Pick the right shed for your yard

Everything you need to know about the backyard essential before you build

By Jennifer Murray

No comments


A solid base is important and foundations are another aspect to consider when choosing a shed. The recommended foundation options are concrete blocks, concrete pillars or a poured concrete floor, but depending on the shed, you might be able to take advantage of a wooden floor constructed with floor joists and plywood.

Maxwell’s preferred shed foundation is a mixture of the two options. Construct a frame for your shed with pressure-treated, lap-jointed 6 x 6s (or 8 x 8s for sheds longer than 16’). By setting the frame in a shallow trench half the height of the wooden frame, then filling in the floor area under your plywood flooring with paving bricks tamped into sand, you get a solid floor for your shed that isn’t a permanent (or expensive) feature.

The choice of foundation depends on the size, materials and function of your shed. As always, check local by-laws before starting construction.

Construction materials

Sheds come in almost as many materials as they do designs and all have pros and cons. Before you build, take into consideration what kind of beating your shed will take.

Metal: Metal sheds are made from metal sheathing attached to a metal frame. Common metals are galvanized steel, aluminium and corrugated iron.

Pros: Resistant to rot, fire, termites and last a long time

Cons: Rust; can be easily dented or damaged by snow and ice.

Plastic: Plastic sheds are made of molded plastics like PVC and polyethylene.

Pros: Generally cheaper than metal; stronger, lighter and more durable than wood. Do not dent, rot or fall prey to termites.

Cons: Not a renewable resource; don’t blend well into a backyard; can be expensive, depending on the kit.

Wood: Wooden sheds are made from wood, such as cedar, and are a DIY favourite.

Pros: Renewable resource; easy to work with; easy to modify finished shed.

Cons: Requires lots of maintenance, susceptible to rot, warping, splitting, mould, mildew and termites. Cedar is considered the best wood for outdoor use as it naturally resists many of these problems.

Vinyl: Vinyl sheds are constructed from wood framing, OSB board and vinyl siding.

Pros: Never needs to be painted; stronger than plastic and metal.

Cons: Must meet local building codes; most expensive shed type; not eco-friendly.

Whether you choose to build your own or bring home a pre-fab kit, choosing the right shed can make a world of difference in your yard. Once all the backyard paraphernalia is organized and tucked away in your new shed, you’ll finally have room out there for all the outdoor projects you’ve been dying to start.

Shed photo courtesy of Home Depot

Jump to a section

No comments

To leave a comment, please log in

Don't have an user account? Register for free


How do you heat your home?

Loading ... Loading ...