Form & Function: Choosing the Perfect Shed

Much more than a place to store your tools, a well-designed, high quality shed is the perfect addition to every garden. A shed can be used to keep pets, to store bikes and garden furniture or as a small home from home, where you can put your feet up after a hard afternoon of potting or weeding. In most cases, you won’t need planning permission but it’s worth checking the official planning portal just in case. Always prioritize a secure foundation and try to let your neighbours know your plans, if you think you might need to access their garden during construction.


Location, Location

It’s a good idea to leave a metre of space around the outside of your shed for easy access and maintenance. Some shed-owners like to plan their structures near a fence, hedge or taller building to protect them from the elements. Winter weather can wreak havoc with the durability of a shed and rainwater collecting on your shed roof can cause the timbers to sag. If you want to use the shed as a workshop, pick a site closer to the house so you can use mains electricity and consider how hot your shed will become in summer. Do you want it to get some shade? Are you interested in having plenty of natural light in the shed? If so, don’t position it so the windows are obscured.

Choosing a Design

Whatever style of shed you go for, make sure it’s best-suited to your preferences. It’s important to go for a shed where you can stand up comfortably and where the doorway is wide enough to fit items like lawnmowers and wheelbarrows through. You will usually have to choose between metal buildings and wooden sheds, the former being easy to assemble and very secure. They are popular due to their low price and often need little maintenance. Typically however, wooden sheds are seen as more aesthetically pleasing, more solid and are available in a range of colours and treatments. The three most common types of roof are:

Apex: two sides sloping upwards that allows for more storage space, recommended for holding tools and equipment overhead to save on floor space. The most robust out of all the designs.

Pent: Single sloped roof with front eaves higher than eaves at the back.This allows rainwater to drain off effectively and reduces the overall height of the shed. These sheds have generous headroom at the front and are good for positioning against a fence or a wall.

Flat: These can collect rainwater which affects how long your shed will last and are not usually recommended.