Thursday, 28 August 2008

Benefits of different shed materials

Metal Sheds

Metal sheds are usually built from a metal such as galvanised steel, aluminium or corrugated iron. The benefits of building a shed from metal are that it will be strong, long lasting, and fire, rot and termite resistant. However a metal shed will be prone to rusting, will dent easily and will need to be attached to a heavy base to stop it blowing away when windy, as thin metal is a lot lighter than alternative materials such as wood.

Wooden Sheds

Wooden sheds tend to be more popular than the other shed materials mentioned here as they look more natural within a garden and wood is a reusable resource. They do however have many disadvantages when compared with other materials, for example they are prone to warping, splitting and becoming rotten. They are also prone to mould, therefore they require yearly maintenance to protect them from such things. There are many treatments and preservatives on the market that can be used to treat a shed to prevent it from having some of the problems mentioned. However there is no real solution to the wood splitting and warping. On the other hand though wood is easy to work with and can be adapted easily, say for instance if you want to put a new window into the side of the shed, then this can be done fairly easily, unlike with a metal shed. Wood stains can also be used to make a wooden shed the exact colour you want it, although you will have to stain it yearly to maintain the colour.

Plastic Sheds

Plastics sheds are usually made out of either PVC or polyethylene. More expensive plastic sheds tend to be UV resistant. The benefits of this type of shed are that they are strong, fairly light, and are resistant to denting, rot and chipping unlike wooden sheds. Plastic sheds also don’t require yearly maintenance as they don’t need to be treated.

Vinyl-sided Sheds

Vinyl-sided sheds are built with oriented strand board on the walls covered with standard vinyl siding placed on a wooden frame. They are fairly expensive when compared with the three other common types of shed, however they are stronger than metal or plastic sheds and they don’t need to be painted. Vinyl sided sheds often mimic the style of finish of a wooden shed and they will not rot or flake. There are health concerns associated with this type of shed material though.

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

How to build a garden shed

Building a shed is quite complex, although it will save you money if you construct the shed yourself, it is likely to take up quite a bit of time - at least one weekend if not two. The following links are a few of the best 'how to build a garden shed' step by step guides found on the internet:

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Top 3 timber shed treatments

1. Cuprinol Shed and Fence Preserver
  • For use on all types of timber shed
  • Protects wood against weather rot and decay
  • For use with a Cuprinol Sprayer

2. Ronseal Shed and Fence Preserver
  • Suitable for larger areas of rough sawn timber
  • Two to Three coat application
  • Drys in 2 -3 hours
  • Prevents decay

3. Cuprinol Ducksback Rollable Formula for sheds

  • Best for rough sawn wood
  • Wax enriched formua for waterproofing
  • For use with a Cuprinol Rapid Roller

For information about applying a shed treatment click on the following link which will take you back to a previous blog post - Give your timber shed a treat

Monday, 25 August 2008

Types of garden shed

Apex Shed

Apex sheds are the more popular type of shed available, and come in a wide range of sizes offering both single and double door entrances. They are perfect for both storing gardening equipment and using as a workshop as they have the necessary headroom. This is due to the rooves on apex sheds sloping on two sides with a high ridge in the middle running the entire length of the shed.

Pent Shed

Pent sheds are usually slightly cheaper than their apex shed alternative, however they tend not to have the necessary head room required and they are only sold in select sizes. A pent shed has a single slope roof and is ideal for storage or for children to use as a play house.

Three of the top online suppliers of sheds within the UK include:

Thursday, 21 August 2008

Choosing the location of your shed

Before building or introducing a new shed into your garden you should seriously consider the following factors:

Do you need to get planning permission to put a shed in your garden? Will it obstruct your neighbours views?

You need to make sure that you have considered planning permission if you are going to construct any type of building within your back garden. There may be times when planning permission isn't necessary (if you are only building a small shed), however it is always best to check with your local council planning office. If planning permission is required then you will need to submit a site plan of your garden with the proposed location of the new shed. Make sure the shed doesn't obstruct your neighbours views/light otherwise they might object to the plans.

Where will the shed be placed within your garden? Which direction will it be facing?

When considering the location of a garden shed, you need to think about the direction of your garden and whether you want sunlight shining through the windows of the shed. Also to think about is the amount of access available to the shed in particular locations, the view of the shed from your house and whether you will be able to link the shed up to ultilities if necessary. If you decide later on that you have built the shed in the wrong place then it can be very timely to move it.

What size shed will fit comfortably in your garden?

Make sure you measure your garden before deciding on the size of shed you will be purchasing. You need to make sure you are willing to give up the amount of space required by your new shed.

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

Shed bases

A good solid base is essential when considering constructing a shed in your garden, without this you are likely to face many problems such as the shed not hanging right, which will cause poorly fitting doors and windows making it unstable and the base is likely to become rotten very quickly from the earth which it is placed on.

From experience the best types of shed base are:
  • Concrete Base – This base will be the most stable of the three and will last the longest. It needs to be completely flat. How to build a concreate base.

  • Treated Timber – If the base of a shed is pressure treated then there is no need for a separate shed base as this treatment prevents the base from going rotten. However the patch of garden that the shed is going to be placed on needs to be flat.

  • Paving Slabs – This is similar to a concrete base as it is fairly stable; however the slabs can be easily moved if the shed ever needs to be placed in a different location within the garden. Laying a paving slab base.

  • Plastic Base - A plastic base is quick and simple to build and saves on the hassle of having to lay slabs or a concrete base. They come with weed control fabric and are a perfect stable and level base for any garden shed. Example of a plastic base.

  • Timber Base – Timber bases are quick and easy to construct and require minimal DIY skills. These bases are made from pressure treated timber therefore preventing the timber from rotting.

Monday, 18 August 2008

Garden shed solar lighting

Lighting up your shed doesn’t have to cost a fortune now that there are a number of solar powered lighting kits on the market. These solar powered lights save the hassle of having to connect your shed to the mains supply. Solar lighting kits are fairly cheap and include a remote solar panel which is used to recharge the battery during daylight hours. The average running time of these lights are: summer: 6-8 hours and winter: 2-4 hours. Therefore solar powered shed lighting is the perfect solution even for lighting up a frequently used shed.

Solar shed lights are sold on the following websites:

Friday, 15 August 2008

Garden shed security

Following the break in of an aquatic centre owners garden shed in Hampshire, from which a theif stole a 2ft rare female shark, the security of garden sheds containing valuable items needs to be increased.

There are many security shed kits currently available on the market which include a secure lock and movement detector, monitoring movement inside your garden shed (much like a house alarm system). Wirefree battery detectors are commonly sold, with the Yale Shed Kit being the most popular.

The low cost of this kit makes it a cost effective way of protecting your belongings and giving you peace of mind. The security kits are available from garden centres around the UK and garden shed internet websites, an example is

Thursday, 14 August 2008

Exporing the locations of wooden sheds

The typical wooden garden shed....

...usually used as a workshop or for storage. Typically placed at the bottom of the garden.

The less typical type of shed comes in a similar form to this....

...a waterside shed in Sweeden. I wonder if it's watertight!!

For more information about sheds click here.

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Summerhouses and gazebos

There are currently a wide variety of summerhouses and gazebos available from a wide range of suppliers on the internet (for example which offer all the inspiration you need to add a practical outdoor space and create an attractive focal point within the garden. If space is at a premium it is best to choose a building that will sit snugly in the corner of your garden.

The natural timber designs of summerhouses and gazebos blend beautifully into any environment and are perfect for lazy days or summer entertaining or for chilling out at the end of the day with a cold glass of wine or beer. Most of these buildings are spacious enough to accommodate tables and other necessary furniture.

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Exploring the uses of a garden shed....

Garden sheds and workshops are the perfect solution for garden storage to stow away summer garden furniture or kids' paddling pools, or simply to keep your garden equipment organised under lock and key. Many people look at these types of buildings as an extra room and the perfect place to use as a hobby room.

Also available on the market are arches, arbours, pergolas, summerhouses, planters and other timber products which all create an interesting and attractive garden perfect for relaxing in.

Monday, 11 August 2008

Give your timber shed a treat

This summer's rather soggy weather could have a disastrous effect on garden timber that hasn’t been properly looked after. Here are some top tips on keeping your wood looking good.

Exposure to moisture can cause the grain of badly maintained garden sheds and summerhouses to expand and split. Wet wood also encourages the growth of algae, fungus and mould that is both unsightly.

If your garden timber is looking tired and grey, then don't panic. When cared for correctly, outdoor timber can last for up to 25 years – and there is still time to treat even weather-damaged wood with a protective coating before even colder, damper winter conditions sets in. Follow these simple treatment tips for all your garden woodwork and it will be ready for anything the British weather can throw at it!

1. Preparing your timber

Try to pick a dry (but not over-hot) spell to carry out garden timber maintenance and allow time for the timber to dry out before you start. Test the condition of the timber before you apply a treatment.

2. Treatment tips

All things timber in your garden – whether fence panels, garden buildings, furniture, garden decking or structures – will benefit from treatment with a good timber care product every so often, to enhance the beauty of the wood and protect the surface. Most garden timber products are dipped in a dye during manufacture to make the wood grain look consistent, but this colour isn’t permanent and gradually fades when exposed to the elements. In time wood that is left untreated becomes that familiar silvery-grey colour with a rough, bark-like surface, as the grain gradually opens and lets in moisture. If you wait this long then it may be almost impossible to reverse!

Instead, when timber is around one year old, sand off any old, flaking stain or dirt from the dry surface and apply an annual coat of good quality wood preservative. This will enrich and revitalise the surface of the wood just like a skin moisturiser. They also contain anti-fungicides that will help prevent rot, mould and lichens. There is a wide choice of timber care products, some combining treatment with a coloured wood stain for extra impact.

Friday, 8 August 2008

Future outlook for garden sheds

The general economic view of gardening is that its procession into the future appears resilient. The variety of sheds now available for different purposes (including garden storage and workshops) has caused an increase in their popularity. A contributing factor causing this impact is the number of people now working from home has increased over the years and therefore many people require a seperate work space. The garden shed market is a good sector to be in as the UK's shed market is currently at around £91m.

The sale of both sheds and other garden products has moved towards internet sales over the past couple of years. This is due to the ease of purchasing via the internet and therefore the increase of people frequently buying items online.

Three of the top online suppliers of sheds within the UK include: