Shed loads of space
You might not be spending much time in the garden in winter’s bad weather, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be spending time in your garden shed, argues Julia Gray
Garden sheds don’t have the most inspirational image: somewhere to dump unwanted DIY materials, unwashed garden tools and (but for that one sunny day of summer) unused outdoor furniture.
But it’s time for an image overhaul, because with a bit of work and imagination, sheds can be a perfect solution to lack of space inside your home.
As long as a garden shed is easily accessible from the house and (preferably) has electricity, a water supply and insulation, there is no reason it can’t be used as an extension of your normal rooms.
Because it’s separate from the main house, it has the added bonus of being an ideal place to do quiet (or noisy) activities, with many people opting to turn a shed into a workroom/studio, music or games room, home office, gym, or playroom/den – pretty much whatever you need, in fact.
Fitting out your shed with everything required to make it usable and comfortable won’t necessarily be cheap, but it will undoubtedly be cheaper than moving home.
You can convert an existing shed, or buy one tailored to your needs, complete with all mod-cons. Specialist companies produce off-the-shelf and bespoke designs, including much more contemporary garden buildings than traditional-looking ones, with everything included for a fully functioning room.
While you may not have the budget for a garden room, which can cost thousands of pounds, a bog-standard shed is much more affordable. Sheds are usually wooden, though they can be metal, which are often easier and quicker to build, tend to be better value for money, and need very little maintenance. Wooden sheds, on the other hand, must first be treated with wood preserver (unless they’re pre-treated) and a garden-wood stain or paint, and then maintained with more coats from time to time to prevent the wood from rotting and warping.
Metal sheds are more resistant to fire, rodents and insects than wooden ones, although they can be less able to withstand storms and high winds, are noisy when it’s raining, and are hot inside in summer and cold in winter.
Wooden sheds generally look more attractive too, and because they’re made of a natural material, they blend into the garden better. It’s also easy to jazz them up – garden-wood paints have come a long way since brown was the only choice, and you can make quite a statement with colour. Stripes, for example, are brilliant for a beach-hut effect, while cream and pastel greens and blues are perfect for a pretty, but not too jarring, pop of colour.
All sheds need a firm base, typically paving stones or a concrete slab, but wooden sheds should come with their own floor, whereas metal sheds usually have the concrete or paving base as the floor, so it’s essential to get it the right size. It’s certainly possible to lay the base and build the shed yourself if you’re an experienced DIYer, but novices may struggle. An easier option is to get a gardener or builder to do it for you, although this can be expensive, especially with a large shed.
If you live in a flat or maisonette, or a house that’s had permitted development rights removed, planning permission is required to put up a garden shed – incredible as it might seem. For information on planning rules and building regulations for garden buildings, click on the interactive house’s shed at www.planningportal.gov.uk.
Do you have a garden shed? What is it used for?
Latest posts by Silversurfer's Editor (see all)
- Is the constant quest for equality eroding the archetypal gender differences? - July 18, 2017
- Fit for the Beach - July 17, 2017
- Heart Valve Disease Treatment: Minimally Invasive Surgery - July 16, 2017
- Is smartphone dependence a problem or just the way of the future? - July 15, 2017
- Win ONE of FIVE pairs of tickets to Chatsworth House and Garden - July 15, 2017
Leave a Comment!
Community Terms & Conditions
These content standards apply to any and all material which you contribute to our site (contributions), and to any interactive services associated with it.
You must comply with the spirit of the following standards as well as the letter. The standards apply to each part of any contribution as well as to its whole.
be accurate (where they state facts); be genuinely held (where they state opinions); and comply with applicable law in the UK and in any country from which they are posted.
Contributions must not:
contain any material which is defamatory of any person; or contain any material which is obscene, offensive, hateful or inflammatory; or promote sexually explicit material; or promote violence; promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; or infringe any copyright, database right or trade mark of any other person; or be likely to deceive any person; or be made in breach of any legal duty owed to a third party, such as a contractual duty or a duty of confidence; or promote any illegal activity; or be threatening, abuse or invade another’s privacy, or cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety; or be likely to harass, upset, embarrass, alarm or annoy any other person; or be used to impersonate any person, or to misrepresent your identity or affiliation with any person; or give the impression that they emanate from us, if this is not the case; or advocate, promote or assist any unlawful act such as (by way of example only) copyright infringement or computer misuse.
Nurturing a safe environment
Our Silversurfers community is designed to foster friendships, based on trust, honesty, integrity and loyalty and is underpinned by these values.
We don't tolerate swearing, and reserve the right to remove any posts which we feel may offend others... let's keep it friendly!