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What’s the Best Insulation for a Shed? [Batt, rigid or loose fill?]

Having an insulated shed will give you a comfortable place to work in and a great place to start your seedlings. Its just a matter of choosing which type of insulation will be best for your shed.

The best insulation for a shed is “batt” insulation, which comes in different sizes and thickness and can be used in walls, floors, and ceilings. As well it is quite easy to cut and install for those who are building and insulating the shed yourself.

In this article I will go over “batt” type insulation, the different thicknesses and width and how to choose the correct batt insulation for your shed. I will also go over calculating how much batt insulation and thickness you will need for your shed.

What’s the Best Insulation for a Shed?

I’ve been building sheds and other outbuildings for years and when it comes to insulating a shed I have found that “batt” type insulation is the best. Here is why it is the best choice:

  • The most cost-effective insulation you can buy.
  • One of the easiest types of insulation to install and is perfect for the do-it-yourself person.
  • Is easily cut to fit into any size space with a basic utility knife and straightedge.
  • You can buy it in multi-packs or rolls and some even come with a paperback vapour barrier already attached.
  • It comes in various thicknesses and 2 widths to fit into 24-inch or 16-inch framing sizes.
  • Can be used to insulate ceilings, floors, walls and can be cut into narrow strips for insulation around windows and doors.

Benefits of Using Batt Insulation

  • Works as a good fire retardant and you can get batt insulation that is fire resistance if you need to provide that protection to your out-building.
  • Also provides good noise reduction especially if your shed is located near a busy highway. You can get batt insulation that is especially made for sound proofing as well.
  • Batt insulation is very resistant to mold and mildew and when a proper vapour barrier is installed over the insulation it’s very effective at preventing mold and mildew growth.
  • Very eco-friendly and most new batt insulation is made from renewable resources which helps lessen your carbon footprint.

Is it Worth it to Insulate Your Shed?

This question comes up a lot, after all its only a shed and why should you spend the money and time to insulate the shed? That depends on what you are going to be using the shed for, if its just for storing lawn equipment or toys and bikes then you likely do not need to insulate it.

On the other hand, many folks use there shed for more then just storage. Some like to use it for gardening or as a workshop and even as an office space or a place to get away for a while. For these situations insulating the shed will provide comfort and quiet place to relax.

Here are some benefits of insulating your shed:

  • Temperature Control… Many folks store paints and canning goods in their shed so you’ll want to keep it at a temperature that won’t allow these types of items to freeze. Insulating the shed and using a small heater will prevent these items form freezing and being ruined.
  • Cuts Down on Moisture… When moisture is in the shed it allows the formation of mold and mildew which can be very unhealthy. Insulating the shed and installing a vapour barrier will prevent mold and mildew from forming.
  • Longer Lifespan… Insulating a shed will also help prevent bugs from finding their way into it. The chances of rot will be less which means your investment will last much longer than a shed that is not insulated.
  • Increased Usability… Another perk of insulating your shed is you can use it for an office space, workout area and even a man cave or she cave. Check out my article “How to Make Your Very Own She Shed Getaway” for turning a shed into a She shed!

How Much Batt Insulation Do I Need?

This will depend on the size of your shed and if you are wanting to insulate the ceiling, walls, and floor. Below I will list the batt insulation amounts for a standard 8’- 0” x 12’- 0” shed.

Floor… This can be calculated by calculating the square footage of your floor area, in the example being used it would be 8 feet times 12 feet would come to 96 square feet of batt insulation for the floor. Use the dimensions for your shed to get the amount needed.

Walls… I will use the example size with 8-foot ceiling height, that would be 2 walls at 8 feet times 12 feet and 2 walls at 8 feet times 8 feet, for a total square footage of 320 square feet. Now subtract the square footage of any windows and doors you have and this will give the amount of batt insulation you will need to insulate the walls.

Ceiling… In most cases the ceiling square footage will be the same as the floor square footage, using the example of the 8’- 0” x 12’- 0” the required amount of batt insulation would be 96 square feet. You can subtract the square footage of any openings in the shed ceiling, such as a skylight.

What Sizes Does Batt Insulation Come in?

Batt insulation comes in 2 widths that are made to fit between the framing members for 16 inch and 24-inch centers. The 16-inch insulation is made [15 inches to fit snug] when using 16 inch framing centers. The 24-inch insulation is made [23 inches to fit snug] when using 24 inch framing centers.

Batt insulation comes in bundles and are 48 inches long, you can also get batt insulation in rolls that come in various lengths to suit your particular needs. They also have different sizes for other applications which are used for other purposes which I will not get into these in this article.

What Thicknesses of Batt Insulation Do I Need?

The thickness also known as the [r-factor] determines which thickness to use for different framing sizes. Let’s look at the 3 main situations for insulating a shed:

Floor… In some cases you will want to insulate the floor in your shed, typically the floor will be framed with either 2x4s or 2x6s or even 2x8s depending on how wide the shed is.

For 2×4 floor joist you can use R-12 batt insulation.

For 2×6 floor joist you can use R-22 batt insulation.

For 2×8 floor joist you can use R-28 batt insulation.

Insulation a shed floor requires more work and planning to be used and will need to be installed before you install the flooring material or if your shed is high enough off the ground you can install in from below. You can read my article 10 Tips For Insulating a Shed where I go into detail on insulation a shed floor.

Walls… It’s very common to insulate the walls and in most cases the walls will be framed with 2x4s and in some situations 2x6s will be used.

For 2×4 walls you can use R-12 batt insulation.

For 2×6 walls you can use R-22 batt insulation.

Ceiling… This will depend on the style of roof you have, you should decide if your going to insulate your shed before choosing the type of roof to use.

If you are using a slanted or lean to roof you likely will be using 2×6 rafters which means you can use R-12 insulation [3 ½ inch] which leaves room for air to circulate.

If you are using a gable roof, then you can use thicker insulation, R-22 works good in this type of roof and leaves room for air circulation above the batt insulation, you’ll also want to be sure to install gable air vents on each gable end.

How to Install Batt Insulation

Installing batt insulation is something that most people can do themselves. Get the insulation size that is made for the framing size you have, either 16-inch centers or 24-inch centers. The batt insulation will be 1 inch narrower. What I mean is if your shed is framed using 16-inch centers then the insulation will be 15 inches wide.

The actual open space between framing members using 16-inch centers is 14 ½ inches. The insulation is made to be ½ inch wider [15 inches]to allow a snug fit between the framing members.

Begin by installing all the full pieces you can, next using a straight edge and a Olfa rachet lock  heavy duty utility knife. Be very careful with these types of knives they are sharp and will cut thru the insulation in one or two passes. When you’re measuring the piece of batt insulation make sure to add ½ inch more to the length before you cut it.

Carefully place the insulation into the cavity and don’t overpack it in, it needs to be flush with the outside of the wall framing and fit snugly into the cavity to ensure a tight fit. You don’t want any gaps that will allow cold air to come into the shed. Follow the same procedure for the ceiling insulation.

Tips When Installing Batt Insulation

1] Don’t compress the batt insulation during installation, compressing cause the fibers to be much less effective and can really affect the R-factor of the insulation.

2] When installing the batt insulation and the piece is too long Don’t fold it or cram it into the space, make sure you cut the pieces to fit snuggly without folding or compressing them.

3] Once completed the insulation job wash your clothes by themselves to remove any residue of insulation dust from them.

What Should You Do Prior to Installing Batt Insulation?

1] Need Permit? Call your local building authority to see if a permit is required.

2] Need Electrical? Are you going to need power to your shed to run heating and cooling devices? Do you need plug outlets and lights? Be sure to add these before you insulate the shed.

3] Need Plumbing? You may want to have water in the shed and maybe even a toilet, make sure you have these installed before insulating.

4] Need Phone/ Cable? These services should also be installed before insulating is done.

5] Need Windows? Decide on windows, doors and even skylights and have them installed before insulating.

How to Protect Batt Insulation From Damage?

Once you’ve gone thru all the work of installing insulation in your shed your going to want to protect it from getting damaged. Applying a 6mm or 10 mm vapour barrier will provide some protection, but it can still be damaged.

I have found the cheapest way to protect it is to install ¼ inch plywood or 3/8 OSB or even ½ inch drywall on the walls and ceiling give the best protection. I like to paint the walls and ceiling a bright white which really gives you the most amount of light.

Do I Need to Install a Vapor Barrier in a Shed?

If your not planning on heating or cooling the shed you won’t need to install a vapor barrier, doing so can cause the growth of mold and encourage moisture. However, you will need a vapour barrier under a concrete slab if your building the shed on a concrete slab, this will prevent any ground moisture from getting into the shed from the ground.

Lets look at the 4 situations of sheds:

Air-Conditioned… If you live in a very hot area and have insulated the shed, apply the vapor barrier on the outside of the insulation. This method stops moisture from getting into the shed causing problems.

Heated shed… Living in a cold area will require you to insulate the shed and you may decide to install some form of heating so you can use the shed in cold weather. In this situation you need to install the vapor barrier on the inside of the shed and will prevent condensation from getting into the insulation.

Not insulated… If you don’t have any type of insulation in your shed you DON’T want to install a vapor barrier on walls and ceiling, as mentioned only use a vapor barrier under a concrete slab.

Insulated… If you still want to insulate your shed for other reasons and it is not going to be heated or air-conditioned DON’T use any vapor barrier. If the issue of rot or mold is possible use a rock-wool batt insulation, make sure you have the shed ventilated, especially the attic.

What Do I Use For a Vapor Barrier?

The number one choice is to use 6mm clear plastic vapor barrier, it is installed over the walls and ceiling and attached to the framing members with staples. All the joints are sealed using tuck tape and the top and bottom is sealed use acoustic sealant. Another good option is 10mm polyethylene vapor barrier which is much more durable and does a better job at keeping moisture out.


Having a shed is great for storage, but for many folks using the shed for other things like and exercise room, office or a place to get away for a while your going to want the shed to be comfortable and usable year round and insulating it gives you a place to use year round. Good luck and I hope you enjoyed reading this article.

How to Build a Ramp to a Shed

How to Build a Ramp to a Shed

Knowing how to build a ramp to a shed can be real handy especially if your shed is off the ground and you need to store a riding mower or other bigger heavier piece of equipment. With sheds built from treated wood you’re going to need to step up 6 or more inches to get in.

In this article I’m going to look at a few 3 tips for building a shed ramp and some tips for picking the right ramp material, slope and finish. I have also added a section with a [Step by Step Guide] for building your ramp.

How to Build a Ramp to a Shed

Tip Number 1] Ramp Slope… Having the right slope and travel for your ramp will make it much easier to bring in equipment like riding lawnmower or other wheeled machines. The standard slope for ramps is 1 inch of slope for every 10 inches of travel.

Buy a Shed or Build

So ideally if the step up to your shed is 6 inches you would want to have the ramps length to be 60 inches. If you’re cramped for space you can make the ramp steeper if needed, just remember the steeper the more dangerous it will be especially if it’s wet or snow covered.

Tip Number 2] Functional Use… Some pieces of equipment will easily go up the ramp, but you’ll want to be very careful with a riding mower. These are closer to the ground and can bottom out at the top or bottom when using the ramp.

Also check that it can clear the doorway with getting stuck in the middle. Also if you’re going to be driving a quad up the ramp with a snow blade on it, make sure the blades not going to hit the ramp. It’s better to have the ramp longer and having less slope to accommodate the type of equipment you’re going to be storing in the shed.

You may have to set up a temporary ramp somewhere so you can determine what is required for your particular equipment before building the ramp and then finding out that the equipment is going to get stuck or hung up when using the ramp.

Non Slip PaintTip Number 3] The Surface of The Ramp… One of the downfalls of a shed ramp is it can be slippery when it rains or if snow and ice build-up on it. This is usually not a problem because most folks don’t use the shed during the winter months.

Here are a few things you can do to keep your shed ramp safe and not slippery:

Number 1] Non – Slip Paints… If your ramp is going to have a plywood surface you can use a non – slip epoxy coating. I’m going to recommend “SlipDoctors DuraGrip” coating, it comes in 3 handy sizes of 1 gallon, 1 quart and 5 gallon pail. You can see it here on Amazon.

Number 2] Anti-Slip Adhesive Tapes… This type of anti-slip comes in different sizes, colors and textures to provide traction on ramps. You can buy the anti-slip tape for inside or outside use and will work on many different types of surfaces.

Make sure you read the instructions to make sure the particular tape you’re looking at will work on the type of surface your shed ramp is made from. You can also get the anti-slip tape that will glow in the dark which is really handy if you need to enter the shed in the dark.

Number 3] Asphalt Rolled Roofing… This has got to be the easiest answer to how to build a ramp to a shed that’s safe to use. If you use the 90 pound type it will last for a long time. Make sure you get the rolled roofing that uses a mineral surface that provides the anti-slip grit material.

When installing the rolled roofing use galvanized roofing nails, the ones that have the big heads, they will secure the roofing material to your ramp. Be sure to use nails every 2 to 3 inches along the edges to prevent lifting. Rolled roofing is a good choice if you live in areas that get lots of snow and is easy to shovel the snow off.

Ryans Shed Plans

Number 4] Rubber Mats… You’ll see this type of matting in many gyms, day cares and even on some wheelchair ramps. The usual types are made to interlock and there is some types that can be glued down using their self-adhesive backing.

The interlocking type can be taken apart and used somewhere else if you just renting or needing a short term non-slip ramp. It dry’s fast and can be kept clean with a normal broom. Be sure to get the rubber matting that can be used outside. Not a good option if using for a wheelchair ramp that is fairly steep as the tires will sink into the matting making it difficult to maneuver.

Ramp Materials

Let’s take a look at some 3 different materials that can be used to build a ramp to a shed:

Building a RampNumber 1] Concrete Pavers or Blocks… Probably the easiest is using concrete pavers and treated wood for your ramp. Here are the steps to follow for this type of ramp. I have added a photo so you can see how’s it’s constructed.

Step 1] Using a spade remove any grass the size of the concrete pavers so the pavers will be flush with the ground level.

Step 2] Install the pavers side by side and level them and then pack dirt up against them from all 4 sides to hold them securely into place.


Try to adjust the pavers so your ramp will be 6 inches wider on both sides of the door opening size.

Step 3] Install a ledger against the shed, keep the ledger low enough so it sits attached to the shed base with 4 inch lag bolts. Make sure you keep it low enough to allow for the 2×4 ramp and plywood thickness.

Depending on your situation keep the top of the ramp ¾ of an inch down from the ramp floor. This will allow room for the door or doors to open without hitting the ramp surface.

Step 4] Cut your treated 2×4 supports to fit against the shed and on an angle to lay flat on the pavers, you’ll need to cut the bottoms on a long angle to sit flat on pavers. Bet sure to use some end cut sealant on any surfaces that you have cut to protect them from rot.

Step 5] Install the treated 2x4s as per drawing and using the treated blocks cut small pieces in between the 2×4 supports and attach them to the concrete pavers with construction adhesive or if you can use concrete nails or tapcon concrete fasteners.

Step 6] Secure the tops of your 2×4 supports with joist hangers or you can use pressure blocks, these are blocks of 2x4s that you attach between the 2×4 supports and nail to shed and then toe nail the supports into the blocks.

Step 7] Install your treated ¾ inch treated or pressure treated plywood to the ramp. Use exterior grade deck screws and countersink them a little bit. Now you can install your anti-slip coating if you need it.

Number 2] Pressure Treated 4×4 or 6×6… This is similar to using concrete pavers or concrete blocks. You would dig and bury the pressure treated piece of lumber and then follow steps 3 to 7 for building a ramp using the concrete pavers or blocks.

Number 3] Concrete Ramp… This is the strongest and longest lasting ramp option, and using a course broom you can make the surface very anti-slip. That being said the concrete ramp is the most expensive and the most complicated to construct.

While it does have a few advantages it’s not a choice I would pick. It requires extensive ground preparation and is permanent. If your shed moves a little bit from frost you could find that it has sunk into the ground and you may not be able to open the door.

How to Build a Ramp to a Shed

Here’s a very simple and easy way to build a ramp to your shed using basic tools. Why fight trying to move your mower, wheelbarrow or other large item from your shed. I’m going to go over this easy ramp build step by step:

Material List:

How to Build a Ramp to a ShedHere’s a picture of the Ramp

You’re going to need a couple of stringers for the supports for the ramp decking. First you’ll need to determine the total height that the ramp needs to be. This will determine the size of the stringers and the length of them.

If your ramp needs to be 6 inches high, it will need to be 60 inches long, so you’ll need a 5 foot pressure treated 2×6.

If your ramp is between 6 to 8 inches high, it will to be 80 inches long, you’ll need a pressure treated 2×8  7 feet long.

If your ramp is 8 to 12 inches high it will need to be 120 inches long, you’ll need 1 pressure treated 2×12 10 feet long.

These dimensions are for following the 10 inches of slope for every 1 inch in rise. However if your cramped for space you can shorten the ramp a bit, just keep in mind that the steeper the ramp the more dangerous it will be.

Your also going to need some treated 2x6s for the deck, and depending how long your ramp is will determine how many you’ll need.

You will also need a couple pounds of 3 inch deck screws to attach the boards.

How to Build a Ramp to a Shed [Step by Step Guide]

Once you have determined the length and height of your ramp, and the required deck boards and stringer length you’re ready to begin.


If you ramp is going to be wider than 3 feet you may want to add an addition stringer or 2. It’s also recommended that you make the ramp at least 3 inches wider on each side then the door opening width. 

Step 1] Prepare Stringers… Cut your stringer to the required length, next using a straight edge or a chalk line mark a diagonal and cut the stringer in half. Set the 2 pieces side by side and mark and trim them so there flush with one another.

Step 2] Seal the Cuts… Using a cut & seal product which is used to seal and protect any cuts you make in treated and pressure treated lumber apply 1 or 2 coats to the cuts to prevent rotting.

Ryans Shed Plans

Step 3] Secure the Pieces… You’ll want to use a framing square and one of the 2×6 treated deck boards to square the ends of the stringer and check on the squareness while you’re installing the deck boards to the stringer.


If you prefer to use ¾ inch treated plywood for your deck surface you’ll need to add more stringers so there not over 16 inches between them.

Step 4] Install the Boards or Plywood… Precut your treated 2×6 boards to at least 1 inch longer than the width of the ramp, this will allow for ½ inch sticking past on both sides, this is to create a drip edge so the water runs of the ramp onto the ground. If you’re using treated ¾ plywood cut it so it has the same amount sticking past.

Step 5] Attaching the Deck Material… This is where you’re going to be using those 3 inch deck screws. It’s a good idea to pre-drill the 2×6 deck boards ahead of time and keep in mind the piece at the very bottom will need to be drilled higher or closer to the top of the board, this is to have some solid wood to attach the board to stringer.

Because the stringer is cut tapered to nothing there isn’t going to be enough material for the screws going thru the deck board into the stringer. So remember to screw that board up higher so it has some material to attach too.


Look at the grain of the board and install it with the grain curve up and when the board dries it won’t bow and twist making a tripping hazard on your ramp.

Step 6] Attaching Your Ramp… Depending on the ground where your ramp is going to sit you can place the ramp where it goes and then using a spade mark the location and then remove the grass and either use concrete pavers or gravel to make a suitable base for you ramp.

Ryans Shed Plans

You can attach your ramp to your shed with screws or you can attach a piece of 2×6 the width of the inside of ramp between the stringer and then slide the ram in place and using 4 inch deck screws attach the stringers to the 2×6 block of wood, this will secure it to the shed at the right height and can be easily removed if you need to.


Now you will have a ramp to access your shed with any large pieces of equipment, it also makes it much easier to go in and out of your shed with smaller items too. I hope you have found the article helpful and give it a share. Thanks

8 Ways to Keep Insects and Mice From Living in Your Shed

Keep insects and mice away

Don’t you just hate it when you go into your shed to get something and there’s a big spider hanging about the items you’re trying to get? A few years ago I had stored some items in a cardboard box on the shelve in my shed, and low and behold there were mice droppings everywhere and a family of mice had moved into the box…. What a mess!

There are even poisonous spiders that can give you a nasty bite and not to mention the diseases that mice carry, so you’ll need to deal with these issues quickly to avoid having a major infestation to deal with as well as the damage the mice will do to your stuff.

In this article I’m going to go over how to prevent mice and insects from getting into your shed in the first place as well as how to deal with them once there already moved in. I’m also going to look at some natural and other methods for getting rid of spiders and mice and some preventive things you can do to keep them out. 

8 Ways to Keep Insects and Mice From Living in Your Shed

Bayer Suspend InsecticideLet’s begin with insects…Particularly spiders! I hate spiders so let’s look at what you can do so spiders and other insects can’t get into your shed.

Number 1] Prevention… This is the first line of defence and it works for mice too, begin by removing shrubs, brushes from the area around your shed. Also keep the grass well-trimmed around the shed and whipper snip around the edges of the bottom of the shed.

Number 2] Use a Pesticide… Another good way to keep spiders and other insects out of your shed is to use an insecticide and spray around the outside of the shed and in areas that the insects can sneak into the shed.

I’m going to recommend the “Bayer Suspend Insecticide” because it’s a great general purpose concentrate that deals with a wide variety of insects. You can dilute it down and it has a long residual life and is safe for use inside your home. It comes in a 16 ounce size so it’s going to last a long time.

It has 1624 ratings and 320 answered questions so you can get all the information about this product before buying it. It also has a 4.4 out of 5 rating. You can read the reviews and get more information here on Amazon.

Number 3] Inspect Windows… Windows are often an entry point for insects especially if you have the window open for fresh air. Make sure all the windows have screens that aren’t damaged. Many folks use older used windows for their sheds so you’ll want to make sure they fit snugly and there are no gaps around the frame.

Number 4] Doors… Just like the window, check that there are no gaps when the door is closed especially the bottom of the door. Make sure it closed tightly again the frame to seal out insects. Add a door sweep to make sure the doors bottom is sealed when the door is closed.

Number 5] Caulking… Windows and doors are especially bad for letting in spiders, replace the screen if needed. Start on the outside and caulk the outside of the window and then go inside and caulk any cracks on the inside of the window. Do the same for the door, if needed add some new exterior trims and apply caulking under and around the new trims.

Number 5] Plug Holes… Sometimes you’ll have openings in the wall to run a power cord for power in the shed. Are there may be other holes on the outside of the shed from settling. Fill these holes with some expanding foam especially in the winter when insects and mice are looking for a dry place for the winter.

You can check out Amazon’s full line of expanding foams and seals here on Amazon.

Number 6] Keep Your Shed Clean Inside… Keeping the inside of the shed clean and organized as well as using plastic containers with lids will also stop spiders from hiding and setting up shop in your shed.

Shed Plans

Number 7] Inspect The Items… Before putting stuff into the shed give them a good cleaning and for garden tools hose them down. Spiders like to hide on items and then they get a free ride into the shed.

Number 8] Weather Stripping… Check out the weather stripping around the door and if it’s not sealing tightly or worn, now’s a good time to replace it.

How to Remove Spiders That Are Inside Already

If you have spiders already living in your shed you have a couple options: Using a chemical approach or a natural approach. Some would rather use chemicals while others won’t feel comfortable having chemicals in their shed especially if you have kids and pets.

If your OK with using chemicals and want a fast extermination of spiders and other insects in your shed I’m going to recommend “Raid Concentrated Deep Reach Fogger” for the fast way to get rid of all the spiders in your shed. You can check it out here on Amazon.

Removing Spiders Using Natural Ways

There are all kinds of home remedies for repelling and killing spiders and depending on your situation deciding on which one will be best for you can be overwhelming. I’m going to go over the most common and successful methods and you can choose the one that best suits your needs.

Number 1] Eucalyptus… You may be able to find some branches art a garden store, if not you can get eucalyptus oil and apply some into cracks and places that are small that spiders can enter in thru. The secret of eucalyptus oil is its odor, spiders don’t like the smell.

Number 2] Turn Off The Lights… If you have lights on in the shed and on the outside this will attract other insects which spiders feed on. So by keeping the lights off their food source will remain outside.

Number 3] Vacuum… If you have a shop vac you can go around the inside of your shed and vacuum the spiders and cob webs up. Also go around the outside and do the same thing, this method doesn’t necessarily kills all the spiders so you can dump out your shop vac into a plastic bag and seal it and place in the garbage can.

Ideas to Naturally Repel Spiders

The key to having a good spider repellent is odor, and you need to keep in mind that most spiders interrupt odor with touch. When using repellents that rely on odor you’ll need to place the repellent where spiders are coming in from or in a place where you see spiders most often.

7 Ways to Repel Spiders

Number 1] Vinegar… This is a great way to keep spiders out and most folks already have vinegar. Using a spray bottle combine the vinegar and an equal amount of water in the spray bottle, spray where you see spiders and any areas that spiders can get in.

Go outside and spray around windows and doors and any other places that they can enter from. You’ll need to spray the vinegar water solution at least once every 5 days to see good results.

Artizen Peppermint Essential OilNumber 2] Vanilla, Dish Soap and Vegetable Oil… This is another great repellent, mix a cup of vegetable oil with and ¼ cup of dish soap [preferably Dawn] and add I teaspoon of vanilla extract. Mix these ingredients together in a separate container.

In your spray bottle add one tablespoon of the mixture to 1 cup of water. Make sure the mixture is well mixed and now you’re ready to spray. Spray into all the areas where spiders may be getting into. This mixture will last a couple of weeks before you need to re-apply.

Number 3] Peppermint Oil… This is my favorite for spiders; it is also very good for other insects and mice. I use a 455ml spray bottle and add about 5 to 6 drops of natural peppermint oil and give the bottle a good shake.

Now you can spray all the areas that you suspect the spiders are coming in, if you know where there coming in from you can use an eyedropper and put a few drops there. A good 100% pure peppermint oil is “Artizen Peppermint Essential Oil you can see it here on Amazon.

Number 4] Lemon and Lavender… These work great at repelling spiders and combining the lemon and lavender and then using some cotton wads dipped into the solution will make you some powerful balls that you can put in a few spots in the shed and watch the spiders disappear!

Number 5] Citrus Oils… Another great option, in you sprayer add about a cup of water and then 4 to 5 teaspoons of the citrus oil. Give it a mix and you’re ready to go, you can spray this solution liberally and be sure to hit the spots that are known to have spiders.

Not only repels spiders and other insects it also leaves a nice fresh sense in the shed, apply your citrus spray about once a week.

Number 6] Borax Soap and Baking Powder… This method is a bit messy, what you do is spread the borax soap or if you have some to spare baking powder on your sheds floor especially around the perimeter. What happens is the spiders will usually eat this and then they will die.

Number 7] Using Chestnuts… Haven’t had much success with chestnuts, others have had good results using them. I would try the other methods first before giving chestnuts a go.

Keeping Insects and Mice and Other Critters Out

While keeping the bugs and other critters from getting into the shed in the first place is the best choice, then you won’t have to deal with them inside and the messes they make. There are some poisonous ones that you’ll want to keep out to prevent being bitten and having to seek medical attention.

I was bitten by a brown recluse a few years ago and it was very painful so I’m always looking for ways to keep these bad spiders out of my shed.

Some Ways to Prevent Entry into Your Shed

There are some things you can do to prevent insects and mice from gaining entry into your shed.

Number 1] Damaged Wood… If there are areas of your sheds foundation that are damaged from moisture and rot you’re going to need to replace these areas. Rotted areas allow for the insects and mice to get into your shed.

Also check the outside for areas that are split that you can repair and inside check the floor for spots that are weak and have small holes. You’ll need to repair these areas, for the floors you can use some pieces of sheet metal to cover the bigger holes and this will help keep them critters out.

Ryans Sheds Plans

Number 2] Upkeep and Maintenance… Keep your shed maintained, if it finished with wood caulk cracks and re-paint every few years or as needed. If your shed is finished with vinyl siding look for cracks or holes and repair these as needed.

With a shed that’s finished with metal you’ll need to check around windows, doors and other openings for cracks and small holes and install new caulking as needed. Also inspect any vents and window screen and repair or replace as needed.

Number 3] Proper Ventilation… When sealing your shed against insects and mice it can be really easy to block your shed from having proper ventilation which will cause rotting and mold a mildew to grow.

Air Vent Inc Foundation VentMake sure you use the correct air vents for air circulation under the shed and for air circulation inside the shed. I like the “Air Vent Inc Foundation Vent” for good ventilation for under your shed, put one in each end. I love these because they can be opened and closed as needed and have built in screens. Check them out here on Amazon.

Bewox Plastic Round Air VentAlso having good ventilation inside your shed is important to keep the air fresh which in turn discourages many insects to try to get in. Having a window with a screen that opens can let in fresh air. As well having at least one wall mounted vent that you can control is very helpful.

Check out the “Bewox Plastic Round Air Vent” that comes in sizes from 3 inch to 8 inch. These are easy to install and have screens inside to prevent access to insects and mice. I like these because all you need to do in the winter is stuff some pink insulation into the opening to seal off for the winter. You can check them out here on Amazon.

Number 4] Keep Soils Away From Shed… Don’t store your dirt or compost next to your shed, all sorts of insects love compost and that attracts spiders and even mice.

Number 5] Clean Tools… Hose off your tools before putting them into the shed and if your storing your bigger items like a wheelbarrow on the outside of your shed give it a hosing down when you’re putting it away.

Number 6] Relocate Bins… Many folks either store there garbage cans and recycling bins in their sheds of outside against the shed and under the overhang to protect them from the elements. While this seems like a good idea having those bins next to the shed attracts bugs and mice, so it’s better to find another place for them.

Not sure where to locate them you can read my article “5 Clever and Smart Outdoor Garbage Can Storage Ideas” for ideas and help in choosing a good option. You can read it here.

Number 7] Storage… Sometimes you have to keep some garden supplies in the shed so the kids or pets don’t get into them. A good way of doing this and keeping the insect away is to use some plastic storage containers that have tight sealing lids. I like to use the clear ones so I can see what’s in the container.

Number 8] Trees and Shrubs… Get into a good habit of keeping any tree branches that are hanging over or near the shed are trimmed back, also don’t have small brushes or other plants growing up against the shed.

Number 8] Pest Repelling Devices… While there are all kinds of different devices that claim to repel spiders and other insect as well as mice, I haven’t had much success with the devices I tried. Some folks swear by them, so it’s up to you if you want to give them a try. You can see Amazon’s full line of pest repellent devices here.

Dealing With Insects Living In Your Shed

Ortho Home Defense

With the large number of different insects that can get into your shed, you’re going to want something that will deal with all of them. I’m going to recommend “Ortho Home Defense” as the solution.

– Works and protects for up to 365 days.

– Has an extendable dispenser wand so you can apply without having to bend down.

– Fast drying and penetrates into the areas the insects are hiding.

– Safe for indoor use.

You can read the reviews and get more information from Amazon here.

Dealing With Mice in Your Shed

One of the biggest problems that many shed owners are going to face is dealing with mice. Mice are destructive little pests that are dirty and can bring in diseases into your shed. While they are larger than insects and spiders they have an ability to squeeze into the tiniest of holes and move into your shed, especially in the winter.

How to Prevent Mice From Getting Into Your Shed

Number 1] Remove Water Source… Just like most small critters if you have a water source that will attract mice. That’s why in so important to have good drainage around your shed so there’s no water under the shed that’s attracting the mice.

During the winter months make sure any water source that you have is turned off and if your using water in the shed make sure there’s no leaks and don’t leave containers that have water in them to have no sources inside for them to get water.

Number 2] Remove Any Food Sources… It’s not likely you have cheese in your shed; mice also will eat grass seeds and a wide variety of other seeds. If you’re going to be storing seeds and other items that are a food source use plastic containers that seal tightly.

Number 3] Nest Building Materials… Mice will build nests out of paper and cardboard so not keeping paper and cardboard in your shed will make it hard for mice to set up their nest and will likely move on to another place that will have the needed materials.

Number 4] Deterrent Material… If you need plug holes that the mice are getting into the shed from you’ll want to use either steel wool or a mesh material made out of copper. Using copper mesh has its advantages over steel wool because the copper mesh is much more difficult for mice to eat thru.

Ryans Shed Plans

How to Rid of Mice Already in The Shed

Number 1] Cat… Nearly all cats are mousers and do a great job of controlling mice populations. While cats do a great job, there is some commitment required with having a pet cat.

Number 2] Using Poisons… There are various types of poisons you can get to control mice and rats but, if you have pets and small children it’s not a good idea to use poison to control mice. I do use poison in my wood shed and place the packages between the rows of firewood.

Doing it this ways allows the mice to have access to the poison and at the same time preventing larger animals like cats and dogs from being able to get to the poison. As I use the firewood I remove any poison that’s left and dispose of it safety.

Number 3] Mouse Traps… These work great for dealing with an infestation without having to worry about having poisoned mice and worrying about pets eating a mouse that has been poisoned. I like to use peanut butter in my traps and it works very well.

I knew a Lady who would use live traps and as She caught them She would release them back outside. Works for those folks who don’t warn to harm the mouse I teased Her about how many would come back in.

How to Get Rid of Mice Naturally and Safely

For many using poisons and other types of non-natural mice repellents isn’t a good option and are concerned about the environment effect these repellents will have on them and their family members as well. Let’s take a look at a few all-natural mice repellents:

Number 1] Peppermint Oil… Peppermint is Mother Nature’s own repellent that gives off a very intense odor that rodents and some spiders just don’t like. It also masks over the smell of other attractants that can attract the mice.

When using peppermint oil on mice all you need to do is put 2 or 3 drops of the oil into some cotton balls and place the balls in the areas you see signs of mice.

Number 2] Block Access… There are several ways you can do this; the easiest way is to plug the hole that the mice are entering from. Steel wool works well for this or better yet nail a piece of wood or some metal flashing over the hole.

Ultrasonic Mice RepellentsNumber 3] Ultrasonic Repellent Devices… These I have found as I mentioned earlier don’t work very well for repelling spiders, but I have found them to be effective at repelling mice. A great product that will not harm the rodent and uses sound waves that mice don’t like to be near.

I’m going to recommend the “Neatmaster Ultrasonic Pest Repeller” if you’re looking for an effective way to keep mice away. This unit plugs in and has 3 settings, it has 770 user ratings and 327 answered questions. You can read the reviews and get all the information here on Amazon,

If you’re looking for a repellent device that operates on batteries you can check out Amazon’s full line of ultrasonic repellent devices here.


Dealing with insects and mice in your shed can be difficult sometimes, dealing with the issue sooner rather than later will be a better option as they breed fast and can cause a lot of damage and be a health risk.

Give some of the suggestions I have given in this article a try. However sometimes in extreme cases you may need to call in a professional pest exterminator for the big job. Feel free to share what you have found that works well in the comments. If you have found the article helpful please give it a share. Thanks for reading.

How Do You Build Storage Under a Deck?

How Do You Build Storage Under a Deck

I’ve been asked this question many times… Can you build storage under a deck? Many folks have space under their decks that is just not being utilized. It could be accessed or in many cases the deck framing doesn’t allow for storing anything.

The fast answer is YES you can use the underside of your deck for storage…If there’s enough clearance. If you only have 3 feet you can still store some stuff under it. If you have 7 to 8 feet then under deck storage is a great option while keeping the cost of building a shed low.

Another thing to consider is your deck waterproof? Many decks are finished with vinyl, fiberglass or a dura-deck coating that makes them waterproof. Some other types of decks are constructed using treated wood and deck wood for the finish, these are not waterproof.

Ryans Shed Plans

Depending on what you want to store under the deck will determine if you need it to be waterproof or not. Ladders, toys made out of plastic, garden hoses and maybe a boat can be stored without being concerned about water dripping through the deck boards.

Other items can be stored with the use of a waterproof tarp to cover them. Any smaller items like pool toys or other small toys can be placed in a watertight container and stored under the deck. But if you need to store stuff that needs to be kept dry then you’ll want to consider installing a waterproof barrier under the deck to protect these items from water.

Building Storage Under a Deck

There are 2 main ways to build storage under your deck if your deck is low to the ground.

1] Drawers… Building a frame and mounting some drawers into the space is simple to do and can provide some extra storage that you can access anytime you want the items.

2] Hinged Skirting… Another great way is to build a cubby hole under the deck that you can access from the outside by opening a part of the skirting either with hinges or a removable panel.

TCH Hardware Heavy Duty 250 lb Steel Drawer SlidesI’m going to recommend the “TCH Hardware Heavy Duty 250 lb Steel Drawer Slides” if you’re going to be building drawers for storage under your deck. These drawer slides are ¾ inch heavy duty slides; full extension lets you get access to the whole drawer.

These also come in a variety of sizes from 12 inches up to 36 inches. They have 114 user ratings and 49 answered questions. Definitely a good choice from sturdy long lasting drawers than can withstand daily use. You can see them here on Amazon.

How Do You Build Storage Under a Deck?

I’ve looked at building storage under a deck that is low to the ground. Now let’s look at some options for building some storage when your deck is 7 to 8 feet or higher off the ground.

If your deck is waterproof than you won’t have to worry about water dripping thru and getting the storage area under the deck wet. This is the simplest and least expensive option.

Building a Storage Shed Under Deck [Waterproof Deck]

Step 1] Foundation… The deck is supported by concrete piers that extend down below the frost line and will have one or more wooden posts that support the deck and the deck flooring is built on the support beams. You may have 2 beams or one with the other end of the deck attached to the house.

You have several options for a foundation; the best would be a concrete slab. You can also use concrete pavers or even gravel. Not sure you can read my article “What’s The Best Shed Foundation Option For You” for the top 7 foundation options. You can read it here.

Step 2] Walls… When your building a storage shed under the deck you need to be sure if the ground is subject to frost heave. While the deck posts are installed below the frost line your outside walls and floor may be subject to frost. If you’re not in an area that has frost then you can build the walls from the foundation to the underside of the deck.

Download Shed Plan

If you live in areas that have frost then you’re going to need to make sure you don’t attach any framing to the posts or underside of the deck. You can do this by leaving a 1 ½ space between the top of the walls and the deck structure. This will allow for the walls to move without lifting the deck.

I have attached a drawing of the best way to allow for wall movement without lifting the deck.

Building Storage Under a DeckHere are the steps:

Step 1] Cut 3 plates for each wall.

Step 2] Attach one plate to the underside of the deck where the wall is going to be.

Step 3] I like to use a 1×6 attached to the top plate on the inside and you can use a 1×6 on the outside that is painted or stained to match the decks color.


Only attach the 1×6 to the top plate, the second plate and bottom plate are used to build the wall so there’s a 1 ½ inch gap between the 2 top plates. Don’t attach the second plate to the 1×6, this will allow for the wall to move up and down in the space.

Step 4] Frame the wall with the second and bottom plates and slide into place on top of the foundation or treated beam.


You can use a wider piece of wood for the top plate to allow for the exterior sheeting and for any interior finish. Make sure you leave a 1 ½ space from the top of the outside finish to allow for movement. You can adjust the width of the top plate so the outside 1×6 covers the exterior finish too.

If you need some help with the wall framing you can read my article “How to Frame a Wall the Right Way” where I go into detail the framing process and step by step guide for framing in windows and doors. You can read it here.

Step 3] Doors and Windows… You can add windows to your shed to let more light in. You can add a single or double door to suit your requirements.

Step 3] Exterior Finish… This is the last step and you can match your homes finish to give the shed a blended in look.

To help you I have found a good video that shows you a good example of a storage shed built under a deck.

How To Build a Storage Under a Deck

Building a Storage Shed Under Deck [Non – Waterproof Deck]

If you want a dry storage option under your deck and it’s not waterproof you’ll need to add some type of drainage system on the bottom side of the deck joists to drain the water off the decks end or into a gutter that will take the water and drain it outside of the storage area.

I have found the easiest methods are using those corrugated panels that are used on some sundeck roofs; these are made out of plastic or fiberglass and are fairly inexpensive. You’ll need to attach some strips of wood to the bottom of the deck joists; using thinner pieces to thicker pieces will give you some slope.

Try to get some slope of 1 inch to 1 ½ inches so the water will drain away well. What works well is using a 1×4 at the end that is up against the house and using 2 inch thick strip of wood at the other end which gives you 1 ¼ inches of slope which will be enough slope to drain away the water.

Depending on how wide your deck is you can string a line between the 1×4 and the 2 inch strip and measure what thickness you need, every 30 inches should be good. If you want to drain away the water you can install a gutter at the outside and direct the water away using some down-pipes.

Ryans Shed Plans

Building a Storage Shed Under Deck

Here’s the easiest way to build a waterproof roof under a deck that is not watertight.

I have attached a drawing and the steps below.

Building a Storage Shed Under Deck

Step 1] Using a 1×4 at the end that’s attached to the house and using a 2 inch thick filler piece at the other end to give you the 1 ½ inch of slope required.

Step 2] Temporarily put the gutter up against the beam and mark the location about in the center of the gutter, this will be where the ceiling material will end.

Step 3] Move the 2 inch filler piece back a few inches from the end of ceiling material.

Step 4] String a line from the 2 inch filler to the 1×4 piece and measure the 2 center pieces and cut and install them.

Step 5] Install the ceiling material with waterproof roofing screws.

Step 6] Install the gutter and you can slope it a bit too direct the water away from the area or you can use a down pipe and run it away from the area.


I hope I have answered the question “How Do You Build Storage Under a Deck?” I have looked at the most common options and there are others depending on your situation and storage needs.

I have seen folks actually put a metal or plastic storage shed under their deck and it looks like a good option if you have the height. If you have found this article helpful, give it a share. Thanks for reading.

10 Tips For Buying the Perfect Outdoor Storage Shed

Buying the Perfect Outdoor Storage Shed

If you’re in the market for an outdoor storage shed, you’ll need to know a few things before you go out and buy that shed. The main considerations are the cost and the size of shed you need. You might also be looking for one that’s a particular style and color.

An outdoor storage shed is going to be a large investment especially if you’re planning on building it yourself. You can expect your shed to last at least 20 years and if you’re putting it on a foundation it can last much longer.

10 Tips For Buying an Outdoor Storage Shed

Tip Number 1] The Cost… Don’t go out and buy a storage shed based on the price alone, many folks believe that the cheapest shed will be the best. A cheap shed is just that… Cheaply made with inferior materials that just won’t stand up to the test of time.

Spending more money on a higher quality storage shed will give you years of durability and will outlast the cheaply made storage sheds. If you have a budget [which many folks do] get one that’s very simple and well-made rather than getting one with options you really don’t need.

There are still some decent quality storage sheds that you can buy that will fit your budget. You can read my article “What are The Best Cheap Plastic Storage Sheds to Buy?” where I go over some things to look for in a plastic storage shed, as well as my recommendations of the best plastic sheds. You can read the article here.

Tip Number 2] The Sheds Design… Exterior storage buildings don’t just provide storage for your extra stuff they also can add to your property’s value and overall appearance to your landscape. If you can get a shed that will fit in well with your homes style and finish it can really add value to your home.

Shed Plans

A good example of this is if your home has a peaked roof and vinyl siding you can build a storage shed with the same type of peaked roof and you can match the vinyl siding and trim as well. Or maybe your home has flower boxes and shutters on the windows; you can easily match you shed to this too.

Tip Number 3] Blending In… Another factor for choosing the perfect outdoor storage shed is having in blend into the surroundings. Many sheds you see in folks yards tend to stick out and don’t fit into the landscape, you can avoid this by locating the shed where it blends into the area.

You can place the shed near some trees that will provide shade in the summer or you can put it beside your garden. Other ideas are to add planters around the shed or you can even consider installing a wall trellis for some climbing plants.

If you need some ideas I have 2 articles that will help get you started, the first is “Choosing the Best Location for a Storage Shed” you can read it here, the second article is very helpful when you’re deciding on the size of the shed. “Choosing the Right Size Storage Shed” and you can read it here.

Tip Number 4] Shed Material Type… When it comes to the type of materials sheds are made from the choice is wood, metal and plastic. There are some better quality types of metal and plastic to choose from. Let’s look at each briefly:


Storage sheds constructed from wood are usually constructed similar to how a house is constructed using a wood floor, framed walls and a framed roof. There also sheeted with plywood or OSB which makes them much stronger than metal or plastic.

You can apply a nicer exterior finish and you have the option to add insulation to the floor, walls and roof if you’re planning on using your shed as a work shop or office. With wood you also have many options of roofing type from rolled roofing to metal roofing.

Ryans Shed Plans


Metal sheds are much lighter and are not as strong or durable as a shed constructed out of wood. They do however have prefinished panels for the walls and roof that don’t require any maintenance like a shed made from wood. You can also get them with a metal foundation kit and they are available in many designs and colors to choose from.


Plastic sheds are also known as resin or other type of plastic. Like metal there’s not any maintenance and like metal they won’t rut or be eaten by insects. These are very simple to assembly but you’re going to need a foundation kit and a way to anchor it the ground.

Tip Number 5] City Bylaws and Codes… Most places have bylaws and restrictions that will only allow for certain sized storage sheds as well as height restrictions. There’s usually no restrictions on storage sheds that are less than 100 square feet and not built on a foundation.

There still will be regulations on where you can put the shed on your property. It’s quite common to have limits on how close you can put a shed to your property lines as well as limits on how far from existing buildings you can put a storage shed.

If you live in a complex that uses a homeowners association they may have restrictions on size, height and even what your shed will look like. It’s better to ask before you go out and spend 1000,s on a shed only to have to remove it for some reason.

You’ll also want to find out from your local building authority if you’re going to be required to submit a plan and site plan and buy a building permit. I go over how to find out and prepare if you require a permit in my article “Do You Require a Building Permit to Build a Shed?You can read it here.

Tip Number 6] The Foundation and Floor… If you’re going to be building a storage shed out of wood then you’re going to need a floor and some type of foundation. There are a few options for a shed foundation from treated skids to a concrete slab.

Most of the metal and plastic sheds won’t come with a floor and you’ll need to make your own floor or buy a kit. This flooring kit can cost you an extra $100 or more and the anchoring kit can cost about the same. I like to use some ½ inch re-bar and put a small bend at one end and cut them about 4 feet long and hammer them into the ground to secure to floor kit.

It’s highly recommended you use one of the few shed foundation options to keep your floor off the ground which keeps the contents up higher to keep them dry. My favorite foundation is the treated wood foundation. You can read my article “What’s the Best Shed Foundation Option For You” for the best foundation for you. You can read it here.

Tip Number 7] Build it Yourself or Hire a Contractor?… I love building my own structures; however that may not be something that you want to do. If you’re handy and have the tools building your own storage shed may be a good option for you. Not only will you get the satisfaction of using your own hands you’ll also save money.

If you just want a quick place to store some yard tools and toys than maybe a metal or plastic shed kit will be right for you. This types of sheds come with pieces that lock together and have pretty good instructions.

Ryans Shed Plans

Another option is to have a pre-built shed installed or you can hire a local contractor to build a shed for you. This will cost you more money, but will save you time and energy. This may be a good option for some, I go over the pros and cons of each in my article “Should a Beginner Build Their Own Shed?You can read it here.

Tip Number 8] Plan Out Your Access… It’s important to go over the layout of your property and choose the spot for your storage shed wisely. Depending on the size of the shed and what you’re going to be storing in it access may be necessary to store stuff or having a wide enough door so your riding mower will fit thru it.

Also consider the height of the shed floor and you may need to construct a ramp to make moving larger pieces of equipment in and out easily. I like to place a shed close to the driveway so I can access the storage from the back of my truck.

Tip Number 9] Features and Details… With the many options you can add to your shed you can turn a cheaper one into something decorative. Adding some matching shutters or even some nice cedar window boxes and planters can really make your shed stand out.

If you have the room you can add a small covered deck for some lawn chairs or some deck storage boxes. If you’re building your own shed you have many options on roofing styles and exterior finish to really add some character to your plain shed.

Tip Number 10] Adding Extra Storage… If you find that one storage shed just isn’t giving you all the space you need for storage you can get another smaller unit. There are 3 types that are less expensive and be a solution for you:

Portable Storage Unit

These are smaller and all fully self-contained and will protect your items from the elements and there are many different types and sizes to choose from. I have an article “What’s The Best Outdoor Waterproof Storage Box?” where I review some of the better ones. Read it here.

Vertical Storage Unit

These are portable and can give you some extra dry storage wherever you need it. I like using them on the deck under the overhang for storing chair cushions and other smaller outdoor items.

Download Shed Plan

Horizontal Storage Unit

These are shorter and wider and can be used anywhere you need some extra storage; a good example would be pool side to store pool accessories and extra towels or whatever else you need to store. Some can even be used as a poolside table that opens for extra storage.

If you need lots of storage from your outdoor storage shed you should look at a larger sized storage shed that will meet your needs. If you don’t have the space you can build a lean onto the side of an existing shed and close in the sides and add a door. This is easy and fairly inexpensive to do.


I hope you have found these 10 tips for buying an outdoor storage shed. There are other factors that can come into play, but I have only covered the main ones that will affect the purchase of the shed. If you have found this article helpful please give it a share. Thanks for reading.

Do You Require a Building Permit For a Storage Shed?

Do You Require a Building Permit

Knowing if you need a building permit especially if your planning on installing a storage shed whether you’re going to buy a pre-built shed and put it in your backyard or if you’re going to build a shed yourself. If you’re building or installing a shed in your yard brings the question… Do I need a building permit?

The answer is “Maybe” and this will depend on the size of the shed and if you’re local bylaws require a building permit. Where I live no building permit is required to install or build a storage shed if it’s less than 100 square feet in size and does not have a permanent foundation.

There are still some requirements as to how close to the property line you can put a shed and there may be other restrictions. It’s always a good idea to go talk to your local building inspector and find out exactly what the bylaws are before you build a storage shed.

Think about this, a building permit gives you peace of mind knowing that the structure is legal and it’s constructed correctly. Much better to have a building permit than to find out later after you’ve spend 1,000s on your new shed only to have to tear it down.

What Requirements Mean You Need a Permit?

The factors that can mean you’ll require a building permit are different for most areas but a good guideline to follow is:

– The size of the storage shed.

– What are you going to be using it for?

– Where is the structure going to be on your property?

– What type of foundation it will have.

– Are you going to be running power to it?

There are other factors and you can read my article “What’s the Best Location For an Outdoor Storage Shed?” where I go over the various factors that will affect your shed, I also go into detail on how to draw a site plan to take with you when you talk to the local building authority, you can read the article here.

So Just What Exactly is a Building Permit?

It’s an official document that your local building inspector’s office gives you that lets you or your building contractor go ahead and build the structure. The whole purpose of the building permit is to make sure the plans and location of the structure follow local requirements. The cost is usually a percentage of the job cost or may be a flat rate.

Ryans Shed Plans

When Do You Have to Have a Building Permit?

Not every project will require a building permit, if you’re just doing some simple repairs to an existing structure than a permit may not be necessary. If you going to add some electrical to an existing structure then you’ll need to get a permit for that work. If you’re using a electrician then they usually take out a permit.

The Process For Getting a Building Permit

– The first step is to talk to someone at your local municipal office or better yet talk to the building inspector. Briefly describe your project and the inspector can let you know if a building permit will be required.

– If a permit is going to be required fill out the application form and also attach a copy of the plans for the structure and include a site plan with setbacks showing the proposed structure on the lot with the distances from the property line and other buildings.


It’s always a good idea to go in person and meet with the building inspector and show him your plans and site plans, the inspector can them give you all the details and setbacks so you can build the structure in the right place.

– Once you’ve completed this process and all the details are worked out you will be issued a building permit.

– Post the building permit near or on the exterior of the structure so it’s in plain view.

– You may need to have inspections done as the construction proceeds, however this is likely not necessary for a storage shed. You will require a final inspection to make sure the structure meets the building code.

– Once the work is completed and the inspector signs off than you can remove the permit. It’s a good idea to keep any permits with your home papers so you can show that the structure is legal and built to code.

What Should You Bring When You Go For The Permit?

– Bring your plans and be sure they include elevations that show the height of the structure.

– Bring your site plan.

– You’ll also want to bring a copy of a current utility bill that has your name and address on it.

– And of course payment for the permit fee. Always pay by cheque that way you’ll have good prove that the permit was taken out.

What Happens if You Don’t Get a Permit?

Many people build sheds without finding out if they need a building permit, while some do get away with it many others don’t. The city can make you tear it down and fine you or they may put a stop work order on the build until you get the required permit.

A shed is going to cost you a few thousand dollars and it’s just not worth taking a chance that you’ll have to tear it down. Take the time to talk to your local authorities before building or putting up a shed, it will save you the headaches and loss after the fact if they make you remove it.

What are Local Bylaws?

The local bylaws and zoning requirements are the rules and regulations that a certain area uses for keeping urban growth and out buildings within the bylaws. Depending on where you live will dictate the rules and regulations for out buildings. There may be fewer bylaws if you line in a rural area, but it always a good idea to check with local authorities before proceeding.

Download Shed Plan

What Size Structure Will Require a Permit?

Adding a shed to your yard will depend on your zoning laws for the area you live in and there may be size restrictions for your zone. If you’re planning on buying a shed that’s already built you need to check with the building department before you buy the shed.

How Long to Get a Building Permit?

You could get the building permit in a week or in some cases it may take 3 weeks to a month. If you fill out the application accurately and include a copy of your shed plans and a site plan that will certainly speed up the process.

Does Taking Out a Building Permit Increase Taxes?

In some cases adding a building to your property can increase the property’s value and taking out a building permit for the structure alerts local building authorities to a possible increase in your property value and may increase your taxes. It also will add value to your home and can be an advantage when you’re ready to sell.

Building Permit Facts

I’ve added a list of 6 things that you may find helpful about building permits, these may not all apply in your area are situation.

Number 1] Be Anonymous… If you are concerned about asking questions about getting a building permit and giving your name, don’t be concerned about it. If you’re just wanting information you don’t have to give your name.

You can call your local building inspectors office and ask questions, you’ll find that the building inspector will be happy to answer any questions regarding the permit process and can go over the bylaws so you can know what you need to do before you start the process.

Number 2] Owner Building Permits… Many homeowners don’t think they can get a building permit and that they have to hire a contractor. This isn’t true many homeowners do their own work and get a permit without having to have a contractor involved.

Being the owner you can build your own structure and save the extra cost of hiring a contractor to do the work. If you’re going to be adding power to your shed I recommend you hire a certified electrician and they have to take out a electrical permit to do the electrical work needed.

Ryans Shed Plans

Number 3] Easements… Find out if your property has any easements before you go and apply for a building permit. Many properties have an easement whether it’s for a buried gas line or power line or even a main sewer line. These easements won’t allow for any structures being built on them and in some cases have set back requirements.

Your local municipal office should have records of easements; as well it should be shown of your certificate of title that you received when you purchased the property. The seller of the property should have told you about it. Either way you may have to take a different approach for building your shed.

Number 4] Property Setbacks… Property setbacks are your local building code bylaws that limit you to build from the property lines, wells, septic systems and other structures. There will likely be setbacks on how far from the front and back of your property that you can build. That’s why it’s important to talk to your local building inspector office so you’ll know exactly where you can construct anything.

Number 5] Variances… Property easements are typically not negotiable you may have some options with property setbacks by applying for a variance. Basically a variance is an allowed exception to the local bylaws which can let you build closer to a property line or build a larger shed then normally permitted.

The building department may consult neighbors if you ask for a variance and if your neighbors are OK with it your likely to get the variance.

Number 6] Inspection Failure… Just because you failed an inspection it’s not the end of the world. The inspector will tell you what you need to fix before you can call for another inspection.

Most building inspectors will answer most of your questions and feel free to ask them for some tips for passing the nest inspection.


I have found that taking the time and getting a building permit is not a difficult process even for a beginner, the biggest hurdle is drawing the site plan and getting some plans for the shed you want to build.

Finding a good set of plans is fairly easy, I’m going to recommend Ryan’s shed plans simple because there are 1000’s to choose from. You can check them out here. If you have found this article helpful, give it a share. Thanks for reading.