Design solutions: Choosing a shed
A garden shed plays a vital role in the garden, either for the storage of equipment, or as an important work space. Here are some design considerations to help you choose the best one for your garden.
The shed is the mainstay of many gardens, but it’s often taken for granted. People tend to think of sheds as eyesores, and hide them at the end of the garden where they slowly rot, leak and disintegrate.
KEY POINTS TO TAKE AWAY
- Don’t buy a small shed just because it is the cheapest option. Look at your storage needs. Better to buy a larger shed in the first place than have to replace it later.
- Garden sheds are generally allowed under planning legislation, but must not exceed 50 per cent of the garden space in area. In conservation areas they will require planning permission if they exceed 10m3 in volume. A flat roof shed should not exceed 3m in height and a ridged roof 4m. Storage sheds are seldom permitted in front gardens. They should be sited at least 20m from the highway.
- Most timber sheds will need to rest on a prepared paved base, although it may be useful to consider raising the base on brick battens (engineering brick is particularly good). This will prolong the life of the floor timbers by keeping them away from damp ground. Some even rest on a steel base.
- Security is an important issue. Most household insurance will not cover equipment stored in a garden shed, as most locks are easily broken or removed by thieves. It is wise not to store good quality tools or expensive equipment in the shed, especially if there is easy access to the garden. Steel sheds are generally bolted to a prepared paved base, and can prove structurally more secure. Incorporate a damp-proofing membrane into the base in such cases to protect the stored materials.
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