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How to choose the right shed

The humble garden shed has so many uses. From storing all the kids’ toys over winter to housing your very own garden bar. But with garden sheds coming in so many different shapes and sizes, it can be hard to know which one’s best for your space. If your ‘head’s a shed’ when it comes to choosing the right garden building, here’s a few hints and tips to help you decide.

  • Rochelle - copywriter
  •  7min read
How to choose the right shed

What will I use the shed for?

The first and most important question is what do you plan on using your shed for? Will it be a storage space, an area for gardening jobs such as potting on or a social space for entertaining and relaxing? Deciding on its use will make narrowing your choice down much easier.


Take a mental note of all the items you need to store to help you work out how big the shed will need to be. You may find that the smallest size will be enough, as a lot of garden equipment, garden furniture and outdoor toys fold or stack for compact storage. A shed without windows is also a good option if you’re storing equipment so it’s ‘out of sight’.

Entertaining and relaxing

If you’re finding it’s getting a little cramped indoors, investing in a summerhouse is a great way of adding more space to your home. This new garden room could become your ‘child-free zone’, a reading nook, or your very own garden bar for entertaining guests.

Work space

If you’re working from home, keeping your work and home life separate is really important for your mental health and wellbeing. If you’re struggling for space in your home, why not take the office outside? A shed with windows provides the perfect workspace, and you’ll have plenty of light and fresh air to aid creativity too!

Which shed size is best

So you’ve decided what your shed’s going to be used for but how big should you go? Here’s a few things you need to consider:

How much space do I have? – When you know where your shed is going, measure the space you’ve got available. You don’t have to buy a shed that completely fills the space but at least you’ll know how much space you have to work with. Take into account that you’ll need to leave some space for access and to allow airflow.

How tall am I? – Sounds like an odd question, but if you suffer with back problems, the last thing you want to be doing is constantly stooping to get inside your shed. Make sure it’s at least a little taller than you, so you’re able to stand up straight when you’re inside it.

Which items do I need to store? – If you’re using your shed as a storage space, take an inventory of all the garden tools, equipment and toys that are going inside. How much space will these take up overall? Will you need a large shed to house them all or will a small shed do the job?

Are you storing extra large items? – If you’re planning on storing some bulkier items such as garden furniture, will they fit through a standard door? If not, you might want to consider a large shed with double doors.

Where should I place the shed?

Choose a location for your shed that has easy access. The last thing you want to be doing is dragging a heavy lawnmower through a tiny gap or round a maze of hedges. Your garden shed needs to be built on a solid, level base. You can use existing concrete or paving but if it’s a grassed area we recommend levelling it off first – a shed is difficult to assemble on uneven ground.

Which shed style is best?

You now know how big you want your shed to be, but how about the style? There’s so many to choose from, it can be hard to know which one is best. Here’s the most common types to help you decide.

Apex or pent roof? – An apex roof slopes either side and is the most traditional design. A pent roof has a single sloping roof for rainwater to run off and is often a good choice if your shed is going against a wall or fence.

Apex / Pent sheds

Overlap or shiplap? – If you’re going for a wooden shed, you’ll have to choose how you prefer the cladding. Overlap sheds typically cost less to produce but are prone to draughts and it’s more difficult to add shelving inside. A shiplap shed gives a flat-surfaced cladding which has better weather resistance and a neater appearance.

Dip treated or pressure treated? – Dip treated sheds are a cheaper option as the shed’s wood is simply dipped rather than soaked. This means the wood is less protected so will need a yearly coat of paint – perfect if you like to update your shed’s look often! Go for pressure treated if you’re wanting to protect your shed from the elements for longer.

Metal or plastic? – You might decide that a wooden shed isn’t right for you? That’s ok, because there are other shed materials available, including metal and plastic. Both these options are more weather-resistant and require less maintenance than a traditional wooden shed. If you’re looking for something lightweight, a plastic shed is a good option.

Looking after your shed

You’ve spent all this time choosing the right shed, so make sure it’s well looked after, and it’ll last for years to come. The Great British weather can bring rain, hail, snow, sun and wind all in one season! This can cause timber to swell and add pressure to the joints, which is why it’s a good idea to give your wooden shed a coat of paint on arrival, followed by an annual treatment.

Different sheds will need different treatment. If your shed’s dip treated, a preservative treatment is the best way to protect against rot and decay, followed by a waterproofing treatment to stop water getting in. If the shed is pressure treated, you should only need to apply a waterproofing treatment.

wilko wax-enriched woodcare’s specifically designed, water-based formulation gives excellent ultraviolet resistance and it's enriched with waxes to provide high water repellence for many years of lasting colour and protection.

Wood treatment is best applied in dry weather when there’s no rain expected for a few days. Give the shed a good clean, check for any loose nails and sand down surfaces before painting. Paint in the direction of the wood grain and be sure to apply 2 coats for good coverage and a lasting finish. If you’re applying a completely different garden colour, a third coat may be needed.

After a particularly windy spell of weather, remove any debris from your shed’s roof to prevent moisture intake too.

Painting shed

Add style to your shed

Who says sheds are boring? There are plenty of ways to jazz up your little wooden building without breaking the bank.

Go colour crazy – Our woodcare range comes in a whole rainbow of colours from pink peony to beach hut blue. So why not ditch the boring brown and experiment with colour?

Make it your own – Stylish accessories are not just for the home. If your shed’s for relaxing, add some comfy garden furniture, and accessorise with outdoor cushions and snuggly throws. Go all-out with pretty garden décor by draping lights around the door and adding a friendly gnome to welcome guests at the door too!

Keep it organised - Make sure the shed stays a clutter-free zone with our savvy storage solutions. We’ve got small storage that’s perfect for odds and ends like screws and nails as well as larger storage to keep all that glassware safe in your garden bar!

And that’s it…your shed mission is complete! How do you use the shed in your garden? Share your ideas and pics with us over on our social channels; Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest