Finally found your green fingers? If you spend most of your free time pottering around the garden, the final step in turning your hobby from an occasional pastime into a bone fide pursuit is to install a nifty storage space- or, in other words, a backyard shed. After all, there’s no point going to the effort of creating a dreamy garden oasis If you’re going to clutter it up with all the tools of the trade. A garden shed is the ideal place to keep all your saws, shears, shovels and spades neatly tucked away out of sight- done right, it can even be a great place to enjoy a few hours of peace and quiet away from the family. With a little helping hand from yours truly, creating or choosing the right shed for your garden is as easy as one, two, three.
Do It Your Self Or Ready Made?
The first thing you need to decide before you even contemplate things like size or design is whether you’re willing and able to construct the shed yourself, or if you’d rather let professionals do it for you. DIY sheds tend to be of the smaller, simpler variety: premade options, on the other hand, can go as big and ostentatious as your garden (and your budget) can handle. Work out what you can afford, and whether a grand design is worth the extra dollars that a premade or professional installation will cost, before taking any further steps.
Before you get too far along in the process of choosing your garden shed, take a moment to consider exactly how you’ll be using it. If you plan on using the shed frequently, you may want to introduce some paving or pathways leading up to its entrance, so you don’t run the risk of ruining your lawn with the constant footfall.
As tempting as some of the larger backyard sheds may look in the brochures, you need to keep your expectations realistic. If your backyard leans towards the petite, don’t overwhelm it with a shed that would be more appropriate in a 2-acre paddock. As Housely recommends, aim for a shed of around 3x 7 if space is limited: this should give you enough space to tuck away all the garden essentials, even if you do need to pack them in tightly. If you have a little more space to play with, medium sheds (which typically measure 10 x 10) will give you enough space to stow your kit, plus a little extra space for working. If neither money nor space is an object, take a look at sheds in the 15-to-20 x 20-to-40-feet category: not only will this give you plenty of working space for your gardening efforts, it’ll also allow you to tuck away all your wheelbarrows, lawnmowers and other work items without any worry about running out of space.
Select the Materials
Once you’ve figured out dimensions, the next step in the process of creating your dream shed is to figure out the material you want it to be made of. Unless you’re planning on building it yourself from stone, you’re basically looking at one of 3 options: wood, vinyl resin, or metal. Wood is attractive and can be shingled or painted to suit your personal preference. On the flip side, it has the highest maintenance requirements of any of the options, chipping easily and requiring more attention to keep it weatherproof. Resin is relatively maintenance-free, but if you’re looking for an option that requires no upkeep whatsoever, metal is your best bet, being both lightweight, easy to assemble and resistant to rust.
Choose the Roofing
Just as important as choosing the material for the walls of your shed is choosing the material for the roof. Felt or asphalt tend to be popular choices for smaller sheds, while slate or tiled roofing tends to be the most used on larger sheds. Another option that’s been gaining increasing popularity in recent years is green roofing. Green roofs are essentially where the roof is covered with a low maintenance plant. Not only does this help encourage wildlife and increase biodiversity, but it will also help maintain an optimal temperature in the shed all year round. If you’re looking to make your shed as unobtrusive as possible, a green roof will also act as a great camouflage. Turf or sedums tend to be the most popular options when it comes to constructing a green roof and are typically available in large sheets that can be easily cut to fit the exact size and dimension of your roof.
Select Your Style
Now we come to the fun part: style. If you opt to build your own, the sky is the limit when it comes to imposing your own sense of personal style on the shed. Prefabricated options are slightly more limited, but still extensive enough to allow you lots of options to choose from. Before you decide on a particular style, have a think about whether you want your shed to be a subtle, almost unnoticeable addition to your garden, or whether you want it to be a real focal point. If the latter, look for options with painted finishes, decorative window treatments, and stylized timber work. Also worth considering is whether a traditional look will best suit the aesthetic of your garden, or whether it’d be better complemented with something sleek and contemporary.
Don’t Forget Security
As Outdoor Living Today notes, just as important as considering the size and style of your shed is considering its security. Presumably, you’ll be using the shed for storage; while you might find it hard to believe that anyone would be interested in your old rusty old shears, you’d be surprised how often sheds are targeted by opportunistic thieves. Items taken or damaged in garden sheds are rarely covered by standard house insurance, so be sure to check that the locks are adequate and that the windows aren’t an open invitation.