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Storage Shed 101 – 6 Basic Questions You Need To Ask

Updated: Mar 20

You are tired of clutter.  

You just want a storage shed to get your stuff organized and under a roof–a pollution solution.

But there are so many options for buying sheds that you are tempted to store your stuff in the landfill instead.  

It doesn’t have to be this way!

Where should you start? In our years of building sheds, we have found that there are 6 questions you need to answer in order to create a storage shed that is a perfect fit for you and your storage needs.

We are committed to teaching you everything we know about storage buildings so that you can make an informed decision about what will suit your needs now and in the future.

These 6 questions will get you started to the perfect backyard storage shed.

1. Who should I get to build my shed?  Your choice of a builder of storage sheds goes well beyond the delivery of your new shed into your yard.  As you look around and talk to people, consider their reputation over the years for quality products and follow-up service.  For more information, see “Who Should I Get To Build My Shed?”

2. How large should my shed be?  After choosing a shed builder, the size of your storage building is your most important initial decision.  There are essentially three things to take into consideration when choosing your size: Storage Space, Yard Space, and Permit Requirements.  Storage buildings come small (6×6) or large (28×40), so you have plenty of options.  A quick idea is to simply lay out your largest items (think mowers) on the ground where you want your shed, and then measure the dimensions you need to be able to store them.  Unless you want to crawl over them to get to the other side, be sure to leave room to move around your largest roadblocks. For more info, read “What Size Shed Do I Need?”

Think through what you want to store in your shed. Floor space is a crucial question to answer.

3.  What style shed should I buy?  The look of your building is only part of the question here, as the style you choose also affects how much storage space you have.  Higher walls give more space for storage and shelving, but lower walls are more economical.  “Barn style” roofs are more classic, while the “cottage style” roofs offer many options for customizations such as dormers and overhangs.  While you still have your mower and other items laid out, think about where you want your doors and windows.  Again, be sure that you can maneuver around your largest items once the walls are up (and that you can see to walk around when the doors are shut).

For more info, download our Shed Buying Guide, which gives you a pretty comprehensive overview of what you need to consider. For more brief articles, read …

→ Gambrel Roof Shed vs. Gable Roof Shed: the Best Shed Design for You → 12×16 Shed | A Guide to Buying or Building a 12×16 Shed → 12×20 Shed | A Guide to Buying or Building a 12×20 Shed

This is a Carriage House, one of many styles we offer.

4.  What materials should I use?  Many materials are standard on all buildings, so you don’t need to make choices there.  At Ulrich Lifestyle, our standard materials include pressure-treated runners and floor joists, Silvertech SmartPanel siding, LP TechShield radiant barrier roof sheathing (which keeps the building cool in the summer), and 30-year architectural shingles.  But you may want the option of vinyl siding or a metal roof.  Of course, many other options for building materials are available for custom-designed storage buildings.

Here are some articles that will help you learn more about materials:

→ LP SmartSide vs. T1-11 Siding for Sheds → Wood vs. Vinyl Sheds — A Comparison of Shed Sidings → PROS and CONS of Metal Roofing for Sheds, Gazebos, and Barns

5.  Where do I put my shed?  You don’t want to create enemies with your new shed, so remember to leave enough room between your shed and your neighbor’s yard.  This is called setback; be sure that you show interest in your local setback requirements before your inspector does.  This is one case where forgiveness may not be easier than permission.  Also, be sure that the shed delivery guys have access to get your building from the street to where you want it–we’ve never found a front door wide enough to get a shed through the house to the back yard. See 7 Tips for a Great Shed Placement.

6.  How do I pay for my shed?  You have options.  At Ulrich Lifestyle, once you select a shed from one of our retail lots, or when we have your storage shed designed to your satisfaction, you will pay 20% down with cash or any major credit card.  You may want to check with your bank for financing; we offer in-house financing for buildings over $6000, as well.  If you prefer a no-risk plan, you may choose our rent-to-own option, which requires only a small deposit rather than 20% down.  Many people find this an attractive option if they have been using self-storage, or think they may move in the next year or two.

Check out our payment options.

Answering these 6 questions will give you a great start to getting a shed in your yard that will leave you without regrets on day 1 or day 1001.  For more information on how to design the perfect shed for your backyard, download our FREE Shed Buyers’ Guide.

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