Building a second shed

by Kay
(Muncie, IN)

John, My husband wants to keep our 12x8 shed and place a 12x16 shed beside it in our backyard. The bigger shed would, of course, set out 4 feet further than the smaller shed and be taller.

My concern is of course how it would look and how much room do we need to have in between to look nice and just mulch it?



Shedman says

Hi Kay,

Thank you for your question. The best way to get an idea of how the new shed will look in your garden is to measure out the dimensions of the garden and make a note of them on a piece of paper. You could then draw it out on a piece of graph paper to the exact scale so that you can ‘play around’ a little to see what is a good balance between open and built up space.

An idea for how to know how your shed will look in 3D

Another idea to give an idea of how a new garden building will feel in your new garden is to build a model of it using Google Sketchup. This software is free and is very easy to learn. You can create a three dimensional model of your garden on your computer, including people to really give it a sense of scale.

When it comes to the buildings you can experiment with different sizes, arrangements, colours and styles to give you something that you feel comfortable with.

Although Google Sketchup can be used to create all sorts of construction details (I use it to create the shed plans for this website for example). Just learning the basics to rough out some shapes and sizes to get a better feel than just a sketch on a piece of paper is the sort of thing that you could do over the course of two or three evenings.

Spacing between the new and existing shed

When it comes to what sort of spacing to have around the buildings, I would recommend an absolute minimum of two feet but preferably three to ensure that there is space for construction of the building and also future maintenance. When considering the space between the buildings you must, of course, remember to allow for the roof overhang.

Your final point is how to treat the ground in between the sheds.

With this sort of space, the light is so limited that it will be almost impossible to get anything to grow and look half decent so your proposal to mulch it, by putting down some weed suppressant fabric and then putting down 3 or 4 inches of gravel or bark would do just fine. Alternatively, some hard landscaping such as paving stones or brick paviors would look good too and be easier for access.

I wish you all of the best with your new project and let me know how you get on.

Best regards


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