It may seem odd to write about garden buildings in the winter, but it also seems a bit odd that just “last week” it was April, if you get my drift. If you are like me the best intentions can be overwhelmed with reality, and projects I was so sure I would get done, never get accomplished. But, I have discovered, with a minimal amount of pre-planning even the most daunting projects can come together rather smoothly.
So let’s talk about about garden buildings. Whether you want something small like an 8’ x 10’ storage unit or a large 14’ x 24’ garage-like structure, you can make the process much smoother, by planning a bit. What follows are a couple of easy steps.
1. Research your Garden Building
Determine what it is you need. What function do you want your garden building to have? Will this be used for storage, as a potting shed, a full-blown garage, an office or guesthouse; or some hybrid of all the above? When you answer this basic question of function it gives you a great jumping off spot. You will have an idea of size and function that points you in the right direction for step two. Whatever you decide, according to research about to be published in the British Medical Journal, puttering around in a garden building can relieve stress and perhaps even prolong your life http://elbec4gardenbuildings.co.uk/blog/post/2011/11/30/Live-Longer-with-a-Garden-Shed-from-Elbec!.aspx.
Make sure, at this stage, to find out if your municipality has specific code or permit requirements. I have seen people buy first and then run into serious code issues later. Trust me; you don’t want to do that!
2. Choose your Garden Building size and style
There are as many different styles of buildings as there are manufacturers. Whereas in the past you were limited to the cute hip-roof barns; today you can purchase anything from small storage sheds to the traditional barn, from a stylish studio building or garage, to a beautiful bungalow. Garden buildings are no longer limited in scope to serve as storage sheds. Today they add value, beauty and functionality to your property as well. The fun thing about choosing your style is that your backyard garden building makes a statement expressing your sense of design and aesthetic values.
3. Garden Building site preparation
In most cases you will be given the option of purchasing your garden building with or without a floor. If you go without a floor you will most likely need a concrete pad upon which to anchor your structure. If you go with a floor, your building will likely come on 4’ x 4’ treated skids. In this case you really don’t need a concrete pad, but you could still use one. I recommend a 4” to 6” bed of gravel for the following three reasons. It will be relatively inexpensive. It is very easy to get a level bed upon which to place your structure. And the gravel will discourage small animals from nesting under your building.
4. Garden Building Setup
Wherever you purchase your building, you will be given options for setup. Depending on the size it may come fully assembled. If it is too large for that, the company will generally offer what is known as a site build for a price or they will allow you to assemble the structure yourself. As a DIY project, if you (or your friends) have carpentry skills, it is quite doable. This is especially true of the smaller garden buildings.
5. Utilize your new Garden Building
Once your garden building is in place, have fun with it! Show it off. Decorate it in your unique style. Allow it’s functionality to blossom.
By following the first four simple steps now, in winter, you can be ready to go by early spring, and engage step five! That way you will get the most out of your new garden building throughout the rest of the year and for decades to come.
Until next time this is Leon from HomePlace Structures saying “Have fun with it!”