10 Things You Must Know Before Buying A Shed or Garage!

Posted on : September 7, 2010

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1. What Is The Height Of The Vehicle That You Are Going To Put Into The Shed or Garage?

The rule of thumb is that you will lose about 500 millimetres of clearance on the advertised Roller door height.  You can get a bit more height if you choose a gable entry over a side wall.

This is a very important consideration, as the height of your shed and the size of the roller door are contingent on the height of your vehicle.  There’s no point in buying a shed or garage only to find out that your boat or 4WD won’t fit in there because the shed roof is too low.  It’s vital that you take the proper measurements before you even go looking for a shed or garage.

Make sure you confirm your measurements and the amount of clearance your shed or garage will have with your local distributor.

2.  How To Get Finance For Your New Shed?

Before you consider finance through the shed or finance company, do your sums first, if you pay for the shed in cash; you can often negotiate a much better deal.

If you don’t have enough cash to pay for the shed outright, what can you do?

It may be cheaper overall to either get a personal loan or use the equity from your home so you can pay for the shed in cash and get a cheaper price than going through a finance company as you may have to pay establishment fees on top of the price of the shed.

Some shed finance companies can provide finance for the building and concrete as well, but it will depend on your financial circumstances – how much your income and assets are and how much debt you have.

Some shed companies provide consumers with interest free finance.  You can pay fortnightly or monthly through direct debit or credit card payments.  Once you receive delivery of the shed, your payment plan will commence.  But again, somebody is paying for the finance, usually through a more expensive purchase price, there is no such thing as a free shed after all!

3.  Are You In A Snow Loading Area?

If your property has an altitude of over 600 metres above sea level, it’s a legal requirement in Australia that your shed has a snow loading allowance built into the structural design.

It’s vital that you find out if you’re in a snow loading area as you need your shed to be strong enough to stand up to the weather conditions in your area, including ice and snow.  When looking at sheds, you can ask the distributor if their sheds have been calculated for snow loading.

Snow loading will also affect the required pitch of your roof, this means that you are going to need a pitch of at least 10 degrees upwards, depending on where you are located.

Remember, it’s important to consult with your local council first for snow loading requirements based on the Australian Standard 1170.3.


4.  Are You In A Wind Prone Area?

Simply ask your local council and your local shed distributor, it is too complicated to work out.

It is too hard to work out on your own as is based on the probable maximum wind speed in your region, if your site is on a hill or escarpment, if your site is located in suburbia or rural and the size and importance of the shed.

If you are in a wind prone area, the shed design needs to be stronger with more steel and will cost more.  This expense is a must otherwise your shed will blow down and will be a risk to yourself and others.

You will also have to check with the shed company to make sure the shed is strong enough to tolerate your area’s wind rating.  Your local shed distributor should know if you live in a wind prone area and what wind rating your shed needs to have.

As always, it’s essential that you check with your local council first before buying and installing your shed.  For a comprehensive analysis of the wind ratings take a look at the Steel Shed Groups publication Wind Actions on Steel Sheds and Garages (http://www.steel.org.au/_uploads/429_Wind_Actions_Steel_Sheds_2009.pdf)


5.  Are You Going To Build Your Shed Yourself?

You can save yourself a fortune building your own shed, however the bigger the shed the harder it is to erect.  Approximately 50% of all Sheds built in suburbia are owner built.

Are you going to build the shed yourself or are you going to hire concreters, shed erectors and plumbers?  You can save money by erecting the shed yourself, but if you’re not a handy person or don’t have any friends who are, you may be better off hiring experts who can install it for you and save you a big headache, as well as a lot of time.

The shed company you buy the shed or garage from may be able to provide you with their own contractors for erecting the shed, or give you the names of contractors.

The terms vary according to local councils (you MUST check them) however if the building is under $5,000 then you may be able to build without an owner-builder permit, depending on your local council.

If the building structure is over $12,000 then you need to apply for a Certificate of Consent.  This allows you to get a building permit and undertake your own building work as an owner-builder.

But it’s important you check with your local council first.  Some councils will require you to apply for a building permit (different to an owner-builder permit) in order to erect a shed.  If the structure is larger than 10 square metres in area, then the law requires you to get a building permit.

Theoretically you can never do plumbing work yourself as it‘s illegal; it needs to be conducted by a licensed plumber.


6.  Make Sure You Get Council Approval For Your Structure!

The variation between councils is great however there are a handful of situations where you do not need council approval and there are some limitations you need to be aware of.

  • Some councils do not require approval if the shed is smaller than 3 meters in width and 3 meters in height.
  • Some councils will allow the shed to be on the boundary while other councils will demand the shed to be situated at least 2 metres away with walkways .
  • Some councils will not allow certain shed colours due to the restrictions on the reflection of light and location aesthetics.
  • Some councils will not allow a shed if there is less than a certain percentage of land available on the block.

Just remember to check everything with your local council first!

This is generally what happens when you buy a shed or garage:

1)      You choose the kind of shed you want.

2)      You find a shed distributor you’re happy with.

3)      You decide how you’re going to finance the shed.

4)      You receive an engineering report from the shed distributor.

5)      You submit the engineering report to your local council, as well as an application for permission to build the shed.

6)      You receive advice from council whether your application is approved or not.

7)      If your application is approved, you can go ahead with your shed or garage.


7. When Do You Want The Shed Or Garage?

For custom built sheds, don’t count on parking the car in you new shed for 4-6 weeks from the time you make your decision to buy.

1)      It takes 3-5 weeks delivery time for the kit shed.

2)      It takes a day to pour the slab  (if you are getting a slab and not just footings)

3)      It takes a couple of days for the slab to dry completely (depending on the size) before you erect the shed or garage.

4)      Add two days for professionals to erect the shed or garage depending on size (for a standard size shed).

All of the calculations are assuming experience professionals, for somebody who is not then it can take much, much longer!!

8.  What Type Of Look Do You Want In Your Shed or Garage?

For custom built sheds there are over 500,000 different colour combinations using the standard Colorbound(TM) colours.  Combine the different materials and components and you have millions of unique configurations.

The number one biggest problem with new shed purchases is the colour selection, either incorrectly ordered, or incorrectly researched.  Choose wisely and triple check you are getting what you want as you’ll have to live with the colour once the shed arrives

The cladding you choose can be a standard corrugated (curved) surface, a square look or a combination of the both.

9.  Do You Want A Steel, Wood or Plastic Shed or Garage?

Steel sheds are the most versatile and affordable product in the market place.

Plastic sheds are usually only suitable for smaller sheds.  Wood sheds and garages are usually twice as expensive (installed) than the steel shed or garage equivalent.  You do have more variation in the styles by using wood, however given Australia’s termite problems, steel is a great option.

10.  Remember That Shedeye Can Help You Design Your Shed

Save up to 2 hours in shed and garage research, and filling out quotes by using the innovative web tool, www.shedeye.com.au.  100% free, always.

Shedeye was designed to allow you to visualise your shed, making it as close as possible to reality.  It also saves you hours by taking out the hassle of trawling through numerous shed sites, individually replicating the details of the shed your required.  A great online resource for designing, getting quotes and comparing sheds and garages.

www.shedeye.com.au

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