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How to Choose the Best Shed Plan

There are some things to consider
when choosing the best shed plan, especially if this is your first DIY project.
If you’re at the point of making the decision that you are going to attempt
this on your own, the first thing you’re going to need is a good set of plans
to work from.

The internet has a myriad of designs
available online; however, not all plans you come across are good. As a matter
of fact, some are downright horrible, so when do you know you can trust the
source they’re coming from? This is a valid question and one that deserves a
valid answer with the three questions listed below that you can answer for
yourself.

1. Does the
Source Provide Free Plans?

One of the best ways to see how trustworthy a source might be is to see if they offer free plans? It’s a very important quality because if they’re willing to show you something for free, it shows they care, and it’s not always about the money. These free plans can be simple to complex designs, and a visual testament as to what you will get in terms of drawing quality, technical specifications, and other important information. A good source of free shed plans can be found at Howtoplans.org website.

2. Are the
Plans Easy to Understand?

A good shed plan will have
illustrations of the structure as well as step-by-step directions. It will be
written in a way that the average person can understand. It will clearly list
all of the materials needed, so you can plan a trip to the local home
improvement store to get your materials. It will list the type and size of the
structure as well as the gable style.

The difficulty level should also be
clearly marked, so you can make the right decision based on your level of
carpentry skills. The easier the plan is to understand, the easier it will be
to build.

3. Can You
Learn More From a Design?

A design that helps you build your
first shed does a number of things. In the first place, it will boost your
confidence for your next DIY project. Secondly, based on your results the first
time around, you might choose an intermediate skill level or go “all-in” with
an expert plan. Lastly, the information you learn from building a simple shed
can be applied to more complex structures like an addition or garage;
therefore, a design that teaches you these basic carpentry skills is a good
shed plan.

Choosing a
Design Based on Practically

One of the first things to consider
when deciding on what design to use is practical. The size of a shed will
impact your wallet, so it’s important to figure out how much space you need now
and in the future. A basic 8×10 shed can cost between $2,500 and $3,000 to
build correctly; therefore, depending on your budget and storage requirements,
choosing a design that adequately meets both of those requirements is the
logical choice.

Where Will
Your New Shed be Placed?

The location of where your shed will
be placed can help you to choose a plan. If the shed is going to be built in
the backyard or close to your house, matching the architectural style of your
home is probably important to you. You want to select a design that offers that
flexibility in order to make it look like part of the house. The good thing
about using a shed plan is that it offers the freedom to mix and match to the
exterior of your home.

If you are building a shed in a
location where appearance doesn’t matter and just need something for extra
storage, you can choose a basic design with one door, and cover it with
inexpensive construction materials to suit your need. Whether you want a nice
exterior or basic look, a good plan will help you get it done.

Know the Type
of Foundation

Before you select a plan, it’s
important to know the type of foundation that it will be built on. There are a
few foundation types that a shed can be built on like concrete, gravel, and
wood framed sub-floor. The size of the shed will determine the type of
foundation you should use. The bigger a shed is, the stronger the foundation
should be.

Know How You
Want Your Shed to Look

Pick a design that has a picture of
the finished structure. This is a great tip for those who are unsure about
different siding applications. Most plans do have a suggested siding
application; however, if you’re a crafty person, you can install a variety of
different siding applications to get the desired look you want. As your looking
at the shed plan you want, it’s also a good idea to visualize how it should
look once it’s finished.

Know the Type
of Roofing Material

The roof for your shed is one of the
most important components. Pick a design that uses roofing materials that are
easy to install, like asphalt shingles, especially if this is your first DIY
shed project. Other roofing materials like metal, rubber, cedar shakes, clay or
stone tiles are nice, but they require a certain level of expertise to install
correctly.

Considering how important a roof is
to a shed, it might be a good idea to spend a little more money on a quality
roofing material. Instead of using tar paper under your asphalt shingles, you
can give your shed an upgrade by using Grace Ice & Water Shield. You
certainly don’t want to build a good shed that leaks.

Know How Many
Windows You Want

Choose a plan that has windows
included because most sheds don’t have electricity and windows allow for extra
lighting. Keep in mind, every extra window you install will result in more
money and limit interior wall or shelf space. When it comes to windows, pick a
shed that uses them wisely or you’ll end up a structure that offers more than
storage space.

Know What You
Need for a Door

Pick a design that has the type of
door you need. Are you building a shed strictly for storage? In this case, a
standard double door that comes with the plan will work just fine. If you need
a larger door for machinery like riding lawn mowers, ATVs, snowmobiles, and
motorcycles, you can adjust the plans to make the doors larger or you can
install an overhead door to accommodate your equipment.

Additional
Tips for Choosing a Design

To
preserve and protect your shed, pick a design that has vents in the gable ends.
A shed is just like a house, it needs to breathe. Airflow is critical,
especially for a shed that has no means of sustaining climate conditions.
Without vents in a shed, it would be a sauna in the summertime, which is bad
for the contents as well as being a breeding ground for mold and insects. In
the winter time, condensation can take over on warmer days, and big ice spots
can appear on your interior sheathing, which is bad because, eventually, those
spots will rot.

Now that you know how to choose a
shed plan based on what you need and practicality, the next step is to see what
the plan requires for materials, then go to your local home improvement store,
bring the goodies home, get your plans out and start building.

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