According to Secrets of Shed-Building, there are three things to consider when choosing roofing material for your outdoor structure. First, and probably most important, is waterproofing—will it protect your belongings? How much precipitation do you get where you live?

Next, you want something economical in its lifetime cost—thing long-term here as what’s the most affordable now isn’t always the overall best value. Finally, you’ll want to consider how it looks—does it mesh well with the structure and other buildings on the property?

Here are a few roofing materials to consider for your shed:

Asphalt – like roofing material for your home, an asphalt roof for your shed is a common, affordable option.

Cedar Shakes – While not the cheapest option, these wooden shingles can look fantastic, especially if you’re going for a rustic look. Cedar shakes can make a difference in the wow-factor of your shed’s look and feel! Other outdoor structures, like a gazebo, can also look really pleasing with cedar shakes.

Felt – mineral felt roofs are economic and easy to install. However, they do not have as long a life-span as other shed roofing materials.

Metal – metal shed roofs are durable, fire-resistant, easy to install and economical considering their life-expectancy. Metal is especially nice for those in areas with lots of snowfall.

There are other roofing material options for your outdoor structure to consider, too—fabric varieties and clay to name a few. Keep your budget and climate in mind when making your decision. 

Like any place where you “put your stuff,” things can quickly get overwhelming and overcrowded. While self-discipline is always needed to put things away where they belong, outfitting your shed with the right organizational tools and storage options will help you keep things in tip-top shape.

First, think about what items you need to store. Do you have a lot of small items? What about tools? How about large items like a mower or tractor? And what about chemicals and other things that should be stowed out of reach from kids and pets? Once you have an idea of your inventory, you’ll be able to decide the best way to organize your shed. (You could take your inventory a step further and get rid of duplicate items, perhaps a yard sale?)

Then, imagine your new space. If you have lots of small items, you might want to install shelves and get bins and baskets. If you have a lot of long-handled yard tools, you’ll want to get some hooks. Here are a few storage ideas to consider:

Hooks on the doors – hang your yard and garden tools (rake, hoes, etc.) on the inside door; this will free up your walls for shelving.

Shelves, shelves and more shelves – install wooden or open-metal shelves along the walls, and feel free to go high as you can (store items not used often on top). An option is to purchase shelving units. Add a variety of heights to allow for different-size items. Peg boards are also a smart organizational option.

Declutter – get some bins to place smaller items in; this will keep your shelves and surfaces neater.

Exterior hooks – don’t forget that you can make use of the outside walls to hang tools—or even decorations.

Finally, head on out and purchase the materials you need, and get to work on installing and reorganizing. And remember—the new design and layout is one thing, but putting things away is another!

One final thing to consider as you plan to organize your shed: a bigger shed to make more room for your items! 

The tiny house movement is real. With reality shows, books and blogs devoted to these small abodes usually no larger than about 400 square feet, it’s clear there’s quite a buzz about downsizing your living space—and stuff. But is a tiny house right for you and your family? Here are some reasons a tiny home might—or might be for you.

You’re Looking to Live More Frugally

Many people are attracted to the idea of living in a tiny house because of the potential cost savings. While buying or building a tiny home is an up-front investment, it’s one that can pay off over time. (Plus, you’re not likely to be tied to a several-decades-long mortgage!) According to Tiny Life, 68 percent of people who own a tiny home do not have a mortgage. Aside from the total cost of the home, one of the biggest areas of savings in in utilities. According to CompactAppliance.com, the owners of tiny homes spend about $30 to $50 in utilities each month. Tiny homes also cost less to furnish and decorate.

You’re Environmentally Conscious

Another appealing aspect of tiny homes is a reduced carbon footprint. If fact, many people choose this housing option so they can live completely off the grid. If you’re still hooked up, the cost savings are tremendous. Think how many fewer lightbulbs you’ll need. Your appliances will likely be smaller. Overall, you’re sure to use significantly less energy than a “normal-size” house.

You Have a Small Family (And You’re Not Claustrophobic)

According to HomeAdvisor.com, the average tiny house is 186 square feet. Think about what that means for how close you’ll be to your significant other and, if you have them, kids or pets. Most everyone desires some kind of privacy from time to time, so think about how you will handle the extreme close quarters. If you have small children, remember that they will grow up and need more space eventually.

 

There are many others things to consider before you purchase a tiny home such as your lifestyle, your work commute, and where you will live. In fact, perhaps the biggest obstacle for potential tiny home owners is finding a place to put your home. Do you want it on a foundation, or do you want the freedom to move around the country as you wish, such as staying at RV parks?

If you want a feel for structures that can be transformed into living quarters, stop by Valley Structures and take a peek.