Our Backyard Garden Sheds
Last updated Friday, October 28th, 2022
Everything You Need to Know About Garden Sheds
The days of cheap metal storage sheds just dropped into backyards have come and gone. We have now grown and moved onto an entirely new generation of outdoor garden sheds. And today’s version is a lot more fun and can even add value to your property.
There are a wide variety of sheds available on the market today, and many cater to the level of construction experience a buyer has. Sheds are available in kits that you assemble yourself or in pre-built structures that only need to be moved onto your property. Of course, you can also build a garden shed yourself using wood, tools, and your advanced skills if you possess them. You can also choose to convert a current storage shed into a style that is more to your liking. The choice is up to you.
It’s okay to want a quality outdoor shed that exists only to store things. But now there are other options if you are so inclined.
With the number of options available, planning in advance is key to creating a garden shed that you can use how you want to use it.
Today’s outdoor garden sheds have replaced the boring metal storage sheds of the past. They have also evolved into a new type of home entertainment building that also happens to offer storage, but only if you want it for that.
Here’s a quick run-down of a few styles of today’s sheds:
- Man caves
- She sheds
- Bar sheds
- Backyard bars
- Home offices
- Hobby sheds
- Garden sheds
- Tiny homes
- Backyard studios
- Gym sheds
- Yoga studios
- Music studios
- And the list goes on and on
The only limitation to the type of garden shed you want for your property is your own imagination (and of course building permits).
What do you need to do before adding a garden shed?
Planning is important before jumping into a project like this. There are legalities to consider and steps that need to be taken before you can plant your garden shed. Be sure to keep these things in mind:
Keep yourself within budget with careful planning. Planning well will guarantee that you have crossed your i’s and dotted your t’s. The more you plan, the lesser potential issues can surprise you. Research the cost of supplies so you can realistically estimate what you need and what you don’t.
One area that people tend to forget about is what tools they already have in their tool arsenal. If they don’t have a certain tool, they may need to buy or rent one. Buying tools is a quick way to go over budget because it’s the last thing you may think about.
Zoning, Building Codes, and Ordinances
It’s important to check with an architect or construction professional, as well as your City Administrator, before even considering a new building structure. You need to know what permits have to be pulled and what the specific rules are for your area. Don’t give yourself the opportunity to even consider something that may give you a code violation. It’s just not worth it.
If you belong to a homeowner’s association, you have an additional step to take. Not only do you need to have the right permits from the city and state, but you also need to abide by the rules set forth by your HOA.
Making sure you have the best and most appropriate foundation planned for under your garden shed is a step you will never regret making.
If you want your garden shed to have electricity running through it, you need to consult a professional if you plan on building your new shed on your own. If you decided on a pre-built design, this should be discussed prior to the purchase. The builders know the laws and can make sure you are up to code without you having to lift a finger, or in this case, a hammer. Lighting and electrical is an additional feature that can be added if you want it. If you don’t, that’s okay too.
Not all garden sheds will need plumbing. It all depends on what you plan to do with it. Do you want a sink with a water line? Your specific needs will help you decide what is important when it comes to plumbing.
Is it cheaper to build your own shed?
Before considering prices between building a shed by hand or ordering a kit or pre-built structure, you need to come to terms with your own skill level. If you don’t have advanced construction skills and a good supply of high-quality power tools, you may not want to consider building it yourself.
An important consideration is in regards to tools. Tools are expensive. At the same time, they can make a difficult job much easier. If you decide to purchase tools for the project, will you ever use them again? There is always the possibility of renting or borrowing tools, of course, but you still need the know-how as well.
Does a shed need a foundation?
There are some circumstances where sheds need foundations, but not all do. Smaller sheds up to 6 feet by 8 feet do not require a concrete foundation, but anything larger than that will need one.
Foundations of gravel or crushed rocks will often be enough for smaller sheds. Larger sheds, however, will need to have a much stronger foundation made out of concrete, blocks, or wood with concrete leveling blocks.
It is still recommended to put a foundation under all sheds regardless of size to protect your investment. A well-installed foundation is a good insurance policy to maintain the integrity of your shed for years to come.
Typically, if the shed has the following specs or larger, it will need to be built on a foundation:
- If the width and depth are larger than 6 feet by 8 feet
- If the weight is over 300 to 500 lbs. or if you plan to store heavy items in it
- Any shed that is built without a floor
How much does a 10x12 shed cost?
A pre-built 10-foot by 12-foot sized shed can cost anywhere between $2,000 and $4,000. This of course depends upon the area you live in and what features you want it to have. With all the gadgets and widgets, a garden shed could run you upwards of $10,000 to $20,000. There are many options to consider.
Are shed kits worth it?
A garden shed kit can be purchased that contains all the parts needed to build a shed. Parts come pre-cut and pre-drilled in the kit, so all that has to be done is to build it. Kits come with detailed instructions to help with the assembly.
This may be a good option if you have mid-level skills as a builder. Some feel that the kits sometimes lack quality when compared to a pre-built or custom-built shed.
What sometimes happens is that the buyer finds that they have taken on a project that is beyond their skill level. Then a professional will need to be brought in to finish the build. Unless you are very confident in your skill level, kits tend to be much more difficult than they appear.
What is the cheapest way to build a shed?
The least expensive way to buy a shed for your property would be to build it yourself. Find a building plan that you like and carefully consider the different available options. You will be responsible for buying your own lumber, screws, hardware, etc. You also will need to have the proper tools for the job.
For most people, with all things considered, buying a pre-built shed would be the most cost-effective option if you want to add a new garden shed to your property… BUT NOT THE BEST OPTION. Colonial Barns does it even better. Our team of skilled shed builders will build your shed on-site within a week so you don’t have to worry about anything.
Why are garden sheds so expensive?
Garden sheds can be a temporary solution or a long-term investment. It all depends upon your needs.
You can build a garden shed that only needs to last short term, and there are products available that may fit your needs. There are aluminum, plastic, tin, and other options available. If one of those options fit your needs, then you’re in good shape.
But if you are looking for a building structure that will be a permanent structure on your property, looking for high-quality supplies really does make a difference. We can help you in your decision-making process.
Unfortunately, we have seen a major rise in building material prices. Prices of wood and building materials have risen up to 50% due to the global shortage of lumber due to the Covid-19 pandemic. When supply costs rise, the customer suffers along with the entire industry.
Can you put a shed on concrete blocks?
Yes, concrete or cinder blocks can be used as a foundation for most sized sheds, although some would argue that it is not the best idea. There are a few things to keep in mind when using concrete blocks:
- It is very important that the foundation is level
- The foundation needs to be high enough to keep moisture from the ground away from your outdoor shed
- There is the possibility of blocks sinking and settling unevenly, causing them to lean to the side
You will need to do a little research in order to find out how many blocks you need for the size of the shed. There are guides available to help you calculate this.
Can I put a shed on grass?
A shed, regardless of its size, should never be placed on grass or bare ground. Doing so is a recipe for disaster and can lead to serious damage to your shed from the moisture in the ground. Moisture and wood do not play nicely together. Water damage can cause rotting to the wood panels. Moisture can also lead to mold and mildew in the shed itself.
If mold or rot occurs from water damage, it isn’t only the shed you will need to be concerned about. You’ll also have to worry about damage to the items inside the shed. Wood furniture, cardboard boxes, or other porous materials are easily ruined by mold and mildew.
What will fit in a 10×12 shed?
A 10-foot by 12-foot garden shed can hold a lot of items! The square footage of a 10’ x 12’ shed is 120 square feet, which gives a nice amount of storage.
What is the most popular shed size?
Shed size needs to depend upon one’s personal preferences and what you need to store. Also important is the size of your property.
A popular size is a 12-foot by 12-foot shed, which will give you a full 144 square feet to work with.
Is it cheaper to build a shed or buy a shipping container?
Using a shipping container as a home storage shed is a newer concept that has a great amount of potential for use in a home environment.
What exactly is a shipping container?
Shipping containers, otherwise known as freight containers, are the large standardized cargo containers used to transport and store goods in trucks, trains, and boats. They are often used to transport heavy or palletized goods internationally.
Shipping containers are now being repurposed for use as home garden storage units. They are considered to be cost-effective strong general-purpose containers that are available in standardized sizes, such as 8 feet wide by 20 or 40 feet long with a door. This size fits well on many residential properties. Shipping containers tend to need little to no maintenance, which many homeowners like.
Since this is a relatively new concept, it would be a good idea to talk to your city administrator to find out if it is even an option for your area.
What is the best material to put under a shed?
The foundation of your garden shed will be the most important factor in determining how the shed ages. There are a few foundation options that will work well for most sheds such as poured concrete, concrete blocks, and wood with leveling blocks.
Consider the size of the shed and the amount of weight that it will hold, including the actual structure itself. The larger the size and heavier the weight, the more important it is to use the strongest foundation style. For the most strength and durability, a poured concrete foundation is the best.
How long will a shed last?
Depending upon the build that you chose, the manufacturer of your shed, and how it was constructed, a good wooden storage shed should give you up to 25 years of durable storage if maintained well. High-quality paint on the outside of the shed gives an added layer of protection against damage from the elements and sun.
At about the 10-year mark, many sheds need a good coat of paint to reseal the wood against the elements. This is where maintenance is key to keeping your garden shed in tip-top shape. A well taken care of structure will give you many years of durable storage. Protecting your shed from the elements, especially moisture, will help maintain its integrity for years to come.
How do you anchor a shed to the ground?
Anchoring is an important step in securing your garden shed, especially in climates where strong winds are the norm. In some areas, anchoring is included in the building codes so it is a requirement rather than just optional.
What is anchoring? Anchoring means that you take additional steps to secure the shed to the ground to protect against wind and other storm possibilities. Earth anchor screws are one of the best ways to secure your garden shed down because they use a long screw-type piece of hardware called a “penetrator” that is secured deep into the ground. There are several other ways to anchor your shed, and a quick Google search will give you several ideas on how to do so.
Do sheds come with floors?
Floors are essential in ensuring a solid surface to walk on within your shed. Floors also ensure stability to the shed structure.
Floors are typically part of the shed build, but not necessarily considered standard. Be sure to discuss this option with your builder or contractor so you know for sure that it is included. Usually, they are built using wood, which means a good paint or wood sealer is necessary to protect the floor itself.