How to be a happy man with a shed

How do you convince your wife, girlfriend or partner that a garden shed would be great for the garden? If she is resistant to the idea or simply doesn’t get it, try this approach.

The relationship between a man and his shed is not to be underestimated. For generations, men have retired to the bottom of the garden to spend time in their shed to pot plants, tinker with tools, fix things or simply potter about. Why?

It’s good for their mental health. A shed is the modern man cave, a place to shelter from the rain, the ups and downs of day-to-day life as well as perhaps the odd relationship niggle. Recent reports have suggested that having a shed could improve physical health too, helping to reduce stress and blood pressure which could lead to a longer life.

There – that should do the trick!

But before you rush off to buy a garden shed, fortified with all the good reasons why the investment is worthwhile, here are 6 important questions to ask yourself first.

1. Wooden shed or other materials?

Garden buildings are traditionally made of softwood, with pine, spruce and fir being the most popular types used. Cedar wood is the most rot-resistant (albeit costly) option. Heavy duty timber is recommended for the longevity and strength of the building, preferably sourced from sustainable forests. Did you know that the best timber is sourced from forests closest to the Arctic

Circle, due to its slower and denser growth?

Wooden sheds, workshops and summerhouses are in keeping with the natural garden setting, and they provide an attractive as well as useful addition to your garden.

Metal sheds with sliding doors are a functional alternative for storing tools and garden equipment, but they’re usually not pretty to look at and can be awkward to assemble. Unlike wood, metal doesn’t breathe, which means metal garden buildings and their contents often suffer from the effects of condensation.

In terms of easy assembly and low maintenance, plastic sheds can be a useful option. You can even take them with you when you move house. However, apart from the lack of visual appeal, the life cycle of a plastic garden structure is shorter than that of traditional timber garden buildings.

2. Which size?

Will your garden building be used for storage, as a workshop, tool tidy or garden office? How much space do you have in your garden? Sheds come in all sizes and can be made to measure to fit your requirements exactly. Make sure you measure out the space available, particularly if it’s tight.

Has anyone ever complained that their shed is too big? Go for the maximum size you can afford and that fits comfortably into your garden.

It’s important to double check all dimensions and measurements with your garden building supplier at the time of ordering. Does the size quoted include the roof overhang? A company that makes bespoke garden buildings will manufacture everything to your specifications.

3. How robust?

Your garden shed is an investment into your home and, provided you look after it properly, should give you many years of pleasure. Sturdiness is essential; flimsy construction will soon leave you with a sagging building and a door that won’t close properly.

Whichever garden shed supplier you are considering, make sure there are display sheds you can visit to get a feeling for the quality of the construction. When you visit the showroom, jump up and down inside the display shed, touch the roof and sides and see how it feels. A bit too wobbly? Reassuringly firm? A good quality garden building should be built on a solid base, with a strong tongue and groove timber floor and heavy duty timber framing.

4. Roof protection?

With an inferior garden shed, the roof is usually the first to deteriorate. Heavy duty mineralised roofing felt over a strong tongue and groove board on a frame is recommended as the best construction. Cedar shingles, roof tiles or a green roof are other effective solutions that can look extremely attractive in the garden.

Without an effective roof overhang, wooden sheds can leak and rot as a result of water running down the walls. For the sides, a minimum 5 cm roof overhang is recommended, increasing to 7.5 cm minimum at the front and back of the building.

5. Doors and windows?

It goes without saying that the door to your garden shed should be big enough to get yourself and any equipment in and out easily. A wide range of door widths (and heights) can be specified, so do check your door will be fit for purpose. Double doors for storage requirements or a glazed door for additional light are further options to consider. For extra weather protection to stop water ingress, make sure that weather strips are fitted both top and bottom.

If your garden building is big enough, or if you are using it for more than just storage, you may want to fit windows. Toughened class is recommended, and opening windows can be specified.

Beware that windows are prone to rotting unless they have a sloping sill so the water can run off easily.

6. What about security?

The most perfect garden shed in the world is no good if it’s broken into. If you store anything of value in your garden building – lawnmowers and garden tools for starters – you need to protect your shed contents against from burglary. If your shed is at all at risk, toughened glass on windows (and doors) and a heavy-duty door lock is a must.

Article provided by Mike James, an independent content writer and a man who has never quite been happy with his shed. For the information in this article, and that which has gone a long way to indeed making him happier with his shed – Hortons Portable Buildings were consulted.

Author: Editor

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