What Everyone Needs to Know Before Buying Metal Outbuildings

Metal building

If getting out the lawnmower first requires pulling the car out of the garage, or if only one car can fit in your two-car garage because lawn equipment takes up too much space, it might be time to get a shed. Sheds, or outbuildings, can be the ideal outdoor storage solution. Before getting one, however, there are some important things to consider, including durability, size, zoning restrictions, foundation, style, and landscape placement.

Today’s post offers a closer look at what you need to think about within these planning considerations in order to choose the best structure for your unique property. We’ll also show you why steel buildings, like our pre-priced metal garages, are an excellent solution.


These days, sheds can be made of wood, plastic, composite material, or metal. Each offers differing levels of durability.

Wood sheds come in a wide range of style options. However, they also take longer to build, require constant maintenance and are susceptible to insect, weather, and fire damage. On the other hand, plastic and composite sheds usually require very little maintenance, but tend to come in fewer styles. Pricing can vary wildly on all of these options.

Metal outbuildings like we provide here at Newmart Builders are usually made of high-quality steel, (though you may also find other manufacturers’ products that are made from aluminum). They are quick to install, require less maintenance, and last for decades compared to other options out there.

When selecting any type of shed, be sure to consider how weather resistant it is, making sure it can withstand the weather extremes to which it would be exposed. In other words, make sure the shed can handle the weight of snow in winter or the strength of winds during hurricane season.

Those looking for attractive, durable, weather resistant, and affordable storage solutions would do well to consider metal sheds and outbuildings.

Size Matters

What will be stored in your outbuilding will determine what overall size is needed. For example, if only gardening tools and planting equipment will be stored, then a small tool shed with a single door might suffice. However, if you’re looking to house lawn equipment like a riding mower, snow blower, and other big recreational items and vehicles, then a much larger structure will be needed—much larger than a plastic or wooden shed you can purchase at your local big box home improvement retailer.

If the shed is going to be a workshop space where power tools or electronic equipment will be used, then it will also need to be wired for electricity. And, if this outbuilding is going to be a place where plant potting or hobbies that require water will be conducted, then a water supply will also be needed.

Zoning Restrictions

Related to adding utilities to your outbuilding, you will need to consider zoning rules in your area before you begin the construction process. Consult with the local municipal office to find out what restrictions or permitting process applies to adding a new structure to a property.

Most every county, town, or township these days has rules for such additions to your property, and you don’t want to incur fines. These rules often cover square footage limits, height limits, how close the structure can be to a house, property line setbacks, and even which fire safety requirements it must meet. Additionally, you may want to talk with your homeowner’s insurance agent before you build, as well, to understand whether your new building will impact your premium cost.


Unlike wooden and plastic sheds, metal sheds and outbuildings do not typically come with floors. How the shed will be used should help in determining what type of flooring or foundation is best.

The two most popular options for metal sheds tend to be cement slab and bed of gravel. (Take a look at our gallery for some visual examples.) Bear in mind that flooring is not included in the cost of the metal structure and usually needs to be installed by a separate contractor for a separate fee.

As with all construction, a strong, level foundation is a must. Without a level foundation, structures will become unstable and unsafe. If the structure is to be used for hobbies, entertaining, or storage of drivable equipment, then a cement slab may be the best option. Though they cost more than a bed of gravel, cement slabs also increase the diversity of ways the structure can be used.

Municipal authorities and homeowner’s associations may also have restrictions on how foundations must be constructed and may even require an inspection after they’ve been laid and before the shed is added.

Style Options

Sheds and outbuildings come in a range of styles. While it is true that wooden outbuildings come in the most extensive variety of styles, the selection found in metal outbuildings today is also quite impressive. The most common styles in metal outbuildings include pole barns, along with bent bow and A-frame construction.

Pole barn outbuildings feature wide open center spaces, whereby all the support for the roof is in the specific layout of wall poles or posts. Pole barn construction is the same as post-frame construction.

Bent bow refers to the shape of the building’s roof where it meets the walls. In this style, the roof is curved or bent down to meet the walls. This style is often the least expensive of metal buildings and is perfect for carports.

A-frame structures are named for the shape of the roof’s rafters, which look like the letter A. These roofs offer exceptional strength, and their horizontal beams can even be used as overhead storage.

Whatever the style selected, you may want to make sure it has operable windows for sunlight and fresh air as well as doors that are wide enough to accommodate the largest item the shed will house.

Landscape Placement

While outbuildings are typically practical, they don’t have to look it. Ideally, the design of your structure should blend with or complement the architecture and color scheme of your house. Fortunately, even metal sheds now come in an increasing palette of colors to match any residence.

Another way to help a shed, particularly a garden shed, blend into the landscape is to plant flower beds along its sides. Adding window boxes is another charming touch.

When placing the shed on the property in adherence of township or zoning restrictions, consider front yard curb appeal, as well. If the shed can be seen from the street, be sure to select a style that complements the house and serves as an attractive feature.

Newmart Builders is Here to Help You Build Your New Outbuilding this Season!

Have you already planned where your new structure will go on your property and how you plan to use it? Get in touch today to learn how Newmart Builders can turn your building plans into reality, quickly and affordably.