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May 08 2019

Exterior Building Supplies Sheds

Everything You Need to Know About Sheds

Sheds range in style, composition and purpose. Learn about the various materials, maintenance concerns, pros and cons, and more, in this useful explainer.

Published by Burt Lumber 2 minute read

    A backyard shed can improve the aesthetics and functionality of any property. Whether designed for lawn equipment storage or a garden workshop, sheds are available in a array of materials, and most can be customized for a variety of purposes.

    Below is a helpful breakdown of several popular shed options, along with useful advice on what to consider when searching for your ideal model.


    Materials & Maintenance

    Sheds are typically made from wood, metal or plastic, or some combination of these. Depending upon the climate where you reside and specific preferences, each has its own set of benefits and drawbacks.

    Wood provides the most versatility in construction and painting, with homeowners able to choose from any variety of dimensions and colors. This also means the structure is susceptible to the possibility of rot or termite infestation, however, and also requires periodic repainting every few years.

    Metal is generally simple to assemble and often less expensive than wood. While there is no need to paint, metallic surfaces can be prone to rust and are quite noisy in the rain. As the structure is comprised of solid sheets, the design of a metal shed is also difficult to alter, once constructed.

    For those looking for another alternative, plastic sheds combine a traditional look with a durable, dense stability designed to stand up to the hazards of UV rays, heavy snow, and potentially damaging winds. While easy to clean and requiring little to no maintenance, plastic structures can be tricky to assemble.


    Purpose & Personalization

    The type of shed you select has much to do with its function on your property. While a traditional storage shed may only be used to house lawn-care equipment and supplies away from the clutter that tends to accumulate in most garages, a garden shed can be a more defining focal point, even conveying the personality and style of the homeowner.

    Some may be designed as a miniature house of sorts, complete with windows, shutters, and siding, for example, as well as functional utilities such as electricity, running water, and heating/cooling systems. More than a dedicated space to store spades, trowels, shears, and gloves, these types of garden sheds are often regarded as private workshops.


    Kits & Construction

    Depending upon the complexity desired, sheds can be constructed from a kit or built from scratch. Either way, the customer is responsible for prepping its base, which should be level, stable, and won’t shift due to excessive weight or weather conditions. In some instances, an on-grade wood deck or patio can serve as the foundation; in others, variations of crushed stone or concrete slabs may be recommended.

    When determining the ideal location for your shed, be sure to consider any buried water, gas, or electrical lines that may lie in the vicinity. It’s best to contact #811 prior to beginning any construction and observe local zoning laws when assessing the total square footage and placement of the structure.

    While building from scratch enables design customization, it's typically the more expensive way to go. Most lumberyards sell kits for a range of styles, materials and sizes. These are generally available in wood, composite lumber and steel-framed plastic varieties—cost-effective alternatives for ease of assembly.

    If you’re in the market for a shed, Burt Lumber can provide you with blueprints, materials and guidance necessary to create the perfect model. Contact us today for assistance with sheds, and all your home improvement projects.


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