Millions of people use outdoor storage sheds for lawn and garden equipment, tools, bikes or anything that won’t fit in the garage. There are several types of sheds available, from attractive structures that resemble a small wood barn to more basic, functional enclosures made of metal. While sheds have been traditionally used only for storage, some homeowners are now adapting these structures for use as a child's playhouse or a home office. When doing so, however, it is important to make them safe. The shed manufacturer cannot be held legally responsible for any injuries or damage that results from a shed being used in this manner.
Sheds can be purchased pre-assembled, or in kits that require assembly. Here are some terms to be familiar with when shopping for a utility shed.
Prefab – Short for prefabricated, prefab refers to a shed that is sold in sections that are shipped and assembled on site. Many prefab storage sheds are made from plastic.
Potting Shed – Where most tool and utility sheds resemble small, enclosed buildings, a potting or garden shed will also feature an attached outdoor porch, or large windows that allow plants to have access to sunlight.
Portable Building – An expanded version of the tool shed, portable buildings are available in the same variety of materials, but are large enough to serve as a barn or a garage.
Eco-Shed – A shed assembled from environmentally friendly or recycled materials.
Foundation Kit – Most tool sheds are manufactured to sit on a concrete slab or patio. A foundation kit eliminates the need for a cement base. Made from metal or steel frame, they provide a foundation that can be covered with concrete, wood or chipboard.
When home owners need a place to store gardening equipment, lawn mowers, rakes, and similar items, they may purchase or build a tool and utility shed. They can build it themselves or hire a professional to do it. These outdoor sheds vary in size according to needs, but their purpose is the same: to house tools and utility equipment.
They are often placed in a backyard and can be made of plastic, vinyl, wood, metal, or steel. Some are decorative, as in the case of wooden sheds with flower beds and windows in the front. Others are purely functional, and are made of durable materials like steel. Providers of storage sheds may also sell small portable garages, kits, and materials.
Contractors skilled in building residential homes and garages may be able to help with consumers' utility shed needs. Many offer custom services, so that a consumer's shed meets their exact specifications. Materials and supplies can be purchased at home improvement stores, building warehouses, and wholesalers.
Utility sheds can provide an added storage benefit for home owners, who may choose to stock it with gardening tools, hedge clippers, pool supplies, and rakes. Some are meant for business purposes, while others are strictly for residential use. Whether vinyl, wood, or metal, utility sheds come in a variety of shapes and sizes.
A great place to look for information and plans is the Internet. Home improvement stores are another good resource. Customers can buy kits for their backyard outdoor tool shed and begin working on their project immediately.