on a deck or patio.

But once you start loading your shed with everything you plan to keep in it and that cheap thin floor starts to bow or crack, you will only end up regretting that decision. With a Suncast horizontal storage shed, the floor is fully reinforced so that you can store things like your smoker, a lawnmower, several bicycles, potting soil in bags, or just about anything else you can think of.

Here are Five Different Suncast Horizontal Sheds for You to Consider

Now that you know what makes Suncast the leader in horizontal storage sheds, let's take a quick look at five of their best sellers.

Suncast BMS4900D Glidetop Slide Lid Shed

Suncast BMS4900D Glidetop Slide Lid ShedSUNCAST Glidetop Slide Lid Shed

As with all Suncast horizontal storage sheds, this one is made using heavy duty resin double wall construction. Along with the double doors on one end, it also features a sliding roof that permits walk-in access. The floor has been reinforced so that it can support the weight of your lawn tractor along with anything else you need to put in it. At 52x58x60 inches, you can store several bicycles in this shed with room to spare.

Pros Cons
Heavy-duty resin double wall construction The plastic bolts tend to break
Heavy-duty reinforced floor Must be placed on a foundation
Fast-easy construction Some issues with missing pieces in the box

Suncast BMS2500 Horizontal Storage Shed

Suncast_horizontal_storageSUNCAST BMS2500 Horizontal Storage Shed

This shed features a 3-door locking system for extra security. The easy-lift lid uses a prop-rod to hold it open and make accessing the double doors easier. The walls and roof are built from heavy-duty resin double wall construction that can handle anything Mother Nature and your kids can throw at it. Easy bolt-together assembly creates a strong structure in less than a couple of hours.

Pros Cons
Easy bolt-together assembly Must be placed on a foundation for best support
Reinforced floor May not hold up to high winds
Panels line up easily Top may warp and not lie flat

Suncast BMS3200 Horizontal StorageShed

Suncast_BMS3200_Horizontal_Storage_ShedSUNCAST BMS3200 Horizontal Storage Shed

Made from durable 1 1/2-inch thick double wall resin construction, this horizontal shed offers double doors that measure 46 3/4-inches wide, plenty of room for you to get your mower or bikes in and out. The sturdy doors use all metal hardware to ensure they continue to work for many years. The sturdy floor is fully reinforced to handle heavier loads and assembly is simple with a few hand tools.

Pros Cons
Extra-wide doors Plastic screws may break
1 1/2-inch thick resin double wall construction Missing hardware
Fast Easy Assembly Some issues with gaps in finished product

Suncast BMS3400 34 cu. ft. Horizontal ShedSuncast_BMS3400_Horizontal_Shed

SUNCAST BMS3400 Horizontal Shed

This Suncast horizontal shed offers a full 34 cubic feet of storage space and measures 53×32-1/2×45-1/2″, which is plenty of room for a mower, a couple of bikes, your potting soil, pots, and miscellaneous tools. The double doors have a built-in hasp to help keep thieves at bay. The floor is reinforced to help support heavier items and the resin material used in the construction will resist the sun's UV rays and both extremes of temperature.

Pros Cons
Hasp for padlock built-in Quality control issues
Reinforced floor Roof uses plastic hinges
46 1/4″ wide doors Door may not stay closed

Suncast BMS4700 The Stow-Away Horizontal Storage Shed

Suncast_BMS4700_The_Stow-Away_Horizontal_Storage_ShedSUNCAST BMS4700 The Stow-Away Horizontal Storage Shed

This is a massive horizontal storage shed measuring a massive 70 cubic feet. The easy-open lid is equipped with a pair of gas shocks to help lift and keep it up. You can fit two huge 96-gallon trash cans inside. Built right here in the U.S., this shed measures 5 ft. 5-1/2 in. W x 3 ft. 2-1/2 in. D x 4 ft. 1-1/2 in. on the inside. The reinforced floor features a built-in ramp that lets you easily roll heavier items in and out.

Pros Cons
Massive 70-cu.ft. storage capacity Challenging assembly
Plenty of rooms for your bikes or mower Must be placed on a flat surface or foundation
Heavy-duty resin double wall construction Instructions hard to follow

Other Options

What if a resin Suncast horizontal storage shed doesn't seem like it will meet with your needs? There is another more expensive option you might want to consider. There are several different types of wood horizontal storage sheds worth considering such as this one:

Leisure Season Large Horizontal Refuse Storage Shed

Leisure_Season_Large_Refuse_Storage_Shed

Leisure Season Large Horizontal Refuse Storage Shed

This horizontal storage shed features tongue and groove all-wood construction with three doors for easy access. All hardware used in the construction is rated for outdoor use. It measures 61 x 36 inches on the inside, 47 inches at the front, and 51 inches at the back. The lid is designed to stay in place without assistance and the doors are lockable to help keep out stray critters.

Pros Cons
Weather resistant all-wood construction Long construction time
Acrylic-coated hardware No floor
Strong tongue and groove construction Flimsier than it looks

Conclusion

When it comes to resin horizontal storage sheds, Suncast is one of the leaders in the field. The heavy-duty 1 1/2-inch double resin wall construction is resistant. Resistant to the sun's UV rays, extremes in temperature, and your kids. I have had mine for several years and highly recommend any of those listed above. Also remember is that any resin shed you buy must be installed on a foundation or other sturdy flat surface.

If you have any information you would like to see here, please contact us here.

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

Paver Shed Foundation

How to Lay a Paver Shed Foundation

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

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

First the Good News

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

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

Before You Get Started

shed_pavement_land_preparationimage courtesy of ShedKing.Net

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

Slope

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

Drainage

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

Too Hard to Dig

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

Soil That is Too Soft

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

Paving Slabs – Choosing the Right Ones

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

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

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

What Tools and Supplies Do You Need?

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

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

Getting Started

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

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

It's Time to Start Digging

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

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

Add the Gravel

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

gravel-pavementImage courtesy of DIY Network

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

Time for Sand

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

sand_pavementImage courtesy of the DIY Network

It's Paver Time

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

Image courtesy of Paving Directorylaying a paver shed foundation

Add the Border

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

Finishing Up

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

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

patio-pavers-1Image courtesy of SmashingPlates.US

Extra Information You Need to Know

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

Conclusion

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

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

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

How to Build a Pier Shed Foundation

How to Build a Pier Shed Foundation

IS THE GROUND IN YOUR backyard uneven?

or

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

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

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

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

First, check the Rules

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

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

Two Types of Pier

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

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

Tools You Will Need to Lay a Pier Shed Foundation

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

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

Supply List

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

Preparing the Ground

ground_preparation_for_pier_foundationground_preparation_for_pier_foundationImage courtesy of StorageSheds.org

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

Marking Out the Pier Locations

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

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

mark_pier_locationsEach of these blocks measures exactly four feet by four feet

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

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

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

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

Digging In

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

pier_foundation_diginImage courtesy of Deck Piers Depth

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

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

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

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

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

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

Getting Ready for the Foundation

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

pier_foundation_cementpier_foundation_cementpier_foundation_cementImage courtesy of Chezerbey

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

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

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

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

Attaching the Foundation

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

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

pier_foundation_frameImage courtesy of Artistic Wood Products

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

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

Down to the Last Pier

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

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

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

Gravel Shed Foundation

How to Lay a Gravel Shed Foundation

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

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

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

Load Carrying Ability

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

Level Ground

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

Closer to the Ground

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

Should I Build a Retaining Wall or Go Free Form?

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

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

What Kind of Gravel Should You Use?

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

The Best Types of Gravel to Use for Your Foundation

21A and 21B Gravel

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

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

The Wrong Types of Gravel for Your Shed Foundation

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

larger gravel not suitable for shed foundationsImage courtesy Hacker Services LLC

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

Got Wood?

gravel pad with timber frameImage courtesy thecoverguy.com

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

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

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

Pinning the Timbers in Place

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

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

What Tools Do You Need?

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

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

Let's Build a Gravel Shed Foundation

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

Retaining Wall Construction

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

Mark Your Territory

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

Level the Ground

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

Start Building

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

Add More Timbers

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

Phase Two – Break Out the Shovel

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

Getting Started

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

Start Digging

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

Add the Gravel

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

Make a Screed

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

Layer by Layer

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

Congratulations!

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

Building a Free Form Gravel Shed Foundation

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

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

Start with Level Ground

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

Grab Your Favorite Shovel

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

Create a Temporary Frame

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

Fill the Hole

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

Compact the Gravel

Using a Compactor to compact a gravel driveway

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

Congratulations

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

Video

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

Important Notes

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

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

Conclusion

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

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

 

14 Straightforward, Simple Shed Designs Anyone Can Build at Home

14 Straightforward, Simple Shed Designs Anyone Can Build at Home

Simple Shed Design Ideas

IF YOU HAVE BEEN THINKING about building a shed in your backyard, finding just the right design can be a bit challenging. There is more to a good shed than you might think. What might look good in someone else's yard or fit their needs perfectly, might not be of any use to you whatsoever.

There seems to be an endless array of complex shed designs for you to choose from, but in most cases, it is the simple shed designs that seem to work the best. Take a look at these simple shed designs and see if one of these is just the ticket for your storage needs.

#1 Reclaimed Wood for the Win

Making the most of wood that could have ended up in the dump

rectcled_wood_shedImage courtesy of DIY Outdoor Storage Shed

When it comes to building a shed on a budget, one of the best ways to save money is by using reclaimed or recycled wood for every part of it you can. Depending on where you live, (at least in my area) there are always old homes being torn down. Most of this wood is still perfectly usable and is more affordable than buying new. Not only this, but you are doing your part to reduce the number of trees being cut down.

#2 Create Your Own “Grow” House

Metal siding, cute windows, and a glass roof, what could be better

design-sheds-11

This simple shed design features steel building siding that comes in wide sheets. These sheets allow you to cover large areas, are typically easy to put up, and are incredibly strong. You can buy new sheet metal or seek out one of the many used building material vendors in your area to help keep costs under control. Note the clear plexiglass roof and extra-large windows for additional light.

#3 Pure Corrugated Simplicity

Apparently, Ruffles are not the only thing with ridges

bobvila_simple_shed_design1Image courtesy of Michigan Home Design

If you have a potting shed in mind, clear corrugated fiberglass offers you a less expensive option to glass. One reason I like this particular material is its durability. Branches can hit it, even the odd football or baseball and it won't break. At the same time, it lets plenty of light in to give your spring seedlings a chance to grow before planting season.

#4 Side Storage and More

More room on the outside

b6b4f79f20dabcedc667aa6246e598bfImage courtesy of Pinterest

When your shed is too full of tools to park the mower inside, it's time to rethink your strategy. This shed features an extended roof on the left side that creates an outdoor storage area for things like your riding mower, your tiller, or your push mower. Not only does this type of roof add more much-needed storage space, but you can use this shady spot to work on your power tools. The long slope of the roof will easily shed rain, snow, and ice, helping to keep your equipment out of the elements all year long.

#5 True Tongue and Groove Beauty

Tongue and groove planking is used to great effect in this shed

dschang_simple_shed_designImage courtesy of DropDDesign

Simple shed designs like this one feature tongue and groove planks that are typically reserved for flooring or indoor paneling. The boards are designed to interlock along the long edges, making for an exceptionally sturdy structure. The best part is you can buy this type of lumber at your local discount hardware superstore in different lengths and a variety of different types of lumber.

#6 Create Your Own Outdoor Reading Room

Your very own outdoor getaway

Imagoe courtesy of 100 Things To Do

Clear plexiglass has been used extensively throughout this shed to provide the level of natural lighting needed to create a private reading shed. Plexiglass is extremely durable and makes the perfect choice for this particular use. Not only does it let in plenty of light, but it will keep out the odd wayward softball. Although plexiglass can be a little on the expensive side, you should find the investment more than worthwhile when you see how long it lasts.

#7 Convenient Lean-To Storage

Perfect for those who don't have a lot of room to spare

bobvila_simple_shed_design2Image courtesy of BobVila

This lean-to shed features clapboard style siding which is not only easy to install but provides exceptional resistance to rain, wind, and snow. While you can build your shed from brand-new lumber, you could also opt to save money by building your shed from used lumber. The doors appear to be made from tongue and groove lumber but could also be made from pre-grooved plywood sheets that give the same appearance for far less money.

#8 Create Your Own Outdoor Dining Room

Not all sheds are made for storage

simple_shed_2Image courtesy of Tree Hugger

This interesting cube-shaped building is definitely not a shed. Not the way the builder used slats on three sides to provide plenty of ventilation for those evening meals in the great outdoors. Note that the entire back wall is solid to help keep the weather out, you could add outdoor curtains to help block any excess breezes and keep out the rains. What a great way to create your own outdoor family room!

#9 Just Big Enough

Slightly bigger than the average phone booth

bobvila_simple_shed_design3Image courtesy of BobVila

This tiny shed looks a little more like an old English phone booth than a shed thanks to the glass door. But it definitely looks bigger on the inside. If you look closely, the walls of this shed appear to have been made from exterior grade doors. Not only can this save you a lot of money in supplies, it looks very cool and should be very strong. You can pick up used doors at any building salvage store or your local Habitat for Humanity Store.

#10 Give Your Wife Her Own Studio Shed

Private studio space with plenty of light for the artist in your family

studio_shedImage courtesy of Studio Shed

This shed features plenty of glass to let the sun shine in. Note that it even has windows in the end gables for even more light. The use of both metal and clapboard siding gives this outdoor shed the look of a tiny home, which may help it blend into your backyard more easily. The double glass doors are perfect for letting in more cooling air or large items. This shed would make a great outdoor studio for the artist in the family.

#11 Plywood, Studs, and Portability

Simple materials, a simple concept, a great shed

cheap_and_affordable_storage_shedImage courtsey of The Self Sufficient Living

This simple shed is framed using 2 x 4s and then covered in sheets of pre-grooved plywood to help keep costs under control. When all you are doing is building a tool storage shed, a design such as this is strong enough to handle snow and ice, yet light enough that you can move it around your yard. Note that the owner used the framework to install tool hangers and that he added a single window for light.

#12 An Outdoor Place to Relax

Sliding doors, a fiberglass roof, a little plywood, and suddenly space

varnaworkshop_simple_shed_designImage courtesy of Home Design Ideas

It's obvious that the designer who created simple shed designs like this one wanted to create an outdoor place to relax out of the sun and weather. The simple 2×4 framing and plywood sheathing add an interesting and low-cost touch. But, it’s the owner's use of a pair of sliding glass doors that make this shed so special. Here again, you could save money by sourcing many of the materials such as the doors from a local salvage dealer.

#13 A-Frame Bunkhouse

Perfect for the kids to “camp out” in the backyard

simple_shedImage courtesy of DIY & Crafts Magazine

This “A” frame style shed features clapboard style roofing that will help shed rain, snow, and ice with equal ease. Instead of placing the shed flat on the ground where the wood frame could end up staying wet and rotting, the designer built a raised floor that would not only stay drier, but keep anything you store on it drier as well. When not being used for a summer camp out by your kids, it could double as a place to store your firewood.

#14 Create a Great Playhouse for Your Kids

The ideal place to host the perfect tea party

kids_indoor_playhouseImage courtesy of The House of Wood

Of all the different simple shed designs, this one uses simple stacked lumber siding in which each length of board is laid edge on to the one below it and nailed in place. While this design can be quite strong, unless you seal the gaps between each board with some form of caulking, it might let the rains come in. Once your little girl grows out of it, you can turn it into a dog house, or add plexiglass windows and a door to turn it into a storage shed.

Just a Few More of the Incredibly Cool Shed Ideas I Have Found in My Travels

It seems like everywhere I go, I end up running into amazingly cool shed ideas. The simple fact is, no matter where I go, I always have my eyes open looking for great ideas to share here.

There are so many simple shed designs out there, I may never stop adding to this collection of images. Try following my example and keeping your eyes open wherever your travels may take you. You just never know what you might find.

I hope you have enjoyed looking at these simple shed designs as much as I continue to collect more of them no matter where I go.

If you liked the simple shed designs I have put together for you here, please let me know. Let everyone know you enjoyed reading this on Facebook and Pinterest.

10 Great Ideas for Secure Garbage Can Storage

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

Raven feeding on rubbish from a rubbish bin in a city

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1. Leisure Season Large Horizontal Refuse Storage Shed   

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

LEISURE SEASON Large Horizontal Refuse Storage Shed

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

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

 

2. Suncast BMS4700 The Stow-Away Horizontal Storage Shed  

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

Suncast_BMS4700_Garbage_ShedSUNCAST BMS4700 The Stow-Away Horizontal Storage

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

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

 

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

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

Keter_Store_It_Out_MAX_Outdoor_Garbage_ShedKETER Store-It-Out Max Outdoor Resin Horizontal Storage

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

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

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

RubbishWrap_Outdoor_Garbage_shedRubbishWrap_Outdoor_Garbage_shedRUBBISHWRAP Outdoor Garbage Enclosure

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

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

 

5. Suncast BMS3400 34 cu. ft. Horizontal Shed    

Reinforced floor holds more weight than many sheds

Suncast_BMS3400_garbage_shedSUNCAST HorizonTal Shed

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

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

 

6. Rubbermaid Outdoor Horizontal Storage Shed, Large

Features double walls for added strength and durabilityRUBBER

Rubbermaid_Outdoor_Horizontal_Storage_ShedRUBBERMAID Outdoor Horizontal Storage

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

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

 

7. Suncast FS4423 Outdoor Screen Enclosure

Elegant enclosure with no roof for your bins

61uruCfAnyL._SL1500_SUNCAST Outdoor Screen Enclosure

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

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

 

8. Outdoor Living Today – Oscar Waste Management Shed  

Room for your garbage, compost, and recyclables

outdoor_living_waste_storage_shedOutdoor Living Today Oscar Waste Management Shed

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

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

9. Bosmere Rowlinson A042 Garbage Bin Storage Shed,   

Why settle for three doors when you can have four?

Bosmere_Rowlinson_Garbage_ShedBOSMERE  Rowlinson A042 Garbage Bin Storage Shed

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

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

 

10. Suncast BMS2500 Horizontal Storage Shed

Double wall resin construction with reinforced floor

Suncast_BMS2500_Horizontal_Storage_ShedSUNCAST BMS2500 Horizontal Storage Shed

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

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

 

Time to Take Out the Trash

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

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

How To Do Shed Roof Framing Yourself

How To Do Shed Roof Framing Yourself

alarm_thumbnail
alarm_thumbnail

Learn how to build your own shed roof frame...

Anyone who has ever stood and watched professional carpenters frame in a house or roof has probably stood in awe of the “amazing” skills it takes to put all the pieces in place perfectly.

The reality is that shed roof framing is nowhere near as complicated as you might think. If you are like me, you probably have a reasonably good idea of how to build most of your shed. That is except for the crowning glory, the shed roof.

In truth framing in the foundation and the walls, adding doors and windows, these are all relatively straightforward, simple tasks. 

  • For many people, the idea of having to do the shed roof framing is a little bit on the scary side.
  • What gables, gambrel style roofs, how do you calculate the angle for the trusses, and what about the rafters?
  • Should you build a “stick frame” roof, make your own trusses, or buy them ready built?
  • What type of roof is going to provide the necessary strength?
  • How do stick built and truss style roofs differ?

The most important thing to remember is that if you can frame in the foundation and the walls of your shed, there is no reason why you can't also handle the shed roof framing.

To be sure using pre-built trusses is the easiest way to go, but with a little practice, you can create a jig that can be placed on the floor of your garage or your back deck that can be used to build a set of trusses for your shed that will be perfect.

It All Starts with the Right Tools and Equipment

No matter whether you are talking on baking a cake, changing the oil in your car, or shed roof framing, it all starts with having the right tools and equipment for the job. 

tools

In most cases, simple hand tools are good for most of the work, but there are going to be a few power tools that will either be necessary or will make the job much easier and go more quickly.

Let's take a look at the tools you are going to need:

Safety Equipment

  • Safety goggles or glasses for each person working on the project
  • Leather gloves to protect your hands
  • Ear plugs for use with power tools
  • Knee pads

Tools You MUST Have

There are just some tools you can't build anything without. This list is only to get you off to a good start, I am sure there are a few I haven't listed or you have your own favorites to add to the list.

The most important thing to remember is to use the tools you are most comfortable with as this will make the project go much more quickly.

  • Tape Measure
  • Clawhammer
  • 4 or 6-foot level
  • Circular saw
  • Power drill
  • Sawhorses (at least 2)
  • Nail set (punch)
  • Speed Square
  • Extension ladder
  • Step ladder
  • Heavy duty shears or scissors

Tools it Would be Nice to Have

While hand tools are all well and good, they are not the most efficient way to get the job done. It can take hours to hammer in all the nails needed to take care of all the foundation, wall, and shed roof framing, not to mention the number of blisters you are likely to end up with if you try.

You can pick up a small pancake compressor for under a hundred bucks from Amazon or your local discount home improvement store. Framing and roofing nail guns can be found for around the same price. 

If you are going to use pneumatic nail guns, be sure to read all of the safety warnings and instructions before using them. You should never use a pneumatic tool without the proper safety equipment (goggles or safety glasses) and take a little time to learn how it works on scrap wood before you try to take on your shed roof framing.

  • Air compressor
  • Air powered framing nail gun
  • Air powered roofing nail gun
  • Air powered staple gun
  • Electric miter saw

Materials You Will Need

While this might seem obvious, there are certain materials needed to build any kind of shed roof framing. For the most part, your shed plans should come with a list of the materials needed for each part of the shed from the foundation to the roof.

One of the most important things to consider when buying your lumber is to take a little extra time and check each piece for straightness, excessive knots, holes, chips out of the edges, and cracks that can and will have a detrimental effect on your finished roof.

Here is a short list of common materials you might use in building your roof:

  • 2 x 4
  • 2 x 6
  • Plywood or chipboard sheathing
  • Roofing felt
  • Shingles or metal roofing
  • Drip edging
  • Ridge or gable vents
  • Truss plates (used to connect the individual truss pieces together)
  • Hurricane tie-downs (metal plates designed to solidly connect the trussed to the walls)

Different Types of Roof

Beyond the standard flat roof or single sloped roof, the most common styles of shed roof are gable, gambrel, skillion, and salt box.

Each of these styles has their advantage both in design and construction. All of them make a good choice for your garden shed.

The Gable Style Roof

A gable style roof is considered to be the easiest type of shed roof framing to work with.

Essentially you will be building a series of triangular shaped trusses based on the pitch of your roof. You will need to build a number of trusses based on the length of your roof.

This roof style is similar to those seen on the average house with a single peak in the center and one slope on either side

The Gambrel Style Roof

The gambrel style roof is a lot like the old “barn” style roof. It has two slopes on each side of the peak.

The main idea behind this type of roof is that it provides you with a huge amount of storage space, especially when the walls are six feet tall.

It is one of my favorite roof styles and is also perfect for adding a cupola to for added ventilation and appearance.

The Saltbox Style Roof

The saltbox style roof is also a dual slope roof like the standard gable roof in that it only has two slopes. The big difference is that the front slope is shorter than the rear slope. It adds a lot of style and charm to your garden shed.

Image courtesy of ZYGOR GAME GUIDEN

The Skillion Style Roof

This is a single slope roof with a peak at either the front or rear of the shed. It is simple to construct and considered to be quite strong.

These are typically the easiest types of roof to build and take the least amount of materials and time. Watch a skillion roof being built here.

All of these common roof styles require some form of truss to be built in order to support the covering and any load such as snow weight.

The one good thing is that once you have decided on the roof pitch all you have to do is built the first truss and use it to create a jig you can use to build the rest of the trusses so that they all match.

The Basic Step-by-Step Construction Process

If you have never built a shed before, let alone worked with any type of shed roof framing, you might be surprised at just how easy it really is.

The first step is to determine the desired pitch of your shed roof. As complicated as this might seem and as many places that will try to tell you that you need to fully understand complex geometry, the reality is much simpler.

Roof Pitch

Roof pitch is the angle of slope of your roof based on the amount of rise versus the distance from the edge of the roof to the center.

Your roof must have a minimum pitch of at least 3-12. What this means is that for every 12 inches of horizontal run your roof needs to rise at least 3 inches.

You can use a roof pitch calculator to determine your pitch and make the necessary adjustments to your design.

Bear in mind the steeper the pitch the more likely your shed roof will be able to shed rain and snow.

Build the Trusses

Now that you have the roof pitch calculated, it's time to measure the lumber and build your first truss.

This is where you need to understand basic trigonometry in that in an equilateral triangle there are 3 sides, let's call them a, b, and c. Basic Pythagorean theory states that the length of a² + b² = c². Thus, if side a is 3 feet and side b is 4 feet then the length of c should be 5 feet.

You can substitute any numbers into this equation and figure out the length of side c which is the longest run.

build_the_trusses

Once you have created the basic truss pattern, you can cut and lay out the first truss, which you will use as a pattern to build the rest.

There are two ways to connect the pieces together, the first is to overlap the boards and either screw or nail them together. The other is to use metal plates available at most hardware stores and home improvement stores to join them in a single flat truss.

Both methods will get the job done, however, the metal plate butt joint method tends to be stronger and is better suited to areas with a lot of snow or high winds.

Image courtesy of WONDER HOW TO

This cool video will show you how to build gable style shed roof framing.

How the Weight is Supported

The way in which the weight of the roof itself and any rain or snow load is supported varies based on the design of your roof and trusses.

In a skillion style roof, the lumber provides most of the support with the use of spacers placed between the long run of roof beam and the rafters. These roofs are relatively strong and inexpensive to build.

In a standard two slope roof, the weight can be distributed in a couple of ways. For the most part the weight is supported by the triangular shape, however, one the ends there are supports running from the beams or rafters up to the top angled board of the truss.

The same can be said of the gambrel style roof. But the skillion style used supports like this across the entire structure, making it exceptionally strong.

Understanding Snow Load

According to roofing experts, snow load is the amount of additional force or weight of the snow and ice that is pressing down on the roof. There are several factors that must be taken into consideration when trying to calculate snow load, including:

  • Density
  • Accumulation
  • Variations in temperature
  • Mixed moisture

Bear in mind that a single inch of snow can weigh from 1/4 lb. to 3/4 lbs. per square foot. A single inch of ice comes in at just under 5 pounds per square foot, this is approximately 5 times the average weight of the same amount of snow.

Doing the calculations can be extremely confusing unless you are an expert in the field. The person doing the calculation has several factors to consider:

  • Recent ground snow information provided by the National Weather Service
  • The shape of the building including the roof and any obstructions on the roof
  • How much wind the roof is exposed to
  • The application of the building and how many occupants it has
  • The thermal values of the building

You should use a snow load calculator to help you get in the ballpark and ensure your shed roof framing is going to be strong enough to take on your worst winter weather.

Installing the Trusses

All roof trusses must be properly installed, but don't worry this is not as difficult as it seems. In this video, we see standard gable roof trusses being installed.

The most important thing to remember is that all trusses must be installed perfectly vertical for them to be effective.

Installing the Sheathing

Once the trusses are built and in place, the next step is to install the sheathing.

This is done by installing a number of sheets of either plywood or particle board over the top of the trusses. Not only does this give you somewhere to attach the roofing felt and shingles, it also adds to the structural integrity of your shed roof.

Follow the steps in this video to learn more about installing the sheathing.

Finally, the Shingles

Now you are ready to finish your shed roof using standard asphalt roofing shingles.  The shingles will keep rain and snow at bay, help to reflect the sun's UV rays, and put the finishing touch on your garden shed.

In this video, we see how to install the roof felt, the drip edge, and the shingles to create a complete roof that will last you for many years.

To Top It Off

I hope you have enjoyed this brief tutorial on shed roof framing and that you have learned something from it.

The most important things to remember are that you need to follow your shed plans to the letter, everything needs to be square, use plenty of nails or screws, and most of all be confident in your ability to get the job done.

You don't have to be an expert carpenter to build roof trusses or install a solid functional roof for your shed, just have the patience to take your time and get the job done.

I have tried to give you the information I found useful during the construction of my garden shed, much of which I wish I had had when I started to build my shed. Some of which I learned by trial and error.

The good news is that in the end this information along with the videos can help you build a garden shed that can stand up to years of rain and snow and will serve you well.

I hope you have enjoyed reading this and it has helped you learn how to build the best possible shed roof framing for your shed.

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.

Related Articles:

Which Brand of 10 x 8 Plastic Shed is Best for You?

alarm_thumbnail
lifetime_60005_outdoor_storage_shed

What you need to know in choosing your 10x8 plastic shed...

THERE ARE SO many things to think about when you start shopping for a 10 x 8 plastic shed.

It can be hard to know which one of the many on the market is right for your needs, backyard, and budget.

Although there are many different sizes of shed on the market, a 10 x 8 shed is ideal for anyone with a smaller backyard that needs a place to store a fair amount of garden tools, toys, bikes, and miscellaneous junk.

If you are in a hurry, here is our 10 x 8 plastic shed winner. You can compare it for yourself here 

Points to Ponder as Your Search Gets Underway

As you begin your search for a garden shed, one of your first thoughts probably turned to the dimensions of your new shed.

There are a couple of things you need to consider when trying to decide the final size, starting with how much room you have to spare in your backyard.

If you live out in the country, this is probably not an issue, but for the rest of us, size truly does matter.

Why a 10 x 8 Plastic Shed?Arrow_Shed_Vinyl_Milford_Shed

When you stop to think about an area that measures 10 feet deep and 8 feet wide, it might not seem like much space. But when you also factor in the sidewalls of most sheds this size are in the neighborhood of 5 1/2 to 6 1/2 feet tall with an even higher peak, the amount of space opens up significantly.

Still not sure this is big enough? Take a roll of masking tape and mark out 10 feet by 8 feet on your floor.

Now you can see how much space your 10 x 8 plastic shed is going to occupy in your backyard and approximately how much space it will have on the inside.  The next thing to do is ask yourself exactly what you are planning to store in your shed.

Do you need storage shelves? What about a floor that can handle a certain amount of weight?

During your search, each listing should cover the inner and outer dimensions, what type of floor, if any, the shed has, and what type of material was used to construct the shed.

The Many Benefits of Plastic Sheds

Over the years, plastic sheds have been given a pretty bad rap. In the beginning, the plastics used to create garden sheds was not ideally suited to the use.

They did not hold up well to the heat of the summer sun or the cold bite of winter. Many faded, ended up with warped roofs and sides, cracked and leaked, or simply fell apart.

Thankfully, this is no longer the case as most manufacturers use their own unique blends of polyethylene and resin to create new plastics that can withstand the hottest scorching sun and the coldest bite of Old Man Winter.

Along with this, these new plastics also offer the following benefits among many:

  1. Plastic sheds tend to be more affordable than either wooden or metal sheds and can be ordered online or purchased locally for direct delivery to your home.
  2. Plastic sheds require virtually nothing in the way of maintenance other than the occasional wash down with a hose. Both wood and metal sheds require a significant amount of annual maintenance to keep them looking good and protected from the environment, rot, and pests.
  3. Plastic sheds tend to range from relatively to extremely easy to assemble.
  4. Plastic sheds are lightweight and easy to move if it should become necessary.
  5. Many plastic sheds do not require any particular form of pad or foundation.

What to Look for in a 10 x 8 Plastic Shed

Ok, so to start with, once you have decided that a 10 x 8 plastic shed is just right for your needs, it is important that you understand not all plastic sheds listed as being 10 x 8 in size are actually this size. Some are slightly larger, some smaller, and only a few are actually this size on the inside.

However, an in the overall scheme of things an inch or two may not make that much of a difference, instead you may need to consider whether a shed that is 10 feet long or one that is 10 feet wide is a better fit for your yard. 

Next up, how many doors do you need, will a single door be wide enough to fit everything you plan to store in your shed or would double doors be a better choice? If all you are storing is your garden tools, then a single door is probably enough, but if you are planning to store a lawn mower or your family's bikes, double doors make a better choice.

 

Does the shed you have been considering come with a built-in floor? Having a built-in floor gives you far more options with regard to what kind of foundation or pad will be needed. Many of them now feature heavy duty floors designed to be placed directly onto a flat section of ground, others may require pavers or a concrete slab.

Single wall or double wall construction? Single wall sheds are less expensive and may prove to be flimsy unless they have a steel frame. Double wall sheds offer far more structural integrity and may come with built-in shelf brackets so that you can add extra storage. While most double wall sheds have steel reinforced roofs, few have steel reinforced walls, but they are typically strong enough to withstand significant snow weight.

 

Speaking of walls and doors, have you given much thought to security? Can the doors be locked securely to protect your stuff? Is there a window and if there is, can it be secured? A window can provide you with extra light on the inside, but at the same time, it offers yet another port of entry for a dedicated thief.

 

How much construction experience do you have? When it comes to 10 x 8 plastic sheds or for that matter any other size, there are two basic construction style choices.

The first and easiest method of assembly is the snap together shed. These sheds go together using almost no tools beyond a mallet to help snap the pieces together and can be built in a couple of hours or so. The only real problem with this type of plastic shed is that they tend to come apart in strong winds as the final assembly on many is not very secure.

The other style of plastic shed is the type that bolts together. Here again, we see a split in that some use steel nuts and bolts, while others use plastic hardware. While the plastic hardware will never suffer from any type of corrosion, it lacks the strength of steel.

Steel hardware, on the other hand, is much stronger, but you do run the risk of it corroding unless you paint it. Both offer a much stronger completed construction with steel hardware coming out the clear winner.

5 of the Best 10 x 8 Plastic Sheds Available

By now you have probably already noticed that there are dozens of 10 x 8 plastic sheds for you to consider. This is not surprising as this is one of the most popular sizes out there, in fact, I have one at the back of my garden just for my garden tools.

So to save you a bunch of time and help you narrow down your search, I have created a list containing four of the best plastic sheds in this size just for you.

Lifetime 6405 Outdoor Storage Shed

Double Doors, A Window, Skylights, and Shelving

 

So you are looking for a good structurally sound 10 x 8 plastic shed, one that can handle just about anything you can throw at it. This shed from Lifetime seems to fit that bill almost perfectly.

It offers an apex style roof with no less than 4 skylights for plenty of natural light, steel reinforced double doors with an internal latch that are lockable, a single shatterproof window, and a pair of screened vents.

On top of this, there are 6 feet 8 inches of headroom. The walls are made from steel reinforced double walled polyethylene for added strength, weather resistance, and load bearing. It is one of the top plastic sheds on the market.

Pros Cons
Steel reinforced construction throughout for added strength, great for high snow load areas Some buyers experienced water leakage at the roof seams
Comes with two shelves and pegboard for added storage convenience The doors tend to warp under long-term exposure to the sun's UV rays
Weather resistant seams help keep everything inside nice and dry Comes in two boxes weighing over 200 lbs. each

Suncast BMS8000 Alpine Shed

True Alpine Shed Style

One of the first things most people notice about this Suncast plastic shed is that it features double wall construction with walls that are a full 1-1/2-inches thick. At 7 1/2 x 10, there is enough room inside for a small garden tractor or a riding lawn mower.

Even better than this, is that the floor has been reinforced in all the right places to hold the weight of your tractor. It features reinforced double doors and no less than 14, yes that's right 14 windows.

There are also a pair of vents in the gables to keep fresh air circulating and help keep your shed from getting too hot in the summer months.

Pros Cons
Plenty of windows for natural light Windows and seals can be challenging to put together
One of the strongest reinforced plastic floors Comes in boxes weighing over 200 lbs. each
Outstanding customer service Assembly manual not very easy to follow in places

Keter Stronghold Resin Storage Shed

Plenty of Storage Space and Room for your Lawn Mower

 

There are times when a 10 x 8 plastic shed just isn't going to have enough room for everything you need to store. At 10 x 8 this heavy duty shed offers plenty of space.

This shed features a high-pitched roof that not only helps keep the snow at bay but also adds plenty of extra headroom. Open the wide double doors and inside you will find a heavy-duty plastic resin floor that can support your lawn tractor and much more.

There is also a built-in full-length skylight that gives you plenty of natural light.  The two-tone brown color resin is super strong and will fit in practically anywhere.

Pros Cons
High-pitched roof for added interior height The roof can be challenging to slide in place
Heavy duty plastic floor Doors and locking mechanism somewhat flimsy
Extra wide double doors Some pieces may need to be trimmed to get them to fit

Suncast Tremont Storage Shed

Steel Reinforced Double Wall with Multiple Shelf Locations

 

By now you probably know just how hard it can be to find just the right amount of storage space. The Tremont from Suncast offers a full 574 cubic feet of space complete with a pair of corner storage shelves with no less than eight different positions for them.

The double doors have windows for added interior light and open to 60 inches wide and 72 inches tall. The Tremont also features six skylights and steel reinforced double wall resin construction. The Tremont also comes with a resin floor.

Pros Cons
Shed assembly goes very quickly Must be placed on a level base
Very sturdy once assembled The roof can be hard to assemble
Lots of interior space Several units shipped missing parts or hardware

Lifetime 60001 Outdoor Storage Shed

Steel Reinforced Plastic Construction

Lifetime seems to have mastered the concept of using steel framing and trusses to ensure their plastic sheds can hold up to just about anything Mother Nature can throw at them. This shed offers a pair of 6-foot-high by 4-foot-wide double doors on one end, one large window, and a pair of large skylights.

Inside you will find 4 corner shelves and a pair of peg strips complete with a selection of hanging hardware. The frame and trusses are powder-coated steel and the entire shed is assembled using heavy-duty steel hardware for added strength.

The left door features upper and lower stops, while the right door has an internal latch that keeps both doors closed. The doors have a built-in hasp for a padlock.

Pros Cons
Powder-coated steel frame and trusses for extra strength and durability Comes in 2 boxes with a total weight of over 500 lbs.
Easy to follow instructions with detailed images Takes quite a while to assemble
Bolt together construction holds up better than snap together sheds Shed flexes with changes in temperature making doors hard to open or close

Another Storage Option for You to Consider

While a 10 x 8 plastic shed or one close to it will work well for most, not everyone wants an all plastic or resin shed for a variety of reasons. This next shed is made from vinyl coated galvanized steel that gives you the best of both worlds.

Duramax 00284 Woodbridge Shed with Foundation

Strong Metal Structure Tested for 20Lbs/Sq.Ft. Snow Load

No rust, no rot, and nothing to worry about with this great shed from Duramax. Under the plastic roof, you will find steel-reinforced plastic walls designed to hold up under just about any conditions.

When you anchor this shed to the ground or a foundation, it can easily withstand winds of up to 115 miles per hour. Features a single pair of wide doors that are tall enough for the average person to easily walk through.

One of the things many people like about this shed is the way the outside looks like standard house siding. The roof ridge features a skylight for plenty of natural light on the inside.

Pros Cons
Steel rods in walls for added durability Assembly instructions hard to follow
An available option lets you add another 2.5 feet to the length of the shed You should caulk the roof panels to prevent leaking
Once assembled the structure is very stable The steel frames have sharp edges that can cut your hands

Arrow Shed Vinyl Coated Sheridan Steel Storage

Vinyl Protected Galvanized Steel for Ultimate and Protection

 

If you are like me and live in an area with tons of snow each winter, you need a garden shed that is going to hold up to the weather. This storage shed from Arrow Shed is built from vinyl coated galvanized steel.

The steel adds plenty of structural strength, while the heavy-duty vinyl coating keeps the steel protected from snow and rain. At 7 feet, the interior peak of the roof gives you plenty of headroom. All parts are predrilled for ease of assembly.

Pros Cons
Vinyl clad steel is very strong Due to design, construction is labor intensive
Parts pre-drilled for easy assembly Metal used in construction is very thin
Strong assembly once completed You must buy or build a base for this shed

The Roundup

Each of the above sheds has a lot to offer, most are relatively easy to assemble and seem to be made to last. As you might expect, there are pros and cons to each of them.

For my money, the Suncast BMS8000 Alpine is the winner as it offers a super heavy duty floor designed to handle the weight of your lawn tractor and no less than 14 windows.

When it comes to choosing, the right shed for your needs, consider size, cost, suitability, and of course the materials used in its construction. In all areas, the Alpine Shed comes out the clear winner.

I hope you have enjoyed reading this and it has helped you find the perfect 10 x 8 or bigger plastic shed for your garden or back yard.

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.

Related Articles:

Shed Roof Pitch

Everything You Need To Know About Working Out Your Shed Roof Pitch

alarm_thumbnail
Shed Roof Pitch Examples

What you need to know before you start putting together your shed roof

So,by now you may or may not have figured out that framing in a wood shed is not as hard as you though it was. At least with regard to the floor and walls, but if you are like me, the idea of putting the roof together is more than just a little scary.

While a flat roof is relatively easy, when it comes to a sloped roof, you must understand what shed roof pitch is and how to calculate it before getting started or your efforts could end in disaster.

Follow along as we go through everything you need to know about shed roof pitch and your roof is sure to turn out just fine in the end. Don't worry, if I can build a shed roof, anyone can!

Shed Roof Pitch Info ( Just Before You Start ... )

Let's get started by stating the obvious, shed roof pitch is the amount of slope your shed roof has. It is measured by the amount of rise in the roof compared to the run of the roof.  Here is a simple diagram that explains this term:

 

Shed Roof Pitch - Rise over Run

How important is having the right shed roof pitch? This depends in part on where you live, in part on what the weather in your area does, and in part what your personal tastes and building skills happen to be.

Bear in mind there is significantly more work involved in building a pitched roof than in building a flat one.

The weather plays a very large part in the amount of pitch your shed roof is likely to need. Areas where it tends to rain or snow may need a much steeper pitch than in areas with little to no rain or snow.

You should also take into consideration that flat roofs hold up much better in strong winds than those with a steep pitch. One quick way to see what type of shed roof pitch might be best for where you live is to look at your home, your neighbors' homes, and sheds in your local area.

Planning Your Shed Roof - Easy Does It!

In this section, we are going to take a good look at the basics of shed roof pitch, which is one of the most important aspects of building the roof for your shed.

We are also going to go over several other vital pieces of information that will prove to be invaluable in designed and building your shed roof.

What Type of Roof Do You Want to Build?

Long before you start to worry about your shed roof pitch, you must decide on what type of shed roof you are going to cap all of your hard work with. 

Obviously, if you are going to install a flat roof on your shed, you won't have to worry about any amount of shed roof pitch as a flat roof has a pitch or 0/0, in other words, it rises zero inches for every zero inches of run.

Beyond this there are several different styles worth considering, including:

  • Barn or Gambrel style roof
  • Gable style roof
  • Hip style roof
  • Pyramid style roof
  • Salt Box style roof
  • Standard pitched roof

Each of these styles of shed roof has one or more slopes to them. This means that you must be ready to calculate both the shed roof pitch and any snow load in your area if you are going to build any of these roofs.

However, you should also figure in your own construction abilities as you look the different types of roof. Take a more detailed look at the different types of shed roofs here.

Does Your Permit/Local County or Jurisdiction Require a Particular Pitch?

Remember when you had to go to your local authority to see if you needed a building permit to build your shed in the first place? Did you stop to see if they had any rules or regulations in place regarding shed roof pitch?

 While not all local authorities have requirements regarding roof pitch, the last thing you want is to stand proudly back looking at your finished shed, only to have a building inspector tap you on the shoulder and say, “I am sorry, but your shed roof pitch is not within the standards established, or “Where is your permit?You don't have one?You're shed roof has to be taken down.”

The best thing is to have the right answers before you get started. Click hereto find out if your local county or city has shed roof pitch requirements.

It is far better to know in advance what you are facing than to build first and then find out you were in error.

What are Low Pitched Roofs?

picnic_garden_shed

Low pitched roofs are described as those with a pitch of 3/12 or less. Having such a low pitch makes walking on your roof much easier and safer.

Low pitched roofs typically cost less to build and require much less in the way of maintenance.

What are Mid Pitched Roofs?

shed door designs - inside

A medium pitched roof is one that has a pitch of between 3/12 and 7/12. This range makes up the bulk of new roofs being built on homes and outbuildings in the U.S.

Personally unless you live in an area of extreme snow load, I would recommend you incorporate a shed roof pitch of between 4/12 and 6/12 for optimum results.

What are Steep Pitched Roofs?

Steep pitched roofs are those with a pitch of greater than 7/12. These roofs require you to have special equipment to walk on them safely. Because these roofs shed snow/ice and rain more easily, they tend to last longer than low pitch roofs.

Calculate Snow Loads

Does it snow where you live? How much? In all reality, if you live anywhere that enjoys snowy winters, you must calcite the snow load your roof will be able to handle before you cut the first board. The snow load on a roof is measured in pounds per square inch, this method uses the ground snow load as its basis.

Whenever you are building any type of commercial, residential, or storage structure in an area that receives snow in the winter, you must consider snow load when choosing the materials you plan to use for your roof and the shed roof pitch needed.

While there is a set of exceptionally complex mathematical formulae you can use to determine the snow load in your area, this involves a lot of research and hard work.

For those of you who are like me, a little on the mathematically lazy side, I recommend you use an online snow load calculator. You will need to obtain certain information such as your local “ground snow load”, you can wait for winter and measure it, or better yet look it up in your local or state building codes.

Be sure to follow the instructions very carefully with any online snow load calculator you plan to use.

One thing to keep in mind is that one foot of fresh snow can weigh anywhere from 3 pounds per square foot all the way up to 21 pounds per square inch, depending on whether you are dealing with light fluffy snow or heavy wet snow.

At the same time, you should also be aware that a single inch of ice weighs in at slightly under 5 pounds, a square foot of inch of ice this thick weighs about 57 pounds.

Here is some detailed snow load information put out by FEMA for you to browse when you have a spare hour or two.

Ventilation

No one could blame you for thinking that keeping the roof of your shed sealed up tight would be better during the winter months. There are a couple of very important reasons why this thought is completely opposite to the truth. Keep in mind that if your roof is not vented, the surface is going to stay warmer than the outside air.

If your shed roof's surface is warm, when you get a healthy covering of snow, the space between the surface of the roof and the snow stays above freezing. This lets the snow that is actually in contact with the roof melt, reducing your risk of ice dams building up.

 If your roof is not vented and is heavily insulated, the surface will not stay as warm. As snow hits the roof, some of it might melt, most of it won't. That part that does melt will quickly freeze forming ice dams that trap snow on the roof, rapidly increasing the amount of snow load your shed roof must bear.

How to Measure/Determine Shed Roof Pitch

In the simplest possible terms, shed roof pitch is defined as the amount of rise per foot of run.  It is expressed as X/Y, where X = rise and Y = run, for example, 4/12 or 5/12, and so on.

Worth noting is that the higher the first number in the equation is, the steeper the pitch of your shed roof will be. So a roof with a 5/12 pitch is steeper than one with a 4/12 pitch.

roof_pitch_chartImage Courtesy of Carpentry Pro Farmer

This simple diagram will help give you a better idea of how shed roof pitch or for that matter, any other type of roof pitch works.

A couple of points worth noting are that the steeper you make the roof, the more it will cost to build due to an increase in the amount of materials needs, but the steeper the roof is, the longer the roofing materials are likely to last.

Shed Roof Pitch Calculators

The best way to calculate the pitch of your new shed roof is to use an online pitch calculator such as this one here or this one. The only thing you need to know to use these pitch calculator is at least two of the following, run, rise, or angle. Once you enter the appropriate information, the calculator does all of the work.

The calculators will give you whatever piece of information you are missing, you can then use the results to help you determine the best shed roof pitch and ensure you have enough materials to build your roof.

In Conclusion

My guess is that you probably never realized that there would be so much to determining how steep your shed roof should be. In reality, having the right shed roof pitch is vital not only to the structural integrity of your shed, but also its ability to withstand high winds, heavy rains, and heavy snow loads.

One last reminder to check your local codes before getting started or you may find all of your hard work turns out to be for naught when your local inspector tells you to tear it all down.

I hope the information I have pulled together here for you has helped you to gain a better understanding of shed roof pitch, how to calculate it, and why having the right pitch is so important to your shed.

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

If you have any information you would like to see here, please contact us here.

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

Thank you for reading this.

Related Articles:

1 2 3 11