You may have seen sheds that just didn’t look good in their back yards and seemed quite out of place. They are either too small, in need of repair or simply in the wrong place.
I had one of those at the end of my driveway in a medium sized city. It was a low cost steel shed and easy to assemble, but much too small. Eventually it became rusty, the sliding door wouldn’t close properly and the shed needed to be moved to a better location. To solve the problems, I build a new garden shed; that was a decade ago before I had a computer.
To begin my planning, I looked at numerous garden sheds in the neighborhood and those at building supply stores, including brochures on numerous shed kits and tried to imagine how they would look in my back yard. My planning could be boiled down to these five tips or steps.
1. Location; I wanted the shed to be easily accessible to get garden tools in and out, and in a place that left me with a decent yard space, but within two feet of property lines to satisfy building codes. I also wanted the best looking side, usually the front of the shed, to face the driveway or street. Another consideration was the layout of possible flower beds to blend in with the rest of the yard.
2. Size; Sheds are often build too small for all the tools and equipment to be stored. So make it as big as you can without getting a building permit. In my city the maximum size is nine square meters. If larger, a building permit is needed.
3. Design (type or shape); There are many different shapes and designs of garden sheds, and almost everyone has a different idea of what looks best. It should blend in well with the back yard as well as in the neighborhood. It should also meet the needs for storage as well as a small workshop. I also discussed my plans with some of my neighbors in order to get feedback. Good relations with neighbors, I believe is very important.
4. Materials and colors; There are many kinds of building materials on the market; steel, wood, vinyl and asphalt (for shingles). Even though there are a number of great looking vinyl sheds on the market today, a well designed wooden garden shed with with vinyl siding and asphalt roof can blend in well with the home and other buildings in the neighborhood.
5. The cost; If cost is an issue, I found that the cheapest way was to build the shed from scratch; that is make or buy the blueprints, buy all the materials and build the shed yourself. The next lowest cost is to buy a shed kit and erect it yourself and have friends help you where needed.
I found these five tips helpful in planning before I bought any materials or put a shovel in the ground. Since I didn’t have a computer ten years ago and few garden shed plans and blueprints were available, I drew up my own plans from a photograph on a brochure after examining the measurements designs of different kinds of sheds. I then went ahead and build a garden shed myself for a fraction of the cost of a shed kit plus my own choice of materials.
Today there are a number of excellent woodworking plans online that have blueprints and plans to build many different kinds of garden and storage sheds along with plans to make all kinds of furniture; One of these is Teds Woodworking Plans.com, with 16,000 different plans and blueprints.