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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.

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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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Areas to Ask Your Shed Builder About in Advance

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At A-Shed USA, we’re proud to be among the top shed builders in the entire nation. With over 20 years of experience designing and building a variety of custom sheds, garages and several other structures, you can count on us for the highest quality materials and lasting, durable builds.

We know smart shed buyers will be comparing our services to other similar services in the area before making their choice, and we welcome this due diligence. We know how well our materials and services stack up to the competition, and we’re confident your research will reveal as much. With this in mind, here are several areas you should be inquiring about with pros like ours as you search for the best shed builder.

Paint and Application

It’s common for shed builders to promote the quality of paint used on their structures, but it’s vital for you as a customer to ensure that the paint was applied properly. A company may have the best paint available, but that doesn’t mean much to you if it’s not applied well.

Ask about how paint is applied, whether it’s done by spraying or rolling. Spraying is faster, but more detail can generally be accomplished while rolling paint. Also ask about the number of coats are applied, and ensure detail areas like nail heads, corners and ledges are properly covered.

Lumber Choices

Another important area to ask about is the lumber used in the shed, particularly the flooring materials. If you’re looking for pressure-treated wood here, ask about how it’s applied – some manufacturers will tell you all about this material, but only use it for the perimeter of the floor while using non-treated lumber for interior areas. This can be a major issue if your shed sits on the ground without great air flow, and risks like rot or pests may appear.

Rafter Placement

In many cases, standard placement of wall studs and roof rafters will be 24 inches on center. But if these are placed closer together, the roof will be more capable of absorbing heavier weights from winter snowfall or other potential risks. If you regularly get heavy snowfall, we recommend rafters spaced 16 inches apart rather than 24.

Top Sill Concerns

The top sill plate is a board that reaches along the top of the wall, allowing the roof rafter to sit on it. Many manufacturers will offer a double top sill for added support – if this is the case, ensure you check that this is applied on both the foundation and the corners alike. The industry term here is “lapped”: If the boards that create the sill overlap each other in the corners, they are lapped, and will be more durable in general. Walls made this way will be sturdier against everything from wind to moisture, able to hold more weight than other options.

For more on important areas to go over with your shed builder, or to learn about any of our shed builders or options, speak to the staff at A-Shed USA today.

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Converting Your Shed into a Home Laundry Area

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When it comes to sheds, garages and other custom outdoor buildings, most people naturally associate these with standard storage and practical uses. It’s common for many people to store garden tools and even larger items like lawnmowers in the shed, for instance, a purpose often shared by garages and other stand-alone building types.

At A-Shed USA, we’re proud to offer custom sheds and buildings for any purpose you might require them for. Another lesser-known area of use for various custom buildings? Extending certain in-home activities there aren’t room for within your main house space into a shed. One great example here is laundry – many modern homeowners are building sheds to accommodate laundry needs, allowing them to save space in the primary home and separate this task to another area. On top of ensuring you have all the correct plumbing and water supply needs in place or available, here are several tips we can offer on creating a laundry space within your outdoor shed.

Proper Washer-Dryer Combo

In many situations where you’re relocating laundry to the shed, space maximization will be a top priority. There are plenty of washer and dryer units specifically designed for confined spaces, including some that can sit side-by-side or even on top of each other in some cases.

Generally speaking, you’re looking for front-loading options here. These allow you those kinds of stacking options we just mentioned, offering the ability to open doors while loading or unloading but then close them and get them out of the way when needed.

Custom Cabinets and Counters

In many situations, standard counters and cabinets won’t be available for the kind of arrangement you’re putting together her. You’ll often have to customize these options – you need a counter space to fold and place laundry, plus cabinets for storing your detergents, dryer sheets, fabric softeners and any other laundry products you require.

Utility Sink

You may not have to use it often, but a small utility sink hooked up to the same plumbing connections can go a long way. Maybe you have to clean off stains that just formed, or perhaps you’re looking to wash certain clothes by hand while the machine does the rest.

Ironing Board

Finally, especially if you regularly attend formal events or have a need for professional appearance, keeping an ironing board in the area is a good idea. One great location for the ironing board is on the back of the she door, on which you can install a simple hanger that holds the folded ironing board until you need to put it into use, keeping it out of the way the rest of the time.

For more on designing a great home laundry space in your new shed, or to learn about any of our custom sheds or garages, speak to the staff at A-Shed USA today.

protecting shed underside animal

Limiting Flood and Moisture Risks to Your Shed

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After a winter and spring that saw near-record levels of precipitation in the mountain west, homeowners all over these areas of the country, even including Utah, are on the lookout for flooding. Particularly if you live near any significant body of water, such as a stream, river or pond, ensuring your entire property is protected from potential rising water levels is a vital consideration.

At A-Shed USA, we’re here to help you ensure your storage sheds, garages and other custom buildings are protected from flooding and any other water-related risks. All our sheds come with coated flooring options and many optional upgrades that will benefit the space if flooding does take place. In addition, here are some general tips we can offer on ensuring your shed is safe from flooding during the spring and summer.

Shed Foundation

If your property has dealt with flooding in the past, you need a foundation that’s solid enough not to sink and elevated enough to allow water to pass underneath. Ground that’s used for shed placement needs to be properly leveled beforehand, removing any low points that might lead to standing water – which in turn can lead to mosquitoes, mold and several other issues. Ask about the foundation of your shed and whether it’s elevated off the ground, plus be sure to also check on air circulation that will allow for proper ventilation.

Location Selection

Another important factor here is choosing a shed location that doesn’t leave it in the path of water runoff or near any major water bodies. If your property contains any hills or slopes, place the shed in a higher-up area where it will not see water continuously flowing down onto it during storms.

If you’ve owned the property for a while, you should have an idea of where water pools up or stands during or after storms. With this information, you can properly place the shed so it won’t constantly be dealing with standing water. If the property is completely devoid of flat ground, you may have to consider a drainage system.

Pressure Treating

If you’re truly going the extra mile, you’ll want to consider pressure-treated lumber and flooring formats. Not only this, but ensure that the skirting around the edge of the shed is included, along with floor joists. Pressure-treated wood is designed to resist water damage rot and other concerns.

Quality Paint

Another layer of added protection for your shed from moisture and flood risks? The proper paint. You want acrylic latex paint, a type known to protect sheds against various elements, including moisture. This kind of paint is peel- and fade-resistant, and also prevents the growth of mold or mildew.

For more on protecting your shed from floor and moisture risks, or to learn about any of our custom storage shed or garage options, speak to the staff at A-Shed USA today.

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Proper Placement for Shed Doors and Windows

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Recently in this space, we discussed the pros and cons of windows being included in your new shed choice. This is one of the key decisions you’ll have to make when you install a new storage shed or similar structure on your property, and could impact everything from cost to overall function.

At A-Shed USA, we offer a wide variety of storage sheds, garages and other custom structures for your property. If you’ve determined that utilizing windows on your new shed is the right choice, the next big decision is right down the same lines: Where do you have them placed? Let’s go over some basics on window placement, plus on some similar areas for shed doors and their various requirements.

Shed Window Placement

Our shed options come with various configuration choices, including where windows are placed. When making this decision, the most important question to ask yourself is what you’ll be using the shed for.

If you’ll be spending actual time in the shed, or if there are materials that require a well-ventilated space, your selection process should start by determining which direction winds commonly come in from. Assessing the wind allows you to properly ventilate the shed naturally, without any need for fans or other electronics.

Another important consideration is light. Sheds that are purely for storage won’t need as much, but those that include a workbench or any other actual workspaces will require solid amounts of light for safety. In many cases, you can provide much of this light naturally by strategically placing windows facing the sun’s daily path. If you prefer shade and electronic in-shed lighting, on the other hand, place windows in areas that point away from the sun or are covered by shade. If you have any items inside the shed that could be damaged by prolonged sun exposure, consider shades or blinds to prevent this.

Shed Door Decisions and Placement

When it comes to shed doors, purpose of the structure is again very important. Your first big choice here is whether to install one or two doors – double-doors are often used by those who have larger items to store in the shed, such as a wide mower or snowblower. Some homeowners even use a double-door on one end of the shed and single door on the other.

When deciding exactly where to place your door or doors, consider general slope and topography. If you’re going to be parking a riding mower in the shed, for instance, you’d be wise not to place the door right next to a two-foot slope that will make this storage more difficult. This kind of basic attention to detail will make your life more convenient and make your shed purchase worth it.

For more on proper selection and placement of shed doors and windows, or to learn about any of our new sheds or other custom structures, speak to the staff at A-Shed USA today.

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Protecting Shed Underside From Animal Invasions

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There are several areas of a given property that may contain risks of animal presence, such as under patios or decks, in crawl spaces or underneath home foundations. And on certain property types, this risk may extend to underneath a shed or another separate building type you’ve placed on your property as well.

At A-Shed USA, we’ll provide you with quality storage sheds and garages that are well-built and do not allow for the habitation of animals underneath the structure. In addition, we can provide numerous custom structures, including helping you expand an existing space or cover an exposed area that might appear inviting for certain critters. Here are some basics on what to do if you’ve found animals living under your shed, some areas to avoid, and how to protect your shed from this happening to you.

Sheds and Animals

Like some of the other spaces we mentioned above, certain openings that may form beneath sheds offer several factors animals often search for. They’re quiet, dry areas that often offer several protection elements from potential predators or other threats, plus often offer the kind of space nesting animals need.

And while there are certainly exterminators (for pests) or other animal removal companies (for larger animals) available to remedy this issue, this is often a Band-Aid for a larger problem. If the space remains open and potentially inviting to various animals, you’re going to be calling these companies again and again if you don’t make any changes.

Useless Areas to Avoid

You naturally want an affordable solution to this problem if it pops up on your property, but there are many DIY tactics some take that either don’t work or even can exacerbate the issues. A few areas to avoid:

  • Mothballs: For those with snakes under a given structure, an old wives’ tale involves using mothballs around the perimeter to keep them away. This simply doesn’t work at all – if you have snakes on the property, removing rodents and other prey they generally feast on is the best way to get rid of them.
  • Light introduction: Some people think introducing light into the space will deter animals from living there, but this requires raising the building and/or removing vegetation around it. This is often highly impractical, and may cost more than just covering the area properly.
  • Water: Others try purposely wetting the ground under the structure to encourage animals to leave, but not only is this a limited move in terms of effectiveness, it will encourage mold growth and mosquito presence.

Protecting Your Space

For legitimate protection against animals under your shed, the best solution is a true defensive barrier. There are several such products on the market, including several spike panels or others that are driven into the ground and protect the shed’s undersize not only from above-ground animals, but also from many that may burrow just underneath the ground. Some DIY homeowners may be able to construct their own such barrier – if you’re attempting this, just be sure you aren’t damaging any of the shed’s base or surrounding areas.

For more on protecting your shed from animals living underneath it, or to learn about any of our new sheds, garages or other structures, speak to the staff at A-Shed USA today.

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Advantages and Disadvantages of Windows in Storage Sheds

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When considering the various qualities of a new shed you’re looking to purchase, one choice you’ll have to make is fairly straightforward: Windows or no windows? Sheds are used for a wide variety of purposes, and your needs and space requirements might dictate whether or not you choose a style that includes windows.

At A-Shed USA, we’re proud to offer a wide range of storage shed options that feature various window or no-window designs, from Ranch style options that generally do have windows to smaller YardMaster choices that may or may not. Let’s go over some of the pros and cons of choosing windows for your shed before you make your choice.

Benefits of Windows in Sheds

  • Air flow: For those who use the shed for more than just a simple storage area, and particularly those who complete projects or crafts inside them, windows will generally be a must due to the air flow benefits they provide. Air inside sheds that have no windows will get stale and stuffy a lot quicker than air that’s able to circulate between inside and outside – if you’re just using the shed to store the lawnmower and some other items this is fine, but you’ll need windows if you plan to spend any time in there.
  • Natural light: Down somewhat related lines, sheds with windows are far more open to natural light than those without. This won’t be an issue if all you care about is storing items, but it will be if you need the space for anything else. Hooking the shed up to electricity is generally much more expensive and comes with significant hassle and maintenance needs.
  • Aesthetics: If you’re considering how the shed looks on your property, windows are the way to go. They make it look more stylish and will help keep your home’s curb appeal up.

Drawbacks of Windows in Sheds

  • Poor sealing: While this downside of windows in sheds is avoidable, it’s a real concern for some who aren’t able to perform proper sealing. Moisture, bugs, and other hazards may find their way into the shed if the sealing isn’t done well, and these can wear down the shed and cause you major repair hassle and expense. Meanwhile, a poorly-sealed shed will not provide the same kinds of air flow benefits as those that are properly sealed.
  • Break-ins: Windows do tend to be an easier mark for thieves and burglars, and most sheds don’t have alarm systems to protect from this. We recommend against keeping any high-value items in there (besides those like lawnmowers, which are tough to move and not usually worth a thief’s time), and if you must do so, we advise using window curtains or a motion sensor light for the back yard for a bit of added security.

For more on whether or not to choose windows on your new shed, or to learn about any of our storage sheds, garages or custom buildings, speak to the staff at A-Shed USA today.

 

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Tips for Avoiding Mold and Mildew in Sheds

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For those who have owned a home for any reasonable period of time, the prevention of mold and mildew are important concerns. These issues can lead to everything from poor odors to major health concerns in humans and pets alike, which is why it’s so important that they’re kept away from structures and dwellings.

At A-Shed USA, we’ll help you ensure mold and mildew are not risks for your storage shed, whether you’re purchasing the J-Series, Ranch style, Barn style or one of our other options. Here are some basic tips and areas to consider when confirming that mold growth is not concern for your shed.

Proper Construction and Ventilation

The primary line of defense against mold and mildew in a shed? Proper construction and manufacturing guidelines being followed, something you can always count on with our pros. When sheds are built properly, including their ventilation areas, they completely avoid the risks that tend to lead to mold growth.

When it comes to vents, you’ll want a ridge vent in the shed’s roof. You’ll also have gable vents that allow air to pass through without allowing moisture in or out. In addition, you may consider vents in the soffit under the shed’s eaves, allowing cooler air to get into the shed and pushing warmer air out. Those who have had moisture issues in the shed should consider vapor barriers, which will help prevent pooling water that can harbor mold.

Storage and Moisture

Moisture is a must for the formation of mold, and you should be careful about it when storing items in the shed, particularly for long-term storage. If you pack up several moist items in the shed and then leave them for months without attention, they’re much more prone than dry materials to collect mold in the damp, dark environment that results. Not only should you check for moisture before storing, you should leave room for air flow during all storage needs.

Humidity

Another moisture-related area is humidity, which should be between 40 and 50 percent in most standard rooms. If your shed has humidity levels significantly higher than this, something you can check using a cheap hygrometer you can buy at any home improvement store, it will be at much greater risk for mold formation. In these cases, run a dehumidifier and consider fans on low settings to keep the air moving.

Upkeep and Maintenance

Another regular activity that will help prevent mold is maintaining certain areas of the shed. Consider painting the exterior of the shed with mildew-resistant coating, for instance, and check the shingles on its roof for moss buildup that might signal mold in the future. Also check the base of the shed to ensure moisture isn’t sneaking in through cracks or issues in the foundation.

For more on how to prevent mold or mildew in your shed, or to learn about any of our custom sheds, garages or other structures, speak to the staff at A-Shed USA today.

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Risks Present in Purchasing Used Sheds, Part 2

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In part one of this two-part blog, we discussed some of the primary issues that may come along with purchasing a used shed. These options may appear to be more affordable than new shed choices, but this often masks several areas of hidden costs that will crop up and change the arithmetic here significantly.

At A-Shed USA, we have a wide variety of high-quality storage sheds available, from our Ranch and Barn options to our J-Series and YardMaster choices. In today’s blog, we’ll go over a few of the other possible reasons why used sheds tend to carry more costs than their up-front price might indicate, and why it’s often best to consider newer options.

Shed Lifespan

We talked about the possible need for repairs on a used shed in part one of this series, and that’s a significant additional cost factor in many cases. But when we talk about overall lifespan, we’re speaking to a different area – that of basic long-term wear-and-tear.

Unfortunately, even the most durable shed materials will wear down over time due to the elements and natural causes. Repairs can slow this process, but they can’t stop it in the end. If you purchase a used shed that’s well along its path in this area, it might wear down and become useless far quicker than you expected, and even your best repair efforts might not make a difference.

Moving the Shed

Another potentially huge cost addition when purchasing a used shed is that of moving the shed to your property from the old one. For one, many older sheds simply aren’t structurally sound enough to be moved using normal processes, and may incur significant damage during the move that makes the purchase far less than worthwhile.

Even if the shed you’re buying is in good enough shape to be moved, moving it can come with a significant cost. Sheds are generally over-sized buildings, which means renting moving vehicles and other pieces of equipment that tend to come at a premium cost. And all this is without getting into the time and hassle spent dismantling certain areas of the shed to make it simpler to move, or hiring professionals to do this for you at a greater cost still.

Load Permits

Down similar lines, you may find that you incur even further costs based on local load permits. Many states and even certain municipalities within states require over-sized load permits for structures of a certain size, and these cost money and take time to acquire. Before trying to move a shed like this, ensure you’re following all local guidelines and won’t be dinged for failure to comply.

For more on why it can be risky to buy a used shed, or to learn about any of our storage sheds, garages or custom buildings, speak to the staff at A-Shed USA today.

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