Author: Riya Sander • Date: July 23, 2016 • Appears in:
3 Eco-Friendly Ideas to a DIY Garden Shed
If you are struggling to find space for your yard equipment, then you have come to the right place. Garages and sheds serve as a valuable space to store things from the harsh conditions of the outdoors. Not everyone has a garage though, and that is where a garden shed becomes a valuable asset.
Of the many backyard project ideas that people have for their homes, a garden shed may be one of the most useful installments to a yard.
There are many ways to get a shed, but the best way is to do it yourself. It's more beneficial in the long run to design your shed how you want it. More importantly, if you design your shed and build it yourself, you can find ways to be environmentally friendly.
To begin, you must know that a shed has three components. The first component is the foundation, typically made of cement blocks. The second component is the floor and walls. The third component is the roof. The majority of these sheds are made of lumber, but can be made with different materials.
Now it may sound intimidating at first but finding ways to be environmentally friendly is simple and better for the surrounding environment. There are many alternatives that make a positive impact. Let's break it down into our three components.
The foundation of sheds are typically built using cement blocks, but cement releases an astounding amount of carbon into the atmosphere, as well as various air pollutants. It's a permanent fixture that can be harmful to surrounding wildlife. Here is a list of eco-friendly alternatives for your shed foundation:
- Interlocking tiles made of propylene: these lightweight tiles are safe and easy to remove, but incorporate recycled mulch and weedblock with it
- Limecrete: this lime-based alternative offers a more permanent, yet lightweight and durable solution
- Paving slabs: these are natural stones typically used for patios, but also work for your shed
The Walls and Floor
Of course, the walls and floor could continue to be made of wood, as it is environmentally friendly, but there are also other unique, eco-friendly options. Here are a few methods to consider:
- Using recycled or reclaimed wood: wood depots will recycle wood for new use, and any reclaimed wood that hasn't rotted can still be utilized
- Incorporating cordwood construction: cordwood masonry takes fallen, debarked trees and mixes pieces of the trunk with mortar for building walls
- Utilizing straw bales: this unique, insulating method must be externally covered with lime or clay
- Building with adobe or cob: these long-proven methods use mud and a mixture of organic materials to offer sturdy walls
There are a few different ways to make the roof of your shed more eco-friendly. These ways include:
- Installing a living roof: using sedum, this will provide a new habitat for wildlife while insulating the shed, but be sure to lay it on a sturdy canopy over your roof as the sedum is heavy
- Having a water retention system: recycle the water that runs off of your roof using a system to collect water runoff
- Adding Solar Panels: this is a great way to capture the sun's energy to power your shed with electricity
Of all the backyard project ideas, building an eco-friendly shed will prove to be rewarding and unique while continuing to provide the basic functions of a shed.