Blog posts of '2017' 'March'

Preparing to Receive a Storage Building

Before you receive a storage building there are a few steps that you will have to take in order to prepare the site. These steps are probably more important than the actual receiving and erection of the storage building because the erection of the building and the overall condition of the building through the years depends very much on the preparation before receiving the building

Picking a Storage Building Site

The first item of preparation is to choose the site where the building will be built. The most important item to keep a mind is to choose a site that allows for proper drainage away from the building. Ideally this would mean placing the building on top of a hill higher than any of the surrounding area. If this is not possible on the site than the best approach would be to study the topography of the property and to avoid locating the shed into any "flowlines" that would divert water toward the building.

The more dirtwork that is required means that the preparation of the site will cost a lot more money but if there is not a naturally suitable site for the building then the next best thing would be to build a good site. This includes either removing soil from one section of the property and placing it on another area where the building would be located or to just import soil and place it to build up the building site.

Choosing Utilities for the Building

After a site is chosen or built for the building then the next step is to bring in any utilities that are desired for the building.

Is electricity/lighting desired for the building? If so then you need to decide if you are pulling the electrical service from another source such as your house or another building on service or if there is another option available such as solar-powered lights (some are sold in a package with a shed) or a generator to power the building.

If plumbing is desired then arrangements will have to be made such as a water source and a way to dispose the water. Water will have to be brought in via a well or another source such as city or county water. Wastewater can be tied to either a city or county sanitary sewer system or it can be tied to a septic system.

Please keep in mind that any utilities hooked up to the new storage building are subject to approval by your local "authority having jurisdiction". If you are within city boundaries this typically means the city you are located in. If you are not located within any city limits then typically your county or even your state will be in charge of approving arrangements for electrical or water hook ups for your new building. There are vERY FEW locations in the country that you can install any electrical or water supply without having to obtain a permit and having the work inspected.

Storage Building Foundation

The construction of a foundation is one of the last steps before a building can be erected. There are many types of foundations available for the building. Please keep in mind that this description is based on some assumptions and may not necessarily be per the codes in your local area. Please double check your local building codes to confirm if you are in compliance before beginning any of this work. If your building is less than 2,000 SF then you can use a "typical" detail for your foundation without having to hire an engineer. This design includes a 3' (or deeper depending on the frost level in your specific area) concrete footer around the perimeter of the building. This foundation must include the proper rebar reinforcement and thickened footer pads as required by the building manufacturer at each point of connection between the footer and the building. If you haven't selected a building yet you will need to select the building before the foundation is placed and poured or you will run the risk of the foundation not meeting the requirements set forth by the building manufacturer.

If the building is larger than 2000 SF or if your local building codes require it, you may have to hire a professional structural engineer to design the foundation and a contractor to place the foundation. This will most likely entail a custom foundation suited to typical soil conditions in your area or it will require a soil report specific to your site conditions followed by a custom designed foundation.


The final consideration you will have to make is what type of flooring you want for your storage building. Many have a soil or gravel floor but others require additional flooring depending on what is being stored within the building. The most common type of floor is a poured-in-place concrete "Slab-on-grade" and then whatever type of flooring you would like installed on top of the concrete slab-on-grade.

Portable Building Reviews

Storage Sheds Reviews

As described in the "Sheds" page from this website storage sheds can typically be decribed as any structures that are less than 200 SF. Since storage sheds are smaller than a normal building and the typical use of these structures is for storage rather than occupancy of the building by humans then these buildings are not kept to the same building codes and standards that normal buildings are. As a result of this, the sheds available for purchase can vary greatly between the type of shed you choose, whether you buy a "kit" or building a custom shed, and whether you choose to build it yourself or hire a company to build it. This page is meant to run through some of the options available in all locations of the United States and the pros and cons of each option. Although the pricing can vary in different regions of the country this website will try and layout some "typical" pricing that you can expect to see for a 10'x 10' shed. will attempt to keep this information up-to-date but please keep in mind that information is subject to change at any time and it is up to you the reader to confirm information. Please feel free to e-mail us if any of the information below is found to be in error.

Arrow Sheds

Arrow sheds are typically made of galvanized steel that are electro-statically painted. Most Arrow Sheds carry a 12 year warranty. They are best known for being sold as DIY kits that can easily be picked up at a store or delievered to your house and can be built with two people in a day. The Arrow company has been around since 1962 and has manufactured over 12 million sheds to date. Arrow Sheds have a number of different models and a number of different styles of sheds. Their minimum roof strength is approximately 10 PSF but with a roof strengthening kit it can be "beefed up" to approximately 20 psf. Arrow sheds have a number of different options for finishes, floor types, and types of anchoring either into the ground or into a concrete pad. Overall Arrow Sheds are a good choice if they are to be used for storage and can be used for a number of different items as their are numerous models available. Pricewise they have a number of inexpensize models available on the low ende but the price of Arrow Sheds increases significantly if premium models are selected or if accessories are chosen. If you are not up to the task of assmembling an entire shed yourself then Arrow sheds may not be a good fit for you because they are typically sold in kit form (not pre-assembled) and there will also be a number of items required in order to assemble the floor or the anchoring for the sheds as well. Arrow sheds can be bought at Home Depot, Lowe's, Sears, and many other stores in many cities.

Tuff Sheds

Tuff sheds are well known as the largest manufacturer and seller of wooden sheds. They are typically made of 2x4's and wood sheathing with a shingle roof and wood siding. Tuff Sheds are almost always prefabricated in full and delivered and installed onsite. The warranties for the sheds range from 5 years for the introductory models to about 10 years for the premium models. Tuff Sheds have been around for many years and they have a reputation for high quality sheds. Tuff Sheds may be a great choice for people who are not up to the task of erecting and installing their own shed. Tuff Sheds can be bought at Tuff Shed locations located around the country as well as in limited quantities in Home Depot and similar stores.

Storage Building Uses

Chemical Storage Buildings

Chemical Storage Buildings are a great option for companies or people to safely store hazardous materials and wastes. Chemical Storage Buildings provide an effective solution to the problem. A chemical storage building can be defined as a prefabricated structure, manufactured primarily at a site other than the final location of the structure, and transported completely assembled or in a ready-to-assemble package to the final location. These buildings provide an economical means of storage and secondary containment because they eliminate the expense of constructing permanent structures.

A number of things need to be considered when selecting appropriate outdoor chemical storage buildings. Your choice will depend on the type of materials to be stored, the location of the building and design requirements. If the materials to be stored are either flammable or combustible, you will need a building that meets the NFPA Code 30, Uniform Fire Code (UFC) Articles 79 and 80, or an equivalent local code. Check with your local Fire Marshall to determine which code is locally enforced. The class of the flammable-combustible material (refer to NFPA Code 30) can also determine what type of building construction is required. Highly flammable materials, such as Category 1, 2, or 3 liquids, will require either a Non–Combustible building or a Fire-Rated building. Non–Combustible buildings are constructed of non-combustible material (such as steel), whereas a Fire-Rated building are constructed of non-combustible materials and include fire resistant insulation in the walls. Fire–Rated buildings are further divided into categories based on the fire resistance of the walls, roof, and openings (doors and vents). When storing liquids that are not considered a flammable (such as corrosives or toxics), a Non–Combustible building should be sufficient.

The design of the building will also be affected by whether or not you will be dispensing from containers stored in the building. If you will be dispensing a Category 1, 2, or 3 liquid within the building, additional design features such as explosion-proof wiring, explosion-relief panels and a ventilation system may be required.

The interior size of the building should accommodate the number of containers required in a single layer and an adequate sump capacity to comply with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Secondary Containment Requirements (40 CFR 264). To meet this regulation, the sum containment should be large enough to hold 100% of the volume of the largest container stored in the building or 10% of the total volume of all containers stored in the building, whichever is larger.

The type of building you select will also have a bearing on the chosen location. Factory Mutual (FM), an insurance and testing agency, specifies minimum distances between the storage building and any other main (occupied) building on the site and the property line of the facility. The following distances are specified by FM:

4 hour fire rated: (Walls rated for 4 hours, roof and opening rated for 3 hours) - Less than 10 feet

2 hour fire rated: (Walls rated for 2 hours, roof rated for 1 hour, and openings rated for 1-1/2 hours) - 10 feet to 50 feet

1 hour fire rated: (Walls rated for 1 hour, roof rated for 1 hour, and openings rated for 3/4 hour) - 50 feet to 75 feet

Non-combustible: (No fire rating) - greater than 75 feet

Mini Storage Buildings

Mini storage buildings are typically best known as single story buildings that are either one or two storage units deep. Pre-Engineered metal mini storage buildings are very popular for people to buy because the building itself is typically a very simple design and is replicated in the same way across many units in one building and tyipcally the same across many buildings in one site. Another popular design is to build the buildings custom out of CMU or another masonry unit depending on what part of the country your are building them at. The main focus when choosing a mini storage building design or type of material is to choose a wall type and a roof type that will last for many years without requiring regular maintenance. You can choose a building from many metal building manufacturers in the country. Please see our Reviews page for a comparison of metal building suppliers.

As mentioned above one of the most important considerations when choosing a mini storage building design is to avoid any moisture from entering any of the storage units. Choosing the right building type is the first step in building a mini storage building but just as important in the building type is the building site. Make sure that the site is graded on your building site to drain away from the buildings and to account for any size of storm including a 50 year or 100 year flood storm.

RV Storage Buildings

RV storage buildings are very similar to any storage buildings except that RV storage buildings require a very tall ceiling height and they require a very tall and wide overhead door. The height of the wall of the building is called the eave height. Make sure that the RV storage buildings eave height is taller than the RV itself and make sure that the overhead doors is tall enough to fit your RV as well.

Salt Storage Buildings

Salt storage buildings are typically built and used by municipalities for the storage of salt used on roads during adverse winter weather conditions. Many pre-fabriated buildings are available for the use of salt storage. Regardless of the type of building chosen the best building used for salt storage will be a building with a very tall ceiling that follows the natural slope of the salt. Salt, when placed naturally from the top, will pile at a slope of 32 degrees. It's for this reason that many salt storage buildings are made of a dome or a geometric sphere. Many metal building manufacturers make this high-ceiling dome or geometric sphere buildings on a regular basis.

Another important consideration for a salt storage building is access to the building and access to the inside of the. Many salt storage buildings are made with a garage door at the front of the buiding and an overhead door at the back of the building so that trucks can gain easy access to the salt from either side of the salt storage building.

Commercial Storage Buildings

Boat Storage Buildings

Types of Buildings and Sheds

Sheds considers any storage buildings over 200 SF to be "buildings" rather than just sheds. As mentioned above many city and county building departments will require a building plan submittal and inspections when you build and install a building over 200 SF. This typically also means that you will have to be a licensed contractor (Class A or Class B) and that you will have to have a proper foundation for the building that has been designed by a licensed, professional engineer.

Wood Buildings

Wood buildings are typically made from 2x lumber, plywood, roofing, and siding. Wood buildings range from a custom shed built to meet your needs all the way to a pre-built building that can be delivered to your site. Wood buildings are known to be strong and durable (when built well) and they can be known to last a long time as well as they are kept waterproof with proper roofing and siding as well as kept in good shape. Some weaknesses of wood buildings are that they are subject to termites and moisture problems such as rotting or mold issues when there is not "proper drainage" around the building.

Metal Buildings

Metal buildings are typically made of a steel structure and metal sheeting. They are known for being both durable and sturdy, however, it depends on the brand of the building and/or the thickness of the structural steel members and the gauge of the metal sheathing. Although they are known to be durable metal buildings may be prone to rusting under wet conditions especially if any of the metal is not galvanized or stainless steel.

Plastic Buildings

Plastic buildings are known to be practically maintenance free. They are not prone to moisture, mold, or rust issues and the plastic that they are typically made of can be cleaned pretty easily. The major limitations of plastic building is the overall strength. Since plastic is not as strong as either metal or wood they are typically limited in size and have a difficult time meeting any building codes without the addition of metal structural members. Sometimes a combination of plastic and metal (such as vinyl coated steel sheds) can bring the ultimate combination of strength and durability.