Avoid These 5 Shed Building Mistakes

A shed in the construction process.
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A good shed can meet quite a few of your outdoor needs. Not only is a shed a great solution to outdoor storage, but it can also be used as a workshop for future DIY projects. Although building a shed from scratch is well within the skillset of many DIYers, there are a few things to watch out for when constructing the shed of your dreams. Here are five shed building mistakes you should avoid at all costs.

1. Building Code Violations

You need to check with your city and obtain the proper permits before starting any major construction project, including building a shed. If you fail to get the proper permits and do not follow local building codes, you may have to start from scratch to get the structure up to code. Not only does this waste valuable time and materials, but it will also cost you a lot of money in the long run. Avoid this costly situation by contacting your local zoning department, obtaining the right permits, and following the most recent building codes.

2. Building Too Small

A man building a wood shed.

It can be difficult to estimate how much space you need in your shed. You can easily outgrow a shed that is too small for your needs, especially after you accumulate more belongings over the years. It is always better to build a little larger than you think you will need. You also need to consider where the storage space is located in the shed itself. If you have a plethora of large and heavy items, then storage spaces high in the air — like a roof in a barn shed — are not very practical. Also, think about doors, windows, and whether or not the entryway is large enough to accommodate your needs.

3. Uneven Foundation

The foundation is one of the most important parts of the building process, but it is also one of the most overlooked. A good foundation will add longevity to your shed and keep everything nice and square. An uneven foundation, however, can lead to many problems down the road, including walls not lining up properly, roof instability, water issues, and general unsteadiness in the structure. Before you break ground on the foundation, check the building codes in your area and make sure everything is up to code before moving on.

4. Paying Too Much For Materials

Constructing a shed by yourself means saving a lot of money in labor expenses. But labor is not the only area where you save money. Many people overlook shopping around for the best deals and end up paying too much for building materials. That said, you should be careful when picking out building materials. You do not want to buy raw materials that are of low quality for the sake of price. This will cut down on the longevity of the shed, which will end up costing you more down the road. The best practice is to find the highest quality for the lowest price, which means shopping around until you find a deal. It is also a good idea to make a list of everything you need before you hit the stores.

5. Getting In Over Your Head

A shed in a backyard.

Building a shed requires a diverse set of DIY skills. Although some companies make it look easy, constructing a shed from scratch will test your abilities. That does not mean you should avoid building a shed on your own, but you should be aware of the skills it requires to get the job done — and update your DIY resume as needed. If you ever feel as though the project is too much to handle, you can always purchase a shed kit, which is usually easier to construct. Another option is to have a contractor handle certain steps in the building process, such as laying a good foundation. This might cost you more upfront, but it can make the entire process more enjoyable and result in a better end product.