something that provides cover or protection • a refuge; a haven • the state of being covered or protected

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Do I need a permit?

Possibly.  It is your responsibility to determine if your community requires one.  Since most municipalities do not require a permit for buildings up to 120 square feet, we designed ours to this size.  Check with your local building and zoning department for local requirements before you start building; remember that your shed may need to be set back a specific distance from the property line, fences and buildings; this may range from 6 inches to 3 feet or more.  SHELTER cannot be held accountable for permits, building regulations, and Home Owners Association restrictions in your area. It is your responsibility to do your homework on this.  

Where do I purchase the building materials?

SHELTER plans come with a materials list so you can hop in your car or truck and head to your local lumber store to roam the aisles for all the parts and pieces.  We designed the plans based on easy-to-find materials, and typical dimensional lumber like 2x4’s and plywood.  Or better yet, reduce costs and your environmental foot print and build your SHELTER with re-claimed lumber and windows (carefully and legally dumpster-dive construction sites or buy from a local building recycle center such as The Habitat for Humanity Home Store).      

Where do I purchase the green roof materials?

Suggested suppliers for the green roof materials are provided with the plans.  Some of the components (waterproofing, root barrier) can be purchased at your local hardware store.  However, a couple of the components (drain mat and water retention fleece) are not readily available in small quantities so we made them available for purchase on the SHELTER website.  When you go to purchase the plans you can also purchase the drain mat and water retention fleece or you can wait and order these materials later.          

Can I use regular potting soil or topsoil?

NO, NOT NOW, NOT EVER!  Potting soil and top soil is TOO HEAVY and could cause roof collapse if placed on a SHELTER roof.  You must only use the lightweight green roof growing medium blend that is specified in the SHELTER plans.  Suggested suppliers for the lightweight growing medium blend are provided with the plans.      

What about wind and snow loads?

The roof structure is designed to carry a 30 pound/sqft dead load (green roof assembly) and a 50 pound/sqft live load (wind and snow).  The green roof weight (30 pounds/sqft) is based on a fully saturated system using lightweight green roof soil as specified in the plans.  Wind and snow load requirements vary across regions.  Check your local building codes to ensure the SHELTER plans fall within your local wind and snow load requirements.  We designed a strong roof so hopefully it will accommodate your local wind and snow load requirements. 

Depth and width of footings/foundation?

Again, this is dependent on your local building requirements.  Typically, depth and width requirements are driven by how deep soil freezes in your area.  The depth and width of the footings varies across regions so be sure to double check your local building codes.  

What type of plants should I plant on my roof?

The roof is designed for an extensive green roof which can support a variety of succulents and Sedum species.  We suggest that you plant at a minimum five (5) different species for diversity.  Suggested suppliers for the plant material are provided with the plans.  They will help you select the plant material that is appropriate for your region and climate.  Make sure you use plug size plants as specified in the plans.  We know they are small, but be patient and you will be happy with the results.

What if I want to grow more than Sedum species and succulents?

You can purchase the Mono 6” Option which is designed to hold 6” of green roof growing medium.  This will allow you to plant perennials, grasses, and even some vegetables. 

How do I care for my green roof?

The green roof designed for your shed is a low maintenance extensive system. The most maintenance will need to occur after installation to establish the plants and help them become accustom to their new home.  Following the first growing season maintenance is minimal.  Included in the plans is a Green Roof Care Sheet for you to refer to and help you keep your green roof growing and lovely.  

What if I want to move the doorway from the right side to left side; or move the locations of the windows around?

Too bad; stick to the plans. Mostly kidding. You can change the locations of the windows and doors but you will have to figure this out on your own.  The plans you bought were designed with the present locations of doors and windows and although it is not difficult to modify this, shelter is not liable for any mistakes you make.  We HIGHLY recommend consulting with a building professional to make these changes.

What if I want to REALLY modify the plans or a custom design?

We are happy to work with you to modify the plans.  Changes and modifications will be billed on an hourly basis.  We are also available to design a custom project for you.  Just email us to set up an appointment to discuss your vision.  

How do I buy the plans and how long until I get them and can get started?

You can purchase the plans through Paypal or check. Once your order is received it will take approximately 7-10 business days for you to receive your plans.  Once you get the plans you can start to build your shed NOW or you can wait until you are ready LATER; the plans have a very long shelf-life. 

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