Help & advice: Buying guide to garden sheds
Buying guide to garden sheds
Keep your gardening gear safe and dry with a handy shed - it's the perfect place for storing all kinds of stuff.
Find your ideal garden shelter with Homebase's range of garden sheds.
Keep mowers and tools out of the rain, stow away bikes and toys, protect planting gear against any kind of weather. We all know garden sheds are handy for storing all sorts of stuff. They're affordable and easy to install too. But what type of shed do you want? Our guide will help you choose the shed that fits your garden perfectly.
Get the biggest shed you can afford. It's surprising how much space you'll actually need and frustrating when you've bought a shed that's too small. Take time to measure out your site, especially if space is tight. Allow for 'extra dimensions' such as roof overhang.
Check that the roof ridge of your shed is high enough for you to stand up comfortably. Obvious maybe, but your door should be wide enough for big items like a lawnmower and wheelbarrow. Some garden sheds have extra wide double doors - perfect for the bulky stuff.
If you want to maximise your storage with wall shelves, choose a garden shed with a decent height up to the eaves. Think about making room for a workbench along one wall, perhaps beneath the window. Or do you need generous floor space for storage? Whatever you want, remember that bigger sheds are simply more versatile when it comes to configuring your space.
Wooden sheds and metal sheds are available from Homebase in these styles:
- Pent solar
- Extending shed
These sheds have an apex roof, sloping upwards from both sides to a single ridge along the middle. They're more robust than pent sheds as the roof is supported by shorter timbers.
The pent shed has a single sloped roof where the front eaves are higher than the eaves at the back, allowing rain to run off. Generous headroom at the front makes pent sheds perfect for using a workbench. They're just right for positioning against a wall or fence.
Pent solar sheds
These double as a greenhouse because they combine a single sloped pent roof with a generous slanted glazed front for maximum natural light.
The extending shed is a clever way to expand your storage as and when you need it. If you later find you want more space, just buy an extension kit and you can almost double your storage.
Choose a site as close to the house as possible, especially if you're using your garden shed as a workshop and need mains electricity or even a phone line. Sheds can get very hot in summer so position yours where it will have some shade during the day.
This is a sound idea if your shed is going to be a workshop or greenhouse. Avoid overhanging trees and tall hedges, though. Falling autumn leaves block gutters but can also make the roof damp and cause timbers to sag. And you don't want high winds bringing down heavy branches on your precious shed...
Never site a garden shed where there's any chance of rain collecting. This will help you avoid damp damage - especially important for wood and metal sheds.
Always leave yourself plenty of space around the shed, particularly near the door. If your shed has windows, allow enough room for natural light to enter. If possible, position the door on the leeward side of the prevailing wind - that'll give extra protection and warmth.
Homebase garden sheds are available in these materials:
The timber used on Homebase sheds is pre-treated to help withstand changing weather conditions and temperatures. Choose from three kinds of timber construction:
Overlapping boards create a rustic look. A Homebase featheredge shed is affordable and versatile, and comes with a five-year manufacturer's guarantee against rot.
These sheds are constructed from sturdy tongue and groove planed interlocking boards for a superior build. Tongue and groove is a type of cladding where a projecting strip on the edge of one board fits into the groove of the adjacent one. The rigid construction of these interlocking timbers creates a strong and long-lasting building. And you'll benefit from a 10-year manufacturer's guarantee against rot.
A loglap shed is made from tongue and groove round profile interlocking timbers. The result is a high-quality building that's rainproof and windproof and happens to look good, too. Comes with a 10-year manufacturer's guarantee against rot.
Doors and fixings
Homebase's wooden shed doors are made from sturdy tongue and groove to withstand heavy wear and tear. Door fixings are made from galvanised steel.
Homebase wooden shed roofs are made from OSB (Orientated Strand Board or resin bonded board) with a felt overlay. OSB is stable and water-resistant so ideal for shed roofing.
Our garden sheds come with an OSB floor or a sturdy tongue and groove floor on selected premium range models. Both styles are perfect for shed flooring.
As part of the manufacturer's guarantee, your shed floor must rest on bearers (not included). See assembly and installation section below.
Glazing for windows
The windows in Homebase wooden sheds are glazed with a tough, clear acrylic material that gives good light penetration. The acrylic is shatterproof and doesn't easily break.
Homebase's metal garden sheds are made from 0.6mm electro-galvanised steel that's strong and fire-retardant. They also come with a five-year guarantee against rust and you get lockable sliding steel doors for extra security. For added comfort choose an optional OSB floor on a pressure-treated timber frame.
If you don't need masses of space, plastic sheds and storage units are ideal. Affordable and very versatile, they're totally waterproof and extremely hard-wearing. And because they're so light, you can move them around whenever and wherever you want.
Assemble your shed by following the instruction manual. It's quite clear and easy to understand! All sheds are delivered flat packed. It takes two people to put one up and we reckon any decent DIY enthusiast could do the job - but get a professional in if you're not sure.
Build the shed on a level foundation so it's stable and strong from the floor up. You could position it on your patio, or build a foundation using paving slabs or concrete.
Make sure the foundation is at least 100mm larger than the base of your shed all the way around. If possible, bevel the edges of the foundation downwards so rainwater drains away from the shed walls.
Don't place a wooden shed directly on the foundation. To comply with the guarantee, you'll need pressure-treated bearers for your shed to stand on. The bearers ensure air circulation under the shed floor and stop the floor battens coming into direct contact with the foundation.
They should be cut to the shortest base dimension - for example, an 8ft x 6ft shed would need 4ft x 6ft bearers.
Metal sheds must be anchored to their foundation to give them stability. You can install an optional OSB floor on a pre-treated timber frame, or the shed can simply go on the hard standing.
Plastic sheds and units are very easy to install. Like any shed, though, they must be positioned on a level foundation for stability.
If you're using your garden shed as a workshop, you'll need an external power supply. Always hire a qualified electrician to do fit this. Never use an internal extension lead.
Build a path up to the door so you don't walk wet and muddy boots in and out of the shed. Bricks or paving slabs are good for a pathway, or try cobbles, gravel and even old railway sleepers.
You don't usually need planning permission for a shed unless you live in a listed building or a conservation area. If you do, or are unsure, check with your local planning office. There may be restrictions on shed size and how close the shed can be to the house and boundaries.
Timber is prone to warping, splitting and shrinking in changing weather and temperatures. To maintain your shed and comply with the guarantee you must:
- Re-treat your shed annually with a recognised external wood preserver. If your shed has a tongue and groove floor you should treat with preserver at the same time.
- Regularly oil moving parts such as locks and door and window hinges.
- Sweep leaves off the roof - they could cause damp if left.
Metal sheds are supplied rust-proofed but manufacturers suggest you do the following to ensure your shed lasts as long as possible:
- Position on a dry spot with good drainage.
- Put a vapour barrier under your foundation (heavy gauge polythene sheeting for example) to stop damp rising through it.
- Minimise internal condensation by keeping the air vent open and unobstructed at all times.
- Fit 5mm polystyrene to the interior surface of the roof panels to prevent condensation build-up. Use moisture-resistant glue.
- Don't let fertilisers touch the metal - this causes corrosion.
Plastic sheds and storage units are very easy to maintain. For a start, the polypropylene they're made from is water-resistant. To wash, simply scrub with warm, soapy water and rinse carefully with clean water. Allow to dry.
Homebase garden sheds are all about quality, style, choice and great value. They're also pretty easy to put up! Here's what buying a shed from Homebase means:
- Wide range of timber, metal and plastic sheds.
- Homebase sheds are made from quality materials and manufactured to the highest possible standards.
- Sheds are supplied by reputable manufacturers and offer great value.
- Sheds come with a manufacturer's guarantee against rot.
- Homebase sheds come flat packed and are easy to assemble.
- Instructions are clear and simple to understand.
- Clear advice provided to help you maintain your shed.
- Helpline number for advice before and after you buy.
- You'll earn Nectar points that can be redeemed in store.