Two Step Guide to Choosing the Best Location for Your Shed

Ellena Arroyo

Avoid costly frustrating location mistakes and get maximum use out of your shed with this simple system. Whatever your backyard shed plans are it’s important that the shed is functional and easy to use. Follow this two-step “best location” system and never be disappointed by the location of your shed.

Step One: How to get a Sneak Preview of Your Shed

It helps to be able to see what the shed will look like in a particular location before you actually built it. You can draw it out on paper, however this doesn’t give you a real feel of the shed. To get a real-life preview of what your shed will look like in any location I use a method called Stake-It-Out. You’ll need four to six garden stakes and ball of twine.

Plot out the location of your shed with garden stakes and twine. Put a garden stake into the ground at each corner of your shed and then connect the stakes with twine. If you can use taller stakes approximately 3-4 feet high, this will give you a better sense of your shed’s actual size than shorter 6-12 inch stakes. As you stake it out, be sure to consider where you will put your doors and windows.

Ask yourself questions. Can I access the door easily or does it run too close to a tree or hedge? Is there plenty of sunlight (if that is what you need) for seeing projects? Is the ground soft from rain? Does it have a slope?

Stand back and look at it from a distance. Also maneuver your tools to and from the shed. You will see very quickly if the location works or not. There’s nothing worse than having beautiful building plans for a shed only to realize once you get started that the location doesn’t work because it’s either too small or too sloped or it blocks the sunlight to your patio garden.

After you’ve determined where the shed will go, there is one more important step to shed building success.

Step Two: Follow the Golden Shed Building Rule:

Better to ask for permission than for forgiveness (because zoning laws and power lines aren’t so forgiving…). Check out your city or town’s building codes and zoning laws before you build your shed. This might sound like too much effort, but it could save you from having to tear down your shed down the road.

Simply put, if your shed is in violation of building codes, or zoning laws, you have to take it down.

Each municipality is different, but decisions about the size and location of your shed might be determined by zoning and permit requirements.

Usually if your shed is under a 100 sq. ft. you will not need a building permit, even so check the zoning laws governing setbacks and property lines. Most town offices are more than happy to help you out with building permit information.

Check for buried power lines and gas lines: Call your local utility companies to see if there are any buried power or gas lines near your shed building project. A quick phone call can save your life.

Follow these simple steps and find the perfect location for your shed. Enjoy!

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