3 Nov 2013

Outdoor storage solutions that don’t involve your garage

Lifestyle | New Homes | Renovations | Tips and Advice
Garage storage solutions

Proper planning can avoid clutter like this

The most common storage solution

As people build bigger and bigger homes on smaller blocks of land, there is less and less space for storing things we don’t want in the house, like tools, gardening equipment, and even sports equipment.

Garages are perhaps the most common storage solution. Designed for cars and other vehicles, in the absence of other storage facilities, they often become workshops and storerooms for any type of equipment ranging from lawn mowers and wheelbarrows to golf clubs, tennis and squash racquets, even paddle skis and smaller watercraft. And whilst a larger-sized garage might happily cope with your nebulous storage needs and still provide space to house a car and possible bicycles, this is far from ideal.

The second most common solution

The second most common solution is usually to build some type of outbuilding that can accommodate various types of storage or a structure that is specially designed for a particular purpose.

The problem with outbuildings is that while most of us devote a lot of time and effort to ensuring that our houses and gardens are neat, attractive and stylishly coherent, outbuildings are generally practical structures. While there is nothing wrong with “practical”, unfortunately, many of us don’t worry too much about what “practical” looks like.

Practical structures also tend to be last in line when it comes to regular maintenance. After all, you are more likely to fix a leaking gutter that is pouring water onto your entertainment patio than to fix a leaking shed roof. A smashed living room window will inevitably take precedence over broken panes in a greenhouse, even if the greenhouse is used to store gardening equipment as well as plants.

For these and other reasons we generally do not recommend garden sheds or other outbuildings.

Incorporate outdoor storage solutions as part of the house

Taking this approach has a number of worthwhile advantages.

Firstly, it looks far more professional adding real value to your home.

Rather than a pre-fabricated garden shed that looks tacky when stuck next to a stunningly renovated home or a beautiful new home, you now have a storage solution that blends in perfectly.

This approach also has the value of leaving you with more of your valuable yard space. Garden sheds and other outbuildings often cannot be built directly on the fence line of your property. The tendency is then to place these structures as close to the fence as regulations allow resulting in untidy looking areas that are hard to maintain. By incorporating storage areas as part of the house, you get to maximise your outdoor areas.

One of the other major advantages of this approach is accessibility

Garden sheds stuck in the corner of a yard might be fine on a sunny day, but what happens if it’s bucketing down and you need to get to something? By keeping the storage area as part of your home, it is possible to allow easy and relatively dry access to your tools, sporting equipment and other storage items all year round regardless of conditions. Being able to incorporate good levels of lighting inside this area and possible even taps and a sink is just another benefit of this approach.

There is any number of ways in which your storage needs can be built into your home.

A roller door on the side of the rear of your home can lead into a storage alcove that is often larger than a typically prefabricated garden shed. Cupboards, shelving and hook systems can be included to make both storage and access far simpler. An undercroft might also be a possible solution depending on the design of your home.

Of course to make the most of your storage areas you need to consider what items you want to store. Garden tools such as lawnmowers, hedge trimmers, wheelbarrows etc are an obvious one, but there may be other items as well, such as power tools, pool toys, bicycles and sporting equipment or even children’s toys are all items that you may want to store from time to time. When you work with dion seminara architecture, we help you plan out these areas to ensure not only is there enough space for all the items that you want to store, but also that access to these items is easy, particularly those commonly used items.

So if your garage has become so cluttered that you can’t fit your car in, or you fear that a small child may become permanently lost among your scattered possessions, then give me a call and let me help you create a storage solution that’s not only practical but aesthetically pleasing as well.

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