I Can Build You a Shed That's
PART ONE: COMMON SHED MISTAKES!
Don't EVER buy a shed that makes these mistakes.
Remember, once you buy it, you gotta live with it!
In fact, when you try to sell your house, a stupid shed could scare away perfectly good house-buying prospects.
The Small Barn
This shed won't hold much, and it provides so little organization that you can't even fill up what space you have.
Your lawn mower will sit right at the front door. If you want ANYTHING, you will have to take the lawn mower out, and put the lawn mower back. You will get tired of taking the lawn mower out, and putting the lawn mower back.
If you're going to get a shed, you might as well get one that you can use.
Windows? Every window is a place where you can't put shelves. Plus they're expensive. And you don't need the light! Remember, when you're in there getting something, the door will be open.
This one also has flower boxes. And shutters! And a STEEPLE???
This one is almost a playhouse. You don't want an eyesore, but you don't need to pay for gingerbread, either.
You should think more about the INSIDE!
Those wall panels come in 8-foot lengths. Why would anyone cut them to 6 feet? Less space for you, more work for me, and more disposal, too.
They actually call this one 8 feet high, because the peak of the roof is that high.
But the door is 6 feet, and the side wall panels are 6 feet. It's only 8 feet in the exact center. You can't really use those 8 feet.
This shed has a double door on the right end.
Look how deep it is! You will never be able to get at your deepest stuff.
They solved this problem with a second door at the left end!
It's simpler and cheaper to solve this problem with a better layout in the first place. Why not put ONE door in the middle?
Instead of one of those flower boxes!
Steel Shed Kits
These can be cheap. This steel shed sells at Sears for $399.
But it has no floor. Add $129 for the floor frame kit, plus your own plywood.
A level platform, made of pressure treated wood is better than a floor kit. If your ground is not table-top flat, a platform makes your shed easier to build, because its pre-drilled holes will line up nicely.
If you add about $300 for the platform, and about $300 for the shed assembly, your $400 shed actually costs about $1,000.
This is still cheaper than a wooden shed, but steel does rust, and the space is not as useable (no head room, no loft shelves, etc.)
Many companies draw you in with a low price, but then add options. But you really need these options! They aren't really options at all. Isn't this the same as "bait-and-switch"?
Vents - Only the "Too Froo-Froo" example above has them. Look at the side wall, up near the roof peak. But vents are NOT Froo-Froo! You NEED them! Without a vent, moisture builds up inside. Metal things will rust. Everything else will rot. Don't pick up any wet cardboard boxes! A shed keeps the rain out, but why bother if moisture grows inside?
Pressure Treated Floors - And the framework underneath, too. How can ANYBODY build a shed that's doomed to rot? And how do you replace a rotted framework and floor?
NO FLOOR AT ALL? - OK. Maybe if you have a concrete slab from an older shed. But for everybody else, THIS IS NUTS! Do you plan to put these sidewalls (which are NOT pressure treated) directly on the ground? How will you keep the bugs out? And the RODENTS?
Too Big - Ross Township (check with your own township) has a maximum shed size of 100 Sq Ft. More than that and you need a building permit, which brings inspections and higher taxes. At 100 Sq Ft or less, all they want is an occupancy permit, and all they care about is how close you are to your neighbor. Some sheds are 10x12, which is 120 square feet, which crosses that line.
Unfinished Pine - Sometimes it's just the trim or the door. You have to prime bare wood before you paint it. You'll get right on that, right?
You Are Now SMART!!!
You have now been educated. You can safely buy a shed without making any of those common shed mistakes.
My shed doesn't make those mistakes either!
PART TWO: My SHED IS BIGGER, BETTER, AND CHEAPER, TOO!
1. MY SHED IS BIGGER!
It's TALL! Full 8-foot wall panels, not cut to 6 feet. Not 8 feet only at the peak.
8x12 floor, three full sheets of plywood, almost as big as the law allows (without a building permit, that is).
And you can use ALL of the space you get. No windows or deep corners.
Your friends' first words will be, "It's So TALL!"
Yes, it's plain. But it's huge, and practical, and better organized, and CHEAPER, Too!
Shed Sizes and Shapes
There is no zoning limit on height. If you could have a shed that's 8 feet high or one that's only 6 feet high, you might as well take the 8-foot one.
Our standard size is 8 ft by 12 ft, which is 96 Sq Ft. The floor consists of three full 4x8 sheets of plywood.
Another common size is 8x8. There are only two sheets for the floor, saving one sheet. You save 2 sheets of wall panel, and some roof, too. But that meager savings isn't worth giving up a third of your space.
A third common shed size is 10 x 10, which is 100 Sq Ft . Now, 100 is a little bigger than 96, but 8 x 12 is better for two reasons:
And of course, there are many sheds that are bigger than 100 square feet. But you won't make that mistake, will you?
2. MY SHED IS BETTER!
Pressure Treated Wood
The plywood floor, and the framework underneath it, are all made from pressure treated wood, which resists moisture and insects.
Some companies offer this as an extra, but I think it's irresponsible to make a shed without it.
And NONE of our wood even touches the ground! The framework rests on cement paver stones.
We also use 12-inch spacing between the joists. Sixteen-inch spacing is standard, but 12-inch spacing uses only THREE more joists, which cost less than $3 each. You could drive a lawn tractor onto this floor.
More Useable Storage
You get TWO loft shelves. These are almost a full 4x8 sheet. I have seen sheds with a shelf big enough for a row of paint cans.
Imagine putting your lawn mower inside a shed with no loft shelf. Nothing can go above the lawn mower. All those cubic feet above the lawn mower is wasted!
These shelves are big enough to put your lawn mower underneath. Then you can store two rows of boxes or some extra furniture above.
I can put these two lofts at any height you want, or you can put one on either side of the shed.
Reclaim Lost Space
Pegboard on the doors! Hang light stuff here, like your leaf blower and weed wacker.
A shelf above the door! Some sheds don't do this because there IS no space above the door.
Hang stuff from the ceiling! Most ceilings are too low for this.
3. MY SHED IS CHEAPER, TOO!
Cost, quality, and size are usually trade-offs when you buy anything. If you want a cheaper steak dinner, you have to order the smaller steak, or order a cheaper cut.
But my shed is Bigger AND it's Better AND it's Cheaper! No Compromise!
Their Models Are Different
I went to one of those big home centers. Guess which one. If you guess wrong, just go to the other one.
There is no model that exactly matches our shed.
The 8x12 Classic is the closest shed to mine. To compare my shed to theirs, you can play with the options while calculating their price:
Now choose the options that let us compare apples to apples:
Like I said... My shed is Bigger, Better, and $222 Cheaper!
To be fair, their calculator figures in your location. We do charge extra for distant locations. So some of this savings are offset. But we will ALWAYS be cheaper! If you are so far away that your surcharge would be higher than $222, you are TOO far away!
Deck Step. Better than a ramp for most people. Tip your lawn mower up and walk it in. $75.
Key lock. A hasp lock is standard, where you can hang your own padlock. A key lock is $50 extra.
Shingles. Choose white, brown, gray or black. Included.
Painted. We paint it for you. Choose ANY two colors from all those paint chips. WE buy the paint. Add $300.
Warranty. You must paint within 30 days, or choose the painted option.
If You Live Near Me...
If you live within an hour or so of Ross Park Mall (near Pittsburgh, PA), give a call so I can determine if your site is suitable.
Would you like the plans? I have had many out of town people ask if they could have the plans. I used to send them my materials list, which is all I had, and wished them the best of luck.
Until I finally wrote my book! I took work-in-progress pictures while I built one. You can now have step-by-step instructions! With Pictures! AND the materials list!
Would you like to see a FREE sample chapter? See that it's something you could do. See that my instructions are detailed enough.
No risk. No credit card required. Just open a PDF in your browser. You could be reading it in 2.9 seconds!
This is not a big job. It's a bunch of little jobs. And you can do every one of them!
Impress your friends! Get your car back in the garage! Spend about $1000 and get a shed worth between $2500 and $3000.
Take the first tiny step. Order the book! Click this link to order from Amazon:
Ken Whitaker, HDM
Registered Home Improvement Contractor with the PA Attorney General: PA077766