GUEST POST - Dos and Donts of Building a Shed, from Garden Storage Online
Do`s and Dont`s of Building a Shed
If you have a requirement to build a new shed for your home or garden then there are some key considerations that you must make in order to end up with professional results that will not only withstand the UK elements but also offer a decent level of security and durability. As such this article will look at some of the main areas you need to look out for when planning, designing and erecting your new garden shed.
Before purchasing materials or buying a flat pack shed you will need to establish the intended use of the building. By this we mean what exactly are you planning on storing inside? This is because high value items will need a heavier duty construction using tongue and groove boards (as they offer better levels of security) whereas lower value items will be more than adequately housed inside a shed constructed from overlap boards.
In addition to this you will also need to ensure that the shed can be placed on suitable level ground in an area that is large enough to meet the requirements of the buildings footprint whilst ensuring it is not in an area prone to flooding. It is also advisable to pick a location that is not near overhanging trees (damage can occur from falling branches).
Key Points to Remember
Do consider the above factors into your purchasing decision.
Do pick a suitable location.
Don`t fall into the trap of making a purchase on price alone as specifications will vary.
To ensure the maximum possible lifespan of a garden shed it is important to remember that any timber building needs a flat, level and strong foundation therefore once a suitable position has been found you will need to create an appropriate base on which the structure can stand.
This means that unless there is an existing base in place on which to sit the building you will need to create one. As such the type of base you choose will largely be determined by your skill level, personal preference, budget and timescale however for guideline purposes we have detailed some popular options.
Options for Base
Portabase – If you are erecting a flat pack garden shed then a portabase is a great time and money saving option. Constructed from a pressure treated timber outer frame and bearers they are available in a knock down kit in a size to match the structure you have purchased and are simply screwed together on site using zinc plated screws (as these don’t rust).
Concrete Paving Slabs – Perhaps the most popular base for a garden shed, concrete paving slabs are relatively inexpensive and pretty easy to install. Although quite heavy they are more than suitable for DIY installation provided they are bedded onto a suitably compacted base of hardcore using a sand a cement mix.
Concrete Slab Base – If your shed is a non standard design a concrete base is ideal as you can build a solid base at an affordable price. Simply set out a framework of timber on suitably prepared ground (ideally with a compacted hardcore base) to the required size and shape ensuring it is well pegged into the ground, square and level then pour the concrete to the required level. The top of the framework can then be used to screed the surface level.
Key Points to Remember
Do choose a shed design appropriate to your requirements and site constraints.
Do select the most appropriate base to suit the size of the building and the ground conditions.
Do make sure the base is square and level
Do use a spirit level to ensure accuracy.
Don`t just place the building onto soil of grass as the ground will move over time leading to a wonky shed.
Don`t select the cheapest option as this may not be the best option.
Erecting the Shed
Once the shed base has been prepared to the required standard the process of erecting the shed can begin.
Custom Built Shed
If you are building a structure to your own requirements start by cutting all the timbers for the floor, lay into position and fix together ensuring it is square and level. Once complete you can lay down plywood or similar boards to provide a good surface to stand on whilst you build on.
Next step is to build the framework for the wall. A good method of construction is to build in the same manner as an internal stud wall is built inside a house. A top and bottom rail should be cut to the required length then appropriate length vertical timbers should be fitted in between at suitable centre (400-450mm is ideal). Then to stabilise even further cut and fix noggins between the vertical timbers to stiffen and prevent flexing. Repeat the process until all 4 walls and roof sections are built (making sure you leave room for a door). You can then clad the framework with suitable timber boards. This can be anything you like provided it is suitable for being exposed to the elements for a prolonged period of time.
Flat Pack Shed
Buildings of this design are normally supplied with approx 7-10 panels to make erecting the structure as easy as possible.
The build process is simply a case of identifying the correct component and fixing it to the next using the appropriate fixings that will be supplied at the time of purchase. Once erected you can then fit the pre made doors and windows and the job is done other than felting the roof.
Key Points to Remember
Do follow manufacturers installation instructions if you are building a flat pack garden shed or work to a plan if you a building a custom design.
Do use the correct tools
Do take your time and work in a clean, tidy and safe environment.
Don`t cut corners
Don`t over estimate your capabilities.
Don`t use nails where screws are required. The wind will work them loose
To conclude, the installation of a new shed for the garden is a relatively simple process provided the aforementioned factors are taken into consideration and careful thought is given at the design, planning and construction phase.
This article has been contributed by Garden Storage Online who are a leading UK supplier of wooden garden sheds that are ideal for any residential environment at a competitive online price.