Portable storage shed on wooden blocks ready to purchase.

6 Tips for Selecting the Right Portable Storage Shed

If you’re looking for a new storage shed, you might be wondering where to start. Today, we’ll take you through six tips for picking a portable storage shed that will stand up to your needs. 

1. Choose Tough Flooring

One of the most important parts of your storage shed is the floor. It’s essential to pick a shed with a floor that can withstand the weight of your items. The industry standard for storage sheds is to have ¾ inch pressure-treated floors. Sheds with these floors can withstand a live floor load of about 40 pounds per square foot. 

For example, if you are purchasing a 10×16 metal shed, this equates to 160 square feet. Multiply this by the aforementioned 40 pounds per square foot and your shed can manage 6400 pounds of evenly distributed floor weight. 

As you’re considering shed options, make sure you purchase one with an industry-standard floor or stronger. You should also look for a shed with a floor that’s fastened with screws instead of nails.

Lumber shifts over time, which can leave unsafe nail heads sticking up through your floor. A screwed-down floor is more secure and increases your shed’s ability to support heavy items. 

Your shed’s flooring should also have solid 4×6 skids underneath. No matter how strong the floor is, it won’t stand up to heavy weights without the proper skids to support it. When undergoing the purchasing process, ask the sales associate if these skids are notched for the floor joist, as it contributes to how structurally sound your shed will be.

Lag screws for base plate and notched floor joist.

2. Look for Durable Framing

It’s also important to look at the framing of your new shed before you buy one. The framing should use a durable material, like yellow pine, rather than a softer lumber like spruce. You’re looking for the best strength-to-weight ratio here, and yellow pine is one of the finest options.

3. Consider the Trusses

Your shed’s trusses should be manufacturer-stamped to show their consistency and strength. Ideally, your shed should have the trusses attached to a 2×4 top plate on each of the sidewalls. This protects your shed from harsh winds and ensures it can withstand all kinds of weather. 

In addition, all of the clips, screws, and joist hangers touching the wood of your shed should be galvanized to keep them from decaying when they come into contact with the pressure-treated wood. 

4. Inspect the Door

It’s important to keep water out of your shed. Moisture can damage your belongings and eat away at the wood over time. 

Solid core fiberglass doors are the best option to seal out moisture. These doors also have an insulation barrier that helps to keep out unwanted pests. 

5. Opt for a Vertical Roof

The roofing type is a critical component to your shed’s integrity, therefore it’s important to avoid selecting one with horizontal panels. Vertical roof panels help drain water from heavy rainfall better. With a minimum pitch of 3/12, it’ll also help debris like leaves, branches, and snow slide off more easily so as not to overload the roof.

If you are placing your shed under a tree, you’ll want to opt for a roof with a 29 gauge thickness, as it will better resist punctures and impact from fallen debris. Even though aluminum roofs can help keep your portable storage building a lot cooler inside due to its reflective tendency and superior temperature distribution, the thinner gauge material makes your structure more vulnerable. 

In the end, pay close attention to the placement of your shed. An aluminum roof is a solid option if there are no overhead obstructions, as the material seals better and is bent into shape to create the 3/12 pitch. Meanwhile, with a steel roof, a ridge cap is required where the two metal roof pieces join to create a seal. Otherwise, it can serve as another invitation for pests or harsh weather to seep inside. 

Similarly, look for a shed with closure strips under the roof eaves to create a strong seal. 

A good way to check the seals is to walk inside the shed and close the door. If you see sunlight peeking in through the corners where the screws meet the roof, your shed isn’t sealed well enough.

Simply put, while a horizontal roof is a cheaper alternative for builders because they use it to help tie roof trusses together instead of utilizing batten strips, it’s unfortunately less effective.

Batten strips used in roofing to improve structural integrity of trusses.

6. Know Your Community Regulations

Though choosing the perfect shed is personal, your homeowner’s association (HOA) and municipality may also have a say when it comes to structures placed on your property. In most locations, you need to register your shed with your local zoning office before you can install it. 

If you’re buying a larger shed, you may need a building permit prior to installation, so make sure you’re familiar with your local ordinances before you make a purchase. 

Furthermore, though all Keen’s metal storage buildings are Florida-engineered and wind load approved, you will want to ensure the wind or snow load guidelines for your particular region aren’t different. Once you determine that they align, you can supply your local building authority with the engineered plans to show it has been built in accordance with their requirements.

Custom Portable Sheds from Keen’s Buildings

If you’re in the market for a new shed, you’ve come to the right place. At Keen’s Buildings, we offer a variety of high-quality sheds of all sizes. We’re sure to have the right one for your needs. 

Contact us today, and we’ll get started on finding the best portable storage shed for you!