Garden shed: design ideas, inspiration & pictures

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What is a garden shed?

Although defined as a single-story roofed structure in a back garden, garden sheds do more than take up backyard space. They offer space to store your front garden tools, do your hobbies, and double up as a workshop. All sheds vary in size, construction complexity and materials used to build it. They range from small open-sided, tin-roofed structures to large wood-framed sheds with shingled roofs, windows, and electrical outlets. The common types of garden shed construction are metal sheathing over a metal frame, plastic sheathing and frame and all-wood constructions. Because of a need for storage and workspace, garden sheds have become a staple in most American backyards.

What are the different types of garden sheds?

The majority of sheds are garden sheds and allotment sheds, and are classified as follows;

Garden Sheds: These include potting and tool sheds. Most modern gardens are too small for more than one shed and contain garden tools and lawn mowers.

Bike Sheds: These usually contain a framework on which bikes can be supported and locked, and a roof to keep rain and snow off the bikes. Bike sheds range from little more than a supported roof to complex structures with walls and locking doors or gates.

Boat Sheds: These are lockable wooden sheds built near a body of water to store small private boats, bathing suits, life vests and related items. Boat sheds used for rowing clubs are large structures for storing rowing skiffs.

Wood Sheds: These are used for storing large quantities of firewood. They help protect firewood from adverse weather and moisture, especially in snowy or wet climates. Wood sheds are commonly in close proximity to buildings heated by a wood-burning stove, such as a log cabin.

What is the best type of wood for garage sheds?

Cladding is the exterior of a shed, and the best material for garden sheds. It comes in two different styles which are overlap cladding and tongue and groove cladding.

Overlap Cladding: This is where the timber is placed one on top of another so each of the boards overlap the previous one to create a panel. These are usually rough sawn and have more of a rustic look. Overlap cladding is the cheapest option, and allows rain to run off it with ease. On the downside, overlap cladding isn't very durable and isn't able to support heavy things like wall shelves.

Tongue and Groove Cladding: This is where a panel is created from planks of wood which are designed to interlock. This timber is planed to allow smooth panels which join with ease, giving the build a neater finish. It is strong and durable because of its interlocking system, and it's more likely to remain straight and square over time. Its weatherboard is ideal for running water readily off the panel, and of the two options, this one costs more.

What are the different types of roofs for garden sheds?

Garden sheds have three popular roof designs.

The Pent Roof Shed: This is the simplest shed roof design. Its single slope is suited to buildings that sit against a fence or wall. The roof is a simple beam spanning between the front and back walls. The roof pitch is governed by the choice of roof covering materials and any planning restraints. The span of the roof is limited by the strength of the timber roof joists. To increase its lifespan, a mono-pitch truss can be used.

Gable Roof Shed: This is the most common type of shed roof. It is a simple duo-pitch roof truss. Storage can be achieved in the roof, or headroom can be increased by raising the bottom chord of the truss to form a raised collar truss. The angle of the shed roof can vary from 20 degrees on mass-produced sheds to 70 degrees on a high-pitched gable roof shed.

Gambrel Roof Sheds: Its construction achieved prominence in Dutch Colonial Architecture. Structures with Gambrel barn roofs allowed animals and equipment to be stored downstairs with a hayloft upstairs. Constructing a short span Gambrel roof truss for a shed is not the most efficient use of timber, but there is a big advantage in the amount of internal headroom available. As shed roof prices, a standard shed roof will cost you $1750.00.

What is a prefabricated garden shed?

Prefabricated garden sheds are kits that are pre-made and often fully or partially assembled and delivered to your home. Unlike building  a shed from scratch, prefabricated sheds can be assembled and ready in hours. They cone n different sizes and materials such as wood, vinyl and board and batten structures. Standard prefabricated sheds start from $1348.00.

What type of doors and windows are best for my shed garden?

When it comes to garden shed doors and windows, you're spoilt for choice. There are a variety of door materials to choose from, with the popular one being a wooden door. As for window shapes, there are rectangular, round, half-round and octagon shapes. Expect to pay around $289 for standard doors and windows.

How can I secure my garden shed?

Keeping the belongings in your garden shed safe from intruders should be a priority. Bur before you buy locks and alarms for your shed, do the checks below.

- Inspect the roof. Thieves are known to lift off a flimsy roof to get inside.

- Get a good shed door.

- Use clutch-head screws or coach screws on your shed door hinges, hasp and latch and fit two padlocks on the door.

- Choose closed-shackle padlocks to make the shed door more secure and cover windows with bubble wrap, horticultural fleece or a net curtain. Fit laminated glass in the window, it's harder to break, or fit security mesh across the outside.

Always get the help of a professional to advise you on the best garden sheds, and for a  helpful dose of inspiration, browse through homify.