Storage sheds are a vital part of many private homes. Because most people do not have sufficient space to store lawn and garden equipment in their garage, a storage shed is an important way to offer a secure storage building for lawn and garden equipment. They can also properly store a variety of other items as well.
The Many Uses for Outbuildings and Sheds
While the exact size and dimensions of sheds and outbuildings can vary based on need, outdoor sheds are the perfect place to store lawn equipment, tools, outside furnishings and so much more. While the typical homeowner builds a shed or small outbuilding for the storage of tools and lawn equipment, many outside sheds are increasingly being used as accessory buildings for a variety of other uses. Be sure to check storage shed plans by Howtobuildashed.org. In fact, one of the more common uses for a tool shed is the use of them as outbuildings. This includes using yard sheds as outbuildings for:
• Home Studios Workshops
• Children’s Playhouses
• Barns for Animals
• Pool Cabanas
• Patio Cabanas
• Outdoor Furniture Storage Buildings
While these are the traditional uses for these yard buildings. There are other great uses for larger outbuildings. These can be used as:
• Park and Private Community Front Gate Buildings
• Private Estate Guest Cottages
• Tiny Homes
• Camp and Retreat Cottages
• Municipal Pool Changing Buildings
• Campground or Park Bathrooms
• Park Vending and Refreshment Stands
Primary Residential Uses for Outbuildings
Since many of the yard sheds of today offer great alternatives to filling the garage with clutter, these buildings have become commonplace for many homes across the country. However, they have also taken on new meaning for many homeowners.
One of the biggest new trends for homeowners is the creation of outdoor living space. By contrast to just having a place with a grill, outdoor living space is created by having an area with running water, lights and patio overhang separate from the home to extend the enjoyment of a yard. People who are looking to have an outbuilding to expand their living space for outdoor enjoyment, also often choose to use a concrete shed platform with a foundation to create a yard cabana. These finished off structures add beautiful outdoor living and accessory space when they are built as cabanas with patios for warm weather outdoor dining and entertaining.
Shed and Outbuilding Flooring Options
For homeowners who are looking to buy an outbuilding or build one from purchased blueprints, one of the most important long-term decisions is what to use for flooring. There is no generic answer to this since the usage of the outbuilding is the number one factor in determining the best type of flooring.
It is better to ensure the long-term use of these outbuildings, there should be a concrete foundation built for the structure. Pouring a concrete foundation will significantly increase the lifespan of the outbuilding by making it a more permanent structure. If a concrete slab foundation is created for the building, it is recommended the building be attached to the slab in a similar way as a home would be. This will also increase the value of the building as this creates a permanent structure status.
Other flooring bases should be considered carefully. Some of the other floorings that are used for outbuildings include wood and metal base flooring. However, in both these cases, the chance of rot, rodent and insect infestation is substantial. This can reduce the life of the outbuilding significantly.
Once the base flooring is decided, interior flooring is the next most important decision. For buildings that will house a workshop, tools, pool equipment or lawn care items, leaving the base floor concrete is recommended. Concrete is easy to maintain and clean from wood shavings, grass clippings, mud or debris.
It should be noted that keeping the floor concrete for a workshop has benefits for cleanup. However, a concrete finish will leave the floor cold during the winter months. Because of this, some property owners opt to have raised flooring installed over the concrete. Once this is done, the floor can be finished off with linoleum for easy care and maintenance.
For outbuildings being used as a pool cabana, one of the more popular floorings is linoleum or carpet that is meant for indoor-outdoor use. As long the carpet is an indoor-outdoor carpet that is water resistant, it will be appropriate for flooring use.
Flooring for studios and cottages can include any type of flooring if the building has some type of electricity and heat. A subfloor should be built above the concrete to help keep the floor warm in colder weather months. Once this is done it can be readily carpeted.
Flooring and Special Considerations for Barns Meant for Farm Animals
For people who are looking to use an outbuilding as an animal barn, dirt floors are often chosen for the animals. However, concrete can be used as well for easy cleaning with hay, or a combination of hay and dirt used for a softer flooring for the animals. If a dirt floor is chosen, the building should be built on a concrete base around the frame of the building to keep the integrity of the building intact and provide it longevity. Pressure treated wood with anti-fungal and safe natural insecticide repellent treated wood is best to use for the base of the frame.