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steps building block shed foundation

DIY Steps for Building a Block Shed Foundation, Part 2

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In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some of the basic steps for building a block foundation for your new storage shed. This format, which involves basic cement blocks and wooden boards for shed support and protection from moisture and other potential ground risks, is one of the more popular foundation choices for sheds today.

At A-Shed USA, we’re happy to provide a wide variety of storage sheds, garages and other custom structures, plus related materials, for all our clients. Part one of this series was mostly about getting your materials and tools prepared while ensuring the block foundation is the right choice for your property – today’s part two will dig into the actual building and leveling process, plus some areas where our team will be happy to offer expertise and assistance as you complete this process.

Building the Actual Grid

When you’ve finished collecting your materials and tools, and have taken the time to determine the placement of the shed and foundation, it’s time to begin building the grid for your block foundation. This begins with laying your 2×4 boards on the ground in an L shape, corresponding with where the walls of the shed itself will be.

From here, it’s time to obtain some basic measurements from your shed’s skids. This is easier if the shed has already been delivered to your home – you simply have to use your tape measure to mark off the distance between the skids. If the shed has not been delivered, contact our team for skid gap measurements, which we’ll be happy to provide. When you have these distances, mark them on your shorter 2×4 as accurately as possible.

Now it’s time to move to block placement. One tip we can offer here is beginning with the highest corner on the grid, working around that point and using this area as the foundation of sorts. You will dig a flat spot in your grass or dirt for each block, allowing them to sit level, and also use a leveling tool.

Leveling the Grid

Leveling should be done not only for each individual block, but also for the entire block foundation once you’ve placed everything. Place your leveling tool on a 2×4’s narrow edge, preferably on the pier that’s the highest. From here, ensure that all other piers match this one by stacking blocks on top of the base until they’re level. This may involve replacing original base blocks in some cases.

Our Pros Are Here to Help

Do you have questions or concerns during this process we haven’t answered here? Our team will be happy to guide you in terms of the proper materials, tools or other basic expertise.

For more on building your own block foundation for your new shed, or for information on any of our custom sheds or other buildings, speak to the staff at A-Shed USA today.

steps building block shed foundation

DIY Steps for Building a Block Shed Foundation

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For many property owners thinking about installing a shed, one important choice to consider is whether or not to build a foundation for the shed to sit on. One common format here is the block foundation, which uses basic cement blocks and wood boards to support the shed and keep it safe from ground moisture, pests and other concerns.

At A-Shed USA, we’re proud to offer a wide range of quality storage sheds, garages and various other custom buildings for your property. If you’re a DIY property owner thinking about building your own block foundation for a new shed, there are a few important areas you should be sure not to gloss over. This two-part blog will dig into everything you need to know about preparing for and completing this process.

Determining if a Block Foundation is the Right Choice

For starters, you want to ensure that a block foundation is the right choice for your property and shed format. Generally speaking, block foundations do best for smaller or medium-sized sheds ranging up to about 14×24 feet, though with some wiggle room here. If the shed you’re buying has pressure-treated skids under the floor, these are often designed specifically to sit on blocks, and this could be a great choice.

On the flip side, there are a few situations where a block foundation might not be a good idea. If the shed is particularly large, or if the building site is on a heavy slope, we recommend against this. In addition, any sheds that will be used to store extremely heavy items like a vehicle or tractor likely should not use block foundations.

Choosing Location

If you’ve determined a block foundation is the right way to go, your first step is deciding where it and the shed will go. This begins by evaluating the purpose of the new shed and the kinds of access you need, plus the terrain in question – the flatter the better here whenever possible. Try to look at the space in question and visualize what a shed would look like.

On top of this, be sure to consider possible obstacles like property lines or overhead trees or electrical wires. Finally, make sure your property contains enough space that the shed being delivered will fit and can be taken to the proper location.

Prepping Equipment and Materials

Now it’s time to prepare your tools and materials. Ensure you have all of the following on hand:

  • A tape measure
  • A pen or pencil and a writing surface
  • Digging tools, usually a mattock or a shovel
  • A carpentry leveling device
  • Two long, straight 2×4 boards that are at least as long and wide as the shed
  • Several solid, non-hollow cement blocks – we recommend using blocks of various thicknesses to make it easier to level various block piers

For more on building a block foundation for a new storage shed, or to learn about any of our custom shed options, speak to the staff at A-Shed USA today.

shed storage holiday lighting decorations

Shed Storage Tips for Holiday Lighting and Decorations

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Custom sheds on a given property have numerous potential purposes, and one of the most common is storage. And for those who take the holiday season seriously in terms of lights, ornaments and various other decorations, both inside and outside their homes, storage sheds are a fantastic addition to help house these various items.

At A-Shed USA, we’re proud to offer a wide variety of storage sheds, utility sheds and other related options that will keep your holiday decorations and other items protected and safe during the year so they’re ready for each winter. Here are several specific tips on storage of these items once the holiday season finishes up and it’s time to take decorations down.

Light Storage Options

For those who utilize outdoor and indoor lights, many of which come on longer strings, it’s important to keep them from becoming too tangled-up or messy. Before you store these, ensure you get rid of any damaged strings or lights that are not working, as these could pose a fire hazard – also replace any burned-out bulbs before you store these.

Once it’s time to store your lights, you have a few good options in terms of specific storage containers:

  • Cardboard tubes: In many cases, empty carboard tubes that once held holiday wrapping paper will be perfectly repurposed as carriers for holiday lights. Cut a slit at the end of each tube, which will allow you to secure the end of a given strand so it stays in place, then wrap a strand of lights around each tube. We recommend limiting this to one strand per tube to avoid tangling.
  • Coffee can: Another good wrapping option is a coffee can – you can place the plug end inside a slit you cut on the lid, then wind the lights around it.
  • Zip bags: If you have a large zip-shut bag, these are usually the best for copious or larger light strands. Use your elbow to create a solid circular wrap, plus twist-ties to keep it in place.
  • Clothes hanger: For shorter light strands, you can use a clothes hanger with a twist-tie for the plug end.

Ornament Storage

If you utilize ornaments for a Christmas tree or related area, the first step at storage time is to clean them to remove any tree trimmings. From here, we recommend clear containers for storage – this allows you to see what’s inside them come next holiday season, important if you have a lot of ornaments.

Other Holiday Items

Some other holiday items and corresponding storage options:

  • Wrapping paper: Clear garment bags are great for storing these rolls of paper.
  • Wreaths: Coat hangers also do very well here, or some choose to hang them from the rafters of their shed.
  • Artificial trees: To keep a tree fresh and clean, consider wrapping it in heavy-duty shrink wrap before placing it in the shed.

For more on sheds as fantastic holiday item storage options, or to learn about any of our custom sheds or garages, speak to the staff at A-Shed USA today.

property factors purchasing custom shed

Property Factors to Consider Before Purchasing a Custom Shed, Part 2

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In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some of the primary property-related factors to consider when purchasing a new custom shed. From zoning requirements to property obstructions or other basic spatial needs, there are several such considerations to keep in mind to ensure you purchase the proper structure.

At A-Shed USA, we’re proud to offer a wide range of custom sheds from our shed builders, including barn sheds, ranch sheds and many other types. Here are a few more vital areas you should be checking on within your property to make sure you purchase the right shed type, size and material for your needs.

Climate and Terrain

When we talk about “climate” within your property, we’re really referring to the balance of light and shade that’s present in a given area. Generally speaking, you want your shed to sit in an area that has a balance of both shade and sunlight on a given day – the sun to help evaporate any damp areas that show up, but the shade to protect valuables and paint materials from heat and UV rays.

In addition, take the time to assess your general terrain, including both the size and the slope if there is one. Sheds can sit on slight slopes in some cases, but flat ground is better, and you also need the rig delivering your shed to be able to make it into the area. If there are no suitable such areas on your property, you may have to create one in advance.

Ground Firmness

Another terrain-related item to consider is the firmness of the ground in question, much of which tends to relate to the current and recent weather in your area – plus the time of year. Spring soil, for instance, tends to be muddier than at other times of the year, as snow has recently melted and rains are still taking place. During the heat of summer, on the other hand, the ground will likely be firmer as long as there haven’t been any major storms in recent weeks.

Water Drainage

The last thing you want is for the shed to be located in an area that water drains to, as this risks everything from mold and mildew concerns to flooding and structural damage. This area speaks to slope as well – track where water runs during storms and ensure it’s not to the area where you plan to install your new shed.

View Considerations

Finally, a more aesthetic concern for many property owners is ensuring the shed will not be blocking a view of any kind. There are varying needs here: Some want the shed completely out of sight whenever possible, while others may want it at least within their eyeline so they can keep an eye on it when necessary.

For more on property considerations to look at before finalizing a custom shed purchase, or to learn about any of our custom shed builder services, speak to the staff at A-Shed USA.

property factors custom shed

Property Factors to Consider Before Purchasing a Custom Shed, Part 1

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At A-Shed USA, we’re proud to offer custom sheds to our clients for a wide range of needs. Whether you require a ranch storage shed, a barn shed or any of our garages or other custom buildings, we’ll ensure you receive the exact structure you require, made from high-quality materials built to last decades.

On top of our services in providing you with quality shed materials and structures, we can also offer tips and advice on various areas you should be considering on your property while choosing your new shed. In this two-part blog, we’ll go over several of these considerations and how they impact everything from which shed you choose to how you go about installing it.

Local Zoning Requirements

For starters, it’s vital to consider any local zoning ordinances or requirements in your area. This also extends to and homeowners’ association requirements, which can be significant in some neighborhoods – some might not even allow outdoor sheds or might restrict their size, color and other factors.

In other cases, there might be height limits in place for a given area. The local government may also have regulations in place about how close you can build a shed to your property line, fences or primary home structures. Be sure you aren’t violating any of these regulations, plus ensure you don’t need specific permits to get started.

Overhead Concerns

In most cases, sheds are delivered on a trailer, which make them taller items. Before this happens, take care to ensure there are no low power lines, tree branches, building overhangs or other structures that might prevent you from being able to fit the shed on your property. Do this same thing for the area where the shed will be placed.

Underground Utilities

Another important factor: Are there any underground utilities in the area where you plan to install the shed? Check for sewer lines, gas tanks or electrical lines.

Property Access

One issue some homeowners run into when installing a shed: Their property isn’t conducive to actually getting the finished shed to the spot where it’s supposed to be. This might be due to a fence gate that doesn’t open wide enough or a driveway with too steep a grade for a towing rig to climb. Before ordering your shed, ensure you’ll be able to bring it onto your property safely given its dimensions.

Tree Clearing

Another vital location-related area to consider here is the trees in the area. You want to ensure there aren’t major tree branches overhanging your shed, as these can drop leaves and potentially damage the roof or the gutters. Branches themselves could scratch the siding or damage your paint. If you have young trees in the area, they may not be a problem now but could grow into one in the future. These are all concerns you should look into in advance.

For more on factors to consider before ordering your new shed, or to learn about any of our shed builders or services, speak to the staff at A-Shed USA today.

winter lawnmower shed storage

Tips for Winter Lawnmower Shed Storage Precautions

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We know storage is a top concern for property owners who build sheds, and at A-Shed USA, our shed builders are here to provide for all your needs here. From our J-series and YardMaster storage sheds to ranch and barn sheds, we offer a wide range of shed sizes and formats for any kind of storage you need to accomplish.

One of the most common groups of items stored in any shed is those used for varying yard work needs, and one of the largest and bulkiest such potential items is the lawnmower. As we’re now in the fall stages where most homeowners are preparing to shelve their mower for the winter, here are some top recommendations from our pros in terms of properly storing your lawnmower within your shed.

Why Indoor Storage Matters

Some mower owners might be planning to store theirs outside for the winter, but we strongly recommend against that. For one, moisture can collect and pool in various areas, causing rust and other material breakdowns.

For another, the sun’s rays – even during the winter – will damage everything from paint to plastic mower parts over time. It will make important mower components more likely to crack or break, particularly engine covers and mower seats. For this reason, it’s far more effective to store the mower inside, whether in your garage or your storage shed.

Fuel Concerns

Keeping fuel fresh in your mower is an important task throughout the year, including over the winter. Fuel may break down over this long season, which in turn can damage your motor. Some may think that simply draining the tank for winter is best, but this may actually damage the engine as well. The proper approach here is to buy fresh fuel, fill your tank to 95% capacity, run it for a few minutes to allow the stabilized fuel to make its way into fuel lines, and then shut it off and store it for the winter.

Tires and Air

Some may think they can get away with waiting to refill tire air pressure until the spring, but this is a big risk. Mowers that sit on flat tires will eventually put pressure on the rim, which in turn will damage the area. Make sure you air up your tires to their full capacity before storing the mower for winter.

Battery Charging

You have a couple options when it comes to mower batteries over the winter. One is to charge the battery a few separate times over the winter, while another is to purchase a trickle charger or battery tender that will keep the battery charged on their own.

Cleaning

Finally, take the time to clean grass clippings and other accumulations from the mower before storing it for the season. Grass clippings are a common cause of mower decks rusting through due to their eventual transformation into rot and acidic compounds, which can eat through paint and even metal. Turn off the mower blades and clean the entire mower and deck – compressed air and a putty knife are usually the simplest tools here.

For more on storing your lawnmower in your shed for the winter, or to learn about any of our storage shed products, speak to the staff at A-Shed USA today.

shed fall maintenance themes

Shed and Storage Building Fall Maintenance Themes, Part 2

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In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some of the outdoor themes when it comes to cleaning and maintaining your shed during the fall season. As the bridge between the hot summer and the cold, snowy winter, fall is a great time to ensure your shed and other outdoor structures are properly prepared for the upcoming season.

At A-Shed USA, we’re proud to offer expertise and tips on these kinds of areas, whether you own one of our barn sheds, ranch sheds or other high-quality options. For today’s blog, we’ll take a look inside the shed itself, which is just as important as exterior areas when it comes to fall cleaning and maintenance.

Cleaning and Inspection

For starters, spend some time performing a basic cleaning on your shed. Buildings like these can become dirty and dusty quickly, especially over the dry Utah summer. Remove all major tools or equipment and sweep, dust and otherwise clean the area.

While you’re doing this, take the time to visually inspect the area for any damage that may have formed over the summer. Look at any connectors or other areas that may have been chewed by rodents or insects, for instance, as well as droppings or any other signs of invaders. Ensure moisture isn’t able to sneak in through any cracks, and repair minor damage if you find it.

Doors and Windows

Two areas to keep a particularly keen eye on are your doors and windows in the shed, which can allow in air, moisture and pests if they aren’t properly sealed and maintained. Check weather stripping and replace it if needed; the same goes for window caulk. If you have any moving parts, now is a good time to lubricate them to prevent rust concerns and annoying squeaking noises.

Accessories

If your shed or storage building has shelves, benches or even stairs inside it, inspect these areas as well. Do the same for any outlets or other accessories in the shed – the best time to locate and remedy these concerns is while you’re emptying and cleaning out the shed already.

Pest Prevention

We mentioned pests earlier – on top of proper sealing and checking for the signs of their presence, you can help prevent them by keeping any grass or vegetation around the building trimmed. In addition, store any possible food sources, such as seeds or stored pet food, in metal containers with tightly-sealed lids. Some shed owners will even set traps or put out pest poison to keep pests from invading during the winter.

Tools and Organization

Finally, particularly if your shed has become cluttered during the summer, take the time to organize and assess its contents, such as your tools and any equipment stored in the space. If you have any garden hoses being stored, ensure they’re drained first. Also drain any gas or oil from lawn equipment like lawnmowers or trimmers. If you store both winter and summer items in the shed, place the winter items in accessible areas headed into the cold season.

For more on preparing your shed for the fall and winter, or to learn about any of our custom sheds or shed builder services, speak to the staff at A-Shed USA today.

shed storage fall maintenance

Shed and Storage Building Fall Maintenance Themes, Part 1

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At A-Shed USA, we’re proud to serve as your top custom shed and garage builder. Whether you  need a custom storage shed, an offset garage or any other custom structure from our construction professionals, we’re here to provide you with the highest-quality materials and construction available.

We’re also always on hand to provide expertise and tips regarding the care and maintenance of our products, which are important areas for keeping them in proper shape and allowing them to last decades on your property. With summer quickly giving way to fall, a brief respite before the cold Utah winter hits, it’s important for owners of sheds, garages and other outdoor storage buildings to perform a few areas of basic maintenance. In this two-part blog, we’ll go over both indoor and outdoor areas to consider when performing fall upkeep on your shed or storage building – let’s start with outdoor areas first.

Trimming

One of the most important maintenance areas for a shed involves allowing for proper air circulation, which in turn limits moisture buildup that can lead to moss, mold and mildew. A simple way to help improve air flow is through trimming grass, shrubs and other vegetation from the base of the structure, plus pruning overhanging trees that might break under the weight of snow during the winter.

Leaves and Debris

Down similar lines, keep fall leaves cleaned and far away from your structure, as they not only disrupt air flow but also may attract pests. The same goes for any other areas of minor debris or buildups that may cause issues.

Roof Inspection

Another area you’re looking to avoid during the fall is the buildup of algae, which is most common on a shingle roof if there’s limited sunlight and moisture combined. Apart from looking to reverse such conditions if they’re present, regularly inspect the roof to ensure no algae or moss is growing – if some is present, remove it with a gently brush and a shingle detergent. You can also use a 50-50 mixture of bleach and water as your solution here.

Siding

To avoid everything from mold and mildew to paint deterioration, the fall is a good time of year to use a hose, brush and mild detergent to wash the exterior siding of the shed or structure. We don’t recommend using a pressure washer, which may force water under the panels and lead to damage.

Paint

During your inspection, you may notice siding paint that’s begun to wear down over a period of years. This may be due to scrapes from tree branches or shrubs, or even from lawn equipment or overly excited kids. If you find compromised coating anywhere, you can use acrylic exterior latex paint to cover it.

For more on outdoor areas for fall shed maintenance, or to learn about any of our new custom shed options, speak to the staff at A-Shed USA today.

primer shed framing spacing

Primer on Shed Framing and Spacing, Part 2

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In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some of the initial factors to consider when it comes to the framing and spacing of your new storage shed. This area is just as important as the materials used in many cases, defining the basic shape and structure of a shed and laying the foundation for a long lifespan.

At A-Shed USA, we provide a wide variety of custom storage sheds, all built with a combination of high-quality materials and professional framing and spacing qualities. Let’s look at a few additional factors that play a role in the framing concerns of a given shed or custom structure, including some you may not have considered before your purchase.

Galvanized Nails

One of the single most common areas that dishonest contractors will skimp on when it comes to shed building is the nails. They’re leaning on an expected lack of knowledge from clients here: Most assume standard steel nails will do just fine for a given shed or structure, but this actually isn’t the case.

In reality, there are chemicals in pressure-treated lumber (often found in your floors – more on this in just a moment) that will cause steel nails to rust and wear down over time. For this reason, quality shed builders use galvanized nails instead. These are a bit pricier, to be sure, but they provide a high level of quality and do not risk rusting or any form of corrosion when exposed to pressure-treated wood.

Floors and Pressure Treatment

Speaking of pressure treatment, it’s vital for the floor of a given shed that sits on the ground. When using non-treated lumber here, major risks of rot and insect invasion are present, negatives that can badly impact the lifespan of the structure.

While most manufacturers use at least some pressure-treated wood, you want to be sure this is the case throughout your new shed. Some will look to save money by using non-treated lumber for floor joists while using treated wood only on the perimeter, but this risks rot on the joists that you’ll have to deal with.

Framing on Openings

All windows, doors and other openings on a given shed should have a frame built the entire way around them, plus a proper header. These items are in place to provide support – without them, these openings may sag or collapse over time.

Span Ties

Finally, quality sheds include ties that span rafter to rafter every few feet. The purpose of span ties is to help the roof hold up against any weight placed on it, particularly snow during the Utah winter. Without these ties, your shed may do fine during the summer – but then may collapse the first time heavy snow rests on it, creating damage and a major hassle.

For more on important spacing and framing factors to inquire about for your new shed, or to learn about any of our custom sheds or garage-building services, speak to the staff at A-Shed USA today.

steps building block shed foundation

Primer on Shed Framing and Spacing, Part 1

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When it comes to the long-term durability of a given shed, garage or other custom structure, one of the most important factors in the manufacturing process is general framing and spacing. Strong materials are a must, of course, but if these materials are not aligned and placed properly by experienced shed builders, the quality and long-term lifespan of the structure will suffer accordingly.

At A-Shed USA, we’re proud to offer quality custom sheds and garages built by professionals who understand every in and out of framing and spacing. In this two-part blog, we’ll go over several related areas here, plus the ways they impact the future durability, lifespan and overall value you receive from any of the structures we can build for you.

Corner Pockets

While this may sound like a term from the game of pool at first, it’s an important industry connotation when it comes to sheds and similar structures. During such building construction, when walls are made separately, they’re eventually raised into place together, creating a corner area where 2x4s come together and leave a small pocket.

This pocket is important for a few reasons, namely stopping anything from being nailed into the corner of the building. It also helps strengthen the walls, often through the use of reinforced 2x4s on one wall that fills the pocket space and brings a nailing surface for any wall coverings. When considering a new shed, ask your builder about how corners are built.

Stud Spacing

Another important factor is studs, which are generally required to be no further than 16 inches apart in most homes. Within sheds, though, some builders will stretch this to 24 inches to save on their costs, and because building codes are not the same for these buildings. The higher this number gets, however, the weaker the sides and roof may be – the structure won’t hold up to wind and snow as well.

Double Top Place

Generally speaking, most sheds will utilize 2x4s on both the bottom and top of the structure. For the best durability, shed tops will contain two 2x4s that have been nailed together, then roof trusses that sit on top of this combined plate. This kind of doubling up also makes the walls stronger and more stable, so ask about it as an option if you require a strong, durable shed option.

Headers

A header, or a support area meant to hold weight from items above it, can be used in a few areas of a given shed. They’re common on the roof and trusses, where once again you should be looking for options that come with multiple connected 2x4s if the structure allows for it. Many manufacturers also use plywood in between the boards on their headers, helping the header resist bowing or any kind of shape change.

For more on framing, spacing and structural areas that are vital to any shed, or to learn about any of our shed or garage build options, speak to the staff at A-Shed USA today.

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