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suggestions on how to build a shed to fit my needs

Posts: 300
Location: CT zone 5b
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I would like to build a small shed to store a tractor and a couple of other machines. They're in my garage now, but there isn't enough space left to use the garage once all the machines are in. I prefer my garage as a workspace rather than storage, so ideally I'd like to get the machines out.

Things I'd like to store in the shed- garden tractor, wood chipper, push mower, 20 or so gallons of gas, and maybe a few hand tools. A 3-sided shed with a tarp over the front in extreme weather ought to do it.

Some options would be as a lean-to off the back of the garage, or a free-standing structure. I'm open to all types of methods and materials.
Posts: 710
Location: In the woods, West Coast USA
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Definitely, without a doubt, make it a four sided shed with two doors that open wide enough to get the tractor through. It's crucial to keep the rodents out, they love to make nests in/ near the air filter, engine places, and chew wires. It's also crucial to keep your best equipment as dry as possible. That includes a floor, a very heavy floor, in case your description didn't include one, with a lot of support under it. Better to overdo than undero. A concrete pad would be good, since that would keep the rodents out as well. It's also great for cleaning out mud that comes in on the tires. You want to be able to lock everything up.

Don't skimp on size. because you will need room to walk around the tractor without running into the mower., and have room at the door to bring the mower out without taking the tractor out, so it should be deeper than you think. It's also wise to plan on extra space for future equipment, even if it is just smaller things like a chainsaw or a string trimmer. Not making it big enough will mean you may need a second shed, which ends up being more expensive than a larger original shed. You'll want to put extra machine parts, oil, tarps, leftover building material, and tools that could rust or rot if left outside, shelves for paint and spray cans, .

If you are going to build it, (as opposed to buying a shed kit) it is most efficient to make the size in multiples of the size of a standard piece of plywood, the US that 4 feet by 8 feet. If you make the walls 8 feet tall, like the size of the plywood, you can put in overhead storage. You'll need to walk into it easily without bending over anyway, and using the whole piece of plywood gives you that extra space in the ceiling area as well.

Buy the best siding you can afford, it will last much, much longer and the rodents can't chew through it.

Try not to make it too high off the ground on the door side, so any ramps that get the tractor inside are not too steep.

I installed vents that can open and close to control moisture. I paint a wooden floor to keep it from soaking in stains, but I don't paint the inside of the walls so they will absorb moisture.

Sheds in the sun may be hot during the day, but that's passive solar heat, and they will dry out and have less mold in them. You don't want a shed where a lower limb of a large tree might drag against the roof and wear out the roofing material faster.

I don't have windows in mine, because the vents do a good job on air flow, and with two doors open there's enough light to see.

I like to use opaque stain on the exterior, it lasts longer in direct sun than paint does. I just painted over some stain I put on one shed 15 years ago, it is in the direct sun and lots of wind. The only reason I restained it was because I wanted to change the color. The original stain was still in great shape.

Having to re-do things even 10 years down the line is expensive. Sheds never get cheaper, nor the material to make them, so make it an investment that will last for decades and not give you a moment's worry during bad storms.

Posts: 1331
Location: Victoria BC
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Lots of great stuff there in Cristo's post!

I prefer storing the gas with all the other nasty liquids in a dedicated storage locker or chest outside the building; a large roof overhang is ideal to shelter this.

A lot of the rest comes down to budget. Always better to overdo than underdo... unless it means you run outa money for something else that was more important! On the one end you've got a freestanding ~20x24 overheight double garage with a cement floor, on the other end a pole-barn style tractor shed with the back wall provided by the garage, a tarp for the front, and gravel on the floor...

I don't suppose it would be feasible to extend the garage *forward* instead? Take the existing front wall/door system off, add concrete pad/walls/roof until it's deep enough to do double duty, then reinstall door system?
Posts: 126
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Do you have any building materials? I collect stacks of stuff, when I have a project, I see what I have and what I can build with it. Next project is a 36'x36' barn and it pains me that I will have to BUY new metal roofing for it....... If you are going to buy everything you need, then you can design and build what you want. I like the concrete floor idea for your equipment, but if that is too pricey, dirt can look real good. LOL Start by drawing what you want, include measurements. Look online for barn/shed plans and go from there.
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