Building a garden shed is a simple task for anyone with a little DIY know how, what might be more difficult is choosing the right one for you, your family and whatever it is you are choosing to store (or do) in there.
Once your shed has been chosen and delivered, a weekend should be sufficient to build it to all its glory…so where do you start?
Well, first of all, you must choose wisely.
There are a number of outdoor storage sheds available.
You need to consider various things before picking a shed design:
1. Decide the Size of the Shed
First of all, you are advised to measure the area where you choose to put the shed, consider the door opening and something many people forget, measure the height to be sure the shed will not be obstructed by a low hanging tree.
2. Look for Clarity
You should make sure that the designs in the picture/description are clearly illustrated that makes it easy to understand.
3. Construction Material
Most DIY store sheds are made from strips of cheap pine, preservative treated. These featheredge boards are cheap but can warp and let in moisture and draughts – not ideal if you want to keep the family rabbit or guinea pig in the shed.
As well as pets, if you want to use your shed to work in, look for a tongue and groove or shiplap cladding. This is interlocking and keeps out the draughts.
For the ultimate durability, look for a cedar clad shed – this timber has a lifespan of at least 30 years and you don’t have do any maintenance if you don’t mind the silvery grey colour of the timber after a year or two.
Most companies use thin sheets of cheap felt on their products but better quality buildings have thicker felt shingles that should last for at least 10 years. Your shed will be supplied with floorboards nailed to preservative treated joists. These are the most vulnerable part of the building so try and keep the floor as dry as possible by standing the shed on paving slabs or a concrete slab, with some DPC membrane between the stone and the timber.
What Makes A Good Shed?
Here are the pros and cons of each material:
• Not environmentally friendly
• Look out of place in older properties
• Limited range of sizes
• No maintenance
• Can be taken apart and moved easily
• Lightweight – easy assembly
• Wide front opening
• Cold material – not so good for keeping pets, ie, guinea pigs/rabbits
• Condensation on tools
• Noisy e.g. shutting the doors
• Rust problems (if water doesn’t drain away or not made with rust free metal)
• Quick to assemble
• High security with the correct locks
• Choice of colours
• Need re-coating with stain/paint unless you choose cedar
• Cheapest versions are flimsy
• Difficult to relocate
• Green material - check timber is FSC Certified
• Hundreds of shapes and sizes
• Can paint a different colour to update
• Warm material
4. Pitched or Flat Roof?
The next decision is the design.
Pitched roof ‘apex’ sheds can be useful for storing parasols or sports kit overhead to keep the shed floor clear for garden tools.
Pent sheds have a single shallow angled roof that can be useful if you have to put the structure close to your neighbour’s fence, as the overall height is usually lower than an apex.
As for the design, it’s usually just a case of having the door at one end or centrally in the middle of one of the long sides. Wider opening doors or double doors are handy if you have bikes or other bulky items that need to be wheeled around.
5. What will the Shed be used for?
Sounds silly doesn’t it! What will a shed be used for? Ha!
Well, not so. Whilst most people use it for garden storage, there are others out there and they do exist, that use it for many other different reasons;
Train sets, garden offices, home brewery, fully functioning bar, workshops, a lavatory, Scalextric…you name it they get used for all kinds of reasons.
Things to consider:
• Is it water tight?
• Does power need to be connected?
• Is it easy to create what you want for it, i.e. shelves, seating?
• Will it require regular maintenance?
• Does it need to be locked and if so, does it come with a lock and key?
6. Compare the Quality of the Shed with its Price
Most importantly, you are advised to review a shed whether it deserves the price it has or not.
For this, search the internet and compare the different online stores. There are only a few shed manufactures around and many online stores will be selling the same products.
Don’t be persuaded by massive discounts as often stores will simply hike the price in the first place, only to discount it again.
Consider whether the price includes delivery or not.
So all in all, a simple yet careful decision needs to be made and what’s great, is the total array of sheds available on the market.
So, take your time, choose carefully and enjoy it!