5 things you should know about building a steel shed

Are you considering building a custom steel shed?

Before you get started there are a few factors you will want to consider to help keep costs down. At Ahrens Sheds, we focus on providing cost-effective sheds and steel structures. Here are some of our handy tips to get you started on building your dream shed.
1. What’s the purpose of your steel shed?
Are you looking for a shed for your home, for your workplace or do you have another use in mind? Here are some common use-cases of steel sheds and factors you should consider before you start building.

Shed use caseConsiderations
Residential: Garage, garaport (combination carport and garage)
  • Will you use your shed as a garage, storage, something else? If so do you want a single, double or triple garage? Maybe one with garaports, lean tos or a carport with awnings. Do you need to need to consider reinforcing walls or roof to support shelving?
  • Will you be easily able to access the shed? How much room will you have to get in and out of your garage? It located near the front or back door of your home?
  • Have you considered your neighbours and own privacy? For example, will your neighbours be able to see through the windows into your garage?
  • Have you thought about the proximity between the house and the shed, or how close the shed is to neighbours’ homes?
Industrial: Workshops, commercial warehouses
  • What will the shed be used for? If it’s used as a storage unit then how much storage space do you need? Will you have enough space to perform work duties?
  • Have you considered industrial building design elements? Mezzanine floor structures, lean-to’s, roof overhangs, windows, doors & wall vents.
Rural and Farming: Barns and livestock, shearing
  • Is the design suitable for use? Consider who or what will be housed in your steel shed. Equipment/machinery? Feed? Farm animals?
  • You will want to ensure they have enough space to move around, for example turning circle for vehicles or equipment.
  • Will your shed be easily accessible? Have you considered how you as well as your equipment or livestock will get in and out of the shed?

2. Building permits and council approvals
Building a shed is similar to building a house. Although not all sheds need council approval, many will depending on the size of the building. Most councils require notification for any structure larger than ten square metres.

Either way, it’s usually best to check your local government website to find out whether you need a building permit

If you do need a building permit, to get the process moving quicker, have a meeting with the council planner before submitting your application so you know what is required.

In some cases, the council approval process can be lengthy. Therefore it’s best to be prepared in advance.
3. Design options for your steel shed
When it comes to building your dream shed, make sure it’s decked out the way you want it. The best way to ensure you include everything you want is to have all your information ready before constructing your shed.

Dimensions: How much room do you have for your shed? Have you considered windows, doors and the height of your shed?

Roof shape: Steel sheds come with a variety of roofing options. Choose one that fits your needs. For example a flat top or a roof with a slope. Most roofing options range from a five to thirty-degree roof pitch.

Colours: Do you want your shed colour to match your house? Or do you want a particular colour for your commercial building? Ensure you a lasting colour. In our experience, Colorbond steel has a long life and is known as one of the most robust materials on the world market.

Windows and doors: Have you considered different window options? Do you want standard windows or do you want to include a skylight? Do you prefer roller or sliding doors? Maybe you want to include a personal access door? Have you considered automatic door openers to make life easier?

Designing a shed can be tough. It could be worth seeking expert advice if you’re finding it difficult to get your head around the concepts or design elements.
4. Shed Positioning Specifications
Site-specific designs cover both the physical and environmental context. Getting these right ensures your shed is built to last different environmental conditions, adhere to local government guidelines and still be practically positioned.

Considering the physical and metaphysical context:

The location, positioning and environment of your shed’s intended site can dramatically impact the design of your shed, garage or cover.

Let’s say you’ve already built your shed.

It fits all your tools and cars, you love the paint colour and it’s located near the backdoor of your home for easy access.

A few days after building your shed, you walk out to the clothesline to hang up your washing. It’s dark. The shed’s shadow is completely covering your washing line and your clothes take forever to dry.

A few weeks later you experience a massive storm. The shed and its slab has changed the natural drainage of your block and your yard is flooding.

If only you considered the actual position and environmental impact of the shed.

When deciding on the position of your shed, it’s important to assess factors such as terrain and shadowing. These can greatly change depending upon the size of the shed where it is being built- in a rural setting or in suburbia.

The positioning of your steel shed can also impact the design. Factors that have an effect on design include your site’s wind region, terrain, topography, shadowing factors, importance levels and building classification.

How do you prepare the location for shed delivery?

It’s important to have your area ready before the shed is delivered and assembled. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Clear the area you will build on. Remove any branches and unnecessary items
  2. Level the surface especially if you have a large steel shed. The surface is the foundation generally supported by concrete footers that bear the weight of the steel shed.
  3. Consider safety requirements. What needs to be implemented to ensure the safety of construction workers?

5. The costs involved with building a steel shed
Along with the time it takes to plan and build your steel shed design, here are some construction costs you will have to consider:

  • Building Approvals
  • Foundation
  • Shed Materials
  • Labour
  • Maintenance and any necessary add ons.

It’s generally wise to add a buffer to your final cost. For example, you may find materials fluctuate in price or there may have been an ‘inaccurate assumption’ for labour and construction.

If you need a friendly helping hand with your steel shed construction then contact our team today for a free, no obligation quote.

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