Do you need more space in your house? Building extensions and additional rooms in your home can take time and a lot of money. This is why some families consider having a backyard shed for practical reasons.
Would a shed require the same efforts to maintain? Isn’t it expensive to build? Are the options limited to such a small space? Here are some facts that debunk the nine most common misconceptions about having a shed in your backyard:
Garden Shed Misconception
#1: If you've seen one shed, you've seen them all
Fact: Sheds aren’t created equally.
Most backyard sheds or garden sheds might look the same from the outside. A shed is basically a small square space with four walls, right? Well, not exactly. If you take time to do some research online or get the opportunity to have a closer inspection of sheds you have seen in stores, you would learn that sheds—also called “outhouses” or “shacks”–differ in construction features and materials.
A shed can have Gambrel-style or gable roofing. It can be constructed like a
saltbox with different scaling. It may be made from materials like timber,
vinyl, or steel. It may or may not have insulation or ventilation, and its
flooring materials can vary.
Once you know the different types of sheds, you will be inspired to follow some ideas and improvements to personalise yours, depending on what fits your budget, needs, and preference.
As sheds are built for different purposes, sizes, and capacities, the Building Code of Australia has different types of classification for the structure. As a homeowner, you will need to know the right classification for your shed for the purpose of regulations and paperwork, as part of your insurance requirements, or in the eventual sale of your property.
#2: Sheds are for garages, storage, and workshops only
Fact: Sheds can be a lot more than storage space.
A creative revolution for sheds has taken place in the past few years, as property owners found ways to maximise their use, apart from the most common functions as a garage, storage, or workshop. Today, sheds can be turned into "man caves" or "she sheds" to serve as a hideaway from the daily grind for dads, moms, and even kids.
The typical man caves usually have a grown man's hobby collection, sports and fitness corner, audio visual room, or a space to drink beer among his buddies. There are nearly a thousand registered male shed enthusiasts in Australia who exchange ideas and offer support on building and maintaining a man cave. They belong to a group called the Australian Men’s Shed Association.
Having she sheds, on the other hand, is a fairly new concept among women. It can be the quiet place where a woman goes to read, do arts and crafts, hold tea parties, or unwind whilst drinking wine with her girlfriends.
In some properties, pretty garden sheds can become extensions of the dining area where families gather for backyard celebrations. They can also be a playroom for the children or an office for a start-up business set at home.
The possibilities are endless, and you can browse for sheds online or on Pinterest for some creative ideas, if you decide to have one.
#3: Sheds are a magnet for spiders
Fact: Clean and well-ventilated sheds can be a haven, not a bug trapper.
Sheds do become a spider's favourite spot but only under certain conditions. If the space is kept dark, warm, and humid with little ventilation, and if there's not much activity inside, it can be a place filled with different objects for the spiders to spin their web on.
To keep spiders and other critters from taking residence in your shed, you will need to make good use of the space and insect-proof it. If you keep the shed clean and orderly, as well as seal any gaps or breaks in the windows, doors, and foundation, then you will keep the spiders and other insects off the site. If you also provide proper windows with flyscreens for the air and light to come in but keep the buggers off, you will likely not find any spiders hiding inside.
Spiders don't have to be destroyed or killed because these insects are important to the ecosystem; thus, the most effective spider pest control in sheds is to prevent them from taking space inside your property in the first place.
An extra tip about windows in sheds: Windows might attract theft, especially if you keep expensive tools and equipment inside. If you are considering installing them on your shed, go with tempered or laminated glass, which can be resistant to break-ins. Additionally, ensure that the windows are installed properly so that they won’t be susceptible to leaks when it rains, which can ruin the items stored in your shed.
#4: Sheds require a solid foundation
Fact: Sheds need to be anchored on a flat ground.
The foundation of the shed is important because it is what supports and holds the walls and roof together. However, sheds don't necessarily require blocks upon blocks of solid foundation. You might not even need to fill the ground up with concrete, especially if the shed is small and less than 20 square metres in size. This can just become an unnecessary cost. Besides, if you are simply renting the property and don’t actually own the land, pouring concrete on the backyard is out of the question.
What you need to make sure of is to anchor the shed on a flat ground. A flat surface is the most basic yet most important consideration for choosing a location for your shed. If the ground is uneven, you might want to consider pouring gravel, adding pavers, or putting piers on the surface to level it off.
Before installing the shed, it is important to check the building standards for such a structure in your location, especially if you live in a city that is susceptible to weather disturbances like strong winds. Australia gets an average of 16 tornadoes a year and the most commonly affected places are the coastal areas in Western Australia (south-western), South Australia (south-eastern), Queensland (south-eastern), and New South Wales (north).
Visit your local council for any rules or laws on building an outpost. Seek the help of knowledgeable professionals so that your shed complies with these rules.
#5: Sheds should be set up in the deepest corner of the property
Fact: It’s not necessary for sheds to be secluded.
If you plan to use the shed as a hideaway, it makes sense to build it in the most secluded and out-of-the-way part of your land. However, if you will keep tools you regularly need and use inside it or if you have stuff that you will constantly bring from your house to your shed, then it would be better to set up the structure closer to your main property. This way, you would not be inconvenienced by the long walks or going back and forth.
Sheds must also be placed in shady areas of your property because the structure needs to be exposed to sunlight and windy breeze. This allows the shed to remain dry and airy, as well as free from moulds and rot.
#6: Building your own shed can be cheaper than buying prefabricated sheds
Fact: Pre-made sheds can be practical.
If you plan to build your shed from scratch to save on cost, you might
actually end up spending more, compared to buying a prefabricated design. There
are a lot of considerations to make when it comes to a DIY shed. In most cases,
you can end up making mistakes and raking unforeseen expenses in your project,
especially if you are not sure about what you're doing.
A DIY project requires time and effort. In truth, if you need to get it done right, you can pay premium for the work of a professional and their team.
Meanwhile, it takes little energy to look at sheds for sale in stores and negotiate with the salespeople. You might not even have to go out of the house because there are thousands of options for ready-to-install sheds online.
You can also choose materials that require little maintenance and are rust-proof, rot-proof, or termite-proof. This means you won’t have a harder time with its maintenance and care. You can also enjoy warranties for prefabricated sheds, which you cannot get from DIY projects.
#7: Steel sheds are noisy, rusty, and prone to lightning strikes
Fact: Steel sheds are fire-hazard free and require low maintenance.
A gust of wind might sound like steel rocks banging on the walls of a steel shed. Such an observation can only be true if the walls do not have proper insulation.
In most cases, pre-made steel sheds, consisting of steel, iron or similar materials, have either foam or fibreglass insulation that helps minimise sounds and echoes. The walls are also completed with drywall, so being inside a steel shed is not that different from being in any other building or house.
Most steel sheds for sale have also been galvanised before being transported out of the manufacturing plant. It is not expected to rust, or for that matter, become badly dented and damaged so quickly.
In addition, steel sheds do not attract lightning even if they are made of conductive materials. Cars are made of steel, and yet many people have safely stayed inside them during thunderstorms.
When lightning strikes and combusts, its most damaging element is fire. In case of conflagration, steel sheds are safer than timber sheds because the steel’s composition is fire hazard-free. It also does not burn down as fast. You will likely salvage the contents of your shed if it is made of steel materials.
#8: Pre-made sheds are unattractive and limited in designs
Fact: You can prettify pre-made sheds to your preference.
This is perhaps the biggest misconception about pre-made sheds. The truth is that design-ready structures can be easily renovated. By giving it a fresh coat of paint, you can instantly change the appearance of your shed.
With some creative work, you can also add textures and finishes to a steel shed so that it won’t look generically boxy and boring. Steels are also the most resilient materials for construction and it can be incorporated with stone, brick, and glass for a unique looking structure.
You can integrate backyard sheds as part of the landscape instead of letting the structure stick out like a sore thumb. Add garden beds, trellises, and vine plants to adorn the walls of the sheds from the outside. Accessorise and add small finishing touches to give the shed interesting details, such as shutters on the windows or an attractive lighting fixture by the door.
#9: Flat roof sheds leak more and cannot support the weight of snow
Fact: There are more advantages to high-quality flat roof sheds.
Flat roof sheds are not exactly flat. Engineers who designed this type of roof decades ago have taken its proper construction into account. These roofs are built and designed with a slight tilt just like a pitched roof so that they can shed water by the edges.
Usual building codes also require flat roofs to be waterproof and strong enough for the weight of snow. It is a misconception that flat roofs in sheds are problematic. On the contrary, this perception can apply to any structure. Anything that is poorly constructed will have problems, so be sure you are buying a shed -- regardless of its design -- from a company known for its quality products.
Meanwhile, there are other advantages to having flat roof sheds because you can use this space as a roof garden or a roof deck. You can also put energy-efficient skylights or solar panels on your flat roof shed. These features can increase the total value of your property.
Backyard sheds are not just adorable additions to your house. They can serve a lot of functions and uses. However you choose to use your shed, you need to remember these facts to make a better decision with your purchase.
If you would like to learn more about the value of having a shack in your backyard, contact EasyShed for assistance. EasyShed offers plenty of options for garden sheds, garages, workshops, and aviaries. The company also caters to rural and industrial requirements.
EasyShed is the premier manufacturer and seller of easy-to-install sheds in Australia. Visit our site today!