Attending Glee, the leading garden and leisure industry show, was a great opportunity for Nathan Dodd to spot trends and anticipate products that will come onto the market in the near future.
Sheds of any kind are ubiquitous in the British garden and, due to their popularity, there are plenty to choose from. Nathan James Dodd explores the basic considerations that need to be taken into account before purchasing one.
A shed might not be for life, but buy a good one and it will be with you for many years. So you had better get your choice right in the first instance.
Timber is still the most popular construction material, it is weather proof, watertight and when treated will last for many years. People like its rustic, traditional appearance and, as a natural material, it seems to fit into a garden landscape very easily.
Metal sheds need little maintenance due their coated galvanised steel construction, and offer great security if you store expensive garden equipment and cycles. Modern metal sheds are extremely rot resistant with stainless fixtures and fittings. They may not look quite as traditional as timber sheds but wood effect cladding is available.
Plastic sheds are easily and quickly assembled. They are low maintenance since they won't rot or rust and need no painting. If not quite as rigid as wooden and metal sheds, they are highly durable using the latest plastics and resin building techniques. As with metal sheds, wood effect cladding is available.
Many different sizes and styles are available, some designed for cycles or motorbikes, others catering for gardening and other equipment.
Purchasing a 6ft x 4ft shed will give you storage space in addition to a small amount of room for other usage. As the square footage increases there Is obviously much more space that can be used for DIY, gardening or hobbies, until you reach the large workshop type constructions. Increasing the size gives you more options as to the use the shed is put to, larger projects can be undertaken, garden equipment can be repaired etc.
Sheds that double up as a potting shed or greenhouse are particularly useful for a gardener who likes to propagate their own plants. There might be not enough room in your garden for a greenhouse and a shed, so this is a good compromise with one section suitable for storage while the half is well glazed, letting in all the light that your seedlings and plants require. The good lighting may also be useful for hobbies such as painting and modelling.
Summer houses are a great addition to any garden, a relaxing space that looks elegant. It can of course be used for storage, but in the heat of the summer it will prove to be a restful place in the shade to solve a crossword, watch the children from or just have a nap.
The smart advice is to buy the largest shed you can afford and which looks right in your garden. You will be so annoyed and frustrated if in time your needs change and it proves too small. Consider the use that it is going to get, now and in the future.
Measure out the available space, never do it by eye, especially if there's not much of it. Make sure there is enough access space. Go to a garden centre to see the choice, go inside and check the headroom is adequate. While you are inside, imagine what equipment, shelves, work benches are going where and whether it can be configured to your satisfaction.
Remember the larger a shed, the more possibilities there are, more storage space and more room in which to work.
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