Excellent additions to your yard

Those with large yards have great opportunity to build structures to simplify their gardening, entertaining and storage needs. Clean up the clutter in your garage and make room for your car by adding a storage shed to your yard. A gazebo is a great place to enjoy drinks with guests or a quiet moment with a book. Your greenhouse provides a warm, moist environment to start a garden-full of seeds before planting season. If you've got room for them, these structures can make your yard a more functional and enjoyable space.

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Durability is key when you're shed shopping. You'll want to invest in a sturdy structure that won't be blown around by wind or storms and that has waterproof seams to protect the contents of the shed. Your shed should have a good drainage system, both along the eaves and in the floor to prevent water from puddling underneath. You should also find a shed with a sturdy door that can be locked to protect your equipment from would-be thieves.

Sheds can be used for more than just storage. Many preassembled sheds and shed kits also work well as change rooms for your pool. If you're planning to turn your shed into a change room, be sure to hang curtains over the windows and install hooks for towels. A few low benches will make the change room easier to use.

Make your yard multifunctional with any of these structures. You can find many prefabricated designs and do-it-yourself kits online, or if you're feeling particularly handy, build one yourself!


A standard greenhouse is constructed of clear or slightly clouded glass or plastic that allows the sun's rays to warm the inside without letting the heat escape. Greenhouses vary in size, but most have a peaked roof to allow the best light reflection onto the plants. Most greenhouses maximize the sun's rays by running east-west lengthwise. The south-facing wall is usually glazed to collect the most heat from the sun and the north-facing wall is insulated to prevent heat loss.

Usually, greenhouse floors and the north-facing wall are covered in brick or cinder blocks to help retain the heat and moisture. Placing buckets of water in the greenhouse will create a humid environment and will also help retain the heat.


Traditionally, gazebos are six- or eight-sided structures and are large enough to accommodate a table and chairs. Some, however, are assembled with built-in benches and are meant as a place for the user to gain a moment of solitude.

Most gazebos are wooden, but you'll also find designs in aluminum and vinyl. Wooden gazebos are great for a natural look that blends with the surroundings, but will require regular maintenance. If you don't have the time to devote to sanding and staining the intricate structure at least once a year, you might prefer a vinyl or aluminum design.

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