Sheds and garden outbuildings are really useful for storing things like bicycles, garden equipment and furniture, but they can also help you and your family make better use of your garden throughout the year by providing valuable extra space for living, working or playing.
Sheds and outbuildings can be placed almost anywhere as long as the surface is level and firm. They are generally classified as temporary structures so you won't usually need planning permission unless you live in a conservation area, but for more information on the up-to-date legislation you should check the Government’s Planning Portal.
Before deciding what kind of shed or outbuilding you to put in your garden, it's a good idea to think about the following questions:
- What size of building do you want? And how big can it be without being overwhelming?
- How will you get into the building? Would a path make it more accessible?
- Where will you put it? Try not to put your building where it'll create dead space where the light is blocked and access limited. It's often a good idea to back a shed onto an outside wall or fence.
- Will there be enough natural light in winter? And is there a danger of overheating in summer?
- Do you want electricity? If so, how far away is the power source?
- Do you want a water supply? Is there an outside water tap you can run a pipe from?
- How will you make it look good and complement your garden? One way would be to paint it with coloured wood stain and surround it with plants and bushes.
As a perfect place to store your garden tools and furniture, a traditional shed will help keep your outdoor space secure and tidy. A potting shed is great if you're a keen gardener, as it also has a glazed area where you can grow plants and seedlings.
When you're choosing a shed, think carefully about the style and type of material you want. In general there are two types of shed: Apex (which come to a point in the middle) and Pent (which have a roof that slopes from high on one side to low on the other).
Your shed could be made from traditional timber, robust metal or low maintenance plastic. Here are the benefits of each.
As a natural material that really blends in with its surroundings as it ages, only wood can give you that old-world charm. You can also stain or paint it the colour of your choice to create an attractive feature in your garden.
But another important feature of wood is that it's a sustainable material - as trees lock up carbon from the atmosphere and help alleviate climate change. At B&Q all our wooden sheds are responsibly-sourced with Forest-Friendly timber and we are firmly against illegal logging.
Metal sheds are good at standing up to weather extremes. They don't swell or warp, or split because of frost. And they're resistant to insects, pests and fire, too. Mostly made from galvanised steel with a paint or plastic coating, some come with timber floors.
If you're looking for a low-maintenance option, a plastic shed is well worth thinking about. You won't need to paint or treat it, it'll resist knocks and scrapes, and you'll usually find it's simple to put together.
Other garden outbuildings
A cabin makes an ideal extra entertaining area, and you can take your pick from loads of different designs in all kinds of sizes - from fairly basic structures right up to multi-roomed log buildings. All the cabins in our range are made of high-grade Scandinavian wood, feature a wind block system to give a tight seal and have sturdy tongue and groove wall boarding.
A summerhouse makes the perfect garden room. Providing welcome shelter from the sun and wind, it's the ideal place to entertain friends or just relax on a lazy summer afternoon. You could even use it as a home office.
With the advances in technology in recent years, working from home has become a modern reality. So why not treat yourself to a peaceful haven where you can work during the daytime without noise and distraction - without taking up precious space in your house? In fact, a similar structure can have a whole range of other uses. You could create a gym, a teenager's hideaway, a music room or simply a quiet space in a busy world.
Let the kids' imagination run wild! Boys and girls alike will love having their own garden playhouse. Whether the playhouse is plastic or wooden, large or small, you can rest assured that each one in our range has been designed with children's safety and enjoyment in mind.
For a simple way to add a highly decorative feature to your garden, you could choose an arbour, arch or pergola. Not only do they look good, but some also offer welcome shade from the heat - and shelter from the more traditional British weather.
An arch will give an attractive focal point, and you can use it to join two 'rooms' of your garden together.
Create a shady place to sit by adding an arbour. Differing from pergolas they tend to have only one open side.
Create an authentic ambience with this wooden or vinyl framework covered with trained climbing or trailing plants. Consisting of side pillars and horizontal beams and. available in a variety of sizes, extend your outdoors & create a garden to be proud of!
Garages or carports
Looking for a practical, reasonably-priced alternative to a conventional brick garage? A carport or free-standing garage could be the answer.
From hen houses and dog kennels to chicken coops and pig pens, there are lots of specially-designed structures that will keep all kinds of animals sheltered and safe.