A shed is an essential part of any garden. Providing not only outdoor storage for garden equipment and furniture, but a great work space for DIY or hobbies or just escaping the kids for some peace.
A garden shed should be viewed as an investment and one that should last for decades. To ensure you get the best return on that investment it is essential that you take some time to choose the right shed for you and your family.
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Work out the best location for the shed, paying attention to whether it affects views from your house or any seating areas. Also do consider the neighbors and any local planning regulations.
Measure the location you have chosen and perhaps chalk out an outline. Take into account a 1-2 feet of space around the perimeter of the shed for access, painting etc. especially when considering a wooden shed.
Consider what you want to store in the shed and what you will likely want to store in the future. A 10’x6′ shed is usually the minimum for a comfortable workshop and if you need to store larger equipment, for example, a ride on mower, you will need a bigger one. Remember to allow for space to open the door and any windows and the access space needed to move items in and out.
Your budget may also affect the size and type of shed you choose.
A wooden shed is the traditional choice as the wood naturally complements an outdoor space. The only downside is that they do require annual maintenance. A dip-treated wooden shed requires treating with wood preservative annually, however the pressure-treated models can be left untreated for up to 15 years without showing signs of rot.
Plastic no longer means low quality as there are some very high-quality plastic sheds on the market. These are strong, with robust frames and are long-lasting and low maintenance sheds. Plastic sheds come in a wide range of UV protected colours and many are designed to look like other materials such as wood.
Metal sheds are strong and long lasting. They are also seen as being more secure and better for storing valuable tools and equipment. They are also available in a range of colours and designs and usually come with longer guarantees. They are however notoriously difficult to put together.
Overlap cladding is the simplest way to construct a shed and is also the cheapest. The boards are nailed to the shed’s frame in an overlapping fashion, allowing the timber to naturally contract and expand over the course of the year. The downside is that overlap sheds are usually constructed from thinner boards, so are more prone to damp and draughts which will be more of a problem if you want to use it as a workshop.
Tongue and Groove Cladding
Standard tongue and groove has the same tight interlocking construction as shiplap. In the case of tongue and groove, the face of the board is flat giving a sleeker, more modern finish.
Shiplap Tongue and Groove Cladding
Shiplap tongue and groove cladding has an interlocking design making it more weather resistance and draught proof than overlap cladding. The boards interlock in a tongue and groove fashion which results in a stronger construction. Shiplap refers to the scallop appearance which also makes for an attractive finish.
Dip treatment is where the manufacturer applies a coat of preservative to the wood’s surface to protect it against rot and fungal decay. It does provide a reasonable level of protection but the shed will require retreating annually and ideally after assembly too. Dip treated sheds are usually an orange shade. They tend to be cheaper than pressure treated sheds but still have guarantees of up to 10 years subject to annual treatment.
Pressure treatment involves the preservative being forced deep into the wood, thereby ensuring a greater level of protection against rot and fungal decay. In most instances this means that the shed will not require treating for up to 15 years, Pressure-treated sheds are usually a lighter colour, than dip treated ones. They are generally as noted above a little more expensive but the longer guarantee and low maintenance costs make it worth paying more up front.
The traditional shed roof shape is an apex one, which has a high peak which runs from one gable end to the other. This gives the shed increased headroom along the middle of the shed. The doors will be sited in one of the gable ends.
A pent roof does not have a peak and slopes from front to back. The advantage of this shape is that it can fit under trees or up against fences easier. A lean to roof is a pent roof that slopes away from a wall, which the structure is built against.
Reverse Apex Roof
A reverse apex roof has the high peak of an apex roof, but the doors is positioned on one of the longer sides and not on a gable end. This may better suit some interior layouts especially if a wider door is required.