foundation repair specialists Mira Mesa

Foundation (engineering)

July 13, 2017 update: For the latest, please read “Zebras: Let’s Get In Formation.”A year ago we wrote “Sex & Startups.” The premise was this: The current technology and venture capital structure is broken. It rewards quantity over quality, consumption over creation, quick exits over sustainable growth, and shareholder profit over shared prosperity. It chases after “unicorn” companies bent on “disruption” rather than supporting businesses that repair, cultivate, and connect. After publishing the essay, we heard from hundreds of founders, investors, and advocates who agreed: “We cannot win at this game.”This is an urgent problem. For in this game, far more than money is at stake. When VC firms prize time on site over truth, a lucky few may profit, but civil society suffers. When shareholder return trumps collective well-being, democracy itself is threatened. The reality is that business models breed behavior, and at scale, that behavior can lead to far-reaching, sometimes destructive outcomes.Facebook — the ultimate unicorn — was weaponized to spread fake news during the presidential election. Uber has come under fire for supporting dubious political agendas, tolerating a toxic workplace culture, manipulating employee wages, and circumnavigating regulations. Medium has backpedaled, having realized that while clickbait content may produce the ad-revenue hockey stick investors want to see, it undermines the founders’ original mission to create a publishing model that enlightens, informs, and rewards quality over quantity.Many well-reasoned think pieces* have been written about the gaping chasm between the world we need and the world that exists. Today, we want to provide the seeds of a solution — and to encourage founders, investors, foundations, corporations, and their allies to organize around it.A company’s business model is the first domino in a long chain of consequences. In short: “The business model is the message.” From that business model flows company culture and beliefs, strategies for success, end-user experiences, and, ultimately, the very shape of society.We believe that developing alternative business models to the startup status quo has become a central moral challenge of our time. These alternative models will balance profit and purpose, champion democracy, and put a premium on sharing power and resources. Companies that create a more just and responsible society will hear, help, and heal the customers and communities they serve.Think of our most valuable institutions — journalism, education, healthcare, government, the “third sector” of nonprofits and social enterprises — as houses upon which democracy rests. Unicorn companies are rewarded for disrupting these, for razing them to the ground.Instead, we ought to support companies that provide extreme home makeovers. We can’t assume these companies will be created by accident. We must intentionally build the infrastructure to nurture them.ENTER THE ZEBRAThis new movement demands a new symbol, so we’re claiming an animal of our own: the zebra.Why zebras?To state the obvious: unlike unicorns, zebras are real.Zebra companies are both black and white: they are profitable and improve society. They won’t sacrifice one for the other.Zebras are also mutualistic: by banding together in groups, they protect and preserve one another. Their individual input results in stronger collective output.Zebra companies are built with peerless stamina and capital efficiency, as long as conditions allow them to survive.The capital system is failing society in part because it is failing zebra companies: profitable businesses that solve real, meaningful problems and in the process repair existing social systems.Drawing from the work of many thinkers,** we’ve developed a portrait of what a zebra company is, does, and stands for. This chart outlines how a zebra company compares with its mythical cousin, the unicorn.For a downloadable, printable version, click here.WHY IS IT SO HARD TO BUILD ZEBRA COMPANIES?In the last year we’ve spoken to countless founders, investors, foundations, and thought leaders who believe zebra companies are crucial to our society’s success. Yet zebras struggle for survival because they lack the environment to encourage their birth, let alone to support them through maturity. “I wonder how many change-makers are stuck under the demands of unicorn investors,” said TJ Abood of Access Ventures, who added that he worried about “the opportunity cost to society” under this model.From our conversations with stakeholders, we distilled the most common challenges facing zebra companies:1. The problem isn’t product, it’s process. Tech isn’t a silver bullet. Building more won’t solve the biggest challenges we face today. An app won’t address the homelessness crisis in San Francisco or unite bitterly divided partisan politicians. The obstacle is that we are not investing in the process and time it takes to help institutions adopt, deploy, and measure the success of innovation, apps or otherwise.2. Zebra companies are often started by women and other underrepresented founders. Three percent of venture funding goes to women and less than one percent to people of color. Although women start 30 percent of businesses, they receive only 5 percent of small-business loans and 3 percent of venture capital. Yet when surveyed, women — who perform better overall than founding teams composed exclusively of men — say they are in it for the long haul: to build profitable, sustainable companies.3. You can’t be it if you can’t see it. Look hard outside of Silicon Valley and you’ll find promising zebra companies. But existing and aspiring business owners haven’t seen enough proof that they’ll have a higher chance of becoming financially successful and socially celebrated if they follow sustainable business practices. They lack heroes to emulate, so they default to the “growth at all costs” model. Imagine if every fund allocated a small percentage for zebra experiments. The investing firm Indie.vc has bravely stepped into this space, but it shouldn’t stand alone.4. Zebras are stuck between two outdated paradigms, nonprofit and for-profit. For young companies pursuing both profit and purpose, the existing imperfect structures (hybrid for-profit/nonprofit, Public Benefit Corps, B-Corps, L3Cs) can be prohibitively expensive. The expense comes not only in legal fees, but in the consumption of a founder’s most precious commodity: time. Months are lost searching for aligned, strategic investors who are both familiar and comfortable with alternative models. This presents a chicken-and-egg problem for foundations, philanthropists, and investors alike. They are spooked by unproven alternative models, but companies can’t prove their models work without experiments to fund them in the first place. Moreover, the current tax system doesn’t reward — or even acknowledge — anything other than for-profit (tax) or nonprofit (deduction) strategies. From the IRS’s perspective, there is nothing akin to a “50 percent financial return, 50 percent social impact” investment. This leaves many potential investors in a straitjacket.5. Impact investing’s thesis is detrimentally narrow and risk-averse. Much of the $36 billion in impact investment funding is restricted to verticals like clean technology, microfinance, or global health. This immature market limits innovation in other sectors — like journalism and education — that could desperately use it.“So how will investors turn a profit and mitigate risks?” you may be asking. Dividends? Equity crowdfunding? We don’t have all the answers. But we’ve seen how a company’s business model and values can negatively affect the bottom line (#deleteuber). So what if the opposite is also true? What if more-enlightened dollars invested in more-enlightened companies led to stronger returns? What if companies that stood for something were in fact more profitable? Patagonia, Warby Parker, Zingerman’s, Etsy, Mailchimp, Basecamp, and Kickstarter are a start — but the world needs so much more.MAKE ZEBRAS: JOIN USIf you believe technology and capital must do better, if you are building a zebra company or want to help carve out a space for them to thrive: join usOur goal is to gather zebra founders, philanthropists, investors, thinkers, and advocates to meet in person this year for DazzleCon (November 15–17 in Portland, Oregon)— a group of zebras is called a dazzle! — to learn from one another and pool resources, ideas, and best practices, to collectively advance this set of ambitions. From this gathering, we will capture and share the unique patterns that zebra founders and funders are finding, and we’ll turn a loose network into a powerful, cohesive movement.Are you in? Go here.Jennifer Brandel is the co-founder and CEO of Hearken. Mara Zepeda is the co-founder and CEO of Switchboard. Extra special thanks to Astrid Scholz, founder and CEO of Sphaera.DazzleCon is proudly supported by Knight Foundation, Artha Investing for Impact, Social Capital Markets, Portland Incubator Experiment, and Catalyst Law. Interested in sponsoring? Get in touch.*Thought piece roundup: Anil Dash on Humane Tech, Joe Edelman’s “Nothing to be Done,” Victoria Fram’s “Why An Equity-Only Investment Strategy Overlooks Many Promising Entrepreneurs,” Caterina Fake’s “The Age of the Cockaroach,” Jason Fried’s “Why We Chose Profit,” Christie George’s “Investing in Sharing,” Tristan Harris’s “How Technology Hijacks People’s Minds — from a Magician and Google’s Design Ethicist,” David Heinemeier Hansson’s “Exponential Growth Devours and Corrupts,” Julie Menter’s “On Unicorns: We’re Looking for a Different Kind of Magic,” Tim O’Reilly’s “We’ve Got This Whole Unicorn Thing Wrong,” Andrew Wilkinson’s “Unicorns vs. Horses.”**Jenn Armbrust’s Feminist Business School, Amber Case’s Calm Technology, Jerry Colonna, Ali Schultz and the work of Reboot.io, Anil Dash in conversation with Krista Tippett, in On Being; Seth Godin’s Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us; Jonathan Harris’ Modern Medicine; Ivan Illich’s Deschooling Society; Michael Karlberg’s “Beyond the Culture of Contest”; Jerry Michalski’s “What if we Trusted You?,” Howard Rheingold’s “Toward a Literacy of Cooperation”; Douglas Rushkoff’s Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus; Natasha Dow Schüll’s Addiction by Design; Shel Silverstein’s poem “Zebra Question”; Peter Thiel’s Zero to One; Ari Weinzweig’s Anarchist’s Guide to Building a Better Business series. Zebra companies have been referred to in journalism articles and academic papers, and by some VC firms.Thanks to Jenn Armbrust, Adam Brault, David Chen, Molly deAguiar, John Dimatos, Lennon Day-Reynolds, Corey Ford, Christie George, Seth Godin, Andrew Haeg, Jason Kunesh, Rachel Hankerson, Jonathan Harris, Jennifer Jordan, Luke Kanies, Duncan Malashock, Kanyi Maqubela, Ellen Mayer, Julie Menter, Douglas Rushkoff, Jake Shapiro, Michael Slaby, Rick Turoczy, Stephanie Pereira, April Rinne, Tom Watson. And to Jen McDonald for editing; and to Arthur Jones for the illustrations.

Shed

July 13, 2017 update: For the latest, please read “Zebras: Let’s Get In Formation.”A year ago we wrote “Sex & Startups.” The premise was this: The current technology and venture capital structure is broken. It rewards quantity over quality, consumption over creation, quick exits over sustainable growth, and shareholder profit over shared prosperity. It chases after “unicorn” companies bent on “disruption” rather than supporting businesses that repair, cultivate, and connect. After publishing the essay, we heard from hundreds of founders, investors, and advocates who agreed: “We cannot win at this game.”This is an urgent problem. For in this game, far more than money is at stake. When VC firms prize time on site over truth, a lucky few may profit, but civil society suffers. When shareholder return trumps collective well-being, democracy itself is threatened. The reality is that business models breed behavior, and at scale, that behavior can lead to far-reaching, sometimes destructive outcomes.Facebook — the ultimate unicorn — was weaponized to spread fake news during the presidential election. Uber has come under fire for supporting dubious political agendas, tolerating a toxic workplace culture, manipulating employee wages, and circumnavigating regulations. Medium has backpedaled, having realized that while clickbait content may produce the ad-revenue hockey stick investors want to see, it undermines the founders’ original mission to create a publishing model that enlightens, informs, and rewards quality over quantity.Many well-reasoned think pieces* have been written about the gaping chasm between the world we need and the world that exists. Today, we want to provide the seeds of a solution — and to encourage founders, investors, foundations, corporations, and their allies to organize around it.A company’s business model is the first domino in a long chain of consequences. In short: “The business model is the message.” From that business model flows company culture and beliefs, strategies for success, end-user experiences, and, ultimately, the very shape of society.We believe that developing alternative business models to the startup status quo has become a central moral challenge of our time. These alternative models will balance profit and purpose, champion democracy, and put a premium on sharing power and resources. Companies that create a more just and responsible society will hear, help, and heal the customers and communities they serve.Think of our most valuable institutions — journalism, education, healthcare, government, the “third sector” of nonprofits and social enterprises — as houses upon which democracy rests. Unicorn companies are rewarded for disrupting these, for razing them to the ground.Instead, we ought to support companies that provide extreme home makeovers. We can’t assume these companies will be created by accident. We must intentionally build the infrastructure to nurture them.ENTER THE ZEBRAThis new movement demands a new symbol, so we’re claiming an animal of our own: the zebra.Why zebras?To state the obvious: unlike unicorns, zebras are real.Zebra companies are both black and white: they are profitable and improve society. They won’t sacrifice one for the other.Zebras are also mutualistic: by banding together in groups, they protect and preserve one another. Their individual input results in stronger collective output.Zebra companies are built with peerless stamina and capital efficiency, as long as conditions allow them to survive.The capital system is failing society in part because it is failing zebra companies: profitable businesses that solve real, meaningful problems and in the process repair existing social systems.Drawing from the work of many thinkers,** we’ve developed a portrait of what a zebra company is, does, and stands for. This chart outlines how a zebra company compares with its mythical cousin, the unicorn.For a downloadable, printable version, click here.WHY IS IT SO HARD TO BUILD ZEBRA COMPANIES?In the last year we’ve spoken to countless founders, investors, foundations, and thought leaders who believe zebra companies are crucial to our society’s success. Yet zebras struggle for survival because they lack the environment to encourage their birth, let alone to support them through maturity. “I wonder how many change-makers are stuck under the demands of unicorn investors,” said TJ Abood of Access Ventures, who added that he worried about “the opportunity cost to society” under this model.From our conversations with stakeholders, we distilled the most common challenges facing zebra companies:1. The problem isn’t product, it’s process. Tech isn’t a silver bullet. Building more won’t solve the biggest challenges we face today. An app won’t address the homelessness crisis in San Francisco or unite bitterly divided partisan politicians. The obstacle is that we are not investing in the process and time it takes to help institutions adopt, deploy, and measure the success of innovation, apps or otherwise.2. Zebra companies are often started by women and other underrepresented founders. Three percent of venture funding goes to women and less than one percent to people of color. Although women start 30 percent of businesses, they receive only 5 percent of small-business loans and 3 percent of venture capital. Yet when surveyed, women — who perform better overall than founding teams composed exclusively of men — say they are in it for the long haul: to build profitable, sustainable companies.3. You can’t be it if you can’t see it. Look hard outside of Silicon Valley and you’ll find promising zebra companies. But existing and aspiring business owners haven’t seen enough proof that they’ll have a higher chance of becoming financially successful and socially celebrated if they follow sustainable business practices. They lack heroes to emulate, so they default to the “growth at all costs” model. Imagine if every fund allocated a small percentage for zebra experiments. The investing firm Indie.vc has bravely stepped into this space, but it shouldn’t stand alone.4. Zebras are stuck between two outdated paradigms, nonprofit and for-profit. For young companies pursuing both profit and purpose, the existing imperfect structures (hybrid for-profit/nonprofit, Public Benefit Corps, B-Corps, L3Cs) can be prohibitively expensive. The expense comes not only in legal fees, but in the consumption of a founder’s most precious commodity: time. Months are lost searching for aligned, strategic investors who are both familiar and comfortable with alternative models. This presents a chicken-and-egg problem for foundations, philanthropists, and investors alike. They are spooked by unproven alternative models, but companies can’t prove their models work without experiments to fund them in the first place. Moreover, the current tax system doesn’t reward — or even acknowledge — anything other than for-profit (tax) or nonprofit (deduction) strategies. From the IRS’s perspective, there is nothing akin to a “50 percent financial return, 50 percent social impact” investment. This leaves many potential investors in a straitjacket.5. Impact investing’s thesis is detrimentally narrow and risk-averse. Much of the $36 billion in impact investment funding is restricted to verticals like clean technology, microfinance, or global health. This immature market limits innovation in other sectors — like journalism and education — that could desperately use it.“So how will investors turn a profit and mitigate risks?” you may be asking. Dividends? Equity crowdfunding? We don’t have all the answers. But we’ve seen how a company’s business model and values can negatively affect the bottom line (#deleteuber). So what if the opposite is also true? What if more-enlightened dollars invested in more-enlightened companies led to stronger returns? What if companies that stood for something were in fact more profitable? Patagonia, Warby Parker, Zingerman’s, Etsy, Mailchimp, Basecamp, and Kickstarter are a start — but the world needs so much more.MAKE ZEBRAS: JOIN USIf you believe technology and capital must do better, if you are building a zebra company or want to help carve out a space for them to thrive: join usOur goal is to gather zebra founders, philanthropists, investors, thinkers, and advocates to meet in person this year for DazzleCon (November 15–17 in Portland, Oregon)— a group of zebras is called a dazzle! — to learn from one another and pool resources, ideas, and best practices, to collectively advance this set of ambitions. From this gathering, we will capture and share the unique patterns that zebra founders and funders are finding, and we’ll turn a loose network into a powerful, cohesive movement.Are you in? Go here.Jennifer Brandel is the co-founder and CEO of Hearken. Mara Zepeda is the co-founder and CEO of Switchboard. Extra special thanks to Astrid Scholz, founder and CEO of Sphaera.DazzleCon is proudly supported by Knight Foundation, Artha Investing for Impact, Social Capital Markets, Portland Incubator Experiment, and Catalyst Law. Interested in sponsoring? Get in touch.*Thought piece roundup: Anil Dash on Humane Tech, Joe Edelman’s “Nothing to be Done,” Victoria Fram’s “Why An Equity-Only Investment Strategy Overlooks Many Promising Entrepreneurs,” Caterina Fake’s “The Age of the Cockaroach,” Jason Fried’s “Why We Chose Profit,” Christie George’s “Investing in Sharing,” Tristan Harris’s “How Technology Hijacks People’s Minds — from a Magician and Google’s Design Ethicist,” David Heinemeier Hansson’s “Exponential Growth Devours and Corrupts,” Julie Menter’s “On Unicorns: We’re Looking for a Different Kind of Magic,” Tim O’Reilly’s “We’ve Got This Whole Unicorn Thing Wrong,” Andrew Wilkinson’s “Unicorns vs. Horses.”**Jenn Armbrust’s Feminist Business School, Amber Case’s Calm Technology, Jerry Colonna, Ali Schultz and the work of Reboot.io, Anil Dash in conversation with Krista Tippett, in On Being; Seth Godin’s Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us; Jonathan Harris’ Modern Medicine; Ivan Illich’s Deschooling Society; Michael Karlberg’s “Beyond the Culture of Contest”; Jerry Michalski’s “What if we Trusted You?,” Howard Rheingold’s “Toward a Literacy of Cooperation”; Douglas Rushkoff’s Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus; Natasha Dow Schüll’s Addiction by Design; Shel Silverstein’s poem “Zebra Question”; Peter Thiel’s Zero to One; Ari Weinzweig’s Anarchist’s Guide to Building a Better Business series. Zebra companies have been referred to in journalism articles and academic papers, and by some VC firms.Thanks to Jenn Armbrust, Adam Brault, David Chen, Molly deAguiar, John Dimatos, Lennon Day-Reynolds, Corey Ford, Christie George, Seth Godin, Andrew Haeg, Jason Kunesh, Rachel Hankerson, Jonathan Harris, Jennifer Jordan, Luke Kanies, Duncan Malashock, Kanyi Maqubela, Ellen Mayer, Julie Menter, Douglas Rushkoff, Jake Shapiro, Michael Slaby, Rick Turoczy, Stephanie Pereira, April Rinne, Tom Watson. And to Jen McDonald for editing; and to Arthur Jones for the illustrations.

DNA repair

"Toolshed" redirects here. For the Tool demo album, see 72826. "Bike shed" redirects here. For bike-shedding, see law of triviality. A rural shed Modern secure bike sheds Garden shed with gambrel roof A shed is typically a simple, single-storey roofed structure in a back garden or on an allotment that is used for storage, hobbies, or as a workshop. Sheds vary considerably in the complexity of their construction and their size, from small open-sided tin-roofed structures to large wood-framed sheds with shingled roofs, windows, and electrical outlets. Sheds used on farms or in industry can be large structures. The main types of shed construction are metal sheathing over a metal frame, plastic sheathing and frame, all-wood construction (the roof may be asphalt shingled or sheathed in tin), and vinyl-sided sheds built over a wooden frame. A culture of shed enthusiasts exists in several countries for people who enjoy building sheds and spending time in them for relaxation. In Australia and New Zealand there are magazines called The Shed, an association for shed hobbyists (the Australian Men's Shed Association), and a book entitled Men and Sheds. Depending on the region and type of use, a shed may also be called an "outhouse", "outbuilding" or "shack". The simplest and least-expensive sheds are available in kit form. These kits are designed for regular people to be able to assemble themselves using commonly available tools (e.g., screwdriver). Both shed kits and DIY (do-it-yourself) plans are available for wooden and plastic sheds. Sheds are used to store home and garden tools and equipment such as lawn tractors, and gardening supplies. In addition, sheds can be used to store items that are not suitable for indoor storage, such as petrol (gasoline), pesticides, or herbicides. For homes with small gardens or modest storage needs, there are several types of very small sheds. The sheds not only use less ground area but also have a low profile less likely to obstruct the view or clash with the landscaping. A metal garden shed made with sheets of galvanized steel over a steel frame These small sheds include corner sheds, which fit into a corner (3 ft tall × 3 wide × 2 deep, or 0.91 m × 0.91 m × 0.61 m), vertical sheds (5 ft × 3 ft × 4 ft deep, or 1.52 m × 0.91 m × 1.22 m), horizontal sheds (3 ft × 5 ft × 4 ft or 0.91 m × 1.52 m × 1.22 m), and tool sheds. When a shed is used for tool storage, shelves and hooks are often used to maximize the storage space. Gambrel-style roofed sheds (sometimes called baby barns), which resemble a Dutch-style barn, have a high sloping roofline which increases storage space in the "loft" area. Some Gambrel-styles have no loft and offer the advantage of reduced overall height. Another style of small shed is the saltbox-style shed. Many sheds have either a pent or apex roof shape. A pent shed features a single roof section which is angled downwards to let rainwater run off, with more headroom at the front than the back. This is a simple, practical design that will fit particularly well next to a wall or fence. It is also usually lower than the typical apex shed, so could be a better choice if there are any height restrictions. A pent shed may be free-standing or attached to a wall (when it is known, unsurprisingly, as a wall shed). An apex shed has a pointed roof in an inverted V shape similar to the roof line of many houses. Two roof sections meet at a ridge in the middle, providing more headroom in the centre than at the sides. This type is generally regarded as a more attractive and traditional design, and may be preferable if the shed is going to be visible from the house. [1] A twist on the standard apex shape is the reverse apex shed. In this design, the door is set in a side wall instead of the front. The main advantage of the reverse apex design is that the door opens into the widest part of the shed instead of the narrowest, so it's easier to reach into all areas to retrieve or store equipment. [2] A tall shed with windows and a shingled roof Larger, more-expensive sheds are typically constructed of wood and include features typically found in house construction, such as windows, a shingled roof, and electrical outlets. Larger sheds provide more space for engaging in hobbies such as gardening, small engine repair, or tinkering. Some sheds have small porches or include furniture, which allows them to be used for relaxation purposes. In some cases, teleworkers and homeworkers in general who live in mild climates use small to medium-sized wooden garden sheds as outdoor offices. There is a growing industry in providing "off the peg" garden offices to cater for this demand, particularly in the UK but also in the US. Shed owners can customize wooden sheds to match the features (e.g., siding, trim, etc.) of the main house. A number of decorative options can be added to sheds, such as dormers, shutters, flowerboxes, finials, and weathervanes. As well, practical options can be added such as benches, ramps, ventilation systems (e.g., in cases where a swimming pool heater is installed in a shed), and electric lighting. Sheds designed for gardening, called "potting sheds", often feature windows or skylights for illumination, ventilation grilles, and a potter's bench for mixing soil and re-potting plants. "Bicycle shed" redirects here. For "the bicycle shed effect", see Law of triviality. A bike shed The main types of shed construction are metal sheathing over a metal frame, plastic sheathing and frame, all-wood construction (wood frame, wood siding and wood roof), and vinyl-sided sheds built over a wooden frame. Each type has various advantages and disadvantages that a homeowner has to consider.[4] For example, while metal sheds are fire and termite-resistant, they can rust over time, or be severely damaged by high winds or heavy snow loads. Wood sheds are easier to modify or customize than plastic or metal, because carpentry tools and basic carpentry skills are more readily available. Vinyl-sided, wood-framed sheds blend the strength of a wood frame with the maintenance-free aspect of vinyl siding (it does not need to be painted or varnished). The International Building Code (IBC) defines a shed as a building or structure of an accessory character; it classifies them under utility and miscellaneous group U (Chapter 3 Section 312). A corrugated iron shed Metal sheds made from thin sheet metal sheathing (galvanized steel, aluminium, or corrugated iron) attached to a metal frame. Metal sheds are a good choice when long-term strength and resistance to fire, rot, or termites is desired. However, metal sheds may rust over time, particularly if they are constructed from steel that is not galvanized. Be aware that concrete is highly corrosive so care needs to be taken when assembling your shed to avoid contact with the outside panels.[5] As well, some types of metal sheds that have thin walls are easily dented, which may makes some types of thin metal sheds a poor choice for vandal-prone areas or for high-traffic activities such as small businesses. In cold climates, metal sheds with thin walls need to have snow and ice cleared from the roof, because the thin metal may be damaged by a heavy accumulation. Since thin metal sheds weigh much less than wood or PVC plastic sheds, thin metal sheds are more at risk of being damaged by heavy winds. To prevent wind damage, thin metal sheds should be attached to a concrete foundation with screws.[6] In countries where the climate is generally mild, such as Australia, very large metal sheds are used for many types of industry. Corrugated metal sheds may be better able to withstand wind and snow loads, as the corrugated shape makes the metal stronger than flat tin. Lifetime brand blow-molded plastic sheds Plastic shed kits utilizing heavy molded plastics such as PVC and polyethylene may be less expensive than sheet-metal sheds. PVC resins and high-impact, UV light-resistant polyethylene make plastic outdoor sheds stronger, lighter, more durable, and more resistant to denting and chipping than wood, and tend to be more stable. Plastic shed kits sided with vinyl are typically among the least-expensive types of shed construction. Higher-quality sheds use UV-resistant plastic and powder-coated metal frames. Many plastic sheds are modular to allow for easy extensions, peg-boards, shelving, attic-storage, windows, skylights, and other accessories to be added later, if these additions are purchased from the manufacturer. Plastic sheds are not susceptible to termite or wood-boring insect damage, and they require little maintenance. Being rot-proof they do not need to have preservative applied. This makes them preferable in climates where the weather can be changeable, such as the United Kingdom.[7] Unlike wooden or metal sheds, which often require a permit to build, in many areas, plastic sheds do not. However, this is something property owners will need to verify. A call to your council/town's planning or building code office can provide information on permits.[8] Domestic wooden sheds. Example of wood storage shed from US cedar shed builder. Wooden sheds have a natural look that can blend in well with garden environments. Despite the strength of wood, over time, untreated and neglected wood can rot, split, warp or become susceptible to mold and mildew, so wood sheds should be treated for protection with stain and varnish. Wood sheds need regular maintenance. This includes keeping plant matter and debris from piling up beside the walls and on the roof, and occasional rot-proofing with preservative. Sheds are sometimes also re-stained or varnished at times for aesthetic and wood protection reasons. Fire and, in some regions, termite attack are also potential problems. Stains and preservatives can be applied to wood sheds to prevent damage to the wood caused by exposure to rain, damp ground, UV light, harsh climatic conditions, fungal attack and wood-boring insects. If a coloured preservative oil or stain is used, a wooden shed can either be made to stand out as a feature within a garden, or to blend in with its surroundings. Red cedar coloured stain is popular. Some types of wood, such as cedar, are more naturally resistant to water damage. When looking for a wooden shed, it is important to understand the difference between the two types of preservative used in their manufacture. The timber will have been treated in one of two ways: dip treatment and pressure treatment. Dip-treated sheds are made from components that are lowered into a tank of preservative before the panels are assembled. This is a quick and simple process which keeps costs down and encourages manufacturers to produce a wide variety, making dip-treated sheds the most popular and affordable type on the market. They are easily recognisable by their golden brown colour, which is due to a dye added to the preservative. Most manufacturers offer a 10-year anti-rot guarantee on dip-treated sheds, but they have to be re-coated every year or two. [2] Pressure-treated sheds are made from timber planks which have had the moisture sucked out of them under vacuum conditions in a special cylinder. A powerful preservative is then forced into the wood at high pressure until it is absorbed deep into the grain, becoming an integral part of the timber. This provides excellent protection against the weather - so much so that manufacturers generally give a 15-year anti-rot guarantee. These sheds are usually distinguished by a pale green tinge which will fade eventually to a silvery grey. Although pressure-treated sheds tend to be more expensive than dip-treated ones, their big advantage is that they won't need any further preservative treatment during the guarantee period, saving owners time and money. [3] One advantage of using wood sheds over metal versions is that it is easier to modify them by adding windows, doors, shelving, or exterior trim (etc.) because wood can be cut and drilled using commonly available tools, whereas a plastic or metal shed requires specialized tools. Some homeowners may prefer wood sheds because wood is a renewable resource. An Amish-style vinyl-sided shed Vinyl-sided sheds are typically built with standard wood framing construction and oriented strand board (OSB) on the walls covered with standard vinyl siding. The vinyl siding protects the OSB wood and the frame from moisture from rain and snow. Vinyl-sided sheds never need to be painted, and are maintenance-free. They are stronger than plastic or metal sheds, and are usually built to conform with the local building codes. They offer good value for money because they hold up in all weather, including winters with heavy snowfall, as they use a strong wooden frame and the OSB panels have stronger structural support than thin metal or PVC siding or roofs. Metal, plastic and resin sheds are cheaper, but they cannot handle the weight of snow in winter (roofs may cave in). Vinyl sheds also offer more colour options. In the early and middle years of the 20th century, many garden sheds and domestic garages were made of asbestos-cement sheets supported on a very light angle-iron frame. Concerns about safety led to the practice being discontinued, but they were cheap and long-lasting, and many can still be seen in British gardens. Advice on continued use or disposal is available.[9] Since 2013 garden sheds have been available in the UK made from TPR - a sustainable alternative to concrete.[10] They are typically coated in a marine gelcoat and are far stronger and more durable than traditional sheds. A shed made from TPR became the first Secured by Design-approved shed in 2014[11] A shed near Sydney, Australia In Australia and New Zealand the term shed can be used to refer to any building that is not a residence and which may be open at the ends or sides, or both. Australia's passion for sheds is documented in Mark Thomson's Blokes and Sheds (1998).[12] Jim Hopkins' similarly titled Blokes & Sheds (1998), with photographer Julie Riley Hopkins, profiles amateur inventors from across New Zealand.[13] Hopkins and Riley followed up that book with Inventions from the Shed (1999)[14] and a 5-part film documentary series with the same name.[15] Gordon Thorburn also examined the shed proclivity in his book Men and Sheds (2002),[16] as did Gareth Jones in Shed Men (2004).[17] Recently, "Men's Sheds" have become common in Australia.[18] In New Zealand, the bi-monthly magazine The Shed appeals to the culture of "blokes" who do woodwork or metalwork DIY projects in their sheds. The Australian Men's Shed Association is one organisation that has been set up involving sheds. A much-loved and frequently restored British shed in Lincolnshire Another magazine called The Shed, a bimonthly PDF magazine produced in the UK, but with a global audience, targets people who work (usually in creative industries) in garden offices, sheds and other shed-like atmospheres.[citation needed] In the UK, people have long enjoyed working in their potting sheds; the slang term "sheddie", to refer to a person enamoured of shed-building, testifies to the place of sheds in UK popular culture. A Usenet Newsgroup "uk.rec.sheds" has long championed this subculture: their lengthy FAQ[19] is a masterly summary of the idea. Shedworking: A lifestyle guide for shedworkers is published at Blogger. Author Gordon Thorburn examined the shed proclivity in his book Men and Sheds, which argues that a "place of retreat" is a "male necessity" which provides men with solace, especially during their retirement.[20] In contrast, in the novel Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons, Aunt Edna Doom saw "something nasty in the woodshed" and retreated to her bed for half a century. To woodshed, or 'shed, in jazz jargon, is "to shut oneself up, away from the world, and practice long and hard, as in 'going to the woodshed'."[21] The word is recorded in English since 1481, as shadde, possibly a variant of shade. The word shade comes from the Old English word "sceadu", which means "shade, shadow, darkness". The term's P.Gmc. cognate, "skadwo" also means "shady place, protection from glare or heat".[22] The Old English word is spelled in different ways, such as "shadde", "shad" or "shedde", all of which come from an "Old Teutonic/Anglo-Saxon root word for separation or division". The first attested usage of the word, in 1481, was in the sentence, "A yearde in whiche was a shadde where in were six grete dogges". The Anglo Saxon word "shud", which means "cover" may also have been part of the development of the word. In 1440, a "shud" was defined as a "... schudde, hovel, swyne kote or howse of sympyl hyllynge [covering] to kepe yn beestys".[citation needed] A waterside shed in Sweden

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