Everything You Need To Know About Garden Sheds
Sheds are one of the most useful structures in the garden, and can range from a simple walk-in tool store to a workshop complete with benches. Apex roofs (like an inverted “V”) will provide you with the greatest amount of headroom, although pent roofs (sloping in one direction only) and flat roofs are also available.
Garden Shed Materials
If you are thinking of buying a garden shed, you will need to think carefully about what you want to use it for, how long you expect to keep it, and how much you want to spend. All these elements will help to determine the choice of materials: wood, metal, concrete or glass-fibre.
Wood is probably the most commonly used material for garden sheds; it is relatively inexpensive and tends to blend in with the garden more sympathetically than other materials. Sheds made from naturally durable materials such as cedar are usually the best choice, although these are much more expensive than softwoods. If using softwood, avoid buying sheds that have been built using wood that has simply been dipped or painted; pressure-treated timber will last much longer. Treat softwood sheds with a preservative when new, and re-apply regularly.
Using a waterproof building paper to line the inside walls of wooden sheds will minimise moisture penetration and prevent tools from rusting.
You can also buy sheds made from interlocking sheets of aluminium. These are usually fairly small and are mainly designed as simple tool stores. The majority will have a sliding door, and a few will come equipped with an acrylic sheet window.
Steel sheds are also available. However, they can only really be used as tool or equipment stores as they tend to be fairly small and do not have any windows. If they have been treated to resist rust during manufacture they can be very durable. Although they are usually green they may also be painted any colour to match your garden scheme.
This is the most durable and long-lasting material for a shed, and consequently, the most expensive. The shed is usually constructed using pre-cast concrete sections on a firm, concrete base. The roof is almost always flat, although it may also contain plastic sections to let in light. The concrete may be finished with imitation brick or exposed aggregate or simply be painted.
The cheapest option is a glass-fibre shed. These are small (just large enough to hold tools), easy to assemble, and require no maintenance.
Garden Shed Features
If you are thinking about buying a wooden shed, you will find that there are a wide variety of different styles on the market to choose from. When comparing sheds from different suppliers, take the following features into account:
Felt should be of a decent quality otherwise it will let in rain and moisture, damaging the wood after three or four years. Choose a thick felt with a stone-chip finish.
Push one of the roof panels to make sure that it does not sag or flex.
Make sure that eaves overhang all sides of the shed by at least 5 cm (2 in).
Gutters are usually an optional feature, although they are also very easy to fit yourself. They can prolong the life of the shed by keeping the cladding dry.
There are a number of different styles of cladding available; tongue-and-groove and rebate ship-lap usually offer the best protection from the weather. Go inside the shed to make sure that no daylight is visible through the boards.
Always make sure that you can stand comfortably without stooping, and that you not have to keep ducking to avoid any cross-braces.
Make sure that windows fit securely, with no gaps. There should be a sloping sill with a drip groove underneath so that water will not damage the cladding. It is often best to choose a window that hinges from the top, as if they are left open in a sudden shower it will reduce the risk of it raining in.
Doors should be sturdy with good cross-bracing and a strong lock. All metal fittings should be made from galvanized metal or aluminium so that they will be resistant to rust.
The floor should be strong and solid – jump up and down on it to make sure.