It can be difficult to decide what outdoor shed is best for your home, more so now that the sheds for sale are designed in different types and sizes and for various purposes.
Your personal needs for outdoor sheds change as time passes by. You might feel you need a work shed for a hobby but later find it too small to accommodate all the gadgets and tools you’ve accumulated. You might have purchased a garden shed, only to have it converted into an outdoor playpen for your kids five years later.
Your shifting needs make it confusing as you begin to choose the type and make of shed to buy. After all, nobody can really predict what happens in the future. Fortunately, you don’t need to consult the tarot cards to buy a shed that would suit your current and future needs. Here are some helpful tips that are bound to make choosing outdoor sheds easier for you.
Outdoor sheds tip #1: When choosing sheds to buy, consider your home’s overall theme
This might sound like a no-brainer, but you’ll be surprised to find that not many homeowners consider how the outdoor shed they buy will fit their house’s theme. For example, you might go for an apex-roof outdoor shed made of plastic walls and steel sidings because it is one of the cheapest but fail to realise that it would probably clash with your country-style home and garden.
In short, when buying a shed, style should get more prominence over price. This is important, especially if you are trying to increase your property value. An ill-fitting outdoor shed will do just the opposite, as it does not complement your home’s overall design.
Outdoor sheds tip #2: Consider the price and quality
Just because you want your outdoor shed to have style shouldn’t mean you send yourself poor after buying it. Whilst the ultimate goal may be to build a customised shed, this option can be highly expensive, depending on your chosen materials and contractor. The next best thing to do is to buy pre-fabricated sheds.
Unlike in the old days, modern, high-quality, pre-fabricated sheds now come in all shapes, coloura and sizes, making it easy for you to buy a shed that fits both your preferred style and budget. Whilst you have the option to build a shed from scratch, things can go wrong if you have no experience on a project like this. It would be more practical to hire a professional to do the job. Better yet, ask your outdoor shed seller if they provide installation services.
Outdoor sheds tip #3: Go for big
Home appraisers usually say this when you buy a shed: Maximize your outdoor appeal. There is an emerging trend of converting outdoor sheds into an extra room for the house (i.e. as patio or outdoor entertainment area). Homebuyers nowadays want to be in the outdoor area more often and are imagining themselves using it as they scout for houses to buy.
Even when you are not planning to convert your outdoor shed, bigger sheds still hold more appeal than smaller ones, particularly if you are planning to make the shed a focal point in your backyard.
So, if your landscape allows it, consider choosing a shed with a larger dimension of at least 6.00m (w) x 3.00m (d) x 2.10m (h). It would be big enough to be used as either storage or workshop and is roomy enough if you ever find the need to convert it into something else.
Outdoor sheds tip #4: Choose your accessories wisely
Outdoor sheds have evolved from a mere storage area into a multifunction building. Therefore, it’s not surprising to see homeowners buying accessories to spruce them up. Some install plant and flower boxes around their shed to increase its appeal. Others install skylights and windows to let the natural light in, whilst there are those who choose customised doors, veering away from the traditional hinged or sliding-doors.
While accessorizing is whimsical at best (and extravagant, at worst), it remains an important aspect, especially when you are converting your outdoor shed. Accessories can give that extra “oomph” factor to your purchased outdoor shed and set it apart from everyone else’s.
Outdoor sheds tip #5: Remember to keep it simple
No matter what reason you have for buying a shed, one major motivating factor people have is to declutter their home. It wouldn’t help if you get so stuck with designing and accessorizing that your shed ends up more cluttered than and costs more to maintain than your own house. Keep everything simple, practical, and organised.
Don’t purchase an elaborately-constructed outdoor shed if you have no idea how to maintain and keep it. If you are planning for a low-maintenance shed, never buy those that are made of timber, as they need constant maintenance to prevent their rustic appearance and to keep them pest-free. If you don’t have a ready-built drainage or sewage system for all the snow and water that will run-off from your shed’s roof, choose a simpler roof style (i.e. skillion roof).
Keeping everything simple will also make shed conversion easier, as you don’t need to make as many changes as you would with a fully-decorated shed
Outdoor sheds tip #6: Don’t forget the colour or paint
Choose outdoor sheds with colour finishes that complement your landscape and house. You may be surprised to learn that steel sheds come in a variety of colour finishes. If the style and make of your chosen outdoor shed does not come in your preferred colour, do not fret. You always have the option to paint it over with your desired theme.
Timber and steel wall constructions are pretty easy to paint over, as there are a number of paints you can choose from to achieve your desired finish. Plastic walls, on the other hand, can be a bit tricky. You’d need to get its “shine” off the surface, and this is usually done by scrubbing the surface with sandpaper, followed by wiping it up with rubbing alcohol. However, this would mean more work than you intend to do.
Therefore, the best materials for outdoor sheds are either steel or timber, which are both more versatile than the cheaper plastic structures.
Outdoor sheds tip #7: Consider your region’s climate and weather
The common problem faced by many buyers is condensation. This happens both during the cold and hot weather. Condensation means that the damp and moisture caused by the weather is trapped inside the shed structure, making the area inside susceptible to the propagation of bacteria, pests, and moulds that are harmful to the shed’s occupants. This also means that the materials inside your shed will become prone to rusting.
In this regard, make sure that the shed you purchase will be properly and easily ventilated and well insulated. To avoid condensation, water must be kept out. Steel sheds usually have side-coverings to keep the roof watertight. This is good for rainy weather and winter.
Side Notes When Installing Outdoor sheds
Decide on the best location for your outdoor shed
It goes without saying that building or installing an outdoor shed is a big project that needs thorough consideration. Choosing the best location for your shed is not just a matter of aesthetic appeal, but of practicality as well.
For example, if you choose to buy a timber shed, then it would be best to install it away from the harsh elements of the weather. If you do choose to install it in the middle of your yard, be sure to generously slather it with timber preservatives and other similar chemicals to keep it waterproof and pest-free. As much as possible, keep your shed away from taller buildings as the snow or water that would run off their roofs can potentially land on your shed’s roof, in turn leading to costly repairs.
Another thing that is commonly overlooked by buyers is the shed’s foundation. If you are going to buy a pre-fabricated outdoor shed, then please bear in mind that the majority of sheds for sale don’t come with a floor. Thus, you need to anchor your shed into something solid, like concrete. Never use bare soil as flooring since it tends to absorb moisture, which will make the interior of your shed moist and humid – a perfect environment for pesky insects.
Also make sure that your shed does not sit on any underground power or utility lines. It should not be located directly on top of your sewer system, as they should always be easy to access for repairs and maintenance. If you are not sure whether your chosen location blocks access to any of these, you can ask your contractor to check, or you can call your local council and ask if you can dig a foundation on your chosen area.
Read up on the legal requirements of your area council
Another important aspect that most buyers forget is to check the legal requirements for building outdoor sheds. These requirements are often dictated by your local or area council.
As a rule, small outdoor sheds don’t need building permits. However, modern urban development has forced the Building Code of Australia (BCA) and other similar entities to clearly set the guidelines on outdoor sheds used for storage and sheds that are converted to spaces for human dwelling.
The building guidelines and specification requirements can be read online when you visit BCA’s website. Nevertheless, the best way to be sure that you are not violating any council rule is to directly ask them about the legal requirements you need to meet (if any) for installing an outdoor shed.
Understand your chosen materials -- their costs, assembly, and upkeep
The three most popular shed building materials are timber, steel, and plastic. Each has their own list of pros and cons, but buyers should prioritize looking at the following details as deciding factors: cost, ease of installation or assembly, durability, upkeep requirements, aesthetic value, and product warranty.
Sheds made of steel are a bestseller because of their affordable price, durability, and low maintenance requirements. They are available in a variety of colour finishes which you can match to your homes exterior. For some shed owners, steel isn’t as flexible a material in terms of the structure as these sheds tend to come in a standard range of roof styles. Also, since steel is a good conductor of heat, adequate ventilation is important to keep its insides from being stifling hot, especially during the summer.
Timber, on the other hand, is more flexible in terms of building and construction. It also has the best chance of significantly increasing your property value. Unfortunately, its beauty comes at a very high cost. You need to spend a considerable amount of money on its maintenance and would need to remain vigilant on tracking the maintenance schedule lest your shed ends up as termite food. In addition, timber is sensitive to humidity and frequent weather changes.
Plastic sheds are cheap, easy to install, and require little to no maintenance. Unfortunately, it is also less visually appealing than steel sheds. In addition, plastic sheds don’t do well under the hot Aussie sun. So, unless you are inept at installing or organizing someone to install your shed, consider buying either steel or timber sheds instead.
Lastly, always ask your shed seller about the warranty of your chosen item, as warranties vary with each supplier. A good rule of thumb is that no supplier would give a long-term warranty (i.e. lifetime warranties) if they are not absolutely confident with the quality of the sheds for sale in their range. Also check if the warranty includes repairs, parts replacement, and maintenance. Take note of these details as you might be needing them in the future.
Plan with EasyShed
Still not sure on the material, dimensions, and style of your future outdoor shed? Contact EasyShed. They have a wide array of outdoor shed choices that are sure to satisfy your every need. You can even talk to their salesperson and ask for advice on which shed to buy, specifically when you are eyeing to convert it to a habitable dwelling sometime in the future.
Best of all, EasyShed can get you the best price deals for your shed. This means you can purchase stylish, durable, and visually appealing sheds at a very affordable price. So, what are you waiting for? Visit EasyShed today.