Tips for Buying or Building a Garden Shed

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At one time or another, everyone needs a little bit of extra space, and a garden shed could easily deliver the perfect solution. Whether you require space to serve as a workshop, an office, a craft room, summerhouse, or to provide outdoor storage for seasonal items, you could either buy or build a shed. Depending on your needs, you can decide on quality plastic sheds that are reliable and long-wearing, premium quality wooden sheds that are affordable and sustainable or high-quality metal sheds that are durable and maintenance free. Get inspired from these plans here that will guide you through the whole construction process.  

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Buying a Shed
Once you are ready to select and add a shed to your garden, there are three major considerations you must primarily deal with. You need to go for a design that shows off your personal taste and best meets your various needs and desires, which means understanding the functionality of the different types of sheds to ensure you choose one that perfectly suits you. 

Design
There are several amazing designs available for garden sheds and a shed intended to provide a secure storage area entails quite a different design compared to a shed designed to serve as a summerhouse. Additionally, personal style and preference will often play a part in your design decision. You will also need a base that is level and stable, plus paving slabs make the perfect base choice.

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The most popular garden sheds are wooden sheds, which are mostly of softwoods such as cedar, pine, and spruce. When choosing wooden designs, you will have the option of an overlapping style or shiplap style, which features tongue and groove construction, with each style providing a sturdy structure that offers protection against weather. Compared to plastic and metal sheds, wooden sheds are warmer in inclement weather. Galvanised steel metal barns deliver the much-needed security and offer choices like sliding doors while plastic sheds are ideal for those on a limited budget or in need of extensive storage areas.  Plastic being lightweight could easily be repositioned plus is maintenance free.

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Function
Decide on the size of shed you need, depending on available space, keeping easy access in mind. If you intend to install electricity, plumbing, and lighting, your shed needs to be weatherproofed; this will additionally enhance longevity, safety, and security.

The functional features you need depend on the purpose of your shed. A shed intended to function as a garden shed, storage room, or summerhouse, may not necessarily require windows, lighting, or electricity, while a shed designed to be an office, workshop or craft room will need electricity, lighting, windows, and even plumbing. All types of sheds need to be secured and insulated.

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Location
You need at least a metre all around the shed to allow easy access and maintenance or landscaping. Consider the purpose of your shed and use that to determine its location. Regardless of the functions of your shed, you will still need it to complement your garden and home, and you could also add shrubs, flowers or vines on trellises, adding to the aesthetic value of your shed. A flagstone or paved pathway to your shed is also a unique addition.

Building a Shed
If you have space, a location, and decided on functionality, then you would be ready to construct a shed. Before you take a decision on buying a shed, consider these five factors, to be sure you make the right decision:

Design: Pre-fabricated garden sheds come in various designs and qualities, but might not show off your personality or entail the specific features that are important to you. Developing one yourself guarantees you end up with structural integrity and craftsmanship, suitable to your particular requirements.

Type of material: The type and quality of the materials of your garden shed, comprises a significant percentage of the total cost and determines the stability as well as durability of the shade against the elements, wear, and tear.

Type of floor: Prefabricated floor boards are mostly made of cheap chipboard, wafer board, plywood, or oriental strand board, which are all ill-suited for the outdoors and once they come into contact with moisture, will quickly start rotting and disintegrating. Building a shed provides the option of personally choosing and purchasing materials. 

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Frame Thickness: The thickness of the frames directly impacts on the overall strength of your garden shed, and you need a thickness of not less than 2” x 2” to ensure your shed holds up even under the harshest conditions, and prefabricated sheds might not provide such thickness.

Internal and external heights: Some of the prefabricated units have misleading measurements, and you might end up purchasing a shed that does not offer you enough room for the intended functions. On the other hand, when building one on your own, you are surer of proper measurements.