The Do’s and Don’ts of Building A Shed

Ahhh it’s that time of year, everyone is outside grooming their yards and creating their personal landscapes to enjoy for the summer!

If you’re tired of tripping over lawnmowers and losing hand tools in a dark garage, perhaps it’s time to add a shed to the property. Regardless of size, sheds add value to a home by offering an attractive way to store and hide garden and household tools. Unless you’re a seasoned construction professional, however, building a shed can become an overwhelming project. Take a look at some of the dos and don’ts of shed construction.

shed

photo credit: Gray Lensman QX! via photopin cc

Ask About Permits

Every region has slightly different rules when it comes to building permits. Some areas require a permit for any building added to a property, regardless of size. Other areas allow small- or medium-size buildings to go without a permit, especially if they are pre-fabricated kits. To ensure that you follow all local laws, talk to a building inspector. Offer all your plans for evaluation. You may have a perfect spot picked out, but the inspector can give you unbiased advice that will keep the new structure standing tall for years. Trust these professionals’ opinions to keep your project running smoothly.

Location Inspection

The perfect area for a new shed is away from permanent structures and trees. You don’t want to build too close to any of these objects because of space considerations. Trees grow over the years, possibly overtaking your shed. Ample space around the home is necessary for maintenance and aesthetics. Avoid any hilly areas as well. You want a roughly level site to give the shed structural integrity. Hilly areas are also prone to alternating low spots. Accumulating rainwater in low-lying areas only degrades your shed over the years with moisture and rot.

Foundation Strength

For the DIYer, a small- to medium-size shed has a relatively simple foundation construction. Measure the square footage of your shed’s floor and purchase enough solid concrete blocks to form a strong foundation. Don’t use hollow cinder blocks, however. Their strength cannot support the shed over many years. Simply lay the blocks together to form a foundation. There’s no need to pour concrete or set forms. You can also use wood timber construction for the foundation, but concrete blocks are often easier to install. In general, a 200-square-foot shed requires a poured concrete foundation, making it a good idea to hire a contractor for this large job.

Build Most Of Shed In Flat Position

Create the shed’s wall frames on a flat surface, such as on level ground or a concrete driveway. The flat surface makes it easier to align the studs, along with reducing strain on your body. The same advice applies to roof construction as well. Add all the soffits to the roof’s underside laying flat on the ground. When you attach all the walls and roof together, you’ll create a more streamlined process, saving time and stress on your body. Once the shed is physically placed, you’re at the mercy of working upside down on the roof, for example.

Don’t Build Alone

Although your shed may be relatively small, it’s not a good idea to make this a solo project. Invite friends and family to help you hammer in nails. The crucial time to have helpful hands is during wall erection. You need to have one person hold the wall still while another drives the nails in. Another friend can hold a plumb bob to verify that the wall construction remains truly plumb. Leaning walls only make roof, window and door attachments nearly impossible. Plumb walls with friends’ help to keep the structure strong for years.

A homemade shed is a great project for the entire family. Follow all local laws and build smartly for a perfect storage space, adding value to the home.

Do you have a shed? If so, what other tips can you offer?

3 Comments

  1. January 4, 2016 / 2:16 am

    Steel garage are very cool and durable in the long run than wood ones. So easy to maintain and has a very long lifespan.

  2. mrdisco1
    August 2, 2014 / 5:16 pm

    i totally need a shed for my backyard

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