Shed buying guide
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From keeping your garden equipment safe and secure to serving as a summerhouse or workshop, a garden shed is a practical addition to your garden with the potential to transform the way you use your outdoor space.
At Homebase, we stock a comprehensive range of easy to install sheds for a full range of different purposes, but with so many styles, types and sizes available – it can be a struggle to find the right one for you, your garden, and your family. Cut out the confusion and make finding your perfect shed a breeze with our handy expert guide.
What should I consider when buying a shed?
In order to choose the right shed to fit your needs, it’s a good idea to consider the following:
What size do you need?
Before you get started, think about what you’re going to store in it, so you can get one that’s the right size. It’s best to measure the space you’ve got available in your garden (taking into account extra dimensions like roof overhangs and window openings) before you buy. If in doubt, opt for a slightly larger shed as it's always best to have too much space than too little.
Is it weatherproof?
Not all sheds are created equally and some aren’t 100% waterproof, so make sure you treat your shed with a waterproofing stain or finish to protect the wood if it comes unfinished. As your shed is going to be living outside, it needs to be able to stand up to the worst of the British weather, and if neglected, your shed might rot or rust.
Ease of installation
The majority of sheds require self-assembly and you’ll usually need at least two people to install it safely – but follow the instruction manual, and you’ll be fine. As a general rule, metal sheds tend to be harder to install than either plastic or wooden models due to the weight of the components and the type of fittings involved.
Will it need a power supply?
If you plan on using the shed as a workshop or office, you’ll probably want to have mains power installed - this will need to be done by a professional electrician.
Do I need windows?
At Homebase, our wooden sheds come with clear, tough acrylic coated glazed windows. This provides maximum light penetration and a safe, shatterproof design.
What types of sheds are available?
Whether you’re looking for a wooden, metal or plastic shed, there are loads of different styles available so you’ll definitely be able to find something that matches your style and requirements. At Homebase, our wooden sheds come in Apex, Pent, Pent Solar and Extending shed varieties in overlap or shiplap designs. In the end, it comes down to your own personal preference so take time to make yourself familiar with all the different products.
Durable, secure and extremely weather resistant, metal sheds are designed to last, making them ideal for safely storing your expensive garden equipment in. At Homebase, out metal sheds are made from galvanised steel, ensuring a high level of security.
Metal sheds are a practical alternative to traditional wooden sheds, and are available with a number of different features, including sliding doors - making it much easier to carry in large items without the door blowing shut.
Affordable, convenient and cost-effective, plastic sheds are perfect if you’re counting the pennies and don’t need a huge amount of storage space. In addition, they are much lighter than wooden and metal sheds, which makes them easy to move around.
When you think of a garden shed, wooden sheds are probably the ones that first come to mind, and with good reason – they’re the most popular sheds available. Created using soft wood and suitable for a wide range of uses, timber sheds are available in a variety of attractive styles including:
This traditional style rustic style shed is created with overlapping boards to protect the interior from rain damage, such as the swelling and rotting of the wood. Often the most cost-effective style of wooden shed, it is reliable and long-lasting whilst being ideal for those on a small budget.
Designed to last, Shiplap sheds are created with tongue and groove construction and come with interlocking boards to ensure an exceptional resistance to rain, as well as as strong, robust structure.
Will it require regular maintenance?
No matter which type of shed you choose, they each require a certain level of maintenance.
Wooden sheds can shrink or split due to changing temperatures and weather conditions so all wooden sheds should be treated annually with a wood preserver. Hinges and locks should be regularly oiled and leaves should be removed from the roof to prevent damp.
If you’re looking for a shed that only requires a low level of maintenance, then pressure treated sheds are a great option. As they are constructed from pressure treated wooden overlap boards, they require no additional treatment. At Homebase, our pressure treated sheds come with a 15 year conditional manufacturer’s guarantee against rot.
Metal sheds require less maintenance, though they should always be well vented to prevent condensation. Fertilisers should also be kept well away from the shed to prevent corrosion.
Are there any important safety measures to consider?
The majority of garden sheds are fairly easy to install. However, it could be worth hiring a professional if you’re a DIY novice, and you’ll need to have any electrical work done by a professional electrician. Be sure to read our Safety Tips guide before attempting any installation.
When using your shed, storing everything away neatly will help to prevent accidents like trips and slipping.
Shed bases are a worthwhile investment as they greatly increase structural stability and can prolong the life of the shed.
- To ensure you are purchasing a quality shed, always buy from a reliable, well-known company.
- When making your purchase, think long term. A cheaper shed might be tempting in the short run but you may end up needing to replace it in a couple of years’ time, so go for the best shed you can afford.
- Make sure that the shed comes with a guarantee. Homebase offers guarantees ranging from five to ten years depending upon the type of shed being purchased.
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