Wood Storage Shed Buyer's Guide
Purchasing a shed is a big decision. A shed can sit in your outdoor space for a decade or more. It's reasonable that you need all the information you can get before putting down your hard earned cash. There are three main types of sheds: wood, plastic, and metal.
In this article, we will concentrate on wood sheds. You will learn everything you need to make an informed decision when the time comes. Wood sheds are strong, stylish, and customizable, but they aren't without their disadvantages.
Wood Shed Advantages and Drawbacks
When searching for the right outdoor shed, you'll find many great options made of plastic and metal. But what advantages do wood storage sheds have over their metal and plastic counterparts? In this section, we will go over why wood is better. Also, we'll go into what ways a wood shed falls short.
Wood sheds are more aesthetically pleasing than metal or plastic sheds. Wooden storage sheds have a more robust frame, so they tend to be larger. That means if you want a backyard studio or workshop, wood is the way to go. They also add to the resale value of your home.
Wood sheds have better severe weather resistance than metal or plastic storage sheds. The conventional wood structure means the shed is as heavy as it is durable. This strength is excellent for areas with high winds, hail, or snow.
For every advantage, there's an equal disadvantage. Because wood sheds are so sturdy, they are remarkably heavy. This weight makes construction and shipping more difficult. Because wood can degrade if left exposed to water or UV rays over time, it's also necessary to keep the shed painted. The exception to this is the natural weather resistance of cedar models. Pre-cut wood shed kits also require a bit of construction experience to build.
However, wood sheds have excellent weather resistance after proper construction and water management. This means extra work ensuring surfaces are treated/protected and equipped with runoff provisions will be worth it in the end. As any homeowner knows, nearly everything that adds substantial resale value to your home can be costly. Wood sheds are certainly more expensive than their plastic and metal counterparts, but the value is there in the long run.
Types of Wood Shed Kits
If the benefits of a wood shed outweigh the perceived drawbacks, then let's get into the different types of wood shed kits you'll find.
Pre-cut and DIY Kits
Pre-cut kits come with everything cut to length. Wall studs, rafters, joists, siding or paneling are all cut by the manufacturer and ready to assemble, instructions included. Because these sheds need the most work from the customer, they are the least costly type of kit.
Panelized or Knock Down Kits
A panelized kit comes with walls, trusses, and structural components fully assembled. You lift the walls into position and nail them at the corner and floor. Then, place the trusses and secure those as well. This type of kit is easier to put together than a pre-cut kit. But, it's more costly and requires more than one person to assemble. Be aware that the components of a knock-down kit can be substantial. If you've got the help to put it together, a knock-down kit is a great option.
Fully Built Sheds
Another choice is the fully built shed. Not every manufacturer offers this because of the cost of shipping. It does cut construction time and labor, but there is still prep work. You have to complete a foundation and create a plan to move the shed into position. Also, moving the shed from the drop-off point to its final destination requires special equipment. All this creates an extra expense - not to mention removing and rebuilding any barriers in the way, such as fences.
What Style Suits My Needs?
When browsing eCanopy.com's selection of sheds, you will notice that there are a variety of styles to choose from. Some are aesthetic, and others are more practical. Let's get into it.
Gambrel means the roof is two-sided with two slopes on each side, like the top of a barn. These "barn-roof" sheds allow for more vertical space, which comes in handy for tall items. You could even construct a loft in the upper part of the gambrel for more storage.
Traditional Gable Sheds
This shed features a simple two-plane-roof design. This model is less susceptible to leaks and holds up well in high wind. Gable sheds do not sport the most beautiful look, but they are low in cost and practical.
Garage Style Sheds
These are an expansion on the traditional gable shed design. But, garage-style sheds have more space. They are large enough to store motorcycles or small vehicles. Because it's in a garage style, you'll find an overhead garage door as well as a standard door.
Other Styles/Specialty Models
There are more styles and uses for wood sheds than we have room to write. Wood shed kits come in styles ranging from children's playhouses to greenhouses and chicken coops. Many manufacturers also allow for customization of their sheds. So, if you need something outside the realm of traditional, many manufacturers can make it happen.
Top Manufacturers in the Industry
- Little Cottage Co. - This company was started 20 years ago with the idea of creating playhouses that children and parents could build together. Today their business has expanded to include high-quality sheds. Little Cottage Co. has the DIYer in mind when crafting their shed kits. These kits can be put together by two adults in 4 to 8 hours.
- Outdoor Living Today - OLT has been in the shed business for 40 years. This company designs their sheds for people with limited building skills. Outdoor Living Today has a wide selection of products from cedar garden beds, waste bin sheds, gazebos, and more.
- Best Barns - This shed manufacturer prides itself in its technical support and in-depth how-to manuals. Best Barns wants your DIY shed project to be a breeze. A Best Barns shed will fit almost any home style and is very spacious.
- WoodTex - Since 1983, Woodtex has made storage sheds, and every year, they get better and better. WoodTex produces thousands of wood sheds across a wide range of styles. Through Woodtex you can even design your shed to fit your specific needs.
- Tuff Shed - Like Woodtex, Tuff Shed gives you the power to design the shed you want. This manufacturer offers a high-quality line of sheds designed to match your home or other structures in your outdoor space.Tuff Shed takes pride in its lasting products and customer service. For more than 30 years, Tuff Sheds provides delivery and installation on site, thanks to its vast network of dealers
Field-Prepped Foundation or Pre-Fab Floor Kit?
There are two types of foundations to choose for your shed. The question of what foundation you use depends on what goes in the shed.
Poured Slab Foundation
If your shed will hold heavy equipment or vehicles, a poured slab foundation is right for you. The cement will stand the weight of the machinery, and it's easier to clean up after oil leaks or spills. Poured slabs require prep work to level the soil for the cement. This prep work can also cost more than a pre-fab floor kit. One thing to keep in mind is that some wood sheds can only be built on a poured slab. So, it may be a good idea to check with the manufacturer before you make your final decision.
Prefabricated Floor Kit
These kits usually consist of pre-cut framing, sheathing, and brackets. These kits don't need so much digging or ground prep. Place the foundation kit on cement blocks and brace it. Wooden floor kits are comfortable and great for sheds serving as an art studio or craft shop. A prefab kit can't hold as much weight as a poured slab, but the assembly is simple.
What about the Accessories?
There are many optional items to add to most shed kits. There are windows, ventilation grills, tool racks, loft kits, entry ramps, and extra entry doors. You'll find most shed manufacturers have these items as options to add when ordering the shed. Some models offer these parts in their package for you to do with what you want. If you order these accessories, there are some considerations to take into account.
Think about the dimensions and the height of the shed walls and doors. Some sheds offer a single door. If you store one lawn mower or other similarly sized items, a single door is fine. However, if you have a riding mower or other large machinery, you will need a double door or larger single door. The same goes for wall height. Look at the shortest walls in your shed. Ask yourself if your items would fit, and make a choice to go larger or not.
Walls in standard gable sheds or saltbox sheds are usually taller. You'll find that many gambrel shed manufacturers offer a short-wall and a tall-wall version. Shorter walls work great for storing lawn equipment and general storage. Tall walls accommodate shelving units and hold tools better than their shorter counterparts.
The most complete shed kits will need supplemental materials to finish the installation. These items consist of roofing materials like shingles, roofing paper, or drip rails. Lower cost kits may ask you to provide your own siding or trim, but this depends on the shed.
When shopping for your shed, make a note of the details of each package to determine what you'll need.
Regulations and Permits
Before the purchase of any shed, check with your local code enforcement agency. You'll want to determine if there are rules or regulations in place about the size, height, or style of shed you want.
In most cases, no building codes pertain to sheds. It is also not required to have a contractor license to install one, but it is better to check the rules than not.
Most likely you'll encounter a homeowners association with a list of rules for your shed. Many times these rules only matter if the shed is viewable from the street or a neighbor's property. HOAs will hold meetings or have a contract for requests. One way to avoid a hassle or argument is to narrow down your three favorite sheds and let the HOA approve them from there.
LTL shipping is standard for wood shed products because of the bulk and weight of the kits. Pre-cut kits ship on a pallet via freight. Delivery of small to mid-sized sheds occur by liftgate truck service.
Panelized kits also ship LTL, strapped to specialized pallets and crating. Small sheds can be delivered locally. Anything bigger than 8' x 10' will need to be delivered to the local freight terminal or by specialty freight trucks.
Complete sheds also ship via a specialty truck carrier. How long it takes to ship varies from brand to brand. But, you can find shipping information on the product page before finalizing your purchase. The carrier will schedule the LTL freight delivery appointment. Just make sure you have someone there with you during the scheduled delivery time.
Care and Maintenance
Now that the shed is here and looks at home in your outdoor space, it's time to make it last. Give your wood shed a long life by following these care and maintenance tips.
- Inspect shingle roofs periodically, especially after severe weather. If you find damaged or missing shingles, find a replacement as soon as you can. You don't want to repair water damage the next time a storm rolls in.
- For metal roofs with fasteners, inspect the condition of the rubber washers at least once a year.
- Lubricate all the door hardware with a light oil like WD-40. Prevent the squeak of noisy hinges and latches.
- Wood siding can be durable if appropriately coated, but trim boards are more rot prone. Inspect for rotten wood and areas that need paint regularly. Keeping all the surfaces touched up with high-quality paint prevents decay from creeping in.
- If you do find rotten wood, replace it immediately. Rot can allow water to enter your shed and cause even more damage.
The right wood shed is out there. Take the time to research what style and brand of wooden sheds for sale is the perfect fit for your area. Plan for the installation; be vigilant with maintenance, and you will have a wood shed that will last for years to come.
If you want to do more research, view the links below or speak to one of our professionals Monday through Friday, from 9:30am-6:30pm at 1-800-445-5611.
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Wood Sheds Q&A with the Product Specialists* Please Note: All customer questions are answered by our Product Specialists free of charge!
from Alamogordo, NM asked:
August 19, 2019
What do the kits usually include?
Depending on which cottage you are looking at they mostly come with the hardware, the wall framing, the roof system, siding, and some of them also come with the trim. You would be responsible for the foundation or you can purchase a foundation kit.
on August 19, 2019