First, evaluate your environment. Do you need to consider weather, such as hurricanes, when selecting what your shed will be made of? Sheds come in lots of designs and can be made from a variety of materials, ranging from wood, to vinyl or plastic, to metal. Metal sheds can stand up to more severe weather, while a vinyl “click-together” shed may be easier to install. You will also want to think about what type of flooring (if any) you would like to have.
Second, think about what you will store in your shed, and how you plan to use your new space. Are you putting a lawn-mower and other yard tools in the shed? If so, measure how much space these items will take up, and plan for even more storage areas if possible. Remember, you will want to store your garden chemicals and fertilizers separately from pool chemicals and your automotive needs. Do you want to work inside the shed? Sheds can be configured to include work areas for re-potting plants, greenhouse areas, etc. Perhaps you need space for the family bicycles, too.
Third, consider what style of shed you find attractive. Do you want to coordinate the appearance of your shed with your house or other out-buildings? If you do, you will most likely consider a plastic/vinyl or wood structure. Do you want to store your patio cushions inside for the winter, or during foul weather? Perhaps a gabled roof would be a good choice. Do you need a wide doorway to accommodate your ride-on mower? Think about what tools you use, and the frequency of use, as you go about your planning.
Before you make your final decision, you should check with your local authorities about permits, codes, and foundation requirements for sheds, which may vary depending on how large your shed will be and where you live. Carefully consider what maximum height or setback rules may apply as well. A good idea is to start thinking about your cubic feet of storage – a lift-up roof may be as small as 20 c.f., while a larger shed might be over 400 cubic feet. Again, think about what type of flooring you require, and whether you plan to install the shed yourself or will have the shed installed by a professional. Some floors need a foundation poured to particular specifications, while other floors will not require this.
Next, if you have a good idea of the size and style shed you want, as well as the local requirements, you can begin shopping! Perhaps a large metal shed with a metal floor is right for you. Maybe you need a fancier building to match that gazebo you put in (or are dreaming of), or want windows or a roof line to match your existing home. Maybe a snap-together plastic shed is right for you, so that you can begin organizing your tools in the same weekend! Consider your budget – will you spend $300, $600, or several thousands- and choose a shed that will meet all of your needs.
There are many shed options to choose from, and with some careful planning you can plan to purchase and install a useful, durable design that will serve your needs for years to come.