New Years’ Resolution: Shed Your Stress

Sometimes the biggest problems have simple solutions. Shedding clutter can be the best way to shed the stress in your life. Learn more at Shed Advice!

Many of the top New Years’ Resolutions we hear have to do with personal goals like drink less, lose weight, stop smoking, lower stress, finish that novel, or make a million dollars. While some of these may be attainable, others are likely to go unfinished. Some, however are attainable, but may need to be broken down into the simple steps that make the goal reachable. Let’s look at stress as an example.

Shedding stress

We will probably not be able to eliminate the stress brought upon us by others. Stress from work, and stress from relationships will likely continue to be a significant problem throughout the coming year. Sadly, that is just a fact we will need to learn to deal with, and by dealing well with it, we may be able to make a dent in the issue, and lower our blood pressure by a point or two. We all need to work on responding properly to the stress in relationships both at home and in our employment, but there are a few things that we can do to make the stress more manageable on a realistic level.

If you work in a cluttered workspace, or live in a cluttered home, there is a good chance that your level of ambient stress is aggravating the situation for you and those around you. This is something that you can change.The simple act of clearing and organizing your desk, or your tool box or truck will almost invariably bring near immediate reduction in stress levels. When you have done this, others will likely follow your lead, lowering their stress level as well, and consequently lowering the stress between two or more workplace antagonists.

The same is true of the home. There is a pretty good chance that rooms cluttered with boxes, closets filled with things that don’t belong in closets, and a garage piled so high that it evokes fear in the minds of those who dare approach it are causing dissension in the family.

If you can find a way to reduce the clutter, you will reduce the stress.

Shedding clutter

First, you will need to decide where your clutter will go. Can it be thrown out? Can it be given away? Could you sell some of it for a little extra cash? Will you need a place to store these items, or is there another way? Do you really need that ancient printer, or the worn out circular saw that has already been replaced? If you have not used the items in question for a year, there is a good chance you can live without them.

Make four stacks

We suggest making stacks of these items in four categories:

One for throwing out, one for giving away, one for selling, and one to store. Try to keep your “store” pile small, otherwise, you are just moving clutter from one location to another.

If you have the option of purchasing a utility building for your back yard, this would be a wise first step. Don’t use it as a “catch all”. That is not solving the problem only delaying it. Get your building in place, and begin your stacks.

If you can’t purchase a storage building, use self storage, or public storage as it is often called as a last resort only. Paying someone else to keep your clutter costs money and adds to the stress. Find another way like better organizing or fewer items if possible. Creating shelving in your garage can allow you to go vertical with your storage space. Well designed attic space can also help, but most of all, keep that keep stack small.

Don’t be shocked if your cleanup turns into an ad hock garage sale. In fact, this might be something you would like to try. If you can plan this on a day when a garage sale is possible, all the better. Put your signs and flyers out ahead of time when good weather is predicted, and start bringing things out. some of the things from your keep pile, and your toss pile may end up in the sale pile as the day wears on. One mans trash is another mans treasure, and you can offer give aways to folks who buy something.

Move your keep items, that is the ones you know you want to keep to your storage area.

Whatever is not gone by the end of the day should be tossed.

Reducing clutter will reduce stress. Reducing stress will improve relationships, and the consequent reduction of stress in relationships will lower anxiety even more. Lowering the level of angst may actually help you with your other resolutions like smoking and alcohol use and provide you with the clear head you need to work on your other goals for the new year! Who knows? Maybe you can use some of that extra space to store all that extra money you make!

Carports Are True Sheds With Many Uses

Carports are one of the most basic types of sheds. In fact, they are one of few types of real sheds when you look at the real meaning of the term. Carports can serve to protect cars, boats, and recreational vehicles from the damaging effects of weather, without the expense of a full scale building. Some examples of such uses are:
  • Car and truck protection
  • Boat protection
  • 4 wheeler protection
  • RV protection
  • Patio covers
  • Outdoor gatherings
Protecting cars, boats, and other outdoor equipment are very common uses, and when it comes to large RV's, there is nothing that can beat a very tall carport for protection, ease of use and access, and cost. Most modern carports are free standing open air shelters. This provides a measure of safety from automobile fumes or fires not found in traditional home garages, and leaves your garage free for other uses. Carports of this type provide a high level of protection from harmful weather conditions at a very reasonable price. Prefab carports are built from galvanized and painted steel for long life and durability, and are available in a number of colors to match your existing structures. Modern steel carports are a great value for the homeowner.

Sheds Are Not Just For Storage

Sheds are utility buildings, they are not just for storage.

When we think about sheds, storage sheds, or storage buildings we normally think of them as being the same thing, although there are slight nuances to each word. In reality, all of these buildings are utility buildings. They can be used for storage, and a lot more. They have both residential and commercial uses, and the ways people use them are increasing every day. They are used for both residential and commercial purposes, and even for sales and real estate.

Residential Utility Building Uses

Utility buildings for storage

Homeowners are discovering that they need more space to store things. America’s Garages are full! Life, as we live it today demands more space. That is where residential storage sheds come into play for homeowners. We have boats, lawn equipment, and all terrain vehicles that will last longer and provide better service if kept from the ravages of weather, but storage is not the only way such buildings can be utilized.

Utility buildings for other home uses

Horse barn and cabin type utility buildings

Space for all those electronic games that have become popular may not be available in the home itself, and playing Wii games, with all their healthy benefits, can take up quite a lot of space. Setting up a game room for such activities just makes good sense. Home offices, home shops, and even home gyms can become a reality with the right buildings in place.

There are other advantages for the homeowner. Adding a storage building, utility building, carport, garage, or pole barn to your property increases the value of the property beyond the cost of the building itself. If you are selling your home, it also adds that little bit of extra encouragement that may mean the difference between a short time on the market, or a long period of continued mortgage payments.

Specific residential shed uses

Storage, Boat storage, ATV storage, Tool storage, Lawn and garden Storage, Equipment storage, Game rooms, TV rooms, Poker rooms, Craft rooms Hobby rooms, Home offices, Home business storage, Document storage. There are many other ways to use these storage buildings, they are limited only to your imagination.

Commercial Utility Buildings

Of course, storage buildings can come in handy for storing things for commercial needs, but there are many more ways to utilize them.

Having an office and a tool shed on site for a construction project, an oil field project, or any other of dozens, perhaps hundreds of jobs can mean having the information, equipment, and tools you need to get the job done on time, and under budget.

Having a place to store documents, transition moves, and temporarily, or for that matter, permanently warehouse materials and products, at your location, or remote location can give you the edge. While your competition is busy traveling back and forth between expensive self storage facilities, you can be on the move right off the whistle. You can be ready to go at a moments notice with your products or tools while the other guys are stuck in cross town traffic!

You have goods and materials coming in and out, and sometimes with the vagaries of transportation, you might end up with a bottleneck. You can avoid that bottleneck by having a place to hold the products or materials that you are not yet ready to use.

Specific commercial uses

utility sheds can be used for guard shacks, tool storage, material storage, construction on site offices, drop points for shipped materials, drop points for sales materials, break rooms, and a host of other purposes which come up with individual job applications. Think about how they could help you in your job, and then contact a local dealer to see what they can do to make your job faster and more efficient.

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.

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 thatĀ  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 ConvertingĀ  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

Sheds For Living

Depending on when you are reading this, and what news stories you have been following, the economy is probably in poor condition. It is worse sometimes than other times, but the first quarter of 2011 does not look good by anyone’s standards on either side of the political mainstream. We have gone through a housing crisis, due in large, to a banking crisis due to poor policies, dating back several administrations, and those poor policies were based on poor policies several administrations before, and so on.

No matter what goes on in Washington, the lives of the people that our government was meant to serve go on, and most of us have had to cut back in some ways, often pretty severely.

Why bring this up on a site about sheds?

Why do I bring this up on a website about sheds and small buildings? Simple. When things started going down hill with the economy, one of the first things we noticed was that people were beginning to order very large portable buildings, and although it may be a sad commentary on the state of our economic affairs, the purpose was for living.

Seeing this trend, shed and portable building manufacturers kicked their creative powers into gear and began manufacturing larger versions of their hunting and fishing cabin models, and making other innovations to meet these needs. Many of these converted sheds have more in common with a house than a storage building. The gap between home construction and portable building construction has begun to close, and there are many people living in very nice, albeit small utility building structures until such time as economic conditions improve. We have re-engaged the innovative spirit that brought us through our most difficult times, and which will bring us through this one.

Larger utility sheds built on site

Many shed manufacturers will build a larger version of their product on site, and that for a fraction of the cost of standard home construction. Some will even do the plumbing and electrical work, as well as insulation and drywall, and when it is done, you have a nice little bungalow.

Dried in

Most storage sheds and utility buildings are shipped or built in what would be the “dried in” phase of construction. That means that they are the shell of a living space, and the work remaining to make the space livable is all on the inside of the structure. Many people choose to do this work themselves. I would caution anyone who plans to do this, to check local building codes, and get any permits required before starting such a project, and to leave the electrical work to a licensed electrician.

It may be difficult, but it can be done, and when we get through this crisis, and the belt tightening days are over, you will still have a nice little cottage that you can use for other purposes, or rent to someone else for extra income.

To learn more about using sheds for living, and converting sheds into usable living space, see: