This month, we’re dedicating our blog posts to a few of the many ways you can transform your outdoor structure from an empty shell usually meant for storage into something practical. In the last part of this three-part series we’ll talk about keeping chickens.

Today, many families are interested in self-sustaining lifestyles for health, environmental, or economic reasons. You don’t have to live on a farm to reap the benefits of fresh eggs or raising your own poultry.

Adding a chicken coop to your property is a bit easier when you start with a ready-made outdoor structure, such as the sheds offered at Valley Structures. Here are some things to consider:

  • Each chicken will need about 4.5 square feet of space; think about your capacity! You don’t want overcrowding.
  • You’ll want to install roost-shelving/nest boxes to give chickens a place to roost. Many coops use a 2×4 board as a roosting bar.
  • Consider a droppings board, which would be installed under the roosting bar.
  • Chickens can share nests—three nests for every eight chickens is a good rule of measure.
  • Add in vents, windows, and doors. Vents and windows help with air circulation, and a door allows chickens to come out during the day for air and sun.
  • A need for more fresh air – depending on how hot it gets where you live, you might need more ventilation. You could remove one or part of the wall panels, and add in wire mesh.
  • Be sure to account for storage space for buckets, shovels, etc.

Once you have your coop set up, it’s time to get your flock! 

This month, we’re dedicating our blog posts to a few of the many ways you can transform your outdoor structure from an empty shell usually meant for storage into something practical. In the second installation of this three-part series we’ll look at how you can garden or create a potting room with a storage shed.

Backyard sheds aren’t limited to just being used for storing gardening equipment; they also can be a functional space for green thumbs.

Think about what you’ll be using the space for, and then plot out the interior accordingly. Think about your working surface as well as adequate storage space. What kind of potting table best suits you? Think about lighting: will you need to add more windows, and do you want to also install electricity so you can have lamps? What else might you need power for? Will you need wi-fi? And, of course, you’ll want to have a sink, so plumbing is another consideration.

Aside from creating a place for you to work, you can also make your new potting shed a bit of retreat. Add some comfortable seating and décor. Artfully arrange your tools—make good use of the ceilings and walls. What can you hang? What needs a shelf?

Don’t forget about the exterior. How can you paint, trim, or decorate your shed so that it blends in with the landscape? Add some character. Make it part of the art of your backyard!

Look for us again this year at the 2016 Rockingham County Fair during the week of August 15-20. This event has grown to be one of the largest county fairs around with plenty of activities and events for the whole family… and don't forget all of the delicious fair food! We hope to see you there. Be sure to stop by and say hi!

Here is a bit of info from Check out their page for the event list and schedule.



[Newspaper article from 1949.]Newspaper article from 1949. 
The first Rockingham County Fair was held at the Linville Ball Park, August 31 – September 3, 1949. Many smaller fairs were held before 1949 at Ed's Park at Rawley Springs, in Harrisonburg on the Whitesel-Sit lot, and at the present location of Memorial Stadium. From 1950-1951, the fair was four days long, from 1952-1963, five days long, and since 1964, the fair has run for six days.
The fair has been held at the present site on US Rt. 11 since 1980.
The fairgrounds currently account for 111 acres of land, including a 21,000-square-foot exhibit hall. In addition, the fairgrounds include a barn complex with more than 80,000 square feet under roof, providing for a capacity of hundreds of hogs, sheep, goats, beef cattle, and dairy cattle; a farm museum; a building for horticulture, flowers and farm crop displays; a building for poultry/rabbit exhibits; and numerous food concession buildings run by local civic organizations.
There is also a 4,000 seat grandstand, which seats an additional 2,500 at ground level. There is parking on the grounds for over 7,000 vehicles, with parking capacity expanding in 2014.

This month, we’re dedicating our blog posts to a few of the many ways you can transform your outdoor structure from an empty shell usually meant for storage into something practical. In the first of this three-part series, we’ll look at how you can turn your storage shed into a backyard office.

Today, many people work from home, whether they’re a solopreneur or a remote employee for another company. Sometimes, though, finding space in an already-full house can be a challenge. Or, if there is indeed a space available, sometimes it’s not a quiet or out of the way as you’d like.

Enter the storage shed. If you have the land available for one, ready-made outdoor structures provide a fantastic shell in which to make a home office. Start by replacing or adding new doors and windows. You’ll need to install insulation and a wall covering, like drywall or paneling, and flooring. Add some trim work, paint to your liking, decorate, furnish, and your interior is set.

One of the most important considerations for turning a shed into an office would be power and connectivity. You’ll most likely need to be connect to the Internet by line or wi-fi, and, in some cases, you’ll want to also have access to a landline phone depending on your communication needs. Power outlets are important—try to think ahead of how many you might need: computer, printer, chargers, lighting, air conditioner/fan, etc. And you want to make sure you’re comfortable in whatever the whether – heat and cooling is important.

Here’s an example of an IBM employee who turned a 10×12 shed into a backyard office – complete with a little bit of humor.