5 Tips for Building a Shed on Your Property

Building a shed is a great way to both add value to your home and have a space for extra storage.  Whether you are using it for lawn and garden equipment or just need a little outbuilding to keep some supplies, a well-built shed can last as many years as your home if it is maintained properly.  And if you are looking to build the shed yourself, here are some helpful tips to make sure it is done properly.

  1.  Check with your local building department to see what kind of building permits you may need.  There is a myth out there that says if your shed is under a certain size you don’t need a permit.  But most of the time you will need to get a permit.  This is for several reasons, including that the building inspector needs to make sure the structure will be built properly, the town needs to make sure the building will not be in any wetlands, and the permit also ensures that the town won’t be able to just tear it down if you build the shed without this permission.
  2. Always build your shed on the high ground and stay away from wet, low-laying areas.  The last thing you want to expose your shed to is water.  Any rain water or runoff can cause the wood in your shed to rot and it can also introduce mold into the structure.  Even though you will not be living in this building, you don’t want the presence of mold among your tools and equipment.  You can always build drains around your shed, but it’s just easier to start out by putting the building on a higher area in your yard.
  3. Start with a solid foundation.  Don’t overlook how vital this step is.  You might build the fanciest shed in the world, but if you skimped out on the foundation then your shed will not last very long.  Make sure your concrete blocks are level and that you have spaced them out close enough to support the heavy frame of the structure.  For larger sheds you can just pour a concrete foundation, but make sure you check with your local building codes so that you know how deep to make this foundation and that it is below the frost line.
  4. Make sure your shed has proper air circulation.  Good air circulation helps to keep moisture from setting in and rotting your wood out.  Even if you built your shed on the high ground you can have problems with moisture if you don’t have good ventilation.  You should have a good 6-8 inch gap below your shed to allow air to dry out any moisture and make sure you don’t have any trees or other structures too close to the shed that would impede proper air circulation.
  5. Choose Your Doors Wisely.  Sometimes shed builders don’t put enough time into choosing where to put the door and how big or small it should be.  If you plan on keeping your riding lawn mower in your shed make sure that not only the doorway is big enough, but also that when you install the doors you still have enough room to fit it in.  When trying to choose what wall the door should go on, don’t worry about looks.  Go with what works best.  Usually, it’s better to put the door on the longest wall so that you can easily access everything.

Looking for the best shed plan blueprints?  Bill Thurman is a writer for www.Shed-Plan.net and his site offers helpful insight into building your own shed and finding other garden shed plans.

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