What Shed Should I Buy? — The Ultimate Guide

What Shed Should I Buy? — The Ultimate Guide

We truly believe that there is a perfect shed for every garden. All you have to do is find it.

To help you find the perfect shed for your garden, we’ve put together this guide, packed full of everything you should be thinking about when you’re hunting for a new shed. From the size of your garden to the quality of the timber cladding, we’ll cover everything you need to think about to make right decision.

Let’s get started!


Shed Size


First things first, how much space do you actually have? In other words, how big is your garden and how much of it do you want to dedicate to your new shed?

If you’ve got a small garden, we strongly recommending staking out the footprint of each shed you’re considering. Actually seeing the space roped off will give you a much better feel for how big each shed is.

In case you have no idea how big sheds are, some common sizes are:

  • Small: 6’ x 4’
  • Medium: 8’ x 6’
  • Large: 16’ x 10’

Next, ask yourself how much space you will need. Are you planning on storing all your gardening equipment, your kids’ bikes and a sit-on lawnmower? Well, you’ll probably need a bigger model than someone who just wants somewhere to stick the Christmas tree for 11 months of the year!


Shed Material


Sheds are built out of all sorts of materials. Metal, plastic, brick and even straw are all common choices! We, however, think one material beats out the rest by a country mile.


Timber sheds are unbelievably sturdy and durable. They’re capable of weathering sub-zero temperatures in December, swelteringly sunny days in July and gale-force winds in September.

When the Met Office starts rolling out its multi-coloured weather warnings, you can be confident that a timber shed will make it through.

That said, you’ve got to be careful when buying a wooden shed. Some disreputable suppliers will use poor quality wood, which will result in a much shorter lifespan for your shed.

There’s also issues of sustainability with wood so remember to ask your supplier where they source their timber from.


Shed Treatment


If you decide to go down the timber route, it’s important you choose a supplier that uses treated timber. Treated timber is basically wood that’s had preservative chemicals soaked into the grain.

Preservative chemicals help timber pieces survive the harsh realities of life outdoors and ultimately extends the average life expectancy of a timber shed from one or two years to one or two decades.

Okay, onto the specifics. There’s two main types of timber treatments: dip and pressure.

Dip treated timber is basically dunked into a cylinder of preservative and left to soak it up. This tends to result in good protection around the edges but patchy coverage in the middle. Dip treated timber tends to have good initial protection but as soon as rot or mould gets into the middle, it runs riot.

Pressure treated timber use hydraulic pressure to force the chemicals deeper into the timber, which results in a deeper and more consistent protection.

Here’s what the difference between dip and pressure treated timber looks like.

Pressure Treated Timber
Pressure Treated Timber
Dip Timber Treatment
Dip Treated Timber

We recommend you pick a supplier who uses pressure treated timber. While it might cost a bit more, you’ll make your money back through your sheds enhanced lifespan.


Shed Cladding


You might think sheds are super simple structures. They’re just four walls and a roof, right? While that might be true, it’s a wee bit more complicated than that.

The difference between a cheap shed and a quality shed might be small but it can mean the difference between a shed that lasts ten weeks and one that lasts ten years!

One of the biggest differences in shed constructions is the cladding — a fancy word for how you cover the frame to keep the weather out.

There are three main cladding techniques — overlap, tongue and groove and shiplap. We’ll look at each one in a bit more detail below.


What is Overlap Cladding?

Overlap construction is the simplest construction. You start at the bottom of a frame by nailing a board onto the frame then overlap the bottom of the next board over the top of the preceding one. Just repeat that process until you reach the roof and you’ve got yourself a watertight shed.

Overlap cladding works by causing rain to run from one board to the next until it reaches the ground.

Overlap Cladding

Example Overlap Cladding


What is Tongue and Groove Cladding?

With tongue and groove cladding, each board has a slot cut into one end and a thin protrusion left sticking out of the other. The boards slot together end on end to create a flat weatherproof seal, keeping your shed and its contents nice and dry.

Tongue and Groove Cladding

Example Tongue and Groove Cladding


What is Shiplap Cladding?

Shiplap cladding is a bit of a mix between overlap and tongue and groove. Shiplap boards have a rabbet cut into opposite ends, which allows each board to slot into the next one.

Shiplap Cladding

Example Shiplap Cladding


Shed Style


Sheds come in a variety of shapes, sizes and styles and are designed for a load of different purposes. What is the perfect shed for one person may be a complete nightmare for someone else.

In this section, we’ll look at the six main styles of sheds we offer.


Apex Shed


With its iconic roof, the apex shed is the garden shed in the UK. Good internal floor space and great central headroom throughout combine to make this a great choice for almost every garden.

A pent shed from Stewart Timber


You might think pents are just a cheaper version of apex sheds but you’d be wrong! In the right setting, there’s simply no beating a punchy pent.

Pent sheds are in their element when they sit up against a boundary like a wall and boast more consistent headroom than an apex.

A workshop shed from Stewart Timber


One for all you budding craftsmen out there. Heavy duty workshops are a good choice for anyone in need of a bit more space and security.

Whether you enjoy the soothing sanding of oak or the fine tuning of motorcycle engines, our workshop sheds provide a private space for you to indulge your inner craftsman.

A garage shed from Stewart Timber


Heavy duty garages give you the space and security of a workshop with a much wider entrance. If you plan on storing cars, ride-on lawnmowers or something particularly wide, this is definitely the right choice for you.


A summerhouse from Stewart Timber


If you’re looking to add a private guest room to your property or need a home for your hot tub room, look no further. Summerhouses marry exquisite craftsmanship and the finest timber materials to provide a comfortable inside space in your garden.

A bespoke shed from Stewart Timber


If you can’t find what they’re looking for, we can help you design and build a custom shed to your exact specification. Big, small, short and tall, we’ve got everything you need to turn your plans into a reality.


What Next?

So there you go. Whether you’re a green-fingered gardener, a fledgling mechanic or a young family in need of an extra storage room, that’s everything you need to think about when buying a shed.

If you want to take a look at the options in more detail, simply click over to our Garden Sheds page or visit our timber yard in Glasgow to see our sheds for yourself.

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