Garden shed buying guide
There's a lot to think about when choosing a shed. Our guide will take you through all the essential features you need to consider so you can pick the best shed for your garden.
What to consider
Where will your garden shed go?
This may be simply where you can fit it, but there are other things to consider. A shed needs a spot that's flat and isn't prone to flooding or being water-logged. Having it close to your backdoor obviously makes things easier (especially for mains power), and for bikes you'll want it close to your driveway. Placing it near a tree offers shade and shelter, but a fallen branch could cause damage.
How big should your garden shed be?
Whether your shed will be a workshop or for storage, your shed size depends on what you want to fit inside. Get the items you want to fit in, place them together and measure how much space they take up.
If you have a particular shed in mind, use masking tape to mark out the dimensions on the ground (mark the door's position too). Then place your items inside to see if they fit. Remember, you'll still need spare room around the door and room to move about inside.
You'll need a base for your shed
A shed needs a base, otherwise it has no foundation. And it needs to be anchored to the base so it doesn't blow over. You can make a base yourself using cement or paving, or you can buy a pre-built base.
Doors are really important
Make sure that you've left enough room for your doors to open when you plan where to put your shed, and that they open in a useful direction.
If you'll be moving stuff in and out a lot, choosing the right doors will prevent a lot of frustration. Ideally, you'll need doors that can fold all the way back. Sliding doors and double doors will also be incredible helpful for moving large items around.
And so are windows
When it comes to windows, it's a case of whether your shed is a work space or a storage space. You'll want light for working, but probably won't want to show off anything valuable that you're storing.
And consider where windows are positioned – you might end up with a view of a garden fence.
The different types of garden shed
Wooden sheds are by far the most popular, as their natural finish makes them fit more seamlessly into your garden. They're also easy to paint or stain to get just the right shade you want.
Wooden sheds available in several styles:
- Overlap is a classic design which features overlapping panels.
- Tongue and groove sheds use panels that join together, preventing any moisture from getting through.
- Shiplap is like tongue and groove, but has a curved section that allows water to run away from the joins, preventing distortion over time.
Wooden sheds require more maintenance. Most sheds will require the wood to be retreated at least annually. They can also become damp inside if not properly maintained.
Metal sheds offer the best toughness and durability. They provide full weather and water protection, and it's harder to cause accidental damage when moving things in and out.
Many benefit from sliding doors, so the doors don't get in the way. They're also much easier to lock and secure. Metal is typically low maintenance, so there's no risk of rot or rodent damage.
It's much harder to decorate or change the look of a metal shed. They're also typically harder to assemble. Condensation build-up can be an issue, but most sheds offer protection against any risk of rust.
Far from a budget, flimsy alternative, plastic sheds are still remarkably tough, waterproof and hard to damage. Some premium sheds can actually deflect damage, whereas wood or metal would become dented.
They're extremely low maintenance – there's no risk of rot, rust or mould. Typically they're easy to put up – and to take down again later. If you move house, you can take a plastic shed with you.
Where they can be at a disadvantage is their lighter weight. This means they could move during strong winds unless they're well anchored. There's also a small risk of warping due to sunlight, but most modern plastics won't be affected.
Looking at the specs
How big are the doors, where are they placed, and how do they open? You'll need to make sure it's easy to take things in and out of your shed. If the doors are small, or only open out so far, it could be difficult to take things in and out. Consider the larger items you'll be moving, like a lawnmower or a bike, and consider how easy it's going to be to get them through the doors.
Sheds typically come with two different kinds of roof, both built to direct water away from the door.
- Pent roofs – These slope in one direction. This allows for more headroom, but means all the water is directed to one spot.
- Apex roofs – The popular triangle-topped roof, which divides in the middle and directs water down both sides. This means that there is more headroom in the middle, but less so at the sides.
Do your windows open or are they fixed closed? Consider where you'll be placing your shed. A window won't be much use if it looks straight onto a garden fence or hedge. And check what the windows are made of. Some are made of polycarbonate, which won't discolour and is practically unbreakable, making it a good choice if kids play in the garden.
Wooden sheds use felt sheets to protect against rain fall. Sand felt offers good protection, but mineral felt is more durable and has a more attractive finish.
If you're choosing a wooden shed, the wood will come either dip dried or pressure dried. Dip dried uses a standard wood treatment, which will need re-applying through the shed's life. Pressure dried is when wood treatment is blasted into the wood to penetrate deeper and provide longer-lasting protection.
Your shed will come with a floor, but in many cases it won't come with a base. A base is like a foundation, it prevents the shed from moving, sinking and drawing moisture from the ground. If your shed doesn't come with a base, you can construct one out of cement or paving, or buy a pre-built base. If you buy a base, ensure that it fits the base size measurements for the shed.
Things you might need
You might want to consider these essential items when picking your shed.
We've mentioned how important a base is already. If you don't want to make your own base, you can save time and buy a pre-built one.
Make sure you protect the items you keep safe in your shed by choosing a lock to fit your doors.
Durable shelving is available in all shapes and sizes to help you tidily store tools and other items in your shed.
Delivery & Payment
If you've settled on which type of garden shed to buy, then you're ready to shop. Still not quite sure? Our Customer Services team will be happy to give you more information and advice.
We'll deliver your shed for as little as £8.95.