My Shed Plans Decision

My shed plans - it's time for a new shedThe weather has finally improved to the point that my shed plans started taking an actual shape, at least a virtual one at this moment. Hopefully they can become a reality soon because storing some of the garden equipment in the garage isn’t possible anymore. A few extra square feet of space in my shed seems to be the only option.

I did some research while “assembling” my shed plans and I’ve seen hundreds of sheds as a home inspector, but I’m still debating between the vinyl and a wooden frame shed. Therefore, I’ll just walk you through what I have discovered so far and hopefully this will help you in a process of making the final decision.

The first step in my shed plans adventure was to check with the building department for requirements and permits in my Village (I’m in Vernon Hills, IL, near Chicago). I would definitely suggest starting with this one because in some cases your shed plan idea might need to be changed completely based on the information from your local building department. In other words, skipping it might cost you money and aggravation.

For example, I couldn’t have my shed  build out of metal, a metal shed installation in my jurisdiction is not permitted. You don’t want to purchase several hundred dollars worth of a structure, install it, and find out from a local building inspector that it must be disassembled…

So on my shed plans # 1 thing to do is: a local building department visit to obtain a complete list of requirements and a permit if necessary.

You can start this procedure simply by checking their website: type in your favorite search engine (Google always gives me the best results) the name of your location followed by “building department” or “shed requirements”  (Vernon Hills shed requirements – this worked for me).

There are a several requirement in Vernon Hills, IL that I will have to apply to my shed plans:

  • Shed material I can use: wood, masonry, vinyl (no metal permitted)
  • Square footage of my shed plans –  40sq feet floor plan does not require a permit but must comply with the village building and zoning ordinances
  • My shed plans can have maximum dimensions of 120sq feet (floor) and 10 feet height. Your shed dimensions might be limited by the square footage of the property your
  • My shed must be built on a weather resistant base: wolmanized wood, concrete, etc.
  • I will also have to securely anchor my shed in all 4 corners to its foundation or to the ground
  • If I decide to attach my shed to the house structure, it will have to have a full foundation with footings unless it can be otherwise designed by an Illinois licensed structural engineer
  • Some other requirements for my shed cover: a setback from the property line, fences, regrading, utilities, inspections of the performed work, and many, many more… Scary, isn’t it?

Well, I did check websites of a few other neighborhoods and some don’t even have a third of the requirements listed for my village… So, maybe you’ll have a little more luck than I did.

The 2nd step in my shed plans “debate” was (still is) to decide on one of the permitted shed building materials. Since I can’t install metal sheds and I don’t want a masonry one, I’m left with a vinyl, and a wooden shed option.

Vinyl shed has been classified by my Village as a Modular storage Unit and described by them as: a prefabricated accessory storage unit not greater than 40 square feet in floor area and constructed of vinyl, only.

My shed plans - vinyl shed pictureWhat’s appealing in the vinyl shed choice:

  1. Fairly quick way of getting from the beginning to the end of my shed plans project. I’d just need to prepare the base and assemble the components.
  2. Extremely maintenance free features of the vinyl shed. I wouldn’t have to worry about the moisture damage and deterioration over time.  However, its limitation would be the size which cannot exceed 40sq feet in my Village, this isn’t much but unfortunately that’s how big I’d be able to go with my shed.

There’s a huge variety of those vinyl sheds offered by different manufacturers and if this is what you’re looking for, feel free to follow this link to search & compare different products – Vinyl Shed Shopping.

If you’re up for a “my shed” challenge and into woodworking, wooden frame sheds are on the list of my shed options as well. I’ve been looking for some free shed plans or at least not too expensive ones and if you just need a basic shed, just grab this completely FREE shed plan – instant download, no name or email required 🙂 – click on a shed image below.

Click for a FREE shed planFree shed plan opens in a new browser window (it’s a PDF format file) from where you can save it to the computer.

This 12’x8’ FREE shed plan includes illustrations, blueprints, material list and step by step detail instructions. If this is something you like, print the plan, take it to the local building department or attach it with you permit for evaluation. You may also wish to check Free Shed Plan Tips.

Let me know if you like it and email me a few pictures of your project if you proceed with it. Maybe I can put together some kind of “My Shed Plans” gallery to give others creative ideas.

my shed

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