Uncovering the Real Value of the Traditional Wood Garden Shed

You’d be forgiven for thinking the garden shed is only for gardeners. Truth is, it’s far from it. For those with the garden space, the shed becomes an extension to the living space. A place where odds and ends around the home can be put for safe storage; where mandatory gardening tools are stored, and somewhere for the kids bikes, summer garden accessories such as trampolines to be stored during the rough windy winter and given the right conditions, the shed can be used as living space for small animals like rabbits in hutches, or if you’re feeling generous, the entire shed can be converted into one monstrous size rabbit hutch.

The possibilities of the shed are endless. And get this, with the right type of garden features, according to propertywire.com, Brits can boost their property value by a whopping 20%. Why? Because the garden space is living space. It’s where we spend our summers, host barbeques, spend quality time as a family and the vast majority of home buyers see the garden as an extension to the home. The shed is an even bigger extension as it becomes an extra room…

An extra room that can be converted into any type of room.

  • A home gym
  • Equip the shed with electrics and you have the makings for a games room for teens
  • Provided the size is right, it’s possible to fit a pool table in some sheds
  • For most though, it’s a workshop – of sorts. With the added advantage of extra storage for things you really don’t want being brought in and out of the home.
    • Gardening tools
    • Fertilisers
    • Kids bikes when the wheels are all muddy from riding over grass, through puddles and picking all sorts of grit in the tyres.

The shed is the place to store anything and everything. Provided, that is, you have it organised in a way you can actually fit everything you need to store in your secure wooden outhouse.

How to organise your shed for maximum storage space

Install a worktop

You don’t need to be using your shed for a workshop to benefit from a worktop. Secured to the studs of solid wood sheds, you can make the most of wooden countertops by installing some simple to DIY wood runners under the worktop to store plastic bins – drawer style.

Don’t like the look of everything stored under there? …

To the front of the countertop, you can seal it off with a single piece of curtain wire and some fabric.

Concealing storage with colourful fabrics

Remember back in the day when sink-skirts were used instead of cabinets? You can fit the same skirt system under your worktops to hide all the items stored under there, helping to keep your items out of sight, making your shed look much more presentable.

Adding vinyl to your floors

Adding vinyl to your shed floors makes keeping it clean much easier. Clean it like you would your kitchen floor. This is an ideal floor covering for sheds used for storing bicycles and for kids playhouses because of the cleaning simplicity.


A single sheet of MDF with some pegboard stapled over it gives you tremendous storage capabilities because you can hang much of your smaller equipment up so they’re easy to find when you need them, rather than having to fumble through tool boxes and storage containers to find the small pair of gardening sheers or a trowel every time you need it.


Shelves can be used for storage, but they can also be used to add a touch of personalisation. For the avid gardener or wood worker who spends a lot of time in the shed, photo frames or artwork could be put on display, or to display something like a Corgi collection of Stobart trucks. Whether practical or personal, shelving systems are always a welcome addition to the garden shed.

Hooks and twine

To make better use of the storage space, while keeping your gardening tools organised, give your walls purpose. Hooks can be inserted into the wall studs, then some wire or twine strung between them and all of your tall upright tools will stay upright, out the way until you need them. It’s the simplest storage system for keeping your spades, hoes, and garden rakes organised.

With a little creative thinking and a little DIY, sheds can become that extra storage room many an average-sized family home needs.


Where to Build a Wood Shed in Your Garden

It’s easy to decide to put a new shed in your back garden. Everyone could do with a little more space, whether it’s for a wood working hobby, or just for extra storage. The next issue becomes where you’re going to put it.

It should be noted that a shed is considered just a shed when it doesn’t take up more than half of your back garden. For those with a tiny backdoor, you may be best to check with your local council to make sure you don’t need planning consent first. For the purposes of installing a wood shed, it’s considered permitted development (meaning you don’t need planning permission) when it meets the following criteria:

  • The shed is at the back of your house and not your front garden
  • Nobody is going to live in it
  • It doesn’t take up more than half the garden space
  • Isn’t higher than 4 meters with the eaves (where the top of the shed’s walls end and the roof starts) no higher than 3 metres.

…And, you aren’t building the shed in a conservation area. If that is the case, check with your local council before starting. It’d be a nightmare to have a shed built only to be told it needs to come down.

Once you know you can go ahead and put a shed in your back garden, the next thing is figuring out where.

Sheds should be positioned at least 2.5 metres away from your home to allow for plenty of space to walk around the shed, make any repairs to the wood panels and be able to coat it with a preventative sealant each year, unless the wood used is cedar or higher quality letting you get away with longer durations between coatings. Nevertheless, leaving 2.5 metres gives you plenty of space to access all parts of the shed and has sufficient for air flow.

Where to Install a Foundation for a Garden Shed

When considering where you’re going to put your shed foundations, think things through carefully before committing and go through some prep work to minimise hassles later on.

Things to consider for positioning your shed

  • The purpose of a new wood shed

For those building a wood shed for storage, the main aspects to consider are security and access. Light isn’t really too big a deal when you’re only using the shed to store things. If you plan to store valuables in your shed, it’s a good idea to have the shed within reach of a motion sensor security light.

For sheds being used as workshops, you’ll want a spot in your garden that captures the most sunlight. That is, unless you’re going to be working from the shed a fair bit, in which case, direct sunlight could make it stifling hot throughout the summer. Keep in mind that most sheds do not have opening windows or vents. The only vent you have in a wood shed is the door, plus the gaps between wood panels. Not enough to provide a decent breeze.

  • What’s around your back garden?

Look around to see what’s in your back garden that could potentially damage your garen shed. If you have trees with overhanging branches, this could cause the sap and excess moisture to build up on the roof felt, (and could cause falling branches to damage the shed) meaning you’ll have more maintenance to do for the roof.

Whenever possible, keep debris clear of the shed, especially plants and trees that can cause a moisture problem, leading to damp becoming an issue. This is the same for back gardens with hedges. Not only will you need to have the shed built in a spot where you can easily work around the outside to make any repairs, but you’ll also need plenty of space to perhaps get ladders in to reach the top of the hedge, keeping it trimmed, to prevent overgrown hedges being in constant contact with the shed’s wall panels.

With regards to trees in your back garden, definitely leave plenty of space because as trees age, the roots can wind up growing under your shed, leaving it unstable.

Ground Levelling for Shed Bases

For back gardens with a slope, it’s best to level the ground first. Bases for sheds can be concrete, wood, or slabs. Something to keep in mind about your base material is you want something with good ventilation while preventing water from pooling under the shed. Some options include using a solid concrete slab, paving slabs or pressure treated timber bearers.

The most important aspect of a sheds base is ground levelling, because if you try to erect a shed on a slope, you can find bolts don’t line up correctly for a secure and stable build with minimal risk of the wood warping.

Maintaining Wood Sheds in Top-Notch Condition

A well-cared for garden shed should stand the wrath of winter with ease. It may get the odd chip here, crack there, and even hairline cracks or complete tears across the roof felt – but it’ll still be standing when Spring rolls around. When the better weather appears, it’s the ideal time to give it some TLC, making sure it’s looking great for the rest of the year and prepped for next winter.

Did you know a quality wood shed can last as long as 30-years? That’s provided you take good care of it.

Here’s our 5 Top Tips for Shed Maintenance


  1. Always apply a preservative before painting

They say sprucing your shed up is as easy as applying a coat of paint. That’s not exactly true. A water-based paint with no weather resistance is going to look terrible when the first bout of bad weather lands. Exterior paints for sheds need to be weather proof and it’s always better to add a “preservative” before painting. The reason being, paint isn’t only for aesthetics. It’s for protection against the elements. Wood preservatives are sealers and you can apply it to the interior of your shed walls too.

How often should you treat your timber?

It depends on the wood used. Annual treatments are recommended for most woods, unless it’s been pressure-treated or cedar wood, which don’t need treated as frequently.

  1. Felt roof lining doesn’t last forever!

The roof on wood sheds should have a felt liner on it. Depending on the quality of the felt, it may need a double layer. Most quality felts only require a single layer, provided it’s applied with care and attention ensuring it fits snug, is airtight and not nailed down with rusty nails.

Provided sheds are located in a reasonably sheltered position, the felt may last as long as 15 years before it needs replacing. For sheds located more in the open where they take a beating from rain and snow every year, the felt can need replacing every two to three years and it’s important that it is.

Inspecting the felt itself doesn’t always make it obvious where there’s damage. The easiest way to tell if your roof felt is holding up is to check the roof from inside the shed, while it’s raining or shortly after. Any weak spots will show a wet patch visible from inside the shed. If the weather’s dry, spray the roof with your garden hose and see if any wet spots appear inside the shed. If it does show a wet patch, it needs the felt renewed.

Another thing to check your roof for is moss. Don’t confuse moss to be added protection. It’s not because it just sits absorbing moisture adding weight and wetness to the roof of your shed, shortening its lifespan. Save yourself some money and clean it off.

  1. Sealing cracks and chips

Cracks and chips are common in wood sheds and they’re easily fixed, once you know where they are. That’s the difficult part as some can be so miniscule, they’re barely noticeable, but will still let water into the shed.

The easiest way to see where there are any cracks and chips needing sealed is to look at each panel from the inside during the day. If you can see light, water can get in. The easiest solution is to use a caulking gun with a silicone-based caulk as that’s flexible enough to expand and contract with the wood, which it needs to do to prevent further cracking.

  1. Cleaning around the exterior

The exterior of your shed shouldn’t have overgrown plants, soil or weeds too close to it. Those, similar to moss on your roof, absorb moisture, which can lead to damp, mould, and all the conditions needed for fungi growth. Before long, wood rot can set in. If you have a garden planter beside your shed, don’t let them overgrow as it can affect air circulation.

The exterior of your shed should have plenty of air flow and nothing too water absorbent, otherwise there’s a risk of wood rot.

  1. Cleaning inside your shed

Garden sheds are prime candidates for insects to set up home. Completely bug proofing is near impossible because you need ventilation. Where air can get in, the smallest creepy-crawly will too.

All you can do is control them by being careful what and how you store things in your shed. The ideal harbouring materials for bugs are cardboard and newspaper. Textiles can be problematic too by encouraging fabric eating insects such as moths and the carpet beetle.

In addition to cleaning, another preventative measure to keep bugs away is to keep your compost away from the shed, and wash all your gardening tools before returning them to the shed.