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How to buy the best shed

Our expert garden-shed buying guide reveals the different types of sheds, typical prices and sizes and even explains how to build a shed

The best sheds can provide a stable, waterproof and secure home for your tools and gardening supplies and could even make for a cosy work office. The worst will be inaccessible, damp and flimsy. Use our expert advice to help you decide on the most suitable type, the features you should look out for and how to build and maintain your garden shed.

Types of Sheds

Sheds are typically categorised by the material they are made from. We run through the pros and cons of the three most popular shed types:

Wooden Sheds

As a popular option in the UK, there are plenty of different shapes and sizes of wooden sheds to choose from. They are typically made from softwoods – usually pine (sometimes referred to as redwood or red deal) or spruce (white deal). A few are larch or Douglas fir and, in theory, these should be slightly more resistant to rot. Most rot-resistant of all are cedar sheds, but these are almost twice the price of pine ones. To keep a wooden shed in good condition and free from rot you’ll need to give it a treatment every year which can be pricey, or you can pick a shed that’s been pressure treated. And if you’re handy you could even build and personalise it yourself.


  • Plenty Of Choice
  • Versatile – can be personalised, altered or added to easily
  • Can assemble at home
  • Easy to repair if needed
  • Good insulator – stays cooler in warm weather and warmer in cool weather


  • Most will need to be treated regularly – extra time and costs
  • Typically less secure making them more vulnerable to thieves

Shed Masters recommended timber sheds are Store More Timber Sheds.

Metal Sheds

Made from either steel or galvanised aluminium, metal sheds can really differ in quality. Cheaper options made with thin panels can be extremely flimsy, while more quality metal sheds will be strong, less prone to rust and more secure. Once they’ve been assembled they won’t really need any maintenance, bar the odd bit of grease in the door hinges. However, when it’s warm the inside temperature of the shed will quickly rise making them a poor choice for home offices or working sheds.


  • Budget options
  • Maintenance free
  • Durable – won’t rot or get eaten by insects


  • Usually no floor surface
  • Can be tricky to assemble
  • Not as sturdy – you may need fixtures to anchor down
  • May rust over time
  • Not breathable – the temperature inside will change with the weather
  • Not easily customised
  • Condensation will occur if there isn’t a built-in ventilator or damp proof membrane is not used.

Shed Masters recommended metal sheds are Lotus Metal Sheds.

Plastic Vinyl Sheds

Made from vinyl, plastic sheds are typically very light. This is perfect if you’re manoeuvring the shed around the garden or for lifting to assemble but not so helpful in stormy weather. Opting for a shed with anchors to the floor should help keep it sturdy. Maintenance free, durable and easy to assemble – most will snap in place – plastic sheds are becoming more popular, however they can be tricky to customise and there are more limited sizes and shapes.


  • Light
  • Durable – rot and rust-free
  • Maintenance free
  • Easy to assemble


  • Flimsy
  • Hard to customise
  • Limited shapes and sizes
  • Hard to secure
  • Not environmentally friendly
  • Not breathable – the temperature inside will change with the weather

Shed Masters recommended heavy duty plastic sheds are Lifetime and for durable mid market plastic the Jasmine Plastic Range.

Article taken from Which Magazine – How to Buy the Best Shed.

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