Forest have been making high quality timber garden products for over half a century and at GLEE David Coton had the chance to see their brand new storage range that has recently been launched.
Robert Hall has been selling metal sheds for over 40 years to UK gardeners and home owners. So when the new Lotus shed arrived on the British market this year and he saw it at the GLEE gardening trade show, he could not wait to review it for The Gardener.
Exactly what do you look for when you want to buy a metal shed? Or more to the point, what do you want to avoid?
I asked this question to Philip Kandel and his brother John when I visited their Store More trade stand at this year's GLEE Gardening Trade Exhibition in Birmingham. Store More offer arguably the largest selection of non-timber storage buildings to the trade in the UK, so this is the place to start.
Firstly it comes with a single base rail as opposed to the sections that you have to construct together, which is common on most value for money metal sheds. This saves time and adds strength to the unit.
How thick is the cladding on the Lotus metal sheds?, this has to be the important question. Philip tells me "Many metal sheds are 0.25mm and some are as light as 0.18mm but the Lotus is 0.30mm steel" so you get plenty of bang for your buck here.
The internal frame is constructed of box section steel as opposed to the normal L shape or angled steel which can be sharp if not rolled and finished properly.
Most metal sheds are not designed to be a gymnasium or a workshop, but to be a discrete store for larger items so the height of 1.78m is certainly average or even above.
The door assembly can be extremely fiddly with some metal sheds but particular attention has been paid to this area on the Lotus range. One single formed piece of metal screws onto the door and this feeds into one end of the door rail. Job done!
Finished in an attractive mist green and complete with integral ventilation the Lotus metal shed ia available with a foundation kit or a timber base and in a range of sizes.
The price speaks for itself, but now you know what value you are getting for your money.
Store More have been aware for some years that there have been cheaper sources of light clad metal sheds available from ‘new’ sources. Many of these sheds have been modelled on existing designs and in some cases it can be difficult to differentiate between them when viewing a photograph.
Store More have been sourcing metal sheds from different sources since 1981 and since 2007 they made a fundamental change to their offer, to ensure that there is a minimum tolerated specification.
This specification not only relates to the type, finish and durability of the steel used but also to other aspects including:
These sheds are the highest specification lightweight metal garden sheds in the market. Apart from the high grade of 0.3 steel and paint finish, they have ventilated gables and all standard buildings have the tallest wall height available.
The frame and base rails are made from solid heavy gauge galvanised steel and the parts and their fixings are simple and straightforward to assemble in the quickest possible time.
As Store More became involved with the LOTUS shed they knew that they were looking for advances in design as well as maintaining the high standards required, at a cheaper price. All their efforts in influencing its development have not, in any way, compromised on quality. Indeed, this new range achieves all their required and desired criteria.
The new range of Store More Lotus Metal Sheds can now be seen on Gardensite.
David Coton was recently invited to the exclusive launch of Grange's new products for 2018, the result of significant investment that the garden structures and fencing firm have received from their Polish parent company.
David Coton suggests that there are plenty of gardening jobs that need to be done in November, from why you shouldn't throw away your fallen leaves to how to take care of your vegetable patch.
In October, David Coton is getting the garden prepared for the onset of colder weather but, at the same time, the arrival of spring bulbs in the garden centre is a reminder that you should also now be planning ahead for next year.
At GLEE this year David Coton visited the VegTrug stand to find out how their specially designed space saving planters can encourage us to grow more of our own food without the use of pesticides.