Choosing your shed

It's important to determine the planned use and storage needs before choosing a shed. With a wealth of different shapes, sizes, materials and construction types available, careful planning is a must to make pottering in your shed a true pleasure. This guide will help you to understand what shed you'll need in order to best meet your needs.

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Choosing the right material for your shed will help to give you a garden building that suits your budget, storage needs and the lifetime of use you expect. At B&Q we offer a range of wooden, plastic and metal sheds, each with different merits.

  • Wood

    When you picture a shed, most people think of a wooden shed. Wood has natural insulation properties that will keep the inside of your shed warmer than plastic or metal, so it makes a good choice for gardeners. All wooden sheds sold by B&Q are made from FSC© certified, forest-friendly wood so you can be sure your building contains only sustainably sourced timber. To keep your wooden shed in good condition, you will need to re-coat with a suitable paint or stain every few years. Cheaper wooden structures can tend to be flimsy in their build, so consider your needs when purchasing and choose a more substantial building if needed.

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  • Plastic

    Take the hassle out of maintenance with a plastic shed. Plastic sheds don't need to be treated, however if damaged it can be difficult to repair or replace parts. If you need to move your shed regularly around the garden or to a new property then plastic sheds are lightweight and easy to dismantle and rebuild.

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  • Metal

    Secure your belongings with a metal shed. Sheet metal is much stronger than other materials and far less likely to be a target for thieves. Ensure you have a good quality lock on any building you choose, as often home insurance doesn't cover your shed contents. Look out for any rust on metal sheds as it can take its toll if it is sitting in a damp corner of the garden. Treat with a rust remover and protect with a suitable paint should this happen.

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If considering a wooden shed, there are a number of construction types which determine the appearance, finish and durability of the building. These are the most common;

  • Overlap

    You are likely to see this term a lot when shopping for sheds. It refers to how the wooden walls fit together. It's a classic 8mm design when each board overlaps to let water run off. Overlap tends to be thinner than other construction types and essentially offers 'just what you need' without any luxuries. Used in most sheds or workshops for storing tools, bikes or garden furniture.

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  • Shiplap

    Like Overlap, Shiplap refers to the way the walls of a shed are constructed. Shiplap adds strength to your shed by using 13mm tongue & groove boarding which slots together to provide a sturdier shed with a higher level of weather proofing. Shiplap sheds are suitable for storing heavier garden items or for alternative uses such as workshops or playhouses.

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  • Loglap

    One step on from Shiplap, Loglap uses 19mm tongue and groove barrel boards to give further stability and protection. It is very strong and long lasting. Typically, Loglap is used for larger buildings and can be insulated to make outdoor rooms suitable for use as office or play space.

The right roof might not be your first though when choosing a shed, but it is well worth consideration. Not only will it affect the way your shed looks, but different shape roofs offer varying headroom, and some, such as apex roof sheds, are able to offer storage within the eaves. Knowing how to look after your shed roof will also help to maintain the lifespan of your building and well as the appearance.

  • Apex

    The shed roof slopes down on two sides from a central point creating a strong shape. Shorter timbers make for a stronger build and rain water runs off easily. Generally used for storage sheds, and are ideal for using with guttering and a water butt to collect rainwater for use in the garden.

  • Reverse Apex

    Same roof style as an Apex roof however the slope runs front to back rather than side to side. This style of shed is good if you need to make use of your shed widthways.

  • Pent

    Flat roof shed where the front is generally higher than the back. Ideal for sheds where you want to install a workbench for DIY or planting, as the pent roof can offer additional height. Corner sheds use a pent roof style.

  • Pent Solar

    Greenhouse meets shed. One wall features a large glass window for natural light and heat to help grow your plants inside. Typically used for storage and propagating plants.

  • Roofing

    Most sheds feature felted or shingled roofs. Felt is the most common roofing material used; It's lightweight, weatherproof, durable and easy to install. New sheds may need their roof to be felted as part of the build, but it is also an easy task to replace felt on a older building to give it a new lease of life and improved weatherproofing.

    Felting your shed roof needn't be a scare with our How to guides

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Planning where to put your shed?

Be mindful not to place your structure under large trees as you may have problems with dropping branches or large roots.

If you require electricity think about getting power supply, allowing you to use power tools or lighting.

It's best to have some shade if possible as your garden building will tend to get very hot inside during the height of summer.

If you'll be working with plants consider whether you need a water supply, or need to be near one. You may want to add guttering to your shed to feed a water butt.

It's a good idea to locate your building next to a path as grass can get very muddy and damp in the winter.

Try to position the building a minimum of 30cm away from walls and fences to allow it to be installed correctly and to allow you to get things in and out easily.

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So you've chosen a shed and designated its space in the garden. Now it's time to get your hands dirty and build it.

First of all you'll need to build the base from which your shed will stand. It is essential to give garden buildings a base - If the ground beneath is not level then the shed will be weak and deteriorate quickly. You'll also lose any value in a warranty if your shed is not sat correctly on a base. It will also help to protect your shed from damp and moisture, which can potential damage your building.

There are three popular types of shed base; Concrete, paving slabs or timber.

  • Paved shed bases

    Building the base in this way is the same as laying a patio, only it will need to be specific to your shed size. Ensure you allow extra room to get around your shed to paint it or perform any maintenance in the future - around 30cm on each side should be enough.

    Watch our video guide on how to lay a patio.

  • Timber shed bases

    Alternatively, you might want to use a ready-built timber shed base. B&Q sells a range of sheds which include bases, as well as separate bases you might want to use. Timber shed bases are essentially a wooden frame, raised slightly off the ground using metal stakes. This allows you to make sure that the shed is level regardless of the surface underneath, and helps to protect the shed from damp and cold surfaces. Shed bases are easy to install on grass or bare earth using a mallet and spirit level.

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