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Is an Alpine shed a good fit for a lifestyle block?

Are you wondering if Alpine Buildings is the only option when it comes to quality lifestyle and rural sheds for your property? Or have you ever asked if there are better/cheaper off-the-shelf designs that will meet your current needs? 

Well, the answer is that there are several instances where Alpine Buildings may not be the best option for you. In this article, you’ll discover what those instances are and why this is the case. 

What sheds are not the best fit for Alpine Buildings? 

Lifestyle sheds

Sheds with a span of less than 12m or less than 200m²

Alpine Buildings specialise in clearspan buildings over 200m² in size. Sometimes a shed of this size may be too large to fit in the intended area or a shed of that size is simply not required, which means another solution might be more suitable. All Alpine Buildings sheds use solid structural steel box section rafters with the wall being 5.0mm - 12.5mm thick in the roof to achieve the clearspan. These stock rafters are all designed and engineered to achieve a clearspan of 12m and up to 21m. 

When these rafters are used in a shed with a span of less than 12m, the shed essentially becomes over-engineered for the size of the building. As a result, the cost goes up when compared against other companies that specialize in smaller sheds as the amount of steel in the rafters is just not required. 

Sheds with sleeping quarters and/or extensive office space

Some people want a shed that can provide additional sleeping quarters or office spaces which allows them to cater for additional guests or work from home. In many cases, a kitchen or bathroom is required and while this is a possibility, an Alpine Buildings shed may not work for you. 

All standard designs at Alpine Buildings are designed, engineered, and consented to an Importance Level One. This is a category in the building code that means the structure presents a low degree of hazard to life or property; an Alpine Buildings pole shed falls under this category. 

When permanent sleeping quarters, large office spaces, kitchens, or bathrooms are added to the plans, councils often (not always) require the shed to be engineered to an Importance Level Two standard. This is often referred to as a dwelling standard as most houses fall under this category. 

As all standard Alpine Buildings' sheds are designed and engineered to an Importance Level One standard, the entire structural design would need to change. It may also need to include firewalls to meet the fire regulations that are required, particularly if your shed is on commercial land. 

Adding a toilet or shower to the plans can often be done under Importance Level One, however, consultation with your local council would be required to make sure it meets regional requirements. 

Sheds with custom cladding

Nearly all standard sheds are designed for corrugated or 5-rib type metal profiles. Some lifestyle property owners like their shed to match their house and often customized cladding is required. These claddings can include wide tray iron, cedar, bricks, or other timber cladding.

While wide tray iron looks very nice, it isn’t as strong as corrugated or 5 rib iron. To use this iron as a cladding, plywood first needs to be installed over the girts and then the wide tray iron is fixed to the plywood. If this step is skipped, large dents and wrinkles will very quickly appear in the walls due to the lack of support from corrugations in the iron, as you would find on corrugated or 5 rib iron. This problem is only exasperated in windy conditions. As there are extra materials required and many more hours of work installing the plywood, cost increases dramatically, and extra cost often far outweighs the visual appeal of the wide tray iron. 

Other commonly requested cladding options include cedar or board and baton wood options. They do look good, however, they also push the cost up a lot as more underlays and cavity battens are often required to weather seal for council approval. A lot of extra hours are required to install this product when compared to iron cladding and the raw materials are more expensive. When wood-based cladding is used on the exterior walls, constant maintenance is required to keep it looking good and to stop deterioration which could result in structural flaws over time. 

After 20+ years of building sheds, Alpine Buildings believe that the most cost-effective cladding is corrugated and 5 rib iron. Its initial cost is lower than many other options and it looks good and stays looking good throughout its lifetime. It requires little to no maintenance and is the fastest type of cladding to install resulting in fewer labour costs in the build and fewer maintenance costs over its lifetime.

Sheds that are not positioned on your forever home

An Alpine Buildings' shed is not the cheapest shed on the market. Often the initial upfront cost is higher than cheaper rolled steel options due to the quality of the product and design. While our sheds provide a significant return on investment over the length of their lifetime, there are some instances where a cheaper option would be better suited. 

If you are living on a block and only intend on staying there for up to 5 years, a cheaper option may be a better way to go as you wouldn’t be around to see the long-term return on your investment over the course of the shed’s lifetime. That being said, on several occasions, real estate agents have used Alpine sheds as a selling feature for houses in the past as they have a very good name around New Zealand. They can often result in the house being sold at a higher price due to the structural integrity and durability of the design.

So, is an Alpine Buildings' shed the best option for my lifestyle block? 

The answer to that question is, it depends… 

There are many factors to take into consideration when purchasing your shed. While in many instances an Alpine Buildings' shed is the best option, there are some cases where they are just not the best fit for your particular situation. It pays to do your research and think carefully about what you need the shed for - is it going to be big enough for your needs now and into the future? What do you want your shed to look like in twenty years? What are some other key points that your shed must achieve when it’s installed? 

The team at Alpine Buildings would be happy to answer any questions you may have and help point you in a direction that is best for you. 


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