Garden Sheds
Everything You Need To Know

Garden sheds are the ideal solution for all your garden storage problems.

The right shed will improve the look of your garden, keep your tools safe and dry, and may even add value to your home.

If your garden is spoilt by unsightly piles of empty plant pots, seed trays and bags of compost, or you find yourself having to park your car in the driveway because your garage is full of gardening tools and equipment, it's time to invest in a shed.

Your shed can also provide a handy extra bit of workspace and, of course, a comfortable place to sit and enjoy a cup of tea!

There are a multitude of options when it comes to sheds, so how do you decide which type will work best for you?

Size Matters When it comes to Garden Sheds...

Overall size

First think about the size of shed you need. Work out the amount of space you will need to store all your equipment and remember to take into account the extra space needed to access it all easily and safely.

There is nothing worse than having to drag the mower out of the shed every time you need to get at the tools stored at the back!

Door openings

Another point that is easy to overlook is the size of the door opening. Your garden tool shed may be big enough to accommodate your ride-on mower but that's no use whatsoever if you can't get the thing through the door!

The solution? If you have large items to store, look for a shed with either double doors or wide sliding doors, and the option of a ramp to make it easier to push carts, barrows and mowers inside.

Roof height

If you would like a work bench down one side make sure that you will have plenty of room to work comfortably and that the roof is high enough to prevent you from having to stoop all the time.

Now make it bigger!

If it is at all possible, once you have decided on a size, go for a shed at least one size bigger. I have heard many gardeners complain that their shed is too small, but never that it is too large. You will undoubtedly find lots more items to store in it!

Small garden? No problem!

If you have a small backyard there are still plenty of garden storage options available to you, and you should consider investing in either a vertical storage shed (a tall outdoor storage cupboard) or a horizontal shed (a weatherproof storage chest).

Choosing the Right Material

Once you've worked out which size you need, choose the best material for your purposes. Garden sheds are usually made of wood, metal or plastic (vinyl) and it is important to choose the right one.

Wooden sheds

Wooden sheds are a great choice if you want a shed that...

  • ... is an attractive garden feature in its own right.
  • ... will blend in well with any planting scheme.
  • ... can be stained or painted easily to complement or contrast with your house and other garden features.
  • ... AND if you don't mind the maintenance involved.

Wooden sheds come in a vast range of styles and sizes so you will have no difficulty finding one to suit your needs perfectly... read more about wooden garden sheds.

Metal sheds

A metal shed is usually made from colour-coated galvanized steel or aluminium. Metal is the best choice if you want a shed that...

  • ... requires minimal or no maintenance to keep its smart appearance.
  • ... does not rot and is weatherproof, rodent proof, insect proof and fireproof.
  • ... is secure.

There are many styles of metal garden sheds available and they are very reasonably priced... read more about metal sheds.

Plastic garden sheds

Plastic sheds are usually made from uPVC. They make an excellent choice if you want a garden shed that...

  • ... is very reasonably priced.
  • ... is both lightweight and durable.
  • ... requires no maintenance.
  • ... is readily available in kit or modular form.

The plastic shed has come a long way since its early days so don't be put off by memories of the cheap looking, faded plastic sheds of the past... read more about plastic sheds.

A final thought about quality...

Whichever material you finally decide on, do think about the quality and buy the best that your budget allows.

A cheap budget shed is fine if you just want to store a bit of general garden clutter but for more valuable items you want a sturdy shed that is secure and weatherproof.

All the locks in the world won't help you if thieves can simply break down the panels (as happened recently to one of our neighbours) and a damp, leaky shed is no place for your expensive garden power tools and equipment.

Siting your New Garden Shed

Siting and aligning your shed correctly is important otherwise it will become annoying and inconvenient to use. The following are useful guidelines...

  • Think about whether you want your shed to be tucked away discreetly or whether you want it to be a prominent feature.
  • The location needs to have good access, and there should be enough room around all four sides for you to carry out construction and maintenance work safely and easily.
  • Try to avoid low hanging trees and allow at least 30cm (1ft) clearance between your shed foundations and any shrubs etc..
  • You also need good access to the inside of the shed so avoid positioning the door around a corner and think about whether you want the door hinged on the left or right.
  • Position windows to allow maximum light.
  • If you will be connecting an electricity and/or water supply, position your shed close to existing mains services.

And Finally...

Once you've decided on the size, material and location, there are a couple of other really important things to think about.

Planning permission and/or building permits

Generally speaking, small sheds should not require planning permission or building permits, but regulations vary depending on where you live.

To avoid falling foul of any legislation make a quick phone call to your local planning office - it will save you a lot of trouble in the long run.


Check that your shed and its contents will be covered by your home insurance. Items such as lawn mowers and other garden tools are costly to replace and it would be devastating to discover that your insurance policy didn't cover their loss.

For more information visit these related pages...

Further information about sheds and storage can be found on these pages:

Wooden Garden Sheds: A Buyer's Guide

Choosing a Metal Garden Shed

Plastic Garden Sheds: A Great Low Maintenance Garden Storage Solution

A Horizontal Garden Shed is a Versatile Outdoor Storage Solution

A Vertical Garden Shed is the Perfect Storage Solution for Small Outdoor Spaces