Ten uses for a humble Shed

Posted on : November 25, 2010

A shed as a weekender? No way! You say. Think again. Thanks to some innovative design and plenty of competition in the steel industry, the once humble shed is finding creative, affordable and practical uses and presenting solutions to many modern problems. The steel-constructed weekender may be far from the image of the beach shack or tree change weekender, but it can be a genuine alternative particularly for weekend and holiday usage.  Sheds have come of age.

Technology and Sheds

Forgive the pun, but sheds are no longer a backyard industry. The shed industry in Australia is a half a billion dollar a year industry with some of the largest steel companies in Australia involved including Lysaghts (a subsidiary of Bluescope Steel), through its brand Ranbuild, and Stramit (a subsidiary of Fletcher).  These and other companies such as Fileders, Metroll, ABSCO and Spanbuilt Sheds  have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in plant and equipment and technology to support and indeed grow a burgeoning industry that now includes leading brands such as Fairdinkum Sheds and Garage World (both Stramit subsidiaries).

The shed fabrication industry has embraced technology with participants using state of the art materials and software packages to customise designs. Today, using sophisticated software handling the complexity, sheds can be custom built according to customer specifications and requirements. These designs are created using design software that can create a range of sizes and designs that minimise the decision making on the various aspects of fabrication. Rather than deal with multiple suppliers in order to source component material, customers can choose a pre-fabricated, modular solution.

While we tend to think of the shed as single, barn-sized structure, the shed industry is really part of the storage industry – an industry that has been growing strongly for more than three decades.

What can you use for use your shed for?

In urban settings, sheds are commonly built in the back garden of the home. In recent years  steel has become the material used by the majority of sheds for use across urban, industrial and rural use.  Sheds can be used for storage only, such as gardening tools and furniture, or they can be used as an impromptu entertainment area.

Common uses for sheds include garden sheds, bike sheds, boat sheds and agricultural sheds.  Sheds are supplied in modular fashion and have a large DIY component.  Larger sheds generally require a professional shed builder.

1. The garage.

Single or double? Limited only by the number of vehicles you own!  These are the basic criteria for your shed purchase for the car (s). Sheds fabricated as Garages are custom built enabling the customer to make choices over for example the number of bays, the location for the windows and doors .

Gone are the days when you simply parked your car in the garage. Nowadays, people utilise their garage space for storage space other than for the car.  Indeed some people in urban area lease out part of their garage to neighbours (without garages) for long term shortage of boxes.

2. The storage shed

The shed industry has evolved beyond the classic rural, industrial or barn-sized shed to include the more contemporary self storage concept. This is a sign of the times. Higher land costs, more inner-city apartment living have been a boon for self storage, an industry that has experienced strong growth . Virtually anything can be put into storage.

Comparison by population

City Sq. m storage
area per capita
Melbourne 0.10
Sydney 0.11
Brisbane 0.13
Chicago 0.16
Los Angeles 0.18
San Francisco 0.27
Atlanta 0.32

A growing application in urban areas around Australia – sheds are being tucked away in many corners of the suburban home to store all those things that can’t squeeze into the house – usually an assortment of filing cabinets, grandma’s heirlooms, childhood memorabilia, 14 years of bank statements and the kids bicycles

3. Pump House

Locating a pump under a house is not ideal; a shed is a far better alternative as it can be insulated, providing protection from freezing and contamination for a farm’s water pressure system. It is necessary to keep the pressure system warm and dry.

A pump house using the pre fab shed is a cost effective solution on the farm or rural property.

4. Man Shed

A man and his shed….well you how the line goes. A man shed should be the place for, well, a man and his essentials: beer, play pool with the mates and generally, escape suburban life (especially teenage children).

5. The Workshop

The fact is Australia is experiencing a DIY boom facilitated by companies Bunnings. Perhaps that’s a stretch but it is a fact is that the home improvement industry is booming, indeed data reclassed by the Housing Industry Association revealed that millions was spent on home renovations. A significant slice of this is DIY based if the growth of Bunnings is any indication.

6. Office – Home and Professional

As an alternative to a commercial or in-house office, a be used as a home or business office. The cost benefit equation is compelling as office leases are very expensive affairs once you factor in legal costs, bonds and outgoings. A shed as office is a solution to a home business needs.

7. Collectables.

The hobbyist or collector is often short of storage space. Whether a collector of antique clocks or colonial wash basins, space is invariably short in the average family home. With contemporary homes having less storage space (what happened to the attic?) solutions are needed. The shed is an obvious answer – and its big enough for a sofa if you’re banished to the “shed”.

8. A garden shed

The shed is an affordable and easy storage solution for keen gardeners who love to spend the summer crafting their beautiful surroundings. A shed can provide a dry and resistant area that is suitable for organising your lawnmower, hedge trimmer and all the other slicing, cutting and digging contraptions.  Tools do not live forever and can easily become rusty or damaged or broken, so it is essential that you look after them and store them away properly

9. Entertainment Recording studio

Teenagers with musical instruments do enjoy a jam session with their mates. Or a IT-savvy student can wire up their ipods and create a veritable recording studio.  All that is needed is some padding to form an anechoic chamber and the shed becomes the studio. Alternatively, those TV tragics who have purchased the latest JBHi Fi home entertainment system will need a shed to enjoy their new play thing.

10. The Artists Studio

In a similar vein, the artist needs their space. Paints and canvas take loads of space and create an awful mess while work is in progress.

What is the best use of a Shed you have seen?


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