Building outdoor sheds has become popular with DIY enthusiasts for obvious reasons. Outdoor sheds are extremely useful to store garden tools and equipment such as mowers to keep them in a place that is not only safe and tidy but also away from harsh outdoor weather conditions. Sheds are also ideal for storing an overflow of household effects, and in some cases, you may even opt to build a ‘combination’ shed to store both tools and household storage items.
Whatever your storage needs, if you’re going to build a shed, there are some basic rules you should take into consideration before starting:
The first step to building outdoor sheds is to decide what the purpose of the shed is going to be and to determine the floor size. For example, you may decide to use the shed for storing household items, or as a garden shed or, even as a kids’ dollhouse or playroom. Each of these uses may require a different square footage.
Before even beginning construction, you will need to obtain planning permission from your local authority. Most local authorities permit outdoor sheds without the need to submit plans, as long as they do not exceed a certain square footage. Find out what the requirements are in your area, and whether you need to obtain special permission or a permit before proceeding. (If you contravene local building regulations, you may be ordered to take the shed down).
Your next step when building outdoor sheds is to decide what base, or floor, your shed is going to have. You can opt either for a concrete floor or a wooden floor. Both of these methods have advantages and disadvantages. Putting down a concrete slab can be a messy affair and needs a fair amount of skill to make sure the concrete slab is level and has a smooth surface.
The advantage here is that a concrete slab is more durable than a wooden floor and not prone to rot or attacks from termites or other insects. Concrete will also yield better insulation against cold and wet weather conditions. Once the floor is laid, it needs no further maintenance.
However, building a wooden floor/base is quick and lightweight and needs very little skill – even the untrained DIY enthusiast can accomplish this with relative ease. The disadvantages of a wooden floor, as opposed to concrete, is that it will require constant maintenance in the future (as with all wooden materials) and may be prone to rot and wood invading insects. An important factor to remember is to use treated timber for the floor to prevent the invasion of insects. (Tip: A useful timber to use is treated lumber plywood).