There is nostalgia associated with wooden garden sheds. At the most basic level they have been used simply for storage, but over the generations they have been a place to retreat to, to innovate in, and more recently, to be turned into a home office.
Wood is often chosen for its charm and beauty. Quality wooden sheds are both strong and beautiful, and can be painted or stained to the colour of choice. It is a practical choice too, if need be, wood can be repaired as the years go by.
When buying a wooden shed, apart from the size, two basic choices are the style of roof and the construction method of the wooden side panels.
The two main types are defined by their roof shape:
- Apex sheds
These have a triangular based roof shape. The door is often at either end of the shed.
- Pent sheds
The roof on pent sheds is made of one panel that typically slopes from the front of the shed to the back. Doors are commonly at the front of the shed where the roof is highest.
Both designs have their advantages. Apex sheds are often larger - the roof design is inherently stronger - and these sheds may have a large double door which is convenient for access and also to allow light in.
Pent sheds are ideal for placing a work bench along the front side under the window. You may also want to consider 'potting sheds'. These have a particularly large forward facing front window, with an interior shelf designed for germinating and growing on seedlings.
Construction Of Side Panels
Their are two main ways of making the side panels:
- Feather Edge Or Overlap
The side panels are made by having wooden panels that overlap each other. This is the classic style of shed design and is seen on many low cost sheds.
- Shiplap Design
This method creates a strong construction where the side panels slot together using tongue and groove joints. Sheds made this way are typically more expensive but often enjoy a longer guarantee and expected lifespan.
Features To Consider
The following features are worthy of consideration when purchasing a wooden garden shed:
- Door Size
Double doors are more convenient than single doors. Sheds often store large items like bicycles and lawnmowers. Having large doors makes it much easier to take things in and out.
- Wood Quality
Nearly all wooden sheds will need additional protection with the application of wood preservation products, typically applied each year in good summer weather. Some wooden sheds are treated in such a way to minimise the maintenance task.
- Shed Size
A shed needs to fit the size of a garden, but if it is possible to buy a larger shed this has many advantages. Not only will it allow the storage of more items, but it will also be easier to move around in, and make taking things in and out easier.
Windows have the practical advantage of allowing natural light, and are highly desirable if you are likely to spend significant time working inside the shed. They also make the shed look welcoming. However, they are a point of weakness from a security point of view. Windows are not only a potential additional point of entry, they also allow an intruder in your garden to see inside the shed.
Apart from windows, a strong door, lock, and frame are desirable if you intend to store valuable items inside your shed.
- Aspect & Door Position
Deciding where to position you shed is one of the hardest decisions to make, as it affects the overall look of the garden, whilst also having practical considerations. For example, if you intend to grow plants and seedlings inside the shed in spring, positioning the shed so that it receives natural daylight will help the plants and make it warmer. Most shed designs have some flexibility when it comes to positioning the door, but it is worth checking that the doors are correctly aligned with pathways and can be opened fully.
It is worth considering how you may want to use your garden shed in the future. Buying shelving at the same time as your shed can be helpful. If you include guttering on your shed you have an opportunity to install water butts for rainwater harvesting. You could also consider a cold frame in a sunny sheltered position on one side of the shed, or even a plastic growhouse.
- Shed Base
A good shed base is really important for the long term preservation of your shed. A wooden shed standing on wet ground will warp and rot - as well as possibly invalidating any lifetime guarantee that came with your shed. The quick answer is that your shed should stand off the ground and allow air to circulate underneath it to avoid damp problems. See our article on shed bases.
- Wood Source
You may want to consider purchasing sheds made with wood from responsibly sourced and sustainable forests, such as those that have received FSC endorsement.
Selected Wooden Shed Range
Expect to pay £200 and upwards for a reasonable quality wooden shed. Prices increase with shed size, method of construction, and the quality of the wood.