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5 Tips for Framing a Door Rough Opening


If you’re a dedicated build-it-yourself type of person, then framing a door rough opening may be easy for you. For others you probably have plans to build that yard shed or outbuilding yourself rather than buying a pre-built model. While most people don’t have a lot of problems putting up the walls and studs, sometimes it can seem a little complicated when it comes to framing a door rough opening.

After all, that door is going to see a lot of action and it needs to be sturdy, both to support the weight of the door and to open and close easily and securely. There are a few tips that will help you with this task.

5 Tips for Framing a Door Rough Opening

Number 1] Standard sizes for doors are usually 30″, 32″, or 36″. The height will usually be either 78″ or 80″. The most common thickness is 1.75″. However, if you are using a used door, measure the door in more than one place. An older door may have become a bit warped. If you get more than one measurement, use the larger one. Be sure to measure just the door, not any weather-stripping or other add-on.

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Number 2] Measure and mark all the plates at one time once everything is sawed to the proper size so that you know where everything attaches. Measure the distance between the two king studs on the sides, which will usually equal the width of the door plus five inches. It will help here to mark the top plate as to the future locations of the cripples that go above the door header to save guesswork later.

Number 3] Put the various parts together and nail, carefully keeping the edges square. One good way to add strength is to alternate nail pairs with single nails, as on the five-marked side of a domino, when nailing the trimmers or jack studs to the king studs or along the header length.

Number 4] Attach the header to the king studs. Add the cripples before nailing on the top plate. This will allow you to nail straight through rather than toenailing, adding strength and making the job easier.

Number 5] If you’re not familiar with any of the terms, such as king studs and jack studs, there are plenty of diagrams and pictures available to help. Sometimes just seeing a diagram will answer any question you may have about what goes where. If you need some help framing the walls check out my article How to Frame a Wall the Right Way.

What Type of Door Do I Need?

If you’re installing a door for a storage shed, you need to take into consideration what sorts of things you will be storing in your shed. If you’re just going to store yard and garden tools, and maybe a push mower and tiller, a single door will do just fine. You may want to look at the wider options just to make maneuvering around a bit easier.

If you’ve got a riding mower or ATV, you may want to look into installing double doors. This will make getting that wide riding mower out much easier, especially if it’s usually stored to one side and you have to use a bit of creative steering to get it in and out. Don’t forget that grass chute that sticks out on one side. That always seems to catch on the doorway.

As far as doors for your home, those usually come in the standard sizes, especially when it comes to interior doors. The exceptions are the French doors, folding doors, and pocket door. There is a bit more variety to outside front doors, as some come in rather wide widths. If you’re planning a door to your backyard, this is where the variety comes in.

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You can have a sliding door, French doors, or a double set up in which only one door actually opens. Some exterior doors are now made as folding doors as well. Dutch doors are another choice for home or outbuilding. They are basically two shorter doors that open together with the aid of a fastener or open independently. Your needs for the space and preferences will determine what you need.

Of course, just about any style of door can come with a variety of window choices constructed into the door. A single large glass pane, a group of smaller panes, oval or round windows, clear, frosted, or even the stained-glass look will give you a great variety from which to choose. Read my article Which Shed Door Ideas Are the Best for You? for more ideas on types of doors.

Types of Door Materials

When it comes to materials, there are many choices. Besides the usual glass, metal or hollowcore wooden door, there are other materials that add a different look.

For instance, fiberglass doors are very durable and resist dents. You can paint or stain it to really make it look like wood. Solid wooden doors give your home a classic look but should come pre-treated for exterior doors. They do need periodic repainting.

UPVC is a type of plastic made from recyclable materials. It usually doesn’t need painting, although you can paint it. These doors are also water-resistant; however, they are easier to break than some other doors of different materials, losing them some popularity.

Should the Door Open In or Out?

Doors on homes almost always open to the inside. This is especially important on outer doors, as this opening keeps the hinges on the inside, away from people who might try to break in by undoing the hinges. French doors are the exception, as they sometimes open outwards onto a backyard. On a shed, doors almost always open outwards. This keeps the doorway from taking up interior storage room and makes it easier to get large items in and out. Check out my article Should a Shed Door Open In or Out? for more detailed information on door swing.

What Size of Door Header Do I Need?

Your door size will help determine the size of the door header you need. Also, you will need to consider whether the door is on a load-bearing wall. If you can’t tell, just assume that it is and go from there. Building codes will help guide you as to the size header you need. You’ll need the proper size header to qualify for a building permit, along with a lot of other details.

Basically, door frames that are four feet wide or less will need a 2 x 6 header. Between four and five feet, you’ll need a 2 x 8. If the opening is any larger, you’ll need a 2 x 12 header. If you have any doubts, go with the 2 x 12 and you won’t go wrong.

How to Frame a Door Opening in an Existing Wall

If you’re cutting a new opening in a wall for a door, you’ll need to check for any wiring or other utilities that may run through your chosen spot before opening and framing a door rough opening. Having to reroute any utilities will probably require a permit and obeying building code requirements. A stud finder will help you locate your wall studs.

Once you have your space decided upon and measured, you’ll want to remove the wall covering over the opening and three inches on top and both sides. If the wall is load bearing, you may need more vertical space for a new header. The easiest thing is to remove the wall covering between the nearest two studs past the opening. Keep in mind that you’ll have to finish the floor where the wall used to be.

Measure the width of the door frame, then mark the door center on the ceiling. Mark each half to the side for the inside of the trimmer studs. Score the drywall with a utility knife along your vertical lines. It may take a few passes. Pry off the drywall. You’ll need to remove a few studs along the sill plates.

Assemble your frame, then install it according to the marks you made for placement. Nail it all in place through the top and bottom plates. You may have to toenail the frame into a standing wall. Finally, cut the bottom plate between the door jamb so the floor will be smooth under the door.

How to Frame a Pocket Door?

A pocket door slides into a slot instead of opening on a hinge. They are used where there really isn’t sufficient space for a traditional swinging door, such as the entrance to a long vanity area or laundry space. This type of door needs a little special construction. You’ll need to make sure you have enough wall space for it to slide full width into the wall. The door usually hangs from a horizontal track installed above it.

You’ll need to get a pocket door frame before you start framing a door rough opening, as frames come in different sizes. Usually, the rough opening for a pocket door is twice the door width plus an inch, and the door height plus five inches to leave space for the header. Once you have your frame in hand, it will be much easier to measure the cut in the wall.

The frames will come with installation instructions from the manufacturer. The frames include both the wooden frame, the metal track for the door, and the structure that forms the actual pocket. Once installed, you’ll need to install drywall over the frame. Be sure to use short screws here, as you don’t want a long one to intrude into the pocket and restrict the door’s movement or scratch it.

One good tip when installing trim around the doorway is to use trim screws on the top portion. If the door ever comes off the track in the future, the only way to reinstall it will be to take off the trim so you can lift the door back onto the track.

Conclusion

Framing a door rough opening may seem like a bit of a daunting task the first time you tackle it, but once you get into it and understand what the various parts of the door frame are for, it will make much more sense. You’ll feel like an expert once you get your first one finished. Doesn’t it feel good to save that labor money?

10 Wishing Well Planter Ideas That Will Be Sure to Please


Wishing well planter ideas tops the list for different items and planting solutions for dressing up your yard. One you may not have thought of is a wishing well planter. These planters are very decorative and can be a great focal point for your landscaping. They catch the eye whether located by themselves or in the middle of a garden.

Wishing well planters come in many sizes and are easily purchased or you can make your own. The main part can be round, hexagonal, or square in form. The roof can also be round or a simple pitched roof.

A bucket is usually attached, either to a static or working windlass. The bucket may also have plants placed in it or it can be purely decorative. The well part itself may be made of wood, stone, or plastic.

10 Awesome Wishing Well Planter Ideas

Number 1] Use an old barrel for your well base, or part of one. You can paint or stain it as you wish. To make a planter bed inside, get a large planter that will fit inside of the barrel and raise it up on blocks so that the top of the planter is near or at the top of the barrel, then put in your plants. Even if you’re building your own wishing well, having the round part pre-made will save a lot of trouble, as it’s not easy to build a round wooden well.

Number 2] If you have a few old auto tires sitting around, you can stack them up as a base for your wishing well. Paint them whatever color you want that will go with your garden. White or a neutral color is best so as not to detract from the color of the flowers. A few rods of rebar driven through the tires and into the ground will stabilize the tires. Install your framework and roof supports inside the tires, then put in your planter.

You can also use the tires as a framework to guide you in installing a brick or stone wall around them. This will make laying out a round stone well much easier. In lieu of laying brick or stone, you can coat the tires with cement, leaving either a smooth or rough, decorative finish to really create a unique look.

Use your imagination to plan a base for your well. Try out some unusual items, such as large, plastic blocks, perhaps in mixed colors, to create a whimsical base. Some concrete blocks, perhaps laid in a lattice pattern with openings between to allow a view of the planter inside create a colorful wall.

Try choosing some sort of theme or ambiance you want for your well. It can be formal or whimsical or even be something your kids will be interested in. Your family interests may guide your choice of materials.

Number 3] Use a trail of wishing well planters along a long walkway, either the same size or a variety. Wishing well planters come in many sizes, so it won’t be hard to get the smaller ones. In fact, the smaller wells are great for filling in a plain area between a sidewalk and a building to add a little bit of unexpected interest.

Number 4] If you’ve got a boring plain wall on your shed near your garden, why not try a small rectangular planter attached to the wall with a support going up either side and a roof overhang to look like a wishing well attached to the side of your shed? It’ll be a real surprise for any of your friends wandering through your backyard for the first time, as it will be totally unexpected.

Number 5] Try some decorative yard statues sitting on the edge of your well or in your well planter. A theme such as a fairyland or a gnome garden can really add interest to your landscaping.

Decorative stones can also add interest, either with decorative patterns or designs or perhaps your favorite expression or the initials of members of your family. Even some rare rocks or those with interesting colors can add accents to your well. Don’t forget to line your outer garden with some natural rocks.

Number 6] Don’t forget your well bucket. Whether it’s made of wood or is just a metal pail, it can also hold a potted plant. You can put in the same kind of plant as the rest of the well or put in a flowering plant in a color that contrasts with the rest of the planting. A vine that drapes down over the well also creates an interesting effect.

Instead of a bucket, how about putting in a hanging plant from the windlass of the well? Small blooming vines or any type of blooming plant that drapes down will create a unique look. People who expect the traditional bucket will be pleasantly surprised when they see this.

Number 7] If you’re placing the wishing well inside of a garden, install a flagstone walkway through the garden so you can tend to the plants in the well without stepping on your flowers. This will also add interest, especially if you use the occasional stone with an interesting pattern or decorative icon stamped into it.

You might also want to place a small, decorative bench next to a larger well so you can take time to enjoy it. This is especially good for plantings meant to attract butterflies.

Number 8] Try making your wishing well into a butterfly garden. Choose plants that are both foods for the butterfly larvae and those that bloom, producing nectar for the adults. This will really create a focal point in your yard.

Put your wishing well near your deck or outdoor seating area. This is especially a great choice if you’ve planted your well with plants meant to attract butterflies. What can be more peaceful than to sit with your favorite beverage and watch butterflies’ flit over the flowers in your planter?

Number 9] Instead of using your wishing well as a planter, how about one made of metal and using it as a decorative fire pit? The tub from an old washing machine makes a great fire pit well base. They come with a lot of perforations already punched in, allowing a view of the fire within and making a striking view. Use some scrap metal posts for supports and perhaps a galvanized metal panel bent in half for the roof.

You can also use a wishing well at one end of your patio as a sort of minibar. A smaller one can hold your ice bucket while entertaining guests. You can even use the well bucket as an ice bucket while using the larger base part to either hold cold beverages or an assortment of bottles.

Number 10]  If you’ve got a small pond or water feature in your yard, a wishing well planter is a perfect addition to the landscape there. Flowering plants inside your well planter will create a contrast between the usual lily pad and other water-loving plants you may have in and around your water feature.

What Can I Plant in a Wishing Well Planter?

Most people choose flowering plants, but the list can be almost endless. Marigolds, petunias, or any shorter blooming plants will work. As far as plants around the well, try to choose shorter plants as well so that the well is not hidden by tall plants. If you do want some taller plants, try to choose those that aren’t so tall as to hide the well.

You can also choose the type of plants that you traditionally find in a rock garden. Try planting a few vines and train them to climb up the roof supports. The vines can either be flowering or non-flowering. Vines such as morning glory and star jasmine are popular choices, as are types of ivy.

What’s the Best Shape for a Wishing Well Planter?

Many people choose round or hexagonal planters, but if you already have a flower plot planted or planned out, choose a shape that enhances the look of your flower bed. For instance, use a round well for a round garden or a square well for a square or rectangular garden. You may also wish to do the opposite, such as using a square well in a round garden.

If you have a triangular or fan-shaped garden planted in an out of the way corner of your yard, you may want to place your well at the head of the garden as if all the flowers were flowing from the well. If you’re building your own well planter, the square-based design will be the easiest to build unless you already have access to a barrel or preformed round wooden shape of some sort.

How Tall Should a Wishing Well Planter Be?

Wishing well planters come in many sizes. Usually, those meant for children are about 17″ or 18″ tall as far as the well part itself, with a width of 22″ across. A small well is about 21″ tall with a width of 27″. A large one is 25″ tall with a 32″ width. A 30″ tall well with a width of 36″ is considered extra-large.

Basically, your wishing well planter can be whatever height you choose that will enhance the look of the space you plan for it. Well planters already built come in various sizes. If you plan to put one in the middle of a large existing flower bed, you may want to have a taller one so that it isn’t dwarfed by the size of the garden.

If your garden only has low plants in it, you may want a smaller one. If you plan to place the well planter at the edge or head of a garden, perhaps a triangularly shaped garden, you may want a taller one, especially if the well planter may be hidden in shade for part of the day.

The size will also depend on what you plan to do with the bucket. If you want to use a hanging planter instead of a bucket or plant hanging plants inside the bucket, you’ll want to have tall enough roof supports so that the plants have plenty of room to hang down and still be seen.

Should a Wishing Well Planter Be in a Garden?

Most wishing well planters are used in the center of a flower bed or the head of one, depending on the placement of the bed itself. However, one can be used as an accent near a walkway or other such place just to draw the eye and dress up the area. You can either put one in an existing flower bed or construct the well planter and flower bed all at the same time.

Some people choose small well planters to enhance an odd space formed by a sidewalk around a building. There always seems to be some space that you just don’t know what to do with, and a wishing well may be just the thing to liven up the space.

Wishing wells made a great focal point to liven up any flower garden, whether placed in the middle or at one end. They also make a great surprise accent to a backyard when placed in an unexpected place where people just come upon it while walking around.

A wishing well can be used in many ways. Take a good look at your yard and see what areas may benefit from having a wishing well. Take your time and use your imagination. Use your own likes and preferences to create the kind of space you’ve always wanted. You don’t have to use a well as a planter if you think of another way to use yours.

Conclusion

If you want to construct your own wishing well, use your imagination. Wishing wells don’t always have to be made from wood, and with a little thought, you can construct a one-of-a-kind well that will have the neighbors wondering, “Why didn’t I think of that?” Let your creative flair come out and see what you can come up with. Whatever you choose, it will be sure to add interest and attractiveness to your landscaping plans.

How to Choose the Best 8 x 10 Shed


An 8 x 10 shed is one of the more popular sizes of small sheds on the market. It will easily fit into most yards, even the smaller yards. In some places, installing or building this size shed won’t require a building permit, but you must check with your building code authority to make sure what the regulations are in your area.

Be sure to familiarize yourself with zoning regulations regarding the placement of your shed as well. Some areas have restrictions as to the minimum distance required between the shed and property lines, other buildings, and utilities.

If you have shed dealers in your area, or a big box store that sells them, by all means, go see what’s available locally. Even if you plan on building your shed yourself, you may get some ideas from the pre-built show models for little things that will come in handy. If you are planning to buy a shed pre-built, you really do need to look over the various models.

One of the most important things to check when choosing an 8×10 shed is the quality of both the materials used and the build. Is one brand using thinner plywood on the flooring, perhaps to save money? How sturdy does the shed build look? Are the studs farther apart than they should be? You want a shed that can safely and securely house your items, and it certainly shouldn’t be flimsy. Take a close look at the joints on a plastic shed. Does everything join and fit snugly?

Also, see what is offered with each shed model and whether these features in the show models cost extra. For instance, some plastic sheds come with slots to install a floor, or a floor may come with the shed, but it may be at an extra cost.

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Is an 8 x 10 Shed Big Enough?

It’s a bit hard to picture exactly what various shed sizes look like and how much room they actually provide. This size shed would be roughly equivalent to an average size parking space. One way to get a good idea is to go to a dealer and look over their stock.

You’ll be able to see from their models what popular sizes look like and how much space there actually is inside. This will help you visualize your items and how they will fit, including any shelving you think you’ll need.

Another good way to see how large a shed you need is to get some graph paper. Draw out the size of the shed you are thinking about, then draw in your door and any windows. Draw out the larger items you plan to have such as that mower and any other large garden item such as a tiller.

Also, draw out any shelving or shelving units you plan to install or toolboxes. This will give you a good idea of whether you’ll have enough room for your important items without sacrificing enough space to move around inside freely.

One assortment of typical shed items that will fit into this space includes a small drivable vehicle, a shop vacuum, a push lawnmower, a ladder, a propane grill, a generator, and maybe a couple of five-gallon fuel cans, and a few garden tools. If you have an attic with usable space, of course, more items can fit in there.

If you draw things out and find that you have your future shed space already used up to house the things you have now, you may want to think about getting a larger shed. People tend to accumulate more yard tools or seasonal items rather than fewer over time. It’s smart to plan for future needs with a shed.

Pros and Cons of a Plastic 8 x 10 Shed

Plastic sheds are becoming more and more popular, especially in smaller sizes.

Pros: They can be purchased in kits and are fairly easy to assemble. Many HOAs approve of these sheds because they come in more decorative styles, including shutters and other trim, and don’t detract from the look of the neighborhood. The plastic is water and weatherproof, and they don’t need to be painted every few years.

If they get muddy or have algae growth near the bottom of the walls, a pressure washer will take care of it. Because they have gotten more popular, their build quality overall has improved over the years.

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Cons: The light weight of these sheds means that they can suffer from wind damage. Many areas prone to wind will require some sort of method to tie them or stake them down. The plastic itself can suffer from extreme temperature changes, buckling in the heat or contracting enough to leave gaps in the cold. Situating yours out of the direct sun will help.

Your foundation must be completely level for all the parts to fit. On a hot day, parts may expand enough to make it hard to assemble. Plastic sheds are usually easier to break into, even with locks. Check out my article Are There Any Advantages to Using a Plastic Shed? for more details on plastic sheds.

Pros and Cons of a Metal 8 x 10 Shed

Pros: Metal sheds are sturdy. Metal isn’t as costly as you might think, since metal roofing and siding can be recycled. They don’t require frequent painting as wooden sheds do. Usually touching up deep scratches on the roof is all you need to do. Metal is usually coated to last a long time.

It’s not affected as much as some other materials by heat, as long as the shed is constructed properly to allow for slight expansion. They are usually sturdy enough to be moved if necessary. These sheds are available in kits with all holes pre-drilled and all fasteners included if you’re good at assembling things.

Cons: They can be flimsy if thinner metal has been used to allow for a lower price point. They can be prone to rust, especially in coastal areas with salty, humid air. While aluminum can withstand salt, most small metal sheds are made from steel.

It will come with a protective coating, but this must be touched up when something scratches the coating down to the bare metal to prevent rust. Make sure your chosen one carries a warranty against rust before you purchase. Some people think that metal sheds aren’t attractive. Some sheds are now lined outside with a PCV or vinyl coating to make them more attractive. For more information on metal sheds read my article Is a Metal Storage Shed a Good Option?

Pros and Cons of a Wood 8 x 10 Shed

Wood is one of, if not the, most popular type of shed on the market, especially for people who build their own.

Pros: Wooden sheds are sturdy if constructed correctly. They are heavy enough to keep them from being blown about by wind for the most part. The connections of the various parts will be sturdier as well. Wood is also a natural insulator, making a wooden shed more comfortable inside naturally.

You can paint the shed and trim any color or colors you want, making it match your house. Since wood is easily modified, you can add a window or eave vent later if you find you need one.

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Cons: Wood does require more maintenance than some other types of shed. The wood has to be repainted every so often, and any rotten or broken parts replaced. Wood will absorb moisture, leading to possible warping, bowing or twisting. Buying kiln-dried wood to build your shed, or getting one built from that, will help with this.

Wood is prone to pest invasion as well as rot and moisture damage. This means using pressure-treated lumber whenever possible. Building a wooden shed, yourself is usually the most time-consuming of all the materials, as everything must be assembled from scratch unless you buy a kit that includes panels.

Pros and Cons of an 8 x 10 Rubbermaid Shed

Pros: Rubbermaid sheds are usually made of heavy-duty polypropylene resin. Some are made to be low height so as not to rise above the typical yard fence height. This can be a sticking point for some HOA regulations.

These sheds are touted as being leakproof, weather-resistant and dent resistant. They are made from a resin that resists the damage UV rays can cause so as to keep the colors from fading. Of course, they are low maintenance as is any plastic shed.

Rubbermaid sheds come with a floor, so you won’t have to worry about moisture seeping up from the ground and getting into your shed and toying with rusting your tools. They are lockable for security and are mostly easy to assemble, usually taking only a few hours. They also feature wall anchors that you can use for adding shelving or wall hooks.

Cons: If all the parts don’t fit correctly, you’ll have a time putting it together. One drawback is that the door hinges are plastic, which may give you pause if you’re going to be going in and out quite a bit. This shed needs to be put onto a firm foundation and should be secured to that foundation or to the ground with some sort of tie-down system. Many zoning regulations will require this, especially in wind-prone areas. Get more information on sheds types in my article Wood Vs Plastic Vs Metal Shed [Which is Best Choice?].

Is an 8 x 10 Shed Big Enough for a Riding Mower?

Most riding lawn mowers are about three to five feet wide and six or seven feet long. Some zero-turn mowers are up to six feet wide. If you choose an 8 x 10 shed, you may have room for your particular riding mower but not much else.

Another consideration is how easily you can drive your mower in and out of the shed. If you have to put it into a corner, you may find you have to wiggle it around quite a bit to get it back out, especially if the doorway is a tight fit. There’s that grass chute to deal with as well.

Just remember that most people aren’t only going to store a riding mower in a shed. You’ll want room for other tools and goodies as well. Most people end up putting more and more things into their sheds over the years rather than fewer things. Consider possible future needs when planning for your shed.

What’s the Best Foundation for an 8×10 Shed?

The gravel base is usually considered the best option for a shed foundation without costing a lot of money. A gravel base helps keep water drained away from the shed. It’s also good for a shed on a slope, as a treated lumber frame will keep the gravel where it needs to be while also bracing the high side of any dirt on a slope.

This type of foundation does need some careful work, such as leveling and smoothing the dirt, putting down a weed barrier, then putting in at least four inches of gravel, and tamping it down every two inches. This type of foundation will usually satisfy zoning regulations that require a foundation for a shed.

Of course, probably the sturdiest foundation for a shed is the concrete pad. However, for a small shed such as an 8 x 10-foot shed, it’s really not necessary to go to the expense of a concrete pad foundation. Besides, depending on the shed’s construction, an 8 x 10 is small enough to be movable if necessary, and the concrete pad foundation would not be able to move with the shed in most cases.

Buy a Shed or Build

If you want your shed raised a bit to provide airflow, a pier block or deck block foundation will be a good solution. It will also solve the problem of standing water or rainwater washing around your shed area. Pier blocks are concrete blocks with attached brackets to fit lumber joists that you attach with screws.

Deck blocks are concrete blocks formed with channels to allow the joists to fit into the slots without fastening. Either type will need a level gravel base to keep soil from washing out from under them. They should also be inspected regularly for any sign of sinking or tilting. Need more information on types of shed foundations? Check out my article What’s The Best Shed Foundation Option For You?

Conclusion

A small-sized shed such as an 8 x 10 is often the perfect size for people in suburban areas who don’t have big yards. They can fit all sorts of things, whether you need storage for yard tools, bikes, summer toys or other things. The attic space can be used for storage as well. Just draw out a diagram to see how your things will fit inside the space, and don’t forget to include room for walking around and expansion. This size may just be the right one for you.

Will an Indoor Greenhouse Work Inside a Shed?


Many people are turning to greenhouses and even an indoor greenhouse garden to provide fresh vegetables and greens. With ever-increasing grocery store prices, it’s also a way to save money, especially for families. For those in colder climates with short growing seasons or those with limited space, having a large enough vegetable garden just isn’t practical.

With a proper greenhouse, you can have fresh produce all year round. You can have a greenhouse built or take advantage of a greenhouse kit and put it together yourself. But what if you’ve got a sizeable shed already? Is there a way to use part of the shed space as a greenhouse?

Yes, you can install an indoor greenhouse inside your shed. There are a few important considerations to think about, however. The reason many indoor greenhouses are built with plastic covers or cabinets is that your garden needs to be kept within a certain temperature range to produce, especially if you plan on growing produce year-round.

Another consideration is obviously light. While grow lights are available, and are included in many greenhouse cabinet models, natural sunlight will always be best. You can situate your shed greenhouse near a window, provided that you replace the window glass with acrylic sheets.

Regular window glass usually doesn’t allow enough light to enter the shed to make plants happy. To really provide good light, especially for a larger greenhouse, you may consider replacing some of the shed roofing with plexiglass panels that will let in sunlight. Some people even replace a side of their shed with these panels.

Are There Any Indoor Greenhouses Made for a Shed?

There are several kinds of indoor greenhouses made to be used inside homes or even apartments. Some of these consist of plastic tents formed over shelving units, while others are larger and shaped more like a regular greenhouse. Some are solid enclosed growing cabinets outfitted with lights. They’ll work just fine inside your shed as well. They are fairly easy to set up and can be moved if needed.

There are also greenhouses and greenhouse kits that are made to be added on to the side of your home or shed. These are more solid and look like what you may imagine as a greenhouse. Some kits take advantage of growing produce in a more vertical space rather than spread out as in a traditional garden.

There are other ways to grow produce indoors that utilize hydroponics, meaning that the produce is grown entirely with water infused with nutrients rather than in soil. This type of setup takes a bit of work to set up, but you can build your own hydroponic garden without spending a lot of money.

How to Choose an Indoor Greenhouse Cabinet

You’ll need to decide what plants you wish to grow and how many of each. This will help determine how large a cabinet you need to house the plants you want. Be sure to consider how tall and wide each plant will grow at maturity.

You might investigate any miniature varieties of plants or other forms the plants may take. For instance, some tomatoes grow on climbing vines, so you might have a few vines growing behind or beside your shelving for other plants.

Lighting is another consideration. If you can’t put plexiglass panels into your shed roof, you’ll need some kind of lighting system. Some cabinets come with lights. Others will allow you to add light bulbs or bars. While grow lights are certainly desirable, some sources state that 10-watt LED lights are sufficient as long as they are rated as full spectrum. Check out my article 4 Tips for Choosing a Solar Shed Light for ideas and tips on choosing a solar light for inside your shed.

Humidity is important. If your cabinet doesn’t come with a built-in hygrometer to monitor the humidity levels, they are fairly inexpensive to add. Choose one that you can mount inside the cabinet in a place that’s readily visible from the outside at a glance. Once your plants get too dry, it may be too late to save them, so regular monitoring can help a lot.

Along with the humidity comes the possibility of mold and fungus forming in the soil. Once your plants get root rot, it’s over for them. While some owners will add a fan to keep air circulating, others choose to open the cabinet doors for a certain period of time each day to allow air to circulate. Having a cabinet with perforated or wire shelving will aid in creating airflow.

With sheds especially, keeping the greenhouse warm enough is important, especially if you want green veggies all winter long. This is especially important if you plan to use the cabinet for early seed starting. Many people use heat mats, which are great for generating radiant heat, rather than a regular room heater.

In case you haven’t noticed, all the above-mentioned items take electricity to work. You’ll need to figure out how to run a power source to your shed if it isn’t already wired. You may need to go ahead and run electricity to your shed. Few people have yards that will allow a long power cord strung between the house and shed without it getting in the way.

Another solution may be a solar panel on top of the shed. The right-sized panel can power your lights, heat source and ventilation fan just fine without the hassle of running electrical conduits and getting permits just to power the greenhouse.

Is a DIY Indoor Greenhouse Worth the Work?

Most people who have built one seem to think it’s worth the work. Whether you start from scratch or convert some existing cabinet or shelving unit into a greenhouse, it really doesn’t cost very much.

While you will need some kind of power source and providing that can be a pain, having an indoor greenhouse means that your plants won’t be subject to insect damage or diseases spread by insects. You’ll save both money and work by not having to use pesticides or deterrents. Your plants also won’t be nibbled by rabbits, deer or other creatures.

Your indoor greenhouse setup doesn’t have to be a monumental undertaking. You may start small to test the waters to find out if this sort of thing is for you. You can even start with a small indoor set up inside your house so you can see just how much work you need to put in to care for the plants before wiring up your shed for a greenhouse. This will definitely give you a good idea as to whether it will all be worth your while.

What is the Best Indoor Greenhouse with Lights?

Almost everyone has heard of grow lights. Unless you can provide sufficient natural light to your indoor greenhouse, you’ll need some type of supplemental light, especially in winter. If you grow only greens in your setup, you may get away with using less light.

Foliage-only plants such as lettuce and kale need less light than those that produce seeds and fruits. In any case, grow lights provide a wider light spectrum than typical household bulbs. They come in different types nowadays.

The cheapest is the incandescent grow bulb. They don’t last more than around 1,000 hours, however. They also can get quite hot, and so must be kept away from the plants so that the plants near them don’t get burned or dry out.

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Fluorescent bulbs are more expensive, but they can last ten times as long as an incandescent bulb. They also give off less heat. You may have heard of HID, or high-intensity discharge bulbs, which can last up to 24,000 hours. However, these need large fixtures and give off a lot of heat. They probably are not practical for a small greenhouse inside a shed.

Full-spectrum LEDs, or light-emitting diodes, are the most expensive option, but they will provide the type of light your plants need and are the most energy-efficient choice. They also don’t produce so much heat. Since you want to optimize space usage inside your greenhouse, it would be a shame to waste space just to keep your hot bulbs far enough away from your plants.

How Much Can You Grow in a Small Indoor Greenhouse?

Much depends on what you want to grow. If you only want to grow an herb garden, you can grow a nice assortment in a small greenhouse. However, if your heart is set on having peppers and tomatoes, you’ll need at least a tall greenhouse to provide height for those vine tomatoes and some of those beans. In addition, you’ll need several plants of each kind of green you want so you always have sufficient leaves to pick for the daily salad.

Some greenhouses produce as much as 2.5 pounds of food per square foot per year. Of course, much depends on the kinds of plants you raise and how much space each needs. You can produce a lot more herbs and microgreens fit into a greenhouse than you can tomatoes or berries.

Does an Indoor Greenhouse Need Ventilation?

While most people are concerned about lighting, and that is an important consideration, adequate ventilation may be just as important. Ventilation will help regulate the temperature, distributing warm air from your heating source all around and keeping the plants from getting too hot. Your plants also need fresh air to produce their own food and nutrients.

Moving air also helps in pollination. If you’re growing anything besides greens, the plants will need pollination, and ventilation helps keep air moving to move the pollen around. The breeze will also encourage the plants to grow hardier stems and root systems that will support their produce better. Moving air also discourages mold and fungus formation.

Do I Need a Fan in an Indoor Greenhouse?

If your greenhouse has a vent system that allows hot air to escape on top and cooler, fresh air to get in, you may not need a fan, especially in the smaller greenhouses. However, you need to remember that the air in your closed shed will not circulate naturally as much as the outdoor air would. This means that natural circulation from a vent-only system will probably not provide sufficient circulation.

Your shed greenhouse will most likely need a fan. In addition, leaving your shed open for a while each day is necessary. Your plants need fresh air from outside, not stale air that’s been sitting in the closed shed for a week. Get more information on solar powered fans in my article Best Solar Powered Fan for Cooling a Shed.

How Do I Stop Condensation in My Indoor Greenhouse?

Condensation is a common problem in any greenhouse setup. If you see dew on the leaves of your plants, it means that your humidity is not being controlled properly. This will happen more often in warm weather, especially if your shed heats up during the summer and your air is humid. Too much humidity in the greenhouse will lead to mildew and blight diseases.

Once a fungal disease hits one plant, the fungus produces spores which are borne up in the humid air. Once this air hits the ceiling and the temperature cools, droplets will form, spilling fungal spores onto other plants. There are several ways to prevent or reduce condensation in your greenhouse, however.

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Air circulation, as discussed before, is very important. Another method is to make sure your plants have adequate space between them. Plants crammed together allow air to be trapped between them and can stunt the growth of the plants as they cannot spread naturally.

Make sure your plant pots all drain adequately. A plant that has outgrown its pot often will have so many roots bound up in the pot that moisture won’t drain as it used to. Getting rid of moisture that gathers on the floor is important as well.

Water your plants early in the day, so that the moisture dries out during the day. Make sure you don’t use so much water that the drainage from the pots doesn’t cause large puddles on the floor. Water the soil, not the plant leaves.

Water on the leaves won’t help the plant, but evaporation will raise the humidity level. This means watering the plants on an individual basis rather than just spraying everything in the greenhouse. It may be a little more work, but it will pay off in the end.

Conclusion

Caring for an indoor greenhouse in your shed will mean more work, but so does an outside garden. At least your greenhouse won’t be subject to as many insect pests or animals sampling your produce before you can get to it. If you’re brand new to the concept, trying a small greenhouse inside your house first will tell you whether a shed greenhouse is really something you want to pursue.

Your in-home greenhouse can easily be moved to the shed later. There are plenty of lights, fans, and heaters just right for a greenhouse. Any good garden store can help you choose what you need for the size greenhouse you plan. Look into the options and see what’s available.

4 Tips for Choosing a Solar Shed Light


Solar lighting for sheds is becoming increasingly popular. Besides being good for the environment and providing free lighting after the initial expense, it’s really handy if your shed doesn’t have electricity run to it. Who wants to go through all the hassle of getting a permit, running the electricity to the shed, having an inspector sign off on the work, and all that?

You might only need one light or two, and the cost of the solar lighting probably won’t be any more than the cost of the permit and the materials and work involved in running the electricity. Then you’re paying for the electricity.

In this article I’m going to look at 4 tips when it comes to choosing a solar shed light. They are light requirements, number of lights needed, how bright the lights need to be and the type of solar shed light you need.

4 Tips for Choosing a Solar Shed Light

1] How Much Light Do You Need? This is an important consideration. Basically, there are two main types of solar lights. There are those with separate solar panels and those with integrated panels, meaning that the light and panel are one piece. If you have a large shed, you may need to get more than one light. In that case, you will probably want a setup with one solar panel mounted outside that will power more than one light inside.

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If you only need to use the light when you need to go out and find something in the shed, you may only need one light unless your shed is really large. If you use part of your shed as a sort of workshop, you may need more lighting so that you can finish that project that’s almost done as the sun goes down.

If you only want to light the outside, most people choose one light over the doorway to enable you to easily unlock your shed without having to hold a flashlight. This also provides a measure of security, as potential burglars don’t like to be seen.

2] How Many Solar Shed Lights Do You Need? This depends on your shed’s size and shape, and your usual usage of the shed after dark or on cloudy days. If you need a lot of light in your shed at night, especially if you plan to work in your shed into the evening hours, you will need more light than you would if you just make the occasional foray into the shed to look for something.

Your shed may also be partially shaded for at least part of the day. This helps keep the shed cooler, but it also may dim any light you get from a window, making it hard to do work inside.

If your shed has no window, you really will need good lighting available day and night to do any kind of precision work, such as woodworking or metalworking. Even fixing your child’s bike can be infinitely frustrating if you don’t have enough light to see where you dropped that bolt.

If your shed is large or rather long, you may need more than one light inside, having one on each end. If your shed has an attic that sees plenty of use, you may want another light there. You may also want to light your shed on the inside along with putting a light outside over the doorway. Whether the lights are inside or out or both, they can all be powered by solar energy. You cab also use a solar lantern, check out my article Will Outdoor Solar Lanterns Work in a Shed? for more information.

3] What Lumens Do I Need? A lumen is an international measurement. The official definition probably won’t give you any better understanding after you have read it. The more understandable one is that lumens are a measure of the brightness of a light. Some people mistakenly assume that wattage does this, but wattage measures energy use, not necessarily the light that’s output by the lamp.

To work out how many lumens solar shed light will need, multiply the length by the width of your shed, then multiply that number by 10 to 20. The final number should be a good estimate of the total lumens you will need.

If you can picture in your mind the light that the bulbs in your house put out, you can estimate what you will need that way. A 40-watt incandescent light bulb usually puts out 450 lumens, a 60-watt bulb provides 800, a 75-watt bulb 1100, and a 100-watt bulb 1600.

4] What Type of Solar Shed Light Do I Need? Once you figure out how much light you’ll need and where you’ll need it, you can start investigating the various types of lights that are available. Picture each type in various places and see what fits your needs. Don’t hesitate to ask your supplier for his recommendations.

For instance, if you only want a light over the shed doorway at night, you probably will opt for an integrated light that has the solar panel mounted over the light fixture itself. If your shed doorway won’t get enough sunlight to power this type of light, you will need one with a separate panel. If you want more than one light, you can get a kit with two lights that connect to one solar panel.

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Solar-powered lights also come in different forms. Some can be mounted on the outside wall to provide light; some turn on automatically when the sun goes down by way of a photoelectric cell that senses the light, and some include remote controls so that you can turn on the shed light before you get there.

The assortment of features can be confusing if you just dive into the world of solar-powered shed lights without at least some idea of what you need and what features you would like. You can check out Amazons line of solar shed lights here.

The Different Types of Solar Shed Lights

Wall Mounted – These lights are usually the integrated type. They come in attractive forms with the light on the bottom and the solar panel on top. The cost varies greatly with the model. They can run from as little as $20 to as much as $125 or more.

  • Pros: They make an attractive addition to your shed. Some even look like old-fashioned coach lights. Installing them is easy, and they come with everything you need. Many will run all night. Some come with sensors that turn them on at dusk. They’re waterproof for use outside. Some include a ground stake so they can be mounted on the wall they can be mounted as a path light.
  • Cons: They do need the sun to run, so they can’t be mounted close up to a roof overhang or on the shady side of the shed.

Hanging – These have a hanging fixture that usually comes with remote control but may also have a chain to allow turning the light on at the fixture. They have a separate solar panel that mounts outside. They are great for sheds that don’t have a ceiling, as they can be suspended close to the center of the shed from a rafter. Kits can run anywhere from $20 to over $150, but some kits also come with two lights.

  • Pros: They allow easy placement of the light in your shed, especially if you don’t have a ceiling. The kits may also include more than one light fixture. Many come with remote controls.
  • Cons: You have to know ahead of time what distance you’ll need between the solar panel and light fixture to make sure you get a model with a long enough cable. Even with a long cable, if you have a really large shed, you still may not be able to hang your fixture where you need it. If you have vermin problems, you may have trouble keeping your cable from getting chewed.

Spotlights – These offer a more concentrated light beam aimed at a particular place. They are usually mounted on a wall, such as over your shed door, but some are available that can be pole mounted. Prices vary from around $35 to $100.

  • Pros: They offer a bright light to illuminate your shed door, making nighttime entrance easier for you but not for burglars. The limited light profile will be less likely to shine where it will bother a neighbor.
  • Cons: The concentrated light means that the rest of your shed is in the dark. If you plan to use the light at least partly for security reasons, this may not be the best choice.

Photoelectric Solar Lights – These have built-in light sensors that automatically turn your outside shed lights on at dusk. Some have adjustable sensors to adjust the sensitivity of the sensor. These vary widely in price according to style and uses, running from $20 to over $250.

  • Pros: They are convenient, turning on your shed light even when you are not home to help deter thieves. They usually are made to run all night.
  • Cons: If they don’t get enough sun during the day, they won’t run all night. They may also turn on if the sky gets really dark during a storm, using precious battery life.

Remote Controlled Solar Lights – These are convenient, letting you turn on the light inside your shed before you get in so you’re not fishing around for the light switch. Prices range from around $30 to $100 for the higher-powered outdoor lights.

  • Pros: You can turn on the outdoor light over your shed door from your house if you hear an unusual noise outside without risking going out. You can also turn on the light before running out there in the rain.
  • Cons: Some remote controls cover rather short distances. You may end up with one that only works from one place inside your house. Of course, you don’t want to misplace that remote or leave it in the shed in the case of indoor shed lights.

Pros and Cons of Integrated Solar Lights

These solar lights usually feature LED lights, which are quite bright. They also have the solar panel and battery all encased in one unit. Most are waterproof, as they are perfect for providing lighting outside of your shed. They may include motion detection features or remote control.

Some have brightness settings and sensitivity settings for the light sensor. The brighter the light setting, the more drain on the battery. The same goes for the sensitivity setting on the light sensor.

  • Pros: Most of these units can store enough energy to run all night, providing security for your shed when you’re sleeping. They are usually waterproof and can light up a fairly large area. They are easy to install and usually provide all the fasteners you’ll need.
  • Cons: The bright light may be a bit blinding, especially if your model won’t allow you to turn down the brightness. If you need to mount it over your shed door, which happens to be on the north side of the shed or in the shade, your unit won’t get the sun it needs to charge.

Pros and Cons of Separated Solar Light

This type of solar shed light has the light fixture or fixtures separate, allowing you to mount the solar panel where it will get plenty of sun while placing the lights where you need them. It’s a good idea to figure out where you need the light fixtures and where you’ll mount the panel ahead of time.

Shed Plans
Shed Plans

The various models offer different lengths of cord running between the panel and the light, so you want to make sure you get one with a cord that’s long enough for your needs. The light fixtures come in many forms, such as hanging fixtures or even light bars that attach to your ceiling or wall.

  • Pros: They usually can store enough energy for two to six hours of use. They are easy to install, only requiring a 1/4-inch hole in the wall to run the cable from the solar panel. Some kits include two light fixtures.
  • Cons: These lights don’t usually have the long lighting time that integrated units do. If you need more running time, you can get a kit that includes a battery backup. These batteries often can charge work and garden tool batteries as well. The lights often aren’t as bright as those on integrated units. If you have a problem with mice or squirrels around your shed, they can chew into the wires running between the panel and the light fixture.

Motion Sensor Solar Lights – These lights include a motion sensor, turning the light on when something moves within a certain area. They are particularly handy for lighting the outside of your shed. The prices run from around $20 to $45.

  • Pros: Your light will turn on as you approach the shed, making unlocking it easy without carrying a flashlight. They also will turn on in case some would-be burglar starts looking at your shed too closely. Many people rely on them for security. Since the lights don’t run all night, they don’t need to store a great deal of power during the day to work effectively.
  • Cons: These lights will turn on when motion is detected, but turn off after a preset time if no other motion is detected. Some will turn off a bit too soon, such as if you have a tricky lock on your shed and it takes a while to get it open. They also may be too sensitive and will turn on if an animal runs by or even if a breeze sways a nearby tree branch. This can get on your nerves after a while, especially if you jump up to see what’s there every time it turns on.

There are other variations in solar lights for your shed. One is the type of bulb. Most integrated systems use LED lights, but some separated systems may give you a choice, such as using halogen for an outdoor floodlight or if you need One other consideration is the warranty length of each model you consider.

The battery type is another factor. It may be lithium-ion, NiMH, lead-acid or NiCad. Lithium-ion batteries are usually the favored type, as they have higher capacities while still staying small.

Even the solar panels themselves come in various choices. They come in three different types, amorphous, monocrystalline and polycrystalline. Monocrystalline is considered to be the most efficient but it is also the most expensive of the three. The other two are less expensive but also less efficient.

Another thing to check is how many hours of direct sun each model needs each day in order to fully charge. Some take as many as ten hours to charge, especially if they are the kind that comes on at dusk and goes off at dawn. They will charge on cloudy days but at a much slower rate. Of course, the shorter days in winter will also have an impact.

You’ll also need to inspect your solar panels every so often, whether they are separate from the lights or integrated. You’ll need to keep leaves, bird droppings and snow off your larger solar panel and inspect it for any damage periodically. Rain and wind can create a dirty film over even small solar panels.

Even air pollution, dust and pollen can create a film that blocks the charging efficiency, sometimes as much as 30 percent. While rain can clean the panels somewhat, rain often deposits dust or pollen in the air onto surfaces. Your panels should be cleaned once or twice a year, depending on the conditions in your area.

Use a soft sponge and soapy water to clean the panels, then make sure they are rinsed with clean water thoroughly. Power or pressure washers should not be used, as they can damage the panels. Read my article Top 5 Best Outdoor Shed Lighting Ideas and Solutions for more shed lighting options.

Conclusion

Once you’ve made your choice, installation is usually fairly simple, whatever the model and type you choose. Fasteners are usually included with any system. Once you’ve got your lights where you need them, it’s just a matter of sitting back and enjoying free energy, with the occasional cleaning.

4 Shed Door Ideas That Will Increase Shed Security


Let’s face it. Unless you have a really small shed that only holds a few long-handled yard tools and some hand tools, you have some valuable stuff in your shed. Besides power yard tools such as string trimmers and chainsaws, you probably have a lawnmower of some type, and those aren’t cheap.

You may also store some expensive toys in the off-season, such as a personal watercraft or snowmobile. Even the smaller tools, such as a power drill, circular saw, and the like add up to take a bite out of your pocket once you have to replace them.

You want to keep those things secure. Any would-be thief driving by, scoping out the neighborhood will certainly notice you on that zero-turn mower. If he’s really interested, he may check out what kind of door and locks you have for your shed to see if it might be an easy mark.

Then when you’re not home, he just backs up a trailer to your shed or home, drives that big mower on up, and takes off. If any neighbor asks, he’s just taking it in for service.

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How do you keep your shed secure? Even if your shed is solidly built, if you don’t take care to secure the door, you can have a shed built from concrete blocks and it won’t protect your things. Researching the various shed door ideas and how you will secure your door is a good first step.

In this article I’m going to go over 4 shed door ideas and how to make them more secure, they are single doors, double doors, roll up doors and sliding doors.

4 Types of Shed Door Ideas and Security

There are several types of shed door ideas, some of which you may not be aware of. While each type of door presents a different security problem, some forms are more naturally secure and harder to break into. Whatever type of door you’re considering, there’s always a way to make the door even more secure.

Single shed door – One of the best things you can do is to have a solid door to start with. This means considering building one of solid wood rather than plywood over a frame. If you have a door that is at least 44 mm thick, it will be much harder for someone to kick it in.

The hasp itself can be replaced with one that folds over itself, making it impossible for someone to just unscrew the hasp because they can’t access the fasteners. Replacing the hasp fasteners with coach bolts also helps. These bolts have smooth round heads that resist being grabbed by any kind of tool. They are fastened on the inside by nuts and lock washers.

The lock is just as important, of course. Those locks that have a short hoop are harder to pry open. Using a well-known brand name is a good idea as well.

A security bar may be a good option, especially for those with a plastic or thin-walled shed. This has a long metal bar that slides across the door into housing on the other side and is locked with a padlock.

Double shed doors – Any tip to secure a single door can be used on double doors. Many double doors aren’t made with a frame, however. In this case, you might consider a rim latch lock. It can be installed inside or outside the doors. They feature a spring-loaded latch that can be used to latch the door temporarily when going in and out during the day. They also have a deadbolt that locks with a key to secure the shed for the night.

There is also a pad bolt lock, which has both a padlock and bolt housing. A bolt, either circular or flat, moves through a channel to the other half. It’s secured with a padlock, which you will have to purchase separately. Using a combination of two or three different locks often foils intrusion attempts as well.

Roll up shed door – This is a type of door that often comes in metal, but also are available in wood and fiberglass. Unlike garage doors, these usually actually roll up around a big cylinder that is attached to the ceiling just above your shed doorway. That way you don’t have those long tracks common to garage doors that may get in your way when you want to use your shed attic for storage.

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These doors come with their own frame that seals every edge of the door to prevent prying. They also come with their own latches built in for use with your padlock. There are additional locks you can purchase, but these are made to lock the door from the inside, so they aren’t much use unless you have a really large shed with both a roll-up door and a regular door. Most burglars aren’t even going to attempt to get into a roll-up door. They are too much trouble and create too much disturbance.

Sliding Shed Doors – Sliding doors aren’t as common a shed door idea as they are on barns, but they do usually provide a much wider doorway space without going to double doors. Of course, you’re going to want to lock your door from the outside. A barrel slide bolt can give you the option of locking the door from either side. You do need to have a frame for the door for the bolt to slide into. It locks with a key. If your not sure if the door should open in or out read my article Should a Shed Door Open In or Out? for more information.

What Can I Use for a Shed Door?

While many people use wood or heavy plywood with a wooden frame for their doors, there are other shed door ideas. Some use wood siding panels leftovers from siding their house or the rest of the shed. Doors on sheds need to be wider than household doors simply because of the large machinery usually stored in them.

Even a walk-behind mower is more easily maneuvered through a wider door. This is why you don’t often see pre-hung doors installed on a shed. Those with large riding mowers often opt for double doors to really provide space.

Of course, if you bought a pre-built shed, you have the door it came with. Rather than replacing it, you can add extra bracing for the hinges and lock hasp. Make sure the hasp is attached to the framework rather than the door body.

You can also replace the fasteners on the hinges with fasteners that require a special tool to remove, such as Torx screws. Another way to discourage thieves is to use a combination of Phillips, slot, and Torx screws. This way the thief will need an assortment of tools to get busy.

How Many Hinges Should a Shed Door Have?

Shed doors should always have at least two hinges. The upper one should be located around seven inches from the door top, while the bottom hinge goes around eleven inches from the bottom. If you use a third hinge, it should be situated in the middle between the other two.

Having a third hinge is really not a bad idea. In addition to providing more support for your door, it also can deter thieves. Since most shed doors are designed to swing outward upon opening, the hinges will be located on the outside of the shed. Some thieves will actually bypass trying to undo a sturdy lock and just work on unscrewing the hinges on your door.

If your shed is located in a sheltered part of your yard where a thief can’t easily be seen, he may just think he has plenty of time to do this without making much noise. An extra hinge means extra work and time, and the thief may just think it’s a bit too risky.

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Some thieves work by just tapping out the pin on the hinges. With heavy doors, this takes a bit of doing, as the door must be supported once the first hinge is taken apart, but it can be done. There are security stud hinges that will foil such an effort. These feature leaves that lock together if someone tries to remove the pin. There are also hinges that feature pins that cannot be removed. The barrel of the hinge would have to be cut to remove them.

Another choice is what’s called a continuance hinge or piano hinge. These long hinges go the whole height of the door. They are fastened with many screws and would take a really long time to undo. Since the hinge covers the whole length of the gap between the door and frame, a miscreant can’t just try to pry the door off the hinge because there is no space for him to get a crowbar between the door and frame.

Best Shed Door Locks for Increased Security

First of all, make sure that any hasps, hinges or locks you buy are weatherproof. Anything that starts to rust just won’t do the job. Fortunately, many security-designed or heavy-duty hasps and locks are weatherproof.

T-Handle locks are popular among key-operated locks. They are usually heavy-duty and can stand a lot of use. Most models are fairly easy to install and are good at withstanding weather conditions. There are several brands and models to choose from.

A discus padlock is a good choice. It’s a round padlock with the hoop incorporated into the disc shape, preventing anyone from prying open the lock. It also unlocks with a key. Many are waterproof and very pick resistant.

A combination lock is also a good choice, especially if you’re prone to misplacing keys. Of course, you’ll need to remember the code, but many styles only require four numbers. Some feature rotating disks with the numbers printed on them to roll into place instead of the old L42, R13 scenario. With four numbers to the code, that makes for 10,000 possible combinations. You can set your own combination as well.

A bar hasp, especially a heavy-duty type, is a good choice. They resist any attempt at cutting or sawing, and the fasteners are hidden. Check out my article How To Increase Shed Security and Prevent Break-ins for more ways to secure your shed.

What’s the Best Type of Shed Door Security Alarm?

To add to the security of your shed, especially if you have a large shed with some valuable motorized equipment in it, one of the best shed door ideas is to have some type of alarm system as well. There are several types of alarm systems on the market these days. If you already have an alarm system for your home, it’s not hard to integrate a system for the shed that connects directly to the home system.

There are shed alarms featuring an external siren. They work much the same as auto alarms, sounding a loud siren to alert you and the neighbors and to scare off burglars. Motion lighting would also be a good idea along with the alarm. No burglar wants to be seen. Alarm systems for sheds can also call a phone number you designate just as home alarms can.

Security cameras have come a long way and can be added to your shed security. They also can use motion detection to start recording to provide clues for the police. Some will allow you to see what’s going on from your home with a live feed. Check on the video quality of different models. Cameras won’t do much good if you can’t tell what’s going on when you see the video.

Shed Plans
Shed Plans

There are some fairly inexpensive alarms designed for both windows and doors, so your shed window can be protected as well. Some models install with just double-sided tape. They usually feature on/off switches, and some give you a choice as to the kind of alarm they sound.

Shed alarms can be either wired or work on batteries. Some are triggered when a light beam or magnetic connection is broken. Some include remote controls, so the alarm can be turned off before you enter your shed. Some work by sensing motion. Some come with a monitoring service, but this may be a bit more than you want or need to spend.

Some drawbacks to alarm systems include whether any parts that will be outside are weatherproof. Some alarm systems also require wi-fi to work, so this may be a hindrance in certain areas. Some motion-sensing alarms can be super sensitive, so this is something to ask about when considering this type of alarm.

If you live in a rural area with wild animals routinely traveling through your property, they may set off the alarm. Some are so sensitive that the wind moving tree branches will set them off. That won’t give you the good night’s sleep an alarm should provide. Get more information on shed alarms in my article Are There Home Security Systems for Storage Sheds?

Conclusion

The best type of alarm system for you depends on your area, your budget, and how prevalent burglaries are in your area. Take time to investigate the various types before making a decision and see what will work best for you.