Sheds Western Australia
Where are sheds built?
Rural sheds or farm sheds, at least in the eyes of council and shire planners, are any isolated buildings or structures that are used to house agricultural equipment and supplies, whether for a commercial farm, hobby farm, or just a rural family looking to take care of their property.
These are built separate from houses, and away from property boundaries, and are typically made from steel sheets, and are large and open on the inside.
The advantage of modern sheds being made from products like steel, is that your experience can be improved by a range of colours and designs that best suit your needs.
Aussie farmers use sheds for a range of reasons and many farms will have multiple sheds that are utilised separately as workshops with tool storage, open sheds with grain or fertiliser storage, animal shelters or processing hubs and more. Many farms also utilise a large workshop as a hub or office, with a garage, storage, power and desks.
These sheds can be customised with fit-outs and accessories that include various doors, windows, gabled or flat roof, mezzanine floors, storage solutions and a variety of other options to make the shed itself fit for purpose.
Rural families also often have sheds on their property, whether it be because they’re using the property as a hobby farm, to have a separate garage for vehicles, storage space, woodworking or mechanic shop, or any other individual requirements.
These sheds are an ideal solution for families looking to tidy up backyards, have a shelter to protect outdoor furniture or garden tools, or even to utilise as a place to store items that aren’t frequently used within the home.
Families or households in suburban or semi-rural settings quite often have a garden shed for a similar purpose to large sheds, only on a smaller scale.
These small garden sheds store backyard gardening equipment like lawnmowers, whipper snippers, shovels, rakes and many other items used for landscaping or gardening. These small metal or wooden sheds are often used to store seldom used household items, belongings and other stuff that takes up too much space inside the home.
Styles of Shed Alternatives
Sheds vs Barns
The difference between sheds and barns is that Australian sheds are made from steel frames and walls, whereas traditional American barns are typically made from wood.
In Australia, barns are less a shed alternative, as they are a style of shed based on American barns, with the tall central structure, with the sides lower – like we’ve all seen in Hallmark movies time and time again.
These sheds are a great option for semi-rural homes on a larger block, and can double as a garage, boat shed, caravan storage or workshop, and they can be personalised with mezzanine floors, windows, garage doors and glass sliding doors.
Sheds vs Garages
While sheds can be used as a garage, a garage by definition is a building designed with the intention of housing a motor vehicle or vehicles, especially one that is next to or part of a house.
They are able to be fully closed and locked, for security of storage, which is what separates them from a carport, which is covered from the elements, but not lockable.
Sheds can have a roller door to serve as a garage, or be built as a garage shed with extra space to house a work bench or similar features, but a standalone garage is only for vehicle storage.
Sheds vs Shipping Containers
For people who don’t need as much storage or customisability as a shed can offer, shipping containers can be a great alternative as they are prefabricated, structurally sound, and used containers are often affordable. You can even put multiple containers together and cut windows, doors or lights into them.
If you are looking for a permanent solution, that is designed for storage though, a shed is always going to be the better choice, and all of your customisations can be engineered into the original design, rather than added as modifications.
Buying a new shed
Which sheds are best and which sheds last longest?
Plastic sheds can last upward of 20 years with the right level of care, even in the harsh Western Australian climate if they have been properly UV treated. While wooden sheds require more maintenance, due to the fact they are easier to repair, they can also last decades if cared for correctly.
The one issue with wooden and plastic sheds, as well as vinyl sheds or resin sheds, is that they are difficult to build in large sizes. Wooden sheds can be built much larger, in the style of old American barns, but this leaves more parts that have to be maintained, repaired or replaced.
For large sheds, particularly in Australia, where the climate is so extreme in all directions, steel sheds are the ones that have the highest level of durability and require the least maintenance.
With such a wide range of sheds that suit such a scope of needs for Western Australian farmers, including workshops, shearing sheds, hay sheds and more, shed prices will vary based on the type of shed you require, as well as your specific requirements that will lead to customisations and quality of life adjustments.
A rural garden shed around 6m in length will likely set you back $2000 or so, while a large hay shed could end up setting you back upward of $100,000. The cost of your shed will be determined on your quote based on your unique design.
When do sheds go on sale?
Despite Aussie customers always being in the market for savings where they can, as sheds are such a personalised product, it is rare that large rural sheds go on sale for a specific discount or price point.
You may find that shed manufacturers will offer special pricing at Field Days or Ag Shows when they attend them, in the form of field day pricing, but even this will differ from company to company.
Heading along to your local field day and having a chat to shed manufacturers about your needs is the best way to determine any promotions as well as find the best product for your needs.
How are sheds delivered?
Smaller sheds can come in either a flat pack box like IKEA furniture, or be prefabricated and delivered to your home, where they are placed in position by a forklift or similar machinery after delivery.
Large sheds are installed on site, so the parts such as sheets, windows, wall panels, pillars and trusses will be delivered on trucks, sometimes small trucks and sometimes large trucks, and constructed on the concrete foundation or pad.
If you are concerned about access to the shed installation site for larger delivery vehicles, discuss this with the engineering team who are assisting you with the quote and design of your tank to determine how it will be delivered.
Are sheds waterproof?
As your large rural sheds are often used to house valuable materials or equipment, they are waterproofed much like a house would be, and should keep the inside of your shed safe from the elements unless they have a leak that needs repairing.
Garden sheds are not always waterproofed, however, they can be waterproofed with sealant, foil insulation or caulk.
Are sheds insulated?
Effectively, a shed is a large metal box, and as such can get quite warm, even with technological advancements in steel coatings they are liable to heat up. So can sheds be insulated?
They sure can. Insulation has a range of benefits on top of temperature regulation, helping to reduce sound of rain and wind outside the shed, and reducing echo inside the shed.
Insulation is recommended for people who will be spending extended time in the shed, like shearing sheds and workshops, and the two major types of insulation for sheds are aircell insulation and glasswool insulation. These are more advanced technology than old insulation methods and are very effective at reducing noise and temperature fluctuations.
Sheds rules and regulations
What is the biggest shed I can have without planning permission?
As a general rule of thumb, any shed less than 10 square meters in area with a height of 2.4m or below does not require a permit or council approval.
This will however vary from council to council, and it is important to know what the rules are for your area before looking to build a shed, by looking into information regarding local regulations. For larger sheds a building licence is almost always needed, and you will need to apply for shire approval before commencing.
Council fees vary from one council to another, and also vary depending on the size and configuration of the structure. While it is recommended that you contact your local council for information on exact costs, most shed manufacturers will be happy to provide an estimate when providing you a quote.
Can I put a shed next to my fence?
On semi-rural properties or suburban properties, people may look to put their shed in the corner of the property in order to free up more space around the property itself. Even on rural properties, people look to install sheds near a road or driveway to utilise more land.
Most shires will allow building against a boundary; however, it is necessary to build a firewall or firebreak on the boundary line, so you must make room for this. In semi-rural or suburban areas The Building Code of Australia fire safety requirements mean the shed must be 900 mm away from any other structure on the property, including fences.
Buying a house with a shed
Are sheds included in the sale of a house?
As large rural sheds are permanent structures that require planning approval to be installed, it is very irregular for them not to be included in the sale of a house, and if it were the case that they were not going to be included, it would likely be included in the advertising and contract.
Garden sheds, however, can be a point of contention, as if they are truly temporary and portable structures, the owner may choose to take them with them to a new home.
It is best to communicate with the buyer or owner before sale, so as to avoid any unwanted confusion or irritation at time of handover.
Are sheds covered by home insurance?
Home insurance, by definition, covers your house and all other structures on your property, including sheds, fences, garages and swimming pools. This applies to both garden sheds and rural sheds, and will be the case unless you did not obtain adequate approval before its construction, as illegal structures are not covered by standard home buildings insurance.
If you want to make sure that your shed is covered by your insurance, simply consult your insurer’s product disclosure statement, and any supplemental product disclosure statements for what structures and events are covered.
Can sheds be moved?
While it is possible to move all sizes of shed, this is always going to be significantly easier for a garden shed or prefabricated shed than it is for a large rural shed.
A garden shed, or even large prefabricated shed can be moved the same way it was installed, by placing it on the back of an adequately sized truck, and re-footing it at the desired location.
In order to move a large rural shed, you will most likely have to have it dismantled piece by piece and reinstalled at its new location. This may save you money on materials, but will be double the labour of simply installing a new shed at the new site.
How much are sheds worth?
While a shed can set you back anywhere from $2000 for a garden shed to upward of $100,000 for a large rural shed or workshop, sheds can also add value to your home or property. For a semi-rural or suburban home, a large shed or enclosed garage can add an estimated $20,000 to the value of your home, or an extra $20-$50 a week in rent, as people value the weatherproof storage space for vehicles or valuables that don’t need to be stored in the home.
For rural properties, the value of a shed will be determined by what the buyer is looking at the property for, as well as the age and size of the shed. People looking to continue the primary function of a grain or livestock operation will likely see the shed as a great value add, whereas someone looking to buy a property for a different purpose will see the value of a shed differently.
The type and cost of the shed itself will also impact the value it will add to the property, as a fully powered and insulated workshop with roller doors and windows will increase the value of a property by significantly more than an open front hay shed without power or water.
Sheds that can be lived in
Can you live in a shed in Western Australia?
Many people look to moving into sheds you can live in, and for a variety of reasons. Sheds are often more cost effective than houses, customers may be building their home on the property and want to live in the shed while it is being built, or are looking to have a detached living quarters on your property to use as a holiday rental, or for parents, guests or teenagers.
No matter the reason, living in a shed is not allowed in Western Australia, as standard sheds, garages and carports fall under category 10a buildings, which are classified as non-habitable. If you do wish to live in a shed, or use part of a shed as living quarters, you have to meet the criteria of a class 1a building.
Sheds with living quarters
In order to live in a shed, the area used for living quarters must meet the Class 1a criteria of the Building Code of Australia for habitable dwellings.
The Class 1a criteria include; running water with a shower, basin and toilet connected to sewerage or a septic tank; installation of a smoke alarm; a washing machine and laundry; kitchen sink and cooking facilities, and; compliance with state and council foundation construction, flood, bushfire and cyclonic regulations.
Only the part of the shed that needs to be lived in must meet these criteria, and the rest of the shed can still be used for workshop, engineering or storage purposes as per usual. Sheds do not make great living quarters as they often lack temperature management, soundproofing and quality of life amenities without spending a significant sum of money.
Sheds that can be made into homes
In order to transform your shed into a home, either as your main residence or as a secondary residence on your property, it is important to check your local council planning scheme information and concurrence agency requirements, which can include flood, bushfire, power supply, water storage, road access and structural engineering requirements.
The building plans must be drawn up by a qualified building designer, and the property must meet all local sustainability, waterproofing and habitable living standards covered under the Class 1 or Class 1a criteria.
In order to live in the shed on more than a temporary occupancy period, it must be completely modified to qualify as a standalone dwelling in its own right, and you will need to check local and state guidelines for this process.
Customising your shed
As well as what type of shed you require and what amenities, fittings and other structures you want it to have, there are a range of customisations that you will likely need to choose between for any type of shed. These include the flooring and foundation, the roof style, as well as the choice between styles of doors and windows.
Sheds with floors
Most shed customers will require a shed with a floor or concrete base, and this base will typically be constructed from concrete slabs, poured concrete, wood or metal.
The type of flooring you choose will likely be based on what you intend to use your shed for, however concrete is the most common choice, as it serves as a foundation for the overall structure, as well as flooring inside the shed.
Sheds without floors
There are times where you may opt out of having a floor in your shed, and sheds without a concrete base are reasonably common for open bay sheds, including animal shelters, equestrian arenas, hay storage and machinery storage for tractors or farm equipment.
These sheds are more often not the main shed, and are used for storage of equipment or materials that do not require protection from the dirt or gravel beneath them. The concrete footing of these sheds is typically a foundation that the beams are set in, so that it is still rigid and structurally sound.
Sheds with mezzanine floors
A mezzanine floor is a raised storage area, which is used as a cost effective way to increase your overall storage or operating area by utilising the high roof space of a shed. While typically used for storage, mezzanine floors can be used in shearing sheds or workshops for additional operating area.
In order to install a mezzanine floor in your shed, it is important to factor in that your shed should be high enough that you can work comfortably both beneath and above the floor, without risk of anyone hitting their head, or being unable to move equipment around.
Mezzanine floors can be installed into the structure of the shed itself, or even standalone if you need one in the middle of the floor, or in an area there are no walls or support pillars.
Shed doors and windows
Sheds with roller doors
Roller doors are typically used for shed designed to be used as a garage, carport or commercial storage facility where there is a need for regular access, security and space saving.
Roller doors are secure and sealable option, and can be operated with remotes if fitted with a motor. They are typically more expensive than sliding doors, but are invaluable to those who need them.
Sheds with sliding doors
Sliding doors are a low maintenance option, that are easy to repair and maintain, and can be installed after the shed is built if customers have budget restrictions at the time of initial installation.
They don’t seal as well as roller doors, and need space to slide open, making them more common for use in machinery sheds, or sheds for hay or grain storage in farm sheds that do not require as much security as sheds with roller door fittings.
Sheds with personnel doors
Personnel doors are designed for access by people, rather than vehicles, machinery, equipment or farm assets such as hay, grain or fertiliser.
How to choose the right shed door
- How big does the shed door need to be?
- What are your security requirements?
- How frequently will your shed door be used?
- How easily can the shed door be installed and repaired?
- What is your budget for shed door installation?
Sheds with windows
While sheds without windows are certainly the more common option, putting windows on your shed can come with a range of positives to your facilities.
Shed windows will not only allow natural light to enter the shed, but also better air circulation, and can be fitted with fly screens or security screens in order to allow the shed to remain free from pests or intruders.
Shed windows are also a great benefit for workshop sheds with office quarters, and are often a standard feature in barn sheds, allowing more sunshine to enter the shed, which is a natural mood booster.
Sheds with skylights
Much like windows, skylights let in natural light to your shed, and can help you save on energy as you won’t need to use large floodlights or fluorescent lighting during sunlight hours.
Skylights are best fitted with an industrial grade mesh in order to meet the Building Code of Australia guidelines, and can be fitted instead of or in addition to windows.
Types of shed roofs
A gable roof is the most common type of roof used in sheds, and is the one most people are familiar with – though most houses typically use a hip roof or hip and gable roof.
Gabled roofing features two slopes that angle up from the two longest walls to meet in the middle, and create a small triangle on the shorter sides. Gable roofing is typically more expensive, but is also more durable and features truss roof support, and allows for better air circulation and ceiling height.
A flat roof is, well, as it suggests; flat. These feature the ability to place things on the shed roof, or build up at a later date, and also don’t require as much steel as the other roofing options do.
Flat roofing is not suitable to areas with high rainfall, as too much water too quickly can become a hazard, and debris is far more likely to build up than it would be on an angled roof.
A skillion roof has a slope to it, but only in one direction, allowing for rain and debris to clear off without accumulating, and is a cheaper option than gabled roofing.
A skillion roof is less ideal in areas with extreme wind, but is a preferred option for many open front sheds, such as hay sheds or machinery storage sheds.
In order to provide additional protection from the elements above open doorways, and to enhance the appearance of your shed, you may seek to install a canopy over your entranceways.
These canopies can be installed with supports or cantilevered. Cantilevered canopies don’t require columns, and as such don’t introduce additional obstructions around your entranceway.
There are a variety of roof ventilation and wall ventilation options that can be included with your shed in order to greatly improve air flow, functionality and comfort.
These include ridge vents which run along the top of your gabled roof, whirly vents, fire vents, and also wall vents if you want to keep the roof clear.
Each of these options can improve your shed’s operational functionality, enabling airflow, extracting air or allowing better smoke & heat clearance.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Will shed prices go down?
Shed prices were greatly impacted by increases in iron ore and coal pricing which drove up steel prices dramatically early this decade, and despite prices for iron ore cooling, inflation paired with decreased availability of coking coal makes it unlikely these prices will drop any time soon.
Additionally government infrastructure spending that uses a lot of steel, concrete and timber creates a sellers’ market for suppliers of these materials and drives the prices of products that rely on them upward.
Why do sheds need foundation?
The majority of sheds need foundations, quite simply so that they don’t collapse or blow away. While some smaller garden sheds will not require foundations, larger sheds certainly will.
Foundations provide structural support for the shed, as well as flooring, and prevent any parts of the sheds from shifting, compromising the strength and structural integrity of other areas.
What is the lifespan of a shed?
Like most buildings and rural structures, sheds are designed and engineered with lifetime or generational usage in mind.
Many tanks come with a 25 year or more warranty, and with the right maintenance, repair and upkeep can last almost indefinitely.
How many sheds can you have on a property?
While some councils allow no more than two structures on one property, this is going to be on a council to council basis.
In many rural areas, despite planning permission being required for each new build, there is no limit to the number of shed you can build on your property.
How long does it take to build a shed?
While garden sheds can go up in a matter of hours, large sheds are reasonable undertakings and do take significantly longer to build.
You can expect average farm shed to be built within 2-3 weeks of installation commencing, however larger sheds with more customisations or internal features can take upward of six weeks.