Sunday, April 11, 2010

DIY Garden Shed - What Does it Really Take?

Today we are going to discuss what it takes to build a DIY garden shed. If you have never heard of one before, these sheds are often used to store garden and landscaping equipment as well as tools. Of course, you could stow just about anything in a standard shed from old clothes to baby toys. Modern sheds are also quite attractive and look like miniature houses or barns.

The Alternative Option - Prefabricated Sheds
For homeowners that do not have the time, skill or patience to build a DIY garden shed, there is an alternative. They are called prefabricated sheds and they can be purchased at just about any home and garden center. The average model is 10 feet by 10 feet and costs between fifteen hundred and two-thousand dollars.

Prefabricated sheds are often aesthetically appealing, but they are seldom available in many different styles. In the end, you may have to take what you can get. Also, the standard prefab model does not come in a wide variety of sizes, so if you are looking for a bigger model you should expect to pay quite a bit more.

Another thing that should concern shoppers who are searching for a prefab shed is materials they use. To save money, many companies opt for untreated wood, which can be damaged by bad weather in short order.

The DIY Option - Building Your Own Garden Shed
Now, we will move on to the DIY garden shed. The great thing about these sheds is that you can customize them and make them any size or with any materials you choose. The reason for this is simple: plans for nearly any type of shed are available on the internet. These plans can often be downloaded for free or for a nominal fee.

Let us take a moment to focus on the kinds of materials homeowners should use in their sheds. As we mentioned, it is important to purchase treated lumber, especially for the floor of the shed. This is due to the fact that ground water can damage the floor if it is untreated. Over time, the water can cause warping, rotting and eventually the floor will begin to sag and later crack.

Other great low maintenance materials include: steel doors, aluminum or vinyl windows, or faux-slate shingles for the roof. All of these options will add years to the life of your shed and may not end up costing you a penny more. For example, vinyl windows are cheaper than glass ones and it is unlikely that they will ever need to be replaced. And while a steel door may cost a few dollars more, it will never require any maintenance.

Lastly, there is plastic or PVC lumber. These boards are lightweight and extremely easy to work with. They are recommended for parts of the shed that are the most exposed to the elements. For example, they can be used on the windowsill or on the trim around the doors. The boards will never rot, split, warp, or decay.

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