15 Tips for Building a Better Shed

15 Tips for Building a Better Shed

It’s a no brainer that when you have loads of tools and stuff that don’t really belong in the household, you devise and build something useful like a shed. A shed could be anything. It can be a garden shed, an aviary, a workshop, a garage or a combo of either two or three of the mentioned varieties.

Depending on your requirement, you can either scout for a prefabricated shed online and modify it later, or you can build one yourself from scratch -- your very own DIY shed. The question now is: What does it take to build the best shed with multi-specs (if possible) that works with your budget?

Building a shed is no joke as it entails processes that require prior approval before actual construction begins. A planned shed project should, first of all, be compliant with the existing building codes set by the local government, particularly the National Construction Code (NCC) of Australia. Even the steel you use for the project is scrutinised for compliance.

Classified as a Class 10a building by the NCC, your shed is branded only as such because it is and has to be non-habitable, with no exceptions. However, in case you implement changes, say you decide to integrate a bedroom, a music room, a study, or any room structure that requires habitation, the classification for it changes drastically from a Class 10a to a Class 1. Your shed is now catalogued as a habitable building.

A Class 1 classification requires a much diverse compliance process from the NCC. Your council will more likely require you to secure building permits and DA applications before you can even begin construction. Secure those papers right away and be done with them. Once you have them out of the way, you can now focus your attention on the how-to’s of building the best shed. Let’s get crackin’…

Define Your Shed

You must first determine how your shed’s dimensions and partitions will look like as a finished product. You need to have a decisive plan for your shed before you put anything into action. Note that different kinds of sheds have different nuances to them. Space will be an integral part of this planning stage. For example, a garden shed would not be partitioned in the same way as, say, an aviary or a car garage; neither will it be as useful as an outdoor retreat.

Minds do change when things don’t work out as planned. Sometimes, a shed that does not properly serve its intended purpose is repurposed for another use. Sheds don’t always go to waste when things don’t work out.

Determine the type of material most suitable for your shed needs

There are several DIY shed material options for you: plastic, steel, and timber. Plastic sheds require low maintenance but tend to fade with time. Timber is prone to rotting but is built to last when treated properly, whilst steel is durable and low cost. Plastic and steel sheds are also immune to pest-infestation and rotting. You should choose shed materials with low maintenance costs.

Determine the dimensions of your shed

Building a shed doesn’t mean that ordering your item online should translate to a ‘one size, fits all’ scenario. You have to measure the site’s dimensions first before you purchase a shed online. Ensure that your chosen site is large enough for the shed you intend to purchase. Nothing is more frustrating than not being able to fit in everything you need in your shed due to space constraints.

Choose the right site for your shed

Site choice will be a game changer for your DIY shed. It will greatly depend on the type of shed you want to build. For example, if you choose to use a garden shed, then it should be built in the vicinity of your garden. A garage, on the other hand, should be built where it’s closest to road access whilst a retreat house is usually built near spots where the view is spectacular, and the space is large enough to accommodate a crowd.

Prep the Site

Now it’s time to prep the site by attending to pre-construction errands like cleaning, removing any structures or undergrowth in or around the area, and of course, checking the site for any potential infestation that may occur. You wouldn’t want your DIY shed to fall prey to pests like rats, termites, cockroaches, or any other invasive pests. Like with all things, you should be mindful and responsible in maintaining your shed’s protective fortifications at all times.

  • Regularly trim branches of trees or any plant you will allow to grow beside or anywhere within the vicinity of your shed. Trimming them helps prevent animals and insect pests from gaining access to your shed’s roof or any other entry it can find.
  • Check garbage bins and dispose of them as far away from the shed site as possible. These garbage bins attract animal and insect pests that are scavenging and scrounging for food. You may have a big problem if nocturnal pests feast on your garbage whilst you sleep.
  • Pest repellants would be a good alternative for keeping these critters away. However, if you are not a fan of harsh or chemically-formulated repellants, then it would be wise to subscribe to a more natural and organic means like the use of certain oils.
  • Keep stagnant or running water away from your shed as this becomes a breeding ground for pests such as mosquitoes.
  • It would be best to perform seasonal checks to ensure that the aforementioned measures are being taken.

Inspect the DIY shed package

Depending on the DIY package you opt for -- be it the prefab variety with provisions for DIY changes or the DIY shed that you need to build from the ground up -- it’s important to inspect everything from the minutest details for damage.

DIY shed pre-construction

Check everything – the material nicks and bruises, hinges, roofing material, siding integrity, floor plan, shelves and cabinet plans, caulking job, foundation integrity, and others. Even the smallest nails, nuts, and bolts should be perfectly compliant and durable. Your DY should be made of only the best parts to guarantee the construction of the best shed for you.

PRE FAB shed pre-construction

Choosing a prefabricated shed is easy aesthetic-wise, but checking particulars like its material makeup, siding integrity, hinges, caulking job, provisions for DIY changes, material thickness, roof integrity, and foundation integrity, is a different ballgame altogether. You have to be meticulous at all times.

Fortify your foundation

In any structure, the foundation is what holds everything together. It’s every structure’s anchor. It is then important for this part of the construction to be fortified first. When a foundation is guaranteed solid, then other assembly parts can be erected from the floor up.

An indestructible foundation guarantees a DIY shed’s survival in severe weather conditions. Moreover, it would be wise not to erect any structure on wet, low-lying areas, especially sites exposed to occasional streams of rainwater. Sites like those are usually prone to erosion.

Experienced craftsmen will tell you to build on level surfaces, although there are instances when skilled and adventurous artisans take the challenge and build on uneven and sloping grounds.

Stay true to the DIY shed instruction manual’s directions

In any DIY shed setup, an instruction manual is always included in the package to guide users. The instructions are usually straightforward and directly guide the user through the assembly process. However, instruction manuals sometimes contain very technical information that may confuse the reader. To minimise confusion, be sure to strictly follow the instructions and to perform the steps in the proper order. You may also rely on the illustrations provided.

Weather proof everything

The floor is the immediate link from the foundation to the rest of the shed. A sturdy floor that never gives in to harsh weather conditions, especially rains, storms, or floods, is of good make for your DIY shed. It is prudent to build weather-resistant floors and floor frames to avoid the dreaded deterioration of any piece of structure. Whilst you’re at it, it would be best to weather-proof the rest of the shed’s assemblies, too. This will ensure that your shed lasts longer.

Never rush the shed construction or installation process

Any work of art takes time and so does the construction of your best creation yet. Allotting ample time for the planning and construction of your DIY shed ultimately saves time and money. It also allows you to course correct any minor miscalculations (if any) and do the job right and not cause any frustration on your part.

Consider the proper size and placement of your door

The door is as important as any part of the shed, as it is where you bring things in and out of it. The items you store in the shed can be as small as an office-type chair or as large as a wardrobe cabinet. As such, it is best to consider the placement of your door and ensure that it is in proximity to the main thoroughfare or a backdoor that easily leads to an alternate walkway or alley (if applicable). As for door size, it’s also important to consider the things you may store in your shed in the future. Ensure that the things you need to bring into your shed can fit through the door.

Also keep in mind that the door can affect your shed’s look and feel, so the door you choose should match the shed design you’re trying to achieve.

Consider air circulation and sunlight direction when constructing your shed

Air circulation (wind) and sunlight helps keep any shed dry even after a downpour. It’s thus important to include provisions for a healthy ventilation system with enough direct sunlight stream in the construction of your DIY shed. The less water and moisture there is, the better.

Inspect your shed’s interior

A thorough check of your DIY shed’s interior would be best to determine which space would be good for what part of your DIY shed’s assemblies. By doing so, you can also get to measure the dimensions of space meant for your racks, utility cabinets, or work area. Also remember to allot space for additional items that you may wish to add to your shed in the future.

Plan the layout of your shed’s interior

As you inspect the interior of your shed, the layout of its content would be the next thing you must consider. If, say, you’re building a workshop shed, it would really help if your shed’s layout allows you to have easy access to all your tools. This is also the reason why the utility cabinets, drawers, and racks should be near your work area. It makes work a whole lot easier and faster. In addition, it would be good if all drawers are labelled accordingly so that you can easily find and get items such as nuts, bolts, nails, or any small items that you may need for your workshop projects.

Brand matters

If you’re a brand person, it follows that you have brand loyalty to products that you grew with, including DIY sheds. You go for products with proven track record on durability, usability, and relatability. Track record is hard to come by these days so by all means, choose that product brand that never left you when you needed it the most. It would also help if you have an online or physical go-to store regular when any need arises. Remember to keep its address and numbers close by at all times.
If you are buying a shed for the first time or would like to update your old shed and try something new, then try to browse through EasyShed’s wide selection of DIY sheds that come with a lifetime warranty. Visit the EasyShed shop today.