Wooden Sheds Buying Guide

High quality and affordable wooden sheds of all sizes are available to buy at Sheds.co.uk, but recognising exactly which model will be the best for you and your garden is not always easy. In order to make the process of choosing the perfect shed more straightforward, here is our Wooden Sheds Buying Guide.

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Finding the Right Shed for You

Before deciding on which wooden shed to buy, it pays to be fully informed of the options available and to know exactly what you will be using the shed for. There are a great many different types of sheds, and the various shapes, sizes and design styles are all adapted to suit a variety of different purposes.

Also, depending on what you will be keeping in your shed, and how much time you will be spending in it, the type of timber and cladding you opt for could be significant. These differences, as well as useful information about bases, installation, planning permission and more, are explained below.

Shed Sizes

Sheds.co.uk has a wide selection of different size sheds, ranging from small mower storage sheds to grand 14’ by 8’ structures. The size that best suits your needs will depend on what you intend to use it for, and how much space you have in your garden.

If you are planning to use your shed for storage purposes, don’t forget to factor in how many people will be using it. If you have a large family, with lots of bikes and garden equipment, it would be better to consider a medium to large size shed, an 8’ x 6’ size is a good starting point. If you are only planning to store a few items, or the shed is intended for single person use, plenty of smaller sizes are available.

Quality of Materials

Something that many people find surprising when they begin to look into purchasing a wooden shed is that seemingly identical models come at different price points. This is because there is a difference in the thickness of the timber, plus the there are different types of cladding that vary in strength and weather resistance.

Here are two wooden sheds of the same size, and similar appearance, but at different price points.

So what’s the difference between these two sheds, and why is one more expensive than the other?

Although the wood in both sheds is pressure treated, and comes with a ten-year anti rot guarantee as standard, the more expensive model has shiplap tongue and groove clad walls which are 12mm thick and a floor that is also 12mm thick, plus a heavy duty mineral felt roof covering. The cheaper model has overlap clad walls that are 8mm thick, the floor is 10mm thick and the roof covering is sand felt. Both models are sturdy and reliable wooden sheds, but the more expensive shed offers greater weather resistance and is a more rigid structure.

Types of Cladding

A key factor in a wooden shed’s strength and weather resistance is its cladding, of which there are three main types.

Overlap Cladding

This is the standard type, and it involves horizontal timbers that overlap one another. It provides a stable structure that is resistant to most types of weather.

Tongue & Groove

Rather than simply overlapping each other, the panels in tongue and groove cladding actually interlock to create a tighter, more rigid and weather resistant surface.

Shiplap Tongue & Groove

This type of cladding uses interlocked panels, as with tongue and groove cladding, but with the addition of a small lip between each panel that serves as an extra barrier against rainwater infiltration. This is the most expensive type of cladding available.

Types of Roofs and Doors

Key elements in a wooden shed’s design include the type of roof it has and the style of door. These affect how much space is available and ease of entry. There are three main types of roof.

Apex Roofs

This is a very common type of shed design, and has an inverted V-shape with the peak in the middle. Access is normally through either a single or double door at one end of the shed.

Pent Roofs

Also referred to as lean-to roofs, this design has a slanting roof which is higher on one side. Entry is usually at the front of the shed where the roof is at its highest. Windows are often on the same side as the front door.

Dutch Barn Roofs

A kind of apex, semi-octagonal roof that is instantly recognisable for its similarity to traditional dutch barns. This style is less common, but is available in the Sheds.co.uk Premium range.

When it comes to doors, it pays to know beforehand what you will be using your shed for. Double doors are good for sheds that store bicycles or any large items of garden equipment. If you are planning to use your shed as an office, a single door may be preferable.

Preparing a Suitable Base

Having a suitable base for your wooden shed to stand on will help to make sure that it stays dry and free of rot for many years; it will also provide your shed with the stability it needs.

In order to prepare a standard shed base, first mark out an area a little larger than the shed’s footprint, removing the first 8cm of any turf or topsoil. Mix up one part cement to eight parts building soil and spread it evenly over the area to a depth of about 4cm. Now, starting in one corner, lay paving stones on top, using a spirit level to check the ground is flat.

Very large sheds may need to be laid on a slab base, which involves using hardcore, sand and concrete to make the base. if you haven’t done this before, seek professional advice.

What is a Portabase, and why do I Need One?

A portabase is a kind of sturdy palette that has a wooden spike in each corner that can be stuck into the ground. Having a portabase means that you don’t need to prepare your own base with paving stones or a solid slab. It is a much simpler and more flexible means of getting a wooden shed installed in your garden, as the only thing you need to do beforehand is to make sure that the ground where you would like the shed to be positioned is level and flat.

Erecting and Installing a Shed

All wooden sheds from Sheds.co.uk will arrive at your home in a flat pack. Assembly is relatively straightforward, and there is always an instruction manual to help you. However, if you don’t want the hassle of self-assembly, and would rather an experienced professional took care of the job, Sheds.co.uk is able to provide a Home Installation service that includes the clearing away of any excess packaging.

Is Planning Permission Required for a Shed?

A wooden shed is classed as an outbuilding by the planning authorities, and in most cases they do not need planning permission. There are some exceptions, in which it would be necessary for you to acquire planning permission if you wanted to get a shed installed. These mostly relate to homes on designated land (e.g. an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty), or listed buildings. There are also restrictions on how high and how large a shed can be before planning permission becomes necessary. See the government's Planning Portal website for more details.

All images are for illustrative purposes only. All dimensions are approximate and may vary with manufacturers tolerances. Dimensions contained within product names are approximate, for guidance purposes only. Unless otherwise stated, all measurements are overall including roof overhangs where applicable.

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