Ten Guidelines when buying a shed

1 May 2011
Fair Dinkum Sheds, one of Australia’s leading distributors of residential garages, carports, barns, farm sheds and industrial and commercial buildings, know how time consuming it can be when looking for a shed. So, to make this easier they have come up with the Ten Guidelines when buying a shed.

What is the purpose of the shed? Boat or caravan storage? Workshop and hobby space? Or a man-cave for entertaining or wanting solitude? Make sure you consider this up front as it could affect the council classification of the building with implications for future use. You must also carefully measure up what is needed to go inside. If building a garage for a boat or caravan check how much space is needed to get in and out with ease. Check heights, dimensions with doors open and towballs attached. Think about what other items you might acquire in the future and whether a little bit more storage space would be useful. Consider how often and easily you need access to items. A mezzanine storage area can add significant storage space without necessarily increasing the floor space of the shed. You should also consider what light, access, water, electrical and security requirements will be required, as these are cheaper and easier to install before the shed is built.

Who will build it? Do you want a kit you can build yourself, or will you need the services of a shed-builder? Some companies provide high quality instructions and DVD’s to assist you in the construction of your shed or garage. Ask your supplier to see these beforehand to help you decide the best seller for your needs. If you plan to have the shed built, check what services your shed company provides, as some have in-house builders, whilst others use sub-contractors and assist with the project management. Either way, you should check their quality by asking to see testimonials or examples of their work. Reputable sellers will be happy to share this information. When considering whether to build yourself or engage a builder, you need to be aware of the steps associated with building a shed which are:

1. Measure, design, quote and get engineered plans
2. Submit for council approval where required (check your local council)
3. Excavation and site preparation (plumbing, electrical)
4. Footings and/or slab poured
5. Frame assembly then cladding
6. Connect internal provisions and fitout

When do you need it? Researching, financing, ordering, delivering and building are only some of the steps in buying a shed or garage. You also need to consider council approval time and potentially excavation and site preparation. Talk to your Fair Dinkum Sheds distributor for advice on council approval needs in your specific area. They have the local contacts and information to help. And with our advanced design and engineering software they can instantly create plans and quotes to help expedite the process – no more waiting a week (or more!) for quotes and drawings as we can provide these on-site for the majority of sheds and garages.

Make sure your shed is ShedSafe™ Accredited. Fair Dinkum Sheds is leading the industry to be one of the first businesses that have received The Australian Steel Institute’s (ASI) new industry benchmark for steel sheds – ShedSafe™. ShedSafe™ accreditation, which was officially launched in November 2010, came about after the ASI learned that most sheds that had structural failures during cyclone Larry in 2006, were not built to the standards set by the Building Code of Australia (BCA). Evidence of under-engineered sheds has since been discovered widely in areas across Australia.

Ensure you get a site-specific design. Only some companies provide a garage or shed that is designed for the specific needs of your site. This can include topography, regional wind speed, importance level and snow loading of your building to name just a few specific requirements of the Building Code of Australia. Only Fair Dinkum Sheds provide a free structural calculations document to give you evidence that the shed is engineered for your specific site.

Choose a well-known brand. Fair Dinkum Sheds is widely acknowledged as one of the largest networks of Cold Formed Steel Building distributors in Australia. With over 18 years experience and over 100,000 sheds and garages sold nationwide through our network of over 130 distributors, our experience speaks for itself.

Ask questions. Will they help you with instructions over the phone if needed during DIY construction? Can they offer shed building services? Do they offer finance if needed? What is their deposit/payment schedule? Will they take care of council requirements? Can they prepare the site? By matching their services to your needs you get added value that will make the process smoother and less stressful. Also do your research, this industry has seen many providers come and go. Don’t fall victim to another short term player – research the supplier and ask for information on length of time in business as well as to see examples of local work and customer testimonials.

Customise your shed to suit your requirements. All Fair Dinkum Sheds designs can be customised according to the customers’ needs using their exclusive MultiBuild® software. This allows you to change the design on the spot as well as incorporate options such as sliding or roller doors, personal access doors, garaports, lean-to’s, mezzanine floors and more. MultiBuild® software will update your quote and drawings instantly based on ShedSafe™ engineering principles so you are assured your customisation requirements do not impact the safety of the structure.

Get a quote! Ensure you understand whether the price includes GST and delivery and get an itemised list of materials so you can compare quotes easily. Fair Dinkum Sheds distributors can also supply you with free designs, council plans and structural engineering calculations within minutes for most designs, thanks to their advanced design and engineering software.

Make Sure You Get Council Approval For Your Structure! The variation between councils is great however there are a handful of situations where you do not need council approval and there are some limitations you need to be aware of.

From Bendigo to Bundaberg, Alexandra to Alice Springs, Fair Dinkum Sheds has a local distributor that can supply a range of residential garages and carports, barns, farm sheds and industrial and commercial buildings to suit everyone’s needs.

Whether it’s for storage or somewhere to escape, a functional carport or a farm building, Fair Dinkum Sheds has the range, the quality and competitive pricing to suit everyone’s needs.

Fair Dinkum Sheds are proud to be ShedSafe™ Accredited.

For further information, images or to organise an interview with Travis Griffin, Business Manager, Fair Dinkum Sheds, please contact:
Kate Richards |0404 892 782 | media@fdhs.com.au
www.fairdinkumsheds.com.au

Starting out as a family owned and operated business in 1990, Fair Dinkum Sheds has continued to flourish and today has over 130 distributors Australia wide and distributor networks across NZ, Fiji, the UK and South Africa.

Fair Dinkum Sheds is widely acknowledged as one of the largest networks of Cold Formed Steel Building distributors in Australia, with a proven history of success for the past two decades.