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All posts by Sean Sant

electrical wiring storage shed

Electrical Wiring Tips for a Storage Shed, Part 2

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In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some of the preliminary basics on setting up electrical wiring for a storage shed on your property. Whether it’s being used for cooled storage, a separate office space or a variety of other potential needs, those looking to wire up a shed need to ensure they take the right steps for both practicality and safety.

At A-Shed USA, we’re proud to offer a huge variety of storage sheds, garages and other custom storage buildings for all our clients, plus tips on areas like electrical wiring and other common uses. In today’s part two of our series, we’ll go over a few additional electrical areas to consider if you’re performing such an installation, including both safety and effectiveness themes.

Power Transportation Format

One of the most important questions you’ll have to answer during this process: How will you run power from your home itself out to the shed without risking any hazards or concerns?

In modern times, the answer is almost always an extension cord or series of extension cords running from the GFI-protected outlets located outside most homes today. Virtually all homes built after 1980 will have such outlets in place, and it’s completely safe to run an exterior-rated extension cord from one of these locations to your shed.

In certain extreme cases where you need several connections in

, the best method might be to run a separate power line buried through the ground. This will be impacted by how far your shed is from the primary building, plus whether other utility lines are already buried in the area and whether any hardscape elements are present.

House Panel Concerns

As you’re considering the above question, it’s also vital to ensure your home has the proper level of amplitude within the circuit breaker to handle the additional load you’ll be placing on it. Most modern homes come with 200-amp service, easily enough for some additional needs, but this could be in jeopardy if you plan to run major tools or heating and cooling elements in the shed. In rare cases, this process might require wiring a sub-panel specifically for the shed.

Electrician Consultation

If you’re concerned about performing any part of this job safely, or even if you’re just looking for expertise on timing, materials or other factors, we strongly recommend contacting a reputable local electrician. Our pros will assist you with all shed-related needs; electricians will ensure your wiring is done safely and properly.

For more on how to wire a storage shed outside your property with electrical power, or to learn about any of our storage sheds or other custom buildings, speak to the staff at A-Shed USA today.

electrical wiring storage shed

Electrical Wiring Tips for a Storage Shed, Part 1

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Sheds on a property can have numerous uses, including some that may require electrical wiring. Whether you require lighting, conditioned air or several other potential electrical features, there are several important considerations as you go down this path.

At A-Shed USA, we’re proud to offer a wide range of storage sheds, from classic Ranch storage sheds to barn sheds, YardMaster and many others. We’ve happily provided tips and assistance to many property owners looking to wire their sheds in some way – this two-part blog will go over a number of themes to keep in mind as you’re beginning this process, including both safety and practical themes.

Local Codes and Regulations

First and foremost, you should be distinctly aware of all local codes and regulations when it comes to running electrical wiring into a shed or similar storage building. These will vary depending on where you live, but generally speaking there are three basic factors that must be present:

  • Proper gauge wire and circuit breaker present
  • GFCI protection on the circuit
  • Special underground wire or conduit that connects to the shed in question

Shed Uses

Once you’ve confirmed you’ll be able to meet all local code requirements, the next big step is to consider the practical uses of the shed with regard to electricity. Not all electrical requirements will be the same – some may require very little wiring while others could be more involved.

In many cases, shed owners are just looking for a simple electrical line that allows a cord-and-plug setup for simple plug-ins. This is usually a simple job you can do within a single day or weekend. On the flip side, if you require power for a shed you’re converting into a workshop for major projects and electrical needs, the job may require more planning and legwork.

Tools Used

A big part of evaluating your shed’s practical uses involves considering the kinds of tools you plan to use within it regularly. If you’ll only be using some basic lights, fans or other low-amp sources, the wiring process will be relatively simple.

If, however, you’ll be using tools like table saws, welders, air compressors or dust collectors regularly, these will require far more amperage than a single electrical circuit can provide. In these cases, you’ll need to run multiple circuits to handle the load. There will also be issues to consider when it comes to voltage – most tools or power appliances run on 110v power, but there are some that will require 220v instead, and this requires different wiring and outlets. If you’re confused here, contact an electrician to ensure you don’t make any mistakes or risk your safety.

For more on wiring a shed for electricity, or to learn about any of our storage sheds, custom garages or other buildings, speak to the staff at A-Shed USA today.

spring shed cleaning organization

Spring Gardening Shed Cleaning and Organization Tips

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While those with sheds on their property utilize them for a number of distinct purposes, gardening and the storage of various gardening equipment is one of the most popular. And for those who engage in significant gardening and landscaping, the onset of the spring season means it’s time to prepare the shed and its contents for the active part of the year.

At A-Shed USA, we offer a wide variety of shed types that are ideal for gardening and related storage needs, from barn sheds (perfect for taller item storage) to ranch sheds and several other top options. In today’s blog, we’ll go over a few basic tips our expert staff can offer on spring cleaning and organization for your gardening shed to make the upcoming warm season one to remember.

Organization Themes

First and foremost, this is a great time of the year to ensure everything in the shed is properly organized and stored. Things may have gone a little haywire over the winter, but you now have an opportunity to hit the rest button.

Separate shed contents into sensible categories, including any items you want to either dispose of or donate if they’re no longer useful. For those you keep, including tools and equipment pieces, store them in intelligent, organic ways that allow for easy access when they’re needed. If it makes sense, you can consider labels for various areas if several people utilize the shed.

Tools and Equipment

Speaking of tools and equipment, early spring is the best time of year to give them a quick once-over and ensure they’re still in good form. Check for any rust or corrosion issues that may have taken place over the winter – limited rusting can usually be cleared off without much issue. Check that mechanical tools are operating properly and safely as well.

Pest Prevention

If you notice any cracks, gaps or other openings in your shed’s walls or entryways, particularly lower to the ground where smaller insects might be able to get in, take the time to fill these gaps with caulk or another quality material. The last thing you want is to enter the shed to grab the lawn-mower one day and find a massive pest infestation, which will present both health and damage risks and cost you significant sums to remedy. If you keep pests from ever entering the area, however, this won’t be a concern.

Old Fuel

Ideally, gardeners and landscapers should be flushing old fuel out of lawn mowers, snowblowers or any other gas-powered items during fall or winter when those items cease to be used. If you were unable to do this previously, however, spring is acceptable as well – old fuel can damage engines and limit the lifespan of these machines, so we highly recommend flushing it out and replacing it with new fuel.

For more on cleaning and organizing a gardening shed during springtime, or to learn about any of our custom sheds, garages or other products, speak to the staff at A-Shed USA today.

shed entrance ramps benefits

Shed Entrance Ramps and Their Benefits

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For a great number of homeowners considering installing or upgrading a shed on their property, a shed ramp will be a major consideration. One of the simplest modifications available for a shed, a basic entrance ramp helps with several areas of storage and convenience for many shed types.

At A-Shed USA, we’re proud to offer not only a wide variety of storage sheds, garages and other custom sheds, but also expertise in additional products like shed entrance ramps. In today’s blog, let’s take a look at some of the primary benefits associated with storage shed entrance ramps, plus why you might consider including one in your shed purchase and setup.

Accessibility and Convenience

For starters, shed ramps are fantastic products for convenience and access to the shed. While some use sheds primarily for storage, others use bungalows or double-wide sheds as refurbished guest homes – a ramp here makes entry and exit safe for any guests, including elderly relatives who might visit.

Even for those who only use the shed for storage and gardening needs, a ramp can be hugely beneficial. Those who have knee or other physical issues often appreciate the ability to walk right into the shed rather than stepping up a level.

Wheeled Storage

For those who utilize the shed as a storage area for any kind of wheeled vehicle, whether we’re talking about a car, motorcycle, bicycle or even yard items like a lawn mower or snowblower, a ramp is often a must-have. This makes moving such vehicles in and out of the area far easier, and also prevents the potential for damage. Those who utilize items like ridden lawn mowers can ride them straight in and out of the shed during use, making for the most convenient process possible.

Improved Versatility

Shed ramps, just like sheds themselves, are available in numerous different materials and styles. This means you can customize them to match the aesthetic of the rest of the shed easily, or you can look for an even sturdier material if you know heavy items will be going up and down the ramp regularly. Wood, aluminum and high-strength steel ramps are all available.

In cases where you don’t care much about the aesthetic, on the other hand, this material selection allows you a wide array of choices for practical purposes. Aluminum ramps, for instance, are known to be lightweight and easy to move around, so they’re perfect for cases where you don’t want a permanent installation and may be moving the ramp around.

For more on potentially including a ramp in your shed purchase and installation, or to learn about any of our storage sheds or other custom shed products, speak to the staff at A-Shed USA today.

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.

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