Building an Outdoor Shed

by Carmen Corbin on January 20, 2012

If you’re running out of space in your garage to store garden tools, or need a good spot to park your lawn equipment or snow blower, consider building an outdoor shed in your backyard.  From small, lean-to sizes to large, 2-story mini barns, you can find a wide variety of shed kits in just about every size, material and price range. 

Storage Sheds

Storage shed kits come in many types of materials.  Wood is a popular choice because it blends in better with the natural surroundings, but metal, plastic and vinyl sheds are desirable too because they require much less maintenance and are more fire resistant.  Most kits are fairly easy to assemble, but depending on the size and complexity, you may want to have a construction company handle it.  If you don’t find a shed kit to your liking, you can always have one custom made to your specifications.

No matter what type of building you select, a good foundation is a must.  A floating (or on-grade) foundation, constructed of solid concrete blocks or pressure treated lumber on a gravel base, is the simplest and most inexpensive.  However, if you have a larger storage shed, a more permanent foundation on a concrete slab might be the best choice.  Again, consult with a general contractor, who can evaluate the grade, soil conditions and best placement of your new shed.

Playhouses, Studios, Offices and Workshops

Although storage is one of the most common uses for a backyard shed, you can also find shed kits for kids’ playhouses, artist studios, garden offices and workshops.  Need room for occasional overnight visitors?  Add a small, one-room guest cottage with a small front porch (or use it elsewhere as a hunter’s cabin).  Maintain the comfort level by purchasing a window air conditioning unit or a hotel-like combination heater/AC wall unit.

Customizing Your Shed

Once the shed is installed, you can add some finishing touches and customize the interior to your needs.  Decorative elements like flower boxes, weathervanes, finials and shutters add personality to the exterior.  On the inside, consider installing organizational items such as cabinets, hooks, shelving or a long countertop.  Call a general contractor or electrician to put in outlets, switches, and lighting.

For more information on building a shed on your property, call or visit your local home improvement contractor.

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