Forest Garden
Best garden sheds – 6 Steps to finding the best garden shed for your space?

30th April 2024

As one of the most handy features of any home, a garden shed offers a multitude of benefits, serving as a practical storage space or garden workshop. Yet, the process of finding the right shed that not only meets your needs but also lasts for years can be quite overwhelming. With countless shed designs available in the market, it’s no wonder many people feel uncertain about where to start.

After making over 2 million sheds over 50 years, we’ve learnt a lot and we’re here to simplify the shed-buying journey for you.

Find the perfect garden shed

We’ll walk you through everything you need to know to make an informed decision and find the best garden shed that suits your needs perfectly. From durability and size considerations to design and material options, let’s find your perfect shed together.

Follow our 6-step guide to finding the best garden shed for your space.

How to choose a shed

Very likely you’ll already have an idea of why you need a shed and what you hope to use it for. Will it be a storage space to protect your garden tools, lawnmower and bikes and to generally keep your garden tidy? Will you use it as a potting shed, the HQ of your gardening endeavours with ample space to nurture your plants and tend to your gardening needs? Or will it be a workshop, a dedicated space to house your creative pursuits from woodworking, crafting or even a yoga sanctuary?

Does practically come first or aesthetics? Will you personalise your shed, painting it to reflect your style? Will you make it a focal point of your garden? If looks matter most have a peek at the Redwood Lap Forest Retreat shed. It’s most definitely the most Instagramable shed available.

Here are 6 things you will need to consider when you buy a garden shed.

1. What size of shed do you need?

Start with the amount of space that you will need. If your shed will just house a few garden tools, maybe your lawnmower of one or two bikes, a small storage solution may be an ideal option for you. Take a look at our range of garden stores, which offer practical solutions for compact storage needs.

If you’re hoping to keep logs dry for your open fire or wood burner you might want to consider a timber log store instead of a traditional shed. We do also offer a selection of Apex garden sheds featuring a convenient lean-to design, combining both a shed and a log store in one space-efficient unit.

When it comes to sheds, the size options vary, ranging from small and compact to mid-size and large. Do you need a small and compact shed to accommodate your gardening tools? For those looking to store larger equipment and bikes, a mid-size shed may be the perfect match. Or if you have grander plans, need substantial storage space for outdoor furniture or to set up a functional workshop, a large and spacious shed would be the right choice.

Shed sizes are usually described based on the dimensions of the base, popular shed sizes include 4 x 3, 8 x 6 or 10 x 8. We recommend that you also check the ridge and eaves height of your shed too, as varying heights can significantly impact its suitability for your specific needs.

2. What style of shed do you need?

Next, choose the style or shape of your shed. In the Forest Garden range, we offer three distinct styles: Apex, Pent, and Reverse Apex, each featuring a different roof design that adds character to your shed.

🌱Apex sheds boast the timeless charm of a traditional shed. The roof consists of two sloping sides meeting at the highest point in the middle, creating a distinctive triangular shape.

🌱Reverse Apex sheds also feature two sloping sides which meet in the middle, but with a fresh twist, the roof slopes from back to front rather than side to side.

🌱Pent sheds offer a sleek and minimalist design with one single slightly sloping roof that allows rainwater to drain efficiently.

As you make your decision, take a moment to consider both the aesthetics and usability of the shed style. The Apex sheds offer that classic, time-honoured look that blends seamlessly into any garden setting. On the other hand, Pent sheds bring a more contemporary vibe, perfect for modern outdoor spaces. Assess the roof height of each design to ensure it accommodates any tall equipment you plan to store.

log store close up of Timberdale 10x8 Apex Shed - Double Door - With Log Store

3. Overlap, shiplap or tongue and groove?

How your shed is constructed is also an important consideration which is dependent on your intended use. The Forest Garden range includes overlap, shiplap and tongue and groove construction.

Overlap sheds are traditionally the most cost-effective style and have always been perfect for the purpose of garden storage. Straight-cut overlapping timber boards create the walls of the shed, allowing rainwater to run off. As the overlapped boards are not fused, air can flow through the structure. When it comes to Overlap Sheds, for us at Forest Garden, the 4Life range of Sheds is the best range of overlap sheds we’ve ever made. Whilst they remain our most cost-effective choice, they come with 30% thicker framing than most wooden sheds and a solid timber floor.

Shiplap sheds are made with interlocking tongue and groove kiln-dried boards and floors providing a reliable weatherproof joint. Each board has a scalloped profile at the top to give it the traditional aesthetic. The Forest Garden Beckwood range of garden sheds is built to withstand the elements and can literally store anything with a water-tight seal and weather-beating performance. This is our mid-range collection of sheds.

Tongue and Groove Sheds also have tongue and groove kiln-dried boards but with a flat profile rather than the scalloped profile. Boards will often be thicker than other types of construction. For Forest Garden, the Timberdale range of sheds is our premium collection, made with solid timber throughout and this tongue and groove floors.

All of our sheds come with a 25 year guarantee, the longest in the market.

As a general rule, if you’re housing equipment that doesn’t mind a little draught, an Overlap shed could be perfect cost-effective solution. If it’s a space where you will be storing weather-sensitive equipment or you will be hanging out, a tongue and groove or shiplap option is the choice for you.

4. Dip treated or pressure treated sheds?

How the timber in your shed has been treated will significantly affect the longevity of your shed. An untreated shed will last the least amount of time. As a standard, we only offer pressure treated sheds.

Dip treated comprises an anti-fungal surface treatment which generally provides a 10-year anti-rot guarantee.

Pressure treated means the timber has been impregnated with preservatives to protect the wood against fungal decay and insect attack. It provides 25-year anti-rot protection. All of our extensive range of sheds now have this 25-year guarantee.

5. Where will you position your shed?

The base for your shed is an important consideration to guarantee its longevity. You will need to ensure a flat, stable and permanent base with a sturdy foundation. Base options include:

🌱Using concrete slabs with minimal gaps between them.

🌱Creating a solid concrete base to minimise sub-soil movement.

🌱Or opting for a timber shed base frame.

Also important when choosing the right spot for your shed is to select an easily accessible and tidy space where you can keep foliage and climbing plants at bay. This will not only prevent potential damage to the shed’s structure but also make any maintenance and cleaning tasks hassle-free. 4Life and Beckwood sheds will give you maintenance freedom – an annual preservative is never needed.

Other location decisions include whether you might need a power supply and if so the ease of getting that power to your shed. If solar lighting and power are preferential then weigh up the hours of strong daylight your shed will have to fuel it but also consider strong light in summer will make the shed warm.

You don’t usually need planning permission for domestic outbuildings, as long as they are used for a domestic purpose related to your house. However, please check with your local planning authority before installing any large garden buildings.

6. What layout of your shed do you need?

Hopefully, you’re feeling clearer now about the size, style and construction of your shed, as well as its location. We’re almost there, but we just have a few more tips for finding the perfect solution.

The final consideration is the configuration of the shed. Here are some questions you might like to ask yourself.

  1. Do you need opening windows? Think about the size and quantity of windows if you need plenty of natural daylight for a creative workshop or gardening haven.
  2. Do you need a single or double door? If you are storing larger equipment, would double doors be of use? Would a secondary access door be useful?
  3. Extra security? For extra security or simple storage, maybe you would prefer no windows at all.
  4. More storage? Do you need extra storage with an integral log stores or storage rooms?

Final thoughts

Other shed-style solutions for the garden include summer houses, log cabins and garden rooms. Forest Garden has a wide range of all of these garden buildings so head over and take a look if you are looking for something a little different to the traditional shed.

Choosing the perfect shed for your garden is a decision that goes beyond functionality; it’s an opportunity to enhance your outdoor living experience and make a statement. By carefully assessing your needs, considering the available space, and selecting a shed design that complements your garden’s aesthetics, you can find the ideal storage solution, workshop haven, or gardening sanctuary.

As you choose your shed, take your time, do your research, and explore the diverse options available. Whether it’s a charming Apex shed, a sleek Pent design, or a distinctive Reverse Apex, there’s a shed that will perfectly align with your needs.

So, go ahead and make your garden plans happen with the perfect shed that will bring joy and practicality to your space for years to come. Happy shed hunting!