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Guide to Sheds

Outdoor Sheds

Find out more about Outdoor Sheds

One of the best things about owning a shed is that it gives you a chance to store all those outdoor things (such as lawn mowers and garden tools) that you don't want inside the house outside the house but still under shelter. If you have been keeping this kind of equipment in your garage at the expense of your car then the introduction of a shed to your garden could mean that your car finally gets its home back.

Traditionally speaking most outdoor sheds are made from wood, but over the last few years a lot of developments have been made in other materials. Metal is a common shed material too but tends to be used for larger sheds rather than standard garden sheds.

However there are downsides to both wood sheds and metal sheds: they will both eventually succumb to the effects of the weather and unless treated with extreme care, most wood sheds will eventually go rotten. Today's metal sheds are usually made from galvanized steel and treated with anti-rusting agents to prevent rust from occurring but it is likely to happen one day.

Most garden sheds do not require planning permission but it is always worth checking with your local authority just in case. However, some metal sheds are designed to be used as garages or even workshops and sheds of this size probably do need permission before construction can begin. If you are in doubt your local authority can also advise you on the placement of pipes and cables on your premises. Even for a small shed this is worth looking into if you suspect that you will be digging into these when preparing the base for your shed.

Some of the wooden sheds that are available today are more like miniature cottages or fantasy retreats than a garden shed. If novelty is your thing then you will probably greatly enjoy having a shed like this in your garden. Be warned that children will be more tempted to play in novelty outdoor sheds which could be dangerous if you intend to keep dangerous tools with sharp blades inside.

If you are concerned about the effects of weathering on a wood or metal shed then why not consider an alternative such as vinyl. Vinyl or polyvinyl chloride is a man-made material that can either be soft or hard and is often used in modern window and door frames. Vinyl sheds won't react to weathering and do not need any treatment or maintenance. A simple wipe down every so often will keep a vinyl shed looking clean and new. The only disadvantage is the slightly artificial look. However, if you want the benefits of a vinyl shed with the appearance of a wooden shed you could look for a vinyl shed in a wood finish as a compromise. It won't look quite like wood but from distance it might look better in your garden than a plain vinyl shed.