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    What are the Factors to Consider When Building a Custom Shed?

    If you are thinking of building a custom shed in Australia, then there are many things you will need to consider. For instance, the very fact that we have four seasons in Australia will have an impact on the type of shed that you will build as well as the materials you will use to do so. Here, we will discuss some of the things that you should, ideally, consider, before you begin building your custom shed in Australia. Doing so will help your shed last longer and work as intended.

    Some tips you should know!

    Planning & Building permission

    In Australia, planning permission is required for the construction of a shed on your property in certain circumstances. If your property is in a residential zone, and the shed is more than 10 square meters in size, or if it is within 1 meter of a boundary, then you will need to obtain planning permission from your local council. If your property is in a rural zone, and the shed is more than 100 square meters in size, or if it is within 5 meters of a boundary, then you will need to obtain planning permission from your local council.

    It’s important to note that these regulations can vary depending on your specific location and the local council, so it’s always best to check with your local council to determine if planning permission is required for your particular project.

    https://www.planning.vic.gov.au/permits-and-applications/planning-permits

    Building permits are also required for the construction of a shed that is more than 10 square meters in size, or if it will be used for accommodation. To obtain a building permit, you will need to submit an application to your local council or a private building surveyor, along with detailed plans and specifications of the proposed shed. The building permit process involves a thorough review of the plans to ensure that they comply with the relevant building regulations, including structural and safety requirements.

    Once your permit has been approved, you will be issued with a permit number that must be displayed on site during the construction process. It’s important to note that failure to obtain the necessary building permit can result in fines and legal action, and may also affect your insurance coverage. Therefore, it’s essential to obtain the required building permit before commencing any shed construction project in Victoria, Australia.

    https://www.vba.vic.gov.au/surveyors/building-permit

    Shed size and design

    The size of your shed should be determined by what you plan on storing in your shed. However, the general rule of thumb is to build a shed slightly bigger than you think, to be on the safe side and to anticipate future storage needs. We would also suggest that you consider adding a lean-to on the back or on the side of the shed so that you can store certain items. In the end, the goal is to have sufficient space to house all of the things that you wish to keep nice and dry.

    Roofing, siding, and other items will also determine the shed materials that you will use. You will need to have that information on hand, as doing so will allow you to get an accurate estimate from the manufacturer or contractor. You may also opt for skylights or may be satisfied with windows.

    Again, the choice is yours, based on your unique needs, but these are still things you will need to give some thought to well ahead of time. Whether or not you are planning on running electricity through the unit will also influence the materials that you will use. For instance, if you do not plan on running electricity through your shed, then windows can allow natural light to illuminate your shed, or you can opt for skylights instead of lighting.

    However, windows may cause issues down the line, as thieves can break them to gain access to the shed. They also limit the amount of wall storage in your shed as well.

    Another very important thing to think about is how big you want your shed’s doors to be. Again, think about what items you will be bringing in and out of your shed. For instance, if you plan on rolling a quad or a lawnmower through the unit from time to time, then the door will need to be sufficiently wide enough to accommodate such appliances.

    Then there is the aspect of the law. That is, you may need to get in contact with your city council to determine if there are any fire protocols, height and size limits, and property line requirements. You will need to adhere to these in order to avoid hefty fines. Some jurisdictions may even require a permit. You may need to modify the design of your shed based on the guidelines and policies enforced by your city’s officials.

    Material

    When choosing a material for a shed in Victoria, Australia, there are several factors to consider, including the local weather conditions and the intended use of the shed. Here are some popular shed materials to consider:

    1. Timber: Timber is a popular choice for sheds in Victoria due to its versatility and natural appearance. It is also relatively easy to work with, making it a popular choice for DIY shed builders. However, it does require regular maintenance to protect against weather damage.
    2. Steel: Steel sheds are becoming increasingly popular in Victoria due to their durability and low maintenance requirements. They are also resistant to pests and fire, making them a good choice for rural areas. However, they can be more expensive than other materials and may require professional installation.
    3. Concrete: Concrete sheds are extremely durable and provide excellent insulation against the weather. They are also fire-resistant and low-maintenance, making them a good choice for areas prone to bushfires. However, they can be more expensive to construct and may require professional installation.
    4. Plastic: Plastic sheds are lightweight and easy to assemble, making them a popular choice for smaller sheds or temporary structures. They are also low-maintenance and weather-resistant, making them a good choice for coastal areas. However, they are not as durable as other materials and may not be suitable for larger or more permanent structures.

    Ultimately, the choice of material will depend on your specific needs and budget, so it’s important to consider all factors before making a decision.

    Foundation

    When choosing a foundation for your shed, consider the size of the shed, the type of ground you are building on, and your budget. A good foundation will ensure your shed is level, stable, and lasts for many years.

    When choosing a foundation for a shed, there are several options to consider:

    1. Gravel: A gravel foundation is an affordable and straightforward option. It involves digging out the area where the shed will be placed and filling it with a layer of gravel. This provides a stable base for the shed and allows for drainage.
    2. Concrete slab: A concrete slab is a popular option for larger sheds. It involves pouring a concrete pad that is the same size as the shed’s base. This provides a stable and level surface for the shed.
    3. Concrete blocks: Concrete blocks can be used to create a simple and affordable foundation. They are placed in a grid pattern and provide a level surface for the shed to be placed on.
    4. Pressure-treated wood: Pressure-treated wood is an affordable and easy-to-install option. It involves laying pressure-treated wood beams on the ground and placing the shed on top. This is a good option for smaller sheds.
    5. Piers: Piers are used for sheds that are located on a slope. They involve digging holes in the ground and placing concrete footings in them. The piers are then attached to the shed’s base, providing a stable foundation.

    Wind & Fire rating

    When building a custom shed in Victoria, Australia, it’s important to consider wind and fire ratings to ensure the safety and durability of the structure. Here are some guidelines to keep in mind:

    Wind rating: The wind rating for a shed will depend on its location and the local wind conditions. Victoria has different wind regions, and each region has its own wind rating. The wind rating is usually given in terms of a wind speed in meters per second (m/s). It’s important to choose a shed design that meets the wind rating for your location to prevent the shed from being damaged or blown away during high winds.

    Fire rating: Victoria has specific building regulations to help prevent fires from spreading to neighboring properties. These regulations set out the minimum fire resistance level for buildings, including sheds. The fire rating of a shed will depend on its construction materials and design. For example, sheds made of metal or masonry materials are generally more fire-resistant than sheds made of wood.

    To ensure that your custom shed meets wind and fire rating requirements, it’s important to work with a licensed builder who is familiar with local building codes and regulations. They can advise you on the best shed design, materials, and construction methods to meet the required wind and fire ratings. Additionally, you may need to obtain permits and approvals from local authorities before building your shed.

    Water and drainage

    When building a custom shed in Victoria, Australia, it’s important to consider water and drainage to prevent water damage and ensure proper functioning of the shed. Choose a site for the shed that is well-drained and not prone to flooding. Avoid building in areas with low spots or areas that collect water during heavy rainfall. Ensure that the foundation of the shed is built correctly to prevent water from entering. If using a concrete slab foundation, make sure it is sloped away from the shed to prevent water from pooling against the walls. If using a gravel or pier foundation, ensure proper drainage is in place to prevent water from collecting.

    Install gutters and downspouts on the shed to direct water away from the structure. Ensure that the downspouts are properly connected to a drainage system or directed away from the shed to prevent water from pooling around the foundation. Consider landscaping around the shed to help with drainage. Planting grass, shrubs, or trees can help absorb excess water and prevent erosion. Regularly inspect the shed for any signs of water damage and address any issues immediately. Keep gutters and downspouts clean and free of debris to ensure proper water flow.

    Budget

    When building a custom shed in Victoria, Australia, it’s important to consider your budget to ensure that you can afford the shed you want while still meeting your financial goals. Determine how much you can afford to spend on the shed, including all materials and labor costs. Consider any additional expenses, such as permits or site preparation costs. Consider the size, materials, and features of the shed when choosing a design. Larger sheds or those made with more expensive materials will generally cost more.

    Prioritise the features you want in your shed to help you stay within your budget. For example, if you want a more elaborate design, you may need to sacrifice some of the features or materials to keep the cost down.  If you cannot afford to pay for the shed upfront, consider financing options such as personal loans or home equity loans. However, make sure you understand the terms and costs associated with financing before committing to it.

    To learn more about our custom shed designs, and materials call us back at 1800 460 700 or contact us here.