Do you need to build a storage shed in your backyard? You may have run out of space in your garage, or you might have taken up gardening and need a place to store all your equipment.
Photo by Jessica Johnston on Unsplash
Before you start searching for storage shed plans and material lists, it is essential to discover what size shed would be best for you. Here are five simple tips that will help you find out how big a shed you really need.
1. What Is Your Construction Budget?
You may want to build a spacious 24×24 garage shed. But considering a minimal cost of even $35 per square foot, it will easily cost you over $20,000! So before you aim for the sky, it is vital to determine exactly how much you can and will spend in building your shed.
Building the shed on your own will be the cheapest option. That will save you on labor costs. If you use quality materials for your shed and do all the construction work yourself, the price will be around $25 per square foot.
You must also consider the time and effort that will be needed to build your shed. A small 8×10 shed can be completed in a weekend. But a 12×16 one can end up taking many weeks of construction, especially if you are new to crafting sheds.
2. What Will You Store in the Shed?
To store multiple large pieces of equipment like ATVs, riding lawn mowers, and a work table, you will need at least a 12×20 shed.
If you want to store only one mower, few bicycles, and some lawn tools, then a 10×16 shed is sufficient for you.
An 8×10 will be enough if all you wish to store are your long-handled lawn tools, a ladder, and your tool chest.
3. How Big Is Your Backyard?
Your dream of having a spacious and large wooden shed may get hampered if the land in your backyard is not suitable.
Just because you have a huge backyard doesn’t necessarily mean that all that land can be used for construction.
There may be underground utility lines that run through your yard. Locating a shed on top of them can be dangerous. All the land in your backyard may not be level. There might be a significant slope in some areas, which makes it unsuitable for locating a shed.
It is also not a good idea to locate your shed close to trees or fences, or power lines. It is best to have a 2 feet clearance all around the shed perimeter.
All these factors can reduce the actual available backyard space on which you can locate the shed. Take this into consideration when deciding the shed dimensions.
4. Are There Community Shed Size Regulations?
Many homeowner associations and local building councils have rules and regulations about the maximum size of the shed that can be built on a property. There may also be rules for how far the shed needs to be from your home and how far it needs to be from property lines.
These regulations can restrict the size of the shed you can build. Bigger sheds also usually need a building permit. Do you want to go through the extra expense and effort of getting a permit?
Visit your local building council and find out all the conditions and codes that apply to your shed. This will prevent any future frustrations.
5. Can Your Shed Usage Needs Change In Future?
Today you may only want to use your shed to store your gear, but tomorrow your needs may change significantly. It is best to build a shed that has enough room to accommodate possible future needs.
There is no point in building a shed that will quickly fill up and leave you looking for more space elsewhere. Plan a few years into the future.
Would you like to turn the shed into a workshop a few years down the line? Or maybe you would like to use it as a guest room or office space.
You could also have much bigger equipment to store in the future than you have right now. All these factors will influence the shed dimensions that will be ideal for you and serve you the longest.