You’re all set to clean the gutters or get started on another backyard maintenance chore that’s on your to-do list, but the ladder is in the basement, the trash bags are under the kitchen sink, and your work gloves and safety goggles sit on the workbench in the garage. It can be annoying when everything you need isn’t in one place. Investing in a shed allows you to store items close by where you need to use them. But what type of shed should you buy?
Purpose of the Shed
Determine the purpose of the shed first before investing in one that might not have exactly what you need. A storage shed has a different type of shelving from a workshop. A garden shed will provide space for your garden tools and other pieces of lawn care equipment. But a utility shed would offer more floor space for lawn care equipment such as a lawnmower, wheelbarrow, and garden shredder.
Size of Shed
The size of shed is determined by how much available space there is. Small sheds are generally categorized as being under 80 square feet. Medium sized sheds range from 90 to 120 square feet. Large sheds are anything over 140 square feet.
Materials for Sheds
Natural wood is a favourite material for backyard sheds because of its attractive and versatile appearance; specifically sheds made of cedar or board and batten siding. Even with protective finishes, wood tends to be higher maintenance than vinyl/resin or metal sheds, requiring painting every three to five years. For areas like the Lower Mainland that receive a lot of rainfall, avoid sheds made of engineered woods such as plywood or particle board.
Vinyl sheds are extremely popular for the same reasons vinyl gutters are – low maintenance, available in a wide range of styles and colours, and inexpensive. If the shed is situated in a sunny area, the protective coating can wear away, allowing the colour to fade and making the material become brittle and susceptible to cracking or splitting.
When outdoor sheds first made an appearance metal was the common choice because it was the least expensive material at the time. Today, resin sheds are the most inexpensive option. Metal sheds are made of steel or aluminum. Steel outbuildings are prone to rust; aluminum sheds made of galvanized aluminum are rust-resistant but can be easily dented. In general, steel and aluminum sheds are high maintenance. Also, a metal shed is not as customizable as one made of wood or vinyl.
Features of Sheds
Features or accessories add to the shed’s functionality and aesthetics. Touches like cupolas, distressed finish hardware, and weather vanes give a shed distinction. Functional accessories include windows, ramps, double doors, storage cubes, and pegboards.
Sheds Should Blend In
Regardless of the reason you’re buying the shed, it will be a part of your backyard. A utility shed, greenhouse or workshop should blend in with its surroundings. The colour and material of the shed must match or complement the style of your house in order for it to be both functional and aesthetically pleasing. Incorporating the shed into the landscape is also a great way of ensuring that the shed doesn’t draw the wrong kind of attention.