How to Buy the Best Shed
Before you buy the best shed for your needs, it’s worth considering how it will be used and the space where it will be located. A garden shed plays an important role in the garden and can be an essential storage space for equipment, or even a work space.
Some people tend to think of sheds as unsightly and try to hide them at the end of the garden where, over time, they aren’t maintained and they slowly erode and disintegrate.
Work Out How You Will Use Your Shed
How you plan to use your shed may inform the design of your garden. If you are likely to use it frequently and need good access, you may need to consider your pathways and paving. You may also decide to position your shed in a more central position in the garden, or even close to the house. Having a shed at the side of a house can also give an uncluttered view of the rest of your garden.
If you plan on using your shed as a workplace, e.g. as a more traditional potting shed, you may want to consider the need for storage and also for a good sized work surface.
If you have a greenhouse, cold frame or fruit, vegetable or flower garden, having the shed close to these can be handy. Again, think about the paving and pathways under and around the shed. A solid, mud-free and anti-slip surface can make a huge difference if you are frequently in and out of the shed carrying plants, etc.
If you intend to just use your shed for storage, positioning and pathways can be a little simpler. A lawn mower, for example, might only be used once every few weeks, and bikes and other stored sports items may only be accessed occasionally. You may want to include things like bike racks and shelving to maximise storage space. Likewise, stored barbecues or garden furniture may only be needed occasionally so pathways to the shed and proximity to your house is less important.
Most sheds are usually built from a softwood. They are generally constructed from prefabricated panels that are simply screwed or bolted together. The roof is typically covered with a waterproof roofing felt, although some sheds may also be tiled or feature slate roofs. This may be an aesthetic choice to help the shed blend into the design of your house.
Roof designs can be an angled flat roof or a pitched inverted “V” shape. again, these two options will affect internal storage space as well as how the shed looks. You will need to consider rainwater run-off from the roof, and may want to include some guttering to collect and direct rainwater.
Visible or Hidden Shed
Whether your shed is a visible feature, or a hidden building will be based on your garden design and personal preference. Either way, there are various methods that can be employed to achieved your desired look.
There has been a trend for “green” roofs and covering a roof with low-maintenance plants not only benefits wildlife, increasing biodiversity in your garden, but it also helps keep your shed cooler in summer and warmer in winter. A green roof can help to disguise the shed, and covering it in something that only grows shallow roots, such as turf, can be a great choice.
Staining your shed a dark colour will also help it blend into the background of your garden and be less prominent. You can also introduce some planting or trellis screens to help break up the shape of the shed and make it more hidden.
Rather than hide your shed away, you may decide to make it a feature of your garden. With such a wide range of sizes, shapes and colourful wood treatments available, you have lots of options to make your shed a visually stunning centerpiece to your garden.
Sheds don’t need to look like plain wooden boxes. There is also a huge range of summer houses on the market, which can also be used for storage, etc. If you plan on using your shed as a workspace or office, then this can be a great option, and with so many styles to choose from, you can use one of these as a really stunning feature in your garden.
There are also sheds that are designed with a truly contemporary look and feel, so if you want something with a modern twist then there are plenty of options available.
Alternatives to Sheds
If you have limited space available, you may not need a full size shed. There are many smaller storage buildings available, and these are usually large enough to take a good collection of garden tools, and can easily be disguised with clever planting. Again, if painted with a dark colour, you can reduce it’s visual impact.
Electricity in Your Shed
If you intend to use your shed for anything other than basic storage, it may be a good idea to install a mains electricity connection to your shed. This can provide you with light, heat and power for tools etc. Consider the routing of cables through the garden to the location of the shed. Pathways are a good route to follow, plus it means you’ll always know where the cables are, so you’re less likely to accidentally dig into them.
The security of a shed should be considered, especially if you are storing anything of value. There are a number of alarms made specifically for sheds and outbuildings, and sensors that link to your main house alarm can also be used.
A small shed may seem a cheaper option, but it’s worth looking at your storage needs. It can be more cost effective in the long run if you buy the best shed for your needs and choose a larger model in the first place, rather than have to replace it later.
Garden sheds are usually allowed without planning permission, but check with your local council if in doubt. There is usually information on your local council website, explaining regulations and allowed specifications for height, width, etc.
Having the correct base for your shed can prolong the timbers and make the shed more secure so always consider the cost of any base or foundation preparation that may be needed.