Australias' shed supply industry is largely unregulated by any government standards. Dinky Di Sheds are aware of many common practices employed by shed suppliers that we do not consider either appropriate or in the best interests of the consumers. Below is a list of things that consumers need to watch out for when obtaining quotations from shed companies. Getting a better shed doesn't mean you have to pay more. Being properly informed about what you buying is important; it provides peace of mind for you and your family that you get everything that you payed for and that your valuable possessions will be safe for years to come.
Shed Supplier Tricks & Tips: Open Bays -
An Open Bay is a shed wall that is left un-sheeted. This is a popular option for rural sheds as it provides easy, and economical access to a partially enclosed area for tractors/hay etc.
What to watch out for - Make sure that you can face the sheds Open Bays into any direction. believe it or not, some companies have their sheds engineered or designed so that the Open Bay or Bays can only be faced towards the leeward of the prevailing wind. Sometimes they can be referred to as the dominent openings in the fine print. What does this mean? - It means that the entire shed is likely to be weaker than one designed to face all of the cardinal wind directions. It's a an engineering trick or loophole that brings their shed up to the same wind rating as others while supplying less steel. It may have the same wind rating on it as a competitors quote (provided you face it away from the prevailing wind), it may get approved by council etc but its actually be a weaker shed that could potentially blow apart if not positioned in the correct orientation or if the wind ever changes direction.
What to do about it? - "Can the dominent openings of the shed be faced into the prevailing wind?" is a good question to ask any shed supplier. Get them to put the answer in writing for you to make sure. Ask them if they are a registered member of the Australian Steel Institute (ASI), this is a voluntary body that more reputable shed companies can sign up to, it's cheap to join, ensures minimum standards are applied - there's really no reason not to be a member. The ASI has many reputable members and you should prefer to buy from one of those.
This shed has two (2) Open Bays and one (1) Closed Bay.
If high winds were to blow directly into the Open Bays of this shed it would not blow apart because it has been designed correctly.
International Engineering Standards -
What to watch out for - Companies sprouting anything other that Australian standards. While the word international sounds impressive, the last time we looked, this is Australia and our building standards are better than most other countries. What does this mean? - It may mean that they do not have the relevant certifications done for the buildings here in Australia. The sheds may be imported and not Australian made
What to do about it? - Ensure that the buildings being considered for purchase comply with all Current Australian standards and is endorsed by the Australian Steen Institure.
Quoting Tricks: Windows -
What to watch out for - Make sure that your shed or garage quote actually includes the windows; Openings, jams & flashings does not actually mean that the windows are included. The quote may imply that there is some type of provision for windows which leads you to believe that they were included, after all that is what you asked for when you rang up, right? A single window can cost $200 or more so 4 windows in a shed may add $800+ to the quote depending on size and wind rating. Also, you should ensure that if the windows are included, that they are available in all Colorbond colours, some suppliers only have 3 or 4 standard colours available. The shed company should also provide an individual wind rating for the windows as they have their own set of standards for water penetration etc. What does this mean? - It means you have to read your quoted very carefully to insure that all inclusions have been quoted upon.
What to do about it? - If you not sure just ring back and ask "are the windows included, are they wind rated and if so are they available in my colours".
What to watch out for - Make sure that your shed or garage quote actually includes the delivery destination in the final price. Some quotes may say something like 'delivery to ............... if on standard route". What does this mean? - It means you have to read your quote very carefully to insure that all inclusions have been quoted upon.
What to do about it? - If you are not sure then just go with a company who includes delivery of the shed.
Steel Thickness - BMT & TCT - 0.51?
What to watch out for - Some unscrupulous companies are misleading consumers about the thickness of the steel that they are quoting.
There are 2 guages of Blue-Scope Steel commonly used for roof and wall cladding on sheds in Australia. These are:
0.35BMT = 0.40TCT
0.42BMT = 0.47TCT
Where BMT = Base Metal Thickness (the thickness in mm of the "raw" steel) and TCT = Total Coating Thickness (the thickness including galvanising but not colouring).
Either of the above is acceptable for comparitive purposes as long as the it is stated which measurement has been taken. So whats happening? Some companies are stating a TCT of 0.51mm on their quotes instead of 0.47TCT. Make no mistake that this is the same steel as comapanies who quote 0.47TCT or 0.42BMT! The companies quoting 0.51mm TCT have allowed for fluctuating tolerences with scant disregard to industry standards (metricated imperial tolerences)or the Blue Scope Steel Technical Data (below). Some other companies also claim a "thicker" steel because it is imported and of a lower quality or strength and is made thicker to compensate for the softness or grade of the steel. Australian made steel sheeting is 550MPA (Grade G550).
What does this mean? - If you are unsure its best to ask the company what the BASE METAL THICKNESS (BMT) of the steel is and what the MPA of the steel is.
What to do about it? - We suggest that you stay well clear of these types of businesses who attemp to decieve you.
Blue-Scope Steel technical Bulletin TB-14
Help if and when you need it.
Not all kit shed suppliers offer free help when your building your kit.
Many kit shed suppliers actually charge per minute or per question for technical assistance. It is advisable that you ensure that help is on hand and free when you need it from your supplier.
Some major kit shed suppliers are now sub-contracting building assistance out to a third party. This means that you, your concreter or builder can't even talk to the company who sold you the shed kit. Any questions have to be submitted via fax or e-mail with your credit card information and charged at $100 per question!
All we can say about this one is watch out!
Don't believe us? Click below for one such example from an established shed manufacturer. P.S. You wont get this untill after you've bought the shed!