Insulating your Shed with Ceramic Paint – Swallow Friendly Eaves

Insulating your Shed with Ceramic Paint – Swallow Friendly Eaves

I got a call from a garage buyer this week distressed at how things were turning out with her new double garage.  We take customer service very seriously at Shedspot so if someone rings up with a problem, we are quick to look for find solutions.  But this was a problem a bit outside the square.

Our new customer was a lady with a small rural property up near Byron Bay.  She had bought a double Garage that was built to withstand the tough weather conditions of the North Coast of NSW.  At least… I’m told they are tough.  When I look at people’s holiday snaps from Byron Bay.. its doesn’t look too tough to me thank you very  much.

Anyway, the garage itself was fine, she got  a local guy to pour a slab for her, then she got a home handyman to help install the garage.  The garage looked great, performed as expected and was in every way everything she was looking for… except in one regard.  The swallows were not doing well.

This Garage has a small eave on either side, so it’s not the sort of place you’d expect swallows to build their mud nests… but for some reason the local swallow population decided this was just the spot they were looking for.  So 3 months after the shed was installed, it became a swallow rookery.  The problem is Swallows are not too up to speed on how much heat a steel shed or garage can radiate when standing in full sun and the swallow babies had all expired from heat exhaustion.  It was a disaster.

There was really no way to insulate the eaves of the Garage as there is insufficient room to install insulation… and the Swallows seemed undeterred by the loss of their babies and had returned the following season to try again.  Fast action was needed.

The answer was found in ceramic paint.  Ceramic paint is awesome as an insulator.  It doesn’t’ need to be thick like normal insulation, and its very effective.  Its expensive, many times the cost of normal paint… but it’s easy to apply and we decided it was worth a shot.  It’s commonly used on large steel roofed buildings but it seems to not be too commonly used domestically which is surprising.

$150 worth of ceramic paint later and the area on the eaves was now insulated from the heat that otherwise would have radiated down from the heat sink that was the roof.

Customer Happy

Swallows Happy

And of course, we were ecstatic.

Not only did we save the swallows, but we discovered a product that could make our Abasco Sheds even more useful.  Ceramic Paint is a great way to insulate your shed from both the heat and the cold.  In summer, your shed will be cooler as less radiating heat will be transferred through the steel roof and walls.  In winter, it will be cheaper to heat, as far less heat is lost the same way.  We reckon you will save at least 50% on your heating bill, so if you are using a workshop shed and are in a cold climate?  Ceramic paint is the way to go.

I am not going to link out to any particular brand of ceramic paint for your garden shed needs at this stage as I am unclear on which one is the most suitable… but if anyone has expertise in this area and got a brand to recommend over the others and can provide reasons why, I’d love to hear from you so I can pass this news on to ShedSpot’s customers.

I am aware not all ceramic paints work on metal… so do ask questions before parting with your cash.


Raise your Garden Shed Slab and keep your contents dry

Raise your Garden Shed Slab and keep your contents dry

I have friends and family in the top end… the Western top end that is and I’ve been storm watching for a couple of weeks as a tropical cyclone builds and prepares to smash into the coast of Northern Western Australia.  My people are in Derby(North of Broome) and Karatha.  At one point it was the Derby people battering down the hatches but then the cyclone moved south and smashed into the coast near Karatha.

As a seller of cyclone proof sheds I have found myself watching the Australian weather radar every summer  and seeing where the cyclones are coming in and though I am no meteorologist it seems they are following a disturbing pattern.

  1. The cyclones are coming in more often.

  2. When they arrive, they are stronger.

  3. They are hitting the coast lower and lower.

  4. Both the west and east coasts of Australia are now being hit by pseudo cyclones was down the coast… too low down to even officially be called cyclones… but of course no matter what name you put on a severe storm… a severe storm is a severe storm.  They bring flooding, strong winds and lots of damage.

My tip this month when considering a shed is to pretty much always consider a cyclone proof shed.  Whether you are in the top end or not… at some point your shed is going to be shellacked by a severe storm.  Sydney and Melbourne have both seen severe storms in the last 2 years, with the resulting huge amounts of rain and wind.

No matter what type of shed you buy… think drainage.  When your house is built, usually a great deal of planning and construction goes into management of any watercourses that might if not managed result in an undermining of your foundations, or flooding of lower levels.  Not so with the humble shed.  Often the slab is just poured in the backyard in any old place, and it’s not till later that the owners realize they really should have dug in a trench of aggregate beside it, as the shed itself is not positioned on the natural water course of the property.

A ShedSpot cyclone proof shed is built to withstand severe storms and cyclones… but none of that will matter much if a foot of water goes rushing through your shed, water that with a bit of forethought could have been diverted to the side.

It’s also an idea to raise your slab above the level of the backyard rather than to countersink it at grass level.  Raising it even 6 inches only above the surrounding ground can prevent a lot of damage to your shed’s contents.  I saw this photo(See above – it’s not a Shedspot Shed but you get the idea regarding backyard flooding) of a flooded backyard shed… and I figured this photo was taken after the water level in the back yard had already dropped a bit.  Perhaps the slightly raised shed slab saved the contents from drowning… but I would have liked to see the slab another 3 inches higher again.  3 inches might not seem like much… but when it comes to backyard flooding, an extra 3 inches of slab height is almost guaranteed to save your shed, as the total volume of water that needs to cover your back yard to go over this extra 3 inches amounts to literally thousands of extra liters of water.

Look… if the water level is lapping at your windows… a higher shed slab is not going to help much… but for your average severe storm?  It’s going to make all the difference.

So when you are pouring that slab for your shed…. Keep the natural water course of your property in mind.  It’s not a matter of if you’ll be hit by a severe storm one day, it’s a matter of when, and its far better to be prepared, than simply being prepared to lose all shed contents.


Buying a Garden Shed Online, not from a hardware store

Buying a Garden Shed Online, not from a hardware store

So the time has come for you to invest in a new garden shed and so naturally you are about to grab the keys to your car and drive down to your nearest Bunnings or other brand-name hardware store and check out their shed range. Nothing wrong with that, it’s a good way to get a feel for the different types and sizes at sheds on the market.

The just don’t make the mistake of turning this shed feature and price fact-finding mission into a shed buying mission unless you want to pay more than you need to for your new backyard shed.

Let me detail the issues.

Hardware Store Price Guarantees

Hardware store price guarantees offered by many of the large hardware chains contain a claim they will beat or at least match any price on a competitors stocked item.  The key issue here is stocked.  Keeping an item physically in stock is something online retailers of large items such as sheds simply don’t need to do.  It makes no sense to have the shed first shipped from the manufacturer to the retailer and then reshipped to the customer so most online shed retailers including shed spot have negotiated warehousing deals with the manufacturers and when items are sold they are shipped directly to the customer.  So you see the loophole this cost saving activity provides the large hardware stores?

Because we operate on lower margins and in any case have lower overheads we can offer our sheds for sale at a huge discount that the hardware stores can’t match but because by definition would do not have all the sheds ”in stock” their price guarantee is not enforceable.  The whole point is, they don’t want to be placed in position at having to meet the price challenge of online shed retailers they just want to be able to make a very public promise of beating the prices of everyone else that customers don’t look too closely at and just assume it must be true without checking things out.

Hardware stores don’t stock many sheds either
We have had quite a few customers come to us to purchase a shed after first checking the shed out at a large hardware store.  They saw the shed that they wanted or at least one it was a similar style, colour or size to the one they wanted but then when they went to order the exact model they were after to their individual needs… They were told the hardware store was currently out of stock on that item that they could arrange it to be direct shipped to the customer’s home within 10 days for a reasonable fee.

Luckily these customers decided to consider their options and went home and found the shed spot website and talk to us first.

The thing is? That shed the large hardware store is currently out of stock of… It was never in stock.  The large hardware stores don’t try and stock all the different styles, sizes and colours of garden shed because that would be inefficient resulting in double freight charges which drastically increase the sale price such items.

Do you see the double standard here?

The large hardware stores offer what appears to be an ironclad guarantees to match competitor pricing of stocked items… But they avoid any legal responsibility to honor this guarantee with the inclusion of the “stocked” disclaimer.  So whilst they neatly sidestep legal responsibility in their price guarantee because our online competitors offer lower prices by not keeping items in stock… They engage in the same practice of not stocking items… They just don’t offer the same price reductions and guarantees that Shedspot does.

Your shed won’t be delivered faster by the hardware store
Again it comes down to warehousing. The large hardware stores are not warehousing the sheds any more than Shedspot is so whether you buy the goods instore and a hardware store or online at Shedspot… The speed at which your shed arrives is really going to come down to how fast your order is processed.  Since shed spot processes orders in every case on the same day that they were made, in many cases within an hour of the order being placed there is really no way for the large hardware stores to compete with us in terms of speed of ordering.

So if the time has come to buy a new garden shed or draw a place your ageing existing one then saves time, petrol and get a better price in any case by shopping for your garden shed online at ShedSpot.com.a allu


Cheap Sheds vs Discount Sheds – Spot the Difference

Cheap Sheds vs Discount Sheds – Spot the Difference

When looking at out logs regarding what people typed into search engines in order to find the Shedspot site  - there are two search terms that invariably appear in almost equal numbers.  Those two terms are cheap sheds and discount sheds.  Sure there are plenty of variations on both of these terms such as buy cheap garden sheds online, or buy a discount backyard shed et cetera but a whopping 50% of the search terms people use when looking for a shed online resulting in them finding the Shedspot site contain the words “cheap” or “discount”.

As a result I want to point something out to all of our customers.

ShedSpot doesn’t sell cheap sheds – we only sell discount sheds.

Okay….  I hear you, these words are so similar we are just arguing semantics right?  Not so.  Let me explain the difference.

A cheap shed is cheap, because it’s been made with lesser quality materials.  Often the steel has been cheaply recycled and has impurities in it that will lead to rust problems and structural weaknesses.  Such sheds will generally be fine.  Unless is rains.  Unless there are strong winds.  Unless you are wishing to keep such a shed in service for more than a couple of years before having to replace it.

Year after year I see new shed brands come and go.  The market is flooded with these cheap imports for a while… then the company selling them just closes up shop and disappears.  Warranties are worth nothing… and these cheap sheds soon need replacing.  Then a new company comes along, selling a new brand of sheds.  The models are more or less the same as the models sold by the company that closed down… because they ARE the same sheds… just with a different label on the side.

Cheap sheds, invariably cost you more than a well built shed, that’s a fact.

At ShedSpot, we sell quality Sheds at discounted prices.  We keep our operations lean and mean so we can offer our clients the best possible prices on our huge range of quality, Abasco Sheds.  In most cases it’s cheaper to buy from us than any hardware store or even direct from the manufacturer.  Our sheds come with decade or longer warranties, are made from top quality steel and are manufactured here in Australia.  Many of our popular shed models are designed to withstand gale force or cyclonic winds.

This is no fly by night operation that will disappear at the first crack in your shed’s exterior.

So don’t buy a cheap shed, by a discount shed.  A discounted shed in many cases is cheaper in the short and the long run than a cheap shed and it will be still standing many years after the cheap shed has become little more than a rusting hulk.


Shed Secured? OK, now check your home

Security Tips – The Importance of Security Doors and Windows

In the past we’ve given advice on shed security as they are often soft targets for opportunists thieves.  Your shed often contains valuables such as mowers and other yard tools that are easily sold off the back of a truck.  Your shed needs to be locked securely, I recommend using the padlocks used by most storage businesses which are virtually bolt cutter proof, as the bolt is encased by the padlock frame.

Of course, these locks won’t deter someone with a grinder…. But grinders make a lot of noise so they will keep you average thief at bay.

One of the problems with securing you shed is that thieves will then move on to the next easiest, local target, and that target is often your home  After you have secured your shed, best to have a good look at your home security.

The security of your house or business isn’t something that should be left to chance; every measurable step should be taken to guarantee the safety of your possessions, property, goods, and personal welfare. Understanding the need for adequate protection and the many benefits it entails is key for solid home or business defense.

Retail locations are full of valuables that opportunistic thieves are happy to take. Instead of depending on simple security cameras or burglar alarms to prevent break-ins, business owners can take a more direct approach to bolstering their defense by adding security doors and windows to their establishments. There are also added benefits to upgrading the perimeter security of your location that translates to long term savings.

Everyone wants to feel safe in their home and adding security doors and windows can help you get the most from your home security set-up. There are many customizable options that can offer increased support as well as additional protection for just about any home layout. Contrary to popular belief, secure doors and windows can add to the overall aesthetics of your home through custom crafting and design choices. Understanding why these additions are important is the first step towards making an informed decision regarding which security windows and doors to add to your home.

Important reasons to add security doors and windows to your property
by Bulleenscreens.com.au

Security doors and windows deter burglars from targeting your property. In most cases, would be invaders check a location prior to attempting a break in. Homes, offices and retail locations that are equipped with security windows and security doors have a lower percentage of forced break-ins than locations that don’t have the added protection. Don’t let them move from shed, to home in search of a soft target.

Home owners are required to insure their properties against all manner of harm when taking out a mortgage.  Rates for residential property insurance are based on a number of factors, some of which can be controlled by the homeowner. Houses that have security windows and doors are able to receive a reduced premium thanks to the lower likely hood of successful home invasion. Commercial, industrial and retail locations are also able to lower their insurance premiums across the board due to the added protection against burglaries.

Windows tend to be the most vulnerable static point for break-ins which is why they are commonly targeted. Adding security windows to your home or business allows more natural light into the space without diminishing security. You also gain the benefit of increased air flow through the location, while still offering a secured internal environment. The second most target areas are doors, both external and garage doors. By adding security doors to each point of entry, the likely hood of successful unauthorized entry is greatly reduced.

Security doors and security widows can also help property owners reduce their energy cost. When doors and windows are left open to increase airflow, the cost of cooling decreases tremendously, unfortunately, this isn’t the safest option when you are sleeping or when an area is not regularly monitored. By adding bolstered doors and windows, you can rest assured that the area is safe even while allowing fresh air to circulate through open windows or doors. Peace of mind is only an upgrade away.

Benefits of securing your premises
By controlling access points to your home or commercial location, you not only provide a safer environment, but you also provide a visible deterrent to criminals on the prowl. While no building is safe from a determined criminal, installing security doors and windows can make access much more difficult.  With so many secure options on the market, there is something that will match the décor of just about every retail location or residential property which adds to the value and ambiance of your property. Security doors and windows are also made from a variety of materials that will easily blend with the current aesthetics while providing added safety.


Cyclonic wind Proof sheds are ideal for Glabal Warming weather conditions

We’ve had a lot of orders in the last few weeks for out stronger, cyclone proof sheds – and not just up in the far North in cyclone territory. Whilst the Southern parts of Australia don’t suffer from cyclones, they are not immune from being battered by severe storms.


Our cyclone proof range, designed to withstand severe weather, is just as relevant these days in the South of Australia as in the North, and with the prediction from the weather man being Global warming is going to result in more instances of severe weather in all parts of Australia, then when considering a shed, perhaps consider one of our cyclone proof sheds.


The extra price will certainly be worth it if your home is hit by a severe storm, and your shed contains items you’d prefer not to be damaged.


With so many of our sheds out in the elements, we didn’t get a single report of any of them that failed to survive the recent severe weather… except for those that went totally underwater.


So consider a shed made to take on this kind of weather if you’ve just been battered by it… it’s only going to get worse in years to come.


Shed Insulation for Hot and Cold Weather

I have a friend living in Berlin at the moment – an Aussie boy used to living in a house, with a large kitted out shed out the back.  Work has taken him across the sea and he has only good things to say about Berlin.

For starters, its costs less than half the price to live in Berlin than Sydney.  Rent, food, transport is cheaper.  The roads are rarely choked as berlin has an excellent public transport system, and network of cycle ways.  The city is busy, with seemingly always some event or festival on.  He is missing Aussie sport, but apparently caught Australia(losing) in the Davis Cup, Danieal Geale(winning) in a boxing match and goes to see high class football(the kicking on the ground variety) every month or so.

Summers are mild, winters are….. bloody cold.

He’s even got a shed! Now inner city Berlin has few houses, but scattered amongst the apartment buildings are blocks of sheds.  OK, so it’s not necessarily connects to your house… but its likely to be a wooden charmer perhaps even with heating.

My friend’s is not so lucky with his shed though.  No heating.  It is however, well insulated from the cold so a small heater can warm it up in a few minutes. In Australia, he had the opposite problem.  A hot shed.  No shade.  Hot climate

This is how he sorted it out.

  • He added a false ceiling, on put insulation in it, and insulated the walls.  Insulation not only keeps heat in, it keeps heat out.

  • He wanted to go with air conditioning, but in the end couldn’t justify the expense, so he put a mister on the roof.  Works like this.  Mists the roof, the water evaporates, taking away heat, cooling down the roof.

  • He added a temperature controlled fan. When the temperature of the shed gets over 32 degrees, a ceiling fan comes on, sucking out the hot air.  This stops things cooking inside the shed, even when he’s not around to open a window.  His shed was also the home brewery…. so reducing heat was critical!

What Else?

 

  • He made his own solar panels and added them to the roof(its surprisingly easy apparently and much cheaper than buying them.  They are not powerful enough to run his tools of course, but they handle the lighting and the ceiling fan no problem.

  • He had some drainage problems, so he dug a trench around his shed and filled it with small pebbles.  Now when it rains, the water runs along this trench away from his shed instead of pooling and flooding it.

I’m still waiting to hear how he customizes his Berlin Shed.  I was thinking a German Beer home brewery but apparently no point – beer in Germany is cheaper than water.  He mentioned something about making a working model helicopter…..

Hope that heater works, he’s going to be shed bound for some time.,


Designer Garden Shed vs Designer Garden Shed Screen

Adding a garden shed to your back yard can achieve many things. 


  1. You can de clutter your house by using the shed, as a storage shed for seasonal items such as heaters etc
  2. Keep your garden tools, mowers, brooms, power tools etc in it.
  3. Use it as a studio or workshop.

Too many ways to use a shed to list them all here, but in addition to adding a useful space to your yard, a shed can also increase the value of your home, and greatly more than the cost of the shed if you do it right.


It’s important with all home improvements that you consider the capital cost of the improvement.  If increasing the value of your house is a major consideration, you don’t want to be spending more on an improvement than you stand to gain by way of an increase in your property’s value.  Many are the tales of a house being purchased, many hundreds of thousands being spent on a reno only to find the market has dropped, the house is overcapitalised and it sells for less than the cost of the initial purchase plus the renovation costs.


Sheds are less of an issue, but you can certainly spend more than you should.  I’ve seen a Japanese shelter themed shed that whilst it is certainly beautiful… I can’t see how with a $28,000 price tag the owners are ever going to recoup that in improved house sale price.  The area of this house in particular is not one where beautiful sheds will be appreciated so this addition is to me, an over capitalisation.

“Yes, it cost us a packet… but we didn’t want a plain steel shed sitting in the back yard…. It’s just not us.”


I hear you on this…. a modern designer house…. It’s not necessarily going to be enhanced by a steel shed in the backyard.  But you don’t need to go to the expense of building a modern designer shed….. you just need to build a modern, designer brick screening wall.


 


Shed with screen


shed behind screen


In the attached photos you can see this pretty snazzy concrete rendered brick wall that hides the steel shed behind it.  So a modern, clean look is achieved at a fraction of the cost of building a designer shed, to match the designer house!


You can have a screen like this built for under $3,000.


West Coast vs East Coast Garden Sheds

As an East Coast of Australia born and bred shed man, I had no real idea of the conditions my fellow shed men on the West Coast had to contend with. I mean… When I see Perth on the news it looks like a modern city, the areas South of Perth such as Bunbury and Busselton look Green and Lush… it’s all got to be more or less like the East Coast Right?

How wrong I was. The term where the desert meets the ocean truly does refer to the West Coast of Australia. Rainfall all along the West Coast is minimal, grass and trees are rarely seen between Broome and Geraldton. The wind is often from the Ocean, be it a South or North Westerly… and its often strong so sheds need to be able to withstand not only the day to day pounding of strong winds, especially in summer…they need to be able to withstand the corrosive effects of a constant see breeze.

All of the sheds sold by Shedspot are designed and made in Australia.  Our sheds our made from quality Australian Steel. Steel, is not steel. A great deal of overseas steel is made from recycled steel so the makeup of it is at best random, at worst, filled with undesirable impurities that can effect strength, and ability to withstand corrosion.

As well as being made from high quality steel, many of our Sheds come with the strength to withstand cyclonic winds – handy not only when you live in a cyclone area, they are handy everywhere.  Whilst cyclones only happen in cyclone areas, severe storms can and do happen anywhere.

So if you are on the West Coast, and are looking for a Shed that is guaranteed to last for at least 10 years(likely much more) – to withstand cyclonic winds and the constant corrosion of sea breezes then Shedspot is the place to look for your new Garden Shed


Got a Garden Shed with no Tools in It? Don’t despair.

I remember my dad having endless tools in his shed. And not just tools, containers of nuts and bolts and washers and screws that he’d collected over time. Whenever something broke in a mower, a trailer, a bike… my dad could dig around in his shed, and find a replacement. Never was there a case of “If only I had a welder” He had 3. “If only I had a paint stripper” He had one, though we live in double brick house with brick interior. Car Lift? Yep. Grinder? 4. Drills? Hand, upright, 12 volt, 240 volt and impact. Hammers? Dozens, one for every task? Sockets? Metric, imperial, short, long, small, large.

I kind of took this treasure trove for granted till a bought my first home in my twenties and realised apart from some very basic tools; my shed was pretty empty of the stuff that makes a tool shed useful. It was downright depressing, a bit demasculating actually. Here I was, an Aussie man with a shed…. and I was embarrassed to let other guys into it. Something had to be done.

With a mortgage that I could only barely manage, buying new tools and bit and pieces was never going to be an option. I became garage sale shed man. I was at garage sales every Saturday and Sunday first thing. Not looking for furniture and abdomen exercise machines… I was after jars of nuts and bolts. Old tools. Not busted tools, just old ones. You’d be surprised the numbers of guys who get a new drill for a present, then retire the old one. Good quality tools just don’t seem to wear out and I became an ardent spotter of the dirty but good quality tools lying on the garage sale tables.

One old guy was going into a nursing home, and he was reluctantly selling the entire contents of his shed. His shed…. was a beautiful thing. He’d made his own custom wall mounts for every tool, and painted silhouettes for each one so every tool knew its place. I chatted with him for over an hour and by the end he was convinced his tools would be going to a great home if he sold them to me… i even bought his wall mounting system!

From different garage sales I got jars of wire, rolls of tape, whole socket and screwdriver kits, welding and soldering tools, grinders, drills. It didn’t happen overnight, but it happened and at a fraction of the price of new. Oh so of the bits and pieces will never likely be used, and some of things bought did not work.

I also shopped one ebay, and went to auctions. It seems plenty of people just can’t face the task of cleaning out relative’s where said relative has gone to the big shed in the sky… and lots of great stuff is just boxed up and shipped off to auction to be sold for pennies.

So if your shed lacks that tooled up feel, but your budget is small,, my recommendation is to checkout

Garage Sales

Ebay

Auctions.

New tools are great, but old tools at a great price are great too.