Shopping for garden shed choices used to be simpler. You just needed to visit a store or dealer or call a builder to discuss what you needed. You make the decision based on what you've talked about, and whilst you can still do these very things today, searching for more options on the Internet has strengthened your shopping power.
Along the way, however, you read bad advice online that can affect your buying decision. Below are a few pieces of garden shed advice you shouldn't follow. Remember that just because you read it online doesn't mean it can apply to your situation:
1. The best time for building a shed is in March or August
When it comes to home construction, which might include a shed, experts say that the best times to build are either in March or August in Australia, so that you’ll avoid interruptions due to harsh and extreme weather conditions. For instance, if you need a concrete floor for your shed, it's best to prepare this is when the temperatures are not freezing cold. If you have workers on the ground, they can't function well if it's too hot and humid.
However, you can actually build a shed any time and regardless of the season. You don't have to necessarily follow a particular timeline, as long as your schedule can accommodate the construction and you're not going to be bothered by some delays.
Besides, you can get building and construction materials for a lower price in the winter (June to August). Many contractors’ schedules aren't booked around this time, too, so you might be able to hire someone immediately. Meanwhile, December is usually a slow period for construction because people are busy with Christmas parties. Don’t expect to easily hire builders during this time of year.
2. You can set your shed anywhere on your property
Have you seen a garden shed surrounded by trees and leaves or a flower trellis? It looks cool, whimsical, and inviting, doesn't it? But in reality, building a shed next to a tree or under overhanging leaves and flowers might cause a lot of problems. A tree branch could fall on it and damage the structure. Falling leaves during the autumn could also be hard to clean up, as they will leave marks on the roof.
You need to find a suitable space for your shed regardless of whether you have a large garden or a limited space. If you don’t want the shed to be conspicuous and you’re not planning to have this as the main feature of your garden, then set it in an area that’s a bit tucked away. However, this area should:
- Be level, secure, and safe
- Be free from flooding
- Be accessible on all sides to make maintenance or repairs easier
- Have some natural light, but not too much that it feels like a hot oven inside
If you have a larger space, setting your shed near your home would be more practical. You won't have to take long walks if you are going to be in it often. You'll also have easier access to electrical supplies, if you plan to light up and ventilate the shed (and you should!).
3. You can start with a small shed and just upgrade later
Unless you have a limited backyard area, getting a small shed to save on cost is bad advice and many people have made this mistake. Eventually, you will need more space and again shell out money to buy or build a bigger shed. It's much more practical to have too much than too little space in this case.
Don't underestimate your need for storage. It’s always better to plan ahead. Before you decide what size of shed to get, list down every item you plan to store or donate, especially if you have large tools and equipment. Measure the space in your garden and account for door and window openings, as well as roof overhangs, when you add up how much area the shed will take up.
If possible, consider getting a shed or shed kit that can be extended so that if you do need more space, you’ve already prepared for such provisions. You should also plan a good design that makes use of the extra space inside the shed for storage. For instance, you can put or hang items above a shed with a ceiling that's at least 9 ft. tall. You can also install built-in shelves and tool racks on the wall to maximise the space.
4. You don't need to call your council for building approval
Most states in Australia have minimum requirements for sheds that usually don't require a building approval. The conditions and rules vary from state to state but for your peace of mind, it's better to call your council to know the specific rules before you start the construction.
If you've verified that you’re not required to get an approval, then all is well and you did not lose anything by making a call to the council. If you did not inquire, went ahead with your shed construction, and the council was notified of some violations, work on your property could be delayed or stopped. Worse, you might be asked to temporarily abandon its construction.
The Building Code of Australia also covers the type of materials used for construction. For instance, if you're using a steel or metal shed, are you certain that these materials are up to standards? Avoid this costly mistake. Make that call to be informed, so that you won't waste time and money for the shed. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
5. You can store anything in your shed
If you're using your shed mainly for storage, don't believe the advice that you can store anything in it. Whilst the best sheds can be a convenient space to keep your stuff, there are certain items you should never put inside.
Some of these things may be:
- Grocery items and food, including animal food
- These items will attract rats and other pests in your shed, and food may also spoil easily because of the humidity and heat inside the shed.
- Precious artwork
- These items are vulnerable to temperature changes and could be ruined and discolour if kept in a shed that has no ventilation or proper temperature.
- These items must be donated elsewhere, if they are still working; otherwise, the shed’s heat and moisture might damage their components, turning old DVD players, computers, refrigerators, and TVs into completely useless junks.
- Important documents
- Birth or marriage certificates, passports, and other documents that are too important and difficult to replace do not have a place in a backyard shed. Those should be in a safer containment inside your home, which cannot be broken into.
- Valuable collections
- Comic books, stamps, or old coins should be kept somewhere else because their quality can change in a shed, and when their quality changes, their value depreciate.
However, if you add special features to your shed, such as a temperature control system, a dehumidifier or insulation, then you might be able to store some of these items in your shed. If you’re still unsure of what to store, ask an expert on shed storage.
6. You can DIY the construction or installation of your shed
Thinking of having a go at construction your shed from scratch? It may seem like a fairly easy job to handle on your own, and by doing so you can have it look how you want, right? It’s not so straightforward. There are still plenty of nuances to building a shed that might need a specific skill set. If you don't have the capabilities to do it yourself (DIY), consider getting a shed kit.
Buying a DIY shed kit can help fulfil your do-it-yourself desires, without the potential structural issues. Since every component of a shed kit is pre-cut and prepared for you to install, you just have to put it all together. If you can follow instructions well, and get a friend to help buying a shed kit online can be the answer to your DIY shed dreams.
However, if a DIY shed isn’t for you, then look into hiring someone – either to install it for you or to design the entire structure. Whichever your budget allows.
7. You don't have to worry about shed maintenance
This advice is not applicable with the Australian climate because over time, your shed will likely need maintenance and upkeep regardless of what material was used to build it. You'll need to do repaints and repairs every three to five years at the very least, so set aside a budget for this expense.
You will also need to clean and dust your shed regularly, if it is primarily used for storage and not as a man cave or she-shed for your lifestyle indulgences. You have to clear out the cobwebs; replace the pest control system that keep bugs and rodents off; or air out the space from time to time. Neglecting to clean and maintain your shed will contribute to its early deterioration.
8. Don't bother doing an inventory of what's inside your shed
Remember listing down the items you intended to put in your shed when you were first planning the best size to get? Do you still have that list? Are you continually updating your inventory? You need to keep an updated list of the things in your shed in case of disaster or theft, especially if you’re eligible for the insurance claim.
Having an updated list will also help if you're trying to remember what's in those boxes you've piled in your shed. It will save you the trouble of digging through your items and making a mess of your storage space.
9. You don't have to insure your shed
Most people regard sheds as a space for keeping and storing items that aren't too valuable anymore. So, unless you keep a million-dollar motorbike in there, chances are you won't consider insuring the shed.
But what if you have the misfortune of losing your property to a fire or your shed was broken into? You cannot take chances when statistics reveal that 225,9000 houses in Australia were burglarized in 2017.
You can check your existing home insurance policy if your shed is already part of the coverage. If not, give your agent a call to update your policy based on your needs. What you’ll need are two kinds of coverage for your shed:
- • A building insurance as your protection against storms, fire, or vandalism
- • A contents insurance, which will cover specific items you keep in the shed
10. Customising your shed is unnecessary expense
Would you like extra windows, a roof pitch, cladding doors, or soffits and rakes on our shed? Some people might advise against these because of the added or unnecessary expense. However, these features aren't just going to improve the appearance of a basic shed; it will also make yours more functional.
These days, you can shop for many options for customisation, so why not ask from the shed store? Some of these options might not even break your budget.
Putting a few decorative touches on your shed to keep it in line with the architecture of your main house will make a huge difference. Eventually, if you decide to sell our place, your beautiful and well-maintained shed will also factor into your asking price. It really is an investment!
Only the best sheds from the experts
Don't make the mistake of investing in poor quality sheds and bad advice when it comes to buying a shed. If you consider this structure as an investment and an extension of your home, the more you should carefully plan and weigh your choices before purchasing.
EasyShed has the best sheds selections in Australia and the most professional staff. Contact us and let us know how we can help you.