Tips For Your Backyard Shed

The same regulations apply for sheds as for greenhouses. Usually you do not need permission unless the structure is very large, but it is as well to check. It is also wise to consult your landlord if you are in rented accommodation (or the freeholder if you do not own the freehold), especially if your property is owned by the local authority, as some are not too keen on sheds unless of an approved design (and rightly so – you’ve only to view many allotment sites from the train to see just how dreadful badly constructed storage places can look!).

A shed is not a pretty sight at the best of times, so, if possible, try to place it out of view, but choose a place where it is not a chore to fetch things out of it and put them away. An alternative to hiding it is to disguise it with a screen of plants — be careful, however, if you grow things right against it, as you will want to get at it for maintenance, and if you want a good light through the window, do not obscure it with tall things. Do not forget that even if you cannot see it, your neighbour might be able to see nothing else, so consider others before you put it up.

If possible, try not to place it under the heavy drip of trees, as it does not do the timbers or the roofing felt a lot of good.

Where you have mowers, and other heavy machinery stored in it, you will have to make an easy path to and from the door – not grass, which usually gets trodden off.

A shed can be erected directly on to the ground, but will last longer if you can give it a concrete or brick foundation, and it is not a bad idea to leave air-holes to allow the underside of the timber floor (if you have one) to be ventilated. Alternatively, you can place it, with or without a wooden floor as well, on a concrete base.

Subsequent maintenance. All timber sheds will require regular treatment with a wood preservative. All of those now available are suitable – if cost is your prime consideration creosote can be used – there is still nothing to beat it for efficacy but only if it is well away from plants as the fumes given off for a long time afterwards are very harmful, and if you do not intend to store crops or tubers, bulbs, etc. inside as the smell can cause taint.

Good-quality roofing felt should last many years, but some people recommend painting it regularly with a bituminized waterproofing compound.

Metal sheds require nothing for a long time, then a thorough painting inside and out will keep them in good heart for many more years.

Note: With the present rise in crime and thefts from sheds and gardens, make sure the shed is fitted with a strong lock.

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