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Shed Buying 101

Now is a great time to start planning for a new addition – a shed! 



With springtime around the corner, a shed may help solve storage issues and create a work zone for outdoor projects.  This video shows basic product features to be considered when purchasing a shed.  The checklist below will help you purchase the best shed for your needs this season and for years to come. 


NOTE: Not every shed will have all of the options presented.  This video and checklist is intended as an overview of commonly requested features.



Shed Buying Checklist

Purpose – why do I need a shed and what will I do with it?  Will I use it for storage or as a work station?


Shed Materials – wood, metal, plastic?  How sturdy does the shed need to be?  How long do I plan to keep the shed? 


Construction – who will build the shed? Do I need a shed with a second story?


Location – is a concrete pad or prepared surface (gravel base) required?


Flooring System – is it included? Would ramps help with larger power equipment movement?


Lighting – how much light do I need?  What size windows are best?  Would a screened window be advantageous in the summer?  Do I need window security bars?  Do I need a skylight?


Workspace – would a workbench or loft space help with storage or be used in outdoor projects?  Would pegboard or a hook storage system help keep the shed organized?


Interior Space – will the interior be finished?  Do I need electricity or solar lighting?


Insulation – do I need to insulate the walls?  Would radiant barrier help keep the shed and its contents cooler in the summer?


Ventilation – will gasoline or other chemicals be stored in the shed?  Do I need to be concerned about the effects of high humidity?


Exterior Surface – do I need to paint the shed (and how often)?  Can I pressure wash the exterior?  What upkeep is required?


Roof System – what is material?  What is the warranty on the shingles?  Will the shed withstand the prolonged heavy weight of ice and snow?  How will I remove ice, snow, or other debris?


Weather Concerns – do I live in an area prone to tornado or hurricane activity?


Governmental Regulations – do I need a permit?  Am I subject to Home Owner Association, Local Regulations, or Restrictive Covenants?



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Posted 2011-01-18T16:38:41+0000  by Eileen_HD_ATL Eileen_HD_ATL



I am in Mckinney 75070 and looking to purchase a barn from you


Can you provide what permit(s), HOA permision, I need before having you build this barn in my backyard.


Thank you in advance



Posted 2012-05-22T16:04:08+0000  by dhnguyen

Hello Don and thank you for joining The Community!  We are glad that you are here. 


The Home Depot  has several shed providers available in various parts of the United States.  In McKinney Texas, Tuff Shed is the provider.  (The wooden shed in my video is from Tuff Shed!)


To start, I recommend going to their website,, and click on the $ BUILD_A_QUOTE tab.  Enter your zip code.  You will see the sheds, barns and garages available in your area.  You can select the size, paint and shingle choices, various packages, and options.  Definitely check into additional ventilation and add a pair of ramps if you will be storing a lawn mower inside.  You may want to add a loft or overhead storage options for greater space utilization.  You may also need a concrete pad prepared depending upon your anchoring and tie-down needs.


As for the local permits and building codes issues, you can speak directly to a Product Specialist and receive live help.  You can also contact your local store and speak to the Lead Generator, Service Desk,  or a Garden Associate who can contact the local representative for you to speak to directly.


As far as HOA (Home Owner Association) or restrictive covenants, contact your realtor or HOA President about neighborhood specifications.  (You should have received a copy of these papers when you purchased your property.)  In my area, HOAs specify size and color choices.  Your area may have different  restrictions. 


Best wishes with your new barn – please let us know which one you have installed!


DW Parisienne.png

Posted 2012-05-22T16:38:54+0000  by Eileen_HD_ATL


It is best to talk directly to the local building department for your town. Usually the requirements for sheds are not to stringent. Often they are more concerned with the location of the shed rather then the actual construction. For example, in my hometown, I had to stay back 5 feet from the lot lines and I could not exceed 13 feet in height. There were virtually no codes as to construction!


I built my own custom bulit shed which was 8 X 12 Feet with a gable roof. With a standard entrance door and a full sized window, the total cost was $1100, exclusive of the cement slab I had poured. I built it to standards which would have met housing building codes with 2 x 4's on 16" centers.100_0329-001.JPG

Posted 2012-05-24T22:32:36+0000  by ordjen

Hello ordjen and congratulations on building a beautiful shed!


You bring up a great point that local building departments are the final authority (unless there are additional HOA restrictions).  Many of my customers have sheds in an urban environment – some restrictions require that sheds cannot be over 6 feet at the highest point!   Some customers have additional property taxes assessed on larger sheds built on their lot.  Interestingly, some of my customers who live in more rural areas have NO restrictions!  You need to do your homework when installing a shed or outdoor structure.


But back to your shed, I love the curtains and the entryway.  I think I see a rose bush – how has it grown since 2008?  Did you build the shed from plans or design it yourself?  (I am curious – I love sheds!)


Thank you for sharing and joining the discussions.

Posted 2012-05-25T13:47:47+0000  by Eileen_HD_ATL




This is Portland,Oregon, "The City Of Roses". Next week is the 105th annual Rose Parade. Everyoneknows of that other parade in Pasadena, but Portland has a similar parade with the same float building regulations about using only organic decorations.


The rose before my shed is facing south and has thrived there.


The shed was built according to my own plans. It is actually the axact duplicate of my garden shed back in Chicago. I moved here 7 years ago. I havve been workoing at Home Depot in the paint department, after a lifetime as a painting contractor.


The dimensions are 8X12 mainly because it works out well for efficient use of materials. 4 X 8 sheets of plywood were used as sheathing and the siding is Hardiplank to match the siding on my house. The 12 foot long sections of Hardiplank also cut without any waste. The colors on the shed match my house..


The use of 4x8 plywood also substitutes for a carpenters square, as they are used to insure that the corners are all square. It is almost impossible to get out of square when plywood is used to sheath the structure.


I was able to build this shed over a couple days completely by myself, except for a little muscle from my son in raising the walls and hoisting the pre-assembled  roof trusses into place.


All the materials were bought at Home Depot at a cost around $1100 exclusive of the concrete slab. The two singular most costly items were the door and the window. My wife insisted on the window and she made the curtains which are hanging there. The old shed in Chicago had only lights in the door and no window.


I think any resonably talented do-it-yourselfer could build this shed. It requires only a circular saw and a hammer in the way of tools.


Glad you liked it. - Ordjen

Posted 2012-05-25T20:42:32+0000  by ordjen


Thought I would submit my other pet project which was built shortly after the shed. It is a 10ft X 10ft pergola and the accompanying privacy fence. It was built from materials mostly bought at Home Depot. It was then painted with two coats of white Behr Ultra Satin Exterior paint and primer. Now, after five winters, the Behr paint is still as good as new!100_0484.JPG


A video of the pergola can be seen on You Tube by typing in "pergola pandering".

Posted 2012-05-26T04:16:59+0000  by ordjen

 Shed during construction:DCP_1124-001.JPG

Posted 2012-05-26T04:33:18+0000  by ordjen

Hello ordjen and thank you for sharing your beautiful projects with The Community.  I also love the pergola – and the privacy fence looks like it has Home Depot planters on top!


You painted the pergola and fence with two coats of white Behr Ultra Satin Exterior paint and primer over 5 years ago.  How do you maintain (clean and refresh) your outdoor structures?


It is obvious that you put a lot of thought and preparation (and love) into your outdoor structures.  You mentioned that you had an identical garden shed when you lived in Chicago.  Knowing what you know now, would you make any changes?  



Posted 2012-05-29T14:15:22+0000  by Eileen_HD_ATL




Here in the Pacific-Northwes,t mildew and algae are a continuing problem, even on the best of paints. I use a product named JOMAX, which is made by Zinsser and carried by the Home Depot paint department, to periodically clean my pergola, house, cedar fences and concrete patios. Jomax is very inexpensive, making 5 gallons of solution for only about $10. The mildew just disappears before your eyes! I just load the solution into my pump garden sprayer and wet down the surfaces to be cleaned. I follow up with a brish rinse from my power washer.


I was thinking maybe it was time to put on a maintenance coat of paint, but after cleaning with the Jomax, I decided it was not necessary. The fence is also holding up well, but there I used PVC dimensional lumber on all those parts which come in close contact to the ground. the slats are merely 2X6 fir boards which I cleaned up a bit by running them through my surface planer. A friend "insulted" me by asking if the whole fence was plastic. I guess I made it look too good!  :)


The only alterration from my Chicago shed was the addition of the window to humor my wife. An 8X12 footprint is a very useful size as well as being extremely efficient in use of materials. The entrance door was deliberately set about 15 inches inward from the corner to allow room for a whole wall of adjustable shelves right behind it. You can't have too many shelves in a garden shed to hold all the utensils and chemicals used in gardening. The shed was built within two months of are arrival in Portland. As soon as the felt paper was on the roof, I loaded the shed up with all the gardening stuff that was cluttering my garage, which is also my heated workshop.


The heated workshop/garage allowed me to pre-cut and paint the pergola during the first winter here in Portland. The actual assembly of the pergola only took about a day and a half. Only minor paint touch up was necessary to cover up the dings made during assembly. i bought plans for the pergola online and made minor alterrations. A pergola would not normally have a roof, but have vines etc. growing on the overhead lattice. I chose to put a translucent plastic panel roof on it so that I can sit there on a rainy Portland day , drink my coffee and listen to the pattering of the rain on the roof. Of course, most of the parts came from Home Depot!


And yes, those are Home Depot plastic planter boxes on the top of the fence. A future project is to encase them in a decorative wooden box to minic the lines of the pergola.


I have attached a pic of my old shed in suburban Chicago. As you can see, it looked more rustic than my Portland shed. It was clad in T-111  and trimmed in cedar . It was stained with Sikkens stain, a product that many Home Depots are just now introducing. I had used Sikkens  for about 20 years on my old house with great results. At that time, it was still being imported from Holland, but is now produced here in the U.S. by Akzo-Nobel, the world's largest producer are paint coatings. Nobel is also the maker of Glidden paint.


Pics as of Aug04 321.jpg

Posted 2012-05-30T00:40:36+0000  by ordjen
Wow! There has been so much work put into these sheds.

You guys truly have talent with making a 'second home' out of the materials given to you.

If you're interested, I've got a helpful article on my Lawnaholic blog you can take a look at. It goes over some of the newer material and design construction for the resin type sheds.

When you make the other updates, you should post the pictures here!

Posted 2016-06-04T07:22:18+0000  by Lawnaholic
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