Forest Garden

Top Tips for Easy Product Assembly

The majority of Forest Garden’s products come flat-packed for easy home assembly. This is the case for all of Forest’s Sheds and Summerhouses, Arches, Arbours, most Planters, Furniture, Victorian Greenhouses and Small Storage.

The products are supplied with assembly instructions and all the fasteners and fixings required to assemble the product. You shouldn’t be daunted by the prospect of assembling the product yourself provided you have moderate to good DIY skills and experience, the right tools for the job and the time and space set aside to carry out the build.

Tools generally required to build our products include the following:

  • Powered drill and powered screw-driver (or combi drill-driver)
  • Pozidrive PZ2 screwdriver bit(s). Note that a few products come with some smaller screws with which a PZ1 bit should be used.
  • Flat head screwdriver
  • Metric drill bits (2mm, 3mm, 4mm, 5mm)
  • Metric tape measure
  • Spirit level
  • Claw hammer (for products with nails or felt tacks including Sheds and Small Storage)
  • Craft knife/scissors (for cutting roof felt)
  • Step ladder for taller products including Sheds

For most of the larger products, it is best to have two people for the build, so that components can be held in place as they are screwed together and to help with lifting etc.  You’ll see a guide on the product pages on this website showing if we recommend a 2 person build and the approximate DIY time it will take.

Product Assembly In Progress
Assembly Pilot And Clearance Hole Diagram

Top Tips

  • When unpacking a product prior to assembly it is best to identify and lay out the different components. Sheds and Small Storage units usually include a number of timber battens with different lengths and thicknesses. It is important to identify which is which so that the correct component is used at each stage of the build. The correct screws and nails should also be used at each stage.
  • It is a good idea to read through the full instructions before starting assembly as steps carried out early in the build have an effect on later steps.
  • When building a Shed, each wall panel should be screwed together before screwing any of them to the floor. You can then make sure that they are all aligned correctly before securing them to the floor. In the same way, it is a good idea to align all roof panels before driving in all the screws.
  • When screwing through timber it is strongly advisable to drill pilot holes and clearance holes to prevent the timber from splitting.
  • Pilot holes should be 1 to 1.5mm smaller than the diameter of the screw thread being used – so for a screw with a 4mm diameter thread, the pilot hole should be 2.5mm to 3mm diameter.
  • While pilot holes are essential, it is best practice to also drill clearance holes. These are used when fastening two pieces of timber together by screwing through one and into another. The clearance hole should be drilled through the near-side (first) piece of timber only, to allow the screw to pass through freely; the screw thread does not need to engage in the first piece and the clamping is provided by the screw’s head. Clearance holes should be the same diameter as the screw’s thread or slightly bigger. Drill the clearance hole through the initial pilot hole. See the example below which represents drilling through battens to secure Shed wall panels together.
  • Be careful not to overtighten screws and bolts as this could cause splits in the wood or result in a stripped hole.
  • It is important that Sheds and Small storage units are built on a flat and level surface.
  • When assembling garden Arches it is often easiest to assemble them with the product lying on its side, then once it has been completed carefully lift it upright with two people.
  • Timber planters should be lined with suitable lining material. This will prevent soil from escaping from any gaps in the timber, help keep the soil moist and prevent water from dripping out.