Can I Customize a Storage Cabin?
One of the great benefits of storage cabins is the ability to choose options and finishes to create a custom building tailored to your needs. The degree of customization depends on the construction method and materials used. Here are some ways you can personalize your storage cabin.
Size and Layout
- Many manufacturers offer a range of standard sizes and layouts to choose from.
- Opt for wider doors and higher side walls if storing large items.
- Add a loft for double duty storage.
- Build in custom shelving, workbenches, and storage systems.
Doors and Windows
- Select locations and sizes of doors and windows.
- Choose swing out, roll up, sliding, or barn style doors.
- Add shutters, flower boxes, and other exterior trim accents.
- Include electrical outlets, switches, and lighting as desired.
Materials and Finishes
- For wood sheds, select preferred type of lumber like cedar or pine.
- Stain, paint, or use natural oil finishes on wood exteriors.
- Choose color and texture for metal roofing and siding.
- Decide on shingle type and color for asphalt roofing.
- Pick exterior paint colors to complement your home.
Foundation and Access
- Choose skids, anchors, piers, or a slab foundation.
- Determine ramps, stairs, or porches to fit your landscape.
- Select gravel, concrete, wood, or treated dirt flooring material.
- Build in shelving, cabinets, workbenches and storage systems.
- Include lofts, hammocks, wall mounts, and specialty storage.
- Add interior walls, insulation, and electrical systems as needed.
- Install ventilation fans, heaters, and dehumidifiers if desired.
Key Customization Options
|Size||Dimensions, height, layout|
|Doors/Windows||Placement, style, trim|
|Materials||Wood type, siding, roofing|
|Foundation||Skids, piers, slab|
|Interior||Shelving, lofts, electrical|
With flexible sizing, layout, materials, finishes, and accessories you can design a storage cabin tailored to your needs.
Are Building Permits Required for Storage Cabins?
Adding a storage cabin to your property provides useful space for hobbies, gear, equipment, and overflow household items. Before installing a shed or cabin, it’s important to know if you need to obtain a building permit based on your local zoning laws.
When Permits Are Typically Required
Building codes usually require permits for storage structures over a certain size, such as:
- Over 100-200 square feet of floor area
- Taller than a specific height, often over 10-15 feet
- Built on a permanent foundation like a concrete slab
Permits are more commonly needed for larger cabins intended as workshops, studios, home offices, or guest quarters.
When Permits May Not Be Required
Smaller, casual storage sheds are often exempt from needing permits, especially when:
- Under 100 square feet in floor area
- Built on skids or temporary foundation
- Basic prefabricated construction
- No plumbing, mechanical, or electrical systems
- Used only for non-habitable storage
Requirements vary by location, so check with your local building department.
Why Permits Are Required
Permits allow inspection of the construction and foundation to:
- Ensure structural safety and stability
- Verify weatherproofing
- Check compliance with zoning setbacks
- Prevent blocking easements or rights of way
- Reduce fire hazards
- Avoid unauthorized residential use
Applying for a Building Permit
The permit application process typically involves:
- Completing the building permit application form
- Submitting a site plan with the cabin’s dimensions and location
- Providing construction plans and details
- Paying the permit fee
The building department reviews the application and inspects the project at various stages. Once approved, a permit is issued allowing construction to begin.
Alternatives When Permits Aren’t Allowed
If your jurisdiction doesn’t allow permits for storage sheds, consider these options:
- Buy a prefab plastic resin shed that doesn’t require a permit
- Rent a portable storage container placed on your property temporarily
- Use a smaller shed that qualifies for exemption from permits
- Build the interior space but leave off the exterior walls until later
Check your local building codes to determine if your planned storage cabin requires applying for a building permit before starting construction.