By Christine Loxley
Storage sheds are often considered a "rural" thing, the sort of item one finds in the backyards of old houses on country lanes. But more and more people in regular suburban neighborhoods, even modern areas with brand-new houses, are using storage sheds now.
Sheds can be both stylish and functional, adding utility and beauty to a yard. People use them to store outdoor items such as gardening tools and sports equipment, or for general storage if they don't have an attic or basement (or if those spaces are already full).
Do you need one?
Consider the following:
Do you not have a garage, attic or basement? Or, if you do have them, are they already packed with other items?
Even after cleaning out unnecessary clutter and organizing what you have, do you still need more space?
Is your backyard spacious enough to accommodate a shed? You'll need at least an 8x8 space.
If a storage shed is indeed what you need, consider the various styles and find something that will complement your home. If your house is old or rustic, a quaint old-fashioned shed might look nice behind it. If your home is recently built in a more modern style, remember there are sheds made to look sleek and modern, too.
Even the details of the shed can match the main house. Things like awnings, shutters and doors can be made to complement each other, making your shed like a miniature version of your home.
Before buying or installing a shed, check with city ordinances to see what laws govern putting a shed in your backyard. Most municipalities allow for it, but it's best to check first.
Once you've got a space cleared for the shed, it's relatively easy to find one pre-built (or requiring only a little assembly). Or if you enjoy such projects, building one is a task many do-it-yourselfers can manage. You'll have even more control over it that way, making your shed a truly personal item that reflects you and your home.
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