Outdoor Sheds

Written by Elisabeth Forsythe
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Ahh, it's nice to think back to a time when life was simple. Remember when there were only three television channels? Do you recall a time when the greatest joy in life was two helpings of dessert? Heck, can you imagine that there was once room in the garage for the car? Let's face it, as we go through life, we tend to accumulate . . . stuff. Especially if we enjoy hobbies or outdoor activities. Yard tools, woodworking equipment, the kids' sleds, that croquet set your mother-in-law gave you--you may not have the room to store everything you want to keep in your garage or basement.

You could rent a storage unit to keep your overflow items, but that's something you have to pay for month after month. Plus, it's hardly a practical solution for storing tools that you want to use every day. An outdoor shed can store your items securely right on your property, where they are easy to find and use when you need them.

Outdoor sheds have come a long way from the old corrugated metal boxes of yesteryear. Today there are specialized sheds designed to fit particular needs. Garden sheds have hanging racks to store tall items like shovel and spades. There are some tool sheds that not only keep your nuts and bolts organized, but are large enough to double as workshops.

So Many Outdoor Sheds, So Many Ways to Use Them

Another trend in outdoor sheds is building a shed that can be used for multiple purposes. Designs have become more sophisticated and more attractive. Let your imagination soar--your shed can be a whimsical structure that looks like a little fairy tale cottage. Some people are so entranced by the look of their sheds that they have given up their original storage purpose and use them instead as playhouses, outdoor recreation rooms, or even guest houses.

But aside from how your outdoor shed looks, what it's made of can affect its longevity and durability. Wooden sheds are a nice idea, and can be sturdy and strong. Sheds made of wood tend to be more expensive, and require more upkeep, including repainting and reroofing every few years. One plus with wooden outdoor sheds is they can be easily modified to match your house.

Plastic shed kits are great for the amateur do-it-yourselfer who needs a reliable shed that is easy to assemble. The interlocking plastic panels of most kits are lightweight and easy to put together by yourself. Vinyl shed kits are also quite functional and long-lasting. Vinyl, like plastic, won't rot or rust, and doesn't require painting. Vinyl sheds are strong and waterproof, so they hold up against wind and snow. And vinyl can be made to look like anything, from a clapboard-sided saltbox to an igloo!

Careful Preparation Yields Fewer Headaches

There's nothing more disheartening than spending a lot of time and money installing an outdoor shed, only to have to take it down. If you haven't set it on a level site or set up a foundation, your shed may not last too long. And be sure to check with your local building laws and neighborhood association or preservation society before making any big plans. Prepare to store your tools and equipment the smart way--you can find outdoor sheds online or at home and garden stores.


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