Shopping for a garden storage shed

NORTH COUNTY–Storage space is often a coveted commodity. Apartment dwellers seek out more closet space; homeowners may desire more acreage; and even children may want more space for their toys and belongings. The purchase of a storage shed could alleviate some clutter issues and move items outdoors – creating more space.

Household garages are no longer as popular for storing vehicles. Instead, garages are used to store the extra items that do not fit inside the home. Many people even turn to self-storage units for extra storage space.

Garden storage sheds present another place where individuals can keep items out of sight but easily accessible. As garages fill up with belongings quite quickly, many homeowners think about a shed purchase to at least keep outdoor lawn and garden essentials in their own place.

The process of purchasing a shed is not as simple as finding the least or most expensive type on the market. There are other factors that come into play when selecting a shed.

• Appearance and design: Although the function of a shed is to store items out of sight, the shed itself will be in full view in a yard. Therefore, plenty of homeowners prefer something that has just as much aesthetic appeal as it does storage capacity. An unsightly shed can affect the overall appearance of a property, or even hurt the sale price for homeowners thinking about putting the home on the market.

It’s important to select a shed in a price range that also complements the style of the home so it coordinates with other features. Some people choose to have a custom-built shed that can replicate the architectural style of the home and even features the same siding and finishing materials.

• Size: Sheds come in a variety of sizes, from compact locker-sized sheds to large buildings that may even double as a garden room, pool room or kids’ playhouse. Homeowners should keep in mind that the size of the shed may have to meet local municipality rules for additions or structural changes to a property.

A larger shed may require a permanent flooring material, such as concrete, and may be subject to permit applications and inspections, whereas a smaller shed may not have such stringent requirements. Furthermore, certain towns actually may restrict the size and placement of a shed if it interferes with traffic visibility or impacts a neighbor in a negative way.

• Siding materials: Sheds are constructed of various exterior materials. Some of the more affordable options are metal or plywood and particle board. However, these materials can be easily compromised by rain. The most maintenance-free materials are vinyl or molded PVC-type plastics.

However, these may look like cookie-cutout units and may not have as much visual appeal. Cedar and wood are popular siding choices but won’t be maintenance-free. They need upkeep and also tend to be more expensive. But the cost may pay for itself in durability as well as an attractive appearance.

• Minor enhancements: Touches like decorative architectural features, window boxes, shutters, or even simply planting shrubs and annuals around the shed can make it an integral part of the landscape instead of simply an eyesore. Double doors will ensure large pieces of equipment can fit inside the shed. The addition of a pressure-treated ramp at the entryway provides easy access to the shed as well.

Storage sheds can provide much-needed space for homeowners. Certain features as well as cost need to be factored into the decision before purchase.

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