Siting a garden shed, or even a gazebo, garden pavilion or pergola on your property instantaneously will give you a focal point to look at. If sited right, it will add tons of visual value to your property. If done wrong it could lower your property’s visual appeal, and might even lower its value.
I think the siting of a primary garden ornament, like a shed, pergola or gazebo starts from inside your house. What I want you to do firstis look out each window (let’s say on the back side of your house) and think about where on the property it would visually look best.
Next, make the rounds to a couple of different outdoor garden building providers to see what they have to offer. Get the exact dimensions for width, depth and height for any structures that interest you. Look for a garden building that goes with the style of your house. Ask if it comes in different colors so it matches the colors of both your siding and roof. Find out if you can have your choice of window styles. If you live in a 1950’s ranch styled house with crank out casement windows, see if your shed can have the same window styles so everything on your property matches.
After that call up your city, town or village office and see what are the minimal amount of feet from the property line you can place the structure. Ask if its dimensions exceed a certain amount of square feet, will it raise your property taxes?
Knowing the width and depth of the garden shed you are interested in, take 4 or more bamboo stakes, and stick them in the ground marking off the (4 corners) size and shape of the prospective garden shed, in the location you are thinking about siting the structure. After that, take some kind of plastic ribbon, or other kinds of streamer and attach it to the bamboo stakes; run it from one stick to another, so you can see exactly how big the shed will be. This will give you a good idea of how the structure will be fitting the space.
After that walk back and forth around your property, looking at it from all directions. Next go into your house and see if the space your marked off for the shed looks good from inside. If you question the location at all, move the bamboo stakes a little or a lot until you find the right spot to place the shed / garden structure. Leave the markets in place so the shed provider will know exactly where you want it to be.
When thinking about where to locate a garden shed also take into consideration any overhead wires that the shed might not be able to fit under easily, or any kind of underground piping like sewer lines or septic tanks.
The next illustrations show a few possible solutionsfor shed locating.
In illustration 1 the shed is placed on the center back of the lot. It is visible from all the back room of the house, and is a focal point.
In illustration 2 the shed is placed on the right side of the property, but could also be placed on the left. The shed is in the exact center of the space, that makes up the back yard of the house. If the back lawn is 30 feet deep, and the shed is 10 feet wide, the center of the shed is 15 feet from the back wall of the house.
Illustration 3 shows a shed sited similar to illustration 2, but on a deeper back yard. The garden shed is sited in the center of the space between the back wall of the house and the trunk of a large tree.
Illustration 4 shows a garden shed that is placed in a corner of the garden / lawn space. To make it more visually interesting, it is turned / sited on an angle looking toward the house. This is done so its most attractive features, the front door and window, are looking toward the center of the lawn space. In a way, the shed is looking at the house.
Illustration 5 is twofold. It shows a garden shed that is sited directly to the right of the pool. The exact center of the shed lines up with the exact center of the pool it faces. Look at the red dotted line on the illustration. In illustration 5 a garden pavilion is also sited on the property. The exact center of the garden pavilion lines up exactly with the center of the french doors that bring you from inside the house, out onto the deck, and outdoors to the pool area. Look at the blue dotted line. In both outdoor and indoor decorating, a lot of design pertains to the lining up of one thing with another.
Illustration 6 shows an outbuilding sited to the right of a house. Notice that the exact center of the roof line of the shed, lines up with the exact center of the roof line of the garage to its left.
After siting your garden structure, don’t just call the project done. Plant foundation plants around it, place fancy urns by its front door or even grow a climbing rose up and over it. That would be so Cape Cod! Think about matching your shed’s foundation plantings with the ones planted by your main house, or go wild with a fantasy garden in front of, or maybe all around it.
Finally, if you have young kids or grandchildren, a gardening shed could be the perfect play house for them. Decorate the inside with their favorite things. Think Fort, Castle, Adirondack Cabin, Tea House, Art Room, etc. Let your and their imaginations go wild in that wonderful place. All it takes are some fun paints, inexpensive props, and garage sale / discount store finds and some TLC. Don’t hold back! Go over the top with the decorating. It’s only an outbuilding you know ;-}
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