DIY projects and home maintenance can be fun tasks to undergo, but you may find yourself running out of space to store all your home equipment and tools. If your home didn't come with a shed out back, it might be time to build one. Unlike a house, a shed is simple enough that you can probably manage all or most of the construction by yourself. Follow these tips to make sure that your shed is suitable for years to come.
Tips For Building a Backyard Shed
1. Determine the Purpose and Size of the Shed
Before beginning to construct your shed, you need to take a moment and envision what purpose the shed will serve. This will give insight into how big your shed needs to be, where it should be located and what material you should consider using to build.
For example, if you plan to use your shed to store items like patio furniture, lawn mowers or tractors, you are going to need a larger footprint. However, if you are simply using your shed to store smaller items like shovels, rakes and other smaller tools, you don’t need to dedicate as much area to the construction of your shed.
2. Choose a Suitable Location
There are several factors you need to think through when choosing the location of your shed. Consider the layout and topography of your yard. You need to make sure you are placing your shed in a spot with good drainage because pooling water is a threat to the integrity of your shed and the items in it.
You should also consider other factors like sunlight and proximity to other utilities. If you are going to need access to a water line you want to make sure your shed is close enough to it, so you aren’t dragging items across your yard. You should also think about the proximity to your home, if you envision yourself needing access to your shed on a regular basis, it’s important to make sure you can easily get there from your backdoor.
3. Obtain Necessary Permits and Adhere to Zoning Regulations
Before beginning construction of your shed, contact your local government or municipality and make sure you are compliant with their regulations. You will likely need a building permit to ensure you are following zoning regulations.
4. Select Materials and Design
Your floor frame is going to take a beating. No matter what you do, it will get wet from time to time, plus you'll be walking on it every time you go into your shed. That means that your floor frame must be
up to the task. Use pressure-treated lumber at least two inches thick for your floor frame, because anything else will eventually fall apart from exposure. For the floor deck, Truini recommends that you use Â¾-in. exterior-grade plywood, because anything thinner will flex in between your joints.
Additionally, pay attention to the exterior material of the shed. If you live in an area where you are likely to experience harsh weather, make sure you are using materials that can withstand snow, heavy rain, gusting winds, sleet, ice, etc.
5. Assemble the Shed
Now you are finally ready to start assembling your shed. When assembling, make sure you adhere to all manufacturer suggestions and use the proper tools and techniques. If you get stuck in a certain spot, don’t be afraid to contact manufacturer support for help. It is much better to be safe than sorry.
6. Maintain and Organize the Shed
Now that you’ve put so much time and effort into building your shed, it’s important to make sure it stays maintained and organized. Consider investing in some organizational tools like shelving and storage boxes. Additionally, continually inspect and assess both the interior and exterior of your shed for damage and signs of wear and tear. One way to do this is to schedule a Home Maintenance Inspection with WIN. During a Home Maintenance Inspection, a certified, trained and insured WIN Home Inspector will examine over 300 components both inside and outside of your home, including your shed. Your inspector will then outline their findings in an easy-to-read report and help recommend the proper next steps.
We hope you will be able to use this article as a blueprint for constructing your own shed. The steps outlined above are suggestions to help you along the way, and not the end all be all to shed building. If you have further questions on what steps you should take to begin constructing your shed, please reach out to the manufacturer and they will be able to provide more detailed instructions.
Additionally, if you have any further questions or concerns regarding the inspection of your shed, please contact your local WIN Home Inspector and they will gladly assist you.