Cooke cautions homeowners to be mindful of local building codes when considering the construction of sheds. "It is especially important to pay attention to set-back limitations and height requirements, and to find out what qualifies as a shed in your area. For example, most areas limit square footage—so that a shed cannot be more than 12 by 10, and it can only have one door and one window. Otherwise it is a building, and not a shed."
Setbacks limit how close the structure can be to the property line, and setback requirements of three feet are quite common. Height is another consideration, and according to Cooke, "sheds cannot be any higher than eight feet, otherwise the regulators will have issues."
Once you have a grasp of local code requirements, begin thinking about how you want to use your shed today and in the future. Planning for the future is smart, since going back and adding features later may be costly. "I just talked to a customer that wants a shed in the yard now, but he wants it to be an office in the future," says Cooke. "So we need to rough in the electrical in anticipation of this future application."
Pricing for a custom shed generally ranges from $50 to $100 per square foot, depending on materials and roofing choice. For the best aesthetics, Cook recommends to "duplicate the roofline of your house, so that it is coordinated. If your home is flat-roofed, consider a flat-roofed shed, and likewise if your home has a pitch to the roof."
Lastly, Cooke advises homeowners to plan carefully in terms of shed design and location, so that the overall effect works with the aesthetic of your home and property. "Don't just randomly build something. Your home is an investment, so consider that aspect also," he says.
Whatever their storage needs may be—closet, garage, kitchen, or outdoors—today's Eichler homeowners have a wealth of available space-saving options. With a little research and planning, you too can create that aesthetic and functional storage solution you have always dreamed about.