Outdoor buildings buying guide

If your shed is full with tools and gardening equipment and you're quickly running out of space, it may be time for an upgrade and buy a bigger one. If you are looking for an alternative to your shed, we stock a great variety of other garden buildings:

  • Playhouses: a playhouse is great for the kids. It will give them their own space to play come rain or shine. They come in different sizes, with some set on a platform, which gives your kids great views of their surroundings. Some playhouses display features such as a built-in sandpit, a ladder, a slide and a front porch.
  • Summerhouses: a great addition to any garden, a summerhouse is a space for relaxation. They come in various sizes and types with some shaped to fit neatly into your garden corner. Many have a partition doubling up as a storage space too.
  • Gazebos: very attractive and increasingly popular, gazebos are freestanding structures with open sides and a roof. They provide a great shaded spot when the sun's out and also a nice shelter when you want to sit outside and it's not that warm or dry. You can choose from pop-up gazebos or permanent wooden or metal types.
  • Garages: if you have a driveway or carport, you could consider putting up a proper garage. A quick browse through our range of garages will give you an idea as to how straightforward it is.
  • Storage boxes: If you have a small garden or limited outdoor space a storage box might be all you need to help you clear away your garden clutter. Explore our range of storage boxes to get an idea of what's more suited to your space.

The different types of outdoor buildings

The two main differences between all these different structures are how they look and what they contain. For instance, sheds are designed for work, while cabins and summerhouses are designed for leisure. Essentially, though, the structures are the same; they're designed for the garden or driveway, with a wood or metal frame, and are built quickly with no amenities (aside from an electricity supply for certain models).

Material

  • Timber

    Wooden buildings are good at blending naturally into the garden. All of our timber buildings have been treated with a factory base coat to improve their durability in different weather conditions and climates. Although wood is the natural choice, it will need regular treating in order to avoid mould and deterioration.

    • Overlap: A rough sawn finish that overlaps as the names suggests.
    • Shiplap: A smooth planed finish using interlocking boards.
  • Metal

    A metal structure will last for years and only requires minimal maintenance to protect it from rust.

Size

What will you be using your building for? Make sure that it's large enough for you to work or relax in as well as being spacious enough to accommodate what you need to store if appropriate, such as lawnmowers, bikes, toys and so on. If you're looking for a structure to slot into a specific area, make sure you've measured carefully, taking into account any overhanging roofs.

The height of the building should allow you to stand up comfortably, especially if you're going to be working in there for long periods of time or are planning to put up a number of storage shelves.

If you're going to be putting in and taking out large bulky items on a regular basis such as lawnmowers, you may want to consider buying a shed with an extra-wide or double door for easy access.

Roofing style

There are two main options when it comes to choosing the roof:

  • Apex style: these are sturdy and attractively designed with triangular styled sloping roofs.
  • Pent style: these structures have a single sloped roof that is lower towards the back of the roof to allow the rain to run off. It is best to place these buildings against a wall or the house.

Location

It's important to set up your shed/ building in the most suitable part of the garden. If you're going to need power in it, you should place it as close to your house as possible.

Try not to put up your building near trees if possible. Falling branches can cause damage, and leaves can block the gutters, which can lead to overflowing and possible damage.

Putting it up in a shady area will help to keep it cool during the summer months.

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