Outdoor storage isn’t something most people think much about when buying a house, but most homeowners find it to be an important and necessary investment. If you’re thinking of installing a backyard shed on your property, there are some things to consider before getting too far along in the process.
Reasons to Install a Backyard Shed
Backyard sheds serve a variety of functions and purposes. Some of the most common applications include:
- Lawn and tool storage. One of the most common uses of a backyard shed is for storing lawn equipment and tools. This allows you to save your garage for parking vehicles and gives you a place to store items that may only see occasional use.
- Some families find that a shed makes for the perfect backyard playhouse for children. It’s a great way to get kids outside and to encourage the use of their imagination.
- She shed or man cave. Sheds aren’t just for kids. Many adults are using them as “she sheds” or “man caves.”
- Home office. In a day and age where millions of people work from home, using a backyard shed as a home office allows you to continue using all of the bedrooms in your home for their original purpose.
4 Considerations for Your Backyard Shed
Whether you need additional storage space or you’re interested in creating a private area where you can enjoy some alone time for a hobby, a backyard shed can help. Here are some things to consider:
- Codes and Neighborhood Requirements
If you live in a neighborhood development or busy urban area, you may have to contend with building codes and neighborhood requirements that tell you how big your shed can be, where it can be placed, and even what materials may be used. Research all of these details before getting too far along.
- Shed Materials and Appearance
Sheds come in a variety of materials and appearances these days. You’ll want to select one that’s durable, cost-effective, and (ideally) complements the appearance of the other buildings on your property.
“Vinyl siding sheds tend to be one of the most popular due to their easy to care for nature,” eCanopy explains. “These sheds often require no maintenance. They are made from double walled vinyl panels that can withstand severe weather conditions. This material is also flame retardant which helps protect your investment.”
Other popular shed materials include metal, wood, and polyethylene (plastic). Each comes with its own set of pros, cons, and tradeoffs. Carefully consider each option before making a final decision.
- Shed Size
How big do you want your shed to be? Think about your needs and don’t underestimate your spatial requirements. You also don’t want to overestimate, as this could consume too much of your yard.)
- Shed Features
Are there certain features you’re looking for in a shed? For example, if you’re using it to store lawn and tool equipment, you may want a workbench, rollup door, ramp, etc. If it’s being used as a home office, you’ll probably want insulation, lighting, and windows. Think about these things and make a list of the features you want.
Building vs. Buying a Shed
Depending on the circumstances involved in your situation, you may find that you have very unique needs and preferences. This could make finding the right shed quite challenging. But before you make the decision to build your own, you must understand all that this entails.
Building your own shed will save you a little bit of money, but it’ll cost you in terms of time and energy. Not only will you have to source all of your own materials, but you’ll also have to handle aspects that you may not be familiar with – such as building a foundation, framing, roofing, etc. And if you don’t already have the right tools on hand, your cost savings can quickly evaporate.
Generally speaking, it makes more sense to buy a prefabricated shed and have it installed on your property. While it’ll come at a slight premium, there’s something to be said for having a shed professionally built and installed. You’ll get a quality product with peace of mind (in the form of a warranty) and can spend your time doing other tasks that fall into your realm of expertise.