Whether you’re leaving the city for the countryside or have your rural roots firmly planted, owning acreage and all the items needed to care for it poses a unique set of challenges. From the garden hoe to the tractor, all of your items need to be stored properly to keep them in tip-top shape and protected from the elements.
Your cars, RVs, boats, ATVs, camping and fishing gear, and any other possessions that won’t fit in the house need to be stored and protected as well. Luckily, there’s a ton of smart storage solutions you can choose from. Here are six possibilities to get you stashing your stuff securely in no time.
Attached or Freestanding Garages
For those who want to keep their vehicles free from pollen, grime and UV damage, the most common solution is a garage, whether attached or freestanding.
An attached garage allows for access from inside the house so you can drive right in and avoid any inclement weather. You can also easily access your things in the garage with just a quick trip through an interior door. Attached garages can be built with single or multiple bays depending on your needs.
Freestanding garages are common in rural settings as land tends to be more plentiful for spreading out structures and impervious cover, and building restrictions aren’t as much of an issue as they are in the city. As with an attached garage, freestanding types are not limited in size or number of bays and can be built to suit your requirements.
From garden sheds to she sheds, there’s the perfect one waiting for you to claim. A quick search on Google or Pinterest for shed ideas will reveal a near cult following for these smallish structures and practically endless design, decor and function ideas to explore. Here are a few of the most popular shed types:
- A potting shed can be outfitted with a table for potting plants along with shelves and cubbies to hold pots, seeds and small garden tools.
- A garden shed is ideal for holding rakes, hoes, shovels, seed spreaders, rolled hoses and any other garden tool you may need. These sheds can be outfitted with specific organization in mind to keep all of your gardening related items neat and tidy.
- A she shed is a play on the man cave but for women. These oft-enchanting structures are designed and decorated as a getaway for the woman of the house. They are created to echo her style and favorite hobby whether it be reading, writing, binge watching shows, crafting or just relaxing.
To get that perfect shed, you can buy prefabricated or build from scratch. Buying prefab from a local home improvement store will save you time and money —many small sheds start at $350. Of course, the price will vary based on the size and how complete the interior will be. Hiring a builder to complete a custom shed might sound like a good idea, but you will pay for the convenience and uniqueness — around$3,000 or more depending on your location and cost of materials and labor.
For rural residents who keep animals or produce farm goods, a barn is a must. A barn is the best structural option for protecting farm animals while storing hay, fruit or vegetables that will be sold or used quickly. A barn doesn’t need to be airtight but does need to have an impervious roof and sides to protect its contents. Barns often come with a loft for multilevel storage.
While function is the essential element to consider, barns can also add tons of decorative charm and ambiance to your property. A classic red barn with white framing, decorative doors and an ornate weathervane sitting on the roof is sure to evoke good feelings and memories. Other barn colors popular today include white, blue, yellow and forest green.
Farming Equipment Storage
Separate from the barn required for animals and farm goods, having a safe structure to store tractors, backhoes, woodchippers and splitters, lawnmowers and more is the ideal solution. This storage could be a barn, large shed or freestanding garage with a high enough ceiling and entry width to accommodate your largest equipment.
RV and Boat Storage
If you enjoy time camping, fishing or boating, you may own an RV or boat or have visitors that do. A soaring carport-type structure or a large building with a high ceiling is ideal for housing and protecting RVs and boats from the elements.
Carport structures are most often made of steel or aluminum with its roof section set on posts that are anchored in the ground or cement, so the sides are open and the RV or boat is easily accessed. It is most common to secure the structure on a concrete slab for stability, which also serves to keep the RV or boat from getting muddy and dirty.
If you live in an area where the forces of nature tend to act up in the form of tornadoes and massive thunderstorms, you’ll want to consider building a storm shelter on your property as a precaution. Available in both above-ground and in-ground designs, storm shelters provide complete protection against outside forces.
These structures are often purchased prefab for easy installation on your property. Shelters and bunkers usually consist of steel and concrete, and range in size to accommodate between four and 14 people. To go more in-depth on what kind of shelter might be best for you, ConsumerAffairs offers a comprehensive storm shelter guide.
More About Rural Living
Interested in more rural living ideas and helpful tips for making the most out of your country paradise? Click on the following links for more information about backyard gardening, cool chick coop ideas and rural HOAs from NewHomeSource.com.
Joanna Dorman is a freelance writer with over 16 years of experience creating interior design, home building, home improvement, and real estate content. Additionally, she has 15 years of field experience in the interior design industry and trained in interior design at the Art Institute of Houston.