Last fall we erected a couple of temporary storage structures. We haven’t decided exactly what we want for permanent buildings, but got to the point that tripping over the tools in the laundry was way past being old.
After some trial and error, we came up with a simple Quonset hut design, made with electrical conduit and tarps. The biggest problem we had was keeping the things from blowing away in the heavy winds we get here. Our area of the country is well known for sudden, strong storms that carry walloping winds. These winds don’t often last long, but when they hit it sounds like a freight train coming through, almost like what people say a tornado sounds like.
After repeated blowouts we finally found some good ground anchors at a reasonable price. My husband made some ingenious clamps, so that we could tie down the structures by the tarps and we’ve been in business ever since.
The one thing we noticed, though, is that it makes a huge difference in the quality of the tarp you use. One is a heavy duty tarp , the other a mid-duty tarp. Unfortunately the mid-duty tarp is already showing signs of stress and if it lasts through the season I’ll be surprised. The heavy duty tarp even went through a huge snowstorm this winter, where it got totally blown to pieces (structurally) and it’s lasting better than the mid-duty tarp that was put on this spring.
Tarps can actually be pretty pricey, so you want to know what you’re getting will work well for you. We’re now scouting around for really heavy duty tarps that are waterproof, UV protected on both sides, mildew resistant, acid resistant, flexible even in really cold weather, and tear resistant. We’re also looking at how close together the grommets are spaced. This makes a big difference in how securely you can tie something down. The last thing we’re looking at is color. The heavy duty tarp is silver, which sticks out like a sore thumb in our landscape. The mid is brown, which blends in with the woods better. Green would probably be the best, as long as it is a dark green.
Of course, since these are temporary buildings we’re looking for them at a budget price. We’ve found some online, that are significantly less than we can purchase the same or similar product locally.
One thing for sure, having a place to store some of our tools and do outdoor projects has been a real stress reliever. I’ve completed several painting projects, because I know that what I’m painting is fairly well protected from the elements. We’ve got all our outdoor tools under cover, so they’re no longer rusting. Best of all I have a place to work on potting plants that is in the shade, protected from the rain, but still has the feeling of being out in nature, since the ends of the structures are open.
My recommendation is that you go with the best tarp you can afford to buy, because you might otherwise have to buy two or three tarps to last the same amount of time. And whatever you do don’t buy the tarps from the dollar type stores. They last about 1 month. We made that mistake for some light duty coverings. Total waste of money.
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