Mar 282014

You can build a new set of doors or update your existing doors Cheaply and Easily

The Shed Door Rescue Kit provides complete step by step plans and instruction to build the most popular size double doors; 4 ft and 5 ft wide, 72 inches tall.

The plans are suitable if you have a big box wooden shed purchased from Lowe’s or Home Depot. Lowe’s carries the Heartland brand exclusively.

The same company making the Heartland Shed for Lowe’s also makes the DIY sheds for Home Depot under the Handy Home Products name and you can find other ones they make online under the Marco Product name.

The big box sheds are practically all the same and their doors are helped tremendously with the Shed Door Rescue Kit because kit doors are not built very well. All the parts have to fit in a shippable container so the part of the shed they decided to scrimp on are the doors. They don’t have full back frames and the main strength of the door actually comes from the front trim screwed from the back through the face (piece of siding) of the shed.

The problem with this is the factory staples the front trim to the door. During installation, the builder is suppose to use screws from the inside out securing the trim even more. The pro’s very seldom do this step and I doubt most DIY’s do it too.

Since the doors are probably the only mechanical item in the shed, they have problems from the get go. As the doors are used, the staples loosen, start pulling out and the integrity of the door is compromised weakening the door and it starts to sag.

Another problem occurs when the shed settles into it’s footprint. All it takes is a couple of inches for the doors to start hanging up on the floor or top of the door frame. They need to be pulled harder to open and slammed to close placing stress on the staples and before you know it, they are falling apart and sagging too.

Use the Shed Door Rescue Kit plans to beef up your existing doors no matter who built it and you’ll have great doors.


Jun 102013

Replacement Wood Shed Doors For Your Back Yard Storage Shed


Generally speaking, shed doors are the first problem you’ll have with your shed (other than Mother Nature). It makes sense as your shed doors are the only moving part of your shed and they are opened and closed many times throughout their use.

If you purchased your shed from one of the big box stores, you will have shed door problems sooner than later because of the way their doors are built.

The sheds the big box home improvement stores sell are shipped by the manufacture on tractor trailers and all the parts and pieces of the shed must fit into a nice box so they are lighter and take up less room to cut down on shipping costs and make them easy to load and unload.

Quality wise, the item that suffers the most are the doors. They need them to be as light as possible and fit flat into the box; thus many shortcuts are taken giving the shed buyer a weak set of doors that will fail sooner than later.

The shortcuts include; using weak trim pieces as the actual frame structure of the door, only using staples to fasten the door sheeting to the trim and not using a complete 2×2″ or 2×4″ frame on the inside of the doors for strength.

As your shed ages and settles into its footprint in the backyard, the shed floor becomes unlevel resulting in hard to open doors. The shed owner must use more force to open and close the doors which loosens the staples and nails that hold the doors together. Note: the shed builder is suppose to add screws to the factory built door for added strength but seldom is this actually done and if it is, they use too much force and spin the screws which result in no holding power at all.

As the staples and nails loosen, the seams and trim in the door start pulling farther apart making it even harder to open and close the doors. Even more force is needed and before you know it, the doors are falling apart.

Most big box sheds come with a warranty and you can get the doors replaced. Most warranty claims are not scheduled appropriately and it will take many calls to get your new doors. The squeaky wheel will get the grease in this case so be diligent in your complaining.

The bad news; the replacement doors will be the exact replica of the existing doors and the same problems you’re having will happen again. There is no warranty on the replacement doors so be prepared to spend around $500.00 for doors from the original manufacture.

The good news; you can buy replacement doors on the Internet that are better than the doors that came with the shed and are easy to get and install yourself.

The first step is to measure the vertical and horizontal door opening (also called rough opening) of your shed. Use your measuring tape and measure from the bottom of the header to the floor. This is your vertical measurement. The header is the piece of wood (usually a 2×4) that is above the door opening. It could be a 2×6 if you have a larger shed. Then measure your horizontal width from the stud (usually a 2×4, also called a jack stud) on one side of the opening to the stud on the other side. This is your horizontal measurement.

On cheaper sheds, the jack stud could be a 2×3 (which is okay) or the door opening may not have 2×4 studs on both sides. If this is the case, you can easily add a stud(s). Measure the length needed cut to fit and toenail the new stud in.

Once you have your measurements, you can shop online and find the best deal. As of this writing, there are only 2 companies that build and ship wooden replacement shed doors. Both companies are reputable, make a superior shed door to the one you’ll replace and both ship UPS. All you have to do is find the best deal.

Nov 162011

The Barn Swallow a Potential

Tenant of Shed Owners


The Barn Swallow is a graceful bird with a deeply forked tail that darts high and low over the ground in pursuit of flying insects. Swallows eat and drink and do most everything else on the wing, and are very precise fliers. They are ravenous insect eaters, and Barn Swallow’s preferred fare is flies, though they will pick off anything of a similar size with wings. They fly in large groups and also nest in colonies, you will almost never see them flying about alone.

Barn Swallows nest throughout North America excluding the extreme southwestern portion of the United States and southern Florida. If your property has some open space for swallows to forage and a source of mud for them to build their nests, it is likely that the structures on your property could be used for nesting by Barn Swallows!

Though it historically nested in caves, this swallow now nests nearly exclusively in the eaves of man made structures. Barn Swallows will build their cup-shaped mud nests anywhere they can access, including under exterior overhangs or even inside a structure that has open windows. Both the male and female build the nest, each bringing pellets of mud mixed with grass or other vegetation. After the nest cup is constructed, the birds will line it with soft grass and feathers before laying 3-7 eggs in it.

Barn Swallows will reuse old nests each year, so if you’d like to encourage them to come back, you might consider leaving the old nests up during the fall and winter. Some people prefer taking all the old nests down, because they can become soiled with parasites and mites, but birds will generally avoid using any old nests with high numbers of parasites regardless. Birds will return from their wintering grounds in the southern portions of Mexico and South America, add new mud and lining to the old nests, and be ready to lay their eggs.

Something you can do to encourage nesting of Barn Swallows is to provide a source of mud on your property while the birds are building their nests in the spring. If you are successful in attracting Barn Swallows to nest on your shed or barn, be sure to keep your doors and windows closed unless you want them to build inside. Or, if you’d like them inside the structure, be sure to leave the doors and windows open throughout the nesting season so the birds can feed their young!

If you do have Barn Swallows taking up residence on your property, avoid leaving twine, fishing line, or the like around in the spring. Birds may use it to strengthen their nests during building, and nestlings have become trapped by getting tangled in the unnaturally strong filaments embedded in hardened mud. You won’t have much luck attracting Barn Swallows using bird feeders!, but they will take ground-up eggshells from platforms. It is believed that these eggshells help the bird to grind up insect food to aid in digestion.

Barn Swallows will reduce the activity of many flying insect pests in your yard, and become a source of entertainment for you and your family. Their aerial acrobatics are astounding. Happy Birding!

 About the Author:

I am an ornithologist with a Master’s degree and specialize in restoration treatments effect on resident and migrant songbirds.  I have conducted a wide variety of research projects ranging from migration monitoring to spot-mapping breeding songbirds.  As a writer for Your Bird Oasis, a retailer of backyard birding supplies and an essential resource for burgeoning and expert birders alike, I have the exciting opportunity to share my knowledge of and passion for birds with many online communities.

 Posted by at 5:36 pm
Oct 062011

Prepare Your Patio Or Deck For The Winter Months Ahead

The  patio season is winding down, but it doesn’t mean it’s time to neglect your outdoor space. While the season for outdoor decorating and hosting is about to take a break, you can do a number of things to prepare and make sure your deck or patio stays in good shape for the next year.  Winter also presents a great time to work on some projects that can make your outdoor space look even better once the warm weather comes back.

Before the weather gets too cold,  you’ll want to make sure you take care of a few things to protect your deck or patio from old man winter’s wrath.  Follow this checklist as you prepare for winter.

Clean you patio furniture before putting it away  for the season. If you don’t have a place to store furniture inside, cover it with a tarp to protect it form the elements.

Bring flower pots and other containers used to hold plants inside, as ice or cold temperatures could cause them to crack.

Whether you have a cement patio or a wood deck,  it’s a good idea to clear it of leaves and other organic material, as it could cause mold, rot, staining or mildew if  it’ s left there all winter.

The period before winter provides a great time to clean and stain your deck. Staining your deck helps protect it from the elements and the process works best when the temperature is around 50 degrees.

How to stain a deck.

Remove all dirt and debris. If old deck coating is peeling, you should remove it using stain stripper. Before staining, apply wood deck cleaner liberally and allow to stand for five to ten minutes. You may have  to scrub areas with hard to remove stains. Rinse with a hose and lightly sand the surface after it has dried, removing dust before applying stain. If using a solid color, apply two coats of stain. If using a clear or semi-transparent stain, one coat will suffice. Always back brush for optimum penetration and uniformity.  Avoid staining in direct sunlight or on hot surfaces.

Olympic exterior stains offer deck cleaners, stain strippers and exterior stains to accommodate any type of deck as well as how to videos at

Once the cold weather sets in, it’s a great time to head to your garage to work on some do it yourself projects that will improve the look of your patio in the spring.

Here are a few suggestions

Build planters for flowers or other plants so you can place them on your patio this spring.

Stain wood furniture or other wood items that you display on your patio. If you have leftover stain that you used on your deck, this is a great way to get more use out of it. If you’re going for a more colorful look, stains are also available in a wide range of colors not just brown.

Make rolling plant caddies to keep your plants from sitting directly on your deck, which can cause stains and decay. For a how ot video and step by step instructions, visit

By giving your deck the proper treatment during fall and tackling some projects during your downtime in the winter, you’ll be able to have your patio looking good in no time once spring rolls around.

Jul 232010

Skunks and rabbits etc. should be living in the woods, not under your shed in your backyard. The properly built shed with a wood floor is constructed with the bottom of the floor about 4 inches off of the ground. It’s done this way to have proper air circulation under the floor which keeps the floor dry. If you block the air space under your wood floor you will stop the air circulation and condensation will be trapped and your floor will rot in the near future.

The best method to keep small animals from setting up house under your shed is installing a wire screen around the perimeter. This will keep the animals out and let the air in.

Dig a 6 inch trench around the perimeter of your shed as close to the shed as you can. Measure the distance between the bottom of your siding to the bottom of the trench. This will be the height of your wire screen. You can buy the screen at your local home improvement store. It comes in rolls about 48 inches high and 25 feet long.

The most difficult part of this operation is cutting the wire screen. You can use a circular saw but be really careful. Leave the screen in the roll, measure then cut. Little pieces of the screen may shoot at you when you are cutting. Wear safety goggles or glasses.

If you don’t like to take chances, use a wire cutter or tin snip. Unroll the screen and cut it to the height required. This is a two person job and be careful of the sharp edges.

Start installing the screen at the front left side of your shed. Bring it around the front and down the right hand side. The best way to fasten the screen is with an air powered roof staple gun. If you don’t have one of those, you can use any type of galvanized fastener you can find at Home Depot Etc.

After you have it secured to the building, tuck it down into the trench and back fill.

If you would like to really dress it up you can buy vinyl lattice. Cut it to size and screw it in. Use galvanized or stainless screws.

This will keep out any animal, just be careful when cutting the wire screen.

Visit for more outstanding tips plus all types of sheds and shed options and accessories. for all your backyard storage shed needs.

Jan 242010

Unfortunately every city and township in the country is different in regards to building permits for backyard storage sheds. I strongly suggest you make an anonymous call to you local building department before you start shopping for a shed so you have an idea on the size you are allowed to get and any other codes you need to know.

Play stupid, tell them you want to build a backyard storage shed in your yard, what do you have to do.

Most cities have size and height restrictions. The size is measured in square feet, width times length equals square feet.

I suggest you get the largest shed allowed in your local community. I have heard my shed is too small thousands of times. Very few cities allow more then one accessory building so unless you want to tear the building down and build another, get the size right the first time.

Other restrictions may concern the placement of the shed in your yard. Most cities will have a distance it must be off of your property lines and how far away from other structures or easements it must be.

If a permit is required your city may ask for a plot plan, building schematic and a picture of the shed. You can use a photo from the brochure the shed seller has and they also should provide you with a building schematic.

You can draw your own plot plan. The building department will want to see your lot size, where your home is located on the lot, the distance the home is from the rear property line and the location of the backyard storage shed. For your home and future shed, just draw squares or rectangles in their approximate location.

Some cities will require a permit and some won’t.

I always recommend that permits are applied for if required. If you decide to build a backyard storage shed without a permit and the building department finds out, they can really make your life miserable for quite awhile.

You can’t fight city hall.

For all kinds of information about Backyard Storage Sheds, please visit:

For replacement parts for your existing shed including doors, please visit:

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