Which shed: our buyer's guide
Finding the best one for your purposes can be hard - our quick tips will set your straight on the options you face
What to choose
Sheds Garden essentials that provide storage for equipment and more. Prices range from £150-£1000. Planning permission not generally needed, but if you live in a conservation area check the restrictions before buying.
Cabins and summerhouses Designed to be used as outdoor sitting areas, these decorative buildings often feature large double doors, lots of glazing and even a porch. From £600.
Pergolas Timber structures that can be used to create a decorative focal point, grow climbing plants over and provide shade. From £200.
Garden rooms These are highly insulated and make an excellent home office, gym or guest room. Available as log cabins or made using hi-tech structurally insulated panels (SIPS), they provide a quick way to extend your living space. Prices start from £3000 for a DIY kit; expect to pay £6000-£20,000 for a bespoke building fully installed. Check planning regulations first.
Wood: As a natural material, wood blends in with its surroundings. It can be stained or painted to match your fencing or create a feature. Regular maintenance will be needed to avoid rot. Wood can warp and twist over time, so extra care is required when assembling. Log style and tongue and groove cabins are generally more robust than the traditional overlap timber sheds.
Metal: Hard-wearing and resistant to the worst of the weather, metal sheds are more practical than pretty, but they wont warp or swell like timber. Galvanised steel is often coated with a weather resistant paint or plastic finish for extra toughness, but it cant easily be repainted.
Plastic: Not big on good looks but a low maintenance and a ordable choice thats easy to assemble and will never need painting or treating. Simply wipe or hose down to clean.
Before you buy
All sheds require a solid prepared base. You can use patio slabs or bricks but make sure the foundation is at least 100mm larger than the shed footprint. Flat-packed sheds need at least two people to assemble them.
To avoid your timber shed rotting youll need to build it onto pressure-treated timbers (not usually included) to create good ventilation. Not doing this may invalidate the warranty.
Metal sheds need fastening to their base to provide stability. Install a vapour barrier, such as polythene sheeting, under your foundation to prevent rising damp.