Sheds can be bought anywhere but why would you? Be unique and creative by designing a garden shed or storage shed that fits your needs and reflects your personality.
Look at it like the difference between buying frozen hamburgers or making them fresh, yes buying them is fast and convenient however you really don’t know what you’re getting inside. The joy and pride is saying yes I designed and built that and I enjoyed the adventure!
As you plan your garden or storage shed, drive around town and notice the same few sheds replicated over and over. What ever happened to creativity and inspiration, challenge yourself to design a unique structure. This is my shed, it’s going to be designed for my stuff and reflect my personality!
Start by dreaming about sheds!
Collecting ideas of garden or storage sheds, look at your neighbours, friends relatives, search online for pictures and ideas.
Using quinju.com home improvement project software provides an easy way to have it all in one place and organized. It is the ultimate online home remodeling tool. Best of all, you can access everything in your projects from any device, anywhere!
What’s inside my shed?
When planning the design of an outdoor storage or garden shed consider what you are going to keep inside. Go through this list and check the ones that you want out of your garage and may store in the shed. Read unique ideas on how to store each item.
Bikes- Hung from ceiling is great in winter however in summer they need to be accessible. Realize that seldom do kids place bikes as neatly as you do! Outside single slope roofs attached on the back of a shed can be a great summer storage location for bikes.
Tire storage- high or low areas, stood on side or stacked in a corner. You only need to access these twice a year.
Walk behind mowers- Can’t be hidden therefore a spot under higher shelving to maximize room. Shelves over the mover can store gas or oil cans.
Ride on Mowers- Take lots of space to move in and out of a shed, remember to design in ramps and large doors. In the winter trade the outside bike storage for storage of mower, a well wrapped mower under the single slope roof will make room for all the other things needing inside winter storage.
Tarps- Good for high shelves
Golf clubs- A corner for quick Saturday access!
Hockey Gear- Off season high and dry
Skis- Flat area like rafters, consider the outside gable hatch for easy access to rafters.
Wagons- Wagons and baby strollers have a special way to take up lots of your shed, keep smiling it won’t last forever!
Wheel barrow- outdoor behind shed hung on wall.
Fire Wood for your outdoor fireplace.
Water Hoses-Hung on walls or on outside of shed.
Folding lawn chairs- Stood in corners, hung on walls or placed on shelves.
Camping gear- High and dry area, cause best intentions you likely won’t use it J
Yard tools- Hung on wall or on back of door.
Potting soils and gardening supplies- work bench and shelves for supplies.
Pool equipment- Consider water leaks so not to damage the floor. Many put pool pumps and filters outside the shed in a little self-contained single slope structure so water and noise and contained.
Wood working tools- You will need a bit of a tool bench and wall space to hang items.
Lumber- Consider adding a loft with a gable hatch so you can feed lumber in from the outside.
Location, Location. Location
The right place always just presents itself but consider the primary use of the shed and keep it close to those activities. If it is a garden shed you want it close to the garden likewise if you plan on using it to store bikes you may plan to NOT put it at the very back of yard…your kids will never find it!
Corner sheds, single slope sheds are typically designed to be right against fences where other types of sheds work well with space on all sides.
Consider the landscape, trees behind, flower gardens and stone walkway to shed make is so much more than a place to store things.
Consider how it will fit into your other outdoor living spaces
Look at the grade and determine what type of base concrete or wood, will work best. Make sure the area around the shed is free draining so there are no water issues.
Features to add functionality to sheds
Large storage shelves for seasonal tools or seldom used items
Standard doors are great for day to day entry however large doors work better for equipment or even bikes, consider double doors.
Hasp locks work however a door with a proper door knob is more likely to get closed.
A place to hide the key, after all we seldom carry our set of keys while doing chores. Combinations are hard to remember and difficult to see in low light.
Outside bike storage, to reduce clutter a simple roof over the bike area and locking bar can be a great way to limit trips into the shed or bikes that block your lawnmower.
Consider running electricity with a light, one interior and one exterior receptacle as a minimum.
Snow shovels, skis or toboggans can all be hung on the outside during the winter.
Interior partition walls are a great way to keep uses separate and provide even more hanging space. Why not let the kids have their area that helps to keep the shed clean, likely not though!
Important design features
Large windows or round top windows are easily built for a shed as they don’t always need to be operational or extremely weather tight.
Add cute decor like contrasting colour trim around windows, doors and corners.
Gable vents, although it is a shed it can heat up, remove the heat and condensation with gable vents or a cupola to vent the building and adds a bit of flair.
Full height walls- factory build sheds often sold at retailers use short walls as the volume they do can justify custom sized materials. When you’re building a shed using the local lumber yard supply it makes little sense to shorten the walls. Storage, standing room, maximizing lumber and overall appearance tells you to make the walls full height.
Overhangs will help to protect the bottom of any wood siding. Eve trough is low cost and also protects wood siding from splash up which causes premature decay. Overhangs on all sides says quality as few purchased sheds come with proper overhangs.
Considerations on the buildof a shed
Often municipalities require a building permit for any structure over 80-100 square feet, so make sure you check with local building department before starting.
Looking for plans to get you started try this site with many free and unique designs.
When building the base install heavy chicken wire in the ground to limit critters like skunks and raccoons from making a home under your shed.
Full wood frames for doors, too often door hinges are installed just into sheathing. Shed door take substantial abuse so secure the hinges into solid framing.
Often shed roofs are more visible than a house roof, choose a quality product that looks good and fits the design you’re trying to achieve. Steel, architectural shingles and cedar are all good options.
The base can be wooden deck or concrete. If you choose a wooden deck then use plywood over OSB (Oriented Strand Board).
Laying a piece of plastic vapour barrier under a layer of gravel below the structure keeps ground moisture and weeds in check.
Exterior wall finish is an important decision as it is a large cost of the project. Products that provide structural bracing like T1-11 siding panels are common. T1-11 comes in OSB and plywood both with wood grain appearance. Other siding options include natural cedar, rough cut pine, fibre cement, composites and vinyl or aluminum siding.
Consider your enjoyment
There is nothing like a quiet place to garden or tinker, you’re home but away, you’re working but relaxing. Sheds can be so much more than just a place to store things. This project will truly reward you for years to come.