3 key tips to help you choose the perfect garden shed

February 27, 2015

Garden sheds are more than just a place to store garden equipment; they’re a decorative feature in your backyard. Here are a few key tips to help you find that perfect outdoor shed that suits both your storage needs and aesthetic preferences.

3 key tips to help you choose the perfect garden shed

1. Select a type and material

Backyard sheds can come pre-built or as shed kits you assemble on-site. They come in a number of shapes and sizes, but these are the most common materials available.

Wood: A wooden shed will require more maintenance, including regular staining and waterproofing to prevent rot and water damage.

  • The advantage of wood sheds is they can be easily painted to match your home or outdoor decor.

Vinyl: Vinyl sheds are known for their strength, durability and almost complete lack of required maintenance.

  • They come in any number of colours and patterns, and some will have a special UV coating to prevent fading in the hot sun.

Resin: Resin sheds are dent-resistant due to their double-walled construction and are available with a myriad of extra features to make them more secure and usable.

  • Resin sheds are typically on the higher end of the price scale because of their greater durability.

Metal: A metal shed is strong and long-lasting, often made from galvanized steel or aluminum to offer years of maintenance-free use that resists rust.

2. Get the right features

Your outdoor shed can come with add-ons and storage solutions so you can keep more things inside and access them easier.

Ramps: A ramp can make it less taxing to get your wheeled and heavier garden equipment into the shed.

Windows and skylights: Windows and skylights are often seen as a stylistic feature, but the extra natural light can make finding items inside your shed—especially when they're tucked away in the back—much easier.

Shelves: Extra shelving gives you more space to hold all your outdoor gardening supplies. Look for strong shelves that can hold heavy equipment, or at the very least ready-made slots in the walls of the shed where you can add shelves later on if so desired.

Floors: Most sheds use a gravel or dirt floor, but some people prefer sheds with proper flooring for easier access and to keep things from getting wet in the rain.

Work benches: A workbench in a shed gives you a convenient place to work. Look for solid construction so the bench won’t give out in the middle of something important.

  • The shed itself will need to be big enough for you to comfortably move around.
  • If you decide to add a workbench, you may need to wire for electricity and lighting, which could incur additional costs.

3. Think about available space

Before buying a shed, look at your available outdoor area.

  • Measure out where the shed is going to be placed to buy one that fits. Then consider the material and find a shed that matches surrounding designs and decor.
  • Extra features like planters and locking steel doors can give you more space to plant flowers or vegetables, and provide you with extra security to store expensive bicycles, your barbecue, power tools and more.

Complement your outdoor space

Outdoor sheds give you a place to store your garden equipment and work away on your favourite hobbies.

  • Consider material, shed type and extra features, then look for a shed that complements your outdoor space.

Check your local by-laws

Depending on the size of shed you plan to put up, some municipalities require that you get a permit if there was no shed there before (and even if there was) because it might be considered "construction" according to local by-laws.

  • It's a good idea to check with your city hall before you start anything, rather than risk getting a costly fine.
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