A shed is a functional addition to your landscape. My goal is to help you get the best functional use out of your shed while inspiring you to add creativity to the process with the end result of, “Wow, that really adds to the beauty of our yard!”
A shed is an addition to the landscape whether you are adding a small 4′ x 8′ shed in an urban yard or are adding a larger structure to an acreage. The questions to ask yourself can be similar to the questions asked in landscape design.
- If it is a point of interest in the yard, where will I situate the shed so I will get the best vantage view?
- What design, color, and height do I want to see and how does it compliment what is in the yard.
- What do I want to add around the shed to integrate it into the landscape?
- Do I want the shed to match the house or do I want to make a statement utilizing something different?
Imagine a moss green shed tucked in the corner of the yard with a bright yellow door, and white flower boxes with blue trailing lobelia. In front are a few large flower pots around a small paved brick sitting area with two comfy chairs.
A well-planned shed can improve the overall appearance of your property. Trees, shrubs and plants help integrate the shed into the property. Do you want a flagstone or paved pathway to and from the shed to add interest or perhaps perform a function because you want to minimize the wear and tear of wheelbarrows, tillers and mowers going in and out? Or, is the path there to assist your eyes to wonder down the trail to that interesting shed?
Consider the principles of xeriscaping if you want plant life with minimal work. Saskatoon horticulturalist, Sarah Williams, has an excellent book on this subject called, “Xeriscaping.”
What is the best site for the shed? Location, both in appearance and function are big factors in determining how your shed will best meet you daily needs. Level ground is important. Will the shed be close to a water and electrical supply? If it is also a potting shed, having the garden hose nearby may be very important. Will you have any need for electricity in the shed? If hoses and electrical chords will run to the shed, make sure they are not going across a driveway.
Do you want natural light from a window? If so, which direction do you want the window to face for better light? In my garden shed I had the window facing south, and thought a small window because of the south exposure would be fine, as I didn’t want to give up too much wall space for storage. In hindsight, a larger window would have made the shed brighter inside and the extra space lost to a bigger window would have been worth it.
What will the structure be used for? What purpose will it serve? Some possibilities are: ATV storage, dog house, yoga studio, children’s play house, art studio, pool house, and garden shed. If this is for storage, how much stuff do you want to store? Do you want to put the lawn mower, roto-tiller, rake, shovels and a few hoes in it? Think about everything. Perhaps make a list. Does the list include the weed wacker, wheelbarrow, fertilizer spreader, watering cans, bags of fertilizer and potting soil? What about storage for hoses and pots in winter, trimming shears, leaf bags, etc. A great deal can be stored in a shed if it is efficiently planned inside. All wall space to the ceiling, and rafters, if you have them, can be used for storage space. Think also what your future needs might be.
How do I want the shed to look? What architectural design do I want? As this web site will show you, there are decisions to be made about, roof pitch, over hang, door size, wall height, awning, and windows. What about colors? The sky is the limit given all of the options in types of siding, roofing materials, windows, doors, hardware, and paint and stain colors. A shed does not need to be taken as seriously as a house so let yourself play with creativity in a bolder way. A cedar shake roof with barn board siding or a metal roof with brightly colored siding are simple additions to the basic 8′ by 12′ shed that can add points of interest to the backyard. How big do I want it? What are zoning codes for taxes? Any shed 10′ by 10′ or smaller, (100 square feet), will not alert the tax man. What space do I have to work with? After the decision, what am I using it for, how much space do I need for this purpose?
I hope the addition of a new structure to your yard, is more than just a “shed,” but a point of interest in your yard.