Saturday, April 18, 2015

With Storage Sheds, New Hampshire Residents Have to Be Picky

In some climates, even the flimsiest sheds will do the job. All you need is a few sheets of metal to
We custom-built this shed to look like the customers' house.
See the whole album here.

keep the rain off and enough of a structure to keep would-be thieves looking for easier targets. But we don't have that kind of climate here in New Hampshire.

In New Hampshire, storage sheds have to stand up to a whole winter's snow load, year after year. That means your typical pre-built metal shed isn't going to work here. It might last a year, if the winter is unusually mild or you stay home every time it snows to keep it shoveled off. There's one in every circle of friends, though: that one bargain-hunter who saves a pile of cash with a great deal on a storage shed - only to see the roof collapse under the first heavy snowfall.

It's a simple concept, and maybe it should be obvious: Any building in New Hampshire has to be tough enough to handle New Hampshire weather. Here's what you should look for:

  • The foundation: If your shed is permanent, put it on a concrete slab with footings that go at least four feet into the ground. That will get them below the frost line and prevent damage from frost heaves. 
  • The roof: Be sure the slope is steep enough to keep the snow sliding off, or the whole structure is strong enough to hold it. Think like an engineer. Start at the top and imagine how the weight of snow would be transferred from one part to the next until it reaches the foundation.
You can either buy a shed already built, build it yourself, or have one built for you. Of course, if you're ordering your shed (or a DIY kit/plans) from a supplier outside of New England, you'll need to make sure it's suitable for our climate. Unfortunately, the same goes for local suppliers, and even local builders, as well. As with any building project, there's no substitute for doing your homework and knowing what you're getting.

New Hampshire Construction

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