A Buyer’s Guide to the Garden Shed

Here at Blackdown Buildings we specialise in outdoor buildings. Garden sheds are one of the most useful and common outdoor buildings you can utilize in your garden. The only problem is, what kind of garden shed should you buy? With so many shapes and sizes to choose from, how can you ensure you pick the right one for your garden?

Where to Start?


The best place to start is deciding what material you want to use. The type of material will impact how the shed looks and behaves. There are 3 main materials to choose from; timber, plastic or metal.


Timber Garden Sheds

Timber sheds are a very popular option in the UK and can be tailored to your needs. They are durable and can be stained/painted to suit the rest of your garden/property. Timber garden sheds are also very durable and if protected correctly, can last a long time. Pressure treated timber will particularly last a long time.

The appearance of a garden shed is dependent on what type of cladding you decide to use. You can be as creative as you like, however there are usually 3 types of cladding people choose.


Shiplap cladding provides durability as well as additional protection against rot and decay. As the wooden panels slot together, they create a slight overlap. This overlap helps protect against rain and moisture getting into the joints and causing decay.

The shiplap design also creates a very durable material.

Tongue and Groove

Tongue and groove cladding involves the wooden panels slotting into one another. They are stacked horizontally and create a smooth finish.


Overlap cladding provides the most scoop for creativity for your shed. Overlap cladding involves placing the wooden panels at an angle so they overlap on top of each other. You can decide what kind of overlap you want and this can influence the appearance and character of the shed.


Metal is the perfect material for creating a heavy duty shed/outdoor building. Metal is relatively inexpensive and creates very long lasting buildings which need very little maintenance.

Metal sheds are perfect for storage and because they are so durable and strong, they are perfect for storing expensive items securely. Metal sheds are a lot more secure than timber so if you want to keep equipment/tools safe then metal is the perfect material.

Metal is also a great material for bigger sheds and outdoor buildings. Metal is used frequently for agricultural buildings due the characteristic of metal.


Plastic sheds are easy to install and much cheaper than other materials. Plastic sheds can be the perfect solution for small gardens or for people just wanting an affordable option for garden storage.

Plastic sheds come in many shapes, sizes and colours so you’ll be able to find one that suits your garden.


When buying a garden shed, you’ll want to think able the size of the shed. Instead of buying the biggest one that’ll fit in your garden, think about optimising the space effectively and using clever storage techniques to maximise space.

Look for sheds that make use of hidden storage, useful designs and logical layouts. This will mean you may be able to get a smaller shed that can still efficiently do everything you want it to.

If you want an outdoor space where you can work, then you’ll need an adequate sized work bench in the shed. These types of features are likely to require more space than sheds just being used for storage.

In terms of the size of the shed, it’s always useful to forward plan. If you think there’s a chance you’ll require more outdoor storage/space soon, ensure you get a big enough shed now. Replacing sheds or renovating them can be time-consuming and expensive so planning is useful.



Windows can be a forgotten part of a shed but can play a vital role in shaping the character and appearance of the shed. Natural light is very useful sheds, as they can be often placed in the bottom of a garden that doesn’t get much light. Positioning the shed to maximise natural light is very useful, especially if you want to work and use the internal space.

When thinking about garden shed windows, you’ll need to get a balance of creating natural light and having space on the walls for storage. This is where features like skylights could be a great option to transform a traditional shed into a fantastic liveable outdoor building.


Windows will influence the privacy of the shed so this should also be considered when using windows in your shed. You’ll also want to think about if you want the windows to open or not. If you want to work or do things in the shed, having natural ventilation will be very important (especially in summer months). As a result, you could look to get sliding windows or windows that open out.

Don’t worry about breaking shed windows as you can now get “unbreakable” polycarbonate windows. If you’ve got kids playing football in the garden, this might be something to consider.


Depending on the type of shed you get, the installation will be slightly different. Small plastic sheds for example are relatively easy to install and don’t need any specialist skills. The material is also light and won’t cause many issues when fixing it together. Timber and metal can be more difficult but if you do need help them most supplies can help you install your shed.


For larger sheds and outdoor buildings, professional installation may be required as these may need to meet health and safety checks.

Power Supply

A power supply is a very useful addition to any garden shed. A power supply will mean you can plug in lawn mowers or DIY tools directly from your shed. This is very useful if you have a big garden and the shed is located away from the property.

A power supply will need to be installed by a professional electrician.


Making sure your shed is safe and secure is important. Securing your shed starts with having a proper lock on the doors and windows. This will help prevent anyone breaking into the shed.

For additional security, think about installing sensory security lights or even security alarms. If you have expensive tools and equipment, these precautions are important to take.

Buying the perfect shed for your garden

The success of your garden shed will depend on how well it meets the demands of your needs. Ensuring you plan what you want from a shed, you can shop with confidence and ensure you buy a shed that you’ll love.

Click here to browse our garden sheds online.

November 3rd, 2016|