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Barns in a row

4 Things to look for when purchasing your storage shed!

Author: Andrea Horst

Before deciding on a large purchase, such as a storage shed, it is smart to do your research and discover what materials, styles, and sizes you need. Storage sheds are growing in popularity and serve a variety of different uses! You can turn it into the perfect hobby barn, or create a man cave, and of course, use it to store your possessions. You can order a shed in so many different sizes and styles, it is often hard to decipher what you need.

1- Metal or wood siding?

Use: The most significant decision in choosing your shed is whether to go with metal or wood siding. If you are looking for a simple shed to store your garden tools, a cheaper metal shed will serve you well. We do not recommend keeping materials sensitive to moisture in metal sheds due to their tendency to sweat. For your handyman tools, wood, lawn-mowers, and other medium-sized equipment, we recommend going with wood siding to avoid collecting moisture. The wood siding will not retain less heat than metal. This lack of heat retention is helpful if you are planning on working in your shed. 
Price: Metal sheds tend to be cheaper to build than wood sheds. Note that the cost of materials fluctuates as everything does in the economy. This fluctuation occurs often. 
Maintenance: To care for your metal shed, we recommend lightly washing the outside. If you use a pressure washer, be sure to put enough distance to avoid scratching the metal. Your wood siding may require more maintenance, depending on your environment. These can be lightly pressure washed as well, and we recommend that you add another coat of paint or stain occasionally. Check with the manufacturer on their specific recommendations.

2- What size?

Codes: If you live in a neighborhood, check with your housing association for their outdoor building requirements. Being aware of regulations is very important to know before purchasing a shed. While some companies offer to buy back the buildings, others may not.
Storage: Keep in mind while you are looking for a storage shed, you may need more storage in the future as your family grows. See the helpful guide below to visualize the sizes of your equipment and tubs in different sized buildings.
Location: When choosing a size, you should find where your shed will sit. Measure out an additional two feet on the length and width to guarantee the overhang will fit as well. Look to see that the path to your shed location is large enough for your shed to travel through, and keep in mind the height of the shed on the trailer will be nearly 14 ft.

3- Understand the jargon.

Workmanship Warranty: This is the length of time the company will guarantee their product lasts. This warranty will cover any factory defaults. See the specific policies for more detail.
Floor Joists: The wood running the width of the building under the plywood. The closer these are to each other, the stronger your shed is. The average is 16” from center to center. A great building will have 12” on center.
Wall Studs: The 2x4 pieces running vertically on the walls. Look for 16” on center wall studs to guarantee your building withstands heavy winds. Some metal buildings will have 24” on the center. This extra distance will lower the cost.
Rafters: These are combinations of 2x4 to create the structure of the roof. Look for 16” on center to ensure you have a durable shed.
Double Top Wall Plate: The extra piece of wood helps distribute the roof weight on the individual wall studs.
LP Smart Siding: A brand of engineered wood siding that protects from moisture. This siding is preferred to the typical wood siding as it requires less maintenance and can be more affordable.
Overhang: The section of the roof that goes beyond the wall. This section can be anywhere from 1” to 6” depending on what style you choose.
Gauge (ga): This is a number referring to the thickness of the metal. The smaller the number, the thicker the metal. 14 ga is thinner than 12 ga.

4- What designs and styles are best?

The best design or style will depend on your goal for your outdoor storage. However, we do have a few tips on what to look for and how to choose. If you are looking for a lot of loft space, we recommend that you select a gambrel or barn-style roof. This barn style will also bring a rustic feel to your property. If you are looking to match your a-line house roof, we recommend the gable or shed style roofline. This style limits your loft space but will better match most homes. For color inspiration, check out our article here! Some companies will also offer to color match your home. In conclusion, the shed you choose will largely depend on your needs and wants! Wood siding is the most common but can be more expensive than metal. Remember to look into your Home Owners Association’s rules and codes on outdoor sheds. When choosing a size for your shed, be sure to think of future storage needs while ensuring the size you want will fit where you want it. Learn the jargon and what to look for in your shed before talking to a salesperson. By understanding shed jargon, you know the difference between good and bad quality. Consider your house roofline and storage needs before settling on a style. Look into customization options to make your shed unique to suit your needs. View the chart below to see the difference in the models that are offered by Mountain Barn Builders.

Comparison Chart

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