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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.

building permits

Do You Need a Building Permit for a New Shed?

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Applying for a building permit isn’t difficult, but it adds another step to the shed-building process — a step that may require additional time on your part.

 

But before you spend time gathering documentation for your building permit, find out if you even need it. If you do, determine what zoning standards you will have to follow so you can design your shed accordingly.

Typical Zoning Standards

Every community has its own building code. While building codes are similar from county to county, certain details may be different, depending on where you live.

Here are some of the common restrictions you’ll find when it comes to designing a shed:

1. Electricity: If you want electricity in your new shed, you will likely need a building permit.
2. Size: You may face size restrictions, depending on the code standards in your town, or if they take up too much yard space. You also may be required to use a certain type of foundation.
3. Intended use: If you plan on using your new shed for business or for living space, you will need to meet additional standards in order for it to pass inspection.
4. Position: You may not have final say over where your shed goes, because some building code standards limit how close it can be to your property line and other buildings.

Duck the Building Permit Process? Not Worth It.

Are you thinking about skipping the permit process because you want to avoid the hassle and any frustration? That’s not a good idea.

Even if the building code seems strict for no apparent reason, it’s still the law. You could be fined if you don’t get a building permit before erecting a new shed, or worse, you may have to pay to move the shed and modify it until it meets legal standards.

How to Apply

Call your town’s building department. You will most likely have to fill out an application, pay a filing fee, submit plans for your new shed and include a plot map. Every town has its own application process, so it’s best to go directly to the source to get the details.

Research Your Local Building Code

When you work with A-Shed USA, we help you determine whether you need a building permit. We help you with the application process and make sure every step is taken care of before we proceed. Call today to find out about our shed building options, and find a style that you love.

shed-roof

Is Your Shed’s Roof up to Par?

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The roof on your shed may not be an issue you think much about when you’re working on plans to put a new outbuilding in your backyard, but it should be.

 

Think about your home — if the roof is subpar, eventually the materials will break down and leave the rest of the structure vulnerable to the elements. The same goes for your shed.

What’s So Important About a Shed’s Roofing Materials?

A quality shed roof should easily perform three central functions:

  • Durability: It should provide waterproof protection from nature. You should be able to store whatever you’d like in your shed without worrying about leaks.
  • Longevity: It must last for the length of time expected, and deliver a good return on investment.
  • Appearance: It should look good — after all, the roof is one of the most visible parts of an outbuilding. It should enhance your property’s curb appeal.

A low-quality design and cheap materials will give your shed roof none of these key characteristics.

Architectural Shingles: They’re the Best Choice for Shed Roofs

Architectural shingles are a popular choice for homeowners when it’s time for a re-roofing project, and there is a good reason for that. This kind of shingle is one of the most durable, enhancing its cost-effectiveness. They also give a superior look to any roof.

Since architectural shingles are thicker and heavier than regular asphalt, they provide better protection — more so than traditional three-tab shingles.

If architectural shingles loosen or come off, it’s an easy repair. The same can’t be said if serious damage is inflicted on a metal roof. Ongoing maintenance costs are minimal or nonexistent for architectural shingles, and the shed roof will stay in good condition for decades.

If you have architectural shingles on your home’s roof, installing them on your shed will make your outbuilding match — that’s a nice touch.

Quality Investment Delivers Peace of Mind

One of the prime features of architectural shingles is their extended warranty. When installed by a professional and guaranteed by the manufacturer, you will usually get a 30-year warranty to cover any failings in the make or installation. Spending a bit more than you would on standard shingles delivers a big payoff. Enjoy years of peace of mind that your investment is sound.

When you work with A-Shed USA, a quality shed roof is included in every storage shed package. A 30-year Owens Corning architectural roof is a standard feature.

Trust A-Shed USA for quality buildings at a low price — call today for a free estimate.

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