Shed Roof Maintenance for Winter

By | DIY Building Projects, Shed Construction, Shed Maintenance, Shed Roof Maintenance & Repairs | No Comments

Is Your Shed Roof Ready for Winter?

Your shed’s roof is one of its most important defenses against harsh weather, and keeps your shed comfortable and usable for you! Replacing your shed’s roof can be expensive, even though it is only a fraction of the size of your home’s roof. Luckily, if you keep your roof in good condition and perform regular maintenance, it can last its lifetime and perhaps even longer. Doing maintenance on your shed’s roof will be much easier than the maintenance required on your home’s roof, so we encourage you take a stab at maintaining your shed’s roof on your own!

 

Thorough Shed Roof Inspections Are Key

Wholesale Shed WindowsIt is a smart habit to check in with your shed’s roof and perform a thorough inspection once a year. However, there are other times in which it is prudent to inspect your shed’s roof. As you might guess, your roof is most likely to experience spontaneous damage from a storm, both heavy wind and/or heavy rain or when the seasons are changing. If there was a strong wind or hail storm in your area recently, it’s always smart to go have a quick look at your shed’s roof. It’s possible that some shingles are damaged, or gone completely, or that leaks have sprung up from too much rain. So, best to be proactive and check it out before any problems have a chance to get worse.

You might be thinking about having to get on top of your shed in order to inspect the roof, and if that instills fear in you, take heart! In all likelihood, your shed is short and small enough to allow its roof to be inspected from the ground. You might need binoculars to help you, depending on the height of your shed. Also, it is best if you avoid standing and climbing around on your shed’s roof as much as possible to retain the structural integrity of the roof and to avoid damaging any shingles. It is also best for your own health to avoid standing on your roof! If you must get on your shed’s roof, be sure to take appropriate safety precautions. If for whatever reason your shed is too difficult to inspect, or you want to make sure you don’t miss anything important, you can always hire a professional to inspect the roof.

 

Here are the things you want to be looking for when inspecting your roof:

  • Missing, broken, curled, or warped shingles
  • Rusted, bent, or punctured flashing (the flashing is the metal parts that cover the seam and surrounding areas of two connecting parts of your roof)
  • Cracked caulking and sealant
  • Moss and lichen
  • Signs of small animals living in your shed’s roof (small holes, nests, etc.)
  • Signs of insects and other pests, such as termites
  • Overhanging tree limbs
  • Shingles on the ground in your backyard
  • Check for leaks:
    • Look for dark areas on the ceiling
    • Look for any cracking, peeling, or buckling of paint inside the shed or under any roof overhangs

Unless you have a severe pest issue or gaping hole in your roof, you can fix most of these issues yourself.

 

Fixing Is Less Expensive Than Replacing a Roof

Shingles, as well as caulk, are relatively inexpensive and easy to apply to your roof. If you find any damaged or missing shingles, it is best to replace them immediately. If you find any small holes or cracked caulking, you can re-caulk that area pretty easily. In all likelihood, your shed’s roof will not have flashing, but if it does, it’s important to inspect and repair it as needed. Flashing covers joints and seams in your roof, so leaks most often happen around flashing. Any flashing that is damaged should be replaced.

The next best thing you can do for your shed’s roof is to clear off any debris. Piles of leaves, moss, and branches can be very damaging to your roof if left there. It can encourage mold and algae growth which can weaken the structural integrity of your shed’s roof and damage the shingles. Clear off any leaves or branches with a roof leaf rake and inspect for any mold growth. To stop mold growth, you will have to apply a mold killer to your roof. Make sure to buy a mold killer specifically made for roofs to prevent staining on your roof! Apply the mold killer in the fall to prevent mold growth in the rainy season. Be sure to clear away any dead moss continually throughout the year.

 

Pruning & Trimming Extend Roof Life

Roof MaintenanceJust like with your home, any tree branches should be far enough away from your shed’s roof to not cause any damage. Ideally, there will be no tree limbs overhanging the roof of your shed at all. Not only can tree limbs fall in a windy storm and damage the roof, they can also add to the build up of leaves and other debris on your roof. You won’t have to clear as much debris off of your shed’s roof if the trees aren’t dumping leaves on it! Squirrels and other small critters will also use tree limbs to easily get to your shed’s roof. Sometimes they will just damage a few shingles, but they might decide to use your shed’s roof as a nesting or living place. Keep the trees in your yard well trimmed and away from your shed’s roof to prevent this.

Routine maintenance on your roof’s shed might not be the most fun chore, but it is sure to save you lots of money and time in the long run. You might spend the entire winter season not using your shed, and you want it to be intact and usable when the seasons finally change. Maintaining your shed’s roof will do that for you!

Give Your Outdoor Shed Style

By | Backyard Barn, Shed Construction, Shed Styling Tips | No Comments

Shed Usability with Style

Usually we talk about how to improve your shed’s utility, but what about your shed’s style factor? Some people are content with a plain, utilitarian looking shed in their backyard. But you don’t want your shed to turn into an eyesore, and why not make it an attractive feature of your backyard? If you use your shed to help in any kind of outdoor entertaining, you should especially consider the following tips on adding finishing touches to your shed. We’re going to go over a few iconic shed styles, and discuss what finishing touches we can add to create that create style for your outdoor shed. Have fun choosing a style that fits your style and budget.

 

Classic Cottage Shed

Shed WindowsThe cottage shed is a timeless and ubiquitous shed style. Part of this classic look is the garden around the shed. If you have a planter shed with a garden, this style shed is perfect. To nail this look, think of a quaint, cozy cottage you would find in a fairytale forest. Install a classic white picket fence around the border of your shed and garden. Organize your garden so that it is a whimsical mix of unique flowers and bushes. Keep your garden well maintained, but keep a little bit of that “overgrown” look. Structures covered in vines also look great with this style. Install an arbor in the entrance to your garden, and plant climbing vines around it. You can also buy decorative wooden or metal trellis structures to place anywhere in your garden and cover with climbing vines.

For the actual shed, choose a light pastel color scheme. White trim is a must with this style, but any pastel color will do for the main exterior. Consider adding some scalloped fascia to your roof overhang. Window planters are a great way to meld your garden and shed together for that classic cottage look. Make an outdoor space somewhere in the garden or on your shed’s porch, if it has one, for some antique wooden chairs and table. Every cottage needs a cute spot to have afternoon tea!

 

Barn Style Shed

Shed WindowsAnother classic shed style is the barn shed. Of course, the most iconic looking barn shed has a red exterior with white trim, but you can get the same barn look with any color. Consider trying dark stained natural wood, or even different paint colors like blue or yellow. A sliding barn door gives the immediate impression of a barn, but dutch doors also work really well with this style. Adding hardware accents like long barn door style hinges and intricate filigree locking mechanisms will complete the look. A cupola, a venting structure on top of the shed, is both functional and stylish. Adding one will increase the ventilation of hot air from your shed, as well as adding to the barn look. You can even garnish your cupola with a weathervane on top.

To give your barn style shed a rustic, salvaged look, shop around for reclaimed wood doors and accessories. You can also look for salvaged galvanized metal sheeting to use on the roof or porch overhang on your shed.

 

Rustic Cabin Shed

Flower BoxesMaybe you live in a colder climate, where cabin style buildings are common, or you just love rustic wooden cabins! The cabin style is all about natural woods and natural forest tones, like greens and the occasional burgundy accent. Cedar siding goes a long way towards making this style happen. You can either use cedar shake siding or cedar panels.

If you use cedar panels, consider choosing panels of different widths to give a rustic, natural look. If your shed has a porch, use natural, unshaped wood for the columns and fencing. Incorporate as many natural wood carvings and signs into your cabin and surrounding yard as you please! Polish off this look with a dark wood shingled roof.

 

Antique Victorian Sheds

Shed WindowsThis is the most whimsical style you could choose for your shed. Think of your shed as the location for a wild tea party, a la Alice in Wonderland! The Victorian style looks best on sheds that are already architecturally similar to Victorian homes; maybe your shed has two stories, with peaked roofs and clapboard siding. Try a three toned color palette for the exterior paint. Choose one neutral color, like white or grey, and two vibrant colors, like red and green. Install small, mismatched, and oddly shaped windows to increase the whimsy of your shed.

If you have already added windows to your shed, consider adding exterior wooden shutters in fun complementary colors. To add to the antique look of your shed, sand off some of the paint finish on the shutters. You can also do this with the door of your shed or the trim. Be sure to seal any natural wood you’ve exposed, so that your shed is still protected from bugs and the elements. The Victorian look can go with or without a garden, but if you do have garden space around your shed, start collecting odd, whimsical garden decorations. You could collect a variety of wind chimes, or fountains, or metal sculptures.

 

Shed WindowsThese are just a few styles to choose from for your shed. You can do a combination of styles if you want, or create your own style.

Play around with the window treatments, door and gate hardware, and the surrounding yard area to make your shed both a functional space and pleasing to the eyes.

shed Windows and More has a large selection:

You can use all of these as finishing touches on your outdoor shed to give it your own personal style. You can also ways count on Shed Windows and More for those hard to find sizes of windows to door hinges for your backyard shed DIY project.

DIY Projects

Great Shed Ventilation & Cooling Options

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Don’t Let Summer Ruin Your DIY Plans

Shed Ventilation

Has a heat wave already deterred you from working in your shed workshop? Or, have paints, chemicals, or gardening supplies spoiled or been damaged due to the high temperatures reached in your shed? Just like thinking about shed heating in the winter, you must think about how to cool your shed in the summer. Depending on your needs, there are a variety of options for shed cooling. You will find however that, in general, ventilation is the name of the game.

 

Shed Placement–Keeping You Cool

Let’s start with the exterior of the shed; how can you stop your shed from heating up in the first place? Having your shed in an area of your yard with ample shade can prevent your shed from becoming a greenhouse inside. The only downside to having your shed in a shaded area of your yard is that you could be missing out on sunlight to warm your shed during the colder months of the year. So, it depends on your local climate. If you live in a place that is overwhelmingly warm throughout the year, then permanent shade is a great option. However, if you have concerns about your shed being too cold in the winter time, shade is not the best idea. For temporary shade during the summer months, you can hang shade sails above the structure to keep the sun away from the roof.

 

Insulation & Paint Colors

Next on your checklist is insulation and paint. Just like a car, having a shed that is painted a lighter color will absorb less sunlight, transferring less heat to the inside of your shed. If your shed is a dark color and you decide to repaint to a lighter color, you might also consider adding in an insulating paint additive. This additive will add an extra layer of protection to the outside of your shed, reflecting even more heat away from your shed and keeping the inside cool.

 

Awnings & Shade Structures

Shed VentsAfter dealing with how the exterior of your shed can keep it cool, installing appropriate ventilation is the next step. The first, and perhaps most obvious method, is to install windows. If you intend to use your shed as a workshop, or any activity that involves people hanging out in your shed for any period of time, you should definitely have windows in there. Windows will provide natural light and a pleasant outdoor view, and more importantly, a cross breeze.

If your shed doesn’t already have windows, install windows on opposing sides of your shed to create a cross breeze. Find out which direction winds tend to move through your yard, and install the windows on the appropriate sides of the shed. If bugs tend to be bad where you live, then don’t forget to install a screen on your windows! One downside to windows, other than potentially letting in pests, is that if the sun beats down on them they can tend to contribute to the heat level in your shed. If your shed isn’t covered by any natural shade, you can fix this by installing an awning above the window. The awning will shade the window, preventing direct sunlight from creating an oven out of your shed.

 

Shed Vents Help Reduce Temperatures

Shed VentilationProbably the next most obvious shed ventilating option is actual vents. Vents, however simple they may seem, actually come in a variety of styles and options. Only you will know which kind of vents are best for your shed, but we will go over the pros and cons of all of the common options.

Whirlybirds are very easy to install and provide excellent airflow. If you’re not familiar, whirlybirds are the spinning metal turbines that you see sticking out of the tops of warehouses and the like. When the wind hits the whirlybird, it spins, pulling the hot air that has risen up towards the ceiling of the structure out and spitting it out into the environment. The whirlybird just needs to be adjusted to fit your roof angle (it is most effective when sitting level to the ground) and screwed in. Once you install it, the only maintenance you might need to do is to cover the hole underneath during wet and rainy months. Otherwise, it requires no maintenance. If you aren’t thrilled about a big spinning hunk of metal sitting on the roof of your shed, then a more discreet or decorative vent may be a better choice. It’s also worth noting that if a whirlybird is not installed correctly, it could be a bit noisy.

Louver vents are a low profile way to ventilate your shed. They simply give the hot air in your shed a way to escape. Because of this, they work best when placed up high in the gable of your shed. That way, the air that is escaping through the vent is the hot air that has risen its way up into your shed’s ceiling. Keeping these vents off the ground also decreases the chance that rodents and insects will make their way into the shed. If that is a concern, keep in mind that you can install a screen behind the louver vent. Since louver vents don’t actively pull air through their vents, they aren’t super effective at cooling a scorching shed. If your climate is fairly moderate and you only need a little help keeping your shed ventilated, then just a few louver vents could work for you. If you live in an area in which your shed is unbearably hot for most of the day, louver vents alone won’t do the trick. Combine them with another ventilation option in this list for best results.

A shed cupola is similar to a louver vent in function, but it is built into the shed structure. You can build whatever size cupola your shed may need for proper ventilation, which is a level of flexibility that you cannot quite get from traditional louver vents. A cupola also does not actively pull air through it, but its location on the roof of your shed allows it to effectively give a place for the hot air in your shed to escape. It also requires the most involved installation process of all the other ventilation options in this list, because it is built as a part of the shed itself.

If your shed is large, or you plan on spending most of the hot summer days working inside of it, then free flowing vents such as the ones above might not move enough hot air out of your shed to keep it cool. The next step up are powered vents that contain a fan that constantly pulls air out through the vent. Which powered vents you can put in your shed of course is determined by the power setup you have in your shed. In all likelihood, you don’t have any power hookups in your shed, in which case the following options are well suited to your shed.

 

Powered Fans & Air Conditioners

Shed VentsSolar powered fans are fairly hands off once installed, and the installation is fairly simple. These fans won’t require any wiring setup to install. Solar panels are bit more expensive than the other cooling options in this list, but you can save a little money by getting a small fan and panel. Small solar powered fans are pretty discreet and quiet. You should get one that has a rechargeable battery so that the fan can run at night, and that serves as a backup in case the solar panel gets damaged. Larger solar fan kits are available, but these will be more expensive. The solar panel will also require a bit more effort to install than the small fans, and once installed, could be a bit of an eyesore on the top of your shed. If you don’t mind the solar panel look and the extra cost, however, large solar powered fans can be a great way to ventilate your shed.

And lastly, the most extreme option, may be buying an air conditioning unit. If pure ventilation isn’t enough to cool your scorching shed to a tolerable level for human use, then you have two last options: portable air conditioning units and window units. If your shed is very small and doesn’t have any windows, then a portable AC is the choice for you. These require power of course, but many operate off of battery power for maximum portability. If you have windows in your shed, a window mounted AC unit would be a more permanent alternative. Window mounted units are relatively easy to install by yourself, just make sure you use caulking to fill any holes in the seal so that bugs and moisture don’t get into your shed.

With one of these options, or a combination of a few, you are sure to have a summer ready shed. Plan on lots of long days in the workshop, or just sleep comfortably knowing whatever you might be storing in your shed won’t be damaged or spoiled by too much moisture or heat. Here’s to a cool summer!

Shed Foundation Options

By | DIY Building Projects, Shed Construction, Shed Foundations | No Comments

A Shed Is Only Good As It’s Foundation

Barn WindowsAs a house is only as good as its foundation, so is a shed! It is always important to start your DIY projects off doing things the right way from the beginning, especially when they involve building a structure. This makes it easier later when you decide you want to add on to your shed, convert it into a living space, use it as a workshop, etc. Many factors will contribute to your chosen shed foundation type including budget, size of shed, and your shed’s purpose, to name a few, and every shed is different.

 

Why Shed Foundations Are Important

Is a foundation important for all sheds? The short answer is, yes! A strong, level, and dry foundation is necessary for all structures, including your shed. Without some kind of foundation, your shed will end up leaning and can become unsafe. Sheds that do not have foundations and are instead built on just ground will lean and become unstable as the ground moves, which it will. A shed without a foundation will also be unprotected from moisture damage. The ground floor of the shed could erode over time, and the walls of the shed could begin to develop dry rot. Therefore, you will want to have a foundation of some kind! Before you get started thinking about what kind of foundation works best for you and your shed, make sure to check in with your local building inspector or planning department to make sure you are complying with any regulations on structure foundations. You should also make sure to start with solid, level ground, no matter which foundation method you end up using.

 

Gravel Foundation Option

Gravel FoundationSheds that are smaller than 8 foot x6 foot, will likely do just fine on a gravel or crushed rock foundation. This method is ideal if your shed fits the size constraint and if you are on a budget, as it is probably the cheapest option for a foundation. It is also relatively easy installation for a moderately experienced DIY-er. Gravel will not completely keep out moisture, so if you live in a moderate to wet climate, you might consider something more waterproof even if you have a smaller shed. Moisture can be a concern for the structure itself as well as whatever items you are storing inside your shed. If your shed is intended for people’s comfort, you should also consider that gravel floors get cold from the ground and will keep your structure cold inside, even in mild temperatures.

If gravel ends up as your foundation of choice, it requires only that you dig a few inches deep into the ground you’ve chosen for your shed to lay the gravel down into. When it comes time to attach the shed to the foundation, you can use pegs or auger anchors.

 

Paving Slab Foundation Option

Foundation TipsPaving slabs are pre-poured slabs of concrete that you lay down next to each other like tile. They are much stronger than gravel yet are still a cheap option. If you are going to lay pavers, you should take extra care to ensure the ground below is as level as possible. It is recommended that you lay down gravel or sand first in order to guarantee levelness. This will also help prevent the pavers from sinking down into the ground over time, which they can do on plain ground. Pavers can be difficult to level with each other, which is why it’s important to start with a very flat base. It is easier to secure your shed walls to pavers than it is to gravel. Photo: http://southwicks.co.uk/gallery-2/

 

Poured Concrete Foundation Option

Foundation TipsA poured concrete slab is probably the most durable option here, but also the most expensive. It is the most time consuming installation, especially considering set time, which is over a month, and requires more experience and skill. If your shed is quite large, though, a concrete slab might be the best option for you still. Also very important to factor your concrete depth correctly for the final load weight of the shed. Pouring a too thin foundation makes for instability and cracking, so it’s best to err to a deeper concrete slab especially if you might convert the shed to living space in the future.

 

Timber Decking Foundation Option

Shed Foundation TipsTimber bases for sheds are likely one of the most popular foundation choices for sheds. If you are a skilled woodworker, it is likely that this is the easier job for you.This structure for a shed is ideal because you can make your shed sit off the ground, protecting it from moisture and chilly air. Make sure you use lumber that has been treated for outdoor use so that it is protected from pests and moisture. To keep your shed off of the ground, piers are recommended, which are concrete blocks that the walls can rest in. Piers are more expensive and difficult to deal with, however. You can also use pavers to support the timber base structure.

If you are intending to use your shed, either now or in the future, as a hang out space for friends or a guest bedroom or office, we recommend that you pick a foundation that is more permanent and suited for large structures and won’t compromise the comfort of the location. Otherwise, if you are just using your shed for storage, we recommend using the foundation that is the cheapest but lets the least amount of water in the shed. And, if your funds are unlimited, we recommend the poured concrete! Whatever your shed DIY plans choose Shed Windows and More as your shed window and shed hardware choice because we have all the hard to find parts you need to make your shed project turn out great!

Barn Windows

Planning Tips for a Backyard Barn

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Joys of a Backyard Barn

Barn WindowsA small barn is a very useful structure to have on your property. Like a shed, it can provide storage separate from your house, keeping your garage, attic, and extra bedrooms uncluttered. But don’t forget, your barn can be so much more than a shed! Many people use barns as an outdoor shelter for cats, dogs, and other small pets or livestock like chickens or goats. This gives your pets a place to safeguard themselves from predators and inclement weather.

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Barns Have So Many Uses

You can stash your pet’s food, beds, and toys in their barn, allowing them access at all times. A barn can also become a workshop for woodworking, metalworking, and other kinds of crafting. A barn is an ideal workspace for particularly messy work as it will be easy to clean up and contained to an area outside of your own living space. So, not having to clean up your work area if you are entertaining guests!

Outdoor Entertainment Space

Pub ShedSpeaking of entertaining guests, a creative idea for your barn, that is, if you don’t have pets and don’t need extra storage or a workshop, is to use it as an outdoor entertainment space! A barn that is equipped with double doors or sliding doors and can be opened up completely is perfect for a covered entertaining area.

Your barn just has to be large enough for a small seating area and a bar for serving food and drinks. An entertainment barn is a perfect addition to your summer party in your backyard! No matter which purpose your barn serves, it should be low-maintenance and visually attractive enough to deserve a place in your backyard.

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Pre-Fab or Build Your Own?

Buying a completely pre-fabricated barn will be the most expensive option, while you can build your own barn in your backyard for much less money. Building your own will also give you maximum flexibility in your barn design, and allow you to tailor it to your own particular barn needs. Keep Shed Windows and More in mind for finding all of your barn windows,  shed windows, and hardware.

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Choosing Your Barn Location

Barn WindowsRegardless of whether you build your own barn or buy a pre-fabricated barn, you must choose an ideal location in your yard for it to go. While it is okay for some yard structures to be placed on uneven land, you will want your barn to be on a flat part of your property. This will ensure proper drainage for your barn as well as an ideal location for storage or workspace. You might decide to not put flooring down in your barn, depending on its purpose, in which case having an already flat floor surface is mandatory! .

Especially if you are using your barn to shelter pets or small livestock, you will want to protect them from drafty winds. To accommodate this, situate your barn at a 45 degree angle to oncoming winds. Really knowing the microclimate of your backyard is important to this project, so it will pay off to do a little research before choosing your barn location.

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Barn Windows and Roofing

Barn WindowsPlanning your windows appropriately will result in good ventilation for your barn, and hopefully some style! Your windows will also contribute plenty of natural light, decreasing your need for electricity in your barn. If possible, placing windows on the East and West sides of your structure is ideal.

If the placement of your barn is such that not much natural light can come in from the windows, put in skylights as well! If your barn will have metal roofing, putting in skylights can be as simple as placing fiberglass panels instead of metal ones. One thing to consider about metal roofing is that it is loud when it rains. If you are intending your barn space as a workspace, or any space in which people will be spending much time in, you might opt for a shingled roof instead.

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Barn Doors

Wholesale Shed WindowsA barn door is an obvious choice for this shed, however it doesn’t provide much utility. For your barn door you will want a durable and lasting material, such as the fiberglass doors. But now: swinging or sliding? Sliding barn doors save a lot of space, but don’t offer the same amount of weatherproofing that swinging doors can.

Sliding doors come in a lot more styles than sliding doors, too. If you are using your barn to shelter pets, a sliding door can also be left open more easily for your pets to move in and out of the space. This will also allow for extra ventilation in the case of hot summers. If you are concerned about missing out on the style that a class barn door offers but want the convenience and utility of a sliding wood door, jazz it up with  our beautiful stylized hinges and mounting hardware!

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Barn Flooring

Barn WindowsIf you will be using your barn for storage and/or for small animals, like cats or dogs, flooring won’t be much of an issue. If you placed your barn on decent, flat ground, then it might be best and cheapest to not cover the floor of your barn and leave the natural earthen floor. If, however, you are using it as a workspace, you will want to cover the floor for your own comfort.

If you need your barn floor to stay very clean and be easy to maintain, concrete is a good option. This is the best option if you are using your barn to storage expensive or sensitive items that you wouldn’t want sitting on a dirt floor. Concrete isn’t the most comfortable flooring, however.

Rubber floor mats are ideal for a workspace, as they can be kept clean and are comfortable for standing on. If you are using your barn as a combination storage and workspace, rubber flooring will work well for both. Neither plain concrete nor rubber mats will work very well for entertaining guests, however. You can cover concrete flooring with a stylish linoleum or vinyl flooring, or if you are looking for a very fancy entertaining barn, you can finish the floor in a nice hardwood.

Choose Shed Windows and More for all your barn accessories and hardware needs. Be sure to check out our barn windows that we stock in the perfect sizes for a backyard barn. Be sure to share with us your favorite photos of your DIY barn so we can post to your barn photos to Facebook, you may send them to info@shedwindowsandmore.com.

Shed Windows and More

Great Shed Winterization Tips

By | Shed Construction, Storage Shed Tips, Storage Sheds | No Comments

Winter Is Here-Prepping Your Shed

Winter season started with a bang in much of the United States this year with rain and snow early in the winter season. It’s not too late to do some smart winterization of your outdoor shed so it keeps it’s usability over the years. With Winter comes dark days, lots of rain and moisture, ice, and snow! Your shed will last longer and remain in good condition if you prepare it properly for the winter season.

Just before the cold season starts is a good time to check up on your shed, but better late than never, and make sure nothing in it needs to be replaced or fixed. Once Spring comes, you are going to want to be able to jump right into yard work, so you will want to have already prepared your shed well! And, if you want to be able to use your shed in the wintertime, you will need to ensure that it is prepared to stay warm and dry.

Organizing & Cleaning Your Shed for Winter

Shed WindowsFirst, you will want to do some cleaning. spring cleaning is more conventional, but sheds tend to get dirtier in the warmer months, and you don’t want a mess sitting around all winter. Cleaning now on a clear day, will also help you later when you are inspecting your shed for any repairs that need to be made. I would recommend, if possible, that you take everything out of your shed and give it all a good cleaning, both the stuff you store in your shed, and the interior of the shed itself, before putting it all back in organized fashion.

If snows have started in your area, just lay out a tarp to decant your shed contents to and it’s a great task on a crisp winter day. This is especially true for garden tools and other motorized or metal tools. Metal tools can rust over the wintertime due to increased moisture, so be sure to take this time to give all of your tools a good scrubbing and then coat them, if appropriate, with a thin layer of oil to protect them from moisture.

Inspect Your Shed for Damage

Now that you have a clean, organized shed, it’s time to inspect it! You may have already noticed some issues with your shed while you were cleaning. Check the walls and floor for any cracks, weak spots, or holes. Cracks and weak spots pose a big problem for your outdoor structure. They cause drafts, which prevents you and the stuff you store in your shed from keeping warm. They will also let in moisture that can damage the structure as well as any items in your shed. Cracks and weak spots, especially near the floor, allow for pests to get in, both rodents and insects – neither of which are good. Pests can also damage your structure and anything in your shed, so you will want to make sure your shed is sealed tight!

If you haven’t installed any weatherstripping in your shed’s windows and doorways, now is the time. If you have already, don’t forget to check that all the weatherstripping is still there and not developing cracks or peeling away. If you have double paned windows, check your shed on cold mornings for condensation in between the panes of the window or the inside of the window. This tells you that the seal between the window panes is failing and outside air is able to get in. If this happens, you can easily get just the seal replaced and not the whole window.

Roof Inspections Are a Must

Shed ConstructionIt is especially important to check your shed’s roof for leaks, weak spots, and bad tiles and shingles. If you leave your shed all winter with a leaky roof, you can expect to come back to a deteriorating and smelly structure in spring.

Repairing mold and mildew growth can be expensive and difficult, and will cost you time that you could have spent enjoying your shed, your garden, or your next DIY project, so it’s important to be proactive.

Extend Your Shed Use Season

If you are going to use your shed throughout the cold season, install and/or inspect the appropriate heating appliances. Make sure that all electrical outlets are working and safe, and if you have them, check the timers on your heating appliances to make sure they are accurate and representative of when you will be using the shed. Also ensure that your heating appliance is installed in such a way that is not dangerous. Your heater should not be surrounded by furniture or other items in your shed; a heater needs space to heat effectively and also to be safe.

Shed Exterior Maintenance

Treehouse windowsOnce you have gotten the interior of your shed cleaned, inspected, and repaired, you can take a look at the exterior. You’ve probably found any leaky spots near windows, doors, and in the roof already, but it’s always good to check from the exterior as well. There could be weak spots in the exterior of your roof or walls that have not affected the interior structure yet, so you wouldn’t have spotted them from inside.

While cleaning up and repairing the outside of your shed, you should also check on any vegetation growing around your shed. Just as you would do with your home, clear away any tree branches to overhand too close to your shed’s roof. This can be dangerous if a branch were to fall in heavy storm winds, and could do some damage to your roof in just normal winds. You should also make sure the plants around your shed aren’t growing to close to the base of the shed, if you have any. If plants grow to close to the shed’s foundation, mold, mildew, and dry rot can develop due to too much moisture. Plants should not be growing within 3 to 5 inches of the foundation of your shed to prevent this damage.

Prepping your outdoor shed for winter is hard work, but you will feel justified when it and all of your tools are ready to use come springtime. And, if you are able to enjoy it as a warm, cozy, hobby station throughout the winter, even better! Check out Shed Windows and More catalog for shed windows, shed accessories, and hard to find shed parts to repair your shed and keep your shed in top shape for years to come.

Christmas Storage Ideas

Great Christmas Storage Tips

By | Christmas Storage Ideas, Storage Sheds | No Comments

How to Make Christmas Storage Simple & Easy

Christmas Storage IdeasChristmas time is here, and while you are pulling out all of your decorations you might be thinking, there must be a better way to organize this stuff! We want to give you some great tips to make life easier post Christmas. From solving tangled lights to preventing broken ornaments, we have solutions for you.

It’s best if you can keep your holiday decorations all together in one place, but it shouldn’t take up coveted storage space in your main house and living area. That is why your shed is the perfect place to store holiday, Christmas, and other seasonal decorations.

Consider keeping all of your seasonal decorations, Easter, Thanksgiving, Halloween, etc., in separate containers but in the same location. This way there is just one easy spot to look in for all of your favorite seasonal decorations.

Safe Storage Equals a Long Life for Christmas Decorations

Your Christmas decorations are only as good as the containers you put them in. That is, if you want your ornaments to last, you have to keep them safe and secure! Depending on how much money you have to spend and how much time you have for crafting, there are many DIY solutions and store-bought solutions for your Christmas decoration storage needs that you can choose from.

Storing ornaments:

Christmas Storage IdeasTo keep your ornaments in the best condition, they should be kept in acid free paper. Acid free paper prevents your ornaments from discoloring and won’t scratch your fragile ornaments. It is best to keep your ornaments compartmentalized in whatever storage container you choose. This way, ornaments won’t rub or knock against each other and break or ruin their finish.

Compartmentalized storage also makes it easier to remove ornaments from your storage boxes to put on the tree, and it makes it easier to put the ornaments away. There are store-bought options for compartmentalized ornament boxes, or you could make your own! If you go with store-bought, most likely the container will be made of cardboard.

Cardboard does work for some storage solutions, but in this case is not the best. Rodents love seeking out warm cardboard havens, so make sure your storage space is airtight before you store cardboard boxes of your precious Christmas ornaments in there! For a DIY option, you can take a plastic tub and use plastic cups to compartmentalize your ornaments. Plastic tubs are great storage containers for holiday decorations because you can easily see into them to know what items are contained in each storage box. They also won’t attract rodents, and they will last for several years of holiday decorating cheer!

Wrapping Paper:

Christmas Storage IdeasLeftover wrapping paper can be tricky to store outside of the home because you must make sure it won’t get damp. Wrapping paper can be stored in large plastic bins with other christmas decorations, but you won’t want to stack anything on top of the rolls or risk squishing them.

A neat trick, if you have hanging space in your shed, is to hang wrapping paper. You can zip them in old garment bags and hang them with a clothing hanger. This will protect the rolls from the elements, keep them off the ground, and prevent them from being squished. Plus, you can hang other wrapping accessories ,tape, ribbon, etc., on the hanger as well, to keep all of your wrapping supplies together.

Christmas Lights:

Christmas Storage IdeasEveryone’s least favorite holiday decorating activity: untangling all of the lights! First things first: are you one of those people that holds onto old strings of lights year after year? Do you find yourself pulling out at least three strings of lights that are at least half dead? Throw them out! Chances are, you are due for a few new sets of lights.

Thankfully, today’s LED Christmas lights can be used both outdoor and indoor, and are much more energy efficient than older lights. So, by throwing out your old and dead lights, you will be saving yourself some money and some trouble! To store lights and to prevent the untangling in your future, you must wrap the lights around something before storing them.

A good DIY tip is to use old shoeboxes. Trim an old shoe box so that you have a flat piece of cardboard, cut slits in the sides, and wrap the lights around it, looping the string through the cardboard slits. Then, store them away in the shoe box. You can also buy a reel for your holiday lights, or you can repurpose a garden hose reel. This trick is best used for long strings of outdoor lights.

Artificial Christmas Tree:

Christmas Storage IdeasIf you need a new container or method for storing your artificial tree, you can buy a storage bag specifically made for them. These bags will prevent your tree from getting dirty or becoming misshapen while being stored in your shed.

Some artificial Christmas tree storage bags allow you to store your tree mostly assembled and decorated, which will save you a ton of time next year. If you are more of a DIYer, you can sew your own artificial tree bag.

The holidays can be a stressful time, but it should really be a time to enjoy your friends and family. Make the holidays easier for yourself and your family by following these tips to well organized Christmas decorations!

Tiny House Windows

Double Pane Window Benefits

By | DIY Building Projects, Shed Construction, Windows-Single or Double Pane | No Comments

Double Pane WindowsSingle Pane or Double Pane Window Decision

Replacing windows can be an expensive process, but is necessary for the upkeep of your home or shed. The biggest choice to make when replacing windows is between single pane windows and double pane windows – but what does that mean, and what are the advantages of each?

Single pane windows are made with just a single pane of glass, while double pane windows are made with two panes of glass with space in between for air or another gas. The biggest thing you are affecting when choosing between single or double pane windows is the insulation in your home or shed. If insulation is a concern, double pane windows are usually the best choice, but are expensive.

Use & Structure Helps Make Window Choice Easier

Greenhouse ShedSo, what kind of structure are you choosing windows for? If you are choosing new windows for your home and deciding between double and single pane windows, you should almost certainly choose double pane. Insulation is a much bigger consideration in your home versus an outdoor structure like a shed.

Double pane windows have a higher upfront cost, but they will save you lots of money in the long run on energy bills. If you are replacing windows in a shed or other outdoor structure, you can give single pane windows more consideration!

While insulation is important in almost any structure, it is not as important in your garden shed or outdoor workshop. Ideally you are not paying energy bills to heat or cool this structure, especially not for 12-24 hours a day! In this situation, single pane windows are great because they are so much cheaper than double pane windows, and you won’t notice the impact, financially or otherwise, of their lesser insulating qualities.

Climate, Framing & More

Keep in mind that the framing materials of the window are also contribute to how much heat is lost through a window; wood, vinyl, and fiberglass are best at insulating and are important for cold climates. If insulation is still somewhat of a concern, whether you live in a colder climate or your structure or shed is in a shaded, cooler area of your property, consider using window coverings to decrease heat lost through the windows in your shed.

Double Pane WindowsWindows for Tiny Homes, Office & Guest Sheds

Plastic shades provide very little insulation and can become damaged easily, even though they are cheap. Cellular shades have honeycomb shaped fabric tubes that are great for providing insulation while still letting natural light into your shed. If you need extra insulation or you want to be able to prevent more natural light from entering the shed, you can pair these shades or any other window treatment, with curtains.

Curtains allow you to choose the amount of natural light and insulation by choosing the thickness of your curtain fabric. Thicker curtains will provide the most insulation and block out the most light, while thinner curtains will let in lots of natural light and provide little to no insulation. If you are choosing a window treatment just to provide maximum insulation for your single pane windows, make sure that the cost of the treatment doesn’t go over the initial cost of double pane windows. If you are not on a budget, and you are concerned about insulation, it is probably best to go ahead and choose the double pane windows.

When Double Pane Windows Are a Good Investment

Double Pane WindowsIf you use your shed as an overnight guest room, you should most likely consider double pane windows for the comfort of your guests. Double pane windows will prevent the room from getting too hot or too cold, so it is not only the best choice for colder climates, but more moderate and warm climates as well. If you live in a very moderate climate and your outdoor guest shed stays at a mostly tolerable and consistent temperature all day and night, then you might be able to get away with installing single pane windows. However, most likely your guests will be most comfortable with double pane windows to prevent their sleep from being interrupted by shivering or sweating!

In general, double pane windows are the way to go, especially for homes and spaces in which people will be sleeping. Single pane windows are best for a budget, but require consideration and planning to make sure your shed will be comfortable enough to use! You can count on Shed Windows and More for the very best selection of windows for any shed or speciality shed you will be building as a DIY project.

small wood stove

7 Great Shed Heating Tips

By | DIY Building Projects, Shed Heating Ideas, Uncategorized | No Comments

Economical & Inventive Ways to Heat Your Shed

Office ShedIf you have an outdoor shed that you use as a livable area, an office, workshop, guest room, etc., but you live in a moderate to chilly climate, you might be wondering what your best options are for heating your shed. Winter is around the corner, and you will want to keep your shed warm and inviting at all times. Here are some things to consider when choosing a heat source for your shed.

Shed Insulation-Must Have

No matter which heating option you ultimately choose for your shed, you must start with a well insulated shed to achieve the warm, cozy space you dream of. If your shed is not well insulated, then you will waste a lot of energy and money trying to keep it warm when it’s cold out. It is definitely worth the time and money upfront to insulate your shed, even in moderate climates!

Timers-Systems Save You Money

Shed Heating TimerTimers are a great way to make your shed a nice, inviting spot at all times of the day and night. There are many heating options that come equipped with timers and thermostat abilities, such as electric convection heaters, but keep in mind that you can use a timer with any electric heater.

If you purchase an electric heater that does not have a timer, you can buy a separate timer just for the outlet that you will plug your heater into. It is not always safe to leave all kinds of heaters, especially portable space heaters, on without supervision. A better choice for a timed electric heater might be either an oil filled or water filled radiator. Timers can also save you money on energy costs, as they will prevent you from forgetting to turn the heat off when you leave your shed.

Shed Heating Cost Options

The cheapest options for heating your shed will be the most portable options. Small fan heaters and classic radiator heaters, both water filled and oil filled, are the cheapest solutions. Both work decently well, however can be rather unsightly and take up space. Fan heaters can also be quite loud. If style is a concern, you can get a low profile wall mounted panel convection heater. They are a bit more costly than a classic radiator but they use little to none of your precious shed space and are much more discreet, and silent!

There Are Stylish Heating Sources

Shed Wood StoveThe ultimate choice for a stylish heater for your shed is of course a wood burning stove. A wood burning stove is a classic choice, and is also a very effective heater, which is why it has been used for so long. If you use fuel from a local and sustainable source, it is also quite an energy saver. Wood burners are costly however, and they require a professional to install it. No DIY-ing here! They can also be a pain to clean and require a bit of manual labor for storing and hauling wood logs.

Another option to give your shed the same look is a pellet stove or electric stove that looks like a fireplace. There are many energy saver infra-red heaters on the market today that resemble at wood stove but with timers and a remote control.

Time & Money of Heating Installation

Portable Electric StoveThe easier the installation is, the cheaper and more portable your heater will be! As previously noted, electric heaters that plug into an outlet, radiators, fan heaters, and infrared heaters, require the least amount of installation. Wood burners require work and a professional and money and more time. Another heating option that you might consider, if installation and money are not big deterrents, is electric underfloor heating.

Underfloor heating must be installed underneath your floor surface of your shed, so if you have permanent flooring and aren’t planning on getting brand new flooring, this method is probably not best suited to your shed. Any maintenance on the underfloor heating will also require the flooring to be lifted. Despite this, underfloor heating is quite luxurious, and heats not just the floor but all the air in the room. It is also the ultimate space saver. And for a bonus, neither you nor your guests will be forced to look at an ugly portable heater!

Exposed Heating Elements-When They’re the Best Choice

Does the heater you’re considering have an exposed heating element, like in a fan heater? These kinds of heaters are safe in most situations but not all. If you use your shed as a wood carving workshop and there are lots of wood shavings and dust floating around on a regular basis, then a heater with an exposed heating element is not safe. The same is true if your space is particularly dusty. If small children or your pet dog will frequent your shed, the exposed heating element could pose a risk to them as well.

What Do Heaters Heat?

Electric FireplaceWhen looking at heaters for your shed, keep in mind that there is a big difference between heaters that heat the air in your shed and heaters that just heat objects in your space. Infrared heaters, for example, will only heat the objects that it is facing and not the air around it. The result is a warm, happy person that is sitting right in front of the infrared heater, but as soon as they move they will be cold again!

An infrared heater with fan is a good option that will allow you to heat 400-1000 square feet economically. Look for heaters that will heat the air around it, like convection heaters, radiators, wood-burners, and gas heaters.

At Shed Windows and More we are always looking for solutions to DIY building projects. We have been talking about portable and stationary heating sources that are sized for outdoor sheds. Send us your ideas at info@shedwindowsandmore.com. If shed heating solutions in the way of both portable and installed heating sources is something you would like to see us stocking at Shed Windows and More, definitely be in touch with your ideas.

Shed Organization Tips

9 Tips for an Organized Storage Shed

By | DIY Building Projects, Shed Construction, Shed Storage Ideas | No Comments

Inexpensive Ways to Gain Storage Shed Space

Keeping your shed organized is the key to working with small storage areas. Everything in its place and a place for everything. We took a simple small garden shed and found some great ideas on how to keep your garden tools safe and organized. Fall and winter are great times of year to dive into organizational projects like organizing your shed for the next year. Take a look at these simple storage ideas that will be sure to keep your storage shed well organized.

Tin Can Storage Wall:

Vegetable Can Storage IdeaPegboards can be found in most sheds and many garages. By fastening tin cans, I think I used vegetable cans, with zip ties to the peg board you have instant storage for smaller tools. With the can size being small – this will limit how much you can cram into the cans and keep you organized. Cost effective and efficient to keep smaller items off the work bench.

 

 

 

 

 

DIY Screwdriver Shelf:

Screwdriver ShelfThis simple shelf will keep all your drivers organized and easy to find and use. Make your own shelf or use one you already have. By drilling holes in the top of your shelf, you can easily grab a driver and even better…very quickly put the drivers away without taking up space on your workbench.

Keep all your screwdrivers in one place. Using some scrap wood create the perfect length shelf for your screwdrivers. Putting your power tools to use, drill holes in the shelf, one for each of your drivers and mount onto your wall. With the bottom exposed, you will never again be pulling up random screwdrivers in an effort to find the one you need. Initial organizing is one thing; however, keeping your drivers organized is fast and easy with this DIY shelf.

 

Magnet Storage Shelf:

Magnet Storage ShelfCreate a magnetic strip floating shelf by fastening magnetic strips to wood mounted on the wall. This super easy storage idea will allow you to throw up anything metal onto your floating shelves. Need a quick place to hold a few screws or store your collection of paintbrushes? These magnetic floating shelves will be your go to shelf when you are in a hurry and need to clean up fast. Inexpensive and easy to do, you will love this idea for items large and small.

 

 

Baker’s Shelves:

Bakers ShelfYour local restaurant supply is a good source for baker’s shelfs. These lightweight industrial shelving units are so versatile you will wonder how you lived without them before. Large plastic totes can hold collections of smaller items. Be sure to label the outside of the tote. We love these chalkboard paint stickers. No totes? No problem. The metal baker’s shelfs are great for dirty tools as they open shelving unit will allow for air circulation and a quick spray with the water hose will keep you clean.

 

 

 

Storage Door:

Storage DoorMake use of the door. Your door is a great place to get more storage. By securing a small wood board (depending on your size and depth of door) and a bungee strap or wire across the front, this is a great small place to store your aerosol cans and other smaller liquid containers.

 

 

 

 

 

PVC Pipe Storage Idea:

PVC Storage IdeaStore large tools, like rakes and shovels in a foolproof organized PVC pipe holder. You will no longer worry about the lawn rake falling over or the shovels haphazardly leaning up against the shed wall. This storage unit can be made to fit any space and you can customize the PVC pipe inserts for as many as you need. Safe storage for those larger tools.

 

 

 

Over-the-Door Storage Idea:

Over Door StorageOver the door shoe storage –make use of that over the door shoe storage and put to good use in your shed. We love this idea for keeping your gloves together and small shovels and trowels. Each pocket makes it easy to keep smaller items organized and you can hang on your door or fasten to a wall.

 

 

 

 

 

Recycled Milk Crate Storage:

Plastic Crate StoragePut those plastic crates to good use. We love these heavy duty plastic crates but stacking and storing crates on the ground may not work because of space. Take the crates to the walls and create this durable, shed friendly storage shelf with very little construction needed. All you need to do is mount these crates on the wall and you have instant storage. The depth is perfect too.   Great place to store the larger liquid containers.

 

 

Plastic Jar Storage Idea:

Plastic Jar StorageRepurpose small plastic or glass jars and create a dual shelf. Screw the lids into a small board mounted on the wall – use the top of the board as a shelf with the bottom of the shelf housing your nuts, screws and nails. Never lose the lid to your cans again as you screw the jar right back up into the shelf. Clear containers will ensure you are never hunting for a nail or screw again.