Sheds are very useful in backyards. They are usually used as storage rooms, working areas, or multi-purpose rooms.
Backyard sheds are best placed somewhere where the ground is flat. Avoid placing it on a ground that can collect water or on wet soil. It is also better to avoid tree branches as they can damage the walls of your shed. Finally, build your shed in a secure area that you can see from your house.
In this article, we will discuss the things to consider when building a shed, as well as the best location and landscape where to put it up. We will also tackle the best foundation for a backyard shed.
Things to Consider When Building a Backyard Shed
Before building a backyard shed, plan all the important details. Learn the structure restrictions and find an ideal place for it. You can erect a shed with built-in materials or do-it-yourself processes. Level the ground where you want to establish the shed and lights.
- Know the planning restrictions and permissions
Consult a planning office about these matters. Backyard sheds are commonly located inside your home’s boundaries, although the structure is separate from your house. In this case, building a shed is allowable without any consent.
If your shed is larger than 100 square feet you will probably need a building permit. If you add plumbing or electricity you will need a permit even if it is a small shed. Although if the construction doesn’t require a building permit, it will surely be restricted. Before building it’s best to check with your local building services department and avoid any fines.
The common rule to observe in building a shed is the height and flooring size. It shouldn’t exceed the 13 feet limit. Besides, the wideness should not consume fifty percent of the whole backyard. Also, remember to leave a 6 feet space between the structure and your house. Also you normally cannot build a shed within 10 feet of your property line.
To ensure the guidelines, it is best to go and ask the zoning or planning office located in your area.
- The best area for the shed
Avoid placing the shed beside fences as it will limit you in terms of furnishing and repairing the side where the fence is located. Also, always reserve spaces surrounding the outer parts of the shed.
Another mistake in building the shed is making it a substitute for fences. Meaning, the side of the shed’s walls acts as a fence instead of having an actual fence. Doing so will make your neighbor uncomfortable as the water from the rain gutter of the shed roof will flow into their vicinity.
Make sure that the rain gutter is in low installation and inside the boundary of your backyard. There are specific restrictions and limitations in this situation. We advise you to consult the local zoning office for this.
As we previously mentioned, you should locate the shed no more than 2 meters from the house. Don’t build it near your plants and flowers as it will soak them with water when it rains.
- DIY or built-in?
Backyard sheds are available in built-in, step-by-step processes or fixed structures. These two choices are good options but both also have their own pros and cons. It involves time, budget, and construction difficulties.
Most people choose to buy all materials and build everything from scratch. The idea can help reduce one’s expenses to spend on high-cost built-in structures. The only constraint of this method is that it requires a lot of time.
For a built-in shed, you can save more time and effort. It is easy to install since every part is already intact. The downsides of this are the price and durability. Although these are not fragile, DIY sheds are well-founded as time goes by.
This is why planning and deciding before building a backyard shed is very important. That way, you will have control and a scheme of the ideal shed. Pay attention to every detail, especially regarding time and money.
- Balance and flatten the ground
The ground of the area where you want to put up the shed requires balancing to flatten it. If you want to avail of built-in shed materials, the supplier prefers when you already leveled it. Some suppliers can do the leveling in exchange for an extra payment.
You can also hire someone to help you level the ground and assist you in the construction. If you perceive lesser expenses, you should properly use the resources. Note to create a budget plan before buying the construction materials.
Focus on the flooring and base of the shed. Use concrete materials or a strong wooden floor. When you place the flooring, leave about 15 centimeters of space between the floor and the ground. Pressure-treated lumber is a good example utilized for floorings.
- Lightings and roofs
Plan where you want to install the lights inside the shed. It will matter by the time you are going to use the room. If you think you’ll be staying there more at night than during the daytime, make the lights more dependable.
For built-in sheds, you can ask the provider if they can offer an electrician to install the lights. Although, you may also hire a separate electrician if your provider doesn’t provide one or if you are going to build the shed on your own.
The best type of roof to choose is a pitched roof. This kind of roof comes with two parts that are connected at the top. You can take advantage of this during rain and snow as it will naturally drain the water. Install a gutter to catch the water flowing and avoid it from draining to the boundary of your neighbor.
Choosing a Location for a Backyard Shed
When choosing an ideal location for a shed, we recommend you identify its purpose first. Knowing the restrictions and observing the building permit rules can also help. Observe the access to construction materials and the kind of ground in your backyard.
- Identify the purpose of the shed
There are several uses for backyard sheds. People usually them it as an alternative office, stock room, or garden shed, to name a few. Basically, this area is multi-purpose, and you are free to use it as you wish.
Knowing the purpose will help you recognize where to build it. If you perceive it as a storage room for the garden, then establish it near the garden. For office goals, build it to a more open space that can allow more ventilation.
Since there is already a guide, you can now decide where you want to install the shed. As previously mentioned, some people use it as a storage room, in which case we recommended it to be near your house. In this instance, you just need to conform to the space restrictions.
Storage rooms are not only limited to the equipment used inside the house. This also covers the tools used in the garden. If you want to store more garden-related stuff, build your shed near your garden.
- Ensure restrictions and permissions
It is crucial to consult the local planning office to know the guidelines for building a shed. There is a lot of discourse for a certain acceptable size for a shed, even without a building permit. The right thing to do is ask the corresponding department.
They will be able to guarantee the requirements needed to observe in building a backyard shed. It can also help identify what is the best place to put up the shed in your backyard. The process will also help you avoid boundary complications with your neighbor.
- Observe guidelines
As mentioned earlier, there are restrictions when building a structure in your vicinity. Check your permit and read the guidelines that you are required to follow when building a shed. The restrictions cover the size of the shed and its distance from the house. It also involves measurements.
Sheds are not allowed on the side and rear property lines. Therefore, don’t construct yours about 15 feet from the sidelines and 10 feet from the rear lines. Provide enough space in the middle of the shed and neighbor’s locale.
On the other hand, sheds without water lines and electricity are required to be away from the house. About 40 feet from other structures is recommended. This rule aims to prevent exposure to different chemicals, like oil, fuels, and many others. Also, check if there are any restrictions regarding the placement of the shed based on that of the fence.
- Access to construction materials
Know first if you can construct a shed in your backyard. If not, you can find another potential area to put it up. Nevertheless, the supplier of your materials can offer help in such a situation.
Ensure that the delivery of the construction materials is accessible to your backyard. Some instances require you to remove some parts of your fences for receiving the equipment.
In several situations, materials are hard to bring inside the backyard due to the lack of a proper plan regarding the supplies’ delivery process. Instead, homeowners focus more on the construction process.
- Distinguish the ground
This specifically pertains to the area where you want to build your shed. Leveled grounds intend to give a stable foundation to your shed. Avoid setting it to the ground floor that accumulates water, such as slopes. We will talk more about this on the next topic.
Best Landscape Location for a Backyard Shed
The best landscape options for a backyard shed consist of leveled grounds. Secure the area of the shed. Avoid the parts of your backyard that collect water, as well as trees with low branches as branches can damage the walls of the shed, and water can deteriorate the material.
- Flat grounds
Leveled or flat grounds are the best areas to establish your shed. Those prevent trees’ roots or plants from hampering the construction of the structure’s foundation. Indeed, if there are roots visible on the ground, it is difficult to put up a strong base for a shed.
For instance, some people construct their shed on the grounds with roots. What happens next is that, after months, the floors get damaged by the enlargement of roots. This is why building a shed in an open field without obstacles is a must.
Flat grounds also give you freedom in building a structure. This way, you can guarantee that the construction process goes smoothly. Uneven grounds can make the foundation of the shed unreliable.
- Water accumulation
The usual parts of the backyard grounds you can see are hollow or slope. The drawback brought by these areas is the collection of water in its shape. This is a disaster to the materials of a shed, especially wood as it can deteriorate its quality and appearance.
Wet grounds can also harm the materials of a shed. These can occur if the said ground area is consistently exposed to water. Indeed, if you place the foundation of the shed on wet grounds, it will damage and weaken the material in a short time.
The foundation is the most affected aspect in this situation. Soft grounds, due to the presence of water, can weaken the foundation. To make sure you can create a dependable shed, focus on the characteristic of the ground you are planning to use.
- Avoid tree branches
Trees with low branches can damage the external parts of the shed walls. These branches will scrape the shed if the wind moves it. Therefore, it is better to avoid building your shed in areas near trees.
Aside from causing damages, these branches also tend to fall accidentally. It becomes worse if your shed is located under a big tree with huge branches. In this case, the branches can definitely strike down the roof of the shed. This is particularly dangerous if you are inside the backyard shed.
In building your shed, avoid areas near or beside trees. It can cause not only harm the shed, but may also result in an unexpected injury. Follow the guidelines from the zoning office. Seek advice from experts to ensure you are doing the construction correctly. Doing so can prevent future damages and ensure the longevity of your structure.
- Secured area
Safety is a priority when it comes to building structures. This also applies to a backyard shed. It is possible that someone intrudes on your place. Thus, we advise you to choose your area wisely.
The areas considered secured are the parts of your backyard that visible from inside your house. Also, tighten the security of the shed by installing some motion sensor lights. It will help you know if there are any movements around the place. Don’t forget to put locks on the doors to secure your things as well.
Doors are the main access of the shed, but windows are another probable entrance. Thus, we recommend you don’t put windows on your shed walls as they will serve as an entrance for anyone who wants to intrude on your shed.
Best Foundation for a Backyard Shed
Now that you found the perfect kind of ground, it’s time to identify the best foundation for your shed. One of the most common and known bases for building a structure is concrete. This material is mostly used to construct a building and lasts longer than wood.
Ask for help from experts in this field for a concrete foundation before you start the process. It is advisable to have enough knowledge on what components are best to mix to make the concrete strong. This is naturally a durable base for structures. However, the drawback is the misusage of the mixture. Indeed, concrete is also fragile if not complemented with the right materials.
In several cases, concrete buildings deteriorate accidentally as time passes. This is a dangerous situation, especially if the building serves as a shelter. To ensure that your shed is well-built, you should consult professionals in that field.
On the other hand, a wooden foundation is also an option. The only downside is the durability and longevity of this material as it weakens faster than concrete, with which you are guaranteed to have a long-lasting shed that can endure weather changes.
Weather and temperature are crucial elements that affect the quality of wood. If constantly wet, wood will soften and deplete its attributes. This is a more affordable material but not a perfectly effective one when it comes to long-term use.
The most essential factor when building a backyard shed is the place where to put it up. Know the restrictions and plan them vividly before engaging in the construction process. The lack of knowledge in this subject can lead to sloppy results.
Also, focus on the location of the plants and trees in your garden as they are also affected when you build a shed. They are the obstacles that limit the area or your shed as you may damage them unintentionally in the construction process. Therefore, you better look for the appropriate area to build your backyard shed.