Permanent Or Portable Shed Which Is Best?

Sheds meet an obvious need common to most Americans, but besides storage, they can also be used for shops, garages, offices, and recreation. Most dealers offer a wide selection of buildings that can be used for a multitude of purposes for homes and businesses. So, which is right for you, a portable shed or a permanent shed?

Portable sheds

Some sheds are installed permanently on location, but there are also portable storage sheds which can be moved onto location. Portable storage barns are usually kept to a size that makes ease of transport a major consideration. That will normally be about 14 feet wide, and around 26 to 30 feet long. Most suppliers are set up for this size, but anything longer or wider may require special permits beyond the normal small building permits required in most states.

Permanent sheds

Buildings that are not built to be moved are considered permanent, although most buildings of any type are not truly permanent. Some storage barns are built on concrete slabs, some are built using post frame construction methods. Such buildings are not intended to be moved from place to place, although there are many prefabricated, or pre-engineered buildings which can be disassembled and re assembled at a new location.

Which is right for you?

Well, that is a determination you will need to make based on what use you intend for your shed in both the long and short term.

If you need a large shop, or garage, or a very large amount of storage space, a permanent shed may be the best solution. If you just need a craft room, a hobby shop, a small amount of storage space, or you plan to move the shed at some latter date, go portable.

Rent To Own Storage Barns: The Truth

In his article: Rent to Own Storage Sheds – Why You Should Think Twice, Michael W. Mathis covered some of the reasons why he believes rent to own storage sheds are a bad idea for homeowners. He makes a few good points along the way.

The truth about rent to own storage barns

So, what is the truth about rent to own utility barns, and is it something you should consider?

It is obvious that lease purchase agreements are not the “be all, end all” for purchasing anything, and, of course, you should think twice before buying anything using this means.

The main point of his article seems to be that rent to own storage barns are expensive, since you pay about twice what the building would cost for cash. He finishes by saying that: “If they can’t obtain reasonable financing or save and pay for out right, then they probably don’t really need it.”

While I agree, that lease purchase agreements are not the best options, and that they will cost more than an outright purchase, there are some times when a rent to own storage shed makes sense.

When is rent to own a bad idea?

When you have the money to pay for it outright. You will save money if you purchase the building with cash, but there are also cases where this is not true.

When is rent to own a good idea?

This list should give you some idea, and I am sure you can come up with other cases:

  1. When the building is needed to create or preserve wealth. In such cases, the building is really a tool, like a truck, or a table saw. If it is needed, and can be obtained in no other way, it is better to have it for the purpose of creating wealth, than to not have it, and lose the opportunity.
  2. You intend to use the building for business, and taxes are an issue. This is related to number 1. In some situations, renting offers tax advantages. In some states, a portable building is not taxed as a part of the property where it resides. In many situations, business rental can be deducted from income taxes, and that can level the playing field.
  3. If you are renting space in a public storage. If you are already paying rent for something you must preserve, renting storage space that you will eventually own makes sense. You will be leasing something for a few years and looking forward to the day when it belongs to you as opposed to leasing space forever. Spending $200.00 per month forever makes far less sense than paying $200.00 per month for 36 to 48 months.
  4. You have credit problems. If you have credit problems, bank financing may not be possible for you. In fact, you may need the building to alleviate the cost of public storage.
  5. You want to avoid credit problems. If the possibility that you might default on a loan and ruin your credit has crossed your mind, and it is a risk you do not want to take, a rent to own storage shed may be the best option. Most rent to own storage barn dealers have contracts that will allow you to return the building without banging up your credit. Will your banker do that?

Check out the rules and regulations where you live, and, of course, you should look over the lease purchase agreement before you sign it. Ask any questions you have, and the dealer will be happy to answer them.

Top 20 Reasons To Buy A Shed

Some reasons why you might want, or even need a shed:

  1. To stop paying self storage fees
  2. To store tools
  3. To store equipment
  4. To use as a garden shed or potting shed
  5. Living quarters
  6. Get rid of clutter in your home
  7. Get rid of clutter in your yard
  8. To get rid of the stress caused by the clutter in your home and yard
  9. To store documents from your home office
  10. Create a home office
  11. Create a home gym
  12. Create a play room for kids
  13. Create a game room for yourself
  14. To create a game room for your kids
  15. Create a man cave
  16. Create a media room
  17. Create a work shop
  18. Create a craft room
  19. Create a guest room
  20. To clean out the garage so you can park your car or do any of the other things listed above in the garage.

According to our survey information, number 20 is actually the top reason for buying a shed.

Your top 20 may be different, so feel free to share your your thoughts in our comment section.

#1 Reason To Buy A Shed: Stress Relief

It is probable that the number one reason for owning a shed is to cut down on stress levels. There is marital tension, there is parental tension, there is workplace tension, and the place where you want to relieve that  workplace tension is at home… So, how can a simple shed help you deal with the everyday tensions of life?

Top five ways to reduce stress with a shed

1. Temporary housing for annoying in laws. If you buy or build a shed, and turn it into a guest home, you can cut your stress level by allowing them to stay in the nice new guest house you created just for them when they come to visit!
2. To get your wife off your back. How many times has she asked you to clean out the closet, or the spare room, or the garage, or get that trolling motor out of the pantry? Buying a shed where all of these things can be stored away neatly will reduce marital conflict by a factor of 10! We are just guessing here, but it sounds reasonable.
3. To get rid of the kids during the big game. Your shed can be turned into a nice playroom, or game room for your kids, that way, when the big game is on, you won’t have to suffer through the arguments about “wii”, or “World of Warcraft”, you can just send them out to the shed to play.
4. To get rid of the wife during the big game. Use the shed as a framework for building her a special room for her favorite activities.
5. To build a man cave as a hideout when you get locked out of your home for being such a jerk to your family and in laws during the big game. Be sure to add a TV, a refrigerator, and a cot, you may be out there for a while!

Sheds For Mid Size Equipment Storage

Equipment Sheds Storing Medium Sized Equipment

How much weight will my shed hold up? Well, that depends a lot on how it was built and the materials used to build it. For our purposes, we will say that medium equipment is heavier than a standard lawn tractor, and lighter than a standard farm tractor. Within this category would fall such items as industrial commercial grade zero turn mowers, heavy duty full size adult all terrain vehicles, and small tractors designed for using pull behind equipment. If you want to park something larger and heavier inside, you probably need to upgrade to a metal structure with a concrete floor.

If you plan to use your shed for small to medium sized equipment, like lawn tractors or 4 wheelers, you may want to consider a little extra bracing or blocking, and you will also want to think about how you distribute your load.

Extra blocking

If the equipment is pretty heavy, like a small tractor, parameter blocking under the floor joists will give some serious added stability to the structure.

Load distribution: Flooring

Depending on how your building was manufactured, you may need the added support of an extra layer of 3/4 inch plywood over the existing flooring. This will help to spread the load evenly across all the joists and will go a long way toward preventing sagging. If you use this method, placing the plywood in the opposite direction of the existing flooring will help even more.

Load distribution: Placement

If you park more than one piece of heavy machinery in the shed, keeping them on opposite sides of the building is a wise decision.


You will need a ramp for moving equipment and machinery into and out of the building. With heavier pieces of equipment, your standard ramp may not be enough to accommodate the extra load. Consider adding extra bracing, and another layer of plywood to accomplish this.

Check with your shed builder

For load bearing details ask your dealer for the specifics, for equipment weight, check your owners manual.

Converting a shed to living space: Walls ceilings and floors

Part 2 of Converting  a shed to living space.

Part 1, Converting a shed to living space: Getting started , covered the basics of planning, preparing a proper foundation, rough in plumbing, and insulation. Part 2 picks up where we left off.


Be certain to measure properly, and not forget about the plumbing and electrical outlets. It is a good idea to draw an arrow on the floor for each outlet, and write the distance from the floor to the outlet just in case. By doing this, you can even cut them out after the wallboard is in place, just be careful not to nick any wiring. The Drywall should be nailed into place using the proper cup nails for the job, or drywall screws. Either way, be sure not to damage the drywall by breaking the outer cardboard layer. A nail driven flush with a slight hammer dimple is ideal. A screw set just bellow flush is great.

Tape and bed

Once the drywall on the walls and ceiling is in place, you can begin to add the tape and bedding. This is the process of covering the seams and dimples in the drywall. There are usually instructions for doing this in the package. It is simply a matter of spreading a thin layer of bedding material down the seam, and pressing the tape into it by running a trowel over the top, and then applying another thin layer on top. this is a good time to fill any stray nail or screw holes and other imperfections, trowel off any excess.


Once the walls and ceiling are dry, you may have to use a damp sponge or sanding block to smooth any rough spots. When the surface is smooth, you can apply texture to the ceiling first. I suggest this because it is a little messy, and doing it first may save you the trouble of having to clean and redo your walls. If you plan to use paneling on the walls, you can do that next, if not, it is time to texture the walls. Professionals do this in a number of ways. Some trowel a thin layer of bedding material over the walls, and use a “crows foot” to add texture. Some spray out texture from a hopper. My favorite way is to take a medium to long nap roller cover, mix the texture materials to a medium consistency, and thin roll this onto the wall like paint. After you do it for a bit, you will develop a good method that works for you and appears consistent.

Door and window trim

The simplest way to do the windows this is to create a simple window stool, and fill in around the window with drywall, then tape bed and texture as you do the walls and ceiling. The door trim is a simple matter of cutting the trim to size, and nailing it in place. Remember to measure carefully, and get the angles right. Counter sink the trim nails, caulk the holes, and use caulk to fill in any mistakes or imperfections, and you are ready to paint the trim.


Once the texture has dried, and you are satisfied with the job, apply paint in your favorite way. Apply as many coats as needed to reach a consistent finish.


Whatever type of flooring you like can be applied at this point. If you choose linoleum you may want to smooth the floor out a bit, and make sure that all nails are properly seated flush or slightly below the surface. Use an appropriate seam filler. Carpet is one of the easiest floor coverings for such a structure, and most other coverings, like ceramic tile, will require a substantial amount of preparation to get the right results.

Finish plumbing and electrical

You can now finish the plumbing and electrical. Add the fittings and fixtures in their proper places, check for leaks and shorts, and add whatever other cosmetic touches you desire.

This is a slight oversimplification of the process, but all the basic steps are included. This assumes that you already know basic construction techniques, or can learn them from the many sources online or elsewhere.

See also: Converting a shed to living space: Getting started

Converting a shed to living space: Getting started


There are as many reasons for turning a shed into living or working space as there are people who choose to do it. Some people are having to downsize as a result of economic difficulties, some folks just want to add a nice garden cottage for guests, some people want to create a presentable and comfortable office space, and some may want a little backyard get away or a pleasant game room or reading room. No matter what angle you approach it from, the steps to converting a shed to livable space are about the same, and they all start with the same thing:


Plan ahead. Check with local officials, and get any permissions or permits you will need ahead of time. Make a working drawing of the project. Lay out the work that you will do, what materials you will need, and how you plan to approach the work. If your local codes require a licensed plumber and electrician to do the plumbing and electrical work, it is better to know that early, and make the appropriate contacts. Make sure you know exactly where you want plumbing and electrical fixtures to be. Make sure that you can adequately heat and cool the building. If this is to be done with a window unit, do you have enough windows, and that one of them is sufficient for the job. If not, you may have to cut a hole in the side of the building to accommodate it, and that is good to know early in the process. Plan for the materials that you will need such as insulation, drywall, fasteners, bedding and texture materials, and of course all the wiring, pipes, and fixtures.

The foundation

Before you start any of the work, you should insure that your building has a firm foundation. Depending on what part of the world your shed resides, that will mean different things. If you live in a very cold part of the world, you may want, or even need to dig as much as 50 inches deep and pour a concrete footer, or install a concrete slab. In most places in the southern half of the U.S. this is not needed. A concrete slab is a good way to go in almost any part of the world, but in moderate climates, a firm base of compacted crushed rock and perimeter blocking will do the job nicely. Once that is done, we strongly suggest underpinning the building.

Plumbing and electrical rough in

With a secure foundation in place, you will be ready to take the next step, and that should be plumbing and electrical. Please be sure to check for local regulations and permits needed before embarking on this. Some areas may require that the work be done by licensed professionals. Be sure to do this before you insulate and drywall. It will save a lot of frustration.


Is your electrical done, including all the switch and outlet boxes? Is the plumbing roughed in, including all piping through the walls and floors? If so, you are ready to insulate. Depending on the type of insulation you have chosen to use, it will be a simple matter of either placing the bats in the cavity between the studs and stapling the edges in place, or rolling it out over the studs, and stapling this to the studs. Make sure that the switch boxes, outlet boxes, and plumbing openings are left accessible. See also: Converting a shed to living space: Walls ceilings and floors

Rent To Own Shed Is It Right For You?

Rent to own sheds, is that a good option for my family? That is an excellent question. There is so much information floating around about rent to own programs, and most of it is bad, that it can be difficult to decide if this is a tool you should use, or a problem to avoid like the plague. We think we can help you to make the right decision.

Storage needs

This is the situation where many families find themselves: There are a few pieces of furniture, a few family heirlooms, a box of important family records, and several boxes of things they just can’t stand to lose or toss out. The spare bedroom and garage are full of items that are no less important, and every closet is filled to the brim with some things that may be needed in the future.

Here are the options:

  • They can continue to live with the clutter
  • They can get rid of the excess
  • They can rent public storage space
  • They can purchase a storage building

Option 1: Living with the clutter

Living with the clutter is not a good option. Clutter can become both a physical and mental health hazard! It becomes disorganized, and then encourages disorganization  throughout the home. It seems to teach disorganization by example, acts a s a hiding place for bugs and rodents, and causes stress on the family.

Option 2: Getting rid of the excess

Getting rid of the excess is probably not going to happen, since it is at the root of the problem to begin with. There might be some things that could be done to become more efficient in the way things are being stored inside the home, but that will offer only limited relief.

Option 3: Self storage

Public storage is an option, but it is not a very good option. Paying someone to hold your stuff for a lifetime can add up to a whopping amount in a very short time. Consider that a years worth of storage fees at $100.00 per month is $1,200 per year multiplied by the number of years you continue to use the service, and I am sure we can all think of a better way to spend that money. Besides, driving back and forth to your mini storage site can be costly in these times of high fuel prices.

See also:  Rent to Own or Rent Forever for a little more on the self storage story.

Option 4: Owning your own storage

Buying a storage building for your own backyard storage is the best of the options, in fact, it is about the only one that makes sense. The problem is, that it can be a little expensive if you buy a building from a lot that will be delivered to your site. There are kits that can be purchased that can save quite a bit of money, but that is another story. So, how can you buy the building you need, without breaking the family budget?

  • You can buy a building outright
  • You can get financing through your bank or other lending institution
  • You can use a credit card
  • You can rent to own

Paying cash

If you have enough cash in reserve, buying a storage building outright makes the most sense, but most of us don’t have that much discretionary income. Laying out a few thousand at one time, would knock a hole in our budgets that is bigger than we could manage.

Bank financing

Your lending institution might be willing to loan you the money, if you have great credit, and are willing to pay the high interest rates, but most of us don’t have perfect credit scores, and we may not want to take the risks involved.

Credit cards

Using a credit card to make the purchase may be the worst idea of all, unless you have a low interest rate, and a good plan. Credit card debt can get you into serious financial peril.

Rent to own

Rent to own storage buildings may be the best idea under such circumstances. Keep in mind, that a lease purchase will probably cause a substantial increase in the total cost, but it may just be worth looking into in many cases.

5 benefits of rent to own sheds

  1. No damage to your credit. Most lease to own programs do not report defaults to any credit bureau. This can be an important factor if your financial situation becomes an issue.
  2. Most rent to own programs do not perform credit checks, so if your credit is less than perfect you won’t be rejected on that account.
  3. Most rental purchase agreements can be terminated early without penalty, in case you no longer need the building, or can no longer afford to make payments. You simply remove your stored materials, and place a call to the dealer. Do you think your bank or credit card company would do that?
  4. Most rent to own storage building programs will allow you to pay the building off early with no penalty. If you have a windfall, you can usually pay the building off without paying the remaining rental costs, saving you a substantial amount of money.
  5. If you use your new building for business storage, or to operate a home business, you may be able to write the rental costs off of your federal income tax.

Shed Accessories and Extras

Shed Accessories

A basic shed, with just a floor, a door, 4 walls, and a roof will do for many applications, but if you want to really make the best use of your utility building, there are lots of accessories and extras that you can buy, install, or build for yourself.

Shed vents

Lets start with the top. Most dealers offer a vent for air exchange if you want one. Of course, if you have some skill as a handyman, you can purchase and install one yourself. These are usually very simple vents, but you can get a more complex ventilation that you can open and close, or even one that opens and closes with changes in temperature.

Shed lofts

Lofts. A loft can increase your space by adding a different plain to your building. They are great for storage, or even as a bedroom for a cabin. They are simple to build, if you choose to do the job for yourself, or the supplier can do the job for you.

Shed windows

Windows. Depending on your sheds purpose in life, adding a window or two could be a great help. These are best added at the factory, but with some skill, and the right tools, you can do the job for yourself.

Air conditioning

Air conditioning openings. If you want to add a window unit, but don’t want to use your window to install it, the builder should be able to frame in an opening for you, If you want to do it for yourself, it is no more difficult than installing a window.

Electrical switches and outlets

Electrical outlets may be something you want or need. As in the case of the air conditioning, mentioned above, and the lighting mentioned below, check all applicable codes, and hire a professional when called for.

Shed lighting

You might want to add lighting to your shed, and if you do, be sure to follow all applicable codes in your area. Again, some manufacturers offer a basic lighting kit, and a new trend among dealers is solar powered lighting. Many manufacturers will install clear roof panels which act as sky lights. If your building already exists, you can do this for yourself.

Shed insulation

While we are on the walls, how about insulation? Most builders will offer it as a matter of course. Your need for this will vary with the purpose of the building. This is also something that you can do for yourself pretty easily. Please be careful when working with fiberglass insulation, wear eye protection, and at least a dust mask. Consider wearing long sleeves and gloves as well. Otherwise it can be an itchy outcome.

Drywall and paneling

Drywall or paneling can give your shed a completed look, but be sure that your electrical work and insulation are completed before going forward with this. If an electrical inspection is required, that should also be done before proceeding with paneling or drywall.

Work benches

Work benches. If you need work space, or counter space if your shed is to be used as a cabin, a work bench can be installed easily at the factory, or at home using your own materials.

Shed ramps

If you have equipment like riding lawnmowers or 4 wheelers, a ramp may be needed. Your shed supplier will probably offer these, and if he doesn’t, building one is simple and easy for a home handyman.

The accessories, add ons, and extras described can all be done by most manufacturers, but this applies to buildings they will build for you. They will probably not want to do this to buildings that already exist on a lot. Some builders may not choose to modify their regular factory models at all. When you do any of these installations for yourself, be sure to follow all local codes, and strive for accuracy when you measure and cut. Just remember to measure twice and cut once.

Wooden Sheds And Wood Shed Maintenance

Wooden Sheds

On the most practical level, galvanized and painted steel is a better material for most building applications than wood, but there are times when wood is the material of choice.

  1. When a homeowners association requires it.
  2. When it is needed to fit in aesthetically
  3. When it is a personal preference.
  4. When it is the only material available.
  5. When initial cost is the major consideration.

In such cases, wood will do very well. Keep in mind that it must be maintained well if it is to last. More on that subject at the end of this page.

Wood is good

Wood is a wonderful building material. Wood is a renewable building material. Wood is a strong building material. Wood can be worked into almost any shape or size by experts who work with it.

Problems with wood as a shed material

The only problems with wood are fire and water, and of the two, water is likely responsible for more wood structure damage than fire. Wood will not rot except in the presence of moisture, and keeping the moisture out is a perpetual problem that has plagued builders since the first planks were split out of a log. Granted, some woods handle moisture better, with less rot than others. Among them, cedar, redwood, and cypress. Unfortunately, these are also among the least renewable sources for wood building materials. It is not that they can’t be regrown, but that they take a considerable amount of time to do so, and despite the fact that they are rot resistant, they still suffer the ravages of the wetting and drying cycle.

Keeping proper moisture balanced

Keeping the proper balance of moisture on a consistent basis is the goal for builders and owners, and this involves sealing the buildings against high humidity, and excess drying cycles. The standard method for doing this is to apply paint or sealer to the wood to prevent the introduction of moisture. When properly applied, and properly maintained these work very well. The problem is usually in the “properly maintained” part of that equation.

Wooden shed maintenance

Proper maintenance of a wooden structure involves cleaning, and resealing or painting the structure at least every 18 months, and preferably every year.

This is the procedure you should follow:

  1. Loose paint should be scraped off
  2. The building should be well cleaned, and allowed to dry if a pressure washer or other cleaning method involving water is used.
  3. All joints should be caulked.
  4. The proper paint or sealer should be applied according to the manufacturers specifications.
  5. The roof should be inspected for damage, and any needed repairs performed.
  6. All openings should be inspected, and weatherstripping or caulking used to seal any potential leaks.

Do these things on a regular schedule and your wooden or composite building can last as long as a steel sided building.