A lifestyle shed is an incredibly multi-purpose place. From hosting weddings, holding a car collection, to storing hay and tack, the options are almost limitless. Sometimes one shed is designed to do all of the above at the same time! It's this 'jack of all trades' status which means choosing the right shed is sometimes harder than choosing a shed for a single purpose. After all, a shed designed for a single purpose only needs to be good at one thing, but what about a shed that needs to be good at multiple roles?
There are some hallmarks to a good lifestyle shed. Often they're a mix of fully enclosed bays and open-sided. This is because it's common for a lifestyle shed to store some valuable assets, like a motorhome or car in some bays while also storing farm equipment, hay or even animals in other bays.
This means a lifestyle shed is often defined as a hybrid or combined shed. You might see roller doors on some bays. A bay is typically the space between vertical structural poles. A combined shed can have one or many of these bays enclosed or open, a lifestyle shed is very flexible!
What else should i look for in a lifestyle shed?
There are a number of things you'll want to check before committing to one type of shed over another and while you'll find many questions answered online sometimes a quick phone call with a specialist can do wonders for speeding up the research phase.
A few additional things you'll want to look into are:
Does the design of the shed enable or encourage birds to roost and perch in the shelter of the shed? This can typically take the form of knee or apex bracing going from vertical to horizontal poles. Small gaps in the roof beams might provide the perfect spot for a nest and any dangling cables can be ideal rest spots. Also having the purlins bolted on top of the rafters instead of in-between them can make ideal nesting spots for birds.
While it might be nice to have a little feathered companion it's worth considering the mess they bring. Not only are their droppings corrosive and slippery on concrete but nesting material can also create unnecessary mess within your shed.
Some shed designs focus on reducing these perch spots so the interior space of your shed can be clean and free of additional residents. You might find the no-bird-perch icon used by companies that specialise in designs that deter feathered residents.
Water, electricity and compressed air are sometimes great features of a shed. Whether it's toping up the tyres or running workshop tools having plugs and connections nearby can make the hobby or work easier.
It's worth considering whether these are easy to install in your shed. Materials like wood, for example, are easy to attach pipes, wires and airlines to while some rolled steel sheds might have you dangling pipes or wires across beams and braces instead! Doing this might be increasing the bird perches inside the shed so not only looks unsightly but might be encouraging avian occupants as well.
Strength & durability
The materials that make up the shed dictate whether the roof, walls, as well as purlins and poles/portals will be able to withstand any extreme situations. From large-scale snow-loading on the roof, to standing water, and even the occasional knock from a large vehicle, the material will dictate whether that's easy to brush off or could result in the shed collapsing on the very things it's designed to protect.
It's important to note that rolled steel consists of very thin sections of metal riveted together with hundreds of screws, while a wooden pole is a single solid pole strengthened by nature over time. Thin types of steel such as rolled steel will eventually rust away when exposed to the elements, not to mention buckle when knocked into, but structural steel or wood will stand the test of time and can withstand conditions the average rolled steel shed could not.
If you're looking to put more of your money into the shed and less into having it built then you want to look for a shed builder that can supply your shed in a kitset form, with all the pieces included. A kitset shed will also help the building team you hire spend as little time as possible erecting the shed so their hourly rate doesn't blow out the budget!
Ask the shed manufacturer how long it takes for the shed to be erected, and whether you and a few friends could do it yourself to save some money. And if you want a benchmark for how easy a shed could be to install check out this video as a rough guide.
Building a new lifestyle shed can give you more storage options, protect your valuables and add value to your property. It's a big investment and a long-term decision so you need to make sure you get it right. Why not start by looking at the different types of shed on offer and by getting a no-obligation quotation from one of New Zealand's leading shed manufacturers?
As a family run, nationwide business Alpine Buildings know the importance of getting the simple things right so you'll have all your questions answered by an actual human being over the phone or through our website instant chat. Begin your shed building journey today by talking to a member of the Alpine Buildings team.