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Inspiration4 min

Dos and Don’ts of Installing Alternative-Use Sheds

Traditional sheds offer practical storage for items like tools, garden equipment and out-of-season toys. Today, sheds are becoming an extension of the homes' living areas, offering versatile and multi-functional space. You've probably heard of them by several names, like She Sheds, Man Caves, Hobby Sheds, Backyard Bars and more.

Damian Walls, retail sales manager for Tuff Shed, is on the front lines for alternative shed installations. "Recently, there has been a huge trend for transforming sheds into everything from backyard pubs and art studios to home offices and playrooms.

“We have a saying at Tuff Shed—‘A Million Uses’—and our customers really embody that, coming up with unique ways to incorporate sheds onto their property,” said Walls.

Recently, one of Walls’ customers wanted to create a shed that looked like it had been on the farm since the 1800s. Liz Marie Galvan of the Liz Marie Blog and owner of The Found Cottage customized the shed design of her home office to reflect the vintage-inspired style of her home.

With innovative technologies and high-quality LP Outdoor Building Solutions materials, Liz Marie created a ranch-style shed that complemented the character and charm of her 100-year-old farmhouse. “The process was really fun, to create a shed that fit in the vibe of our home and barn,” she said. “We know that by using LP Building Solutions products, our shed is going to last for years, just like the other buildings here on our farm.”

Before shed installation begins, Walls said there are a few key factors to discuss with customers:

Five “Dos” to Remember:

  • Pull Permits — Depending on location, submit shed plans and obtain a building permit
  • Check Easement — Ensure the shed installation doesn’t encroach on utility or property easements
  • Plan for Electricity — Make sure proper amperage can be brought and installed to the shed to meet the customers’ needs and the purpose of the building
  • Shed Installation Site — Define a level building site with good drainage. Having a gravel pad as the foundation for the structure is a great way to prepare your yard for your new shed
  • Complement Exteriors — Match the exterior of the shed to the exterior of the home

While there are several “Dos” for shed installation and shed building plans, Walls pointed out several “Don’ts” as well:

Don’t Forget to Check:

  • HOA rules for any possible roadblocks
  • Existing underground utilities
  • Existing sprinkler heads
  • Details like shutters, decorative trim, windows, doors, as well as interior paint, shelving and more, allowing customers to fully customize their new spaces

The biggest “don’t” is going too small; it’s a good idea to provide enough space to grow.  “I always tell people they will never have a shed that’s too big,” said Walls. “Make sure you have the space to create your dream building.” To help customers plan the right size building that matches their dreams, guide them to the Shed Size Calculator.

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