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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.

protecting shed underside animal

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.

risks purchasing used sheds

Risks Present in Purchasing Used Sheds, Part 1

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At A-Shed USA, we’re proud of the quality of materials we use across all our products. Whether you’re buying a storage shed, garage or some other kind of custom building, our contractors only use the best materials available that will last you decades.

Unfortunately, you don’t necessarily get the same kind of quality guarantee when you purchase a used shed instead of one of our new options. Even if the shed appears to be in great shape from what you can see, there are several potential hidden costs involved that might raise not only the percentage of your budget spent, but also your stress levels due to future issues. This two-part blog will look at several of these possible hidden cost areas, and why buying new materials for your shed is generally the most cost-effective way to go.

Difficulty of Comparing Components

The first issue that you often run into in this realm is the trouble with comparing various products or components within the shed world. Different manufacturers make sheds in varying ways, and even some of those that make very similar products may use different terms or jargon for them that won’t be consistent across the industry.

Consider an area like pressure treatment on lumber, something that some manufacturers utilize and others do not. Simply by looking at a used shed, you won’t be able to tell whether floor joists or other important pieces are pressure treated or not – you also might not be able to see rot or other issues with the floor joists until you’ve already bought the shed and are hauling it away. This same theme applies to several potential areas that you may not realize until you’ve already made a bad purchase.

Possible Repairs Needed

In many cases, used sheds will be sold as-is – any issues that remain with them are the responsibility of the buyer. And even if you bring a knowledgeable person with you to such a sale to help you inspect the shed for any issues, there could be concerns even a keen eye doesn’t spot. Areas like potential rot or mold in unseen areas, animal damage, or various forms of corrosion often give off no visible signs until it’s too late, and once you buy the shed, you’re on the hook for all of these.

Reason for Sale

Another big question that often comes up during a used shed sale: Why is it being sold in the first place? You might run into occasional cases where a shed was purchased but then required a larger or differently-functioning replacement, but the majority of the time, sheds are being sold because there’s something wrong with them – and once again, once you make the purchase, any such issues are fully on you.

For more on why buying used sheds can be a risk, or to learn about any of our quality, durable shed options, speak to the pros at A-Shed USA today.

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Basic Maintenance Tips for Sheds and Garages, Part 2

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In part one of this two-part blog, we went over some of the simple areas of shed or garage maintenance that all homeowners should consider. These easy, non-time-consuming tasks often add years of quality life to these structures, saving you money and hassle down the line.

At A-Shed USA, we’re happy to offer tips and expertise that will help you care for your storage shed in ways that will extend its lifespan far past our 10-year warranty. Let’s go over several other areas that are important for this kind of basic care and maintenance.

Blocking Rodents

Rodents and other small animals are always looking for shelter, warmth and food, especially during the colder Utah and Colorado winter months. One of the first places they’ll often look will be your shed, which can be easier to access than your home.

We recommend installing a basic rodent guard, which can usually be purchased at any home improvement store. These are usually made from wire mesh that protects from rodents while also allowing air to pass through.

Paint Concerns

Many think of paint on a shed as nothing but an aesthetic area, but this is very often not the case. Particularly for wood sheds, paint is vital for protecting the underlying surface from moisture and other potential elements.

If you ever notice peeling or cracking in your paint, it’s good to get to repainting as quickly as possible. Luckily, modern paint is very durable and regularly will last most of a decade before it even begins to peel. If your shed is exposed to significant wind, moisture or other elements, however, you should keep a careful eye out here.

Door Alignment

One of the more common physical issues with sheds over time is a problem with doors that won’t open and close properly. The most frequent cause of this issue is the shed’s foundation settling, which can throw doors out of alignment in some way.

If this happens to your shed, you can often see the alignment issue with the naked eye. If so, try jacking up the proper corner of the building (consider hiring professionals if you’re unsure how to do this) and adding a temporary shim to balance things out. In most cases, though, alignment won’t be an issue if you followed our first tip in part one of this blog and used a gravel pad for the shed’s foundation.

Water Runoff

We went over roofing in part one, and a related area that’s very important is ensuring your shed can properly drain water. Without gutters and properly-directed downspouts, water after storms will simple fall off the side of the roof and splash against the sides of the structure, risking major water damage and rot. Simply installing these pieces will stop this from happening and add years of life to the shed.

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

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