Unique Shed Designs – Imagine Anything Even Spaceships
Unique Shed Designs - Dream It & Build It
QUESTION #1: Hello Tim. I’ve put off building a small garden shed for too many years. After the wretched winter I endured, I deserve something that will lift my spirits. I don’t know where to start, but I do know I want it to be an asset to my property.
Should I just buy a pre-built shed or is it possible to build my own with limited skills and tools? I’m up for a challenge but don’t want to find out I bit off more than I can chew. What would you do if you were me? Andrea T., Blue Earth, MN
Each spring I hear from folks like Andrea. Spring as a magical time of year that unleashes pent-up energy and creativity in many things, including humans! It’s the favorite time of year for my ham radio mentor and I enjoy seeing him soak up all the wonder of the season.
Is a Shed a DIY Project?
A shed can be an easy DIY project. For most sheds, you just need very basic building skills. I sell a set of detailed shed plans that gives you all the information you need to build almost any shed.
I’m a big fan of addressing challenges. If Andrea would have asked me fifteen years ago, I might have hesitated to have her take the DIY approach. But technology has allowed many to do things they never dreamed of doing. Just two weeks ago, I was approached by a Japanese television show asking permission to use part of one of my past videos. It turns out a 70-year-old Japanese woman built her own home using lots of videos she saw on YouTube and the show producers told me one of mine was key to her success.
What are the Top Five Shed Building Tips?
The top five shed-building tips are:
- don't make the shed too small
- use treated-lumber joists and flooring or poured concrete
- use an overhead 6-foot-wide door - inexpensive!
- make the walls 9 or 10-feet tall
- match the style of your home for increased appeal
- Are There DIY Shed-Building Videos?
Six years ago, I created over 100 videos showing the process of building an outdoor shed. The methods apply to any shed no matter the size or shape. You or Andrea can watch these for free and become empowered so that your dreams become reality.
The first step in the process is to step back and really ponder what’s going to happen in the shed. Is it an actual work shed, is it just for storage or both? The biggest complaint I get from my subscribers and readers is that sheds are almost always too small.
How Do You Size a Shed?
It’s easy to determine the right size for a shed no matter what you intend to do with it. As you might expect, I’ve created a video showing you how to solve this conundrum. Watch it now.
What Do You Need to Size a Shed?
All you need is some string and the things you’re going to store in the shed. I put the things out on the grass next to one another the way I envision them in the shed. I then surround the items with the string creating an outline of the exterior walls. This tells you quickly how big your shed needs to be.
Should Shed Footings Be Below the Frost Level?
Shed footings must be placed below the local frost level. Failure to do this will result in structural issues caused by frost heave.
Andrea is going to have to meet with her local building inspector and get up to speed on the frost depth for her shed foundation. The frost level is very likely 5 or 6-feet deep in that part of Minnesota. It’s important to realize you need to protect all your hard work from frost heaving. Andrea may have to hire out digging the piers as doing that part by hand is mind-numbing and back-breaking work. It’s possible to rent a very small excavator to dig the holes yourself.
Are Pre-Built Sheds Good?
I’m not a huge fan of the pre-built sheds. I’ve looked at many near my home and most, in my opinion, are built to minimum standards. If you decide to buy one, absolutely get one that has treated lumber floor joists and a treated plywood floor. Yes, you can buy treated plywood and it has the same wood-rot prevention chemicals in it as treated lumber.
Should I Put Natural Light in my Shed?
Be sure to think about natural light. Simple skylights or light tunnels will bathe the inside of the shed with natural light so you can see what you’re doing on cloudy days.
Should I Install an Overhead Door?
I prefer traditional overhead garage doors for sheds. You might not realize that you can get small overhead doors as narrow as 6 feet and sometimes even smaller. An overhead door won’t blow open on windy days and they seal very well against driving rain and frigid wind.
Do You Need Lots of Tools to Build a Shed?
The good news is you don’t need lots of fancy tools to build your own shed. Yes, fancy tools will allow you to save time, but carpenters from fifty or one-hundred years ago didn’t have them. You’ll have success building with just a simple circular saw, a framing square, a tape measure, a hammer, and a few other tools.
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