Make Your Own Garden Shed

Add beauty and function to your landscape with a great-looking garden shed.


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We asked John Hickey, senior designer at Summerwood Products, for his top five tips for designing and building the perfect shed. Here's his advice.

Plan ahead. A garden shed is a little house for your garden gear. Put the same thoughtfulness into designing your shed as you would a home, and you'll be happy with the result. Make a list of everything you would like to store in the shed, and jot down all of the roles you would like it to play. Would you like a place for potting? How about a reading nook? Or a spot to display your watering can collection?

Consider a kit. Offering all kinds of options for customization, garden shed kits simplify the design and building process. Summerwood Products is just one company that produces garden shed kits. "No two sheds we produce are the same," John says. "Each one is designed to fit the needs of the owner." To help, Summerwood Products has an interactive design feature on its Web site that allows you to create up-to-date 3D images of your shed as you choose windows, doors, paint color, and countless other custom features.

Click to visit the Summerwood Products Web site.

Choose the right size. "Get a feel for the size of your shed by going into a room in your house that has similar dimensions," John says. If that space feels adequate, you have probably selected the right size.

Make the foundation a priority. "The shed is only as solid as its foundation," John says. Take time to research and create the best foundation for your structure. Climate and the size of your garden shed will define the particulars of the foundation.

Find a carpenter. If you have building experience, don't hesitate to take on building a shed yourself. Need a helping hand? John suggested contacting the Better Business Bureau in your area. They can put you in touch with reputable contractors who work on small building projects.

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