Storage seems to be a premium in any home, and that applies
to outdoors as well as in. If you're searching for someplace to store anything
from lawn clippers to a lawn tractor, a handy outdoor storage shed may be just
what you need.
VINYL STORAGE CENTERS
For a quick and efficient solution to smaller storage
problems, there are a variety of storage buildings made from vinyl composites.
You'll find small bins with lift-up tops, larger bins with single or double
doors and even small storage sheds that you can walk into.
Vinyl sheds and bins have the distinct advantage of being
pre-assembled and ready to go – just slip it out of the box and install any
shelves that come with it. They are impervious to insects and just about any
weather conditions, and won't dent, chip, rust or otherwise deteriorate.
One popular style is the shed-roofed bin, which can be
mounted against a wall of the house or left freestanding (if you opt to leave
it freestanding, it should be anchored down to a deck or other permanent base).
These typically have a pair of interlocking doors and space for some movable
shelves – a 4-foot-by-6-foot unit will run you around $250, and there are
plenty of sizes and prices above and below that.
One of the most common solutions for backyard storage is the
metal shed, available in kit form. There are a wide variety of sizes and styles
to choose from, as well as many different colors, roof designs, door
configurations, and price ranges.
You'll find metal shed kits in sizes ranging from as small
as around 6 feet by 6 feet to 10 feet by 25 feet or even larger. Smaller sheds
may have only a single door, and the headroom will be limited. With the larger
kits, you get double doors and enough clear height inside to stand and move
around comfortably. For the average-quality kit with no special options, expect
to pay around $175 for a 6-foot-by-8-foot model, and around $300 for an 8-by-10
Metal sheds are sold in kit form, and while they're
relatively easy to assemble, they do require a few basic hand tools and fairly
large amount of patience – the typical kit has a plastic bag full of screws and
nuts that seem sufficient to assemble a small battleship. This is one time
where it really pays to lay out and check all of the parts, and follow the
instructions carefully to ensure a trouble free assembly.
Most metal shed kits do not come with a floor, and setting
the completed shed directly on the ground can lead to rust problems – not to
mention insects and a lot of ground water getting into your stuff. For best
results, mount the shed on a floor of concrete or pressure-treated lumber, or
use one of the metal foundation kits that are sold as an option with many kits.
Mounting the shed to a solid surface is especially important in high wind
areas, where the lightweight enclosures might otherwise have a tendency to
depart your yard at an inopportune moment.
For a step up in both quality and durability, you might want
to consider investing in a wooden shed. Wooden sheds typically come complete
with a raised wooden floor, seven feet or more of interior headroom, sturdier
doors and roofs covered with residential-type composition shingles – some even
have windows and skylights.
Wooden sheds are available with shed, gable or gambrel roof
structures, and with everything from inexpensive wafer board panels for siding
up to clear cedar lap siding. They are also available pre-painted, or you can
get one that's either unpainted or pre-primed so that you can paint it to match
your home. Due to the weight restrictions imposed by the solid wood
construction, sizes are a little more limited – you can find a moderate quality
8-foot-by-8-foot shed for around $625, or a nicer cedar-sided 6-foot-by-8-foot
model in the $700 range.
Wooden sheds are available as both kits and completely
pre-assembled units. The kits may be either a box full of pre-cut parts or
several pre-assembled wall, floor and roof sections that join together pretty
quickly. The pre-assembled models are often mounted on raised wooden skids –
usually 4-by-6 or 6-by-6 pressure-treaded lumber – and can be lifted and moved
around easily with a forklift.
Sheds of all types are available from many home centers,
department stores and discount stores – you'll usually find a basic selection
in stock, with others available by special order. Depending on the size and
installation method of the shed, a building permit may be required, so be sure
and check with your local building department. Also, check with your
homeowner's association to make sure there are no restrictions on installing a
shed in your neighborhood.
Copyright 2003 Inman News Features
Distributed by Inman News Features