What's Trending with Storage Sheds?

Written by Angie's List staff
Updated August 13, 2010
shed, garden, water barrel
A fresh coat of paint brightens the shed's exterior while the addition of a water barrel increases its' functionality. (Photo by Doug McSchooler)

Sheds can include skylights, extra windows, fresh paint schemes and electricity.

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Storage sheds are a popular option for homeowners looking to squeeze every ounce of storage opportunity from their property. Three Seattle experts offer tips and advice to get the best shed for your money.

Seattle storage shed experts:

Ed Olson, presidentPacific Garages Inc.Seattle

Gary Spray, owner/operatorSpray ConstructionAuburn, Wash.Jean Burnett, vice presidentAll Purpose StructuresSumner, Wash.

What are the big trends for exterior storage structures?

Olson: Wood-framed garages have become smaller in scale. They are more often used as workshop space, rather than for storing belongings.

Spray: I've built structures to store lawnmowers, wood shops and personal belongings. I can even custom build a shed to match your home.

Burnett: The most popular type of garage has two stories, including a "mother-in-law apartment." This space is also used for storage and workshops.

When's the best time of year to build a shed?

Olson: We can build year-round, but the summer and fall months are the best time for such a project.

Spray: I work year-round, but the busiest time is midsummer to early fall.

Burnett: When scheduling this project, take into consideration that getting the proper building permit could take up to six months.

What kind of light source works best for such structures?

Olson: Fluorescent lighting is the most common for the interior.

Spray: Skylights and windows work best in sheds; garages use standard electricity according to building codes.

Burnett: You can install skylights or extra windows, but sheds and garages can be finished with electricity, just like the interior of your home.

How can homeowners best maintain the life of a storage shed?

Olson: Keep it clean and make sure you put a very good exterior paint product on.

Spray: Repaint your shed every five years to keep it in good condition, especially if it's exposed to bad weather.

Burnett: Keep your wood siding painted, and keep moss and debris off asphalt- shingled roofing.

What other advice should homeowners keep in mind when building a storage shed?

Olson: Use a company that is experienced not only in building the product but also in obtaining the building permits.

Spray: Pay half upfront for materials and half after completion of the project. Don't ever pay in full upfront.

Burnett: Don't just hire contractors because they low-ball their prices. Be diligent as a consumer. Now, more than ever, make sure you hire a licensed contractor!

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