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protecting storage shed fire

Protecting Storage Shed From Fire Risks, Part 2

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In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some of the basic themes to keep in mind when limiting any minor fire risks present to your storage shed. Sheds will only be at-risk of fire if they are not properly maintained and protected, but a few simple approaches will help ensure this is never a concern on your property.

At A-Shed USA, we’re here to offer numerous storage shed options, including our ranch sheds, barn sheds and many other custom shed selections. In addition, we’re here to help clients with basic tips and expertise on fire prevention and overall maintenance to any of our sheds. Today’s part two of our series will go over some of the broader areas you should be hitting when it comes to not only preventing fires, but being protected just in case a fire or some other disaster type does take place.

Building Maintenance

Many of the themes we went over in part one to prevent shed fires involve storage and security of various items. Also relevant as a broad area here: Overall building maintenance, which will also show benefits in several other areas.

You should be covering everything from your roof to shed siding, screens and other areas. Make sure the ground near the shed slopes properly away from it. Rake or remove and leaves or other debris that might serve as fire risks, plus check for any gaps or leaks that might pose a risk.

Warranty Coverage

Zooming out even further, it’s vital to have proper coverage of your property in case of not only fire, but also other natural disaster risks. Even if these are very unlikely, fire especially given all the steps you’ve taken for protection, you do not want to be caught unprepared.

One of the key elements here is your warranty. At A-Shed USA, we offer 50-year manufacturer warranties on several elements of our sheds – this will vary between manufacturers and retailers, however, and you should check in advance. You should know not only how long the warranty lasts, but precisely what it covers.

Homeowners’ Insurance

Another vital theme here is homeowners’ insurance. If you already have this in place at the time you choose to install a new storage shed on your property, you must take the time to update your policy – it may not currently cover the shed, but you can usually change this easily enough. If you don’t already have homeowners’ insurance for some reason, now is the time to change that while ensuring both your home and your new shed are covered.

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

protecting storage shed fire risks

Protecting Storage Shed From Fire Risks, Part 1

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Many parts of the country are in fire season currently, and this is one of the worst – if not the worst – in recent memory. Property owners around the western United States should be taking care to both protect their property and limit any activities that might serve as fire risks, and this includes those who have storage sheds on their property.

At A-Shed USA, we’re happy to not only offer a wide range of quality custom storage sheds, but also expertise on proper use and several protection areas, including fire protection. What are some basic ways you can ensure your shed and the rest of your property are protected from potential fire risks, and what are some long-term forms of protection that should also be in place in case of disaster outside your control? This two-part blog series will answer these questions and more for all shed owners.

Shed Fire Risks

Sheds can be a fire risk for a couple relatively apparent reasons. The first is their material, which is often flammable to some degree, and the second is the presence of various potential items that are often flammable as well.

Consider that many homeowners use their garden shed to store items like furniture, fuels, garden equipment, gas cylinders and many others that are directly flammable – and often hard to extinguish once they ignite. Especially if these items are stored improperly or haphazardly, their fire risk increases even further. Other risks that could be present in some sheds include things like electrical wiring, lighting systems and similar themes.

General Fire Reduction Themes

On a day-to-day basis, here are some general tips we can offer on protecting your shed and the surrounding area from any fire risks:

  • Store any fuel, oil or other highly flammable substances in sealed and approved containers that have their own dedicated, out-of-the-way location.
  • If you have any chemicals, fuels or other flammable substances that are not regularly used, do not store them in the shed.
  • Secure your shed against theft and deliberate fire using a security light or other techniques.
  • Check any electronics or wiring in the shed to ensure there are no operational issues or frayed wires. Also check any power sockets and circuit breakers that connect to the shed, plus ensure they are not overloaded at any point.
  • When installing a new shed and choosing its location, ensure it’s far enough away from all other major structures on the property that if a fire does begin outside your control, it can be contained to the shed alone.

For more how to limit fire risks on your storage shed, or to learn about any of our storage sheds, garden sheds or other shed solutions, speak to the staff at A-Shed USA today.

items avoid storing garden shed

Items to Avoid Storing in the Garden Shed, Part 2

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In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some of the basics on shed storage, plus certain items you should avoid storing in an outdoor shed. While many items, from yard equipment to gardening tools and many home appliances, are ideal for shed storage, there are certain items that have specific storage needs that aren’t conducive to this space.

At A-Shed USA, we’re happy to offer not only a wide variety of custom storage sheds and garages, but also expertise on their use and related themes. In today’s part two of our series, we’ll go over a few other items or product areas you should generally stay away from storing in your storage shed unless you have specific upgrades in place just for these purposes.

Clothing or Bedding

While clothing and bedding fabrics can become bulky and you may struggle with indoor storage for them in some cases, we strongly recommend looking for any other location besides the storage shed. This is because many storage sheds will have at least some quantity of insects, moths and related crawlers present during the course of the year, and these may invade your fabrics and ruin them.

In many cases, shed storage also causes fabrics to pick up a musty, undesirable odor. For this reason, we recommend storing these in a drawer or closet.

Various Electronics

Most of us are well aware that electronics don’t do well in the elements, and this extends even to the limited outdoor conditions they’ll be exposed to if stored in a shed space. One major risk here is rust, which can damage and completely ruin the internal wiring of many electrical pieces when they’re stored outdoors and in the wrong temperature ranges. You also risk moisture damage if the shed has even a single area without proper sealing.

Wine

Some have heard of the different ways humidity can impact wine, and might be thinking they’ll try something new by storing it in the shed. Unfortunately, though, this misses another vital storage element for wine: Temperature, which must be consistent and will risk a metallic taste otherwise. While the darkness of a shed is a good thing, varying temperatures make it untenable for wine storage, which should take place in a dark place with consistently cool temperatures.

Instruments

Finally, while the shed may have space for certain instruments that are an awkward fit elsewhere in the home, many of these will not do well in this environment. Numerous instruments are impacted by temperature and humidity, especially those made of wood, and those made from brass will also risk major rust and corrosion.

For more on items to avoid storing in your outdoor storage shed, or to learn about any of our custom sheds or other structures, speak to the staff at A-Shed USA today.

items avoid storing garden shed

Items to Avoid Storing in the Garden Shed, Part 1

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As those who have owned a garden shed in the past can likely attest, one of the primary benefits of such a structure on your property is storage. Sheds are ideal for storing a variety of items, whether we’re talking gardening equipment and lawn mowers or overflow items from the house where there isn’t enough room.

At A-Shed USA, we’re proud to offer a wide range of custom sheds, including storage sheds and other garden sheds with storage high in mind as a top priority. While we encourage clients to store a wide variety of items in our sheds, there are a few you might want to hold off on storing in such an environment – this two-part blog will go over some of the factors that contribute to this reality, plus several items to avoid storing in the garden shed moving forward and why.

Factors in Garden Shed Storage

For starters, it’s important to consider three basic elements when it comes to storage sheds:

  • Temperature: Sheds generally are not insulated, meaning temperature will swing heavily between summer and winter. Heat expands while cold contracts, which can damage certain equipment or freeze liquids. Extreme heat can also cause chemical changes to valuable possessions.
  • Moisture: Sheds also generally aren’t sealed as tightly as a home, meaning the chances of moisture presence and higher humidity are both present. This means mold can show up if you don’t take the proper maintenance steps, plus rust may damage metal goods over a period of time.
  • Pests: If you do not properly seal your shed, pests like rodents and bugs may invade – particularly if you leave food or other edible items.

Our subsequent sections will look at items we might recommend against storing in your shed.

Canned Food

Canned food can be stored for long periods, but it’s best in a stable, cool environment like your home. Any humidity or major temperature changes can corrode cans, leading to spillage – this risk only goes up during the high temperatures of the summer, and can also decrease food nutritional value. Keep your canned food in a dedicated area in your home.

Artwork

Art created using various paints and other methods is extremely vulnerable to elements like heat and moisture. Any expansion or contraction due to temperature may warp it, destroying its value almost instantly. Humidity may lead to mold – you might think plastic wrap prevents this, but it can actually make the issue worse in some cases. If you own valuable art you do not want to see altered, it shouldn’t be stored in the shed.

For more on items to avoid keeping in your storage shed, or to learn about any of our storage sheds, custom garages or other structures, speak to the staff at A-Shed USA today.

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.

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