6 Things to Consider When Shopping for a Storage Shed [Infographic]
by Dakota Storage Buildings, on January 15, 2020
Pause before pointing at a shed at your nearest home supplies store and saying: “I’ll take that one!”
There’s a lot to consider when buying a shed. After all, sheds today can be more than “just” a place to store garden and landscape tools, snowblowers, and patio furniture. They can become workshops, man caves, she sheds, and even an extension of your outdoor living space.
Decide What You Want and Need From a Shed
If you don’t know what you want, almost anything will do, right? No! Shopping for a shed will be much harder if you start looking without knowing what you actually need. Are you looking for a simple storage shed, or are you looking for a structure to use as a woodworking shop, office, or retreat? Maybe something in between? How big do you want it? What do you want it to look like? A cabin? A barn? Perhaps the traditional garden shed or something more unconventional?
You may have an idea of what you want in your head, but it’s best to put your ideas on paper. Start by making a list of all the features that you want. Or, you can download our shed buying checklist to help you clarify your wants and needs. No matter what you choose to do, keep your list with you as you shed shop.
Things to Consider When Buying a Shed
Now it’s time to start your hunt! Here are six things you’ll want to take into account before choosing a shed or making a purchase.
You probably didn’t think about the shed’s flooring, did you? That’s ok; most people don’t. More often than not, the size and appearance of the shed come first, long before flooring makes its way onto the radar.
But a shed’s floor is critical to its longevity. The floor is, after all, just inches from the ground — ground that gets soggy, muddy, and icy.
Also, the floor needs to be able to hold the weight of the items you’ll be storing inside of it. Not only should it withstand what Mother Nature has in store, but it also has to keep everything inside safe — that means no warp or bending if mud or water are brought into the building by a soggy ATV or wet snowblower.
At Dakota Storage Buildings, we use LP ProStruct® Flooring with SmartFinish®, which provides a gorgeous, knot-free appearance that can take anything you or nature may decide to throw at it. This flooring uses LP’s Treated Wood Strand Technology and its proprietary SmartGuard® technology that resists splitting, cracking, warping, fungal decay, and termite damage. That’s a win!
Raindrops — and hail and snow and ice — will keep falling on your shed’s roof. Leaks, cracks, or even warps can mean the outside elements make their way inside, possibly damaging anything you have stowed away. So, naturally, you’ll want to ensure the shed’s roof is as durable and strong as possible. Understand what options are available, the type of materials that are used, and how well it can withstand weather, wear and tear. Options typically include asphalt shingles, cedar shingles, wood shakes, board-and-batten, asphalt roofing felt, and corrugated metal roofing panels.
On all of our sheds, the Basic Backyard shed excluded, we offer two best-in-brand shed roofing options: CertainTeed’s asphalt shingles and Long Creek Steel’s steel roofing.
We love CertainTeed’s NorthGate SBS modified asphalt shingles because they truly are top-of-the-line asphalt shingles. The SBS modified asphalt shingle has a rubberized aspect which allows provides great flexibility so that the shingles resist cracking even in extremely cold weather. These shingles also provide superior granule adhesion, which is critical when it comes to protecting your shed roof’s shingles from wind, rain, snow, hail, dust, and more.
You may decide that steel roofing is best for your needs. Long Creek Steel’s product offers outstanding protection. It comes in a great variety of color options.
What’s holding up your shed’s roof? Its sides! The strongest roof on the planet will do your shed no good if its sides collapse. Look for siding that's durable, easy to clean, cost-effective, and available in a color you like or that matches your home or other buildings on your property.
Our Shed Collection offers customers four siding options: steel paneling, wood paneling, vinyl lap, and wood lap.
Engineered and manufactured to provide superior performance and protection, Long Creek Steel's Tuff-Rib steel paneling is an economical, structural, light gauge through-fastener wall panel that is an excellent choice for outdoor storage buildings.
For wood paneling, we use LP® SmartSide® Panel siding with a 50-year limited warranty. This siding looks like wood but is longer-lasting, more stable, and visible consistent than traditional wood siding.
Our vinyl lap siding, CertainTeed MainStreet Dutch Vinyl Lap Siding, has flat panels that overlap each other with a shiplap joint and decorative groove between the laps. This groove improves strength, creates a narrow reveal line that adds visual interest and creates deeper shadow lines. It has a 4” panel exposure and comes in many colors.
Our wood lap option is LP® SmartSide® Lap siding. It not only has the polished look of lap siding, but its quality puts it at the top of its game. This resilient and long-lasting siding features LP’s Treated Wood Technology and SmartGuard® Technology for powerful resistance to decay, rot, termites, and extreme weather. This siding is backed by a 50-year limited warranty.
4. Skids and Joists
Without a strong foundation, your shed wouldn’t stay level or sturdy for very long. Skids and joists work together to create a sturdy base and keep the shed a few inches above the ground on which your shed is placed.
Look for strength and durability of pressure-treated wood skids and floor joists so that you know your shed can withstand the pressure of the shed’s flooring, roof, and everything inside.
Pressure-treated wood skids and floor joists are standard on all of our sheds. The pressure treatments help protect the skids and joists from rot, moisture, and even invasive insects.
Most sheds are what-you-see-is-what-you-get, especially at home supply stores. You can pick the size and color, but that may be as personal as it gets. For some, that's ok. But what if you want flower boxes, built-in shelving, or insulation? Well, that requires more flexibility.
If your needs demand a greater level of creativity and customization, a one-size-fits-all shed won't pass muster. That's why it's wise to seek out a shed manufacturer or retailer who offers a custom sheds and personalized design plans.
6. Economic Choices
If you’re looking for a “just the basics” shed because all you want is a simple backyard storage facility for your lawn and outdoor tools, don’t compromise on quality. You can buy a Rubbermaid storage shed, or you can pay just a smidgen more for something that will last much longer. You don’t need all the bells and whistles — you need a dependable storage shed at a lower price, right? Consider this as you shop around.
Ready to shed shop?
If there’s one thing you should remember while buying a shed, let it be this: while the structure isn’t nearly as complicated as a house or other building, it is something to carefully consider.
- Be clear about your needs and wants for your shed and your budget.
- Make sure the shed you purchase is well-made and from a dependable manufacturer.
- Look for durable flooring, sturdy walls, and a roof that can take anything nature or your lifestyle doles out.
As you shop around, don’t forget to explore our Shed Collection, online shed configuration tool, and pre-built stock and clearance sheds.