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How to build a shed that stands the test of time

How to build a shed that stands the test of time

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We can all buy a quick flat wooden shed from any garden centre – but is it the right shed for the job? 

Let’s get down to the basics – what are you using your shed for? Storing garden equipment? As a DIY workshop? A refuge from the daily madness of the world? What you want to use your shed for will determine what your shed is made from, not only for practical reasons but security and protection from the elements.

Shed building materials

Most garden sheds are made from wood, which, if not regularly treated with wood treatment or preservatives will succumb to the British, weather and rot. As such, if you want a wooden shed, consider building one from a harder, treated wood like cedar.

If you’re keeping valuable objects such as your beloved vinyl collection, consider tongue and groove or interlocked shiplap cladded sheds over featheredge boards, as these are less prone to draught and leaking.

Alternatively, you can go for a metal or plastic shed. Both are arguably more durable than their wooden counterparts and, in the case of a plastic shed wouldn’t need yearly treatment, be prone to rot or rust an would be easy to assemble! The only thing you’d have to worry about is it potentially being blown over by wind or accessed easily by thieves.

A metal shed on the other hand will be more secure, but will be boiling in the summer and cold during the winter and will be vulnerable to rust from condensation.

Shed positioning

The size of your shed and where you build it will also impact on its durability.

If your shed is a standard one-story unit, then you don’t need planning permission, but you will need a completely flat surface to put it on. The shed’s foundations must have good drainage, as well as be free of tree roots, stumps and debris. If your shed is bigger, then you may need to consider laying foundations, such as concrete or paving slabs. In that case, planning permission may be required but if you’re unsure, check with your local authority.