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23 July 2019
The garden shed is a staple addition to a British garden; but if it is your first time looking at sheds for sale you may be struggling to decide which one is best for you. As such a versatile piece of garden furniture, sheds can be used for a variety of purposes from storage and gardening to a workshop for a new hobby. A garden shed is a must have for any keen gardener, but their uses don’t have to stop there. Sheds provide a great way to have a little extra storage for those things you don’t want to keep inside your home. This guide is designed to help you choose which shed is right for you and answer any questions you have about buying a garden shed.
There are many benefits to having a garden shed. If you are a keen gardener, they offer a better way to store your equipment and make your gardening more efficient; there are so many effective ways to store things in a shed whether it be hanging storage, shelves or peg boards. The storage options available also mean you will have quicker access to the tools when you need them; having a shed in the garden means they are at hand whenever you require them. Having a garden shed is an effective and aesthetic way to manage any clutter you may have and frees up storage space in your home or garage. Not only will this benefit you in the short term but having an additional storage area can improve the value of your home. Whilst you’ve probably already considered the short-term benefits of having a shed; this is one of the long-term benefits which may be of use to you in the future. Properties with additional storage will generally have the edge over properties without.
You might be lost for choice with the number of sheds for sale as there are many options when it comes to buying a shed; you will have to make decisions about size, style, material and added features. The majority of these choices will be based on what you plan to use your shed for, so it is important that you first decide on the purpose of your shed and then go from there. Your shed can serve a number of purposes so don’t worry too much about pinning a specific purpose down but it is important to know which shed best suits certain purposes and what to look out for based on what you want to get from your shed.
If your shed’s main purpose is going to be storage, you can look out for sheds which have integrated storage options.
Also consider size and shape, for storage simple larger shapes are best in order to get the most out of the space. Wooden sheds are great as you can hang shelves etc on the wall for more versatile storage solutions.
If you are looking to have an extra space for relaxing or creating an outside living space, you’ll want to look out for shed options with more windows and space for things such as seating and furniture.
If you intend to grow plants in your shed, there are specific potting sheds which have windows for ventilation and light. Or if you are a serious gardener there are greenhouse/shed hybrids which could be the perfect choice for you.
GBC have a variety of small and large workshop sheds which provide a great space to work with tools and machinery. You also want to again look out for windows in these sheds; as you’ll be in need of daylight when you’re working in there
When choosing your shed you can add various features to it; or choose one based on the different features it offers.
There are generally two roofing options to choose from when it comes to sheds; apex or pent. Apex shed roofs are pointed in the middle, so that rain can run off easily. This design offers more headroom in the centre but less around the edge. There is another apex roof type usually called a Dutch apex roof or Dutch barn roof which has a sectioned off slope offering more head room across the shed. Pent shed roofs are flat, slanted roofs. They are also designed to be able to drain off rainwater. The edges of pent roofs tend to overlap the edges which gives a little extra protection; perfect if your shed is going to be quite exposed.
For doors, there are double and single door options. For smaller items single doors are the more common choice but if you’re planning to store larger items in your shed double doors could make your life easier such as a lawnmower.
You can choose to add windows to the majority of sheds, whether you decide to have windows will largely come down to what you intend to use your shed for. Usually windows aren’t necessary if its main purpose is going to be storage but if you plant to spend any time in there, you’ll probably prefer to have a window for a bit of natural light. You can then choose between open and fixed windows – open windows are a good choice if you plan to grow plants inside your shed as they offer more ventilation.
There are four materials to choose from when it comes to sheds; wood, metal, plastic and concrete, they all have different benefits depending on their use.
Wooden sheds are generally the most popular and a classic option. It is generally a good choice as it is easily customised for storage etc. When buying a wooden shed it is worth looking into the timber which is used as this can have an impact on the durability.
Metal sheds are a great choice for modern gardens and are designed to last. They are very durable when it comes to things like the weather.
As you can imagine concrete sheds are very durable and sturdy, great if you are certain it will be there for a long time to come.
One of the most important aspects of buying a shed for the first time is deciding on size and placement. If you’ve never had a shed in your garden, you may be unsure where best to place it.
In relation to size, this will depend on how you intend to use it and how much space you have available. If you can always go for a little larger than you think you need as then you’ll always have a little extra space.
In terms of positioning; larger gardens give you a lot more to think about as you have more space to work with but generally the advice for positioning is look for a space that adheres to the following;
Other advice on positioning is related to the purpose and use of the shed, for example if you plan to use it often it would be more practical to place it near the house but if it is only used for gardening tools it would be most useful near the garden. If it is to be used as an office, living space or workshop it may need an electrical supply so access to this should be considered. If you desire natural light, consider the placement of windows in relation to this.
Another important consideration for first time buyers is the base. You will need to have a base before your shed can be installed. Some sheds don’t require a base, but it is always worth checking. GBC can provide base plans and advice where necessary to help.
The base needs to be secure, sturdy and level. GBC recommend using concrete, slabs or heavy duty decking for the most secure base options.
Security is an important consideration especially if you are storing valuables in your shed. Some sheds offer better security than others so if it is a concern to you it is a good idea to look out for secure sheds. Most sheds come with a lock however you can reinforce this by adding a padlock of some kind.
There are a few steps you can take in order to take the best possible care of your shed and make the most of it. Obviously depending on material there are certain circumstances in which it will just be time to replace your shed. Metal and concrete sheds are a little more durable than wooden sheds so require less maintenance and will last longer.
The base, as mentioned, is incredibly important as it prevents moisture getting into the shed, so it is important to check your base to ensure it is doing the job it needs to. If the base becomes damaged it can mean that a shed replacement is necessary. A common problem with wooden sheds that have experienced a lot of wet weather over the years is warping – this is when the wood becomes distorted due to excess moisture and damp, warping cannot be reversed.
Make sure to look out for lose panels and repair them when you can as they don’t necessarily mean replacement is necessary but could if they deteriorate. Keeping your shed clean and tidy is important and if it becomes dirty it can lead to infestations. With outdoor buildings, insects are pretty common but regular cleaning can help to deter them.
Garden sheds are a great addition to any garden and have so many uses which can be of great benefit to you. We hope this guide has helped you gain a greater understanding of the garden shed and how to choose the perfect one for you, contact us if you have any more questions.
If you take proper care of your shed over the years it can last upward of 15 years, longer for metal and concrete versions as they are generally more durable.
Some sheds have better security than others, shop secure sheds if you’re looking for added security, but in general adding a padlock to your lock will help to ensure the security of your shed. You can find some more tips on how to make your shed more secure here.
If you are not confident with installing your shed yourself, GBC offer optional installation with the majority of their garden buildings, so you don’t need to worry about installation yourself. We also cover how to build a shed base here.
Outbuildings are considered to be ‘permitted development’ and therefore do not require planning permission. There are some limitations on sizes and placement which you will be able to find on your local council website, these limitations can also apply to any kind of garden building.
A shed that is within 2 metres of a property boundary may be up to 2.5 metres high. Additionally, it cannot take up a total area of 15 metres squared or more than 50% of the total land area of the property. The size of shed you choose will largely come down to personal choice; it will depend on the space you have available in your garden and what you plan to use your shed for. It is always better to allow more room so that you have extra space for more storage.
*Please note the planning guidelines outlined in this article are correct for England and Wales. For customers living in Scotland, please seek advice from your local council regarding planning regulations as they differ slightly from England and Wales.
Posted by Matt Jordan