How to Buy a Shed: 6 Factors to Consider

October 12, 2018

So, you’re trying to figure out how to buy a shed. And we don’t blame you. In fact, we may be a bit biased since this is our Shed Blog (See: our wide array of portable building products).

Bias aside, before clicking, shopping, and signing on the dotted line, it’s important to ensure you’re not just figuring out how to buy a shed, but how to buy the right shed. Because this shed is not going to be merely four walls and a roof. It’ll be an accessory to your yard, protection for your belongings, and an extension of your home. It’ll be an investment.

As with any investment, giving some weight to the decision-making process tends to lead to a better long-term outcome. Spend time making lists, checking them twice, and doing the research needed upfront. Rest assured that in doing so, you’ll have a shed that stands sturdy for years to come.

To help you with accomplishing all of the above, we’ve created this handy reference guide for buying sheds. Here are some things to consider before and during the shed buying process.

HOA and Zoning Restrictions

It’d be a real bummer to research, peruse, purchase, and install a brand new, top-of-the-line shed only to then be hit with a hefty HOA fine. Ironically enough, it’s probably something that happens more often we’d like to imagine.

As Apartment Therapy details, calling your city office prior to purchase is necessary for understanding zoning law restrictions specific to your area. Additionally, regardless of the size of the shed, apply for a building permit. This will cover your bases for proving that a build’s been done up to code and helps prevent the city from making you take it down once constructed.

Outside of city regulations that vary from location to location, your Homeowner’s Association may have some specifics of their own to remain mindful of. Add another layer to that if you’re living in a Historic Preservation District. If there’s anything to take from this shed buying guide, it should be to do your due diligence so as to prevent future headaches from your neighborhood (or otherwise) down the road.

Shed Material and Maintenance

With any required guidelines to be mindful of out of the way, you can begin to dive deeper into more fun shed buying considerations. Wall, siding, and roofing materials, for example, will impact not just the look and feel, but longevity and time commitment to upkeep as well.

When shopping for a shed, you’ll likely encounter different sidings such as wood, engineered wood, metal, and vinyl. If you are looking for a lower cost option, the LP SmartSiding with urethane fits great! With a choice of 4 colors, the urethane has a 10-year no-fade warranty from the manufacturer. If you are looking for low-maintenance, unlimited color options, and a dressier look, the LP SmartSide with paint is for you! Choose ANY two colors of Sherwin Williams limited lifetime warranty paint. Vinyl and metal siding are the solution if you need to match your house or shop and be maintenance-free!

When it comes to roofing, there are many opinions out there! We make it easy by giving you the choice of metal or shingles with no difference in cost! To dress the building up and match your house choose shingles. If you are looking for the maintenance-free option and don’t care about matching shingles on a house or other building, a metal roof is for you!

Are you having trouble picturing what your building is going to look like? Try our new Shed Designer to design your building in 3D and try different color combinations!

If you live in a colder climate, be extra conscious of this point for buying sheds and its potential impact on current yard care preparations for winter.

Buying Sheds: Pricing Considerations

It’s instinct to look for the best price on just about anything. And a shed will be no exception.

The distinction to make here is that the best price does not automatically equate with the lowest price. Rather than simply looking at the price tag, consider each variable at play in determining that price. Does the quality match the cost? Paying more upfront when the quality is right may save you more in the long run when factoring in potential costs for repair and/or replacement.

Shed Size

Size will inevitably be dependent upon what’s determined from your HOA and city zoning laws research. Once you know the limits within which you can play, explore your options.

Not only should you understand square footage as a factor of available floor space: consider how the size of any sheds you’re looking at impacts layout as well, in conjunction with what you intend to use the portable building for. Consider items you hope to purchase in the future. Will you are room to fit them in, or will you be wishing for more room?

If you need help deciding on what size of shed you need, try out our storage visualizer on our new Shed Designer!

Intended Shed Use and Design

From hobby hut to She Shed, the intended use of any shed you buy should influence what you’re looking for.

For example, if storage is the main concern, durability and organization may be the most important components worth considering. At the other end of the spectrum are spaces you actually want to spend time in on the regular. In those situations, design elements like windows, climate control capabilities, or even the strength to hold a chandelier from the ceiling may find their way to the top of the list for wants.

Surrounding Landscape

For the sake of your home’s look and long-term value, it’s also important to stay conscious of how any shed contributes to its surrounding landscape.

When thinking of these structures as extensions of your home, take into account the style of your house. American craftsman? Modern? Victorian? Navigate towards a shed style that accentuates the architecture, as opposed to something that sticks out like a sore thumb.

Even if you settle on something more basic from a style perspective, think on the ways in which the landscape elements around the shed might help boost its curb appeal. This could be realized with the planting of lush shrubs and garden beds, or through the installation of trellises that foster vine growth up the sides of shed walls.

Final Thoughts About How to Buy a Shed

From look, to feel, to filling with personal belongings, keeping considerations of this guide to buying sheds top-of-mind will result in the purchasing of a shed you don’t just need, but want to buy. Though small in size, these structures are mighty in potential for both visual appearance and function. Truly take the time to seek out what works best for you.

Let the shopping begin! From garden to utility, shop our shed offerings, compare pricing, get ideas, have fun designing your own, and reach out to us with questions along the way.

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