They laughed when I told them I was going to build my own shed but when they saw it...

You can build your own shed successfully,
even if the only thing you have hit with a hammer is your thumb.

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Saturday, May 22, 2010

DIY Shed Plans - What you need to know - Part 1

You need to determine exactly what it is that you need your new shed to provide for you. Rushing into a shed project will almost certainly result in you not getting the design that you need, you might need a barn style shed and end up with a potting shed or a cottage. Well that is a bit of an exaggeration but you do know what I mean.

To avoid the disappointment and angst which results from poor choice of blueprints it is best to take the time to prepare. Here are some of the things you need to consider for your shed plans, you may have others due to your particular location or circumstances.

Before you even choose a style from the available designs or settle on a size you need to decide on all of the ways you want to use your new shed. As an example, I have recently had a shed built, I have space restrictions but I wanted to have three distinct uses for my new shed so I drew up a rough floor plan of how this should be laid out before I even approached a builder.

The first question you need an answer to is "What am I going to do in the shed?" Once you can answer that one you are actually well on the way to settling on a shed plan. From that answer you can then decide how much space you'll need for each of the activities.

That then sets the desired size of the shed. I wanted a two story shed to minimize the footprint in my yard. Unless you have unlimited space the desired size may not be possible meaning some spaces may have to do dual duty or be left out entirely.

Now is the time to measure out the space requirements and juggle the location and position around to find out if you can fit the shed in your yard in a way that is pleasing to you. Often in our modern housing blocks there will be insufficient room for your desired shed.

For me the space was fine but the two stories plan was rejected by the local planning authorities so I had to maximize the floor area for the shed but I still lost overall floor space. Not by much but some of my activity area will now have to be shared and become dual use. I reduced the storage building component and decided between a shed or barn style and chose the shed style.

More decisions, do you want to buy a shed building kit? Get a contractor to do it all? Do it yourself from DIY shed plans? Perhaps a combination of some or all of these. The biggest restrictions for most of us when it come to deciding diy or pre-built is time and money. I didn't have the time for this to be a diy project so I contracted a local contractor who designs custom sheds and then builds by using a shed kit. Their factory makes the shed from the design and flat-packs it for easy transport.

Building your own shed from plans is an extremely satisfying thing to do and you can do it because there are thousands of plans and kits available but you will need to allocate sufficient time for the project. Any DIY project can save you significant money and you always learn new skills but we are usually quite time poor these days. For some very busy people some kind of DIY shed building project might give you a different focus and provide some balance in your life.

At this stage you have a good idea of what style of shed you want, where you want to build it in your yard, whether you are going to do some, all or none of it yourself. If this is going to be a DIY shed project you need to get blueprints drawn up so you can submit them for building approval, if that is something that you need to do for your area. If you don't need building approval, lucky you, but you will still need properly designed blueprints so you can construct your new shed to last. You can buy these online or get a local architect or draftsman to do them for you. Sometimes you can get these done from a template at your local hardware store.

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