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All posts by Sean Sant

She-Sheds

“She Shed” Is the New “Man Cave”

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The “she shed” is growing in popularity every day and overturning traditional ideas about the purpose of the garden shed. It’s a female version of the “man cave,” the space where a man can display his sports memorabilia, set up a bar, play poker and watch the game. For women, there hasn’t been a dedicated space in the home (or on the property) until now.

Leveling the Playing Field

The she shed: It’s a place where a woman can go to work on a project, read a book, play an instrument or simply find solitude. It can be a traditional type of shed, geared toward gardening if that’s what the owner enjoys, or it can be transformed into a spa-like retreat, perhaps even used as a guest house when friends from out of town come to visit.

It’s versatile and beneficial for the everyday woman, and it’s leveling the playing field when it comes to dedicated getaway spaces.

It Can Be Cheaper Than Renovating Your House

Maybe you’ve had the concept of a she shed in mind for some time, but you thought you had to renovate a forgotten space or add a room onto your house to get the square footage you needed. Before you undertake a massive home renovation to get the peace you crave, consider the cost.

A she shed could cost significantly less, because you aren’t making any major changes to your floor plan. Depending on the rules in your town, you may not need a building permit at all. If you keep the rustic feel of a traditional shed, you don’t have to pay for drywall and all the extras that drive up home renovation costs.

Define a Purpose for Your Space

The first step to creating the ultimate she shed is to define how you want to use the space.

What’s your hobby? What do you love to do in your spare time? The way you’ll use the space determines the design. If you want a darkroom for photography, eliminating natural light is the goal. If you want a quilting room, you need all the natural light you can get.

It’s a Movement, Not a Trend

Much like the man cave is now widely recognized as a normal part of a home, the she shed is becoming more than just a passing trend. Everyone needs a space to call their own, separate from the hustle and bustle of the daily routine. Constructing a she shed gives you that space, and it gives you freedom to focus on your hobby, or let yourself fully relax without all of the distractions in your home.

Shopping for a New Shed?

If your tired old storage shed won’t do, contact A-Shed USA. We build durable, beautiful outbuildings that fulfill your need for space and aesthetics. Call us today and get a free quote for an outstanding personalized shed design.

backyard-shed

A Backyard Shed Makes Spring Landscaping Easier

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A backyard shed is one of the most underrated additions to your property. Your kids may want a play set or a trampoline and your spouse may think a pool would be nice, but building a shed will add value to your home and make your life easier.

If you’ve been putting off building a backyard shed, don’t let another spring go by — schedule this project today. What can a backyard shed do for you?

You Want to Landscape, Not Fight Clutter

When it comes to landscaping, don’t you want to spend your time weeding, mulching and planting flowers instead of searching for your gardening tools among the clutter in your musty basement? Not having a good, convenient place to keep your supplies means you’re wasting precious time and will get very little landscaping done by the end of the day.

If you have a backyard shed to store all your tools and supplies neatly inside, gardening doesn’t have to be a huge project. You can easily access what you need. Even if you have only an hour to spare, you can get some basic yardwork done quickly.

Keep Your Tools in Good Shape

When your rakes, trowels and shears are hung on the wall of your new backyard shed, you don’t have to worry about leaks, mold and rust ruining them. Instead of covering your expensive ride-on mower with a tarp to protect it from the winter, store it in a dry, safe shed.

Gardening tools help you create beauty in your yard. What isn’t beautiful is the need to purchase new supplies year after year, or make repairs to your tools and mower due to inadequate protection. A shed provides an area dedicated solely to housing your important tools.

Save Leftover Supplies

Every year you buy soil, mulch and seed to bring your lawn back to life after winter. These expenses can mount quickly. If you could keep some of your supplies until next year, you’d easily save on your annual big purchase at your local greenhouse.

Use your backyard shed to store all the gardening supplies you buy, but don’t necessarily want to store in your basement, or don’t have room for in your garage.

It Adds Functional and Aesthetic Value

It’s easy to see how a shed can help with your landscaping routine. But it adds aesthetic value to your property as well. You can design it to look like a miniature version of your home, or just match the color. It’s a small building you can landscape around, giving you more of an opportunity to expand the gorgeous flower beds that catch your neighbor’s eye.

All in all, a backyard shed is exactly what you need, and A-Shed USA can help. Call us today for a free quote on a high-quality shed in your chosen design style.

custom work sheds

Should You Fix Your Shed Roof or Call a Professional?

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You know you have to fix your shed roof when you see shingles blowing around your yard or you notice water leaking inside and ruining your tools and other valuable items.

You know it’s not smart to climb onto your home’s roof, but your shed is closer to the ground — what’s the harm? Can you handle this one repair yourself, or should you call a specialist to help?

 

What’s Wrong with the Roof?

First, remember this: A shed that’s losing its shingles or has a leaky roof probably isn’t stable. When moisture has the chance to spread, it leads to decay and mold, two factors that affect a shed’s structural integrity. The damage may be far beyond what you can see just from looking at your shed.

Pros and Cons of DIY Work

As a homeowner, you’re used to troubleshooting on your own. It saves money when you can manage small repairs yourself. Still, handling repairs has its drawbacks, including the possibility of doing further damage to your property or hurting yourself in the process.

What Could a New Shed Do for You?

Your shed has provided you with many years of dependable service, storing your high school yearbooks and holiday decorations without issue. But now that it’s time to fix your shed roof, you may want to consider another option.

Your shed isn’t getting any younger. If you hire a dependable contractor to make repairs, you can trust your roof will hold up for some time, but in some cases, it’s simply not worth it. Your new roof may outlast the structure it’s protecting.

If you invest in a new shed now, you can put those repair costs toward the price of a new shed. You’ll also enjoy many additional benefits as well, such as extra space if you opt for a larger design, maintenance-free storage for years to come and an attractive new building to enhance your property’s curb appeal.

Trust Your Local Shed Expert

Whether you need to fix your shed roof or you’re interested in building a whole new shed (or garage), A-Shed USA is the licensed, insured general contractor you want on the job. Call us today and set up an appointment. We’ll come take a look at your shed and offer a free quote for repairs or a replacement.

detached-garage

Attached or Detached Garage?

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Would an attached or detached garage be better for your needs?

You know you need a garage — that’s a start. Making a commitment to invest in extra space is the first step.

But deciding between attached or detached doesn’t have to be as complicated as it might seem. You just need to ask yourself the right questions.

How Will You Use Your New Space?

Think about the reason you need a garage. Is your basement storage area overflowing? Do you need a work area for your projects? Are you tired of running through the rain and snow to reach your front door?

Making the Case for an Attached Building

First, think about all the advantages an attached garage has to offer. Since it’s connected to your home, you don’t have to walk outside to reach your vehicle. It’s easy to move items into your attached space for storage purposes, and to access those items when you need to.

You are likely to save money on HVAC and electrical costs because it’s easier to hook up an attached garage. And you’ll pay a little less for materials, since you have at least one wall already in place.

Still, consider all the factors involved. It’s usually more expensive to get permits to modify existing structures. Also, an attached garage has the potential to pose a security threat. If a burglar breaks into the garage, only one door separates them from you and your family.

Finally, if you plan on storing chemicals and paint in your garage, having it attached to your home could be a health or fire hazard.

Is a Detached Building the Better Option?

A detached garage doesn’t shelter you from the elements while you walk to your vehicle, but it still keeps your car dry. It gives you the extra storage you need — maybe even more than an attached garage can.

It’s common to use upper level or loft space in a detached garage for a living area or added storage. It also cuts down on home security risks, and keeps harmful chemical odors from infiltrating your living areas. Essentially, it resolves many of the concerns you may have about an attached garage.

It could cost a little more to run electricity to your new building, but you have a much greater potential for growth. It’s easier to expand a detached garage. If you want a work area, the main house won’t be bothered by the noise.

Lot Size Is a Major Factor

Your decision will be heavily influenced by lot size. It may be physically impossible to add a garage on either side of your home, making a detached building necessary. On the other hand, if you have the space for an attached garage and don’t want to take square footage away from your lawn, attached may be the right choice.

What Will Fit Your Home’s Style?

Think about what will fit with your home and neighborhood’s style. Either an attached or detached garage will add considerable value to your property — it’s a smart investment. Call A-Shed USA today for advice on which option is best for you.

carport-or-garage

Carport or Garage?

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Deciding between a carport or garage isn’t always easy. You know that you want your car, boat or ATV protected from the elements, but what’s the most cost-effective way to provide shelter?

Choosing either a carport or garage will depend on your priorities, preferences and budget.

Building a Carport — Is it Worth It?

Carports aren’t complete structures. Most of the time, at least two sides of the carport are open, sometimes all four. That means it’s much easier to get approval from the town to build, if a permit is needed at all. It also means it’s much less expensive — fewer materials means lower costs. A carport can also be erected quickly, since the design is rather simple.

While low costs, less hassle and a fast build are all attractive, carports also feature some drawbacks. For example, since it’s not an enclosed space, your vehicles won’t be fully protected from the weather.

Also, since a carport isn’t secure, you can’t use it for storage. Typically, carports aren’t as aesthetically pleasing as a garage either, so it won’t add to your home’s curb appeal.

Building a Garage — It’s a Functional Investment

When building a garage, you have to go through the necessary steps to obtain a valid building permit. That may mean paying a fee and submitting building plans. Garages take longer to build and they’re more expensive — you’re paying for more materials and labor.

However, once your new garage is complete, you have a durable, quality outbuilding that not only features a range of functions, but also adds to your home’s value.

Garages give your vehicles complete coverage from the elements. Rain, snow, hail, wind — your vehicles are 100 percent protected.

A garage is a secure building you can lock. They’re also usually bigger than carports. This means you have extra space for a work area or for storage. You can leave your tools or boxes of valuables inside without a care.

If you plan on selling your home one day, a garage makes it more attractive to prospective buyers. Plus, if you match the exterior style to your home, it enhances your property’s curb appeal, which only means a higher selling price.

Is a Carport or Garage Right for You?

Choosing between a carport or garage takes thought, but when you examine all the pros and cons, it’s clear a garage is the best long-term investment. Call A-Shed USA to get a free quote on our custom garages, and we’ll help your vision come to life.

build a shed

How to Decide Where to Build a Shed

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Knowing where to build a shed doesn’t come to you in an instant. It takes research, thought and advice. Storage sheds have so many requirements. They have to be durable, big enough to hold your items, in compliance with local building code and more.

Before you make your decision on where to build a shed, go through the following steps.

Determine Building Dimensions

First, think about how large your shed should be. Measure your lawnmower. Sketch out dimensions for shelving and an area for your tool bench. Don’t invest in a shed that you’ll outgrow immediately. Build a shed that will give you all the space you need. Once you have the right dimensions on paper, it will be easier to determine where the shed should go.

Check Local Building Code

Next, check in with your town’s zoning office. Each town has its own municipal standards for additional buildings on your property. You will have to submit your plans eventually, before you can break ground, so it’s best to make sure your plans will meet code standards in the planning stage.

Some towns require a certain amount of clearance around a shed or garage, so examining code standards can help you narrow down your placement options.

Think About Accessibility

When you’re thinking about where to build a shed, it comes down to accessibility. Will the shed’s central purpose be extra storage? Then don’t position it too far from your home — you want to be able to retrieve your items easily, as needed.

Will your shed’s main purpose be to house gardening tools and your lawnmower? Build it close to your gardens.

Consider Curb Appeal

Think about how the shed will look from the street. If you’re building a gorgeous new shed that will match your home’s exterior, there’s no reason to hide it away in the corner of your yard! Don’t be afraid to show off your new outbuilding — it can increase your curb appeal and overall home value.

Light and Heat Are Important Factors

Consider the amount of sunlight that will reach your shed. Heat from the sun’s UV-rays will age your shed faster than if it’s in the shade. Then again, putting your shed too close to a tree can result in foundational instability from the tree’s growing roots.

Scout the Terrain

Finally, it’s important to make sure you’re building your shed on a solid, even patch of land. A building is only as sturdy as its foundation, so it’s vitally important to scout the terrain before you come to a decision. Check for buried gas and water lines underneath as well.

A-Shed USA can help you determine where to build a shed on your property — we offer free onsite consultations. With well over 20 years of experience, we’re the team you can trust for high-quality materials, detailed construction and sound advice. Call us today.

building a shed

Building a Shed: Preparing the Construction Site

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Even if you won’t be physically building a shed on your own, preparing the construction site for your new outbuilding is a hands-on project and every homeowner should get involved in. Site preparation will affect your satisfaction with the final result, and the longevity of your new outbuilding.

Decide Where to Place Your Shed

First, decide on the best area in your yard for your shed. Think about the reasons you’re building a shed in the first place. Do you need more storage for your garden tools? Situate the shed so you have easy access to your stores when you’re working on your flower beds.

Do you need extra space for storing decorations, sports equipment and other items that don’t fit in your home? Make sure you don’t have far to walk from your back door to your shed so you can quickly find the items when you need them.

Talk with Your Shed Building Contractor

Once you’ve narrowed down the possible locations, it’s time to consult with your contractor. They will look over the area and let you know how the soil grade will affect the building plans. For areas below grade, you may need to have a concrete slab poured to help with drainage and prevent water damage.

Your shed contractor will help you decide if this is the best course of action based on the site you select.

Make Sure the Ground Is Compact and Level

Even if a concrete slab isn’t necessary, a compact, level building area always is.

First, make sure the soil is a good quality — don’t lay down mulch or spread sand. These materials aren’t supportive and won’t provide a solid foundation for building a shed. If you need to, buy soil, fill or gravel to spread over the area. Make sure it’s well-compressed and tamped down to prevent shifting after the build is complete.

If your yard is particularly uneven or below grade, or the soil is excessively loose, you may want to hire a professional yard service contractor to ensure the area is fully prepared to support a new outbuilding.

Communicate Your Plan

Make sure you clearly mark the dimensions of your shed so the builders know exactly where you want it. It helps if you have a few feet of clearance around the perimeter of your new shed so the crew has room to work, so clear brush and obstacles as necessary before the project begins.

A-Shed USA constructs high-quality, long-lasting outbuildings that fit any budget and are fully customizable to any design preference. Building a shed doesn’t have to be complicated — just trust A-Shed.

garage foundation

Do You Need a Concrete Garage Foundation?

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Is it imperative to pour a concrete garage foundation to support your new outbuilding? That’s one of the most common questions from homeowners interested in building a new storage space.

While for sheds, a concrete foundation is optional most of the time, a garage foundation is essential. It’s best to plan for pouring a concrete garage foundation before you begin building.

Consider the Size and the Function

The purpose of a garage foundation is to support the structural integrity of the building. It may seem like an extra step, but ensuring that you’re building the garage on a solid foundation will prevent countless problems, and help the new garage will last for years to come.

Think about the main reasons you need a garage. Depending on the amount of space you need and what you’ll be storing on the concrete platform, you may need to adjust your building plans.

If you plan on using the garage as a workspace, make sure you will have storage space and enough room for your cars. If you will be parking heavy SUVs and trucks on the concrete pad, you may need a thicker platform than the standard size.

Site Preparation

The first step in any building project, including the pouring of a concrete garage foundation, is to get permit approval from the local building inspector’s office. You may need professional, engineered drawings of your building plans that take into account any nearby water and gas lines.

Once you have permit approval, your contractor will dig trenches and install footings. They may also use rebar in the foundation design to add more support to the final product. Once the foundation’s framing is in place, compacted sand or gravel is usually spread to provide a firm surface for the concrete.

Your contractor may also suggest installing a vapor barrier over the sand or gravel, which is designed to keep moisture out of your garage.

Make Sure Concrete Mix Matches Local Code Requirements

Once it’s time to pour the concrete, it’s essential to double-check the quality of the mix.

Concrete with excess water is easier to pour and spread, but it’s not as strong, and local building code often dictates minimum requirements for concrete mixtures to ensure stability. Make sure the concrete used for your garage foundation meets these requirements, and is designed to provide the right support for the building’s intended purposes.

The Curing Process

A smart contractor treats curing with the same importance as every other stage of the project. Make sure you follow their instructions, keeping the surface of the slab moist if needed as the concrete cures.

Once you have a secure garage foundation, it’s time to start the exciting process of building your custom garage. From start to finish, A-Shed USA provides exceptional shed and garage building services, including concrete slab installation. Contact us for a free quote today.

New Garage

When Is it Time for a New Garage?

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A new garage can solve space problems, add value to your home and increase your curb appeal, among other benefits. Whether your old garage is falling apart or you don’t have one, the following five signs mean you and your home are ready for a new garage.

Your Old Garage Is Dangerous

You can make only so many repairs to an old outbuilding. Eventually, pests and rot have their way, endangering the structural integrity of the building.

If you’re concerned that the next heavy snowstorm will make your old garage collapse, it’s time to invest in a new garage. Then you won’t have to worry about injury or damage.

You Want to Add Value to Your Home

If you’re trying to invest in your home, a new garage will give you significant added value for your money. According to Remodeling magazine’s 2015 Cost vs. Value Report, a freestanding garage delivers a 64.8 percent return on investment. It’s a valuable improvement that will also add convenience to your life — it’s worth it.

You’re Running Out of Storage Space

Your basement is packed to the ceiling with boxes. Your attic looks the same. Your shed? You can’t even open the doors without fear of objects falling on you.

It’s time to expand, and building a garage is one of the smartest moves you can make if your main motivation is the need for storage space. You can design a garage that has a loft area and install shelving along the walls. You can organize all your belongings and still have room for your vehicles.

Your New Vehicles and Equipment Need Protection

Do you have a flashy new car you’d rather not expose to the elements year-round? Did you just buy a ride-on lawnmower that needs a home?

A new garage is the perfect solution when you’re looking for an insulated, dry area to store your machinery. You’ll get peace of mind, and your cars will take less of a beating from the weather.

You’re Trying to Sell

Want to stay competitive in the local real estate market? For many buyers, a new garage could tip the scales toward making an offer. You’d be surprised at the number of prospective homeowners whose list of must-haves includes a garage for either their cars, storage or both.

Talk to A-Shed USA if you’re ready for a new garage, and find the unique design that fits your home and your style. Get a free quote today and start planning your project.

storing holiday decorations

5 Tips for Storing Holiday Decorations in Your Backyard Shed

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It’s January — time to store those holiday decorations away until next Christmas.

This project is much less exciting than it was to unpack all the décor back in November and December when you were filled with holiday cheer. Now you’re on a holiday hangover, and you need to figure out how to pack each item so it stays intact and undamaged until the end of 2017.

But don’t just haphazardly shove all your items into your storage shed. That might be what you feel like doing, just to be able to say you’ve completed the job, but you’ll be unhappy when you need to find your summer gardening tools and a box of holiday ornaments is in your way.

These five tips for storing holiday decorations in your backyard shed keep the entire space orderly and neat in the process:

  • Bag Your Artificial Tree

Here’s the top tip: Don’t reuse your artificial tree’s original box as its storage case. It’s awkward to handle and gets in the way, no matter where you put it. Instead, invest in an artificial tree storage bag. It has wheels so you can easily roll it where you need to put it. You can also hang it from the rafters of your storage shed, ensuring it stays secure and out of the way for the remainder of the year.

  • Put Used Wrapping Paper to Good Use

When you’re putting holiday decorations back in your storage shed, the jostling can easily break your most treasured family ornaments. If you have used wrapping paper, instead of throwing it away, crumple it up and use it to keep your ornaments safe. It’s a good use of material that would otherwise go to waste, and it helps you store your decorations without worry.

  • Wind Lights Before Storing

It’s so annoying to have to spend hours untangling strand after strand of holiday lights. Instead of stuffing them hurriedly into a bin to worry about next holiday season, wind each strand around a plastic wheel, or even a piece of cardboard.

You’ll save yourself a lot of time and frustration, and you’ll save space in your shed.

  • Group Bins by Category

When storing holiday decorations, group décor by whether it’s interior or exterior. Put all your outdoor lights, wreaths and garlands in one bin and label it clearly. When you start decorating next Christmas, you won’t have to look around, opening and closing bin after bin to find the supplies you’re looking for.

  • Use the Rafters or Loft

If you have a storage shed with upper-level space, use this area for holiday decorations. You won’t need them for almost a year, so it makes sense to store them in the farthest reaches of your shed.

Looking to create more space for storing holiday decorations? Talk to A-Shed USA about constructing a storage shed in your back yard and get back the space you want in your closets and basement.

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