Leave Your Stuff High and Dry
By Nikki Alvin-Smith
Though the sun is shining there is a distinct chill to the wind, and winter weather is just around the corner. We all love to sit outside and enjoy those last precious days of Fall, when we can enjoy a meal at the outdoor table even if we are wrapped up in our barn jackets and insulated paddock boots and napkins fly off the table. Inevitably, winter will arrive. This might be a good time to check over all your outdoor ‘stuff’ and think about storing it somewhere ‘high and dry’ for the winter.
Let’s face it outdoor garden furniture can be expensive. Well, the really comfortable type of outdoor furniture usually costs an arm and a leg. So whether you manage with lightweight plastic chairs and tables or have the elite version of outdoor furniture, you still want to place it somewhere safe where it will not become damaged by the weather or even worse become flying objects during winter storms.
With deep snowfalls our outdoor ‘stuff’, also becomes a plowing hazard. I can attest to this! Much to my chagrin my husband drove over five of my garden tubs with the tractor one year. What a sorry state they looked when the Spring melt unveiled their new ‘distressed’ look.
Equipment and tools left outside do not do well in wet weather. Aside from the obvious issue of rust there are a myriad of other issues to consider. All engines that won’t be in use should be drained of fuel to protect the seals in the system from disintegrating or at minimum a protective additive should be added to the fuel system. The engine and any hydraulic parts should be protected from weather and any batteries protected from freezing. You can just throw an unsightly tarp over them which may or may not stay in place despite your best efforts at tying it down, and which may become another object with a ‘flight of fancy’.
Your storage options on your property may be limited. If you have a horse barn it is probably chock a block with horses and hay. Rarely do I hear of any horse owner with an empty stall in Fall. If you have an indoor you will want all the space for winter riding, and our outdoor furniture and other ‘stuff’ can pose a hazard to a horse who may behave errantly and collide with the pile of carefully stacked furniture or carefully placed equipment.
It is also not a good idea to store motorized equipment in your horse barn as it presents a real fire hazard. A friend of mine built the most amazing log home a few years ago. It was his dream home. He pulled the ATV into the garage (which was attached to the home), and despite the firewall when the ATV caught fire during the night, it devastated the entire house before the fire department could prevent it. A very sad incident and one that was entirely preventable.
Tractors and heavy equipment are also prone to catch fires, especially if their diesel fuel has been diluted with kerosene to help prevent gelling up in cold weather, which is a commonly used procedure.
Another great feature to a garage is to add a work area. This can be used during those long winter hours to engage your handyman self or spouse, with a place to tinker with repairs or create furniture, work on antique vehicles or other projects. It can also be used as potter’s shed, or artist or music studio space. You really can think ‘outside the box’ here.
If you are lucky enough to have a pool, then you will need a place protected from freezing weather to store all the endless plastic accoutrements that come with the ‘splash territory’. Plastic does not do well in cold temperatures and parts can be expensive to replace.
You might also need a dry and tidy place to store your firewood. Especially if your firewood is going be used in an open fireplace.
How do you address your storage issue?
The first thing is to ascertain how much storage you need. To determine this simply group all the ‘ stuff’ in one place and measure it. You may want to group your motor driven equipment in a line up if it is larger and you need each piece to have its own exit door. Obviously these items will need a garage structure rather than a storage shed.
Where and what to shop?
We spoke with Dave Zook, owner of Stoltzfus Structures, based in Atglen, PA. Stoltzfus Structures has been in the storage shed and garage business for over 40 years. Their Amish built structures and wealth of experience mean they can provide you with a top quality product and sage advice as to design options for any need you might have and address any budget concerns.
“The bonus of working with an experienced company like ours is that we build everything to spec at our factory so the structures are built, painted, stained just as you’d like them inside and protected during that process from the weather. Our Amish team of carpenters, work with attention to detail and with top quality materials to ensure our finished products will last for many years. Our proven track record at providing good delivery times and experiences for our customers provides our clients with full confidence to work with us. There are so many options to choose from but if you want a custom build, we can do that too. “
Indeed the testimonials including some from repeat customers that Stoltzfus Structures provides on their website is impressive.
The added bonus of their quick and easy delivery to any location and any site, is an additional boon as is their ability to match the siding/shingle/colors to the design of your house or existing structures. A storage shed does not have to be an eyesore! In fact if you have an old garden shed rotting in the back yard and would like to see it gone Stoltzfus Structures will come and remove it for you.
Dave explained that the operation at Stoltzfus Structures is very eco-friendly.
“From the solar panels on the factory roof to the recycling of old sheds, Stoltzfus Structures is very eco-friendly. I am a big believer in protecting our environment.”
Another benefit to consider when you add a storage shed or garage to your property is the added security it provides for your equipment. Unfortunately in today’s world things do go missing. If you run a busy horse farm with a lot of foot traffic this can be a major concern. A storage option also keeps all that most interesting equipment and tools safely stored away from curious children.
If you are on a budget and need something extra fast check out the Stoltzfus Structures Liquidation page where you will find some superb deals. You don’t need to go through another winter without the storage you need just because dollars may be in short supply either. Stoltzfus Structures offers a great financing option through a 3rd party lender with good rates and a simple and confidential application process.
So leaving your ‘stuff’ high and dry is a really good idea. To learn more about the amazing selection of Stoltzfus Structures options please visit their website at www.mysheds.com or chat with their friendly team at 1-610-593-7700
Don’t forget to let them know you found them here at Catskill Horse magazine!