What exactly is a garden shed and why do I need one?
Let’s start with the real
basics. A garden shed is typically a single-storey non-permanent
storage building, found in the back or front garden,
with a roof. Styles range from the very simple through to ornate and
decorative and there are a number of different materials that they
can be built from, though wood is the most common and traditional.
type of shed would best suit my needs?
To answer this question, we
need to address the different types of shed available and
what they have been designed to offer. There are four freely
available shed varieties, which are:
The most well-known, wooden sheds are traditional, sturdy and easy
to match to your home, with a simple coat of coloured stain. Wooden
sheds tend to be the most visually attractive and given that they
naturally regulate their temperature, make for perfect hobby
workshops. They are also terrifically easy to build, with even large
varieties arriving as a flat pack item, ready to be assembled in an
afternoon. They do, however, require regular maintenance, to prevent
rot. Typically, wooden sheds start at around £150.
A definite contender, especially if you don’t care for ongoing
maintenance, plastic sheds are enjoying newfound popularity.
Economical to build, naturally resistant to harsh weather conditions
and very neatly made, plastic sheds almost add a little doll’s
house charm to your garden.
Being so resistant to dirt, they are perfect as garden tool storage
areas, especially lawnmowers, as grass clippings will just rise
straight off. Plastic sheds range in price, but can start from as
little as £200.
For a slightly more industrial flavour, metal sheds are just the
ticket. Considered to be less attractive than their wooden
counterparts, metal sheds do have a serious saving grace in that
they are very affordable and exceptionally durable. Often arriving
pre-drilled and ready for even the novice DIY enthusiast to assemble
perfectly, you can easily up the aesthetic stakes by choosing a
colourful powder-coat finish. Expect to pay anything from £200
Not as common but still very handy, fabric pop-up sheds offer you
storage when you need it and free space when you don’t. Not
terrifically durable, due to the lack of integrated floor, they are
also at the mercy of high winds, but on a calm day, fabric sheds
have some serious merit. These are best for simply protecting
outdoor equipment from wet weather. You can pick up a small fabric
storage shed from as little as £50.
Of course, the amount of
space you have to play with and your budget will both play major
roles in which style you choose as well.
type of roof should I put on my shed?
Depending on your budget and
the proposed location of your shed, you will most likely choose from
one of the following shed roof styles, but if in doubt, ask a professional for advice:
the simplest style, which is simply a single slope that allows water
to drain off the back.
common shed roof style, this is an elegant pitched roof that meets
in the centre at the highest point and slopes down at either side,
at equal angles.
These are similar to gables, but have a slope on all four sides of
the roof, instead of just two. These tend to be a little more
decorative and are usually reserved for designs such as
Also known as Dutch roofs, these are beautifully shaped and designed
to offer maximum eaves storage.
about prefabricated sheds? Are they good enough?
prefabricated sheds - like prefab garages - can’t be customised and
will arrive to you, fully built. You will still need to lay a
suitable foundation pad, with a level surface, but once done, your
new shed should be able to sit straight on top of it. For convenience
alone, this is a terrific option and can even save you the task of
painting as well, as that can be done for you too.
doors and windows necessary?
Obviously, you’ll need a
door, at the very least, otherwise you won’t be able to get in, but
the style of door you choose and if you have windows or not is
absolutely up to you. If you’re planning to enjoy a hobby in your
shed, you might prefer to include some windows, for good light flow,
but if it is simply a storage space, you probably don’t need to
incur the extra cost of glazing.
secure can a shed be?
As a rule, you don’t want
to store anything of very high value in a shed, but you can fit a
rudimentary alarm system, if you’re worried. A good extra tip is to
fit curtains or blinds, if you have opted for a style that has
glazing included. You’ll usually find that metal sheds are the most
secure, but wooden ones will offer decent security as well.