Do Sheds Have Value?
Are you looking to buy a shed? If you are, one question you might be wondering is whether or not a shed adds value to your property. Or maybe not; maybe you’re just wondering where you’re going to store all of your lawn mowing equipment. That’s a valid enough reason on its own.
But now that I’ve brought it up, it’s a question you might want answered. Does a shed add value to your property? Well, here’s what Cache Valley Sheds, a company that constructs and delivers prefabricated sheds in Logan, Utah, had to say when we asked them.
Sheds As Possessions
The simple answer is “Usually, no.” See, most sheds today are prefabricated. They’re built elsewhere and hauled in on a truck. You put them down wherever you’ve got space for them. They’re treated as personal property because you can just pick them up and haul them away. Since realtors can’t guarantee the shed will still be there after you move out, they don’t factor it into the value of the property.
Even if the shed is built on a permanent foundation and can’t be moved, the value they add to the property itself is normally quite minimal. Anybody can put together a shed in their backyard, so they’re not considered particularly special. In most cases, the cost to build one is so much greater than any value they add that they’re more of a net loss. You’re not usually building a shed because you want to increase your home’s value, you’re building one because you need to use it for something.
Usually, but Not Always
I said sheds usually don’t add value to your property, but there are some ways to get them to add value to your property. If you want your shed to add value to the property, here are the things you need to consider.
1. It Has To Be Permanent
If your shed is going with you when you move to a new home, it won’t increase the value of your property in the eyes of realtors. It’s something you own, not a part of the house. If you want it to even have a chance of increasing the value of your property, the shed needs to be a permanent fixture. It will need a permanent foundation – concrete, is the default – and it usually has to be built into the foundation in a way that stabilizes it and makes it immovable. Without that, you’d get better value out of it by getting a truck to haul it off with you, should you ever move.
2. Always Clear It With The City
Every city has its own building codes. Many cities will require you to get a permit to add a shed on your property, even if you’re just installing a prefabricated shed. Many people make the mistake of thinking a shed doesn’t need a building permit because it’s so small, or because you’re just dropping off a prefabricated building. If you want your shed to add value to your home, you had better make sure you’re cleared with the city. Get a permit, and build it according to the building codes. If you don’t, the shed becomes a liability, as your neighbors or the city could sue you for any mistakes you make. If you didn’t get a permit to install your shed, or you broke any building codes, the shed will seriously hurt your property value.
3. Match It To Your Home
If you want the shed to add value to your property, it should look like it belongs. Don’t just grab a random pre-fab shed from Lowe’s and plop it down any old how. Instead, find (or build) a shed that’s in the same style as your home. Match the colors to compliment your home. Have a similar style of architecture (or as close to it as you can get).
Alternatively, you can match it to your yard style. Did you have a Japanese-style garden built in your backyard? Matching your shed to the Eastern aesthetics of the yard may be more important than matching it specifically to your house. Whatever way you choose to go about it, your shed has to look like it belongs there, rather than something you just decided to build there.
4. Landscape Around It
Even if your shed looks like a good match for your home, it will still look out of place if you just put it down and walk away from it. You’ll have a large, cement pad that it’s sitting on, for example. Or it will just be out in the middle of your yard. All of these make the shed stand out as an addition.
To get around that, you can modify your landscaping to fit it. Plant some shrubberies around it to hide the foundation from view. Planting a tree nearby might give it more of a sense of permanence. You can even arrange a garden in such a way that direct the eyes towards or around the shed. With some good landscape lighting, you can make it seem like a central feature of the home instead of an afterthought. There are lots of tricks you can do to make your shed seem like it belongs there. If you need help, you can always ask a professional landscaper.
5. Use Quality Materials
A lot of prefabricated sheds are made from cheap materials. These have no value to them because they’ll break down quickly and then the shed isn’t of much use. It forces you to spend more money repairing it to keep it in good condition, so it hurts the overall property value.
If you want it to be a boost to your property value, you need to build it from good materials. Quality wood, reinforced or pressure-treated flooring, insulation, stable foundation; all of these will help the shed last, making it more valuable.
When you’re looking to add a shed to your home, especially a prefabricated shed, be sure and ask questions about the quality of the materials. Questions like, “Is the shed engineer certified?” or “Is it tested for strong winds?” will show you the quality you’re getting. Even just asking what materials it’s made of will show you what kind of upkeep it will need to keep it looking good. How expensive the shed is isn’t always an indicator that it’s high quality, but the cheapest prefabricated sheds usually are more trouble than they’re worth if you’re looking to add value to your home.
6. Take Care of Your Shed
It’s no good going to the trouble of making a shed add value to your home just to let it get run down. If the shed looks old, worn-out, and unusable, people are probably going to knock it down after they buy your home. Since that costs them money, it ends up hurting your property value.
So, if you buy a shed, take care of it. If the roof gets damaged in a storm, replace it. If the paint starts to fade, repaint it. If something breaks, repair it. Keep the garden or other landscaping features around it in good condition, too. If it doesn’t look good, it doesn’t add value to the property.
7. Stage The Shed For Home Showings
If you really want your shed to add value to your home, make it something you can show off to buyers. If you’ve done everything we’ve said above, it will be very visually appealing to look at from the outside, but go the extra mile and make it look good inside as well. Good lighting, insulation to keep the temperature comfortable, good interior coloring to make it pleasant to be in, etc. Avoid decorating it with anything too personal – or move out anything personal when you’re showing it off – so it will be easy for buyers to imagine what they can do with it. Keep it organized and tidy, too. If people see a mess inside, they won’t think highly of it. If you really want to go the extra mile, you can spice it up with some cinnamon or vanilla scented candles so it even smells pleasant to visitors.
Make It A Part of the Property
If you want to make the shed add value to your home, it has to look like it’s a part of the property, not an afterthought. It takes some work to get there, but the time and effort can really pay off. If that’s more effort than you want to go to, then you’re better off focusing more on getting good use out of your shed. Don’t forget, getting use out of it is the primary purpose of adding a shed to your home in the first place. That can be worth far more than any property value it can add to your home.
Before you buy a shed, it’s a good idea to ask yourself what you really want out of it. If you want something that adds value to your home, you can definitely get that, but it’ll take extra work. If you don’t care about the value and just want something functional, that’s a lot easier, but don’t try to market your home on the shed. In fact, if it’s a prefab, it’s usually better to just take it with you when you move if you can.
If you make up your mind on what you want to get out of your shed before you buy, you’ll know what questions to ask when you buy it. That’s how you maximize the value it adds to your home and your life.