Q. What tools will I need to erect my garden shed?
You don’t need a hardware store to build one of our sheds. We generally recommend a Drill, some spare drill bits (3mm/4mm) although we do supply one with the kit, a screw driver, ladder, optional pop rivet gun and some rivets (as alternative to the supplied screws for attaching the pad bolt), Gloves, eye protection, boots and if possible to make construction easier we also recommend the use of a raised platform (on a couple of saw horses) for assembling the wall panels to avoid discomfort and it also makes the assembly process even easier.
Q. Do I need council approval for my Garden Shed?
In most areas structures less than 10m2 do not require council approval however we always recommend you check with your local authority before you purchase and construct your garden shed. Some areas or housing estates may also have restrictions on what colour and size buildings are allowed so again check with your body corporate and/or local authority before you start your project.
Q. What are wind regions and where do they apply?
Australian wind regions are nominated as either A, B, C or D. The region required for any building will generally be dictated by the local council for the area in which it is to be built. Wind regions are pre-defined for all of Australia by the Australian Standards. The wind region has nothing to do with surrounding topography or buildings.
Region A: Most of Australia is designated Region A which indicates a Region Basic Wind Velocity of 41ms.
Region B: Region B indicates a Region Basic Wind Velocity of 54ms. Local authorities will advise if this applies in the area.
Region C: Region C indicates a Region Basic Wind Velocity of 57ms and is generally referred to as cyclonic. These conditions are generally limited to northern coastal areas of Australia.
Region D: Region D (69ms) The highest wind region in Australia starts at about Carnavon to just north of Port Headland on Australia's West Coast.
Q. What is a good checklist I should consider before I buy a garden shed?
There is an article in our news section which outlines some guidance and advice. But here's a quick 7 tips to get you started.
- Don’t underestimate how quickly your shed contents will accumulate, so think bigger, not smaller in terms of size that will practically fit in the available space you should also consider additional shelving to utilise the storage space more effectively.
- Avoid low lying ground where water tends to pool and accumulate.
- Make sure the site is level and flat or consider the option of a floor framing kit if you wish to avoid extensive ground work.
- Allow for door openings and free space in front of your shed so it’s easy to get your stuff in and out without obstruction and causing damage.
- Consider the surrounding aesthetics and the visibility of the storage unit in the yard; consider a colour option that will potentially be more appealing.
- Investigate any local regulations or restrictions, some areas may have limitations on the overall height and or colour of buildings.
- Ask questions of your retailer and do some research, they may look similar but many imported sheds, particularly from China are not designed and or engineered to the recommended Australian and New Zealand standards, or tested to comply with wind rating legislation. Often some of the cheap Chinese sheds use inferior materials and you may notice a slight wave pattern in the steel panels known as “oil canning”.
Q. Does a garden shed come with a floor?
Floors are not supplied as standard; our garden storage range does include a floor framing kit as an additional accessory item (please check local council regulations as the flooring kit may not be suitable for use in high wind regions) our instruction manual includes recommendations and specifications for pouring a concrete slab.
Q. Does my garden shed come with fixtures to bolt to a concrete slab?
Spanbilt kitset buildings include a bolt down kit and masonry anchors for attaching the structure to a concrete slab as standard so you don’t need another trip to buys any extra bits from the hardware store
Q. Do I need to bolt my shed to the ground?
Yes your shed should be attached to a solid foundation or secure solid flooring base
Q. How can I make my garden shed water proof?
Garden sheds are not a water proof structure to the standard of a home and/or properly installed portal steel framed building. Extreme weather conditions make it difficult to keep water from entering the shed through gaps, doorways and entries. Most commonly moisture may seep in under the base frame. We recommend a rebate in your concrete slab to minimise the risk and volume of water entry. Many of our customers who purchase flooring frame kit system use decking timber with a gap between the slats to allow any moisture to escape through the floor. We also recommend the use of shelving to keep water sensitive items elevated.
Q. Can I store chemicals in a garden shed?
The Australian Standard AS 2507 – 1998 outlines the key criteria for storage of agricultural and veterinary chemical. In most cases where the quantities do not exceed 1000kg or litres combined the requirements are classified as "minor storage". In these cases a garden shed can be converted into a chemical storage unit. Refer Chemical Ventiliation Upgrade Kit
Q. What do I need to know about storing chemicals in a shed?
The Australian Standard AS 2507 - 1998 outlines the technical and specifications for storage of agricultural and veterinarian chemicals, if you have a high volume of chemicals (gretaer than 1000kg or litre combined) there are additional requirements specified by the the Dangerous Goods Act 1985 and Dangerous Goods (Storage & Handling) regulations 2012. See our article on chemical storage in our news section for more details.
Q. What do spanbilt do?
Spanbilt is a leading manufacturer and designer of sheds, garden sheds, outdoor storage solutions, carports garages and even a range of farm buildings in both Australia & New Zealand
Q. Do spanbilt manufacture a shed for bicycles?
Spanbilt have recently released 2 new product ranges with the storage of bicycles and sporting equipment central to the design. The highly affordable StoreMate range can easily accomodate 2 adult bikes and still have plenty of space for all your accesories or other items. We have also recently intorduced the new smartlocker range which takes the concept of outdoor storage and security to a new level, slim line storage design with the security, strength and structure of a garage
To view theses ranges please follow this link http://www.spanbilt.com.au/catalogue/storage/
Q. How do I Lay a Concrete Slab
We have recently received a number of questions from our DIY friends for advice on laying a slab for their garden shed, outdoor storage unit, carport or garage. So the team here at spanbilt thought we’d post a how to as a bit of an extra resource.
A Bit of Background
Many people use different methods as a base for their garden shed, depending on the position and what the use of the storage shed is for most do the job pretty well. As manufacturers we generally recommend pouring a concrete slab … why you might ask … well while sheds can be built on paving slabs, flooring kits, treated timber or gravel base, concrete is by far the toughest and strongest.
If it’s a garage of carport its concrete piers or a slab, your engineering will determine the appropriate method and specifications.
Pouring a slab is not as difficult as it may seem, but it is a lot of work and may cost a bit more than some of the other options, also make sure you allow a couple of days for construction and curing. The job is always easier with an extra pair of hands so we recommend you get a couple of coldies in the fridge and find a mate that owes you a favour. A quick tip don’t start your slab without reading the instructions and confirming the slab plan, slab plans may differ from the dimensions of the shed so we recommend you check and double check well before concrete hits the ground.
First steps and critical to a good finish is the preparation … it all starts with the ground work and levelling the site, then you build the formwork, followed by a moisture barrier and steel reinforcing mesh. Next up, you should be ready to pour the concrete … again a quick tip it’s better to pour the concrete early in the day, and then finish as the day progresses. Don’t be tempted to pour concrete late in the afternoon, as several hours of drying time will be needed before you can finish it off, it often pays to plan to do the slab over a couple of days to be safe … preparation and formwork day 1 then the concrete day 2
Some further concrete curing tips …
Generally concrete reaches about 50% -60% of its strength after about a week, and about 98% after around a month, but only if it is cured properly. It is essential the cement hydrates completely with excess water after it sets.
Proper hydration will prevent the surface becoming powdery and reduce the chance of shrinkage cracking. The easiest way to cure it is to gently hose the slab morning and night for at least a week, and more often in hot, windy weather. Other methods include covering the concrete in plastic, so evaporating moisture condenses and returns to the slab. You can also cover with sand or hessian, keeping them wet. Leaving the formwork in place for as long as possible will also help.
The following is a step guide to constructing a slab for your garden shed or outdoor storage unit.
Recommended Tool list
Spirit level; lump hammer; wooden stakes; mattock; shovel; cordless screwdriver; 75mm screws; moisture barrier (builders film); duct tape; bolt cutters or angle grinder; 40mm bar chairs; steel reinforcing mesh; gloves; wooden float; gumboots; concrete edging tool; wheelbarrow.
Reminder – Check the instructions 1st for the slab detail, recommendations and rebates before you begin.
Step 1 - Mark out rough area of slab using landscaping paint or wooden stakes. Measure a little larger at this stage, as it is only for levelling ground (even an area that looks flat can have a small fall, so check). Mark lowest point and starting from here begin to excavate to level the ground for your slab. Remove any vegetation, especially roots, which will rot over time and leave voids. Also remove any soft spots in soil and protruding rocks. Keep checking levels as you dig, as you don’t want to go too deep. An easy way to do this is to use 2 bricks on edge to allow you to check levels at 2 points, fill any remaining depressions with road base, compacting it well. You should aim to end up with a flat area that is level in every direction and about 100mm wider all around than final size of slab you intend to pour. Spread a 20-30mm layer of clean sharp sand over your prepared surface, then screed level. This allows for drainage and protects the waterproof barrier, which will be placed under slab to prevent moisture rising into concrete.
Step 2 – Begin to construct the formwork which holds the wet concrete in place while it sets, the formwork must be strong enough to withstand the pressure of the wet mix. Using 90 x 45mm pine is recommended, however, you could use any pieces of old timber you may have lying around, making sure all lengths are not bowed. Screw the timber lengths together to create your formwork. All of your fixings should be on the outside, as later on you will have to strip the formwork and remove. Level and position the front of formwork carefully, because once your slab is poured it cannot be moved. Drive wooden stakes on outside of formwork at each end of front length until top of each stake is just below top edge of frame. Place your spirit level on the formwork and adjust if necessary. Screw high end of the stake to formwork from outside, ensuring frame is at desired height. Check front length of formwork with level, adjust if necessary and screw to stake at other end to secure. Now, measure both diagonals to ensure they are equal, which means formwork is square. Place your level along 1 side of formwork and, being careful not to knock out of square, drive in the stake at back corner and screw to side. Repeat for opposite end. Check again the back length of the formwork and adjust levels if necessary. Drive in and screw remainder of the stakes to the formwork. While driving in the stakes, sight along timbers to ensure they are straight. If your formwork is solid, level, and the top edge finishes at the height you want your slab to be, you can rely on your formwork to give correct levels of concrete without having to constantly refer to a spirit level while in the middle of a pour.
Step 3 - Now it’s time to line the formwork with a waterproof membrane to prevent damp rising into slab and add the steel reinforcing. Unroll the moisture barrier, overlapping formwork by about 200mm. Allow plenty of slack so you can push it into corners to minimise air pockets underneath slab. Overlap the membrane by about 200mm, then seal join with tape. Cut steel reinforcing mesh to size using bolt cutters or an angle grinder. Reinforcing mesh gives concrete tensile strength and helps to control shrinkage cracking. Steel reinforcing must be surrounded by 40mm of concrete on all sides to prevent premature corrosion, which in turn can lead to ‘concrete cancer’, so cut 40mm short of all sides. Large sheets of reinforcing mesh can be simply cut to size, but if you buy precut sheets, you will need to overlap them by 200mm. Position reinforcing mesh on top of bar chairs every metre or so to hold steel up from bottom of slab. Where required tie overlapping mesh together with wire, ensuring wire tails will point into concrete and will not be exposed.
Step 4 – The pour. Turn on mixer and add water, then add 4 or 5 bags of concrete mix with more water. Continue adding water and mix until it is just wet enough to pour. Once well mixed, pour into formwork and have a helper shovel or spread it into corners as much as possible (the steel will limit it somewhat). Keep mixing and spreading more mix until concrete is about 10mm above formwork. Your concrete is now ready for screeding. This is the action of compressing and levelling concrete with a screed board. Use a purpose-made screed or a long and straight length of timber that is a good 500mm wider than area being concreted. To screed, work from 1 end and pull back towards yourself so you do not have to stand on freshly finished concrete. With 2 people and screed on edge, use a backward and forward sawing and chopping action to work concrete down to level of top of formwork. Remove excess concrete from in front of screed as you work, or use it to fill hollow areas and re-screed. Once you have made your first pass with screed, tap formwork with a hammer to release any trapped air bubbles, then fill any voids that may have appeared. While still wet, run concrete edging tool around perimeter so you can dislodge and remove any aggregate preventing a rounded edge. With most of the hard work done now might be the ideal time to crack that 1st beer. Next wait for the surface water to evaporate (this is why it’s best to pour in the morning). If you try to finish concrete now, the surface will be weak. Check on slab every half an hour or so. Dried surface can be left with a rough screeded finish, but most people prefer a sandy wooden float finish. When there is no water remaining on surface, work float in broad sweeps across surface to smooth. Once complete, redo perimeter with edging tool to remove sharp and brittle edge. Cure concrete for at least a few days to a week so slab can gain strength, then remove formwork. You should now be ready to erect your shed.
Q. I would like some advice on bike sheds & security?
Q. What would you recommend for storing my kayak and fishing gear?
Q. What does the Spanbilt 15 Year Garden Shed warranty cover?
Your personal warranty is backed by Spanbilt, the manufacturer of FASTTRAK® system garden sheds, and our proven commitment to quality and customer service.
Our goods come with guarantees that cannot be excluded under Australian consumer law.
You are entitled to a replacement or refund of a major failure and Compensation for any reasonably foreseeable loss or damage. You are also entitled to have the goods repaired or replaced if the goods fail to be of acceptable quality and the failure does not amount to a major failure. Cost of claiming the warranty will be by the claimant.
This warranty is in addition to other rights and remedies of the customer under law.
- The 15 year warranty is eligible only to the original purchaser/owner of the shed as registered within 60 days from the date of purchase and is not transferrable.
- The warranty is valid for both Australia & New Zealand
- The warranty is subject to location and local environmental conditions outlined in the warranty exclusions below.
What is covered under the warranty?
FASTTRAK® steel garden shed 15 year warranty is limited to the following specific cover.
- Zinc and/or galvanised panel materials will not rust
- Coloured panel materials will not rust, flake, peel or blister.
Please note the 15 year warranty does not apply to any accessory items such as fasteners, Hasp, Pad bolts, also including flooring kits, shelving, hook sets, tool racks etc.
Warranty Qualifications & Limitations
The FASTTRAK® 15 year warranty is subject to the following qualifications and limitations
- Warranty does not apply to surface deterioration of the panels caused specifically by
- ”Swarf"(tiny particles of steel debris left from cutting, grinding or drilling operations) that have not been dutifully removed during the assembly construction process.
- As a result of contact with damp soil, chemicals, fertilisers, or other corrosive substances
- Warranty does not cover damage caused by storms, wind, rain, hail, snow or any other adverse environmental event or ”act of god"
- Warranty only applies if the shed is used solely for domestic purposes and installation is in accordance and compliance with the FASTTRAK® instruction manual and manufacturer recommendations.
- Warranty does not apply if the shed is installed / located in
- Ocean/surf locations (typically defined as within 1km from coastal or tidal locations),
- Severe industrial locations
- Unusually corrosive environments (e.g. Geothermal / Sulphuric conditions)
- Warranty does not cover any damage as a result of
- Any impact
- Due to poor foundations
- Build-up of debris on or in roof or walls
- Poor assembly and/or construction
- The warranty will be void if the shed has been relocated from its original location / address
- The warranty is limited to the replacement and delivery of panels and specifically excludes any labour, installation or removal/disposal costs.
- Warranty applies to the exclusions of all other representations, guarantees or warranties, either expressed or implied unless otherwise required by applicable legislation.
- Your warranty registration certificate and supporting documentation must be completed and lodged within 60 days of the date of purchase.
All warranty claims should be made in writing sent directly to:
PO Box 1581,
Browns Plains, Queensland, 4118
PO Box 11-013,
Sockburn, Christchurch, 8443\
Claims must include:
- Original proof of purchase documentation
- Relevant contact information
- Product model
- Photographic evidence
- Description of the damage