The Handyguys - Working Together on that Honey Do List Home Energy Savings Tool tests

Building A Shed And Led Light Bulb Opinions

by The Handyguys

in Audio Only Podcasts, Energy Savings

We address a question about shed materials and foundations as well as briefly discuss LED light bulbs.


The Handyguys received a call from Rick from Sawdust Chronicles and The Splintered Board podcasts.  He asked

What materials are good for shed siding? Do I need a concrete slab for my shed?

Great questions Rick.


Different colored shedsSheds can be built with many different choices in materials. Some people will build them with the same types of finishes of their house (siding choice, colors, etc) sometimes people would do something different. A quick google search will turn up thousands of different looks.

If you don’t want to try and go to the trouble of matching siding and roofing from your house, and want to keep things simple, there is a commonly used siding called t1-11. Its exterior rated plywood that looks like board and batten siding. You can also get a version made from OSB that comes pre-primed. I think that’s called “smart panels”. Barn Style ShedI really like fiber cement siding, i haven’t used it on a shed but its on the top of my list for my next shed. Some brands come pre-primed or pre-painted.


You will want to check with your municipality to determine if you need a permit. In most places you do not need a permit if the shed is build directly on the ground, usually with 4×4 PT runners sitting on some patio bricks. When build this way its not considered a permanent structure. When you build on a slab it is usually considered permanent and will require a permit. Again, check with your code people as this varies. Some areas will also require anchors in the ground, or slab, to prevent it from blowing away in high winds.

Another shedAlso consider having someone build one for you or deliver one pre-made. My last shed I was going to build it myself but a local company was having a sale. They were able to build me a shed for less money than I could have bought the materials. One man came with the shed pre-build in sections (walls, roof, floor) and pout it together in just a couple hours. I painted it and built a ramp. I saved a few hundred bucks.

Listen to this podcast for The Handyguys discussing all these points.

LED Light bulbs

New LED Bulb from GEHandyguy Paul came across a new LED Light bulb from GE. Some of the claims from GE’s press release are:

  • Expected to consume just 9 watts—compared with 40-watt incandescent/halogen or 10-watt CFL, while delivering nearly the same light output;
  • Expected 25,000-hour rated life—will last 17 years (4 hours per day), which is 25 times longer than a general service 40-watt incandescent or halogen bulb and more than 3 times longer than a standard 8,000-hour rated life CFL;
  • LED technology delivers the instant full brightness of an incandescent or halogen bulb;
  • Durable solid-state design with no filament to break;
  • Contains no mercury and will be RoHS compliant; and
  • Feels cooler to the touch than CFLs and far cooler than incandescent bulbs.

Discussing bulbs leads Handyguy Brian to make a clam that short life bulbs have planned obsolescence and that some of Edison’s original bulbs are still burning today. Maybe Brian was imagining things but there are definitely some very old light bulbs still in use today. The discussion further digressed into who preferred DC versus AV electrical, Tesla, Edison or Westinghouse. Seems Paul was correct. Edison was a proponent of DC electrical for the grid and Westinghouse was a proponent of AC.

From wikipedia:

In the “War of Currents” era (sometimes, “War of the Currents” or “Battle of Currents”) in the late 1880s, George Westinghouse and Thomas Edison became adversaries due to Edison’s promotion of direct current (DC) for electric power distribution over alternating current (AC) advocated by Westinghouse and Nikola Tesla.

Thanks Paul for setting Brian straight. Listen to the podcast to hear the discussion.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Aluminum Extrusions April 17, 2010 at 5:07 pm

We have an old shed in our yard. It is pretty solid, but the floor is rotting out. Kinda sad to see it go, but I think rebuilding it is just a more viable long term option for us. Thanks for another relevant episode!


The Handyguys April 17, 2010 at 5:42 pm

Yeah, jacking it up and rebuilding the foundation could be a pain, it may be worth it if the rest is in good shape. Thanks for the comment.


FixerUpper April 21, 2010 at 12:05 pm

I was in the same situation as Aluminum above. Fixing a few items here and there I can do, but this was a little out of my league as a novice do-it-yourselfer. I ended hiring a contractor from to tear down the old shed and replace it with a new one on a slab. It all ended up working out in the end though. Thanks for the great post Handyguys!


The Handyguys April 21, 2010 at 2:47 pm

Glad it worked out for you. Thanks for the comment.


Troy June 2, 2010 at 2:17 pm

I just listened to the shed podcast. I built one a couple of years ago, and tried to document the entire process on my blog:

Mine is on a pretty steep hillside – I use pier blocks and posts under the base 4×4’s to bring it up to level. It also sits near the front yard of my neighbor, so we made it look like a little house (and keep the peace).

Our city allows 200 sq. ft. sheds without a permit, as long as you meet the setback and height (avg 10 ft roof of the floor) guidelines.


The Handyguys June 2, 2010 at 2:29 pm

Troy – Thats a great looking shed! I hope its Okay to share a picture of it here for everyone else.
Troy's Shed
Good job.


pausleal June 15, 2010 at 2:31 am

Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed browsing your blog posts. In any case I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again soon!


The Handyguys June 15, 2010 at 8:35 am

Thanks – We publish weekly.


alfred beilin January 2, 2012 at 4:29 pm

if any ones here today happy new year to yous all


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