Shedding season, part II

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Last time I talked about my decision to build a utility shed in the backyard to get a lot of the yard/garden and non-woodworking stuff out of my garage shop. Now, I'm asking for your advice.

I figure that many of you also have outdoor utility sheds, and I'd like to know what you have and how you use it. To recap, I want to store two bicycles, a lawnmower and all yard-related gear (all of which will be wall-hung). I'd also like a few shelves for boxes of gardening items and other miscellaneous stuff. Various winter stuff like a snow shovel, salt and the shop heater will go into a corner there during the summer, and then be swapped out with summer items like garden hoses when it turns colder. At this point I'm thinking that a 10'x10' structure is the best way to go.

Now, here's where you come in. I really want your suggestions on this one, so here are some of the basic questions I have.

? Is 10'x10' the optimal size for my needs as described?

? I've pretty much decided that the structure will be wood, but is there any reason to consider metal or plastic? (I hope not.) I intend to paint and shingle it to exactly match our house.

? There are several ways I could go with the foundation, but what worked well for your shed?

? Now here's the biggie: My first thought is to buy all the materials I need myself, as opposed to getting a shed "kit" from one of the big-box stores. I'm a woodworker, after all, and have done my own framing construction before. And I'm guessing that those kits are generally higher priced for the convenience, as opposed to what buying just the needed materials would be. On the other hand, when considering this last year I noticed that prices of all those shed kits drop drastically in the fall – which is right about the time I plan to build it anyway. The savings could be up to 20 percent and more, which would ultimately make the cost about the same as buying the material separately. And it really would be more convenient to most of the components already cut.

So there you have it. Let's start a dialogue on this and see what we come up with.

Till next time,

A.J.

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