Green storage sheds


Should the structure be custom-built or prefabricated? What are the pros and cons to each?

Dunlap: Custom built. You get a more structurally-sound building. I can build it just as cheap as prefab. The benefit to prefab is simple - it's quick and easy.

Nabors: I think custom built is better. You know what you're getting, building it on-site according to customer specifications.

Frenchak: Custom built. With a smaller storage shed, you can get a pretty good prefabricated one and save money. But prefabricated materials can be substandard.

Are there "green" building materials available for storage sheds?

Dunlap: There are green shingles made out of recycled tires and other materials. Oriented strand boards make good flooring and roof decking.

Nabors: There are some out there. HardiePlank, as I mentioned, is one type of green material we regularly use.

Frenchak: There are some, like fiberboards for roofing or sheathing, but they are very expensive. It's not really practical on a small structure.


How should homeowners determine the best size/scale and location for the structure?

Dunlap: Nothing less than 10-by-10, otherwise there's no room. Build it a little bigger than you think you'll need. Location-wise, it's more convenient to be close to the home.

Nabors: It depends on their needs and how much room they have, but I wouldn't go smaller than 10-by-10.

Frenchak: A lot of it has to do with what your homeowners association will allow. They want things not to exceed certain sizes or infringe on easements or setbacks.


What kind of roofing and wall material homeowners use?

Dunlap: Metal roofing lasts longer in our heat, and we get a lot of hail, too. For siding, many go with cheaper particle board, but I don't like that. Cement fiber siding lasts forever.

Nabors: Metal roofs are always good, buta bit more expensive. I like HardiePlank siding (a type of cement fiber) - you can stain it to look like wood, it looks nice and it lasts forever.

Frenchak: Concrete siding can last forever, you don't have to paint it and it's maintenance free. A tin or steel roof will last a lifetime.


What type of foundation options do you recommend?

Dunlap: The main ones are concrete or pier and beam. Concrete is a little better. You can move pier and beam more easily than concrete, however.

Nabors: Always go with concrete if you can, especially if it's a permanent structure. If it's a small storage building, you can build it on trailer house pads.

Frenchak: Concrete, especially for garages. I wouldn't use particle board, it doesn't hold very long.


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