I need quick, cheap and moderately secure storage space built in my garden as soon as possible. I need to store our bicycles - they are both currently staying in the dining room! We just moved to a new house. You know what that means.
Do you have similar problems?
The best solution in such case might be an attached shed. Attached sheds are, obviously, attached to a wall of the house. The very first reason that would make you build such a shed is to save time and money by using your house wall. Here is how basically one attached shed could look:
Typically such sheds are attached to a wall that has no windows. Or if you have windows on that wall, at least you have to make sure you won't cover a window with the shed. Unless this is your goal.
More often than not attached shed use lean-to roofs because they are easier to build and allow water, snow and all that stuff to drop easily instead of trooping between the shed roof and your house wall.
Attached Sheds: The Good and The Bad
Here are the main positives of building attached shed instead of a standalone one:
- You save one of the walls. This means, if you are building the shed yourself, you'll save some materials and maybe some of your labor. If you liked some plan for a gable roof shed you can build the half of it and turn it into lean-to shed, attached to the house.
- Possibility for easy access. If you have a rarely used backdoor in the house you can build the attached shed there and make the shed accessible without going outside. If the shed is large enough it can be turned into extra living space.
- Some extra insulation. This is useful for cold climates. The shed adds not just one more wall but also all the air inside basically protecting the wall of the house from the cold outside. As you wanted a shed anyway, even if it doesn't make wonders for insulation, every energy gain you get from attaching the shed will be a net gain. You can achieve a lot better effects if you turn the shed into attached sunspace or solar room. Keep reading to learn more about this.
- Save some space. You probably have quite some space around the house that isn't very usable for growing plants or similar needs. At least the northern side is probably shaded. Building attached shed will let you use this space instead of wasting useful sunny space in the garden.
- Easy to plug electricity and water. In case you use the shed as a workshop or home office it's far easier to transfer electricity from the house to it when it's attached.
Unfortunately, attached sheds have some disadvantages too:
- This article suggests that attached sheds can attract termites into your house. Not cool! We don't have termites where I live, but if you have, think well about protecting the shed from them.
- Taxes and insurance. In many areas attached shed is considered part of your house and adds up when your taxes and insurance fees are calculated.
- It's harder to find shed plans. While there are thousands of standalone shed plans finding ones for attached sheds is a lot harder. And they rarely fit the specifics of your house. Of course you can always get a gable shed plan and cut it at half to make a lean-to roof shed.
Some Practical Advice When Building
There are at least these things to consider prior to building an attached shed:
- Is the ground flat? Very often the ground next to your house won't be flat. Maybe your house is raised up over the ground or there is a slope next to it. You may have to flatten it before building the shed foundation.
- Is your shed going to shade a window or sunny area? Listen, this is really important unless you live in a place with all year hot climate. Maybe it's spring or summer now when you read this and you don't care about sun, but you will care in the winter. Maybe the shed isn't shading anything now, but maybe it will do this in the winter when the sun is much lower on the sky. Think well and project the sun path before shading some south window with your shed.
- How are you going to attach it actually? You may need to dig holes in the wall and use long bolts. You may need to add some extra beams. Don't assume that the plan has everything you need for attaching the shed. The shed needs to be attached really well to the wall so it doesn't fall apart in a stormy day.
- No snow or water should go into the house. Make sure that the roof of the shed is always sloped to outside, so any moisture and snow drops out. You don't want extra humidity on your house wall.
So, you'll have to think a little bit and plan it well before building. Meanwhile, why don't you keep reading - I have some more interesting ideas to share:
Attached Sunspaces, Solar Rooms or Greenhouses
Another smart way to build an attached shed is to make it a sunspace or solar room. Solar rooms are usually built on the south side of your house (at least for us, living in the northern hemisphere) and collect the sun heat during winter, then transferring it to the house through window, door or ducts.
Solar rooms, sunspaces and greenhouses are pretty large topic. I'll give you few links below in case you are interested to read more. Whether you'll want to build a standard attached shed or something solar depends mostly on what you want from the shed. Are you looking just for storage? Do you want to use it for workshop? Or even as home office or just a nice sunny room to drink tea in the afternoon? Do you want it to transfer heat in your house? Or to grow plants? Answer all these questions on yourself and then decide.
Meanwhile, the solar links:
- This is a great design and insulation (PDF) guide about solar rooms, greenhouses and sunspaces.
- Here is an earth sheltered greenhouse
- And this is a nice solar shed which combines greenhouse with a shed. With small modifications to the roof it can be converted into an attached shed.
I hope you are also as interested as me in solar sheds and combining sheds with greenhouses, because I'm going to publish a lot more stuff on this topic. See you soon!