At Elite Custom Builders, we see an increase in the number of people building sheds in the spring and summer months.

As people start to plan and plant their gardens and start maintaining or developing their yard, they realize that the extra storage space would be convenient.

A shed can provide storage for yard tools, your lawn mower and other outdoor items like furniture and toys. This will free up space in your garage, giving you more storage for items that are more frequently used or need to be stored where the temperature is regulated.

If you’re considering building a shed, read on to learn what you need to consider before hiring a contractor.

BUILDING CODES

Before you build any type of out building or addition to your home, you’ll need to check your local building codes. The building codes for your city or county may affect where the shed can be placed and even how big it can be. You may even need additional permits to run electricity or water to the shed.

Look into your local codes and make sure that you are able to put a shed on your property. If you get a green light, you’ll need to apply for all applicable building permits. However, if you hire a professional contractor they can guide you through this process.

BUDGET

Budget should be a primary concern when planning to build a shed. It’s important to decide how much you have to spend on the shed, including considerations like electricity and aesthetic details.

Your budget will help you determine how big the shed can be and how many “extra” features you can include. Make sure you list out all the features you want the shed to have in order or priority: start with the needs and must-haves before you consider the things you want.

USAGE

How are you going to use the shed? Is it simply for outdoor storage? Or perhaps it will serve several different functions.

Maybe the shed is being used as a workshop, in which case electricity is a big consideration. We’ve also seen sheds built for an outdoor bar (plumbing is a consideration here), kid’s clubhouse and a cosy guest house (water and electricity).

When considering the usage, it is worth considering the cost of the items you’ll be storing in the shed. Should the items be more expensive, you should keep security in mind when building the shed. They’re typically easier to break into than a home, but a reputable contractor can help ensure your shed is secure.

Once you’ve established how the shed will be used and determined if you’ll need to run water or electricity to it (or both), you can look for the perfect location. 

LOCATION

Where you’re going to put the shed is a major consideration. If you’re using it to store tools for gardening, you don’t want to put it on the opposite side of your yard from the garden. And if it’s to store toys and bikes etc., it should be close to where your children play.

If the shed is being used as a workshop, you may want to consider the noise from power tools if you’ll be working in later hours. Placing the shed further away from your neighbors would be a gracious consideration.

For a kid’s clubhouse, you’ll want the location to be within site, so you can easily keep an eye on your children while they’re playing in the back yard.

CONSULT WITH A CONTRACTOR

Even if you plan to build the shed yourself, we do recommend getting a professional opinion before you begin. A professional contractor will be able to identify any potential issues with the location you plan to build on.

They’ll look at things like the grade of the land, potential issues with tree roots, drainage and if applicable, safe ways to bring electricity and water to the shed.

Your contractor will provide resolutions to any potential issues. If the location is unsafe, they will help you select an alternate location for the shed to safely be built.

HOW BIG SHOULD IT BE?

It’s important to check your building codes before you decide how big the shed is going to be. The building codes may regulate things like the height and square footage.

Size is important when you select the shed. People often underestimate how much storage space they need, so we if space allows, we recommend building it slightly bigger than you think you need. The size also needs to work with your house — putting a huge shed outside a small house could look disproportionate.

Consider the size of your yard too — if you only have the space for a small shed, but need more storage, you may be able to increase the height of shed slightly to allow for more shelving. Again, this is dependent on the building codes — a professional contract like ECB will be able to help you determine the best side for your needs.

STYLE

Some sheds have small front porches on them, making them look homey and less industrial. You can opt to paint the shed to match any siding on your home, or leave it a natural stained wood for a more rustic look.

Other style considerations include things like windows. If you’re not planning to run electricity to the shed, you’ll want to make sure you have windows to provide natural light. The windows can match your home so the shed blends in aesthetically. Consider though that windows can be easy to break into and they limit your wall storage if you plan on built-in storage.

We’ve installed skylights in sheds too, which is a great feature for those using the shed as a workshop. Skylights are secure and mean that you’ll get more consistent light throughout the day.

Some people like to have a standard external door on the shed, but we always like to suggest to clients that they consider a garage door, wide barn-style doors or sliding doors. The extra width makes it very easy to get things in and out of the shed and makes the shed adaptable. Say, if you have a push mower now, but get a ride-on mower in the future, you won’t be able to store the mower in the shed with a single door.

Consider the roofing material as part of the style too. Do you want the roof to match your house? Or do you want to use a really long-lasting material, like metal roofing? Metal roofing typically last for 30 to 50 years, which is much longer than asphalt shingles.

Decorative details like trim and shutters go along way in making the shed look updated and like it is part of your property. One of our favorite sheds had a dormer window, adding charm to the shed. Clients also add details like window boxes, decorative brackets and landscaping, making their sheds even more attractive.


Elite Custom Builders | Home Remodeling | Home Renovations | Residential Contractor | Bridgeport, WV | Surrounding Areas

ECB works throughout North Central West Virginia, have a combined 70+ years of experience and serve the North Central West Virginia area including:

  • Morgantown
  • Fairmont
  • Cheat Lake
  • Clarksburg
  • Bridgeport
  • Weston
  • Elkins
  • Davis
  • Preston County
  • Wheeling
  • We also work in the Pittsburgh, Pa., area.

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