Building a shed....... Continued - Five More Essential Questions Before You Start

The first 'building a shed' article considered five important shed-planning questions. You should now have a general idea of what style of shed is right for you and how you plan to use it. You've researched local building guidelines and considered if you will build a shed from scratch or if a shed kit is more appropriate. Now let's start thinking about more specific considerations....

6. What sort of base or foundation is best for building a shed on?

Decide whether your shed should be placed on paving slabs, a timber foundation such as sleepers, or a concrete foundation. There are advantages and disadvantages to building a shed on each type of foundation. Weather conditions and shed size may determine what type of foundation is best for your project. Click here to learn more about shed foundations.

Even if you are purchasing a pre-made shed, you may still need to construct a suitable foundation.

This is also a good time to consider if you may want to relocate your shed in the future. If you may want to change the shed location to accommodate a future house extension or patio project, then consider foundations (and structures) that can be more easily moved or dismantled.

7. What type of flooring will you use?

Deciding on the floor covering is often determined by how the space will be used.

Concrete floors are more suitable to spaces that will often store wet equipment and may be exposed to oil or chemicals. Consider if you may occasionally want to hose out the area.

But concrete floors that are not covered can be cold to stand on. If you plan to spend a lot of time in the shed, you may want to consider covering the floor and adding extra insulation.

Garden offices can look terrific with tongue-and-groove wood floors. These floors can give the space a more finished look. It is an attractive option for lower-impact uses.

To learn more about shed flooring click here.

8. What type of door and security do you need?

Consider how often you may move in and out of the shed and what type of door is most appropriate for your needs.

Shed doors often include sliding doors and classic battened door designs.

Double door sheds can be great for moving large equipment in and out of the shed. Click here to learn more about shed doors.

If your shed should be secure, then consider more sturdy door and lock options. Click here to learn more about shed hardware and security.

And if you plan to move lawnmowers or small tractors in and out of the shed, consider constructing a shed ramp.

9. Will you include windows, and how will you finish the walls?

If you are building a shed to be very secure, perhaps you may want to consider fewer or no windows. But if you plan to work in the space, you might want to take advantage of extra ventilation and natural light.

Decide if you will install fixed, sliding, or single- or double-hung windows. If you install fixed windows, the window will allow light into the space, but they will not open. Sliding and single- or double-hung windows can be opened, but they may pose increased security risks.

Consider the local wind direction when planning door and window placement. Wind often comes from one direction so avoid placing windows and doors in the prevailing wind direction, especially if you live in an area with cold weather and snow drifts. Also, if you want to enjoy natural light, think about where the sun rises and sets and the times of day when you will most often be working in the shed.

Think about using recycled windows. Reusing windows when building a shed is a great way to cut down on costs and re-purposing old building materials is a wonderful “green” option.

Since the shed will be in the garden also consider shatterproof glass or plastic options (depending on how many wayward balls you may have in your garden!). If you want increased light, but you worry about prying eyes, obscured-glass windows may be a good choice.

When considering your wall construction, think about using a damp-proof membrane and the appropriate insulation. Also consider if you want the interior walls to have a finished or unfinished look. Think about how you may want your walls to function. Consider adding shelving, hooks, or peg board to maximize the storage and workspace.

10. How will you finish the project?

There can be a lot to consider when building a shed, but don't forget to think about the details. Some of the finishing touches you add to your shed can create a lot of character.

If you have built a wooden shed, consider painting the exterior with a weather-resistant and insect-repellant paint. This can add personality to the shed and an extra layer of protection against rot, mildew, and bugs. Various sealants can also protect your shed, including spray-on and brush-painted options.

A gutter system can be attractive and functional. Think about attaching gutters to carry away water from the foundation. Also consider adding shutters to the windows or interior blinds.

Integrating landscaping to the area around your shed can really add beauty to your garden. Think about using potted plants to avoid roots unsettling your foundation. Decide if you will create a garden area with pathways or a nearby patio area with seating. If you want to hide your shed, consider planting tall shrubs around the structure.

Many trees and shrubs transfer best in the autumn, so the sooner you consider your landscaping plan, the sooner you can get your garden growing!


If you have answered all ten questions, you should have a clear idea about what type of shed is best for your life, your garden, and your needs. So get out your toolbox, head to the hardware store, and start building a shed!

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