7 Questions Before Building A Shed

Anyone with a camp or cottage knows you can never have enough storage space.
“Stuff” ends up at the camp all the time, often leaving you scratching your head wondering where to put it all.

We’ve already got a storage shed at our camp and it’s almost full. Who am I kidding? It’s full to overflowing…I bet yours is too. I’m considering a new one or adding on to our existing shed.

This is the first in a series of articles that will help you to build a storage shed at your camp or cottage. Ryan Henderson, the author of MyShedPlans has provided these seven questions you need to ask before building a shed.

You will find links to four additional articles about shed building at the bottom of this page.

7 Questions Before Building A Shed

Written by Ryan Henderson
"garden shed plan"
For the novice builder it is very important that you have everything in place before you start any project. Of course the best way to do this is to have a action plan. So you have decided you want to build a shed using a set of plans. Then first step, before you begin construction of your shed, is to start by listing a series of questions you will need to answer before before you even begin construction.

1.What do you really need the shed for?
To start with you may be thinking its going to be used to store just the garden equipment. Think hard about this. Is it going to end up being a family shed? In other words, are the kids going to want to store their sports equipment in there? Or is the wife going to find a new place for the Christmas decorations, in your shed? So make a hard and fast rule of what the shed will be used for.

2.What size do you want it to be?
Now you know exactly what it is going to be used for, that will give you the size that you are going to want. Don’t forget to plan for the future. If its restricted to garden outdoor items, you will most likely be adding to your collection over the next few years, so you don’t want to have to build a shed all over again.

3.Where are you going to put it?
You need to determine when is the best place for it. It has to be some place accessible, without walking through your flowerbeds. Probably tucked away so it doesn’t interfere with your landscaping. Again think of the future, you don’t want to have to move it.
Now is the area you have allotted for it and the size of the shed you want compatible? If not then there has to be a compromise, either in the space or the size.

4.Does in need to be insulated, waterproof, or open?
If you are in a four season climate then you need to decide what seasons you need the shed to be able to withstand the most.

5. Do you require a building permit?
Know what your local by-laws are for building a shed. It wouldn’t be nice to get your project finished ,and then have city officials come along and tell you to take it down. Normally you won’t need a building permit if you stay within a specific size, but if you have determined to go larger than what’s allowed, you will have to submit building plans for approval.

6.Now one of the most important questions, What is your budget for this project?
Everything you have decided up to now is dependant on your budget. Its kinds of difficult to set a budget when you haven’t determined the cost of materials yet. Its your budget that’s going to help you when it comes time to get your building shed plans.

7.Where should you get your plans for building a shed?
You have lots of answers now. The purpose, the size, the budget, and now to answer the final question. For this you will need to check out what resources are available to you. Your local home hardware and building center, home planners, and of course the internet.

Our thanks to Ryan Henderson for this information. If you are considering building a shed at your cottage, Ryan has a downloadable e-book with over 12,000 woodworking projects, everything from small birdhouses to large outdoor sheds, perfect for your cottage. Ryan’s e-book has materials lists, blueprints, step-by-step instructions and easy to follow guides.

The Rest of The Shed Building Series

Part 2: How To Choose The Right Shed
Part 3: How To Get Free Shed Plans and Blueprints
Part 4: 10 Steps To Build A Shed
Part 5: How To Build A Shed Using Shed Kits

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