Storage Shed Placement Ideas & Tips
by Dakota Storage Buildings, on September 06, 2017
If you're wondering where you should put your storage shed, we have some helpful shed placement ideas and tips.
Shed Placement Tip #1: Reflect on how you plan to use it
To pinpoint the best location for a backyard shed, consider how you'll be using it.
For instance, if it's being used primarily as a garden shed, keep it close to the garden and a water source. If you plan to store a lawn mower in your shed, make sure the doors can open fully, the ramp can be extended entirely, and the mower can maneuver in and out without restriction.
Additionally, if you plan to use it to store lawn care supplies, tools, seasonal decor, and regularly used equipment (think sports gear, camping items, etc.), keep it close to your house, not in the farthest back corner. Such an out-of-the-way site might look nice, but it's not convenient. Having to run back and forth across the yard every time you need to retrieve a drill is not only annoying, but soon you'll see that items tend NOT to be returned to the "far away" shed.
If you plan to work in your shed, you'll want dormers for natural light and windows that can be opened for fresh air. If that's the case, you may not want to place your shed directly under a tree that can block breeze and stop penetrable light.
Shed Placement Tip #2: Secure your permit
There's a common misconception that building permits are only required for sheds larger than 100 square feet. That's simply not true. You must apply for a building permit regardless of the size of the shed. Other restrictions listed on the permit could include color or placement of a building.
Check out our building permits page; it details how and where to go to find out what is required in your area.
Shed Placement Tip #3: Acknowledge limitations
Once you obtain your permit, read it! There may be unexpected building limitations listed, and you don't want to miss them. Limitations can include how far a shed should be placed from property lines, how far away a shed should be from a residential building, color restrictions, and potential placement stipulations.
Here's a quick look at a few.
- How far should a shed be placed from property lines? You typically can't build a shed within 10 feet of the rear property line and 15 feet from a side property line. There should be sufficient room between your shed and your neighbor’s yard. If there is any question, review your permit, check with your HOA, or contact your municipality office.
- How close can a shed be to a house? In one instance, it was noted that a storage building that does not have power or water hooked up to it must be a minimum of 40 feet from any other structure. This could have been put in place by the insurance company or the municipality. Practically, it seems like a safe distance, especially if flammables such as lawn and garden chemicals, propane tanks, and fuel are being stored.
- How far does a shed have to be from the fence? Check your permit to see if there are restrictions. If there aren't, here are two things to consider before placing your shed: #1 Can all of the shed doors open fully? #2 Would you neighbors mind the close proximity?
Note: A building should NOT sit on top of buried power lines or other utilities. If you're in South Dakota like we are, consider calling South Dakota 811 to locate underground utilities before you decide on a storage shed location or visiting their web portal for faster processing of requests.
Shed Placement Tip #4: Factor in delivery or on-site construction
Consider delivery access. Will you need to remove a portion of your fence? Is your side yard wide enough for the shed to fit through? Is there another place you could place your shed that does not require additional effort? If not, many shed manufacturers — like us — can build the shed you want in your backyard.
Note: If you're curious how shed delivery works, watch this quick shed delivery video and learn about "the mule."
Shed Placement Tip #5: Look at your landscape
Think about these things as you look at your landscape.
- Slopes, hills, and unleveled ground: Many creative steps can be taken to place or build a shed on a sloping plane, but level ground is a far better option. Look for space in your backyard that is flat. If that's not an option, your shed should be positioned so that the doors open up to relatively level ground.
- Water collection points: Your shed will last longer if it's NOT in a spot that's perpetually wet or on the receiving end of your neighborhood watershed. Never build a shed at the bottom of a hill or in a low-lying area that collects water. The constant moisture could rot wood, blister paint, and cause mold and mildew to grow on items stored inside.
- Low branches: Low tree branches can scrape the sides or roof your shed, putting wear on the shed’s siding and shingles.