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Garden Sheds Buyers Guide

When it comes to buying a shed it’s worth noting that not all sheds are equal. In this guide, we will aim to explore the different types of sheds available on the market and in addition, we will provide you with the information you need to be able to make an informed purchase.

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How do I choose the right shed size?

A shed can be a sizeable investment for most home owners; therefore it is important that you get the shed that’s right for you. Whether you are replacing an existing shed or buying a shed for the first time, this shed buyers guide has you covered.

One of the things we recommend giving the most thought to, early on, is the size of shed you think you will need. The average person’s garden will be limited on space, so you will want to make sure your new shed doesn’t take up more room than is needed.

shed for storage

Start by thinking about what you will use your shed for.

A shed for storage
If you are going to use your shed simply for storage of garden items like lawn mowers, pots, BBQs etc, then you probably won’t need a shed that’s too sizeable. A 3m x 2.5m shed or 1.8 x 2.5m shed might suffice.

Maybe you need something smaller still? Tool sheds can provide secure storage for when space is at a premium.

workshop-shed

A shed workshop
Maybe you plan to use your shed as more of a workshop. If so, you’re going to need to think about a larger shed, but most importantly think about headroom!  Some smaller and cheaper sheds may be limited on height and headroom which would be a nightmare if you were to use your shed as a workshop.

Dutch barns make for very popular workshops. Look out for high internal eaves heights. The higher the better because it will mean that you have a fully useable internal space.  Consider anything that could be overhanging that could cause problems such as tree branches.

Generally speaking, the larger the shed the higher the cost so you will need to consider what your budget is.

Lastly, regardless of the shed you think you need, allow for 1-2ft of space around your shed for future maintenance.

 

Common Shed Sizes

6’ x 4’ Sheds      3’ x 2.5’ Sheds     1.8’ x 2.5’ Sheds

Always double-check shed measurements by reviewing the product specifications.

pent roof shed

Shed roofing styles

Pent Roof

A pent roof offers a more modern design for a shed. The roof typically slopes backwards, allowing for additional headroom at the entrance. Many companies will give you the option of changing the configuration, so the entrance can be placed on the low side of the cabin

Apex Roof
An apex roof provides the more traditional look of a shed. This design allows for increased headroom in the centre of the building. Many apex sheds also feature an overhang to protect the building from rainfall. Make sure you do not install apex shed too close to a boundary fence, as the dual pitched roof could cause rainwater to pour into your neighbour’s garden.

Dutch Barn Roof
A Dutch Barn roofing style is very much a unique style. As previously mentioned in this guide, the Dutch Barn roof is particularly good for internal headroom, ideal for sheds that are to be used as a workshop.

shed guttering

Does a shed require guttering?

Simple answer is, no!  Whilst guttering on sheds isn’t necessary at all, it doesn’t mean that it isn’t something worth considering. How do you intend to use your shed and where will it be situated?  Your answer to the question will depend on if guttering is needed.

Commonly, we find that sheds that are intended for gardening / allotment purposes are purchased with guttering and water butts.

Guttering and water butts can provide a fantastic way to capture water that can be used to irrigate plants.  The ability to store water can save you on water usage costs along with providing you with a supply of water in the Summer that may otherwise be restricted during exceptionally dry periods.

superfelt sheds

What roofing material should I use for my shed?

Superfelt
Give your Garden Building a durable roof covering with Superfelt. This is a highly-durable form of felt, made of thick material using an advanced polyester formula to make it resistant to tearing in strong winds. Superfelt will offer your Garden Building added protection from the varying British weather and is supplied in a green/grey mineral finish.

Felt
Standard shed felt is formed of bitumen impregnated fibres, is supplied on a roll and lasts about 5 years. Cheap felt is often supplied as standard on pre-made sheds to keep the ‘sticker’ price down. The standard garden shed roof covering is cheap roofing felt. This system does the job of keeping the water out but is fragile and relatively short-lived. A bit of unseen damage to the shed roofing will allow water in, and cause damage to the structure of the shed.

 As standard, all Dunster House sheds are supplied with Superfelt.

How do I treat my shed?  

Taking care of your shed is important to ensure its longevity. Treating your shed needn’t be costly or time consuming if done right.

Your shed is made from a natural product, wood. Wood by its very nature absorbs moisture when wet and when dry will expel any retained water. This causes cracking and warping.

To stop this, it is recommended that, as soon as construction is completed a preservative is applied to the exterior. It can be water or oil based, typically paint does the job remarkably well but use a good quality exterior one. This should be done every few years to preserve your sheds good looks and extend your investment

TOP TIP: Before you buy, make sure your shed is fully pressure treated. A pressure treated shed will require less treatment and will ensure your shed is protected against rot and infestation.  

You will find that for most Dunster House Sheds, all timbers other than the roof and floor are pressure treated (If MR P5 has been used). Pressure treatment is a process that gives far higher-quality and longer-lasting results than dip-treatment. Unlike others on the market, even the framework is pressure-treated to ensure it lasts. All our pressure-treated timber carries a Genuine 10 Year Guarantee against fungal decay and insect infestation. We recommend that you treat external timber with good quality water repellent.

Be AWARE: Cheaper sheds may be dip-treated. This is a far less effective method of treatment.

We’ve already done some of the work for you by pressure treating our sheds. But if you’d like to add that extra layer of protection straight away, you could consider a number shed preservative options:

  • PremiumPlus Block Treatment
  • Premium/Premier Treatment
  • Standard/Budget treatment
  • Clear treatment

 

Full shed treatment options can be found here.

Sheds Treatments

What cladding type is best for a shed?

Something you may not initially give thought to is the cladding used on your shed. Generally speaking, wooden sheds often come supplied with one of the following types of cladding: Shiplap, Overlap / Feather Board and Tongue and Groove.

What is the difference between Overlap, Shiplap and Tongue & Groove construction?

Overlap / Feather Board Cladding (budget)
Overlap cladding is more often than not used on cheap sheds. Each board overlaps each other and is attached securely to the boards beneath.  At Dunster House we avoid this method. The boards are often thinner and less tightly joined which can lead to leaks.

Tongue and Groove Cladding
Tongue and Groove is a good cladding method for sheds. One board slots into another creating gap free walls. Tongue and Groove sheds start at 12-16mm and will provide greater structural strength when compared to overlap cladding.

Shiplap Cladding
Shiplap is one of the best shed cladding methods and is an upgrade to both overlap and tongue and groove. Water can quickly run from the boards and they tightly overlap to ensure there aren’t leaks. Shiplap is also great at reducing the chances of gaps forming. We supply 15mm+ which, adds to the overall structural strength and integrity of your shed.

 Also, it is best to check the thickness of the cladding. Many cheaper sheds will start in the region of 7mm thick tongue and groove whereas a more premium shed will start from 12mm.

 Cladding thickness is important. In many ways, the thicker the better as the thickness will contribute to the overall rigidity of your shed along with its insulation.

At Dunster House most of our sheds are supplied with 15mm shiplap as we’d prefer not to compromise on quality.

Shiplap Comparison

What base do I need for my shed?

As with any building, having a good base is key. For a problem free longevity, a shed must be built on a strong level surface. If you are using an existing base ensure it is level and damage free before installation.

If installing on grass or rocks, tree roots and other obstructions must be removed. A damp-proof membrane should be used, then a poured concrete base, concrete slabs such as an existing patio or plastic base can be constructed.

Alternatively, Dunster House’s RapidGrid Foundation System is a cost effective and environmentally friendly alternative to concrete foundations. Costing much less than a concrete base would, the RapidGrid Foundation does not ruin the surrounding soil and needs very little soil to be removed compared to if you were laying a concrete base.

It is made up of weed control membrane and high-quality, heavy-duty plastic grids. These grids interlock for ease of placement and to help with rigidity, creating a strong support that spreads the weight of the building across the ground under the entire building.

Please note with this system you will need to purchase pea shingle type stones from a local builder’s merchant to fill the grids with.

mr p5 roof and floor

Shed roof & floor / What to consider

MR P5, OSB or Timber?

If you’ve chosen to buy a wooden shed, the roof and floor will require some consideration.

Multi-Functional Panel (MR P5)

Water resistant and easy to install, Multi-Functional Panel (MR P5) is often used for the roof and flooring of a Shed.

Remarkably durable and water resistant, the MR P5 flooring will help keep your equipment free from dampness and will not change its shape when in contact with low-level moisture. The roof and floor boards will provide a sturdy surface and one that requires no treatment.

You may find that some competitors offer cheaper OSB. Be aware that OSB is less dense and therefore not as strong and it is less resistant to moisture.  


Timber
Timber flooring is likely to be found on a more premium shed range.  A timber floor will be stronger than OSB and MR P5, however, it is likely to lead to higher overall costs.  For the majority of people, a shed that makes use of MR P5 is perfectly sufficient.

Be AWARE:
If a shed seems too cheap to be true, it probably is. Some websites may charge extra to add flooring!

How to make sure my shed is secure

How will my shed door be secured?

Turn button closure: Often found on cheaper sheds, the turn button closure twists to stop a shed door from swinging open and does little in the way of security.

Hasp and Clasp:  An effective method to secure a shed shut. The hinge is often bolted to the shed frame and any screw fixings are hidden making it much more difficult for intruders to gain entrance.

Mortice lock and rim lock: Whilst not available on a Dunster House shed, the mortice/ rim lock is key operated.

At Dunster House we supply secure hinges and hasp.

The sturdy hasp and clasp that holds your padlock are designed so that in the closed position, its fixing screws are covered by the metal clasp, making it difficult to remove from the timber. Similarly, the hinges are bolted in position and difficult to remove when the door is in the closed position.

Be AWARE: Many sheds on the market have security flaws that a Dunster House shed does not.

Look for internally beaded windows.
Some competitors externally bead their windows which means that an intruder can easily remove the beading and window pane to gain access to your shed.

Cheap sheds will use styrene on windows.
We provide 4mm thick toughened glass in comparison to the industry standard 3mm horticultural glass. 4mm glass is less likely to break, scratch or cloud up like styrene.

Look out for modular sheds

Modular sheds are perfect for ensuring you get the shed that suits your needs. Modular sheds can be constructed to your very own requirements.

At Dunster House, a popular modular shed of choice is our Dad’s Heavy Duty Pent Shed. Modular sheds have become increasingly popular as it gives the flexibility to place the doors and windows to the configuration of personal choice.

Easy to build DIY garden sheds

How do I construct my shed?

Shed installation should not have to be complicated.

Start by looking at sheds that can be constructed via a panel system. Some manufacturers design their sheds with the DIY market specifically in mind. All Dunster House sheds are quicker and simpler to construct as they are all supplied to our customers using prefabricated timber panels.

Dunster House also make sure that all the fixtures and fittings that you require are included with your purchase, such as screws and instruction manuals.

Lastly, modularity is important. When choosing a shed, opt for a shed that is modular and can be customised/ configured exactly as you see fit. That way you can ensure your shed meets your exact requirements.

Some extra reading to help makes that final shed purchase:


Shed Insulation

Shed Insulation

 


Replace Garden Shed

Replace Garden Shed

 


Choose Garden Storage Shed

Choose Garden Storage Shed