Here in South East Queensland, the Sunshine Coast, and surrounding areas, most homes are just not complete without a shed.
At first, glance, building one may give the deceptive impression that just about anyone could construct one in no time with little effort.
Though the structure is a simple one, building one that will stand up to our rugged lifestyle is a lot more involved and complex project.
We have listed ten common mistakes new builders make that can sacrifice the overall quality of an outdoor shed.
It is never a good idea to presume there are no permissions, codes, or other building requirements for the area where you live.
Always check first with your local building inspector. Get a builder’s permit if required and adhere to the local codes. Here is an excellent source for checking codes ShedQuotes.com.au for your project. We have over 30 years of shed building and compliance experience.
Local codes can make a big difference in the quality of shed you construct because they may have key standards that improve upon what you had in mind initially.
These codes do not exist to make life more difficult, or for government intrusion into our personal property; they exist to require better quality building.
Better quality buildings make the area you live in safer for yourself and others. They also make the area more attractive to those considering relocation.
Poor Site Selection
After permitting, site selection is often among the first mistakes new builders make. There are some key considerations for deciding where to locate your shed.
Avoid Low Lying Areas
This should be obvious for most. Just because the shed may look better in a lower part of the property does not make it the ideal building site.
Building your shed where it will be subject to rain run-off or in an area that stays moist most of the year endangers your shed’s structural strength.
Water in and around buildings is one of the biggest destroyers of them. Instead, choose a site that is elevated with good drainage and generally exposed to the sun for most of the day.
Lack of Site Preparation
Every building site must be cleared completely. An elevated building pad must be prepared for where the actual shed will stand. Check local building codes for these specifics.
A clear, unobstructed path to and from the site must be created. Do not leave small trees, shrubs, or any other undergrowth on your building site. Instead, replant the area after construction is completed.
Any shed is only as steady and durable as the foundation under it. A shoddy foundation or no foundation at all is a recipe for a tottering shed that will not stand up to heavy usage.
Take the time to level and compact the foundation, so the shed has firm, solid ground upon which to build.
Untreated Lumber on the Ground
Using untreated lumber directly placed on the ground severely limits the shed lifespan. Termites love wood, and they will consider your new shed’s wood foundation their smorgasbord as long as it lasts.
Real wood, in general, is a poor choice for any part of your shed due to the pest destruction risks. Pour a concrete slab foundation on a well-prepared building pad and use steel for the best quality shed.
Building Too Small
If you are going to go to the trouble in the first place, build the shed large enough to get some use out of it.
Make the structure large enough to have some flexibility about how to use some of the space and to expand its use as needed.
Build the shed with more than sufficient headroom. Building the shed too short severely limits what it can be used for. Low roofs also create a cramped, stooped work posture.
Plan instead for sufficient height of the shed to accommodate any future use for larger equipment storage. Remember, garage-type doors generally require enough height to house the roll-up doors. Check codes.
No Power Source
Leaving off the electrical wiring is always a mistake. If you do not plan ever to need to find anything in the shed after dark, or even work in the shed past dark, that will change over the years. You will need lighting and power for tools to maximize shed use.
Check local building guidelines for proper venting of a structure your shed size. This varies from area to area and with the size of your structure. Just keep in mind you will need adequate airflow and insulation for better temperature control.
Avoiding these common mistakes will drastically improve the quality of your shed.