Need options for storage shed

lnhardinMarch 21, 2011

We recently finished our new home and moved in. The house is in a semi rural area - 20 acres of woods, pond and meadows. We do have neighbors down the road. We worked really hard to design a home that would not "stick out". We ended up with a craftsman style of stone and cedar siding that looks like it is part of the scenery. Colors are browns, greens and the stone. The house almost looks like it "grew" in the location.

Now hubby wants a building/shed for the lawn tractor and other tools. That's fine with me except he is planning on a metal building, 1500 sq ft (30'x50') that is 16 feet high! (In case he needs the space).I am picturing our graceful, lovely organic home next to a very large metal box. Eeek!

I think I may have him talked down in size by half, but it will still be a metal box. I need options to bring to the table. Does anyone have other options for a storage building that doesn't look like an airplane hangar?

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DH and I have had this very same discussion. He started talking "shed" as soon as the house was started. He said he wanted a place to store a snowblower, maybe a golf cart, maybe a 4-wheeler, etc. etc. I had one had to look just like the house. Same siding, roof, etc.

We ended up doing large lofts in the garage for storage. And with a 40' garage with 3 10' doors, I've held him at bay so far about the shed.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2011 at 8:35PM
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Why a metal shed? With 20 acres, there's plenty of room for a classic wooden barn. We're going with a plan from Good looking barns with a large usable loft.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2011 at 5:25AM
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I think a barn would be lovely and far more appropriate. He doesn't want to deal with the painting issue. Plus he has a buddy down the road who is building a metal building of 3000 sq ft and 18 feet high who has convinced him they will save money by having them done at the same time.So I need to bring something else to the table.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2011 at 10:36AM
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What is it about men and their storage sheds??? Ya gotta wonder if having the biggest shed around is some sort of sublimated phallus envy. LOL!

The bottom line is tho, if ALL your DH cares about is how cheaply he can build his storage building, he probably CAN put up a metal building for less than just about anything else. But, you're right that unless it is designed and built very carefully - and painted to blend in - it will probably look TERRIBLE with you brand new home - especially if it is built anywhere close by. (Now if he wants to build it on the other side of the 20 acre lot and you have plenty of trees to hide the probably isn't worth arguing about.)

But, I suspect he wants it build close by so it'll be handy. Right? In that case, I say, stick to your guns about no cheapo-looking modern square metal building. Let him know that if he insists on building an eyesore, once it is built, he may find himself sleeping out there. LOL.

Suggest a barn style shed that will blend in nicely with your home. You can use Hardiboard siding on it instead of wood. Remind DH that even a metal building will have to be painted eventually and that Hardie, if properly painted in the first place, shouldn't need to be repainted for 10 to 12 years or longer.

You could also use a combination of stone and Hardie. (Lots of old barns were built with stone, dry-stacked brick, and just about every other material you can think of.) It's just that what we tend to think of as a "traditional" barn (with the high gambreled roof) was usually covered with wood board and painted red. with Hardieboard siding instead of wood. a metal building will have to be repainted eventually and properly painted, Hardie shouldn't need to be repainted for 12 to 15 years.

But, if DH is adamant about a metal building, perhaps you can at least get him to compromise on getting one that is built and painted to look like a barn so that it blends in with your surroundings.

Here are a couple of links to metal barns that, at least in my opinion, actually look pretty good.

The first is a link showing a traditional barn that I've actually seen b/c it is in a nearby town and I have a friend that lives just down the road from it. (See the three small pics of the red barn at the bottom of the page) If you click on them, you can get close ups.

Then, I also found this site on the web that shows some slightly more modern horse barns. (look at the red "horse barn" and the green "stall barn").

You'll know which style will blend in better with your home.

Hope this info helps and doesn't just give your DH room to dig in his heels. Like I said, if it were me, I'd start out by insisting on a a traditional barn with Hardie siding with the threat that he'd be sleeping in his ugly metal shed once he got it built...but, rather than wind up divorcing over a metal shed, I'd eventually compromise on a nice looking, well-painted, barn style metal building.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2011 at 9:06PM
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"I think a barn would be lovely and far more appropriate. He doesn't want to deal with the painting issue."

so the metal building can be colored to rust in place and not painted?

I don't have an answer for you, mainly b/c in my area 1500 sqft is a medium sized house, not a shed. my shed is 96sqft. If i had the room, I can see how a 1500 sqft garage would be useful for tools toys and cars.

it comes down to how far from the house will this be?
how much everyone is willing to compromise?
he may not want paint, but you don't want to live in teh warehouse district.

whats the point of building a nice intergrated pretty house and putting it next to a small airplane hanger?

I don't think you're going to find something cheaper than a metal building. if painted finishes are out. how about Vinyl siding?

    Bookmark   March 23, 2011 at 11:16AM
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Thanks to everyone for the comments..

Bevangel:Yep, he wants it close by so it's handy. Our home actually is Hardie board and stone, so that would work if he will see reason. The barn strategy is one I will bring up -thank you VERY much for the links. I haven't hit the offer to have him sleep out there, but I'm getting real close. I don't know what it is with men and their sheds either - I am just astounded that he doesn't get how inappropriate this is.

chrisk327: 1500 sq ft is a medium sized house around here, also. Another reason why I am just appalled at the idea. It will not be far from the house. I am willing to compromise some, but not willing to live by an airplane hangar.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2011 at 11:50AM
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This is what we built. They come in kit form with all components pre-cut or you can have them built onsite. A good sealer/stain with finish such as Cabot's or Duck back,(what we went with), typically only needs to be applied every five years. Ours is overdue but still looks as if we applied it recently. We are at 4500' in the Sierra Nevadas. Summerwood has various sized/styled outbuildings.

Here is a link that might be useful: Smmerwood outbuildings

    Bookmark   March 23, 2011 at 12:03PM
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We went with Morton Buildings. Their buildings are metal, but they can do amazing things with the exterior from dual complementary colors to applying brick or stone to make the building fit in your environment. They can do a lovely "Equestrian Style" series. I was not a huge fan until I checked out the website a little more in depth. Our building (40'D x 80'L x 14'H)was just completed 2 weeks ago (sorry I can't get the pics out of my phone for some reason), but I am very happy with how it turned out.

On the part about our men & their sheds--boy it makes for a happier marriage when they get their shed to store their toys. Maybe you could negotiate a little more on where the shed will be located. We're on 40 acres total, but the house & shed are on roughly 3 acres with a little "road" that runs between the two. My DH tucked the giant shed about 200 feet behind and maybe 20 feet to the left of the house site. Directly behind the house & extending to the right is the pasture and 20 feet to the left is a large stand of trees that extends all the way back to the property line. DH just carved a spot out of those trees for the shed. When it's all said & done, we should not be able to see the shed from the house, but it is still easily accessible by foot. Maybe you could work out something similar.

Here is a link that might be useful: Morton Buidlings

    Bookmark   March 23, 2011 at 11:49PM
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Shipping containers (if available in your area) are pretty inexpensive, need not much in the way of foundation and you can either use the end doors they come with or a local welder can do anything you want, windows, portholes, doors of any size. They are pretty much zero maintenance.

We place them onto a well drained gravel pad and then the fun stuff...mostly we strap them and shingle them with #3's which are real inexpensive around here. we attach dunnage (free from the lumberyard)as sleeper/rafters onto the roof and sheet it with whatever salvaged metal roofing or siding the scrap yard has.

You glue the roof sleepers on, don't poke to many holes in the underlying shipping container. we use polyethylene and haven't had issues yet. Its the container that is weather proof, not the roof and siding, that is just for show.

So you end up with a totally waterproof, built like a tank shed that looks like a shingled, metal roofed outbuilding.

We've done five...a buddy and I did one on his property and then it just snowballed...everyone wants one. Very secure if you put them into seasonal homes.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2011 at 6:55PM
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Hmmm. I can see how the shed might make hubby happy as it sounds inexpensive. Your description sounds like the metal box model I am trying to avoid. Anyplace you know of that might have pictures?

    Bookmark   March 25, 2011 at 10:07AM
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I guess our metal building is what you'd like to try to avoid, but I'll post it anyways. We did try to blend it some with our house except fell in love with the red. Honestly the cost and maintenance of doing metal was so much less than anything else we priced. At first we were going to do a board/batten with hardi, but that was 20K more than what we have now and would require painting still for maintenance.

All our options used a metal building for the shell and had different options for the siding. It was important to us to have an overhang on the roof just like a house would and have windows etc. to minimize the look of a normal metal building.

You could use landscaping etc. to minimize the look as well and pick colors that won't stick out.

We added the same stone we have on the front of the house on the bottom of the building.

We haven't gotten around to landscaping yet.

The thing is the developer in our neighborhood didn't want to approve ours with metal siding which is why the board/batten was on the table, but then as they were framing ours a neighbor down the street put up a regular metal building without overhang, normal silver metal windows (we used same as on the house with divided lights), so we called the developer on it and he said well theirs sits behind a tree and isn't as visible. Hmmm you can't approve one thing for one person and not for another, so we saved ourself quite a bit thanks to our neighbor. BTW the tree is gone now as it fell in a windstorm we had.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2011 at 4:50PM
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Thanks for posting your picture. It makes me feel somewhat better about a metal building. Yours has more of the look of a barn. May I ask how tall it is?

Hubby and his friend took me out to see a couple of buildings so I would see that "it wouldn't be so bad". What I saw were plain metal boxes, no windows, no trim, 18 ft high with one large 16 ft door. Eeeek! Your cupola makes it look less airport hangar and more barn.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2011 at 6:16PM
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Hmmm. I can see how the shed might make hubby happy as it sounds inexpensive. Your description sounds like the metal box model I am trying to avoid. Anyplace you know of that might have pictures?

It is as inexpensive as you want it to be. Plenty of folks simply plunk down a shipping container and call it good.

All we did was doll one up a bit with a fake roof and some shingles. We made a deck out front and a portico over the front door we cut into it. hid all the metal with folksy was a fun project and looks like a shingled cabin.

If shipping containers aren't readily available in your area how about an old trailer unit from a highway truck/trailer?

One guy put three together, two side by side, opened up into one large unit with one on top that you access via a cross between a ramp and a ladder. Shallow ladder, steep ramp. His looks for all the world like a small horse barn.

No pictures, sorry, this isn't a company, just guys and power tools and beer.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2011 at 8:21PM
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Lyfia's barn has a couple key points- color, overhangs (which many steel buildings don't have), cupola, stonework, and a bit more roof pitch than many metal buildings have. It's a clever disguise for an otherwise ugly building that really works. That's one good looking barn!

I watched a Bob Vila episode where they made low-income housing out of shipping containers. In the end, it looked like any other house, but it looked like a LOT of work, which equals money, unless you DIY.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2011 at 7:17AM
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Ok, I still can't get the photos of our building to download from the phone, but here are some from the Morton Buildings site. As you can see, they can do any color, any style, any size, any window/door combination, etc. The first photo is like the one we built. We have another overhead garage door on the far end of the side wall as well. There is also another regular door on the side. We're going to put a porch on the side wall (love the one in the 4th photo)at a later date.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2011 at 8:41PM
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Wow! Thanks for the pictures. Those might be doable.
They are certainly far better than the box I was taken to see. I have been overruled on darker colors to match the house or woods ("dark colors will make it too hot inside"). The friend claims that tan on tan will blend with dead grass in the mid summer. Sheesh.
We're on hold for the time being while we put some more thought into it.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2011 at 3:44PM
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I'll let you know how hot our building gets this summer with it's dark brown roof. My preference was for the color combinations like you see in photos 3,5,6,12&15. I was overridden even though DH was the one who brought up potential heat issues. He did have the roof insulated to help avoid condensation during the summer (probably a good idea no matter what color you go with). Extra ventilation with the 2 overhead doors will probably help too. Just an FYI--If you build in the winter, Morton has a great winter rebate that we took advantage of.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2011 at 12:40AM
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Perhaps something like this could change his mind?

Here is a link that might be useful: Storage barns

    Bookmark   March 29, 2011 at 10:04AM
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Mydreamhome: Yes, please let me know how hot the building gets. I'm not sure just how important that is if it is truly only used for storage and we are not attempting to air condition it. We had never even touched on the condensation issue. What about it? How much, what damage will it cause, etc? Would appreciate your input.
Morton was not going to be the builder. My husband's buddy had a "guy" who was building his and apparently that was the hurry to do this now. I'm not sure, but I suspect the buddy was getting some sort of deal on the materials or job for bringing in another project with his. I could be wrong, but everybody sure was in a hurry to push this along. As I said, we are currently on hold.

Jolsongoude: Wow!! I could live with that kind of building. I'll be saving that website for reference.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2011 at 10:56AM
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