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On the fence about building that shed?

Northern BC homeowners are awaiting the melt of lingering snow and ground frost to begin projects in their yards, a month or more behind southern residents who have a yearly head start on outdoor improvement. This springs trending outdoor project lists include; covered outdoor living spaces, greenhouses & gardens, fences and sheds.

Lumber and building material costs, like everything else have increased dramatically, forcing many homeowners to delay large projects or choose a small improvement that they can afford to complete. This marked decline in activity is reflected in 713 fewer
residential improvement permits being registered compared to February and March
of 2021.

Despite the costs of building a backyard zen, investing in your property instead of a couple costly weekend get-aways gives you a forever space that can be enjoy every day of the week. Well built outdoor improvements add value to your property, and they
become unique future selling features. In my experience, buyers are impressed by extra storage, inspired by covered outdoor living areas, and excited to discover a greenhouse or garden that can provide “dirt therapy” while producing vegetables.

Let’s start with the extremely useful, basic shed. This one small building outfitted with shelving can make an huge impact on how much stuff is stashed in your spare room, basement or garage where you need to sleep guests, work or park vehicles.

The alternative is wall to wall clutter or renting at a secure storage facility that costs
between $130- $250 a month depending on the size of the unit. The initial output for construction or purchase of a new storage shed pay for itself within in a few years, and the restoration of your sanity begins immediately! 

Shipping containers are very popular secure instant sheds that you can modify to have man doors, windows, shelving and more. Be aware, many municipalities now have bylaws regarding sea cans, venting modifications may be needed to make them insurance compliant for storing flammables. Shipping containers require large truck access for a tip drop off and a crane or other heavy equipment may be needed to maneuver the can into place. That said, they are really well suited to large lots, farms, businesses and rural acreages. Stackable and predator proof in remote locations, a full loaded container can be transported to a new location.

In addition, who doesn’t want an adult playhouse, he or she?  The tiny house inspired “She Shed”, or small detached studio, devoted to everything from crafting to yoga, rivals the basement or garage that has been typically “man cave” territory.  Ironically many “she sheds built this summer will be renovated storage sheds, and some will double as both. Luckily there are thousands of Pinterest inspired “she shed” pins to help you
design a space to escape the madness of the day and just be “she”.

We are drawn to outdoor living areas or “patios” where fresh air blends with indoor
comforts. Building a pavilion or pergola over the area makes a year round addition to your livable square footage. As an extension of your home, you can incorporate an
outdoor kitchen, brick fireplace, water feature, or a TV or projector screen for a night time outdoor cinema experience. Why go away on weekends when you can lay back in your shady outdoor pavilion with a cool beverage and skip the traffic & high cost of fuel.

The first step to building any type of outbuilding on your property is to check with your local municipal or regional building code guidelines. She-sheds, storage sheds,
equipment sheds, and even wood sheds, are all freestanding structures, that will need to be permitted and inspected for safety standards if built larger than 10 sq. meters or 108 sq. ft. 

If you are not a DIYer and want instant shed zen, there are oodles of prefab options that can arrive fully or partially assembled to speed up the process. Check out Super Sheds in Chilliwack, Driftwood Sheds in Vanderhoof & Prince George or call your local Home Depot or Home Hardware Store as they carry their own line of prefab yard structures. Building a free standing pavilion will require in ground footings and calling before you dig, this type of project can be less stressful and expensive if you hire a contractor to erect the structure to code and you finish it yourself to save.

Food shortages and insecurity has been recently reported as a threat that will impact us in 2022, and the irony is not lost that the Canadian Garden Council is celebrating 2022 as The Year of the Garden.

Canadians have taken heed and are currently building greenhouses and planting
vegetable gardens at a brisk pace, with more than a million households expected to grow food at home this year. The shorter growing season we experience in BC can be extended with a greenhouse, and outdoor raised beds for root vegetables work well if you have limited space. Find your best southern exposure location for maximum sun hours and make sure your garden feeds you and not the deer and rabbits, ensure that it is properly fenced.

There are countless reasons to erect a fence; safety, privacy, lower insurance rates and peace of mind.  Whether you own a city lot or 10 rural acres if your property is not
securely fenced, then you are taking a chance that your hard work and belongings may be stolen or damaged. A secure perimeter fence is a valuable addition to any property, creating a physical boundary that keeps thieves and predators out and children and
animals in.

No matter what improvements you are starting this spring, when you put your work gloves on and head outside, remember to enjoy the process and the sunshine as much as the finished project.

Freddy & Linda Marks, 3A®Group RE/MAX Nyda Realty

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