Tips For Keeping Bike Sheds Safe And Secure
Your bicycle represents a significant investment, so you need to keep it safe. Building a bike shed in your yard to store your bicycle is a good idea, but you need to make sure that you make this shed as secure as possible. Not only will doing so protect your bike from thieves or vandals, but it will also keep it safe from the elements.
Building strong, secure bike sheds is not difficult once you know what you are doing. With the following advice, you can make sure that your bike is safe at all times.
Before you start building your bike shed, make sure that you find out what local regulations, if any, govern the construction of small structures on your property. In many cases, you may need a permit to build a bike shed. You do not want to spend a lot of time and money building a fancy shed, only to find out that you are in violation of local zoning laws.
Strong Bike Sheds
You should also think about the purpose of your bike shed. Do you just want a quick-and-dirty place to store your bike for a few years? Do you want to be able to store other things in your shed? How permanent of a structure should it be?
Answering these questions will help you figure out what materials you need for your shed. For example, do you want to pour a foundation for your shed, or is a simple plywood base going to be sufficient? How much you can afford to spend on a shed will also play a role here, of course.
In many cases, a poured foundation is the best approach, even if it is a bit more costly at first. Since the ground needs to be cleared where the shed will stand anyway, pouring a foundation is not that much more work. Bike sheds with poured foundations are sturdier and more stable. They also provide more protection for your bike, both from the elements and any critters that might try to use your bike shed as shelter.
Choose an area of your yard that is as flat as possible for the bike shed. In some cases, you may have to smooth the ground before beginning construction. You also need to make sure that there are no cables, pipes, or other obstructions in the ground. You do not want to discover that your bike shed is right on top of a natural gas line, for example.
There are other things to consider when choosing a location for your bike shed. One of the main deterrents for bike thieves is simply not letting them know that you own a bike. Placing your bike shed out of the way, where it is not easily visible from the street, is a good idea. You do not want anyone who passes by to be able to spot it.
However, your shed should not be so out of the way that a criminal could easily approach it without being seen. Setting up a motion sensor connected to a light or an alarm can be a good idea, though it does cost more. If you have neighbors that you trust, let them know that you are building a bike shed. This way, if they notice any suspicious activity near the shed, they can contact the police.
After you have decided where to place your shed, you need to think about the material. Most bike sheds are made from either wood, metal, or plastic. Each material has advantages and disadvantages. In general, the more you pay, the more secure the shed will be.
Wood sheds tend to be less expensive and often blend in well with the rest of your yard. However, unless you buy pressure treated wood and use a water sealant, the wood can rot. In general, though, wood is the most flexible building material for a shed.
Metal sheds tend to be more durable than wooden ones, and they are also more fire resistant. However, unless you spend more on them, the material can rust and corrode, especially if you live somewhere with a bad climate. The walls on metal sheds can also be quite thin.
Finally, plastic sheds can also be purchased. These require considerably less maintenance than either wooden or metal sheds. However, they are prone to condensation and may not be as secure.
If you are only going to use your shed for storing your bikes, and not as a workshop, think about omitting windows in the design. Windows provide another access point for anyone who is trying to break into your shed. If you do choose to have windows, make sure that they are secure. You may also want to coat the windows with frosting or use opaque glass so that people cannot easily see into the shed.
Make sure that the hinges on the door are strong enough to stand up to a decent amount of force. Instead of just using cheap screws, replace them with nuts and bolts. To prevent thieves from unscrewing these, use a drop of superglue on each bolt.
Many sheds come with very cheap locks that provide little to no deterrent to a determined burglar. Replace these locks with a more secure padlock. Of course, you do not want to use too many locks on the shed, since this makes it more obvious that you have something worth stealing inside.
Make sure that the roof of the shed is equally secure. Anchor it securely to the walls of the shed so that a thief cannot simply remove the roof and gain access this way.
If a thief does get into your shed, you do not want him to simply be able to walk away with your bike. Install a bike rack or anchor inside the shed, and lock your bike to this whenever you are not using it. The more lines of defense you have for your bike, the better.
A secure bike shed is a good way to protect your bicycle from thieves. Use these tips to make sure that your bike is kept safe at all times.