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What Should I Know About Building a Shed?

Malcolm Tatum
Updated May 16, 2024
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Building a shed may seem like a simple process on the front end, and in many ways this is true. However, there are a few things you should take into consideration before jumping in and creating a storage shed on your property. Here is what you should know about building a shed, no matter where you live.

Your first consideration should always be to acquaint yourself with any zoning regulations that apply to your property. Many jurisdictions place limits on the width and height of an unattached edifice on residential properties. In addition, there may be regulations regarding how close to the property line you can place the shed. Before you get into the specifics of laying out the building plans, find out what you can and can’t legally do in your area.

After finding out what type of standards and regulations you must follow, your next step is to come up with blueprints or plans for your storage shed. There is more than one reason for this. The first reason has to do with obtaining a permit to begin building the shed. This is often granted by your local municipality, after they review your plans and make sure they are up to local codes.

A second reason for drafting plans is that you do need to have some idea of how to create the shed you really want. Coming up with the design will help you answer a lot of questions before you begin building a shed. For example, there is the matter of siding for the storage shed. Do you want to go with aluminum siding, wood siding, or brick siding? Will the shed rest on a concrete slab or feature a crawl space under the edifice? How many doors will the shed feature and what type of provisions should be made for electrical wiring or the inclusion of plumbing? Converting the vision in your mind to a tangible set of plans will greatly simplify things once it is time to begin building the shed.

Determining the uses for the shed will also help you incorporate important elements into the overall design of the shed. If the idea is to provide home storage for documents, carpeting or furniture, you will need to consider some type of climate control device for the shed. On the other hand, if your vision is a garden shed that will store mowers, shovels and other types of lawn and garden tools can help you determine how much floor space you need, if you should add shelving, and how deep that shelving should be.

Once you have decided if the shed will be for home or yard storage and have come up with your plans, it is time to buy your materials. Always buy a little more than you think you need, as any building project involves some amount of waste. Keep in mind you can always retain any leftover building materials for use in repairs in the future, or return unused materials for a refund. In any case, you do not want to stop in the middle of building a shed in order to track down additional materials.

Building a shed does require some rudimentary skills in carpentry. Even with a solid set of blueprints to follow, it may be in your best interests to have the shed built by professionals. This includes situations where you will not be able to consistently devote time to your building project, or when the construction requires the use of tools you do not know well or involves plumbing or wiring tasks that are beyond your level of expertise. Keep in mind that the goal is to have a backyard storage shed that is complies with local codes, is solidly constructed, and will fulfill your purpose. Do everything you can to prepare for the project, but also know when to call in the experts.

HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Malcolm Tatum
By Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing to become a full-time freelance writer. He has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including HomeQuestionsAnswered, and his work has also been featured in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and newspapers. When not writing, Malcolm enjoys collecting vinyl records, following minor league baseball, and cycling.
Discussion Comments
By snappy — On Dec 23, 2009

Do the prebuilt sheds from the do it yourself stores usually meet the zoning restrictions? Or do I have to go through the permit process and everything even if I buy one already made?

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing...
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