Buying a Shed, lowest risk to the consumer

Posted on : February 4, 2014

It is a sad fact that too many people over the years have lost money when buying sheds.

The most recent being the Sidach debacle, but this is in a long list including

 

What are the risk to the consumer

 

1.  A distributor goes bankrupt or illegally takes the money from the consumer.

This is the retail outlet, the one that has the sites that you walk around and look at the shed.  They usually don’t have the relationships with the suppliers and rollformers, but are important as they do the sale, site inspection, and organise the building of the shed.  The are also important as the do the after sales support and help with damaged or faulty sheds.

Often the distributor is holding the clients money and pays the manufacturer on a schedule.

  • This creates a risk as while it provides operating cashflow to the distributor it does provide a risk that the consumer can loose their money part way in the process of their shed being manufactured.
  • There is a timing risk in the deposits being collected and the shed not being ordered and in the milestone payments not being passed onto the manufacturer.
  • To be clear there are 100’s of extremely talented, ethical and trustworthy distributors in the shed industry
  • That said due to their being in the vicinity of a 1000 distributors in Australia the risk of an unscrupulous or poor business operator is increased.

Model One : The current model in the industry is shown in the below diagram.

Payment_To_Distributor

An easy way to remove the above problems is for the client to pay the money direct to the wholesaler.

Model Two : A new way to eliminate this risk is shown below.

Payment_To_Wholesaler

This is an extremely rare model in the industry and the research that we had done shows that only Sheds n Homes has this arrangement in place through their Manufacturer / Wholesaler Steelx PTY LTD.

This labelled the “Guarantee Of Supply” by Steelx and is represented by the below label.

Guarantee-of-Supply-Logo

This definitely protects the consumer from mismanagement at the distributor level, as the distributor never sees any money outside of their commission.   That leads to the next risk, what happens if the Wholesaler / Manufacturer goes down…

2.  The manufacturer goes bankrupt or illegally takes money from the distributor.  While less likely it is a far more significant event.

These groups are smaller in number, have the relationships with the suppliers, own the brands and have the software and systems that provide the kit to the distributors.  You might ask what happens if the Wholesaler goes bankrupt, well they end up with the money at some stage in the process, so this risk is inherent in the Model 1 above.   The Guarantee does not remove this risk, but as stated both Model 1 and Model 2 above are both subject to this risk.

3.  The rollformer goes bankrupt.

Rollformers turn the cold rollformed steel into shed components.  This would be a devastating event and could send shockwaves through the whole Shed Industry.  Lets hope this never happens!!!

All in all a large percentage of the Shed Industry is ethical, honest, professional and hardworking.  Like any industry there are bag eggs and Model 2 above seems to remove the surface area of risk for the consumer.  I am sure many in the industry will disagree and a we welcome their feedback.

 

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Shed – eye for detail.

Posted on : October 14, 2012

Sheds come in different types

The majority of sheds sold today in Australia are of the portal frame design and the components are what is called cold rollformed. But there are two other important types of shed construction that is becoming more popular, the structural steel frame and the stud frame sheds. This is a quick rundown on the three different types:

 

1. Cold rollformed portal frame shed.

This is the most common type of shed and is normally supplied pre-engineered and in a kit form. The main structure (called the portal frame) consists of rolled purlins, girts, batton, top hat and brackets. The cladding and flashings are common to all types.

 

Portal frame showing apex and knee brackets

Portal frame showing apex and knee brackets

As you can see the basic prinicple is that all the purlins (both rafters and colums) consist of cold rolled C section joined by fabricated brackets that bolt each assembly together. The roof and wall members are added once all the portal frames have been stood. This is a very efficient system that can be transported easily and assembled on site with minimal tools. 

 

2. Structural fabricated steel shed.

 Nearly the same engineering prinicple as number 1 – except all the colums and rafters are from hot rolled section such as H section, I beam, or C channels with welded cleats and joiners on all ends. All other components are normally the same. The advantage of this type of design is for larger spans especially used in large warehouse constructions and normally over 18 meter width.
Structural steel is a bolt together design with heavy structural steel

The structural steel is heavy to transport but does allow faster erection and extremely high strength joining system. All the other components are very similar.

 

3. Steel stud framed sheds.

 Now this is completely different to the above two. It is identical to the steel stud framing used in housing and results in a very strong overall construction. The walls and trusses are all prefabicated in sections and simply stood on site and then clad. The advantage of this system is the ease of which you finish the sheeting internally and is the reason it is gaining popularity. 

Steel stud frame shed

As you can see there are no colums protruding into the interior and all window and door penetrations are done at fabrication stage. While slightly more to transport – the erection time is greatly reduced and the finish (interior) allows much cheaper cladding solutions. It can be treated in the same way as a normal house frame. 

 

Not all sheds are the same, and to ensure you obtain one that suits your purpose contact Shedeye.

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Shed for Rent!

Posted on : August 9, 2012

London Shed for Rent!

A SAVVY homeowner is making a bit of extra Olympics cash — by renting out her SHED to Games guests.

Grandmother-of-four Tricia Jones has transformed the hut at the bottom of her garden into a mini sports stadium, and is offering it out to tourists over the coming weeks.

The unique getaway in Leytonstone, East London, is just two miles from the stadium, and comes complete with a bed, heater and mini fridge.

Tricia has also gone the extra mile, kitting out the shed with a mini running track and a full-sized winners’ podium, along with a host of Union Flags and Olympic memorabilia.

And with hotel prices in the capital up 69 per cent during the Games according to TripAdvisor, Tricia’s quirky alternative is a snip at £40 a night.

The 64-year-old said: “I just wanted to be part of the Olympics in some way, it’s going to be a very exciting few weeks.

“I didn’t have any rooms spare to let out, but I heard that people were camping in gardens and I got a bit carried away with my Olympic shed.

£40 a Night

 Go straight to this article in The Sun , as it is very entertaining – the comments are even better!

  1. The flag is the wrong way up also!
  2. Flower pots are not toilets!
  3. And many more classic comments!
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Shed of the Year 2012 UK

Posted on : July 13, 2012

The winner of shed of the year 2012 – is the pub shed “Woodhenge” owned by John Plumridge

This shed would probably also win the Australian Shed of the year – especially with the common PUB theme. Here is an extract from the article:

It was a such great example of the passion that the sheddies have and it’s amazing that John just started with a pagoda in this garden and has built his shed up from nothing into a great space for friends and family – John mainly used recycled wood from a shut down garden centre to make the majority of the shed. Its a brilliant use of space and shows that with some time and lots of effort you can create the prefect escape down the bottom of the garden. I loved how he has turned the walls inside into a feature showing off all the empty beer bottles that he and the many visitors to Woodhenge have consumed over the past four years. John tells me he’s not finished yet – so I look forward to seeing the additions and no idea what he’s going to to with his other sheds (yes he has lots)

And just a few of the photos of the winning shed!

Shed of The Year

Inside view of the PUB Shed

Another inside view

Seems so big inside!

See more details at Shedblog UKAlso a very interesting 2nd prize winner – The Water Shed!

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Men in Sydney do anything for a Shed!

Posted on : May 14, 2012

Sheds are a must for Sydney Men!

This article is on the new growing trend for men in Sydney to buy strata titled sheds in complexs complete with power, phones and even windows in some. The article is by Bronwen Gora From: The Sunday Telegraph  April 29, 2012 12:00AM called

“Sydney Men Go Crazy for Big Storage Sheds”

This is Mick Tsolakis and Garry Constanti, inside their huge shed at Alexandria this week, say they are delighted to have the extra room. Picture: Sam Ruttyn Source: The Sunday Telegraph. Its a great alternative when you haven’t got room in the backyard – and also a good investment! But it’s not the same as walking into the backyard to your own steel shed!

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Shed Cyclonic Regulations

Posted on : January 31, 2012

Shedeye Investigator – The Australian Story

Introduction

This discussion is broken into two points regarding LHL testing. The first is with a rollforming perspective, and the second from a shed manufacturing perspective.

The main aim is to generate discussion to educate and learn from the current regulations concerning LHL Standard Cyclic Test Method for Cyclonic Areas. It was officially phased in on the 30th April 2009 to meet the Building Code of Australia Specification B1.2.

Interpretation of Low-High-Low Cyclic (LHL) Testing

 Basically it is simulated wind conditions (cyclonic) method using low, the high, then low pressure sequence to test the wind loads on metal roof cladding in cyclonic conditions. This LHL test is considered better to represent typical cyclic regime on metal roof assemblies than the DABM test method that was in the Northern Territory and the Australian Standard AS4040.3:1999 test method previously used in Queensland and Western Australia. The test involves includes the roof assembly including the roof sheets, fasteners and the battens and their support fasteners.

From April 2009 all cladding and batten manufacturers need to demonstrate that their metal roofing assemblies specified for cyclonic areas of Australia have been tested using the LHL test method. More details are available in Technical Alert No 08/1 at www.eng.jcu.edu.au/cts .

Rollforming Manufacturer Perspective

So to understand the basic test of the roof assembly – each manufacturer must get their roof sheeting (all profiles specified for cyclonic regions) tested under LHL. There are numerous testing stations in Australia and the one chosen here for example only is the James Cook University Cyclone Testing Station. Also in this discussion the roof cladding type is corrugated – produced by all of the rollforming companies in Australia and also used in cyclonic regions in Australia. The LHL stipulates that for a company to sell corrugated roof sheets in cyclonic areas – it must undergo LHL cyclic testing. The BRAND corrugated roofing is sold by some of the big multinational rollformers throughout Australia. The Company here is Company ZZZ, and to comply it sends it corrugated roof sheeting to the cyclone testing centre to meet compliance to the LHL test. This sample is rollformed on one machine that converts the coil (flat sheet) to corrugated roof sheets. This is assembled with battens and fasteners then tested under LHL. Once the LHL tests have successfully completed Company ZZZ can then supply corrugated roof sheeting to all cyclone areas in Australia. Company ZZZ has numerous corrugated rollformers as well as the one that supplied the sheets for LHL testing and yet all the corrugated roof sheets are compliant to LHL.

By stipulating that the company brand of corrugated has to be LHL tested, they are accepting that all the corrugated rollformers held by that company are identical. For another company to provide corrugated roof sheets to cyclonic areas – they too have to complete LHL testing. This assumes that the profile and rollform machines are different from company to company. Those in the rollform industry know that this is not the case, and apart from some minor variations between machines it is the profile of corrugated (along with the feed coil properties) that determine the strength and its ability to undergo LHL test compliance. Yet Company XXX has to undergo LHL testing even though all its machines are identical to Company ZZZ machines. This is the only industry where identical products are testing not the manufacturing process.  The LHL testing should in fact be the responsibility of the rollform machine provider – and most of these (especially Australian and New Zealand machines) would all supply compliant corrugated roofing sheets. There should be compliance for these rollform machines to be registered to conform to LHL testing. Yet Company ZZZ who has gained LHL compliance for its rollform machines can buy a new corrugated rollformer from China that may not meet the standards previously obtained from its original sample material. It is the machine that makes the corrugated roof sheet and so testing of one machine from a multinational company will allow inferior product by the company utilising untested machines.

Shed Manufacturers Perspective

From a roll former’s point of view, if it can be demonstrated that structural roll formed products with the same girth and BMT thickness such as roof sheeting and top span that is identical in profile, and manufactured from the same coils of origin that have undergone the LHL testing criteria, what is the real purpose of having the product tested while there remains a question regarding the safety of the total structure? For example, the manufacturer of roll forming materials may argue that while the LHL testing applies only to the roof cladding and “immediate members” that support the roof cladding, failure to include the importance of the connections at the apex, knee, and tie downs, begs the question; how does the manufactured product miraculously become only when the supplier has had the immediate members tested in a wind tunnel that simulates cyclonic conditions?

It is in the real world where actual wind tunnels exist, moreover, regardless of whether the product has been endorsed by shedsafe, structures will continue to fail even before completion.  So concerned are the self appointed gatekeepers to the shed industry, they have aligned themselves with the BSA and other bodies in conducting seminars across the country, advising erectors how to construct sheds so as to avoid the structure  collapsing during construction.  Shed erectors are playing roulette at the hands of shedsafe’s smoking mirrors illusion, hence, the shed erector will be potentially at fault if it can be shown there was a failure on the erector’s part in failing to use his skills in making sure that the whole shed was acting as a diaphragm in order to hold it together in the event of a storm or freak wind that often collapses the frame during construction. In other words, wherever there is an accident on site during construction resulting in person(s) injured or killed, the shed erector, rather than those who endorsed the shedsafe product, will be liable.

Now for a comedic look at the situation.

 A recent inspection of a 3x3m garden shed is an example of the hypocrisy within the industry.

A Building inspector was recently surprised to notice that a garden shed structure was actually made from a .75 mm stud frame with 12mm tie downs at each stud, along with two extra 12mm tie down’s at each corner. He was further surprised to notice bracing on each wall and three 64mm top spans on the roof fastened with 12x 14×20 tek screws with 0.42BMT cladding properly secured to the top span, yet while he was surprised at the extent of the structure, given that most 3x3m garden sheds don’t have a frame at all, he nevertheless failed the inspection because the shed manufacturer had not stated on the plan that the cladding had a reference to the LHL testing.

When the customer advised the supplier, who in turn asked the building inspector to explain the problem, the building inspector advised the supplier to read the literature provided by the ASI’s shedsafe endorsement.  Interestingly, the booklet showed a reference to the LHL endorsement, but no reference to the safety of the entire structure.

Getting back to the manufacturer’s point of view, there is clear evidence that the only guarantee and endorsement of ShedSafe may offer is the customer will have no idea of the origin of the actual material used to manufacture the product or if the product has been tested.

Therefore if the structure is endorsed by an incompetent engineer who has compromised his or her ethical standards, nevertheless signs a FORM 15, there will be no recourse unless the company that has hired the engineer replaces the product. The replacement is usually conditional that the incident be kept confidential.

Besides this, as already pointed out, if one single LHL endorsement can be used as a blanket cover for an entire corporation regardless of the corporation’s many separate roll forming outlets with differing profiles, or whether the origin of the coil is Australian or Imported, how does the building inspector know the difference without authentic documentation? Does the material in question have a specific test certificate stating the origin of the material along with an endorsement from the testing facility given that what he is inspecting explicitly refers to the cladding and top span required on the approved plan, or does he really care about the weightier issues that he may be forced to confront?

Summary

The main reason of this viewpoint by two very different members of the shed industry supply chain is to generate discussion that will enable shed purchasers to be confident that all the factors & PROMISES made by the industry groups are capable of being produced in the supply & erection of their shed.

 To finalise, there is an instance of a well known shed supplier who sold (supply) only to a customer that collapsed during construction. This occurrence was exploited by others in the shed industry to their advantage by giving this as an example of a non-compliant shed industry member. Very far from the truth, the particular shed supplier warned the shed erector constantly regarding construction techniques – all advice was ignored. Subsequent investigations resulted in the shed manufacturer being involved – but of all the parties involved – the shed manufacturer supplied and erected the shed for no charge. This is the type of example of pride in this industry we need. The investigating bodies had no idea of what had occurred – only guesses.

Many thanks to the contributions of the rollformer and the shed manufacturer for this valuable insight into only two areas of the industry. Hopefully more to come from these two gurus of the industry!

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New Shed on the Block

Posted on : December 26, 2011

Tetra Shed – Modular Shed Building!

Australia has had its revolution in steel sheds – advantages and problems come with this style yet a new modular shed style is emerging in the UK, USA and Europe. The shed is called TETRA-SHED and has just won the 100% Design Award  in the UK and is currently under negotiations with an Australian Shed Manufacturer.

Tetra Shed is different and modular, capable of adding multiple sections as shown below:

The Large Scale Modular Tetra-Shed

 And another picture showing smaller modular grouping:

Tetra-Shed smaller groupings

But the big surprise is the quailty and appearence of the shed by itself:

Outside Tetra-Shed Single Module

 And the inside is spectacular:

Shed Stunning Interior!

 With the above photos, it is very obvious that this system is easily adapted to the Australian mining, educational and accomodation industries. All of the industries and manufacturing groups are represented here, with the cladding being substituted with sheet Corten Steel, Stainless or even old corrugated for the backyard number.

Current BCA & ASA compliance is under way and will be available in 2012!

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Innovation Award Submission 2

Posted on : October 28, 2011

Corrugated – a New Revolution

Shed Roofing Profile Innovation Submission 2

This entry to the Shedeye Innovation Award is slightly different to the others entries regarding new products in many ways. This product involves the cladding of sheds, residential & commercial roofing and also is an innovation in the rollforming industry. This is not the site to explain the importance of this new release of a profile sheet and its implications to the roofing, heritage, architectural and other areas of the steel roofing and cladding industry. Almost a reinvention of an iconic corrugated iron from as early as 1829 to the present, this product actually provides a new release of an old product but with superior spanning capabilities being produced on a uniquely designed current rollforming line based in South Australia. The technology utilised and patented by Revolution Roofing will return the “common” corrugated iron roof sheeting back to a rounder, fuller, shapely and deeper profile based on the original 19th century Walker “Gospel Oak” profile.

Once again the supplier and innovator of this product has had a difficult time in choosing which of the three new TRUE OAK designs to enter in the Shedeye Innovation Awards?  Their choice was between three of these revolutionary new profiles, True Oak Mid, True Oak Deep and True Oak ‘5’ and details available on their website REVOLUTION ROOFING.

True Oak Corrugated

But of the three – True Oak Deep was selected because of its ability to be used in sheds as a 0.35BMT product as roofing as it is the only roofing rollformer that has span tables (not cyclonic) for this gauge of roofing.  With the same cover as everyone else, and still  at a cover of 762mm – it offers a product for the shed industry without change to the sheeting layout in regard to the cladding and roofing. The only adjustment will that have to be made is flashings (only minimal), as the depth of the rib is 21mm which is the very reason for the increased strength.  The features of True Oak Deep are 40% deeper and 40% stronger than standard corrugated with the ability to go down to 3 degree pitch in roof. The profile is much stronger underfoot than standard corrugated and less susceptible to denting by foot traffic.

Here are the Span Tables for True Oak Deep:

True Oak Deep Span Tables

The best explanation as to the details of this profile is best explained in the diagram below with the comparison of True Oak Deep and Standard Corrugated.

Comparison

That’s the technical stuff in brief – but a photo paints a thousand ribs or less and deeper!

To top this new innovation off, Revolution Roofing is offering a True Oak 20 Year Watertight Installation Guarantee. This back to back material, corrosion warranty is only available when the product is installed by a Revolution Roofing Licensed Contractor. Not only will this benefit shed suppliers, but also shed erectors once they become an approved Revolution Roofing Licensed Contractor and supplier. New roof photo of church here in SA.

 

True Oak being installed

 

Of all the aspects of this exciting design re-invention is probably the foresight of the founder (Mr. J. Easling) to undertake LCA of this product which is a first in the rollforming industry. This is now the only roofing profile to be under review for the GREEN TAG certification (by Ecospecifier) and will be available to all architects and engineers.  

The details for information from Revolution Roofing on this submission is available at www.revolutionroofing.com.au  

 

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Shed Fire Safety!

Posted on : October 27, 2011

Shedeye Science.

Shed and Garage Fire Safety

Number 0001 of the Shedeye Science Series.

All garden sheds, domestics sheds and garages are a potential fire hazard – not from the shed itself – but from the behaviour of the owners and what they store inside the structure. Currently there are no rules in relation to alarms or safety procedures for sheds and garages. All Australia States have useful information on fire safety in Class 10A buildings as shown below for each state:

Just about every shed or garage (whatever variety) in Australia is utilised for storage from household furniture, cars, workshops, garden equipment & chemicals, pool chemicals, motor bikes, electric machinery, gas, fuels & oils, paint and junk. A great many of these items are highly flamable and hard to extinguish when ignited. This list is only small and some of the above combinations of the items above can be very dangerous. It is wise to consult with the above websites on the dangers of these various combinations. The Queensland Fire website has a specialised Shed Fire Safety report that could be extremely valuable to all shed owners in Australia. If in doubt call your local Fire Brigade if you are unsure of any of these instructions given in the report. Rural sheds have a different set of rules regarding fire safety and the above websites should be able to assist in this area.

Below is a photo of a double garage steel shed that resulted in costly damage to property, motor vehicles and a costly visit by the local fire brigade. Along with insurance claims and the lengthy time period for replacement – there is also the very high risk of injury or death to people. The causes of all shed fires have to investigated by the fire department to provide data for insurance claims and statistics.

The Results of fire in a double garage!

The Queensland statistics for Fire Safety Measures conducted in 2008 are below.

Fire safety measures

Of the 1,589,354 Queensland households an estimated:

  • · 97.3% (1,547,001) has smoke alarms;
  • · 93.5% (1,485,847) has a safety switch or circuit breaker;
  • · 78.6% (1,249,457) removes external fuel sources from around their home;
  • · 51.8% (822,561) has a home fire evacuation plan;
  • · 44.1% (700,487) has a non-mains external water supply;
  • · 42.4% (674,103) has a fire extinguisher;
  • · 31.5% (500,398) has a fire blanket;
  • · 9.9% (156,829) have a bushfire survival plan; and
  • · 2.7% (43,218) has a fire sprinkler system.

But how many have applied these concerns to your garage or shed? How many sheds have fire alarms installed, and how many are fitted with fire extinguishers. These two items should be compulsory for the backyard shed in Australia. There are roughly 10,000 house fires per year, causing more than 1,500 injuries and 70 deaths. Currently there are no statistics for shed fires only in Australia but a search of shed fires on Google will result in many hits.

The problem with sheds being utilised as living space is not only illegal, but does not comply with BCA Class 1 building regulations and hence a very high risk fire hazard. Power connection to a shed also requires a Licensed Electrician for all electrical work in the shed. Extension leads providing power and lighting to the shed are highly dangerous and illegal. All electrical installations must comply with Australian Standards and the BCA as well as being completed by a licensed electrician.

Safety in our domestic garage or shed is important and these items above should be discussed during your investigation or quoting stage from a shed reseller. The cost of smoke alarms and fire extinguishers is very small in relation to the overall shed cost.

Do a quick check on your shed – before it too late. Make sure you check out the relevant fire services in your state for safety procedures and regulations. Workplaces in Australia required Material Saftey Data Sheets on all chemicals, liquids etc not only for fire harzard reasons but for poison dangers also. We ask employers to provide this for the saftey of all employees – yet don’t apply the same rules to family and friends. The number of shed fires have increased recently in the news and endangers life and property.

Is Your Shed Shedeye Science Safe this Weekend?

The number of posts in the Shed Forum on this topic highlights the number of sheds have been burnt down in the last year.

See Article in the Shed Forum!

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Shed of the Year 2011

Posted on : July 13, 2011

A music shed owned by John Earl of Clevedon N Somerset in UK won the much prized glory of winning The Shed of The Year 2011 from some very strong opposition. Even though it’s only 10 foot X 12 foot – this shed has become famous to music fans the world over. To date over 1,000 musicians have had their songs videoed in this shed.

The Music Shed - Winner 2011

This competition is drawing entries from around the world and has many different categories. Also Australia has been well represented each year – but to date no success with any prizes.

The full story can be seen here with many other sheds that didn’t win.

Here’s another Australian entry that is amazing – how did they fit all the stuff inside?

Inside ManBower’s Shed, Sydney

Outside of ManBower's Shed, Sydney

It would be good to see this level of enthusiasm for shed competitions in Australia.

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Garden Sheds Not Waterproof?

Posted on : June 21, 2011

Garden sheds are not supposed to leave their spot and go swimming. But this one seemed to like the neighbours pool and headed in after strong winds and rain recently in Perth. The full news item can be found at http://www.news.com.au/heaviest-rain-in-11-months-soaks-perth/story-e6frg1rc-1226067662204 and the picture below is by Shelly Hanson.

"Not all garden sheds are waterproof"

This may be amusing – but the fact is many garden sheds are just placed on the ground with no anchorage to the base or simply screwed (dynabolted) to small pavers. The above is the result and regulations don’t exist to prevent this sort of occurance happening regularly.

Does this sort of damage need to be regulated – obviously someone has to pay for the cleanup and reinstallation. Do the insurance companies cover this type of storm damage? Without going to the extreme of Council intervention – maybe Garden Shed Suppliers could give instruction and heavier dynabolts for installation onto a permanent concrete slab. If this advice is not followed – then simply the shed owner is responsible legally for all damage caused!

TIE YOUR GARDEN SHED DOWN!

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