How To Choose The Best Shed For Your Garden (2023 Guide)

Hello there, garden enthusiasts! Are you ready to elevate your outdoor space to new heights of functionality and aesthetics? Look no further than the humble shed. While often overlooked, a well-chosen shed can transform your garden into a charming and organised oasis. Whether you're a seasoned gardener or just getting started on your gardening journey, selecting the right shed requires some thoughtful consideration. In this guide, we'll explore the key factors to keep in mind when choosing the best shed for your garden retreat.

Why Do You Need a Shed?

Before embarking on your garden shed journey, it's important to consider its intended purpose. Are you looking for a storage space for tools and equipment, a tranquil gardening retreat, or a versatile workspace for your creative projects? Understanding the primary function of your shed will help you fine-tune your choices in terms of size, layout, and interior features. Here are some popular uses to consider:

  • Tool Haven: If your shed will primarily house garden tools and equipment, prioritise shelving, hooks, and wall-mounted organisers. Ensure easy access and visibility for all your gardening essentials. Consider whether you need windows in your shed as a windowless, security shed often provides a more secure option. 

  • Tranquil Retreat: For those seeking a peaceful oasis, insulation and climate control become paramount. Consider comfortable seating, perhaps a small table, and a painted, soothing decor. Windows for natural light and a view of your garden can turn your shed into a serene escape.

  • Creative Studio: Artists and craftsmen will want ample work surfaces, good lighting, and plenty of electrical outlets. Consider storage for supplies, adjustable shelving, and a layout that allows for maximum creativity and productivity. Ventilation is essential if you're working with paints or chemicals so look for a shed with opening rather than fixed windows. 

  • Potting Shed: Gardeners who plan on potting plants and starting seeds will benefit from a potting shed layout that emphasises workspaces, storage for pots and soil, and perhaps a sink for easy cleanup. Natural light is crucial, as is proper ventilation to regulate temperature and humidity. Look for a shed with windows that open as this offers the best option as a potting shed. 

  • Outdoor Office: For those transforming their shed into a workspace, prioritise insulation, electrical outlets, and comfortable seating. Consider the placement of windows for natural light, and ensure a strong and reliable internet connection if needed.

  • Heavy Equipment Hub: For homeowners with larger tools like ride-on lawnmowers or other hefty machinery, you'll need a shed with wide, double doors and possibly even reinforced flooring, especially for extra heavy equipment. Ensure there's enough space to manoeuver these tools in and out comfortably.

  • Wheelie Bin Store: Transform your shed into a stylish wheelie bin store by adding specially designed compartments for easy access and a neat, clutter-free garden space.
  • Bike or Mobility Scooter Store: If you're considering using your shed to store bicycles or mobility scooters, ensure that there's ample space for easy manoeuvring and consider installing racks or hooks for secure and organised storage.

Remember, the key to a truly functional shed lies in understanding how you'll use it. Each purpose comes with its unique requirements, and by tailoring your shed to fit your needs, you're creating a space that will not only be practical but also a delightful addition to your garden landscape.

Positioning your Shed

Now that you've honed in on the purpose and design of your garden shed, it's time to consider where it will find its permanent home in your outdoor haven. The right placement can enhance both the functionality of the shed and the overall aesthetics of your garden. Here are some practical ideas to guide you:

  • Accessibility is Key: Ensure your shed is easily accessible from your home and garden. This not only makes it convenient to retrieve tools or equipment but also simplifies maintenance and cleaning tasks. Consider creating a pathway to your shed using paving slabs or stepping stones to ensure it's accessible even when the ground is wet. 

  • Maximise Natural Light: If possible, position your shed where it can benefit from ample natural light. This is especially important if you're using it as a workspace, studio, or potting shed. Placing it where it receives morning or afternoon sunlight can create an inviting and well-lit environment. Most sheds can have windows and doors installed either side to meet your requirements. 

  • Consider the Base: A flat, well-drained area is ideal for your shed. Avoid low-lying spots where water may accumulate, as this can lead to dampness and potential damage. A concrete base, paving slabs or an easy to install plastic grid base are all ideal options as a shed base and ensure the wooden frame is kept away from the ground. 

  • Harmony with Surroundings: Take a step back and consider how your shed fits into the overall landscape of your garden. It should complement the existing elements, such as trees, shrubs, and flower beds. Consider using landscaping techniques like planting around the base or using trellises to integrate the shed seamlessly into its surroundings. Painting your shed makes it an attractive feature within your garden.

  • Privacy and Views: Think about what you'll see when you look out from the shed. Position it so you can enjoy pleasant views of your garden, and if possible, ensure a degree of privacy. Strategic placement can provide a sense of seclusion without compromising accessibility. If security is a concern, consider a windowless security shed. 

  • Local Regulations and Permissions: Check with your local planning department regarding any planning regulations that might dictate where you can place your shed. This could include setback requirements from property lines or other structures, especially if you live in a conservation area

  • Future Growth Considerations: Anticipate how your garden may evolve over time. Leave enough space around the shed for potential expansion or additions, and consider how the placement might impact future landscaping projects.

  • Aftercare and Maintenance: Be mindful of allowing enough access to all parts of your shed to allow for aftercare, maintenance and wood treatment or painting from time to time. Consider adding guttering attached to a water butt to prevent rain from splashing back against the walls of the shed and causing damage. 

Top Tips & Considerations for Shed Shopping

To ensure you make the right choice when purchasing a shed, we've compiled a comprehensive list of questions for your consideration:

What is the Optimal Shed Size? 

When selecting a shed, it's imperative to choose one that comfortably accommodates your garden tools, mower, pots, and other accessories without dominating your outdoor space. Shed sizes are typically rounded to the nearest size expressed in feet and inches, but it's worth noting that exact fits can vary due to features like roof overhangs and side stores. Always verify the specifications for precision as the measurement offered may just be the footprint, or alternatively, it may include the measurements to the widest point. Additionally, be mindful of shed height, particularly if you're on the taller side; selecting a shed that doesn't require you to stoop can make a significant difference.

What Material Should I Choose?

Sheds are commonly available in wood, metal, or plastic. Within the realm of wood, there are further distinctions between dip treated and pressure treated:

Wooden Sheds:This traditional option provides the utmost flexibility. You can paint it in a colour of your choice and easily customise it with shelves and hooks. However, it's important to note that wooden sheds typically require more maintenance compared to sheds made from other materials. The wood necessitates annual treatment to keep it in optimal condition and ensure its longevity. Wooden sheds are typically delivered as flat-pack panels, requiring DIY installation on-site.

Pressure Treated Sheds: This option is generally available as a premium offering. It involves forcing preservative into the timber in a vacuum chamber. Because the preservative permeates deeper into the wood, it results in better overall anti-rot qualities. While pressure treated sheds typically come with longer guarantees compared to dip-treated sheds, it's advisable to periodically retreat them to maintain them in top-notch condition. Pressure treated wood is easily identifiable by its light blue-green colouring. It may exhibit occasional darker blotches where the pressure treatment has accumulated on the timber. This is perfectly normal and can be lightly sanded or will naturally weather away over time.

Presssure Treated Shed

Dip Treated Sheds: This option is standard with most wooden sheds. It entails the shed being dipped into a preservative to furnish it with a protective layer. This offers a temporary protection rather than a long lasting treatment. It's recommended that dip treated sheds receive annual treatment to uphold the protection and any applicable guarantee. These sheds usually arrive with a warm honey gold colour.

Dip Treated Shed

Plastic Sheds: These require minimal maintenance, usually just an occasional wash down. They are UV stable, meaning the plastic won't become brittle over time. They are generally simple to install and typically comprise interlocking parts. Many plastic sheds require a solid floor, such as paving slabs or concrete, to be constructed, as they do not come with an integral floor. Additionally, due to the separation of the floor from the building, it's advisable to secure the shed to the ground to prevent it from being blown away in strong winds. Metal Sheds: These offer robust security options, being resistant to break-ins in addition to being pest-proof. They do not require treatment and generally come with lengthy warranties. Some metal sheds are coated in vinyl to provide a wood-grain appearance, while others are painted. Like plastic sheds, most metal sheds do not come with an integrated floor. It's customary to install them on a concrete or paving slab base and then secure the shed down with bolts.

Plastic Shed

Metal Shed

What Roof Design Options Should I Consider?

Sheds typically come with either an apex roof or a pent roof design. Some sheds are also known as a reverse apex. Here's an overview of these designs:

Apex Shed: This roof type features a peak roof running from the centre of the door along the middle backbone of the shed to the centre of the back wall. This design provides good roof height throughout the centre of the shed, allowing for the installation of shelves and benches along the opposing sides.

Pent Shed: This roof type is taller at the front and slopes away to the back, offering a practical option when placing the shed against a fence. The highest part of the shed is typically at the front, where the door is positioned. However, with certain shed models, it's possible to have the door situated on the sides of the shed.

Reverse Apex: This type of shed is identical to a traditional apex, except the door and window are positioned on one of the long sides of the shed instead of at the pointed gable end.

What are the Different Wall Cladding Options?

In the realm of wooden sheds, the choice of wall cladding significantly influences the overall cost. Various options present themselves, each carrying its own degree of premium quality. Here's a breakdown:

Overlap Cladding: This type of cladding comprises individual boards nailed to the frame of the shed with an overlap to protect it against rain. While overlap cladding is generally the most economical option, it doesn't offer the draft-resistant qualities found in a shiplap or tongue and groove clad shed.

Shiplap Cladding: This type of cladding involves interlocking boards that fit tightly together for a weather-resistant finish. The boards are generally thicker than those used for overlap cladding and have a slightly hollow-rounded profile between the boards, offering better resistance to rainwater. Shiplap cladding is a more premium product than overlap cladding and it generally costs more.

Tongue & Groove Cladding: Similar to shiplap cladding, this option features interlocking boards that form a robust structure. The key distinction lies in the profile: shiplap boasts a hollow-curved profile between the boards, while tongue and groove cladding offers a flat surface and close fitting boards, often with greater thickness compared to shiplap. This alternative is valued for its sturdy construction and durability.

What are the Roof and Floor Options?

The material used for the roof and floor significantly impacts the overall quality of a shed. Budget models often feature an OSB or solid board roof and floor. On the other hand, premium models boast a tongue and groove roof and floor, known for their strength and durability. It's worth noting that many plastic and metal sheds do not include a floor. In such cases, you'll need to install a concrete or paving slab base and securely attach the shed to it.

OSB Board or Solid Sheet Roof & Floor Tongue & Groove Roof & Floor

What Door Option Should I Choose?

When it comes to doors, there are advantages and considerations for both single and double door sheds. Single doors offer more internal storage space. However, if you need to maneouvre larger equipment like a ride-on lawnmower, double doors may provide a more practical solution.

Note that premium build sheds also include double bracing on the door. Where most sheds will have horizontal bracing on the back of the door to support and secure the door panel, with a double braced door, this has a Z shaped brace that offers additional support. 

Single Door Double Door

What Window Options Exist?

Selecting the appropriate window option depends on the shed's intended use:

Windowless Sheds: These sheds, often referred to as 'security sheds,' either lack windows entirely or have very small slit windows to prevent prying eyes from seeing inside. Given the absence of natural light, it's recommended to install lighting fixtures for convenience.

Fixed Windows: These windows allow natural light to enter the shed but do not open. They are typically constructed from materials like styrene or polycarbonate, which are UV-stable and safer alternatives to glass. It's important to note that most sheds do not come with real glass, although exceptions exist for structures like summerhouses and log cabins.

Opening Windows: These windows are an excellent choice for specific shed purposes, such as a potting shed, workshop, or if you plan to use your shed as an art studio or craft room. They provide ventilation and are particularly beneficial if you'll be spending extended periods inside.

What is the Best Shed Base? 

Ensuring your shed is installed on a firm, level surface is crucial to prevent warping and twisting. It is also especially vital for wooden sheds to keep the timber away from ground moisture as this helps preserve its integrity. There are several base options to consider, each with distinct advantages:

Concrete Base: Often viewed as the most permanent option, a concrete base is robust but may be relatively costly and time-consuming to install. For optimal strength, the finished thickness should be at least 100mm (4"). It's also advisable to include a sub-base of MOT Type 1 beneath the main base.See our guide to installing a shed base.   Paving Slab Base: This offers a quicker solution compared to waiting for a concrete base to dry. Opt for economically priced paving with a level surface, like basic concrete paving slabs.Lay them on a MOT Type 1 sub-base and apply the paving onto a fully wet mortar bed. Ensure you properly fill in the gaps between the slabs to complete the job. Plastic Grid BaseThis convenient option involves a system of plastic tiles that securely clip together. The weight of the shed is evenly distributed across these tiles. Begin by leveling off the ground, then lay down the supplied weed membrane. Proceed to place the plastic tiles, upon which you can then erect the shed. If desired, the tiles can be filled with gravel to prevent any voids underneath. One of the benefits of this system is its adaptability - it can be relocated and reused in a different location. Wooden Bearers: Some garden buildings offer the option of a timber base that supports the shed and shields it from direct ground contact. This provides a swift and cost-effective solution and can also be constructed as a simple DIY project. However, it's important to note that over time, the wooden bearers may deteriorate. Because of this, you may want to consider one of the alternative options as a longer last solution.

Top Selling Sheds at Paving Superstore

When it comes to enhancing your outdoor space, a reliable and well-crafted shed is an indispensable addition. At Paving Superstore, we understand the importance of quality and functionality, which is why we're proud to present our top-selling sheds. These carefully curated selections are more than just storage solutions; they're a blend of craftsmanship, durability, and style. Whether you're seeking a wooden shed with timeless charm, a robust metal structure for added security, or a low-maintenance plastic option, our range caters to all preferences and needs. Join us on a journey through our top-selling sheds, each designed to elevate your outdoor living experience. Explore the options, and find the perfect shed that not only complements your garden but also serves as a practical extension of your lifestyle.

Shire Overlap Double Door Shed

Forest Overlap Pressure Treated Shed

Rowlinson Oxford Apex Roof Shed & Lean To

Rowlinson Woodvale Metal Shed

Rowlinson Heritage Apex Shed

Mercia Potting Style Shed

Saffron Vinyl Lean To Shed

Rowlinson Security Anthracite Shed

Mercia Dutch Barn Shed

Rolinson Skylight Light Grey Shed

Rowlinson Potting Store

Storemore Telluria Eleganto Steel Shed

Perfect Paint Colours for Your Shed

Transforming your shed into a visual masterpiece begins with the right choice of paint colours. It's not just about aesthetics; it's about creating a space that harmonises with your garden and complements your overall outdoor design. At Paving Superstore, we believe that the colour of your shed is an expression of your unique style and personality. Whether you prefer serene blues that evoke a coastal retreat, earthy greens that seamlessly blend with nature, or bold reds that make a statement, we've a selection of paint colours that cater to every taste. Join us as we explore the spectrum of hues that can turn your shed into a standout feature in your outdoor haven. Let's embark on a journey of colour, creativity, and transformation!

Protek Shed & Fence Stain

Protek Tough Coat

Protek Wood Preserver

Protek Wood Stain & Protector

Protek Royal Exterior Wood Finish - Natural Shades

Protek Royal Exterior Wood Finish - Off Whites

Protek Royal Exterior Wood Finish - Vibrant Colours

Protek Royal Exterior Wood Finish - Soft Colours


Remember, the perfect shed is one that suits your specific needs and enhances your garden's functionality and beauty. Take your time in making this decision, and happy shed hunting!