New products are the lifeblood of many industries and it’s no different in the gardening sector and most of us above a certain age will know the Rubbermaid brand well, particularly if you have ever been in the cleaning industry.
A Sun Pent shed from Shedlands is a versatile garden structure that is full of light and can be used as both a workshop and potting shed. Martyn Loach recently invested in the 8ft x 6ft version and here is his review of the shed and its installation.
Shedlands make five versions of the Sun Pent shed, either six or eight feet wide and up to ten feet deep. What particularly appealed to me was a combination of the range's attractive appearance, impressive specifications and multi-use potential.
Only high quality materials are used to construct these sheds, sustainably sourced timber with no OSB or chipboard, glass not acrylic windows, and galvanized fittings. The 12mm shiplap cladding been dip treated against rot and decay, and there is over 30q ft of glazing allowing in a terrific amount of light.
The interior is therefore particularly light and two of the windows open for ventilation. Immediately below the glass is16in wide slatted staging that runs along the full length of the shed, offering plenty of room for my seed trays and pots next spring, and with storage space underneath.
I'm 6ft tall and, at the back of the shed, where there's lots of working or storage space, the headroom is perfectly adequate. The interior is kept dry by good quality roofing felt and the substantial 38mm x 50mm frame ensures the shed's stability even in bad weather.
It's a great advantage that this is a bespoke structure and you can choose the shed's configuration when ordering i.e. where the door is located and which way you want the roof to slant. I could therefore specify a shed that would fit perfectly into the space I had available in the garden.
However, I found one downside of buying this particular shed is that you then have to patient. Demand is high and I had to wait six weeks for delivery, as the saying goes, 'all good things come to those who wait', but this might not suit everyone.
The delay did gave me more than enough time to construct a concrete base. A solid level base of some kind is essential and you can refer to our blog 'How To Build A Concrete Shed Base' for more details. Slabs would be an alternative, and the base should be a slightly larger than the shed's footprint to allow for any variation in the approximate size that is quoted.
The shed arrived on the back of a flatbed truck and assembly needs two people working in unison and then on separate tasks. In my case, one of the men was clearly very experienced and knew exactly what was demanded while the other followed his instructions. They made a good team.
With the floor and sides pre-built, and the door already hinged, these were fixed in place ready to support the pent roof. I was surprised how quickly the shed took shape, it was clear that the construction process is designed to be as straightforward as possible and assembly can be achieved very quickly.
The staging was then installed, to be honest this is better quality timber than I expected, and is stoutly supported. As it's adjacent to the glazing, your plants will receive plenty of sun light.
While the tempered glass is fitted and silicone sealed, mineral felt is laid across the roof and nailed to the frame to ensure the shed is watertight. Wooden trim is then nailed in place to protect each corner and provide a neat finish before final checks made.
You can choose to assemble the shed yourself, but if you have no expertise or anyone to offer assistance, I think it's a wise decision to spend a little extra on professional installation. They know exactly what they are doing and assembly of my shed only took just over an hour.
Impressive specifications rather than price convinced me to buy this shed, and I am not disappointed. For example, the thickness and strength of the frame compares exceptionally well with similar sheds, and access is easy through the full height, ledged and braced door which is fitted with a rim lock to keep everything secure inside.
But not everything is perfect, the door can't be closed from the inside without locking it, and the installers, who otherwise did a great job, neglected to fit the door handle. A spare key might come in handy as well. Also, I couldn't fasten one of the opening windows because the catch hadn't been fitted accurately, this was easy for me to solve with a screwdriver but could be a problem for others.
Don't forget that the shed is only dip treated and will need preservative applied soon after delivery and then annually, but the positives far outweigh any negatives. And, due to the manufacturer's insistence on using only quality materials, I'm not at all surprised that the shed carries a ten year guarantee.
There's no doubt that my Sun Pent with a smart natural finish looks great, and it will prove to be a valuable addition to my garden with many uses, providing much needed space for cultivating plants, storing tools, and working on those DIY projects that I have put off for far too long.
There's no doubt that television provides gardeners with inspiration, sound advice and good ideas, that's why we're all looking forward to new programmes and the return of old favourites during 2020.
Sustainability and a growing awareness of wildlife are two of the key gardening trends identified by the Royal Horticultural Society for 2020, with gardeners in a position where they can make a substantial impact regarding environmental issues.
Gardening is such a popular activity with interest only increasing over recent years that the magazine rack in your local newsagent or supermarket is packed with publications offering inspiration and practical advice.
Although the days are short and the view from our Garden Centre is dull and overcast, David Coton suggests various jobs that can be done in the garden during the month of January.